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Sri Lanka News Debrief - 01.09.2011

Sri Lanka Cargills to launch new biscuit brand

Sept 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Cargills group, which has interests in foods and retailing said it will launch a new biscuit brand after buying a confectionery firm that earlier had a regional market. Cargills Quality Confectionaries (Pvt) Limited, earlier known as Diana Biscuit Manufactures, located in Nalanda, Matale in central Sri Lanka was bought by the group for 342 million rupees. The firm produced wafers, hard and soft dough biscuits and sold under the brand 'Helan'. more..

Sri Lanka takes a lead amongst SAARC in telecom industry - Voice & Data

Sept 2 (GDI) Sri Lanka is leading the way in the telecom technology amongst SAARC nations because of the state-of-the-art technology being implemented by the operators. The launch of the 4th generation LTE network bestowing a gigantic speed of 100 Mbps in the capital, Colombo, is a classic example of how the telecom technology has reached dizzy heights in the country, stated Voice & Data, India’s leading monthly magazine on the business of communication, more..

Chinese 'spy ship' tracked by India found at Colombo port

Sept 2 (ZN) In a worrying development, a Chinese spy ship disguised as a fishing trawler was tracked in the Indian Ocean recently, a report claimed on Wednesday. The ship was detected near the coast of Little Anadaman. It is believed that the ship had spent more than 20 days in the sensitive location before Indian radars could locate it. While the Navy dispatched a ship as soon as the presence of the Chinese spy ship was confirmed, no action more..

Sri Lanka stocks up, Dhammika Perera ups Hayleys stake

Sept 2 (LBO) Stock market closed higher Thursday with big deals by high-net-worth investor Dhammika Perera pushing turnover over eight billion rupees, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed at 6,951.50, up 1.05 percent while the more liquid Milanka index rose 1.09 percent to close at 6,301.76. Turnover was 8.8 billion rupees. Dhammika Perera, deputy chairman and biggest single shareholder of Hayleys, increased his stake in the conglomerate further by more..

Sri Lankan city bidding against Gold Coast caught up in Wikileaks controversy

Sept 2 (CM) The Sri Lankan city bidding against the Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games has become the centre of a WikiLeaks controversy as the vote to decide the host nation nears. A leaked email published on WikiLeaks claims the US Govt believes the Chinese Govt is bribing Sri Lankan officials to win contracts linked to the redevelopment of port city and potential Games host, Hambantota. Hambantota has a population of about 10,000, more..

Sri Lanka to strengthen economic links with Vietnam: minister

Sept 2 (LBR) Sri Lanka and Vietnam has established a joint commission between the two countries to explore prospects for two way trade an mutual investment opportunities, a top official said. “Under the joint commission we have agreed to explore opportunities in market development, export promotion and areas of mutual interest in fields of agriculture fisheries and aquaculture,” said minister Lakshman Seneviratne. more..

Remanded for allegedly insulting the President

Sept 2 (DM) A man who is alleged to have used a can of spray paint to write derogatory words about the president on a billboard outside the Fort Railway Station was remanded till September 9 by a Colombo Court. The suspect R. G. Roshan Malinda of Ja-Ela was arrested while in the act of defacing the billboard. The police told the Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne the man had not only written derogatory words against the president and his govt but more..

'Sri Lanka building Buddhist viharas in place of temples'

Sept 2 (PTI) A Sri Lankan MP has charged that the Lankan government was not permitting rebuilding of Hindu temples destroyed or damaged during the war and was instead building Buddhist viharas in their place. "The original structure of the temples are being razed and Buddhist viharas and coming up in their place," claimed Seenithambi Yogeswaran, of the Sri Lankan Tamil National Council, here yesterday. So far, more than 1,400 Hindu temples had been affected, he said, more..

Emergent uncertainty

Sept 2 (Economist) Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president, did not tell his ministers why he required them to attend parliament on August 25th. But an Indian newspaper put them out of their misery, breaking the news online that he was going to announce a lifting of Sri Lanka’s state of emergency. And yet, when he strode into the assembly carrying a sheaf of papers, even members of his own benches craned their necks to sneak a glance at what they contained. more..

Was Gandhi's killer a terrorist?

Sept 2 (LG) On 29 August 2011, Sri Lanka Guardian published the statements of Confession by Nathuram Godse, Gandhi’s Killer. The article says ‘Such was the power and eloquence of this statement that one of the judges, G. D. Khosla, later wrote, “I have, however, no doubt that had the audience of that day been constituted into a jury and entrusted with the task of deciding Godse’s appeal, they would have brought a verdict of ‘not Guilty’ by an overwhelming majority”’ more..

Libyan lessons for Lanka

Sept 2 (LG) Influential individuals in the West have begun to refer to Sri Lanka in the same texts, indeed the same paragraphs as Libya. Take for instance, an article in perhaps one of the two most influential publications of world affairs, the Foreign Affairs Quarterly, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, one of the oldest and most respected think tanks on global affairs. The essay dated August 26, 2011, is by Stewart Patrick, a former Policy Planning Staffer of more..

Army undertakes one more mega project to train disable war heroes

Sept 2 (MoD) Undertaking responsibility for another mega project of unprecedented magnitude, the Army is to shortly inaugurate a new 'Resource Centre' for all disable war heroes at Hendala in order to provide them with vocational training as part of rehabilitation process. The state of the art new vocational training centre to be housed in the old Leprosy Hospital precincts with more than 13 buildings, is to be a reality, more..

The killing fields also the playing fields of uncivilized barbarians

Sept 2 (LG) Fertilised by the flesh and blood of the tens of thousands of the Tamil civilians massacred during the closing stages of the racist war against the Tamil people in early 2009 with the connivance of India, Pakistan and China, we are now told that the northern areas in Sri Lanka the traditional homelands of the Tamil people have yielded very good agricultural returns in rice and vegetables. Agricultural lands becoming increasingly fertile in the aftermath of more..

Is Sri Lanka East or West?

Sept 2 (LG) I refer to the article ‘Libyan lessons for Lanka’ by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke, published in Sri Lanka Guardian. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke states ‘The essay dated August 26, 2011, is by Stewart Patrick, a former Policy Planning Staffer of the US State Department, currently a Senior Fellow and the Director of the Program on International Institutions and Global Governance at the Council itself. Entitled ‘Libya and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention’, more..

Meter trishaws, a boon for travellers

Sept 2 (SO) It was on a sultry afternoon we set out from our work place last week to attend to some work in the Fort area. As we stood out on the road side, a trishaw, pulled along-side and we hopped in and told the driver our destination. The trishaw had a name-board fixed above the windscreen which read as Highway Meter Taxi. It was a trishaw with a difference, a metered trishaw, the newest trishaws to hit the street of Colombo. They are so ubiquitous and more..

The grease devils that tormented me

Sept 2 (DM) Covering all the drama and the incidents which took place due to rumours about grease devils was a grueling experience, especially since the government and law enforcement officials were not very happy about the media publicizing what they called ‘baseless rumours’. It all started with the Kahawatte killings where seven women were brutally murdered. As the suspects were slipping away from the police for a long time, the people in the area started to call them grease devils. more..

Repealing of Emergency and the Authenticity of the Govt

Sept 2 (DM) On 25th August, President Mahinda Rajapaksa making a special statement before the Parliament stated that the emergency that would expire on August 30 will not be extended again. Notwithstanding any rational justification the Govt executed to continue emergency for more than two years since the end of the war. Once a month, a statement was made, in Parliament, by an uncomfortable Prime Minister in order to extend the state of emergency and more..

'PSC is only a delaying tactic'

Sept 2 (DM) TNA MP, Suresh Premachandran insists that a cohesive devolution of power to the Tamil people to be the only solution that can ensure long standing peace in the country. Stressing that there was no ultimatum issued to the govt he claims that the TNA however has little faith on the PSC given the plight of similar moves in the past. Q: Lifting Of the Emergency regulations has long been a contentious issue for the TNA, and last week the President more..

Editorial: Of that human rights void

Sept 2 (Island) Where have all champions of human rights gone? Their silence is deafening! Is it that they have chosen to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil like those proverbial monkeys as they are wary of ruffling the feathers of the western governments by taking up the humanitarian catastrophe in Libya? They seem to know which side of their bread is buttered, don't they? The western media may have succeeded in downplaying Libya's humanitarian crisis in the run-up to more..

Editorial: Saving water, power: Acts of pariotism

Sept 2 (DM) As Libya hopefully enters what would be a Middle Eastern spring to the people power revolution, one irony is that millions of people are suffering without adequate food or clean water as the temperature in the country reaches close to a searing 38 degrees Celsius. Millions of people in Ethiopia and elsewhere are facing the same fate, with the shocking disclosure that at least thirty thousand children have perished in the past few weeks due to diseases connected to more..

First woman Attorney General of Sri Lanka takes oaths

Sept 2 (LG) Shanthi Eva Wanasundera, PC will be sworn in as 26th Attorney General of Sri Lanka before Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha, the President of Sri Lanka cementing a remarkable milestone in the history of the Judiciary of Sri Lanka becoming the first woman Attorney General of Sri Lanka. She will be succeeding his predecessor Mr. Mohan Peiris -PC. Mrs. Shanthi Eva Wanasundera was born in Kurunegala during the period her father more..

War crimes investigations in Sri Lanka: An unpopular view

Sept 2 (GV) Despite the best efforts of the Sri Lankan govt, the claim that Sri Lanka is a “Killing Field” is fast becoming a social and political rallying point for diverse interest groups. Allegations of govt war crimes outlined in the Darusman Report, the now infamous Channel 4 video, and the case filed by Tamils against Genocide (TAG) with the Department of Justice in the United States, as well as electronic reports published across the world have by now more..

Greasing the lifting of 'Emergency Rule' to live the same

Sept 2 (SL) President’s media said that the President walked by himself (in Independence Square on Sunday) with the people and met those who were in the area at leisure in a friendly atmosphere. Two days later, Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, told a meeting of Muslim religious leaders at his ministry, that the government does not need “grease devils” to extend emergency, and emergency will not be lifted because India, US or England want it lifted. more..

Dr Nonis assumes office as new Sri Lankan envoy to the UK

Sept 2 (IL) Dr. Chris Nonis assumed office as High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom today, 1st September, at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London. Dr. Nonis will also be concurrently accredited to Ireland. He succeeds Justice Nihal Jayasinghe. He studied medicine at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School, University of London and also obtained a First Class Honours Degree from Imperial College, more..

All provincial roads will be carpeted before 2012 promises Basil

Sept 2 (FT) Minister Basil Rajapaksa has promised that all provincial roads will be carpeted by before 2012 and one third by end this year. He gave this assurance addressing the meeting held to inaugurate the carpeting of Devsirigama Road in the Devinuwara electorate of Matara District. Ministry of Economic development will provide Rs.42.6 million for the carpeting of this road. Southern Development Authority is assigned the construction work. more..

CMC wants powers to raid pharmacies

Sept 2 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council Public Health Department wants the Health Ministry to allow it to carry out checks on city pharmacies. PHD sources said that they had requested Director General of Health Services (DGHS) to transfer the power of inspecting private pharmacies to the CMC’s food and drug inspectors, who had been given the same training as those serving the Food and Drug Authority of the Health Ministry. The Council has six food and drug inspectors more..

John Keells in joint venture to build Rs2.90bn business hotel

Sept 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's John Keells Holdings (JKH) group plans to build a 25 storey, 240-room business hotel in Colombo with an investment of 2.90 billion rupees in a joint venture with Sanken Lanka. The new hotel, to be built in 33 months, will be managed by group unit Keells Hotel Management Services. JKH aims to have up to 1,000 business hotel rooms to cater to growing numbers of business travellers, more..

Rumesh stresses need to abandon slow turners

Sept 2 (Island) Coach Rumesh Ratnayake was quite forthright in assessing the performance of his team in the first Test against Australia as he called the batting collapse of his team ‘frustrating’ and refused to blame the wicket for it. But, he came up with an interesting comment that well could end up to be the turning point looking into the future of Sri Lankan cricket as he said that there was a misconception among those concerned that Sri Lanka does well on slow and turning wickets. more..

Lankan envoy hails UAE for pardoning mother of six

Sept 2 (KT) The Sri Lankan Embassy in Abu Dhabi has praised the UAE government for pardoning a Sri Lankan mother of six who was sentenced to death in a murder case. Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UAE Sarath Wijesinghe said “it is with great pleasure that the embassy announces the pardon rendered to Abdul Careem Kanzul Maharifa”, who was accused of causing the death of her sponsor’s wife by repeatedly hitting her head and face with an ornamental pot and was sentenced to death by more..

'Govt. has no intention of closing karaoke bars'

Sept 2 (Island) The govt scotched rumours that legislation would be introduced to close down Karaoke Bars in the Colombo District. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said that there was absolutely no truth in those rumours. He said that the govt had not taken a decision to close down Karaoke Bars. Police spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakoddy, too, denied the rumours. The Police could inspect the premises of a Karaoke bar only on a complaint, he said. more..

Korea mulls legal action against overstaying Lankans

Sept 2 (DN) Authorities are set to take legal action against Sri Lankan migrant workers who overstay their work visas in South Korea. The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) yesterday warned Lankan migrant workers not to misuse Korean work visas by overstaying their stipulated contract period. The SLBFE said that they would take immediate steps to make both migrant workers and their parents aware on the need to return home soon after the workers’ visas lapse. more..

Grease devils, occupying forces, intensify terror in Jaffna

Sept 2 (TN) The ‘grease devil’ terror, staged by Sri Lanka’s occupying forces in the country of Eezham Tamils in a systematic way, clearly shows signs of a master-minded genocide emboldened by international inaction, said political and civil activists in Jaffna, commenting on terror unleashed on Wednesday and Thursday in the Jaffna University locality and in the Kurunakar suburb of Jaffna city. The events followed the model of the attack on residents of the more..

Boston Lanka News: Sept. 1, 2011

Unemployed graduates threaten to rock Colombo

Sept 2 (Island) The Combined Association of University Graduates (CAUG) accused the govt of cheating the unemployed graduates by false promises. "Adding insult to injury some govt authorities are now humiliating the graduates by injurious remarks", co-ordinator of the Central Province of the Unemployed Graduates Association Chanaka Bandra said. Bandara threatened to rock Colombo with a massive demonstration with over 42,000 unemployed graduates at the Lipton Roundabout. more..

Chameleon cause of calamity for Chris

Sept 2 (DM) The Australian national who died after falling from World’s End had tried to photograph a beautiful chameleon, when his foot had slipped and he had fallen down the precipice, it was revealed at the inquest. During the probe which was conducted by the Balangoda Inquirer H.D. Ruben Peiris on Wednesday, the wife of the victim said the tragedy took place while her husband Christopher was focusing to take a photograph of a beautiful chameleon. more..

Patriotic private sector takes on UN report

Sept 2 (DN) Four private sector Chambers which collectively represent a significant number of businesses in the country in a critique of the controversial Darusman Report, claims that the panel of experts had overstepped its mandate in compiling an advisory 'which appears to resemble a product of a fact finding inquiry including factual conclusion on disputed facts." The collective of Chambers demands to know if the conclusions drawn by the Panel of Experts were more..

Susil predicts historic Colombo victory for UPFA

Sept 2 (DN) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha yesterday challenged the UNP to win the Colombo Municipal Council election and said that the UPFA would record a historic victory this time. He made this observation at a press conference, the first of a series to introduce the Colombo Municipal Council UPFA candidates. The minister said that the UPFA secured 205 seats out of the 234 at the first round of the local govt elections while the UNP could secure only nine. more..

LG polls: Postal voting on Sept. 29, 30

Sept 2 (DM) September 29 and 30 are the days set apart for postal voting for the October 8 local council polls, Elections Secretariat said. Deputy Elections Commissioner W.P. Sumanasiri said 4,505 out of a total of 5,926 public servants are registered for postal voting and of those who had applied 1,421 applications were rejected. He said the allocation of preferential numbers to 6,488 candidates vying for 420 slots for the elections to 17 Municipal Councils including the Colombo Municipal Council, more..

‘No more decentralised budget for opposition MPs’

Sept 2 (DM) The govt has virtually stopped the allocation of Rs.5 million from the annual decentralized budget to opposition MPs because of a decision to channel funds for various village level projects only through district coordinating committees chaired and dominated by ruling party MPs. Opposition party MPs said in the past they used the funds allocated to them from the decentralised budget for several development projects such as more..