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Olympics? No, London shopping, ah?

Aug 17 (LB) Sections of the general public as well as the UNP are questioning the composition of the Sri Lankan delegates that travelled to London for the Olympic Games, in terms of the number that had been sent to represent the country. As has been reported, Sri Lanka has the highest number of Olympic officials in ratio to the number of athletes who are taking part in the Games. Only seven athletes represented the country but 23 officials had accompanied them, more..

TN takes 70% pie in pharma exports to Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (NIE) Tamil Nadu-based companies account for 60-70% of India’s export of pharmaceuticals to Sri Lanka, according to P V Appaji, Director General of the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India. Currently in the island to do the spade-work for setting up an Indo-Lankan export-oriented pharmaceutical manufacturing hub here, Appaji said that four of the 25 companies which were part of the Pharmexcil delegation were based in Tamil Nadu. more..

Sri Lanka's securities regulator to quit at auspicious time

Aug 17 (LBO) The head of Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission has said that he will tender his resignation at an auspicious time within the course of the day (Friday) amid pressure from a group of investors who were being probed for malpractices, our sister website Vimasuma reported. SEC chairman, Thilak Karunaratne told Vimasuma that some brokers and investors had become powerful enough to influence his resignation. more..

Former US Attorney General joins pro LTTE group

Aug 17 (AD) Former United States Attorney General, Ramsey Clark has joined the pro-LTTE group Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) as a “Senator”. A statement issued by the TGTE said on Friday that Mr Clark is among nine Senators appointed to its so called Senate, “created as the Upper House of TGTE’s Parliament.” “Among those appointed as Senators is a former United States Attorney General, more..

Govt. to acquire 7 acres of prime land

Aug 17 (DM) The UDA is to acquire a commercially viable landmass of seven acres from the Colombo city area for a special project, by evicting at least 500 families, it is learnt. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has issued the special gazette notification in this regard on May 4, 2012 under the Urban Development Projects (Special Provisional) Act. These lands are located in the Hunupitiya, Wekanda and Kompanna Veediya (Slave Island) areas of the Colombo Divisional Secretariat. more..

Translated versions of LLRC to be made public

Aug 17 (CG) The translated version of the report of the LLRC is to be made public soon, the External Affairs Ministry said. The Ministry said that the government has ordered the printing of the translations on a priority basis, and the printed versions will soon be available to the public. The translation of the whole text of the LLRC Report, into Sinhala and Tamil, undertaken and completed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, was handed over more..

Health ministry to curb INGO sponsored clinics

Aug 17 (Island) The Health Ministry said it has decided to curb International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) from conducting health clinics in Sri Lanka. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said yesterday that this was being done in a bid to curb possible LTTE infiltration into the country and the possibility of Sri Lankans patients being used as guinea pigs for research carried out by foreign doctors. more..

Editorial: Act fast for reconciliation

Aug 17 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, opening the Defence Seminar 2012, said much progress had been made since the end of the war in the five important areas of reconstruction, resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and reconciliation. He said there would be no demilitarisation in the Northern Province, though the number of troops there had been reduced by about 21,000. He said the troops would remain at strategic locations for security purposes, but their presence more..

UNP must sever links with V’bahu to go forward – Lal Perera

Aug 17 (Island) If the UNP wants to move forward without deteriorating further, it must sever all links with the leader of the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) Dr. Vickremabahu Karunaratne and even stop inviting him for any protests organized by the UNP in future, spokesman for the Movement to protect the UNP and its Trade Unions Lal Perera said on Thursday. He said that Dr. Karunaratne had attended the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) sessions in more..

Sri Lanka says it has nothing to hide from UN

Aug 17 (Xinhua) Welcoming the UNHRC team, Sri Lanka said that it has nothing to hide from the UN. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the country is ready to show what it had done in its bid for reconciliation after three decades civil war. "We wouldn't have asked them to come if we had anything to hide," he said. However the minister said that it would not allow the UN to interfere in the decision making with regard to post-war more..

Sri Lanka to hold international pepper conference in Colombo

Aug 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to hold the 40th International pepper conference in Colombo later this, minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. The International Pepper Conference, established under the United Nations Economics and Social Commission for Asia Pacific is set o kick off on 30th October in partnership with Indonesia. Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka are the major pepper producing countries which more..

Nepal-Sri Lanka joins hands for tourism promotion

Aug 17 (HT) Hotel Associations of Nepal and Sri Lanka have signed a MoU for the promotion of tourism in both the countries. After signing the MoU, Chairperson of Hotel Association Nepal Shyam Sundar Lal Kakshyapati said though the Nepal-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations was established 55 years ago, the economic sector has not exchanged any substantial cooperation. He also expressed the confidence that the mutual relations between the two countries would be further more..

30 Australia-bound persons stranded in southern seas rescued

Aug 17 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy rescued 30 persons, who were illegally heading for Australia, while stranded in the deep seas. They were safely brought to the Tangalle Harbour on today, having rescued from a month-long drifting ordeal at deep sea. Among the rescued are 19 Tamils and 11 Sinhalese. All are males resident in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar, Chilaw and Negombo. The group had met with the more..

Police willing to provide security for docs

Aug 17 (DM) The Police have agreed to provide doctors with adequate security upon consideration of any threats they might face in future. This was agreed at a discussion held today at the Police Headquarters with representatives of the Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA). Meanwhile the CID has taken over investigations into the grenade throwing incident. The investigations were previously conducted by the Dehiwala police. The CID team is led by a Superintendent of Police. more..

‘Maithripala worked for neither Mahinda nor Chandrika’

Aug 17 (SM) Maithripala Sirisena, despite being the general secretary of the SLFP, did not work for the victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 2005 presidential polls, said UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera. The opposition MP said he can reveal the names of the SLFP MPs who had been at talks with the UNP during that election. Commenting on Mr. Sirisena’s challenge to UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for a debate, Mr. Samaraweera described the minister as a liar. more..

'No guarantee to implement Lorgat report'

Aug 17 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is paying International Cricket Council (ICC) Ex chief executive Haroon Lorgat US $ 100,000 (Rs. 13.5 million) to work for 25 days as a consultant on a broad spectrum of aspects and submit his findings but there is no guarantee that his observations or recommendations will be followed by the SLC, according to the SLC President Upali Dharmadasa. “Well, reports can be given. But reports have to be vetted properly” more..

Stocks edge up on thin volumes amidst speculation of a new SEC Chief

Aug 17 (ST) Sri Lanka stocks edged up on thin volumes Friday amidst speculation as to who the likely successor as the new Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), following the pre-announced resignation of Tilak Karunaratne, analysts said. Mr. Karunaratne tendered his resignation Friday evening. He took this decision at a time where the SEC under him was seen taking tough regulatory measures against the so-called ‘pumping and dumping’ of shares more..

Sri Lanka has yet to decide on new SEC head

Aug 17 (Reuters) Finance Ministry on Friday said it has still not decided on a replacement for the Securities and Exchange Commission chief as his resignation has not been accepted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. SEC head Tilak Karunaratne resigned on Friday, saying he had come under pressure after stock market players who were being investigated for stock manipulation had made false allegations against him. "He handed over the letter of resignation. No decision on a replacement (has been made) as (the) resignation has more..

Sri Lanka SEC head resigns, blames powerful traders

Aug 17 (Reuters) The head of Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission resigned on Friday, saying he had come under pressure from stock market players under investigation for stock manipulation making false allegations against him. Tilak Karunaratne's resignation was the second in less than nine months after his predecessor left amid complaints from brokers that tougher regulations were hurting stock prices. more..

SLPL: Wayamba go top with win

Aug 17 (CI) Wayamba United roared back after a poor start to record their second win in as many matches in the SLPL, beating Uva Next by 20 runs in Pallekele. Kamran Akmal's 32-ball 36 helped Wayamba United recover after they had slipped to 44 for 4 from 5.3 overs, before late hitting from Milinda Siriwardene and Kaushal Weeraratne lifted them to 147 for 9 from their 20 overs. The Wayamba United bowlers also overcame a poor start, to strangle the Uva Next innings after more..

Bail for Tangalle UC member, accused of child abuse

Aug 17 (SM) The Tangalle Urban Council Member, Mr. Anjana Liyanage, who was in remand custody as a suspect in a case of sexually abusing of girl from Tangalle aged 14, was released on Bail on a directive of the Tangalle Magistrate today. 09 more suspects were also released on bail of Rs 25,0000 each, and two sureties of 10 lakhs. The Order also included the provisions that the Plaintiff should not be influenced in any manner otherwise bail would be revoked and the suspect be more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 17.08.2012

Sri Lanka still needs humanitarian aid

Aug 17 (CG) Sri Lanka still needs humanitarian assistance despite the end of the war three years ago, the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Maldives John Rankin said. In a message to mark World Humanitarian Day which falls on Sunday Rankin said that Britain remains committed to support demining work in Sri Lanka until the end of 2013. “In Sri Lanka, there is still a need for humanitarian work, following the end of the war. The UK Govt recognises and supports this. more..

Forty radical Buddhists attack Protestant clergyman and his wife in Matara

Aug 17 (AN) A group of 40 Buddhists attacked a clergyman from the Assembly of God Church and his wife in Deniyaya (Matara District) on 9 August for allegedly promoting Christianity in the area. Radical Buddhists do not tolerate the presence of Protestant groups, and want them expelled from predominantly Buddhist regions. Deniyaya is home to about 500 Christians. According to the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), the attackers stoped more..

'Lakvijaya power plant to resume operation'

Aug 17 (Xinhua) A key 455 million U.S. dollar Chinese funded power plant will resume operation in two weeks, minister said on Friday after its breakdown earlier in the week resulted in countrywide power cuts. "There are some technical problems in the Lakvijaya power plant. The Chinese company, the CEB and the consultancy firm are now looking into these problems. I think within another two weeks' time we will be able to operate this plant again and restore 24-hour power supply," more..

167 incidents of attack on TN fishermen by Lankan Navy:TN

Aug 17 (PTI) Tamil Nadu govt today told the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court that there had been 167 incidents of attacks on state fishermen by Sri Lankan navy from 1991 to 2011 and cases had also been registered. Making the submission, Advocate General Navaneethakrishnan said there had been incidents of attack on Indian fishermen in Indian waters. The govt said 85 fishermen died and 180 were injured in the attacks by Lankan navymen. more..

IMF expresses concern over SEC chief’s resignation

Aug 17 (ST) The IMF on Friday expressed concern over the resignation of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Thilak Karunaratne, saying “it is sad to see the SEC lose yet another strong chairperson, and in such a short period too.” Karunaratne stepped down after repeated attempts by powerful traders to scuttle probes and investigations by the regulator against market manipulators and insider dealers. His resignation comes after his predecessor more..

'Broaden laws for elders' rights'

Aug 17 (DM) The scope of elders’ rights laws should be broadened instead of continuing with the existing regulations, as they are quite limited and do not specify the most significant issues pertaining to elders’ rights, Professor Emeritus Savitri Gunesekere said yesterday. Ageing is a natural process. Therefore it is important to provide the due equal respect and dignity to these human beings. Speaking at the national consultation session organized by the UNDP on more..

Govt generates LLRC action plan, accepts UN assistance: Change of heart?

Aug 18 (Island) Two weeks ago the National Action Plan to implement LLRC recommendations received cabinet approval and finally became public. Last week, the govt announced that it would accept the offer of advice and assistance by UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay to implement the LLRC recommendations. The two developments have been described as signaling the government’s change of heart to fall in line with the UNHRC resolutions last March, more..

FUTA trade union action– past and present –II

Aug 18 (Island) Twenty years ago FUTA did not consider the university academics a special category and the demands that were made to the authorities on salaries and other benefits were not based on that assumption. It is true that the university academics perform duties do not but that does not make them a special category. If they belong to a special category then all the others not only in the Universities but also in other places of work could claim themselves to more..

561 Brigade builds rapport among villagers

Aug 18 (SO) The vehicle was racing on the A9 road through Kanakarayankulam as we needed to be in the Periyakulam village before little Nalini goes to school. As we turned right to enter the village, the officer with us suddenly ordered the driver to stop. An elderly woman was crying alone and was praying to the Gods. The vehicle stopped near her, she was sitting on a cement bund. 'Amma ean niggal alugireergal? (Why are you crying mother?) more..

Post-war Sri Lanka: What reconciliation really means

Aug 18 (DBS) There are many views about what we must achieve in post-war Sri Lanka. There appears to be a general acceptance that reconciliation among the various ethnic groups in the country is of topmost priority. Some think that for reconciliation to be realized we must primarily focus on economic development; others think that we must focus on a political solution; yet others think that what is of crucial importance is the investigation of alleged war crimes and establishing more..

Evans Cooray: Flamboyant and robust media personality

Aug 18 (DBS) (Former Press secretary to President Premadasa , Evans Gunalal Cooray,passed away on August 16th in London.This article written in 2006 by his colleague and friend to mark Cooray’s 70th Birthday is reporoduced here as tribute to Evans). The name of Evans Cooray, I am certain, needs no introduction. The mere mention of the name is sure to ring a bell in the higher echelons of the local political and media circles specially of the old guard. A flamboyant, dynamic go-getter media man more..

Lakshman Kadirgamar: Larger than Life Personality

Aug 18 (DBS) August 12th 2005 was the day on which Lakshman Kadirgamar was killed by a sniper of the LTTE concealed in the house of an unsuspecting neighbor. Sri Lanka’s foreign minister par excellence had just completed his customary 1000 metre swim at the pool in his residence, when the assassin struck. Seven years have passed since that fateful day but the memory of Kadirgamar lingers still in the hearts and more..

These crimes are not in the Mahinda Chinthanaya

Aug 18 (CT) The COPE report was handed over to President which highlighted immense irregularities in all govt institutions. The COPE members and the public expected the President to take immediate actions but he is very silent. His strange silence is nothing to be surprised about. He had been silence on the report regarding the “Taxation Commission” which was given to the President in 2009. Well the President may have his reasons to be silent, more..

Reconciliation in Sri Lanka means the youth must lead the way

Aug 18 (CT) On a beach strip of Sri Lanka in the early morning of 18th May, a middle-aged man died in a short firefight alongside his last remaining loyal followers, in a final attempt to break through defences put in place by the govt of Sri Lanka and fight another day for his dream. The man’s name was Prabakaran and what he fought for was a historically contested, mythically alluring, and ethnically pure state for the Tamil people more..

Three-cornered Eastern fight: Developed or Disgruntled?

Aug 18 (LB) The Eastern province is continuing to heat up, politically speaking of course, due to the impending provincial council polls, in September this year. Both mainstream and other small and minority political parties have already come forward to contest the upcoming PC elections and it is not surprising to find the intensity rising by the day. Some of the smaller parties have decided to run alone while others have decided to more..

Implementation of the LLRC recommendations needs to be expanded

Aug 18 (DM) An eagerly awaited National Action Plan (NAP) or the road map to implement the LLRC (LLRC report of 2011 November) was tabled in July 2012 by the presidential Secretariat and also made available for the general public two days later. To finalize the NAP, President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed a Task Force headed by the Secretary to the President to monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC. Subsequently NAP was approved by the Cabinet before it was more..

SLPL: Mushfiqur carries Nagenahira home

Aug 18 (CI) Another stellar bowling performance underpinned a third consecutive victory for Nagenahira Nagas, as they breezed past Basnahira Cricket Dundee's 146 with six wickets and one over to spare. Shaminda Eranga's three for 20 from four overs and an economical spell from Sachith Pathirana ensured Cricket Dundee could not launch a sustained surge at any stage, and Mushfiqur Rahim's cool unbeaten 54 guided the Nagas unfussily to the modest target. more..

Rajan Hoole & Kopalasingham Sritharan