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Sri Lanka emerges as launchpad for human muggling

July 6 (IPS) If you hold a Pakistani or Afghan passport, be prepared for an unusually lengthy immigration process on entering neighbouring Sri Lanka. Immigration authorities in the island tell IPS they have set up special procedures to check passengers from these two countries. This is after increasing evidence that this South Asian island country off the southern tip of India is being used as a departure point by more..

UN medals awarded to Sri Lankan Peacekeepers in Republic of Haiti

July 6 (MoD) A award Ceremony of UN Medals to Sri Lankan peacekeepers serving in United Nations Stabilization Mission in Republic of Hiati (MINUSTAH) was held at the Sri Lankan Battalion Head Quarters at Leogane, Haiti on 28th June 2012. The Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG) Mr Kevin Kennedy, Force Commander, Major General Fernando Rodrigus Goulart, more..

'CEB losing Rs200mn a day'

July 6 (LBO) Ceylon Electricity Board, Sri Lanka's state-run power utility is losing 200 million rupees a day, and a ministerial committee is making proposals to fix the energy sector, power minister Champika Ranawaka said. Ministers John Seneviratne (an former power minister), A H M Fowzie (a former petroleum minister) Nimal Siripala de Silva, Anura Yapa and Susil Premajayantha (current petroleum minister) as well as minister Ranawaka are in committee. more..

'Parliament: Have fixed time for MPs to come and go'

July 6 (Island) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that the discipline of lawmakers had eroded to such a low level that immediate action needed to be taken to restore the dignity and decorum of the House. Making a special statement with Speaker’s permission, the Opposition Leader said every worker had to adhere to a schedule at his or her work place. But, MPs walked in and out of Parliament as and more..

Delhi may ignore Jayalalithaa demand on training Lankan forces

July 6 (Hindu) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s demand to scrap training courses for Sri Lankan Air Force personnel is unlikely to find takers in New Delhi because Sri Lanka and India, just last week, have decided to enhance cooperation in security issues. Asked for a reaction, a senior official said that Sri Lanka could not react to the demands of a Chief Minister of an Indian State. All bilateral issues were discussed more..

Sri Lankan police foil another asylum bid

July 6 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan police on Friday said they had foiled another bid by a group of people to head to Australia by boat illegally. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said that 41 people, including 38 men, a woman and two children, were arrested in the eastern town of Vakarai when they were preparing to make their journey by boat to Australia. He said that the would-be illegal asylum seekers were preparing to head to Australia onboard two small fishing boats. more..

Editorial: Urgent need to abolish executive presidency

July 6 (DM) With Sri Lanka facing a multitude of crises including the effects of the prolonged drought, fraud and corruption are also increasing with one shocking report disclosing that last year alone, Sri Lankans had hidden as much as US$85 million in the notoriously secret Swiss Bank accounts. Much black money or ‘dirty’ money is believed to be hidden in secret Swiss accounts by corrupt politicians or business magnates because the more..

Sri Lankan stocks up 0.08 percent

July 6 (LBO) Sri Lankan share prices snapped a four-day loosing streak to rise marginally by 0.08 percent on Friday, with activity centred around Central Finance PLC and few small cap stocks, brokers said. The broader All Share Price Index added 4.03 points to close at 4,928.64 on trades of 368.2 millions shares. The 25-stock tracker Milanka Price Index edged up 0.04 percent to end at 4,359.68, while the liquid S&P Sri Lanka 20 indice slipped 0.03 percent to close at 2,796.51, more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Kelaniya teachers’ union president betrayed the struggle for VC post

July 6 (LT) It is reported that the reason for the academic staff of Kelaniya university refraining from the trade union action staged yesterday (4) by Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) was due to the dream haboured by ithe president of the trade union branch of the University of being the vice-chancellor of University of Kelaniya. When the teachers’ union meeting was called to discuss the current trade union action of FUTA, the president of more..

Sugathadasa Stadium receives IAAF class 1 athletics facility certificate

July 6 (GDI) The newly refurbished Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo, which build in keeping with international standards, has received the Class 1 Athletic Facility Certificate from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Wednesday the Sports Ministry said. According to the report submitted by Mathew Cohen of Trackmasters International Ltd, who inspected the stadium while in Sri Lanka during May 2012, the Sugathadasa Stadium has met with more..

WikiLeaks: President Rajapaksa’s American report card

July 6 (CT) “Rajapaksa has a no better than average record for politicians when it comes to delivering on his campaign rhetoric. While the long-running ethnic conflict is no closer to resolution now than when he took office, the Tamil Tigers bear a large share of the blame for the resumption of hostilities. The focus on the violence has taken up most of the national debate – and taken some heat off the President to perform on his other more..

Private bus owners seek subsidy

July 6 (Island) Private bus owners are seeking a subsidy from the govt to maintain their services claiming that the industry is on the verge of collapse. Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne yesterday urged the govt to give the owners of 23,000 private buses a subsidy. He said they could with the assistance of the Supreme Court get the govt to agree to a fare increase but if bus fares were revised, the industry would lose revenue because more..

Two Sri Lankans to stand trial over Oxford murder

July 6 (NZH) Two Sri Lankans will stand trial for the murder of countryman Sameera Chandrasena, who was found dead at a fire-ravaged farmhouse in North Canterbury in February. Thuvan Sawal, 23, and Viraj Alahakoon, 33, were committed for trial today at Christchurch District Court and will appear next at a High Court callover on August 24. Mr Chandrasena, 28, was working as a dairy farmer in the quiet town of Oxford when his charred more..

AG Wanasundara sworn in as a Supreme Court Judge

July 6 (IL) Attorney General Mrs. Shanthi Eva Wanasundara was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees today on 05 July. Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, representatives from armed forces and family members of Mrs Wanasundera were present at the occasion. Shanthi Eva Wanasundera, PC is the 26th Attorney General of Sri Lanka. more..

Stay order in support of Uthayan

July 6 (CG) A stay order was issued by the Appeal Court today against the Jaffna Magistrate from taking steps to make the Editor of the Uthayan newspaper to apologize in court over an article which appeared in the Jaffna based newspaper, Uthayan Managing Director E. Saravanapavan said. He said that the Appeal Court had found that the order issued by the Jaffna Magistrates Court was outside the jurisdiction of the court. Uthayan Editor Thevanayagam Premananth was on June 29 summoned to court by Jaffna more..

Sri Lankan Airlines opens new office in Karachi

July 6 (APP) The SriLankan Airlines has opened a new office here on Friday, the office was inaugurated following the appointment of the TCB Aviation Limited as the Airline's General Sales Agent. Lal Perera, SriLankan's Head of Worldwide Sales, said on the occasion that SriLankan Airlines considers Pakistan as an extremely important market. He pointed out that the Airlines started operations to Karachi way back in 1980 and now have daily flights between Karachi and more..

Galle DIG interdicted on bribery charges

July 6 (CG) Galle DIG Hector Dharmasiri has been interdicted over bribery allegations and for using members of the civil defence force to carry out his personnel work. The DIG was interdicted today on the instructions of IGP N.K. Illangakoon. A case was filed against the Galle DIG in 2007 over the bribery incident. The commission for Bribery and corruption had presented 15 counts relating to fraud and corruption against the DIG to the Chief Magistrate. more..

Arrest warrant issued for his arrest, says MP Palitha Range Bandara

July 6 (NF) UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara speaking in Parliament yesterday said that the Chilaw High Court has issued a warrant for his arrest. He said that although he was supposed to appear before the Chilaw High Court for a case yesterday, he could not do so as he had to attend Parliament. He said that a letter bearing the signature of the Secretary General of Parliament had been sent to court through his lawyer more..

Sri Lankan journalists on the edge

July 6 (KT) The Sri Lankan govt has been accused of human rights violation following the closure of two opposition websites this week. While human rights organisations called the raids a part of a the govt’s bid to intimidate and harass all critical journalists, the US and the UN have severely criticised the move. Rights organisations and the international media in general took the opportunity to remind the world that Lanka is considered as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. more..

UN Corruption Files: UN knew its money went to the LTTE but hushed up

July 6 (CT) A leaked UN email suggests that UN money went to LTTE. Last May, Colombo Telegraph exposed how United Nations funds were paid to three Sri Lankan companies which were physically not contactable. US$ 1.57 million was paid to supply companies which the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations could not contact. The FAO in Sri Lanka purchased project deliveries for the Northern and more..

Sri Lanka set to host major professional Golf event

July 6 (GDI) Major professional tour golf is set to make it’s debut in Sri lanka next month when over 100 top golf professionals tee off at the Royal Colombo Golf Club in The Standard Chartered Open 2012,an event sanctioned by The professional Golf Tour of India (the “PGTI”) as part of its 2012 schedule. The Royal Colombo Golf Club, established in 1880 and the oldest golf club in Sri Lanka. The four day tournament, scheduled for the 15th to 18th August, will feature more..

Eastern provice more prone to violence: Monitors

July 6 (DM) Election monitors said yesterday that among the three provinces where elections would be held soon the Eastern Province was expected to be more vulnerable to election related violence. Monitors said the candidates contesting the elections for the Eastern Provincial Council were expected to project their ethnicity as a means of gathering support. They said the use and abuse of state resources by ruling party candidates could not be ruled out. more..

India sends off Lanka Air Force trainees

July 6 (NDTV) A day after major political parties in Tamil Nadu strongly objected to Sri Lankan Air Force personnel being trained in Chennai, the Defence Ministry has decided to send back all the nine trainees. The jawans had arrived recently at the Tambaram Air Force station in Chennai for a nine-month training period. It is still not clear, though, whether they would be sent back home or shifted to another air force training station within India. more..

Ranil trying to bring back separatism - NFF

July 6 (AD) The National Freedom Front (NFF) claims that the only reason Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe is asking for immediate elections in the North is to reintroduce Separatism in the country. There are local partners in this conspiracy in the country, even within the govt, NFF politburo member Piyasiri Wijenayake said today. The election in the North is a great urgency for Ranil, who cannot even find candidates for the upcoming election in three Provincial Councils, he said more..

Air Force personnel are not being sent back from India: Lanka

July 6 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said its Air Force personnel are not being sent back from India and they will continue with their training at a different location in the country after their presence at an air base in Chennai came under attack from political parties in Tamil Nadu. "Reports about a group of Sri Lankan Airmen under training in Chennai being sent back to Sri Lanka is incorrect. They will continue their training in another location in India without any hindrance to more..

Sri Lanka Debrief 06 07 2012

CEB strike ends with victory for employees

July 6 (LT) The strike action carried out by employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board ended with victory to employees says the member of the Action Committee of Ceylon Electricity Board Joint Trade Union Alliance Ranjan Jayalal. Speaking further Mr. Jayalal said authorities agreed to remove anomalies in salaries of employees, remove slashing of salaries of employees in Colombo region, pay back the deducted amounts and reinstate employees removed from service recently.

Donor interest in north waning

July 6 (IRIN) Donor assistance is waning in northern Sri Lanka, where the critical priorities of food, shelter, protection and nutrition are not being covered, and many displaced people still need outside assistance more than three years after a decades-long civil war ended. “We’re now at a critical juncture in time,” Vincent Lelei, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) told IRIN in Colombo. “It’s imperative that donors remain engaged if we more..

Abuse by Sri Lanka’s army rubs salt in wounds of war, Tamil women say

July 6 (WP) In the final days of Sri Lanka’s civil war, as the army closed in for the kill against Tamil Tiger rebels, tens of thousands of civilians cowered in the crossfire. “The children were crying because they were so hungry, so when we heard congee soup in coconut was being given out, we let them leave the bunker where we were sheltering,” a 35-year-old woman from the northern district of Thunukkai recalled recently. more..

A victor’s peace

July 6 (Himal) Three years after the Sri Lankan govt successfully concluded its military campaign against the secessionist insurgency led by the LTTE, the country has done little to address the root causes of the ethnic conflict. Many in Sri Lanka and beyond believed that the end of the war would create new opportunities to devolve Colombo’s power and increase regional autonomy. However, political developments since May 2009 do not indicate any breakthrough in political reforms towards more..

Sri Lanka donates medical supplies to the People of the Republic of Congo

July 6 (MEA) On the request of the Govt of the Republic of Congo, the Govt of Sri Lanka gifted medical supplies including equipment and medicines valued SL Rs 3.3 million. Minister of Health, Maithripala Sirisena, handed over the items to the Actg. Minister of External Affairs, Neomal Perera on 4th July 2012 at his Ministry. During the visit to Brazzaville by the External Affairs Minister Prof G.L. Peiris, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Congo also concluded a more..

Jayasuriya among top picks in SLPL

July 6 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya, the former Sri Lanka opener, was one of six players to be valued at the maximum price of $35,000 in the local player portion of the draft for the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League. The other five other players valued in the top bracket were current Sri Lanka internationals Dinesh Chandimal, Chamara Kapugedara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera and Rangana Herath. In all, 107 local players were drafted. more..

Multi ethnic based healing for Sri Lanka

July 7 (DM) The country has experience of three uprisings led by Youth since 1971. It led to loss of human lives irrespective of race. Healing from its impact is necessary to prevent future relapses. Any inability to respect the dead and grieve can remain a potent rallying cause for dissent. Families must deal with their losses privately. ‘Healing’ goes beyond the alleviation of individual traumas and includes the mending of the social divisions which exist both more..

Forgiving and forgetting is it the solution?

July 7 (DM) Forgiveness has always been a sine qua non for reconciliation in every post-war setting, while some may assert that it is the reconciliation process itself that facilitates forgiveness. The act of forgiving can take place at different levels, while reconciliation at a societal level by and large requires a collective effort. Every segment of the Sri Lankan society experienced and suffered from the bloody conflict, which lasted more than two decades. more..

'Nominations must not be about bringing in a bagful of votes'

July 7 (DM) The recent news reports about children as young as six years being raped sent shock waves around the country. However what was more disturbing was that politicians who have given promise after promise to protect and serve people were also reported of being involved in these heinous crimes. In the backdrop of provincial council elections it is yet another reminder to the voters to be mindful of whom they are electing. more..

War on terror revisited: Overwhelmed by Tigers, int’l community

July 7 (Island) Successive leaders, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, went out of their way to facilitate a negotiated settlement. Unfortunately, the international community conveniently ignored the attempts they made even at the expense of political careers. Leniency of the foreign powers emboldened the LTTE to step up terror attacks. President Rajapaksa risked his relationship with the JVP and the JHU by trying to carry forward the peace process. more..

Sri Lankan foreign policy needs strategic direction

July 7 (Island) Sri Lanka has a success story to showcase and the fruits of peace and development are real on the ground in the North and East. It is a story of how life has truly transformed from the conflict period to an environment of peace and hope today. This story can only be showcased by experiencing the reality on the ground. The image building exercise needs to develop a structured process of sponsoring key decision-maker groups to visit Sri Lanka and experience more..

Sri Lanka as a leading nanotechnology destination: A step towards the future

July 7 (SO) Sri Lanka had been talking of introducing nanotechnology for almost 15 years; ministers had promised to build nano parks and provide other benefits to get such projects off the ground. However, very little attention had been paid to the matter. Last Thursday, the much talked about and long overdue foundation stone for the 54-acre nanotechnology Centre of Excellence (NCE) was finally laid on Govt land at Homagama. more..

Sri Lanka as emerging wonder of Asia

July 7 (CT) Sri Lanka’s current development tagline has been to make it “The Emerging Wonder of Asia” as originally enunciated in Mahinda Chinthana: Vision for the Future and reaffirmed in both the Development Policy Framework of the Govt issued in 2010 and the Annual Report of the Ministry of Finance and Planning for 2011 released in 2012. To have a development tagline of this nature to mobilise the people for a common development cause is not uncommon in history. more..