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Sri Lanka’s nano tech sector poised for growth, but short of staff

Sept 3 (LBR) Sri Lanka’s state and private sector should invest more to develop human resources to aggressively expand into fast growing nano technology sector that will help boost value added exports and bring costs down, a top scientist said. Since the birth of Nanotechnology, scientists have dreamt of ways to conjure gigantic applications of it. However, for many, Nanotechnology still remains relatively unknown; while in reality products made from Nanotechnology is more..

Korea to Increase Assistance

Sept 3 (NN) Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea have undergone many similar experiences in the past and, overcoming difficulties of a formidable nature, have every reason to look to the future with confidence – a consideration which establishes a powerful natural bond between the two countries as a basis for close co-operation both bilaterally and at the international level, Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik of the Republic of Korea said in Seoul on Thursday. more..

Inauguration of the Tagore Film Festival

Sept 3 (HCI) To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore in Sri Lanka, a 5 day long Tagore Film festival organized by the Indian Cultural Centre, Colombo focusing on works of Gurudev Tagore was inaugurated yesterday evening at the National Film Corporation Hall by Senior Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama in presence of High Commissioner of India H.E. Mr. Ashok K. Kantha. The films being screened in this festival are Pathar Panchali, more..

Charge Adele Balasingham for Child murder: SL Tamils in UK

Sept 3 (LP) Sri Lankan Tamils living in the UK together with Sinhala organizations have prepared a petition to urge British authorities to charge Adele Balasingham,wife of late LTTE Theoretician Anton Balasingham for being directly involved in the suicide incidents of LTTE child combatants by garlanding them with cyanide capsules within the territory of Sri Lanka. Reports from London received this morning stated the petition noted that Adele had directly aided and more..

Sri Lankans back their leadership amid Western criticism

Sept 3 (BI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa's decision last week to lift the country's 28-year-old state of emergency will likely further endear him to a public that almost universally supports him. It may also potentially ease some of the international pressure the country is under over its human rights record. More than 9 in 10 Sri Lankans surveyed in April 2011 say they approve of Rajapaksa's job performance, as they have since the civil war ended in 2009. more..

Enormous economic potential of Eastern Province

Sept 3 (NS) An International Trade Exhibition in Batticaloa was inconceivable in the history of this town, often described as a sleepy one in the past. The Batticaloa International Trade Exhibition (BITE) 2011 in early October will enliven the dormant economy of the East and in the words of the organisers of this exhibition “Batticaloa will see the dawn of a new beginning when it showcases the town.” The organisers of the BITE consider Batticaloa the hub of the Eastern Province. more..

World hasn’t moved much since Dag Hammarskjöld

Sept 3 (NS) On September 18, 1961, a Swedish diplomat, economist and author was killed when the airplane he was travelling in was shot down over Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia. ‘Killed’ is the word used by Harry Truman: ‘Dag Hammarskjöld was on the point of getting something done when they killed him; notice that I said, “when they killed him”.’ Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld at the time was the Secretary General of the United Nations. The murder was covered up by British colonial authorities. more..

The Guardian Story

Sept 3 (LG) Murugan was a small child when I met him at the Kalladi beach, a beautiful beach in Batticaloa, in early 2007. I was personally shocked when I saw this boy who was wearing a cyanide capsule and was carrying an AK47 riffle which he seemed to have difficulty carrying properly because of its heavy weight. I tried to remove his cyanide capsule by force right away from his neck but the senior people of the TMVP who were assigned by more..

Govt. Tells UN to fly a kite

Sept 3 (LG) Now the LLRC will not reveal its report to the UNHRC simply because it has no binding powers to meddle in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. Rather, it would discuss the findings of its commission in a non-confrontational manner which would exonerate the government from any war crimes it certainly committed in the absence of the media and INGOs which could prove beyond reasonable doubt the government was directly complicit in the massacre of the more..

The Cage: The fight for Sri Lanka and the last days of the Tamil Tigers

Sept 3 (LG) BRIEFLY, in the spring of 2009, Sri Lanka made headlines around the world as its 26 year-old civil war came to a desperate, bloody conclusion on a remote stretch of beach in the island's north-eastern corner. You may remember seeing apocalyptic aerial photographs that revealed scores of bodies buried beneath the sand. You may remember hearing journalists and diplomats expressing concern that, following the Sri Lankan Army's (SLA) defeat of the separatist group more..

Guiding each other from near and far

Sept 3 (ST) Tall and beautiful, Himali Isurumathi of Ratmalana Bihiri Vidhyalaya smiles broadly as she uses sign language to communicate with other girl guides. “I made a lot of friends and I am happy as I can develop my talents,” 16-year-old Danushiya from Vakarai said confidently. Months of hard work, planning and dedication paid off as Sri Lanka’s first ever International Differently Abled Girl Guide Camp on the inspiring theme ‘Creating Our Future’ more..

Sri Lankan Muslim boy wins a prestigious award

Sept 3 (LG) May Almightily Allah bless His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for initiating this noble Quranic completion. This Quranic completion was initiated in 1997 and since then this competition has been attracting the attention of Muslim people all over the world. Undoubtedly, this event is a historical Islamic event in our contemporary Islamic history and particularly in the service of our Holy Quran. As all we aware that Muslim world is going through a more..

Self sufficiency in rice and its economic benefits

Sept 3 (ST) One of the significant post independent achievements of the country has been the attainment of self-sufficiency in rice. At the time of independence the country imported about one half of its requirements of rice and a huge quantity of wheat flour to feed about 7 million persons. Today, with the population rising three fold to nearly 21 million, the country is able to fulfil its requirements of rice. However it still continues to import a substantial quantity of wheat, more..

Our victories, our losses and the future path of our action

Sept 3 (LG) The Executive Committee of the FUTA which met on 21st July 2011 decided to suspend the trade union action which commenced on 15th March 2011 with a one day token strike, and followed by resignations from voluntary posts on 9th May, 2011 to call for a dignified wage for academics working in the public university system in the country which would in turn help preserve the public university system in Sri Lanka. more..

LG elections and the story in numbers

Sept 3 (ST) With the local govt elections being staggered over several months this year, and some having been held in previous years, it is difficult for analysts to get a grip on the overall picture presented by the outcome in the various electoral districts. Elections to local bodies within districts too have been held months apart. Since these numbers often tell a story in themselves and can point towards electoral trends, an attempt is made here to put some of the pieces of more..

Repealing of emergency and the authenticity of the Govt

Sept 3 (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 Government 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..

LPG for all

Sept 3 (FT) As an estimated 70% of the country’s households cook without Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), a Government initiative was kicked off yesterday to promote the usage of cleaner and healthier energy among low income families via an easy loan scheme. Spearheading the apparent “LPG for all” drive is the state owned Litro Gas Ltd., in partnership with the Consumer Co-operative Societies Federation Ltd (COOPFED). more..

Miles to go to restore democracy

Sept 3 (DM) The Government has, at long last, decided to lift the Emergency Regulations, promulgated under the Public Security Ordinance, thus bringing the curtains down on the 40 year saga of Emergency rule in this country. The truth is, Emergency regulations in a way, had come into being contemporaneously with the dawn of independence. The then State Council hurriedly passed the Public Security Ordinance on the eve of the (then) Ceylon’s independence to more..

Dengue: People's woes and lasting remedies

Sept 3 (DM) The press is full of news items, editorials and letters on the menace of dengue and the number of fatalities caused by it. The ministries, local govt bodies and the political high-ups are ready to prosecute the public but as with many other ills, these are acts of the proverbial people living in glass houses throwing stones. I am a resident of a road leading off Galle Road close to the CTB Depot in Ratmalana. The municipal area concerned (Municipal Council of Dehiwela-Mt. Lavinia) more..

Biggest ever budget this years

Sept 3 (Island) The biggest ever budget in the country’s history will be introduced in November to accelerate the development of 20 districts, Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said. A sum of 65,889 million has been allocated for this purpose covering 13,101 Grama Sevaka divisions countrywide. Three coordinating committees had been appointed to every Divisional Secretariat, each headed by an MP who would have the authority to more..

Editorial: Revoking PTA

Sept 3 (Island) The TNA has called for the revocation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). It is of the view that the lifting of Emergency is of little use if the stringent anti-terror laws remain in force. One cannot but agree with the critics of those draconian laws which have taken their toll on Sri Lanka's democracy, the restoration of which should be deemed a national priority in the post-war era. But, have the factors that necessitated those extraordinary laws ceased to be? more..

Editorial: To alleviate poverty, leaders must set the example

Sept 3 (DM) Building super highways, international airports, big stadiums and other mega projects have more publicity value than practical value for the people. The govt needs to realise that to reach its vision and goals of building and sustaining a new Sri Lanka as a model for Asia it must take effective steps to bring about a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources. As seen horrifyingly in countries like Ethiopia, poverty is the most widespread social disease more..

Colombo - Katunayake expressway: Half of construction work complete

Sept 3 (DN) Fifty percent of the construction work of the Colombo-Katunayake expressway has been completed, Ports and Highways Deputy Minister Nirmala Kothalawela said. The deputy minister made these remarks while visiting the construction site of the Colombo-Katunayake expressway yesterday. He said the construction work is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and the expressway will be commissioned by the first quarter of 2013. more..

President to inaugurate Rotary SA Conference

Sept 3 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa would inaugurate the three-day Rotary South Asia Conference for Development and Cooperation hosted by Sri Lanka in Colombo tomorrow. He is due to address the ceremonial inauguration on Sunday at 9.00 a.m. at the Galadari Hotel whilst the conference would be held at the Cinnamon Grand, Colombo. Around 300 delegates and speakers of repute from the corporate and state sectors from the South Asia region, including India, Pakistan, more..

Catholic Church in Sri Lanka urges investigation into the disappearances of priests and lay people

Sept 3 (TC) The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka in Colombo asked the government to investigate the disappearances of priests and lay Catholics during the Civil War. Despite the completion in May 2009 of the civil war between Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE, which has torn Sri Lanka for over thirty years, thousands of disappearances remain unexplained. Christian leaders and relatives of many priests and members of the Church of Sri Lanka missing during the last phase of more..

Life after Murali, and batting in Sri Lanka

Sept 3 (CI) For overseas teams, batting in Sri Lanka has surely been one of the more challenging assignments of recent years. Battling an army of spinners in conditions suited perfectly to slow bowling is an examination that several competent batsmen have failed to pass, but things just might be getting easier for them now, with Muttiah Muralitharan no longer around to torment them. It's been a little more than a year since Murali retired, and more..

Expatriates to unite in countering false propaganda

Sept 3 (DN) Senior representatives of the Sri Lankan expatriate community in Europe, North America, Australia and India will unite their efforts to counter the disinformation campaign of the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora. Several leaders of the expatriate community exchanged ideas on a joint campaign, said two leaders of France, Ananda Dodangoda and Saman Mannapperuma. They are in contact with community leaders Ranjith Soysa (Australia), Edward Perera (Germany), more..

National Drugs Policy Bill finally ready

Sept 3 (Island) Several Acts and Bills important to Sri Lanka’s health service are in the process of being completed. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said that it included the National Drug Policy Bill which has been completed by the legal Draftsman’s Department and scheduled to be presented in Parliament within the next four months. He said that the National Drug Policy bill would give priority to local manufacture of drugs so as to prevent drug shortages from more..

STF turns the heat on illegal gem miners

Sept 3 (Island) Those who had conveniently looked the other way for personal gain, while illegal gem miners caused immense damage to the environment, are now under pressure to act due to ongoing raids carried out by the elite Special Task Force (STF). They could no longer act as if nothing illegal was taking place under their very noses, law enforcement sources said. Responding to a query, sources said that no one had dared to interfere with more..

From grease poles to greasy demons

Sept 3 (Island) Climbing the grease pole is a game that is an essential part of the traditional New Year or Avurudu celebrations in Sri Lanka. The crowds enjoy the sight of those who try their best to climb to the top of a slippery pole, with loud cheers and much applause for every heave up, and great excitement as the climber nears the top, very often to come slithering down, again to the cheers of the well entertained crowd. Seeking to the reach the top of the more..

Six candidates neither here nor there

Sept 3 (DM) Six public servants who submitted nominations for elections to the Puthukuduiruppu and Maritime Pattu Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Mullaitivu district have been compelled to go on no-pay leave for eight months because the elections in these areas have been postponed for the third time, officials said. Public servants who intend contesting elections to local councils are required to obtain no-pay leave before handing over their nomination papers. more..

‘NDTV refused to upload clarification alongside the innacurate report’

Sept 3 (TC) The following was sent to a Sri Lankan media outlet that wanted a comment on the NDTV article given below. It was also sent to the NDTV website but its moderator strangely refused to upload this clarification alongside the innacurate report. I think the report is not to bad, in that internal inconsistencies will prevent it from being too misleading. But, to sum these up - First sentence: Government has always accepted that there may have more..

Panel visits site to study alternative route for Sethu canal

Sept 3 (Hindu) Rajendra K Pachauri, Chairman of the Expert Panel appointed by the Central Govt to study the possibilities of finding an alternative route for the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP), made an extensive field visit along the Gulf of Mannar, Palk Strait and Palk Bay on Thursday. Other members of the committee S.R. Wat, Director, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, S.R. Shetye, Director, National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), more..

World Bank aid diverted to Sinhala Colonisation in Mullaiththeevu

Sept 3 (TN) The assistance given by the World Bank to North East Services Improvement Project (NELSIP) to improve road development in recently resettled areas in the Puthukudiyiruppu and Karaithu’raippattu divisions of the Mullaiththeevu district is diverted to a recently initiated Sinhala colony called Sampath Nuwara in the district at the instructions of presidential sibling Basil Rajapaksa and SL colonial governor of the north Maj. Gen. Chandrasri. more..

'SLFP’s strength, country’s strength'

Sept 3 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that as long as the people flock around the SLFP no force can defeat the country. He made this observation at the 60th anniversary of the SLFP at Temple Trees held under the theme Minisun Samaga 60 Wasarak (60 years with the people). President Rajapaksa also stated that the SLFP has identified the real needs and heart throb of the common people and they will remain with the SLFP, more..

NCE welcomes removal of emergency; says it will boost investment and trade

Sept 3 (FT) The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) which has a membership of over 400 corporates said yesterday it welcomes the removal of the emergency by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “It will give confidence to the Private sector to invest, upgrade and expand their operations further,” NCE President Sarath De Silva said. The NCE which represents the major sectors of the economy such as tea, rubber, coconut, spices, fisheries, gems and jewellery, more..

US State Dept. urges GoSL to charge or release prisoners still in custody

Sept 3 (TC) The US State Dept. Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner during daily briefing on Sept 1st urged Govt of Sri Lanka to charge or release prisoners still held in custody after the lapse emergency regulations at the end of August. He also added that the US State Dept. is “looking at the legislation going forward and studying its implications”. Excerpts from the transcript of daily briefing: Mark C. Toner Deputy Spokesperson, US State Department Daily Press Briefing, Sep 1, 2011 more..

JVP, TNA say legal vacuum in country

Sept 3 (DM) A legal lacuna exists with the lapsing of the state of emergency on Tuesday, as the govt has failed to print the gazette notification giving the new regulations imposed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) charged yesterday. This had led to a question of legality over the detention of some 5,000 LTTE suspects and the existence of the High Security Zones. more..

Separate lanes for cyclists soon

Sept 3 (DN) All highways and main roads in Sri Lanka will have special bicycle and motorcycle lanes demarcated in them soon. Road Development Authority's chairman Ranjith Premasiri said that measures have been taken to allocate separate lanes for pedal cyclists and motorcyclists when widening and developing the main roads and highways in the future. Construction work on Sri Lanka's first roadway with two motorcycle lanes from Padeniya to Anuradhapura is currently under way. more..

Now, umpires question Hawk-Eye accuracy

Sept 3 (CI) Simon Taufel, the senior international umpire, has referred Phil Hughes' second innings lbw dismissal in the first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia to the ICC as a serious question mark against the accuracy of Hawk-Eye, the ball tracking technology. Taufel and the officiating umpires Richard Kettleborough, Aleem Dar and Tony Hill have have also sent the relevant footage of the incident to the ICC's cricket operations department. Hughes was given out lbw on more..