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LSSP to contest under Key symbol

Sept 14 (DM) Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) yesterday expressed its deep disappointment over the UPFA’s arrogance and disregard of the oldest political party in the country as not a single candidate from the LSSP had been accommodated in the UPFA nomination list for the Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte Municipal Council for the October 8 Local Govt polls. In a tit for tat response, the LSSP had decided to contest the Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte MC with its own list of candidates headed by more..

EU complicity in move targeting Lanka revealed

Sept 14 (Island) In spite strong objections by Sri Lanka, UNSG Ban Ki-moon has transmitted the report of his Advisory Panel on Sri Lanka to the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, President of the UNHRC Ms Laura Dupay Lasserre (Uruguay) and the UNDP. Authoritative govt sources said that the UN had made its controversial move at the behest of a group of countries and foreign and local NGOs bent on punishing Sri Lanka for eradicating the LTTE. more..

More cement from Pakistan

Sept 14 (DM) A shipment of around 14,000 bags of cement will arrive in Sri Lanka from Pakistan on September 21, President of the NCCSL Bandu Ranawaka said. “The second shipment of a same amount will arrive in two weeks time,” he said. According to him the shipment of cement was exported by two Pakistani companies named Tatta and Lucky cement, he said.The two scheduled consignments from Pakistan will see the NCCSL importing a total of nearly 30,000 bags of cement from Pakistan within a two week period, more..

Blake satisfied with de-mining procedure by the Army

Sept 14 (DM) United States Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O’ Blake expressed his satisfaction about the de-mining process being carried out by the Army with the assistance of other foreign agencies and for the early resettlement of all IDPs in Jaffna, Jaffna Security Forces Headquarters said. Mr. Blake who was also the former United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives arrived in Jaffna yesterday on a one day visit. more..

'Dansals at Temple Trees to buy votes'

Sept 14 (DM) EC Mahinda Deshapriya has assured the UNP general secretary that he would do whatever is possible to stop the tamashas that are being held targeting voters at the upcoming local govt elections. He that the polls chief had had a discussion with him over the phone regarding a letter he had sent him requesting him to stop the tamashas. In his letter to Mr. Deshapriya Mr. Attanayake had accused the government of holding tamashas targeting the voters. more..

'No action taken regarding sub standard cement'

Sept 14 (DM) The UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara complained in writing to the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) to take action regarding the alleged sub standard cement that was released to the market under a false SLS certification. “They haven’t replied to the complaint and I don’t see them taking any action with regard to the sub standard cement,” Mr. Jayasekara said. He said that he made a written complaint to the CAA which is the only competent authority that can take action against the sub standard cement. more..

Sri Lanka, India join hands to teach English in schools

Sept 14 (Hindu) Sri Lanka and India have come together in a major initiative to expand teaching English in schools in this country. Though launched in 2009 after President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared ‘English as a Life Skill,' the joint initiative, which has reached out to about 23,000 teachers, will be expanded in a major way with the signing of a MoU on Tuesday. “We remember with gratitude that the first country that came forward to offer both technical and material assistance for the success of more..

SL to protest Ban report at UNHRC in NY and Geneva

Sept 14 (DM) The govt of Sri Lanka will protest strongly against the taking up of the Darusman report at the United Nations Human Rights Council both in Geneva and the General Assembly in New York next week, Minister G. L. Peiris said. “We will protest the taking up of this report at the UNHRC sessions strongly, in Geneva and when President Mahinda Rajapaksa and I visit New York next week for the General Assembly,” he said. more..

Showers in catchment areas

Sept 14 (DN) Showers are now being experienced in catchment areas, Meteorology Department Director General G B Samarasinghe said. He said Southwest monsoon showers are expected to continue in these areas in the coming days. The Met Department said that Lakshapana reservoir recorded 129mm of rainfall while Norton recorded 120mm in the 24 hours ended yesterday noon. The rainfall figures at Kotmale amounted to 93mm, Canyon, 69mm, Castlereagh, 62mm and Maussakele, 60mm. more..

SL expatriates in Europe protest against UN in Geneva

Sept 14 (PRIU) Thousands of Sri Lankan expatriates living in European countries gathered in Geneva yesterday to protest against the United Nations for pushing for an international war crime probe on Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan of all ethnicities including Tamils and Muslims, carrying placards and shouting slogans, protested in front of the UN complex in Geneva where the 18th sessions of Human rights Council is in progress. The activists in unanimous voice urged the UN not to meddle and more..

If rape is not bad enough…

Sept 14 (LB) …then imagine the victim being a ten year old girl. Imagine it happening to her in broad daylight, on school premises, where two police officers, a security guard and several exam officials were also present – all of whom were drunk. Drunk men, who invited an Air Force deserter to drink with them, the same man who later raped the little girl. It was late afternoon on Saturday (3) when Anula Herath heard the screams of little girls, coming from the Telijjawila Royal College. more..

‘Gamani’ not based on imagination, but facts

Sept 14 (Island) Lankans should never forget the sacrifices their people made in achieving peace against ruthless separatist terrorists and the lessons learnt in doing so would help them avoid any resurgence of such tragedies again, Retd. Rear Admiral and MP for Ampara District Sarath Weerasekara said recently. He said that the aspect of emphasizing the need to protect hard earned peace was one of the aims behind the creation of the movie Gamani (village protectors). more..

Shipping firm skipping huge tax payments

Sept 14 (DM) A shipping company that shipped a consignment of sea sand dredged from the Kirinde fisheries harbour through the newly constructed Hambantota harbour had allegedly evaded the payment of ‘Cess’ tax to the tune of Rs. 118 million despite letters of reminders sent by the Sri Lanka Customs, the Daily Mirror learns. The Ceylon Fisheries Harbour Corporation had signed an agreement in 2006 with this company to dredge the large quantity of more..

'Manufacturers cannot afford to be nationalistic'

Sept 14 (Island) A senior govt minister says being nationalistic will not help Sri Lanka as the domestic market is limited in both size and purchasing power. This warning comes as the country’s traditional Western export markets continue to face uncertain futures as their economies continue to be dismal. Senior Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said the country’s manufacturers would have to eventually reckon with the market. more..

Is Govt. stalling on detainees, disappearances?

Sept 14 (LB) Vijitha, (30) surrendered to the army at Vattuval on May 16, 2009, a day before the long-running ethnic conflict reached its bloody conclusion. He was amongst the exodus of Tamils who headed to the govt controlled area, after troops breached the final defence line of the Tigers. At Vattuval, military officials told incoming crowds that persons, who were even briefly involved with the Tigers, need to identify themselves. more..

Largest nurses’ union to boycott picketing campaign

Sept 14 (Island) The largest nurses union, the Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU), will not join the picket to be staged by the Govt Nursing Officers Association today. Chief of the PSUNU, Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda Thera said that it was pointless to picket against recruiting nurses with commerce and arts qualifications to northern hospitals. He said that nurses from the South are unwilling to serve in the North owing to the hardships they have to face. more..

Sangakkara seeks Sri Lanka win in 100th Test

Sept 14 (AFP) A hugely proud Kumar Sangakkara hopes Sri Lanka will celebrate his 100th Test appearance with a series-levelling victory over Australia in the final match in Colombo from Friday. "It's a great honour to have represented my country for a period of time, and also a great honour to play 100 Test matches," Sangakkara told reporters ahead of his landmark match at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC). more..

Massive restructuring in Police Dept.

Sept 14 (DM) The IGP N. K. Illangakoon said that currently the police department is going through a massive restructuring programme to increase the capabilities and efficiency of the department. A committee on police restructuring and supervision is looking into malpractices and inefficiency at police stations and police projects. "We have been receiving many complaints from the public that a number of police stations are not taking steps to resolve their complaints. more..

TNA slams Samarasinghe’s UN statement

Sept 14 (TN) Leader of the TNA, R Sampanthan, in a press release issued today, took exception to Head of Sri Lanka delegation to the UN, Mahinda Samarasinghe’s statement which said that his “govt’s approach to reconciliation has been predicated on building trust and amity between communities." TNA retorted that the experience of the Tamil people does not support this claim and that “Tamil people of the North and East continue to be subjected to violence even after the end of the war.” more..

Teacher unions threaten countrywide strike

Sept 14 (Island) Teacher trade unions yesterday warned that they will resort to trade union action at anytime now if the govt fails to immediately address their grievances. Addressing a combined media briefing, called by a leading group of teacher trade unions in Colombo, General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) Mahinda Jayasinghe said that they had already informed their decision to Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena and Secretary H. M. Gunasekera. more..

Japan assists Construction of Manmunai Bridge

Sept 15 (GDI) The Govt of Japan has provided a grant assistance amounting to Japanese Yen 1,206 million (approximately Rs. 1,600 million) for the Construction of the Manmunai Bridge across the Batticaloa lagoon. The initiative has been taken with the aim of expediting the ongoing development initiatives in the Eastern Province and thereby improving the social and economic conditions of the people living in these areas. The project will be implemented through JICA. more..

White vans pursue leaders who organized agitation against killing of Roshan Chanake

Sept 15 (LT) The organizers of the agitation by the ICEU held on the 30th of August against the failure of the authorities to take action against those who were responsible for the killing of Roshan Chanake are being threatened by thugs say reports. Roshan Chanaka was killed by police shooting at a demonstration held at Katunayake against the attempt by the govt to bring in a pension scheme for employees of the private sector without their consent. more..

Hambantota 2018: Commonwealth Games will inspire our young athletes

Sept 15 (ON) The island nation of Sri Lanka is looking to build off an impressive performance at the inaugural 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games. The big star is badminton doubles national champion Achini Rathnasiri who won bronze in the women’s badminton doubles with Upuli Samanthika. Rathnasiri also took the national title at age 15 and badminton is the sport that is gaining momentum on the competition. The co-chair of the organizing committee, more..

Filmmakers bring ‘Truth’ about conflict in Sri Lanka to campus

Sept 15 (EN) War is a dirty business. "Death and destruction" is the name of the game, and bombs and bullets are the tools of the trade. But often overlooked is a more powerful weapon, more powerful than even the strongest atomic bomb: misinformation. What better way to perpetuate fear and oppression than through falsehoods and propaganda? As the saying goes, the pen is mightier than the sword. Fortunately, the same holds true for the good guys. more..

'Honest attempt must be made to silence int’l community'

Sept 15 (DM) “The Govt must stop spreading rumours,” Jayalath Jayawardana, UNP MP said today adding, “Like the ones stating that I went to Geneva to counter the Governments move.” This was in response to minister Wimal Weerawansa stating that he was in Geneva. “He should have checked with me at least to see whether I was in or out of the country and such actions will make Sri Lanka a laughing stock at the UNHRC,” Jayawardana stated to the Daily Mirror. more..

TNA, Sri Lanka govt to resume talks

Sept 15 (Hindu) The TNA and the Sri Lankan government will resume talks on arriving at an acceptable political solution to the Tamils in the Northern province. This was confirmed by the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O Blake, at a press briefing here on Wednesday. He had earlier held discussions with a wide range of officials, the TNA, the opposition UNP, and had also met people in the northern province. more..

RDA holds workshop on operational and maintenance for Southern expressway

Sept 15 (GDI) A workshop to create awareness and exchange views with a cross section of the stakeholders for the Southern Expressway, the first restricted access toll expressway in Sri Lanka will be held tomorrow. The Workshop is organized by The Road Development Authority, Ministry of Ports & Highways in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This will provide the opportunity for the Road Development Authority to explain and more..

Christians ‘must understand poor better’

Sept 15 (UCAN) Christians looking to combat poverty and injustice should develop their own spirituality and try living among the poor to get a better understanding of the conditions these people live in, according to a leading academic. “Many people around the world just don’t realize the kind of life marginalized people lead because they are subject to rampant materialism which makes them individualistic and selfish,” said Anton Meemana, professor of philosophical and religious perspectives in reconciliation and peace at more..

US urges Sri Lanka to boost Tamil police to 'heal wounds'

Sept 15 (AFP) The United States on Wednesday urged Sri Lanka to deploy more minority Tamils to police the former conflict zone in the island’s north to help “heal the wounds of war”. Tamils in the formerly embattled region feel intimidated by the presence of predominantly Sinhalese-speaking government forces and police, US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake said at the end of a three-day official visit. more..

Bishop seeks pardon for ex-combatants

Sept 15 (UCAN) A Bishop has appealed to the govt to solve the problem of former Tamil Tiger soldiers facing charges or undergoing rehabilitation after the end of a long civil war. Either pardon them if they have done nothing, or charge them if they are guilty of having committed offences in the name of the LTTE, said said Bishop Kingsley Swampillai of Batticaloa diocese yesterday. “We suggest to the govt that if they find evidence of guilt for the suspected ex-combatants more..

Pressure mounts on accountability process

Sept 15 (IRIN) The failure of a national accountability commission could add to calls for an international inquiry, a top US diplomat warned on 14 September in Sri Lanka. "If it [a national inquiry] is not a credible process, there will be pressure for some sort of alternate mechanism," Robert Blake, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said at the conclusion of a three-day visit to Sri Lanka. Blake, who met President Mahinda Rajapaksa and ministers, more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 14.09.2011

Forced selling pushes Sri Lanka bourse down

Sept 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock market fell for a fifth straight session to a two-week low on Wednesday as strict credit controls put in force by the market regulator forced selling. The island nation's main share index closed 0.5 percent or 34.43 points weaker at 6,895.61, the lowest since Aug. 30. It returned to its position as Asia's best performer, with a return of 3.91 percent on the year. Globally markets have been roiled since the end of July by the twin fears of a more..

Implementation of medical certificate on arrival begins in UAE

Sept 15 (KT) Expatriates from two countries - Sri Lanka and Indonesia - will have to furnish a certificate stating they are free from disease before landing in the UAE for a job or residency. As reported by Khaleej Times in May this year, the UAE announced today (Wednesday) that it will implement a medical fitness system currently being followed by GCC countries from October 1. Both countries are part of the first phase of the project. Expats from eight other countries more..

Stop paramilitary activity in north; US tells govt

Sept 15 (DM) The United States today called for paramilitary activity in the North to be controlled and for Tamil Policemen to be deployed to the North. The US Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake also expressed his concern about Human Rights in the country. “I am concerned about human rights. I discussed with relevant officials the importance of disarming paramilitary groups, on which progress is being made. It is important to deploy Tamil policeman in more..

Survey: 40,000 Prostitutes 35,000 Homosexuals & unaccounted Lesbians

Sept 15 (LP) A survey conducted by Health Authorities as a prelude to combat the deadly HIV AIDS spread has discovered that there are 40,000 prostitutes, 35,000 Homosexuals and an unaccounted number of Lesbians in the country. These figures were only confined to four districts. In Colombo there are 8,000 prostitutes from the poorer to the affluent class. Medical sources ruled out the spread of AIDS among Lesbians stating that woman to woman sexual contact had no chances to more..

Sri Lankan navy thwarts refugees

Sept 15 (Age) AUSTRALIA has lauded a crackdown by the Sri Lankan navy that stopped a boat carrying 44 people fleeing the strife-torn country to Australia, prompting a sharp rebuke from human rights advocates. Australia's high commissioner in Colombo, Kathy Klugman, issued a statement praising the Sri Lankan police and navy for picking up the boat in rough seas on Sunday as it set out on the perilous 5500 kilometre journey. The spectre of boats departing directly from more..

Tamil Tigers: Terrorists or Freedom Fighters – Dutch court to decide

Sept 15 (RNW) As a bloody 3-decade war raged in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, significant parts of the Tamil diaspora spread throughout the world kept themselves busy in supporting roles, one of the most important of which for the Tamil leadership was fund-raising. Only with millions of dollars flowing in from such groups could the LTTE keep itself adequately armed to fight Sri Lanka’s state military. A Dutch police-investigation team monitored Tamil meetings more..

Govt.’s Paddy purchasing mechanism criticized

Sept 15 (SL) Farmers in Polonnaruwa complain of difficulties in selling their paddy harvest due to failures in the government paddy purchasing mechanism. The Progressive Farmers’ Association in Polonnaruwa has complained that the Polonnaruwa Paddy Marketing Board has failed to make payments to farmers after purchasing their paddy compelling farmers to sell their harvest to private traders at lower prices. The farmers have called on the government to implement a more..

'Dedication and commitment to build the country'

Sept 15 (SL) Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma says that dedication and commitment instead of words are needed to achieve the government’s aim of making Sri Lanka the miracle of Asia. Alahapperuma has said the government has managed to defeat terrorism and bring peace to the country and now need to work towards making Sri Lanka the miracle of Asia. Addressing a certificate awarding ceremony at the Education Development Centre more..