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Tamils demand army withdraw after Sri Lanka clashes

Nov 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main Tamil party Thursday demanded troops be withdrawn to barracks in the former rebel heartland of Jaffna after the worst ethnic violence since the end of the island's decades-long civil war. About 20 students were wounded, seven of whom needed hospital treatment, in clashes with security forces at Jaffna University on Wednesday, underscoring the tensions in the region despite the end of the conflict more..

Editorial: Entering the space age

Nov 29 (CT) Neil Armstrong's enduring words from the moon, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind", would have been on many people's mind as the rescheduled launch of Sri Lanka's first satellite, Supreme Sat-1, blasted off in distant China, on Tuesday. Certainly, there has been massive criticism about the satellite, with both the govt and the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka, distancing themselves from the space venture. The opposition has described more..

Dilan corrects One Shot

Nov 29 (Island) Minister Dilan Perera clarified in Parliament yesterday that he was married twice and not thrice as claimed by an opposition MP. "MP Ranjan Ramanayaka said I was married thrice. I wish to correct him. I have been married twice so far," the minister said while speaking during the votes of the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion. Ramanayaka, who spoke earlier, was critical of the manner in which the Minister was handling the work of his ministry and made more..

Midweek Politics: Towards constitutional deadlock

Nov 29 (CT) Sweeping changes are taking place on Reid Avenue, Colombo. A shiny white colonial building looks set to be the city’s next favourite shopping precinct and hangout. A twin construction is being erected adjacently. As the UDA under the purview of the Ministry of Defence continues beautifying the capital city, large and ancient trees that in living memory have always lined the street, are being felled to make way for paved more..

Sri Lanka to get 'zero time' cargo clearance with e-customs

Nov 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka will soon have 'zero time' customs with an automated customs clearing process to begin up to 24 hours before a vessel docks at port, Customs chief Neville Goonewardena said. Sri Lanka is implementing the latest version of Automated System for Customs Data promoted (ASYCUDA World) initiated by the UN Conference on Trade and Development. Only 'e-customs' infrastructure for air cargo clearance remains to be installed and the hardware is expected more..

Two Happiness Centres established in Mullativu

Nov 29 (GDI) Action and Care Trust, a NGO, working for the benefit of war-affected children established two more Happiness Centres for students at Wattappalai Maha Vidyalaya and Wemmalai Maha Vidyalaya in Mullaittivu area. Major General L. B. R Mark, Commander, SFHQ-MLT, together with Ms Michelle Thurairaja of the same organization took part in the recent opening ceremonies of both ‘Happiness Centres’, equipped with musical instruments, TVs, DVDs, toys, more..

Academia condemns attempts to internationalize the Impeachment Motion

Nov 29 (GDI) Academia condemns the attempts being made to internationalize the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice and create opinion in the country that there is a conflict between the legislature and the judiciary and to undermine people’s confidence and respect in the judiciary. The enquiry on the Impeachment Motion against the Chief Justice submitted in accordance with the provision stipulated in the more..

The Titanic turn, the synchronised dive

Nov 29 (CI) Sri Lanka's overnight pair had negotiated the early overs without much worry, but they concocted trouble of their own to see the downfall of one of their most experienced batsman. Thilan Samaraweera pushed a Doug Bracewell delivery to cover and set off immediately for a quick single. Perhaps not expecting to scamper runs at this stage in the game, Angelo Mathews was slow to respond at the other end, and as he saw Jeetan Patel swooping in on the ball, he decided to more..

Cong. withdraws ad with Lankan child

Nov 29 (CG) Succumbing to intense criticism from all quarters, the Gujarat unit of the Congress has withdrawn its advertisement on malnutrition that had used a flood affected Sri Lankan baby’s photo to ‘prove’ its allegations. The controversial advertisement has been withdrawn from all the media like hoardings, internet, newspapers and other forms. Claiming that about 45% children in Gujarat are malnourished, the Congress advertisement had shown a skinny child’s more..

All-round NZ level series with big win

Nov 29 (CI) New Zealand shrugged off five consecutive defeats with one of their most memorable victories in recent times, squaring the two-Test series with a 167-win at the P Sara Oval. Hammered in under three days in Galle, New Zealand stretched the hosts in Colombo by holding the edge over all five days and rounded things off just after tea, despite a resilient 84 by Angelo Mathews. It was New Zealand's first Test win in Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lanka's P Sara woes continue

Nov 29 (CI) A consistent display of fast bowling set up New Zealand's first win in Sri Lanka in 14 years. Here are highlights from the fifth day's play at the P Sara Oval, a venue where Sri Lanka have lost their last three matches. New Zealand's win is their tenth against Sri Lanka and their fourth in Tests in Sri Lanka. Their previous win in Sri Lanka came in 1998 at the Premadasa stadium. Interestingly, the victory margin was also the same as that of this Test (167 runs). New Zealand's win is also their eighth more..

US concerned about attack on Jaffna Uni. students

Nov 29 (AP) The United States expressed concern Thursday about attacks on Sri Lankan university students during a protest in a former war zone in the north of the country. At least seven students were hurt in Wednesday's clashes seen as the worst political disturbance in the area since the end of Sri Lanka's civil war in 2009. A statement from the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said "it is greatly concerned about reports of attacks on students in Jaffna. We call upon authorities to exercise restraint and more..

‘US can hold me personally responsible in the future’ FM Bogollagama to US

Nov 29 (CT) “In his meeting with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Assistant Secretary Boucher emphasized that it was vital that the forthcoming devolution package reassure moderate Tamils about their future place in Sri Lankan society and guarantee that their rights are protected. Boucher warned that the U.S. govt is closely monitoring the resolution of human rights cases and the plight of the IDPs of more..

Jaffna University Tamil students boycott classes

Nov 29 (BBC) Students at Jaffna University in northern Sri Lanka have started a two-day boycott of classes after clashes with security forces on Wednesday. They say they do not feel safe after several were beaten and injured in the worst political disturbances since the civil war ended in 2009. Security forces entered the university, disrupting students marking a commemoration of dead rebel fighters. The army said it had to restrain people who were throwing stones. more..

CCD to withdraw from Museum robbery investigations

Nov 29 (CT) The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) has informed the Colombo Magistrate’s Court that the CCD would withdraw from the Colombo Museum robbery investigations and allow the CID to continue with it. The CCD‘s withdrawal from the investigations was formally conveyed at the court by CCD Inspector A. Rajapaksa. Previously, in a joint operation, investigations of the museum plunder which occurred on 16 March last year were conducted by the CCD and the CID. more..

'Govt using satellite launch to fool the people'

Nov 29 (AD) The people have the right to know whether the money used for launching Sri Lanka’s first satellite was from the Maha Raja’s fund or LTTE funds, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera stated. He said that even though the satellite launch was publicized in the country as Sri Lanka’s first satellite, the Chinese media has only revealed it to be China’s 18thsatellite launch. He stated that only one Chinese media channel stated that more..

Sri Lanka concludes promotional campaign in Kazakhstan

Nov 29 (GDI) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) along with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Russia has successfully completed a tourism promotional campaign in Kazakhstan coinciding with the state visit of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa the President of Sri Lanka. During the Promotional Campaign and Travel and Tourism forum special emphasis was laid onto promoting Sri Lankan culture and Ceylon tea products to the Kazakhstani tourism market. This promotional campaign more..

Act like Anura-Ranil tells Chamal

Nov 29 (DM) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today said Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa should act according to the ruling given by late Speaker Anura Bandaranaike in responding to the judicial process against the parliamentary select committee that probes allegations against Chief Justice. The late Speaker ruled in 2001 that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to give restraining orders against Parliament. He ruled that the Speaker was not bound by such rulings. more..

Sri Lanka overseas worker death toll up

Nov 29 (DM) A number of 158 Sri Lankan expatriate workers have died up to now this year, and 120 out of them died due to natural causes, Minister Dilan Perera said in Parliament. Apart from that two suicides were reported and 16 deaths had occurred due to road accidents while twenty workers had died as a result of industrial hazards at their workplaces. Mr. Perera participating in the committee stage debate of his Ministry more..

Sri Lanka so much easier with guide

Nov 29 (TN) It's when you get to the "hiring a driver" part of planning a trip that you start to realise your holiday in Sri Lanka isn't going to be quite as straightforward as you imagined. "Be warned it does take an age to get anywhere," a friend advised when I said I wanted to drive around the island (island? Read country - the size of Ireland) in a week. "Few signs are in English. You really can't drive quickly on the roads, so getting to Anuradaphura may take a while. All the expat types we met in Kalapitiya more..

Petition against UNP leader dismissed

Nov 29 (SM) Courts have refused to grant an injunction to prevent the UNP from adopting a proposal at its general convention on December 1 to appoint the party leader for a six year period. Gangodawila district court judge Mevan Balalle today took up a petition in this regard filed by a UNP executive committee member, who is also the opposition leader of the Devinuwara Pradeshiya Sabha. In the petition, it was alleged the party’s working committee has adopted the proposal more..

Speaker rejects Supreme Court decision

Nov 29 (ST) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa announcing his ruling on the Supreme Court decision to issue notice on Parliamentary Select Committee members hearing the Impeachment motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake held that the Court decision has ‘no effect’ and is ‘not recognised’. The Speaker was referring to the Supreme Court ruling on a number of Writ Applications filed in the Court of Appeal more..

Bus employees want EPF, ETF benefits

Nov 29 (DM) Private bus drivers and conductors in the Western Province said yesterday they would stop wearing their uniform from midnight tomorrow and would stop work if they were not provided with new uniforms, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees Trust Fund (ETF) and other benefits. The All-Ceylon Private Bus Employees Union (ACPBEU) said its members would refrain from wearing the cream shirt unless the WP Road Passenger Transport Authority took steps to more..

'Defeat family rule - Rally for Democracy'

Nov 29 (LT) A public awareness movement under the theme “Defeat family rule - Rally for Democracy” was organized and held by the ‘People’s Movement for Democracy.’ A leaflet campaign was carried out as part of this movement. Speaking to the media the Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP Anura Dissanayake said, “the govt is in a psychosis of pursuing and destroying all institutions and individuals that oppose it. Its first step was to attack journalists and media institutions. more..

SF receives pardon document

Nov 29 (DM) The Court of Appeal today released a copy of the Presidential pardon granted to former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka that spelt out under what conditions he was released from prison. The order was made when the Writ petition of Petitioner Sarath Fonseka seeking to sit and vote in Parliament was taken up before the Bench comprising Justices Sisira De Abrew, A.W.A. Salam and more..

‘Media trapped between lap and top’

Nov 30 (NS) A group of opposition parties and activists led by the UNP instituted a ‘People’s Tribunal’ as a mechanism to educate the general public about the budget. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe offered his submissions at the first hearing held at the New Town Hall on November 21. The following are excerpts of the Opposition Leader’s speech. If the Govt accepts the principle of people’s sovereignty then it must listen to the people. We instituted this People’s Tribunal more..

Architecture, text, theatre and dance

Nov 29 (GV) Unearthed is a new production by Floating Space in collaboration with Sally E. Dean, and in concept and design promises a rather unusual and unique performance. Planned for the 1st and 2nd of December in a residence just outside Colombo, Unearthed brings together a cast of theatre and movement practitioners to create a site-specific performance. To unpack the production, and flesh out how it came about, Groundviews sat down with Ruhanie Perera, the Artistic Director of more..

The enduring mystique of Maaveerar Naal: What makes the Great Heroes Day tick?

Nov 29 (DBS) “Maaveerar Naal” or Great Heroes Day (GHD) falling on November 27th continues to be observed on a large scale by sections of the Global Tamil Diaspora despite the military debacle suffered by the LTTE in May 2009. Commemorating the fallen tigers as great heroes annually remains an enduring tiger legacy. There is a mystique about “Maaveerar Naal” that has captured the imagination of a very large more..

Fiscal consolidation and infrastructure investments

Nov 29 (NS) There are two commendable features of recent budgets: The reduction of the fiscal deficit and investments in infrastructure development. Last week we pointed out that the fiscal deficit was reduced from 8% of GDP in 2010 to 6.9% in 2011. Despite the difficult economic conditions, this year the budget speech announced that this year’s fiscal deficit would be contained at the original target of 6.2% and that the fiscal deficit would be brought down to 5.8% in 2013. more..

Judiciary sans independence: The Sri Lankan chronicle

Nov 29 (CT) The future of a judge who would have been the longest serving Chief Justice of the nation is grim in Sri Lanka. Widely alleged as politically motivated, the current move by the President to impeach her gives an opportunity to analyze the soundness of constitutional principles relating to judiciary in general and impeachment of judges in particular. The bedrock on which the judiciary in Sri Lanka is built like most constitutional democracies is found in the Constitution. more..

From Rajapaksa economics to Rajapaksa justice

Nov 29 (CT) Hours after Sri Lanka became a satellite-owning nation, a train collided with a three-wheeler at an unprotected railway-crossing in Ambanpola, killing 6 people, including 4 children. There are around 900 unprotected railway-crossings in Sri Lanka, which cause several accidents a month. According to railway authorities protective measures are not possible at these death-traps due to lack of funds. The regime, which has more..

Velupillai Pirapâharan: Veera Maranam

Nov 29 (CT) That the LTTE talaivar, Velupillai Pirapâharan, died a heroic death as a vîra maranam on the 18th or 19th May 2009 is now certain. Though Tamil sources claim that he shot himself with his pistol when he and his troops were trapped in the mangrove swamps on the eastern shoreline of Nandhikadal lagoon, the weight of evidence suggests that he was hit by a bullet “traveling diagonally across VP’s skull, probably from left forehead to right rear of skull – [a bullet that more..

The clash of identities in post-war Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (GV) My perspective is the one of a 25 year old who was born in Sri Lanka during the war and who came to France at the age of 1; one who is considered or seen as a French in her country of birth but who is expected to behave as a Sri Lankan; one who also happens to “belong” to both the ethnic and religious majority of the island. In a country comprising mainly of Buddhists, one would think that Sri Lanka would be more tolerant, more understanding and open to other people’s more..

Boston Lanka News: November 29, 2012

Editorial: It's simply not cricket

Nov 30 (Island) Sri Lanka's national cricketers have taken exception to new visa regulations at the Australian High Commission in Colombo. When they applied for visas for their forthcoming tour of Australia, they were made to call over at the visa office and fingerprinted as we reported yesterday. Biometrics or the automatic identification of a person based on his or her anatomical or behavioural traits is gaining currency the world over due to its advantages over the traditional methods of more..

Overdue catharsis for NZ players and fans

Nov 30 (CI) As the sun set at the P Sara Oval, the New Zealand side with all its support staff emerged from the dressing room and trod out to the pitch where 90 minutes ago, Martin Guptill held an edge from Angelo Mathews' bat at second slip to complete a 167-run victory. Some horsed around, others clicked away on cameras or mobile phones. Almost everyone wore a mighty grin. When they reached the middle they formed a huddle and various men took turns speaking. The coach and senior more..

The House in a wonderful mess!

Nov 30 (DM) Staff members of Parliament, security officers, MPs and journalists were excited inside the Parliamentary complex last Friday. They were all awaiting the arrival of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee that is to probe 14 charges mentioned against her in an impeachment motion. The committee chaired by Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa was about start more..

Etihad ups flights to Sri Lanka

Nov 30 (FT) Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is substantially increasing and upgrading flights to key cities in the Indian subcontinent. Flights to Colombo will be serviced by daily flights when services increase from four to seven per week starting from 2 January 2013. To the southern Indian city of Kozhikode will more than double, increasing from three to seven a week. These increases will coincide with the reintroduction of the Pearl Business Class product on more..

Rise in patients with respiratory disease

Nov 30 (DN) The number of patients with respiratory disease is increasing in Sri Lanka annually while around 4,000 new lung cancer patients are detected annually, doctors said. They said the number of undetected patients is not known. "Around 300 of them are women and the rest are male smokers. Females get it through passive smoking," they said at a press briefing. The doctors said 90% of male lung cancer patients are smokers. "Only around 250 lung cancer patients (out of 4,000) can be more..

'Fiscal deficit to widen, monetary policy to ease & rupee appreciate'

Nov 30 (Island) Standard Chartered Bank expects Sri Lanka’s economy would improve in 2013 with growth estimated to reach 7.2%. The fiscal deficit is likely to overshoot the 5.8% of GDP target for next year, but the Central Bank would be able to ease monetary policy as the govt was more likely to make more commercial borrowings next year. "Sri Lanka’s economy is on a stronger footing heading into 2013 thanks to more..