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Sri Lanka Mmust respect memory of war

Aug 18 (CT) It was heartening to hear President Mahinda Rajapakse identifying reconciliation and development as the priorities of his new government. However, it is crucial that both processes should unfold with the active involvement of Sri Lanka’s citizenry, rather than being imposed from above by an omnipotent state. We seem to already have plenty of intimations of the latter. On 19 March 2010, Daily Mirror carried a brief article on its front page startlingly startlingly headlined, “Govt to wipe out LTTE landmarks”. more..

'UPFA rally a disturbance to A/L students'

Aug 18 (AD) The inaugural rally of the UPFA which is being held today at Anuradhapura public grounds, in line with the upcoming election, has caused immense disturbance to students sitting for the GCE A/L exam, claims the Ceylon teachers’ Union (CTU). A large number of students are said to be facing this year’s exams at the 3 examination centers located at the Anuradhapura Central College, Swarnapali Balika College and Walisinghe Harischandra College. more..

SL embassy in USA hosts Iftar ceremony

Aug 18 (GDI) The Embassy of Sri Lanka, on Thursday organized the annual Iftar- breaking of fast ceremony, followed by dinner, continuing the tradition of venerating all four major religions practiced in Sri Lanka. Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya welcoming the guests extended his best wishes for the auspicious Eid ul–Fitr to all. He reminded the gathering that Sri Lanka is a diverse country where followers of four major religions have lived in harmony for ages and more..

Diaspora undermining the work at hand in Sri Lanka - Nonis

Aug 18 (AD) High Commissioner to the UK Dr Chris Nonis outlined the strides that Sri Lanka had taken in economic, social rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation since the defeat of terrorism in May 2009 to the Guild of Tourism at a luncheon meeting held at the Cholomondelay Room at the House of Lords. One of the beneficiaries of this development effort in the post-conflict era was the tourism and hospitality industry which has witnessed a more..

Three bodies found in Wellawatte apartment

Aug 18 (DM) Police found three bodies beleived to be members of the same family- father, mother and daughter - were found in an apartment complex in Ramakrishna Terrace, Wellawatte this afternoon. The Police spokesman’s office said the bodies were found at 12.30 pm today. “The bodies were found in a flat situated in Ramakrishna Terrace. The Police are currently at the scene conducting investigations. more..

30 Sri Lankan Tamils rescued from traffickers

Aug 18 (TOI) Tamil Nadu 'Q' branch sleuths on Thursday night rescued 30 Sri Lankan Tamils at Vandalur while being taken by a gang involved in human trafficking to Mamallapuram from where they were to be transported to an island near Australia. Acting on a tip, the sleuths intercepted the vehicle carrying the Sri Lankan Tamils, but the gang members managed to flee. Initial inquiries revealed that they were to board a ferry to set sail for Christmas Island where they would be more..

Sri Lanka takes India in warm up World Cup games

Aug 18 (LBO) Hosts Sri Lanka will begin their ICC World Twnety20 campaign with a warm-up match against India on Sept 15 in Colombo, the ICC said. The game will be followed by India taking on arch-rivals Pakistan on Sept 17 in Colombo. Sri Lanka will play their second warm-up match against the West Indies on Sept 13, defending champion England's would be up against Australia and Pakistan on Sept 17 and 19 Sept, respectively. more..

Cabinet okays sea plane services

Aug 18 (DM) Government had decided to go ahead with the earlier plan to introduce sea plane services across the country and the Cabinet had already approved a proposal to use 17 major rivers in the country for the purposes. This Cabinet paper 2012/17 which had been presented by Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayaratne had been approved by the Cabinet on June 29 this year under which sea planes would be allowed to land in 17 rivers. more..

‘What Sri Lanka is…’: Acknowledging the ethnic conflict in post-war reconciliation

Aug 18 (CT) The Sri Lankan government has appropriated the term ‘reconciliation’ to construct a narrative of post-war Sri Lanka in which the rights of non-majority communities are being protected, and their concerns addressed. In reality, the policies and acts of the state show scant regard for the rights of non-majority communities, dismissing the ethno-political nature of the conflict and the need for a political solution as irrelevant. more..

SLPL: Samaraweera, Tanvir star in Kandurata win

Aug 18 (CI) Two vicious bursts from Sohail Tanvir and Thilan Samaraweera's hitherto-unsuspected shot repertoire saw Kandurata Warriors comfortably beat Uthura Rudras. The victory is the first for the Warriors in the Sri Lanka Premier League, leaving the Rudras the only winless side after three matches. In pursuit of 169, the Rudras' chances were dented by Tanvir's first two overs, which yielded two wickets for nine. more..

JVP accuses govt. of failing to take action

Aug 18 (DM) The JVP yesterday charged that the govt had failed to take action against former NCP Chief Minister Bertie Premalal Dissanayake and a another ruling party candidate for the province named Sumathipala, even though an investigation conducted by the Presidential Investigation Unit (PIU) had found them responsible for several malpractices involving millions of rupees of Provincial Council funds. more..

Third canned fish factory to be opened

Aug 18 (DN) The third largest canned fish factory in Sri Lanka "Tess Mekeral" will be opened tomorrow in Peliyagoda by Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne. "This canned fish factory has been established under the Tess Group of Companies. They have invested Rs.170 million on this canned fish factory. The factory has the ability to turn out 24,000 cans of fish during an eight hour shift and they aim to produce 48,000 tins of fish per day through two working shifts, more..

India’s judicial standards and accountability bill is worthy of emulation

Aug 18 (CT) Safeguarding judicial independence from attacks by the government came to light due to the threats alleged to have been made by Minister of Industries and commerce, Rishard Badurdeen and the attacks on the High Court and Magistrate’s Court of Mannar. That powerful politicians have been attempting to excerpt their influence over the judiciary is a widespread perception that has been seen for several decades now. Concern for the prevention of corruption in more..

All eyes on Sri Lanka now says GL

Aug 18 (DN) Minister Professor G L Peiris said at no time in Sri Lanka's recent history have we seen the international focus Sri Lanka is receiving now, with visits at very high levels from a large number of countries including India, China, Japan, the Russian Federation, the Untied States, South Africa, Pakistan, the Seychelles, Swaziland and the Maldives. Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma is also due to arrive shortly, he said. more..

Police to seize state-owned vehicles used for propaganda activity

Aug 18 (NF) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has instructed the police to immediately seize state owned vehicles used by the candidates for their propaganda activities for the upcoming provincial council elections. Additional Elections Commissioner R.M.A.L. Ratnayaka stated that there have been complaints on the use of state-owned vehicles by the candidates for propaganda activities in certain areas where the elections will be held. more..

Getting displaced from South to get landed in Madu!

Aug 18 (CT) Getting bashed as a “Traitor” is just normal for me, here in the South. Getting verbally mauled by Sinhala Buddhists is also common place for me. A comment to a recent article written by me, read, “Kusal is a shrewd observer of the Sinhala scene…..” The word “shrewd” could mean anything but complimentary. Another said, I would only feel happy with a “Catholic” leader. “Catholic”, not meant in any respectable context. Interestingly, all comments to my article more..

Govt will help local investors to start joint ventures in proposed Pharmaceutical hub

Aug 18 (GDI) A delegation from Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India met minister Basil Rajapaksa to discuses about setting up of a pharmaceuticals hub in Sri Lanka. During his recent visit to Sri Lanka, India Minister of commerce, Industry and Textile Hon. Anand Sharma discussed the possibilities of establishing a pharmaceuticals hub in Sri Lanka with minister Basil Rajapaksa and more..

Lukewarm response by political parties

Aug 18 (DM) The Elections Department said yesterday the response from political parties and the media to the code of conduct was rather lukewarm. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said it was only the election monitors and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) who responded to the code of conduct. “There has been no formal response from anyone else, but we have seen certain candidates change their attitude and approach to the elections after the code was released,” he said. more..

12 Sri Lankan Tamils released from judicial custody

Aug 18 (Hindu) Twelve Sri Lankan Tamils, arrested by the Kollam police on June 3 after they apprehended a human trafficking racket on a crude mechanised fishing boat at Kavanad here, were released from judicial custody on Saturday by F. Minimol, magistrate of the Judicial First Class Court-II here. Advocate Ramesh Kumar, appearing as their counsel, said they were being released from judicial custody under the provisions of a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) more..

Sri Lanka’s Lost Generations

Editorial: Actions speak mightier than words

Aug 19 (SO) Since terrorism was eradicated and the LTTE leadership vanquished in May 2009, Sri Lanka has been making a sincere effort in national reconciliation. Towards this end, President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed the LLRC no sooner the humanitarian operation ended. After the LLRC Report was presented in Parliament, the views of all political, social and religious leaders were sought to make a concerted effort for national reconciliation. The Govt has spared no pains to more..

Editorial: Galloping from crisis to crisis into the world of casino capitalism

Aug 19 (SL) May you live in interesting times’ is a Chinese curse and we Sri Lankans are certainly living in interesting times. Crises appear and disappear with such rapidity that we often find it hard to recall what the last crisis was all about. In recent weeks we had one Julampitiye Amare, a native of Hambantota – whose village is in proximity to that famed village of Medamulane of the Rajapaksas – leading a gang of armed motor cyclists more..

'I resigned to protect the good name of my co-trustees'

Aug 19 (NS) The highly respected retired Auditor General S.E Mayadunne looked quite at ease and relaxed when The Nation visited him at his home to raise a few questions over the F&G controversy where a large number of depositors had been defrauded by the once popular Ceylinco group which had the theme – ‘Big or small, Ceylinco protects them all’. Mayadunne in a sarong and a white tunic looked sharp eye-to-eye as more..

Editorial: Gambling politics and political gambling

Aug 19 (NS) Poor people buy lotteries. Poverty can also be measured by the bets placed on horses or, in these match-fixing, spot-fixing times, on what might transpire in a cricket match: the poor bet less, the less poor, more. The rich also speculate. Their horses and cricket-outcomes are stocks and shares. The richer bet more and the less rich, less. At the bottom end of things it is about helplessness. At the top end it is unadulterated greed. People gamble. They like to beat the odds. more..

Editorial: Sail the boat problem – the Aussie way

Aug 19 (LB) The Sri Lankan authorities are reportedly happy with the idea that Australian Immigration has decided to increase the intake of legal refugees into the country from these shores. This move comes in tandem with the agreement with Papua New Guinea and Nauru to process the boat people who leave Sri Lanka and other countries, with the intent of being taken in as refugees in Australia. The new so called Houston more..

'New strategy by LTTE cohorts'

Aug 19 (SO) At a critical phase of his political career he divorced himself from his Marxist gurus and coalesced with the UPFA to root out terrorism from the country. True to the style, he lambasted all unpatriotic forces. Minister Wimal Weerawansa never hesitated to express his forthright views on any political issue irrespective of the consequences. He said that the country had to suffer the rigours of terrorism more..

Editorial: A cowardly act of terror

Aug 19 (Island) The dastardly act of lobbying a grenade at Sri Lanka Medical Council member Dr. Lalantha Ranasinghe's house on Thursday must be condemned unreservedly by one and all. It has come as a fearsome reminder of the prevailing culture of impunity where no one is safe except hardcore criminals with private armies and political potentates protected by heavily armed guards. Those who carried out Thursday's attack have not been arrested yet and the motive for that more..

Editorial: Reaching out to Vanuatu but not Tamil Nadu

Aug 19 (ST) Sri Lankan pilgrims travelling through the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu and sports teams may get set upon by ‘goondas’ (goons) from political parties and the state govt wants Sri Lankan military personnel not to train on Tamil Nadu soil. Not to be outdone, Indian spectators at a recent T-20 cricket international between the two countries on Sri Lankan soil were at the receiving end of hostile jeers and gesticulations. A new cold more..

'Yes, I met President Rajapaksa in parliament'

Aug 19 (LB) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera speaking to LAKBIMAnEWS admits that he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Parliament at the Ports and Highways Ministry Consultative Committee meetings. He however said he never met the president at Temple Trees as alleged by the UNP hierarchy. Excerpts: A report has been handed over to the party’s Disciplinary Committee by party general secretary Tissa Attanayake against you. What is your stand on that? more..

Surface illusions real positions

Aug 19 (LB) Who would believe that there is no clear and gung-ho political motive on the part of Raff Hakeem to polarize the electorate ahead of the Eastern Province polls by saying that the president should combat yellow terrorism? However, it’s not the electorate that got polarized but the country. That does not mean probably, that Rauff Hakeem thinks his move backfired. Though the country was polarized, and though there was an instant backlash by the country’s monks, the extra publicity only probably served to get his ‘polarizing' more..

Foreign funded trade unions

Aug 19 (Island) Prof. Amal Kumarage’s reply to the present writer’s comments on the University teacher’s strike a couple of weeks ago was a delectable read. While the present writer’s faith in academia was shaken after reading the Federation of University Teacher’s Associations demands list, Prof. Kumarage’s reply has restored it! We were left wondering why seniors like Prof: Kumarage were not involved in negotiations with the govt so that some kind of a solution could be arrived at more..

'Sri Lanka not seeking fresh GSP+ benefits'

Aug 19 (ST) A new round of aid negotiations will get underway later this year or early next year between Sri Lanka and the European Union (EU), officials said. This follows the culmination of the 2007-2013 programme of grants (free money) to Sri Lanka worth Rs 58.2 billion. The next programme will run from 2013 to 2020. “We don’t expect to see a decrease in aid. (On the other hand) I think it is unlikely that there will be an more..

Colombo irked by India’s meddling

Aug 19 (NS) Relations between Sri Lanka and India have been worse - as it was when India air dropped parippu just prior to the Indo-Lanka Accord 25 years ago, but current tensions between the two neighbors are quite close to that all time low. Sri Lanka has been quite aggrieved ever since India voted to support the United States sponsored resolution against the country at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva in March. Colombo has also been irked by India insisting on what is called more..

CEB strike and election heat fail to generate political tremors

Aug 19 (NS) Strikes disrupt services and the traffic blocks they often cause don’t help win mass sympathy. A different kind of demonstration took place last week, with agitators demanding redress for wrongs done more than three years ago. In July 1980 hundreds of striking workers lost their jobs in a harsh move by the J.R. Jayewardene regime which broke the back of the trade union movement. Many have since died and many ended their lives. more..

Young women sent to S’pore for prostitution

Aug 19 (LB) The Women and Child Protection Bureau of the Police Department has nabbed a woman involved in procuring young girls for prostitution in Singapore under the guise of providing them with lucrative jobs in that country. The woman concerned had been a resident of Maharagama and inquiries carried out into her alleged dealings in this regard indicated how she had engaged in her trade while operating more..

Going, going, not going

Aug 19 (SL) The three-member govt delegation that was to leave for New Delhi on August 24 is yet to coordinate a new date for the visit following the cancellation by India. The Sri Lankan troika headed by Minister Basil Rajapaksa including Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga were to leave for India this Friday. However, there are now conflicting reports from both sides. The govt maintains that the visit has been postponed since some of the more..

Impotent words and impudent deeds

Aug 19 (ST) My Dear Mahinda Deshapriya, I thought I must write to you even though you may be busy with the upcoming PC elections which is the first major election that you will be supervising, although you did oversee a few local elections last year. That is because I noticed that you were not doing your job quite in the manner you are expected to, possibly because you are new to the job. It just maybe that I could help you with some advice on how you could do your job better. more..

Polls Dept. to ban ‘Tamil Eelam’ tags

Aug 19 (NS) The fate of Tamil political parties that include the tag ‘Tamil Eelam’ hangs in the balance as the Elections Commissioner’s Department is to shortly take a decision on political parties that call for separation in its identity, The Nation learns. Sources said the word ‘Eelam’ in Tamil was another name for Ceylon as a nation while ‘Tamil Eelam’ was a description of a Tamil state within the unitary state of Sri Lanka. more..

New laws soon to protect crime victims and witnesses

Aug 19 (SO) The Justice Ministry is now working on a draft to introduce the Victims and Witness Protection law soon by incorporating the amendments to the Assistance and Protection to Victims of Crime and Witnesses Bill which was first tabled in Parliament in June 2008, Justice Ministry Secretary Kamalini de Silva said. “We will present this Bill in Parliament after obtaining Cabinet approval incorporating all those amendments, more..

Wildlife Dept. runs ‘wild’

Aug 19 (NS) The long drawn absence and failure by the authorities to appoint a permanent Director General to the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) has made the department run wild, Environmentalists charged. The Director General’s post at the DWC has been left vacant for over a year, with the position being overseen by the Secretary to the Ministry of Agrarian Services and Wildlife. Environmentalists claim this has made the DWC an inefficient institution with more..