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Editorial: Do not terrorize the yellow robes

Aug 9 (DM) According to the Tamil Mirror, the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem, at a meeting in Kalmunai had said that President Rajapaksa should defeat, ‘yellow robe terrorism.’ Whatever possessed Minister Rauf Hakeem to condemn the Maha Sangha in such a manner, it can hardly be empathized with nor can it be easily forgiven. The statement comes to light at a time when the political leaders, the clergy as well as the people more..

Sri Lanka ship supply service business growing: GAC

Aug 9 (LBO) Increasing demand for ship supply services off Sri Lanka has prompted GAC Sri Lanka, the local unit of the international shipping logistics group, to move into bigger offices in the ports of Trincomalee and Galle, a statement said. The new office in Galle is located near a new expressway connecting the southern port town with Colombo, which has sharply reduced transit time between the harbour and the island;s international airport. more..

US, India face Sri Lanka challenge

Aug 9 (AT) Sri Lanka is not only refusing to bring about reconciliation in the north of the island, where tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the last phase of the war against ethnic Tamil rebels in 2009, it is also fast descending towards dictatorship. A key question surrounding the country's future is whether its two main trading partners, the United States and India, have the leverage to deter Colombo, or can it resist international pressure with China's help? more..

'Opposition should not demand to implement its failed economic policies'

Aug 9 (GDI) The Opposition should not demand to implement its economic policies by the present govt. The economic policies upheld by them, which have failed throughout the world putting the European countries into a great economic crisis, are contrary to the economic policies of the present govt. This was stated by the Senior Minister D.E.W.Gunasekera in Parliament yesterday. He said that most of the arguments presented by the Opposition relating to economic matters were more..

Govt. allocates 59,387 M for Deyata Kirula 2013 Development activities

Aug 9 (GDI) Dayata Kirula- 2013 programme is to be implemented covering the four Districts of Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Ampara and Batticaloa, All development projects that are being implemented and those proposed to be implemented in the above 4 Districts by all Ministries, Departments and other Institutions, will be integrated under the national programme for implementation expeditiously. On a proposal submitted by the Pesident in his capacity as the more..

'Healing the wounds of war is not limited to reconstructing roads'

Aug 9 (DM) Christine Robichon, Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while commending the “huge progress” accomplished on the economic front, opines that economic development alone is not sufficient to achieve a just and lasting peace. Foreign friends, she further asserts, cannot help much in the political reconciliation process, which is the responsibility of the govt, political parties, religious leaders, more..

WFP to extend assistance to Lanka war displaced

Aug 9 (PTI) The World Food Programme (WFP) is to extend the duration of the existing food aid assistance worth near USD 28 million. The Sri Lanka Cabinet yesterday granted approval to sign the Letters of Understanding for the purpose with the World Food Programme, minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. Under this, the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) programme in Sri Lanka will be extended until 2012. The objective of this programme is to assist the Sri Lanka govt more..

Subramanian Swamy meets top leaders in Lanka

Aug 9 (PTI) Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy met Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and External Affairs Minister G L Peiris during his visit to the country to attend an international defence seminar. Swamy, who is widely regarded as a friend of Sri Lanka for his outspoken criticism of the LTTE, is also expected to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The three-day 'Defence Seminar 2012' for lasting peace and stability on peace and stability with more..

Cabinet Decisions 2012-08-08

Aug 9 (GDI) 1. Rangiri Dambulu Rajamaha Vihara sacred area to be demarcated: The proposal made by Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, as the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, to entrust the task of the determination of boundary and development of Rangiri Dambulla sacred area, to the Urban Development Authority was approved by the Cabinet. 2. Anuradhapura and Batticaloa hospitals declared as Teaching hospitals: The proposal made by more..

Srilankaxnews FR petitions permitted to proceed

Aug 9 (SM) The Supreme Court today granted leave to journalists and coordinator of the website, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera, to proceed with the fundamental rights petitions they have filed. Chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake and justices K. Sripavan and Gamini Weeratunga took up the petition. The petitioners claim their arrest by the CID amounted to an infringement of their fundmental rights and that their right to freedom of information and more..

Police spokesman, 21 others promoted

Aug 9 (CG) Police spokesman Ajith Rohana and 21 other police officers have been promoted to the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) from the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP). The promotions were announced by the police media unit today saying it was based on the recommendations of the Public Service Commission. Among those promoted to SSP from the SP rank are officers from the Presidential division, media division, state intelligence service, CID, CCD, TID and others. more..

Website registration fee reduced

Aug 9 (CG) The govt has decided to reduce the registration fee and renewal fee on news websites, the govt information department said. Accordingly the registration of a news website with the Media Ministry will be Rs. 25,000 while the annual renewal fee will now be Rs. 10,000. Last month Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that news websites must pay Rs. 100,000 (US$ 1000) to register and also Rs. 50,000 (US$ 500) annually. more..

Veddah community readies to fight for their rights

Aug 9 (SM) As the world prepares to celebrate the international day dedicated to its indigenous people, the local Veddah community are readying to fight for their rights. At a meeting of their clan at Dambana yesterday, they decided to form an organization comprising 500,000 Veddah members scattered in the island, said their chieftain Uruwarige Wanniya. He said a letter containing the decisions taken at the meeting and their requests would be handed over to the president. more..

'Farmers angry over non-payment of pensions'

Aug 9 (DM) Farmers are up in arms against the govt after it stopped the payment of farmers’ pensions for the past several months. Former JVP MP S.K. Subasinghe said yesterday he would organise a series of protest rallies in paddy cultivating areas soon over the non-payment of pensions to farmers. Mr. Subasinghe who defected from the JVP and joined the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) said large number of farmers had for years a contributed to the Agricultural and more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief 09 08 2012

Sri Lanka to establish diplomatic relations with Solomon Islands, Tuvalu

Aug 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is expanding its diplomatic relations to include Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, an official said here on Thursday. The move comes after the two Pacific Island nations had conveyed their interest in establishing relations with Sri Lanka through the country's mission in New York, said Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella. "Both these countries share common membership in several international forums with Sri Lanka. more..

Mom put chili powder in child’s eye

Aug 9 (CG) A mother has been arrested for abusing her son and putting chili powder in his eyes, the police media unit said. The 22 year old mother was arrested by the Welawaya police after a complaint was received over the 119 police emergency hotline. According to the police, the mother, a resident of Welawaya, had abused her 4 year old son and even hurt his legs. She is to be produced in court later today. The child has been admitted to hospital for treatment. more..

Sri Lanka taps into wind power to reduce power cuts

Aug 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka added wind power to its national grid on Thursday in a bid to reduce power cuts that are ongoing in 58 cities around the country including the capital city, an official said. Sri Lanka is currently suffering from a serious drought that has brought down its hydro power generation to below 10 percent. "For the first time in 3 years, 30 Mega Watts of wind power was added onto the national grid more..

Sri Lanka stocks hit 3-week low on interest rate concerns

Aug 9 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks fell for a fifth straight session on Thursday, hit by concerns about rising interest rates and a delay in promised government measures to boost the market, analysts said. The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index lost 0.78 percent, or 37.99 points, to end at 4,851.88, its lowest since July 18. "Due to high interest rates, the local investor interest was not seen. But there had been foreign interest on some select blue chip counters," more..

Sri Lanka allows transfers from NRFC accounts

Aug 9 (LBO) Central bank has relaxed exchange control regulations to allow the free transfer of funds from non-resident foreign currency (NRFC) accounts, the bank releasing a statement said. The bank said funds can be freely transferred between and among NRFC accounts including foreign currency investments abroad. "Necessary direction to authorized dealers has already been issued, amending the directions dated 11.07.2012 in order to make it abundantly clear that more..

Sri Lanka refuses UN intervention in post-war reconciliation

Aug 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's govt has confirmed that a United Nations (UN) team will visit the country next month to evaluate post-war reconciliation but insisted that their feedback would not be considered, an official said here on Thursday. Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella strongly responded to previous media reports that the UN team would provide expertise on reconciliation efforts made by the govt. more..

Increase our salaries demand employees of Inland Revenue

Aug 9 (LT) Due to the depreciation of the rupee and the prices of fuel going up the prices of commodities and services have rapidly gone up and the salaries of the employees should be increased accordingly says the General Secretary of the Inland Revenue General Employees Union Ajith Pushpakumara. He said employees of Department of Inland Revenue and other state employees have not been paid any salary increase since the increment given by State Administrative circular 06/2006 and more..

Seized garments released after order from higher up

Aug 9 (DM) A stock of garments which were seized this morning by Customs officials at the BIA was released after instructions came from ‘above’ ordering the officials to release it to the group of businessmen who had imported them. A highly placed Customs official said that the officials who went from the Colombo Special Investigation Unit had taken the garments into custody and informed the businessmen that they could collect the items from the Customs office more..

'Resolve ‘Z’ issue immediately! Bring justice to students who have been unfairly treated'

Aug 9 (LT) An agitation organized by the JVP demanding the govt to resolve the ‘Z’ score issue and do justice to A/L students who have been unjustly treated due to the distortion of marks was held opposite fort Railway Station today. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said, “The future of the youth who sat the GCE A/L exam in 2012 has been completely destroyed. It is the govt that created the ‘Z’ chaos. Now the govt is attempting to pass the more..

Trincomalee in development discourse

Aug 10 (DBS) In a masterly stroke aimed at improving bilateral economic relations on the one hand, and job opportunities for the Tamil victims of the ethnic war, New Delhi and Colombo have agreed to set up Special Economic Zones (SEZ) for Indian engineering, auto components and pharmaceutical industries in the eastern port town of Trincomalee. The decision, taken at a meeting the visiting Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had with Minister Basil Rajapaksa more..

The American dilemma

Aug 10 (DBS) Now that the LLRC Action Plan is out, it has drawn the usual reactions. Those who find good things in it claim that these have been forced on govt. Others claim that it does not go far enough. Kusal Perera does both. Interestingly we do not yet find criticism that it goes too far, though I suspect this viewpoint too will be expressed in time, for the usual reason. Meanwhile, predictably, we do not find credit given to govt, and we certainly do not find expressions of regret that the govt has more..

'Development needs to be the development of righteousness'

Aug 10 (DM) Q: There have been a number of reports of child abuse in recent months, do you think that the responsibility of curtailing these incidents lies in the hands of the police and that they are doing enough to control the situation? A: Not at all— because I feel that if there is very strong law enforcement in this country, we would not face a situation like this. Day in day out the situation is worsening. more..

Analysing Mathusa Sivajalingham’s testimony as Tamil asylum seeker

Aug 10 (CT) Dinouk Columbage of the Sunday Leader revealed commendable initiative on an earlier occasion in meeting and interviewing a Lankan involved in people smuggling. He has recently met and interviewed a Tamil woman, Mathusah Sivajalingham who had been among those on a trawler with asylum-seekers which had been impounded by the SL Navy. Her testimony, supported by the concerns of another Tamil lady whose son had reached Christmas Island, more..

The Friday Forum on crisis in the education sector

Aug 10 (CT) The recent trade union action by university academics and other staff, and the current critique of educational policies and interventions by students, parents, teachers and members of the public are a response to multiple crises in the education sector. These problems have not emerged overnight. They reflect progressive decline including many decades of mismanagement and politicized and ad hoc decision making. Education has always been considered a public good in more..

‘Patrimony of the Rich’ to the ‘Inheritance of the Poor’

Aug 10 (Island) In presenting the recommendations of the Special Committee on Education to the State Council in 1944, C.W.W. Kannangara, then the Minister of Education, famously rephrased the quote of a 19th century Scottish jurist and politician: "Sir, it was the boast of the great Augustus that he found Rome of brick and left it of marble. How much nobler will that be for this State Council when we shall be able to say more..

Targeting an iconic symbol of peace

Aug 10 (DM) ‘Secure the Sanctity of Life’ is a message for all times – not just in times of war. That was the message inscribed in Sinhala, Tamil and English on a brightly coloured street mural at the Kynsey Road / Rosmead Place intersection in Borella. For both pedestrians and motorists alike, it was an iconic image conveying a powerful message of peace that was hard to miss. More importantly, the mural commemorated the life, work and death of a widely-respected Tamil intellectual who more..

Sri Lanka should host the 2020 Olympics

Aug 10 (SL) Watching pre-Olympic Games programmes on TV made us realise how much the Olympic Games even in this hi-tech age is dependent on torch bearers. For weeks the Olympic torch was carried from town to town in Britain and finally from borough to borough in London. It made us realise that carrying torches too is a part of the Sri Lankan heritage. Never mind the ancient times when our torch bearers were vassals to monarchs who may have had the heads of poor torch more..

Stock market: Perpetrators of white collar crimes must not go unpunished-TISL

Aug 10 (ST) Good and fair regulation doesn’t impede success in Colombo’s stock market but provides a framework for a level playing field, according to governance NGO, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL). “If we understand regulation to be simply that, then perhaps those who push for less market regulation are only attempting to cover up their tracks,” it said in a ‘position paper’ on manipulation in the stock market. more..

Probing the roots of the power cuts

Aug 10 (Island) One hundred percent reliability in electricity supply is a theoretical impossibility; even in a place like Hong Kong which prides itself on reliability of supply, China Light & Power and Hongkong Electric, the territory’s two suppliers, achieve only 99.99% reliability, and less than 20 minutes loss of supply per annum on average. In most advanced economies reliability is a little lower, but better than 99%. Providing reliability at these levels is quite expensive, requiring good planning and maintenance, more..

Destabilising the East to stabilise familial-rule

Aug 10 (SL) The Eastern province, multi-ethnic and multi-religious, is Sri Lanka’s Achilles Heel. Mishandle the East and the outcome will not be a cleanly bifurcated separatist war. Mishandle the East and the outcome will be a ‘war of all against all’, involving every ethnic/religious group in Sri Lanka (plus several foreign powers in supportive roles), and infecting every nook and cranny of the island. That is why attention must be paid, when three constituent parties of the UPFA more..

Dear Suminda: Part 2

Taylor eager to see Cooray beat Brits

Aug 10 (Island) Nick Taylor, the coach of Sri Lankan marathoner Anuradha Cooray can’t wait for Sunday to see his trainee compete in the London Olympics marathon. And for the British national ‘it would be an interesting contest’ to see whether the Sri Lankan could go on to beat all British athletes like the same way he did at the Bristol Half Marathon some ten months ago. "I can’t wait for Sunday. I think he is quite capable of running below two hours and fourteen minutes. more..

Asgiriya Nayake Thera welcomes Bodu Bala Sena

Aug 10 (Island) Most Venerable Mahanayake of Malwatte Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera on Thursday after receiving a delegation from the "Bodu Bala Sena" organization led by Venerable Kirama Wimalajoth Nayaka Thera and said he was pleased with the aims and aspiration of the new organization. Most Venerable Mahayake Thera stressed the need for founding organizations like Bodu Bala Sena at a time when Buddhism more..

American strategist Patrick Mendis honored by the KDU

Aug 10 (AAP) Professor Patrick Mendis, a former American diplomat and a military professor in the NATO and Pacific Commands of the U.S. Defense Department, says that the strategic Sri Lanka has always been of great importance to both the United States and China as India is worried about the currently developing situation. The American visiting scholar is a former commander of the Army Cadets Corps of more..

Reawakening North!

Aug 10 (Island) The Jaffna International Trade Fair (JIFT) is set to be held in the Northern capital of the country on the 18th, 19th and 20th of January 2013 for the fourth consecutive year. The event is widely considered the best mode of making inroads towards the vast untouched market and resources that is within the Northern tip of the country and has witnessed spectacular interest and keen participation from investors from all parts of the country and the globe together with the residents of the North alike. more..