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Basil, GL meet Chairman of Commonwealth Business Council

Oct 11 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa met Dr. Mohan Kaul, Chairman of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) at the Ministry on Wednesday. The delegation is in Sri Lanka on a seven day visit to discuss preparatory arrangements for the CBF to be held with the overarching theme ‘Partnering for wealth creation and social development: the Commonwealth, Indian Ocean and SAARC’ in Colombo on the sidelines of more..

India to declassify foreign policy files on Sri Lanka

Oct 11 (CG) Following the recent declassification of 70,000 files, India’s external affairs ministry is in the process of declassifying another set of 220,000 files covering Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Iran, East Asia, Eurasia and the Americas, a senior official said. “We are currently in a process of finalizing a major project to declassify another set of more..

Stocks close down 0.89 pct

Oct 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka stocks continued a losing streak and closed down 0.89% Thursday with sharp drops seen in several counters earlier in the day, brokers said. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,720.86 down 51.66 points and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 34.82 points lower at 3,092.80 down 1.11%. Turnover was 679 million rupees. Top contributors to turnover were Aitken Spence with 138 million rupees, JKH with 136 million rupees Durdans with 57 million rupees. more..

112 Australia bound Persons arrested

Oct 11 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy arrested 112 persons illegally bound for Australia in a multi-day trawler on 11th October 2012. The trawler named “Shantha Anthoni-2” with 91 Tamils, 14 Sinhalese and 07 Muslims on board was intercepted by a Fast Naval Patrol Craft attached to the Western Naval Command off Chilaw seas. Among the arrested persons are 103 men, a woman and 08 children (boys). They are residents of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Killinochchi, Chilaw, Batticaloa, Putlam, more..

British man sentenced for stealing T20 World Cup tickets in Sri Lanka

Oct 11 (Xinhua) A British man was given a one-year prison sentence with a five-year reprieve by a Sri Lankan court on Thursday for stealing 84 T20 World Cup tickets. Buller Pissero Antonio of Trevodrive Newhall in Manchester was caught by security guards when he attempted to steal the tickets on sale in Colombo. He was later formally arrested by the police and presented before the Colombo Chief Magistrate. more..

Sri Lanka to establish Consulate General in Melbourne

Oct 11 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's govt has decided to establish a Consulate General in Melbourne, Australia to provide services to the largest diaspora community in that country, an official said here on Thursday. The proposal was made by Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, for the establishment of a Consulate General in Melbourne which would cover the States of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. The Australian govt has already agreed to the proposal and it was in turn approved by the Cabinet, more..

Nallur DS to go to court over land grab

Oct 11 (CG) The Nallur Divisional Secretariat is to file action in court against a move by the military to occupy land which falls under the Secretariat. According to the Jaffna based Uthayan newspaper, the decision to go to court was taken at a special meeting convened by the Nallur Divisional Secretariat. The military had taken over the land in front of Thirunelveli milk farm belonging to Nallur Divisional Council despite objections by the Council. Nallur Divisional Council Chairman more..

Lecturers to report to work on Friday

Oct 11 (AD) The Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) has decided to suspend its trade union action and report to work from Friday (12). FUTA Secretary did not participate at the joint media conference with the govt scheduled earlier today. A joint media briefing with the participation of govt Ministers and the President of the FUTA was to be held today at the Ministry of Economic Development, the Government more..

Sri Lanka US$60mn property project by Pakistan firm

Oct 11 (LBO) Imperial Builders (Pvt) Ltd, a unit of Pakistan based Lakhani group is investing in a 60 million US dollar project to develop land in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, the island's investment promotion agency said. Imperial Builders and Sri Lanka's Urban Development Authority will build alternative accommodation for shanty dwellers in Colombo's Slave Island district and re-develop some of the land. A BOI statement said the more..

Farmers take to the streets demanding the right for their lands

Oct 11 (LT) A large number of farmers of Irudeniya area at Kurunegala carried out an agitation yesterday saying they were traditional farmers and their traditional lands that they traditionally engaged in cultivation have been now denied to them. They say traditional residents of Irudeniya are being removed from their cultivable lands, this should be immediately stopped and a peaceful environment created for them to engage in their more..

'Ground being prepared for social revolution'

Oct 11 (DM) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake spoke on the deteriorating influence of the JVP and the issues surrounding the rift between The Judiciary and the Executive. He also speaks on the FUTA strike. Q: Many feel that the FUTA has betrayed their cause by now settling for a watered down plan. As a supporter of their cause, do you feel that they have settled for a compromise that does not address the real issues? more..

U.S. Embassy celebrates day of the girl child

Oct 11 (USE) The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2011 to establish October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. To commemorate this in 2012, United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Michele J. Sison paid a special visit with Emerge Lanka to the Salvation Army Haven and Sunshine Home, where she met with girls attending a workshop empowering them to be gender-violence awareness coaches. Founded by an American student and run by more..

New Zealand's Vettori out of Sri Lanka tour

Oct 11 (CI) The uncapped legspinner Todd Astle has been named in New Zealand's Test squad for their upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. Astle will have a strong chance of making his debut in the spin-friendly conditions, given that Jeetan Patel is the only other slow bowler in the squad, with Tarun Nethula having been axed and Daniel Vettori ruled out after suffering an Achilles tendon problem during the World Twenty20. New Zealand have named a 15-man squad for the two Tests, more..

150 students awarded Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship in Lanka

Oct 11 (HCI) At a ceremony organized at the Ministry of Education yesterday, 150 meritorious students were awarded the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship with minister Bandula Gunawardena, as the Chief Guest in the presence of Mr. Ashok K. Kantha, High Commissioner of India. The ceremony was attended by senior officials of the Education Ministry, principals of leading schools in Colombo more..

Sri Lanka: Youth and Development

Oct 11 (JO) A visit of youth delegates to the University of Edinburgh for an event organised by the Edinburgh University International Development society that opened the eyes of a lucky few to the wonders of South East Asia. Sri Lanka has had a troubling recent history, as a 26 year civil war - between the northern Tamils and the Sri Lankan govt - tore the nation apart. While the Asian Tsunami of 2004 brought the country to its knees both economically and culturally. However, a new dawn has been brokered and a recent report more..

Five TN fishermen beaten up by Sri Lankan naval personnel

Oct 11 (PTI) Five fishermen from this coastal town were allegedly beaten up by Sri Lankan naval personnel when they crossed the IMBL and netted fish near Katchativu islet early on Thursday morning. Quoting fishermen who returned from the area, they said Lankan naval personnel snapped nets, snatched their catch, beat them with pipes and warned them not to venture near Katchathivu, an islet ceded by India to the neighbouring country in the 1970s. more..

Sri Lankan Port Authority in talks with Indian companies to invest in Indian port projects

Oct 11 (ET) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), controlled by the Sri Lankan govt, is in talks with Indian companies to form consortiums to invest in Indian port projects, said people familiar with the development. Some officials of the SLPA say the company has already identified projects to invest in India and is looking to bid for a number of upcoming projects. This is also the first time that Sri Lanka has shown willingness to more..

Sri Lanka India agrees to double the bilateral Trade

Oct 11 (GDI) Sri Lanka Thursday announced that a joint effort is to be taken to double the US$ Five Billion worth trade with India. Sri Lankan Cabinet of Ministers has decided to establish a Joint Task Force representing public and private authorities of both the countries in order to promote mutual trade between the two countries. The annual value of two way trades between Sri Lanka and India has now reached nearly US$ 5 billion. But Sri Lanka's exports to India stands little over US $500 million, more..

Project to produce electricity from garbage

Oct 11 (DM) A garbage recycling plant in greater Colombo is set to provide 40 megawatts of power to the national grid using garbage collected from Kotte, Moratuwa, Dehiwala, Mt. Lavinia, Maharagama, Kesbewa, Panadura, Homagama and Boralesgamuwa. The recycling project initiated by the Western Provincial Council (WPC) is to be upgraded after the project caught the eye of a Korean company that offered to establish the power station using recycled garbage. The 250 million US$ project is caught the eye of a Korean more..

Indian PM meets TNA Leaders; says India fully with SL Tamils

Oct 11 (OI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today affirmed India's commitment for a political solution to the Sri Lankan Tamils issue during a meeting with TNA leaders, who would now consider joining a Parliamentary committee provided Colombo assures they will not be "cheated again". Singh also told a TNA delegation that India will not "backtrack" from its position that Tamils in Sri Lanka should lead a life of "dignity and self respect" more..

Thiru Koana Malai Literary Festival 2012

Oct 12 (DBS) I think it is pertinent to include my personal connection with the Eastern Province before I write in brief about the Festival. Please bear with me as it helps to understand the literary activities in that part of the world. What is known in Sinhala as Thirukunamalae and Thiru Koana Malai in Tamil and Trincomalee in English anglicized by the British) is the natural harbour town in the north of the longest Eastern Province. The administrative unit of the Eastern Provincial Council more..

The case of ‘Mali’ the Sri Lankan elephant and the Sanctuary vs Zoo Debate

Oct 12 (DBS) Dear All, Please do your best to help me. I am Mali from Sri Lanka currently living in a South East Asian country. When they killed my mother even as I was sucking at her breast, I thought this is surely the worst thing that could ever happen to me. Little did I know my future would hold even darker moments. They called me an orphan back then, back in the year I was born, 1974. I didn’t mind. I missed my mother at first, but soon more..

Mullaitivu, a model city soon

Oct 12 (SO) The Mullaitivu district that bore the brunt of the LTTE's terrorist activities for over three decades will soon be transformed as a model region with modern townships, extensive infrastructure, industrial complexes, tourist centres and more livelihood facilities for the local population who mostly comprise agricultural and fisher families. Under the LTTE's terrorist regime, the district remained a largely mine-infested region, more..

India undermining post-war SL – a rejoinder

Oct 12 (Island) The Island’s is one of the last free and independent voices within the English language press in Sri Lanka, giving us alternative viewpoints such as on the FUTA strike. I am therefore deeply disappointed with Shamindra Ferdinando’s piece, "India trying to undermine post-war reconciliation says senior official – Media blitz influenced by decision makers" (Sept. 30). In that piece, Ferdinando, GoSL and an unnamed official have words and opinions that are more..

Provincial power-grab, potshots at the judiciary, and contrived

Oct 12 (Island) Believe it or not, Sri Lanka is facing a grave constitutional and governance crisis. I am not saying this, govt supporters are. According to them, the 13th Amendment has checkmated the all-powerful Rajapaksa govt. The govt cannot eradicate poverty because 13A wouldn’t let it. The govt cannot protect the environment because 13A stands in the way. It cannot undertake national development the way Basil Rajapaksa wants to because under 13A he requires provincial consent. more..

East’s excavations suggest Buddhism was early bird

Oct 12 (NS) Three years after the end of the war, archaeologists are hard at work in the country’s Eastern province. Teams from the Department of Archaeology have been exploring areas that were previously inaccessible for decades due to fighting. As these excavations are taking place, controversies regarding the history of these areas and who exactly arrived first are once again starting to arise. Some historians and archaeologists claim that more..

Still Counting The Dead

Oct 12 (CT) Frances Harrison’s important new book on Sri Lanka, Still Counting The Dead is published this week. It was sent to me at its proof stage, to read. Such was the elegance of the prose that I read it voraciously in one sitting. I did not know its author, but I recognised the passionate commitment that this slight, energetic Englishwoman had for the vanished dead of Sri Lanka’s killing fields. Sri Lanka, that distant land where I was born and whose name is a song of childhood memory, more..

Dual reality and international pressures

Oct 12 (CT) The govt has done a considerable amount of background work in preparation for the forthcoming session of the UNHRC in Geneva. In dealing with the Universal Periodic Review, which is a four year report on a country’s human rights performance, the govt is leaving no room for a repeat of the setback it experienced in March 2012 when the UNHRC voted against it. In the months that have followed the government has been busy meeting its international obligations, more..

25th anniversary of war erupting between the Indian Army and LTTE

Oct 12 (DBS) 10 October 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the start of fighting between the IPKF and the LTTE, which engulfed the North and East Sri Lanka between October 1987 and March 1990. The two and a half year Indian campaign had military and political successes to show, in as much as the separatist LTTE was put to flight from Jaffna, forced into pockets in the jungles of the Wanni, and made to sue for peace with the more..

Editorial: What a relief!

Oct 12 (Island) The public must have heaved a huge sigh of relief yesterday on hearing that the university teachers' strike had ended at long last. Universities have remained crippled for over three months and now they could resume academic work. It is hoped that the baton won't be slapped down into the hand of the non-academic staff loaded with blazing feet to do the next lap of the 'university strike relay'. Why on earth did the govt and the FUTA take so long to find a solution? They could have arrived at a settlement within the first few days of the FUTA trade more..

Midweek politics: Breaching the last line of defence

Oct 12 (CT) On Saturday evening at Temple Trees, President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a strange proclamation to a few foreign correspondents he was hosting to dinner. Asked if he was going to watch the much-anticipated ICC World T20 Final between Sri Lanka and the West Indies, President Rajapaksa quipped that on two occasions he had gone to the finals and on both occasions, the Sri Lankan team had failed. “Now I prefer to watch cricket on TV,” he explained. The fact is that more..

Uneven development in former war zone

Oct 12 (IRIN) The village of Atumagaskoda is only 6km from the town of Vavuniya - the financial and business hub in the north since the end of the country’s long civil war - but in development terms it is years away. Village roads here were cleared of jungle shrub and made suitable for vehicle travel only last week, almost three and half years after the war’s end. “We have waited long for this. Finally, we got our roads cleared,” Punchirala Ranbanda, a village elder, more..

Private sector icons appointed to Joint Task Force with India

Oct 12 (FT) Top business leaders have been appointed as members for a Joint Task Force with India that is expected to fast-track investment opportunities between the two countries and reach the target of US$ 10 billion in trade by 2015. India’s Commerce Minister Anand Sharma during a visit to Sri Lanka in August proposed that a Joint Task Force (JTF) should be set up between the two countries to attract investment for a specialised export zone to be set up in Trincomalee. more..

US$ 40 m from ADB for drought assistance

Oct 12 (FT) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide US$ 40 million worth of assistance to Sri Lanka’s drought hit regions to provide water for nearly 500,000 people. Cabinet approval has been given to accept the ADB assistance following a Cabinet paper presented by President Rajapaksa on Wednesday. “The project is expected to complete a water and sanitation project in the drought-hit areas and will assist over 453,000 people,” Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. more..

Govt. gets shopping lists while citizens ignore budget deficits

Oct 12 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said the budget for 2013 was being formulated under trying conditions with a severe drought destroying crops and reducing hydro power generation to 18%, increasing the country’s reliance on more expensive fossil fuels and coal to generate electricity, and the global economic slump expected to impact Sri Lanka’s external balance and revenue; but perhaps the biggest challenge faced by more..

Police ordered to file charge sheet against woman arrested for keeping cobra

Oct 12 (FT) The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday ordered the Colpetty Police that a charge sheet be filed against the woman arrested on charges of having kept a cobra in a room at a Colpetty night club on the next hearing date. At a previous magisterial inquiry, Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne had directed the Police to file a charge sheet yesterday, but it had not been done. When the case came up before Court, the Magistrate observed that he would grant another more..

More than 16,000 registrations for eServices

Oct 12 (Island) More than 16,000 registrations have by now been made under for obtaining eServices, says the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). ICTA says that the people’s interest in availing themselves of eServices keeps increasing and that in the past month registration for this has increased by about 25%. Currently opportunity has been made available for people to obtain about 25 eServices provided by about 14 Govt institutions close to the people. A good number of these eServices were launched on 3rd ultimo; more..

National Independence Day Festival in Trincomalee

Oct 12 (DN) The govt officially decided to hold the 65th National Independence Day Festival in Trincomalee. This was disclosed when the National Independence Day Festival Organising Committee functioning under the chairmanship of Prime Minister D M Jayaratne met at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday. The Committee on the instructions of the Prime Minister is headed by Minister W D J Seneviratne. more..

'Implement programmes that benefit people'

Oct 12 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday requested ministers and MPs to dedicate themselves towards implementing a development programme which brings tangible benefits to the people. He said in certain parts of the country development seems to be restricted to areas around the main roads which normally catches the eye without reaching the areas inland. The President who was addressing a meeting of all Ministers and MPs representing the govt to ascertain their more..

Nuwan Zoysa keen to be Goa coach

Oct 12 (TOI) Goan cricket will turn over a new leaf with the appointment of a foreign coach next season. The Goa Cricket Association has already held talks with two Sri Lankan cricketers and at least one of them is more than eager to take charge of Goan cricket. "I was in Sri Lanka for the World T20 cricket and took the opportunity to initiate talks with former Sri Lankan cricketers Marvan Atapattu and Nuwan Zoysa. From among the two, Zoysa is keen," GCA president Vinod Phadke told TOI more..