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India-Sri Lanka Foundation enables projects to foster bilateral relations

Oct 20 (GDI) The Board of Directors of the India-Sri Lanka Foundation headed by the High Commissioners of India and Sri Lanka and two members each nominated by the govts of India and Sri Lanka met recently to consider about 60 new project proposals that were submitted by both individuals and institutions of the two countries, seeking financial assistance for projects/events. The Board approved full or partial funding more..

WikiLeaks: Boucher noted the difficulty in 'reading' Prabhakaran

Oct 20 (CT) “Assistant Secretary Boucher emphasized the futility of further military action. He stated the Government has begun to see the consequences of its actions such as decreased tourism and investment, and the shutdown of Colombo airport following the Tamil Tiger aerial attacks. Boucher noted the difficulty in “reading” Prabhakaran and suggested broadening discussions with the Tamil side to include more..

Sri Lanka Promotion in Los Angeles

Oct 20 (GDI) The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Los Angeles organized a Sri Lanka Promotional event in collaboration with the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, California, USA on October 15, at the Chamber conference hall. The “Sri Lanka Promotion” at the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce was an awareness campaign, which focused an overview of Sri Lanka, trade, investment and tourism. Scott Hettric, Executive Director of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, in his opening remarks, stated that the Sri Lanka Consulate more..

Sri Lanka can up exports by moving to complex products: economist

Oct 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka can increase exports and incomes by creating conditions to allow producers to move in to more complex products based on knowledge and research, a top economist said. Sri Lanka is still making simple product such as tea and garments and very little hi-tech complex products for export, W A Wijewardene, former deputy governor of Sri Lanka's central bank told the annual sessions of the Sri Lanka Economic Association. more..

FUTA to evaluate progress

Oct 20 (DM) FUTA today said a meeting to evaluate the progress of resolutions provided by the govt will be held during the coming week. FUTA General Secretary Dr. Terrance Madhujith said they are expecting the govt to fulfill the promises made to the academics on policy related matters concerning education and the salary hike. “The trade union action of 100 days was suspended based on 3 documents provided by the govt more..

Sri Lankan refugee recalls horrors of war

Oct 20 (GE) "I SAW a young boy gunned down in front of me" – the words of Sri Lankan refugee Johannes Shanmugam as he recalled the horror he witnessed in the war-torn country. Mr Shanmugan, who now lives in Springbank, said he twice had a gun pointed at him during the civil war between Tamil separatists and the Sinhalese govt. Years on, he still feels guilty that he survived. Now the 49-year-old father is planning to walk 112 miles in five days to raise money to buy computers for more..

Re-employment of SLEAS officers to be terminated

Oct 20 (CT) The re-employment of Sri Lanka Educational Administrative Service (SLEAS) officers who are past retirement, will be terminated from January 2013, the SLEAS Union said. The SLEAS Union for the Eastern Province Convener, M. Mukthar said previously officials who were past retirement age had applied for re-employment, and had received the positions they applied for though there were more suitable SLEAS officers for more..

'Executive Presidency must go'

Oct 20 (DM) Q: What role will you play in today’s common opposition rally at Hyde park? A: The National Movement for Social Justice (Sadarana Samajayak Sadaha Wu Jathika Wiyaparaya) does not support any political party. We started this movement as citizens of this country who have a right to protest, while demanding a justifiable society, a law abiding rule and a country to live in, without bribery and corruption, where more..

Agricultural development in three districts

Oct 20 (CT) The Ministry of Agriculture has set aside Rs 19 million for the development of a project to manufacture crops and seeds for vegetables and fruits in the Matara, Moneragela and Ratnapura districts. The project is being implemented under the supervision of Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. They have set aside Rs 1.22 million for the development of bananas, pineapple and dry chilly in the Matara district, Rs 13.7 million for the Moneragala district for the development of more..

Four Sri Lankan asylum seekers return home

Oct 20 (AAP) Four Sri Lankan men detained in Nauru will return home after deciding not to seek asylum in Australia. The Department of Immigration said the men were among those who arrived after August 13 and were therefore subject to transfer to a regional processing centre. "These individuals have chosen not to pursue asylum claims and therefore are no longer seeking to engage Australia's protection obligations," a departmental spokesman said in a statement more..

Tony Greig reveals his battle with lung cancer

Oct 20 (HS) Legendary cricketing figure Tony Greig has been diagnosed with a form of lung cancer. He will wait and evaluate a detailed prognosis before deciding on treatment. "I have had a few scrapes in my life and this is another one," Greig told The Sunday Telegraph from his eastern suburbs home. "(His wife) Vivian and I are going to put the boxing gloves on and fight more..

Change in India’s trans-shipment policy hits Colombo

Oct 20 (TS) The Cabinet’s recent decision to relax India’s policy on granting ships the right to operate in its waters ~ its “cabotage policy” ~ has Sri Lankan media crying itself hoarse over how this is India’s latest attempt to punish Sri Lanka for seeking closer ties with China. Govt sources suggest that these Sri Lankan critics are correct. On 6 September this year, the Cabinet decided to relax the cabotage policy under the Merchant Shipping Act of more..

UNP aims to capture power by 2014

Oct 20 (PTI) UNP today said it would strengthen its grassroots machinery in a bid to capture power from the "dictatorship" of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and claimed that the present govt would not serve its full term. Addressing a party gathering in Kandy, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe called for military discipline among the party cadres in order to fight Rajapaksa. The next parliamentary election is not due until 2016 but Wickremsinghe predicts the govt would not last its full term more..

Army demining team honored in US

Oct 20 (CG) The army says over 860,000 mines and booby traps have been removed since the end of the war in 2009. Brigadier Dhananjith Karunaratne, Commander of the Army Engineer Brigade said that over 80% of the initial 5000 square kilometers that had been heavily mined by the LTTE have now been cleared. The Sri Lankan Embassy in the United States quoted the Brigadier as saying in a statement that over 470,000 antipersonnel more..

Murali's magic helps Cancer treatment unit

Oct 20 (DM) The Kandy Cancer Treatment Unit Fund signed a M.O.U. with Sri Lanka’s famous son, Muthiah Muralidaran, appointing him as Brand Ambassador, on the 18th of October. The new Kandy Cancer Treatment Unit will be a state-of-the-art, spacious facility, situated at the Kandy General Hospital. This Public-Private project was initiated by the Cancer Society to fill a desperate need for treatment of cancer patients from five out of Sri Lanka’s nine Provinces. more..

Navy’s Thalassemia drug infusion system wins Engineering Excellence Award -2012

Oct 20 (SLN) The Thalaseemiya Drug Infusion System invented by the Sri Lanka Navy won the Engineering Excellence Award - 2012. The award was presented by the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka (IESL), for its manufacturing excellence. The award was received by Director Genera Training of the Sri Lanka Navy, Rear Admiral MUKB Bandara at the IESL’s 106th Annual Sessions which were held at the BMICH on 19th October 2012. The Navy in fulfillment of shouldering social more..

India, Sri Lanka, Maldives holds meeting on Maritime Security in Srilanka

Oct 20 (NOA) A trilateral meeting between India, Sri Lanka and Maldives on Maritime Security is being held in Galle. The meeting focuses on sharing of information on shipping and tsunami warning and setting up and extending of anti-piracy structures. The delegates expressed the need for better coordination of joint Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance. Delegates also explored the possibility of oil spill response, more..

Editorial: Why adopt double standards?

Oct 21 (SO) US President Barack Obama, in his election campaign debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, had said that the national security of his country is more important than politics. Defending his record on diplomatic security, Obama accused Romney of trying to gain political mileage out of the recent violent attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya which killed four Americans at the Consulate, including the US Ambassador, Chris Stevens. more..

Editorial: Grievances please?

Oct 21 (NS) Leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan, has stated that his reservations about joining the Parliamentary Select Committee stems from a long history of promises and assurances, made and given respectively, and consequently broken. In short, he doesn’t trust the Sri Lankan Govt (just has he and other Tamil leaders have not trusted previous Govts). Someone can easily say ‘you are one to talk!’ make a long list of actions and statements by Sampanthan, going back to more..

Ex-Chief Justice hails judges' decision against strikes

Oct 21 (SO) The following interview with former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva was carried in Silumina on Oct 14. Q: Ranil Wickremesinghe had said that the country is witnessing the adverse consequences of your judgements which challenged the independence of Parliament and the sovereignty of the people. What have you got to say about it? A: I too read it in the newspapers. I retired from the Supreme Court 3.5 years ago. more..

Editorial: Divi Neguma - Kicking into its own goal

Oct 21 (SL) Is the Divi Neguma Bill a magic bullet targeted against the dire poverty that has entrapped millions of Sri Lankans since living memory or a ‘Grease Yakka’ or some devilish incarnation that will drag Sri Lanka through hell fires? Right now it has been shrouded in issues of constitutional violations that have taken precedence over the objections made against the destructive potential of the Bill, in the public mind. Consider the pith and substance of this controversial Bill. more..

Editorial: The democratic deficit in govt and in Opposition

Oct 21 (LB) Sri Lanka is suffering from a democratic deficit and one does not need to be a political scientist to diagnose this fundamental problem in our socio-political set-up. But what most of us fail to realize is that this ‘ailment’ is not unique to the affairs of the govt alone, and that the same situation exists with different protagonists in the affairs of the political opposition. The main political opposition, the UNP has become a mirror image of the familial, dynastic and opaque nature of the current more..

What action has UNP taken against 61 MPs who joined the govt?

Oct 21 (LB) UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara said that he is unaware on what grounds he has been suspended from the party after attending Thursday's rally at Hyde Park. He argued that the rally was not organized by DNA leader Sarath Fonseka but by the United Bhikku Front (UBF) in order to get rid of the Executive Presidency and that the UNP as a party, has also passed resolutions at party conventions to abolish more..

Editorial: Well done, Mr. Minister

Oct 21 (Island) Two stories published on the front page of yesterday’s issue of The Island would, we are sure, have attracted the attention of readers. One of these related to two 19-year old students of a school in Pannipitiya on a motorbike who were hurt when a Special Task Force vehicle escorting Minister Johnston Fernando knocked them down. The other was a statement made by Minister Maithripala Sirisena saying that he had directed the concerned authorities that more..

Editorial: Executive Presidency - The drama continues

Oct 21 (ST) Whither the Executive Presidency? This has been a long-running serial played out in the political amphitheatre of this country over the years. It is part serious, part comedy; part farce, part drama – and downright tragic. On Thursday, another attempt was made by possibly well-meaning persons to raise public awareness to the dangers of the Executive Presidency and demand its abolition. Such campaigns cannot be dismissed lightly. more..

'Disciplinary action will be taken against participants at UBF rally'

Oct 21 (LB) UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake, said that the United Bhikku Front (UBF) rally was a clear attempt to further divide the joint opposition and boost the image of DNA leader Sarath Fonseka to start his political journey. The UNP will therefore take disciplinary action against UNP MPs who have participated in this rally. Q: A few of your party MPs attended a rally organized by the UBF last week, flouting the more..

Confrontation of two egos

Oct 21 (LB) It was meant to be the comeback party of former army chief and presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka; however, even before it took off, Fonseka was feeling the heat. His rally went on to divide, instead of uniting an increasingly divisive opposition. Fonseka, though unwittingly, was responsible. Two egos were in confrontation: That of UNP chief Ranil Wickremesinghe and former army chief Fonseka. The latter expected that the UNP leadership would invite him to join the combined opposition, Vipaksaye Virodaya. more..

Basil and the ‘American method’

Oct 21 (Island) Gomin Dayasiri once used the phrase "exterminators of war heroes" to describe the UNP and the JVP which was then trying to make Gen. Sarath Fonseka their common candidate. By that time the UNP had already exterminated Janaka Perera. Last week we saw the exterminators at work and a war hero exterminated. SF’s Hyde Park rally to re-launch his rally was an unmitigated flop. The JVP quietly kept away while the UNP which was fearful of losing some of its MPs to Fonseka actively worked to undermine it by threatening more..

Civil Aviation-Air Force to run domestic airports

Oct 21 (ST) Civil aviation authorities are aiming to work with the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) in operating five main domestic airports in the country, an official said. The govt aviation official said that plans were underway to conduct a dual operation between the civil aviation authorities and the military. It was pointed out that within the next 18 months authorities would have developed at least two airports namely China Bay and Batticaloa more..

Alone on the field of an uphill battle

Oct 21 (ST) My Dear SF, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you had launched a campaign to abolish the executive presidency and had held your first meeting this week. It was good to see you back in the news-especially because we were not seeing you getting in and out of a prison vehicle! It is also ironical, is it not, that you launched this campaign to abolish the executive presidency at the same time that the govt announced that there were no outstanding charges against KP? more..

Now the Opposition disowns Fonseka

Oct 21 (NS) Former Army Commander turned politician Sarath Fonseka caused a stir this week, launching a campaign for the abolition for the executive presidency, bringing into focus once more the divisions in the Opposition and Fonseka’s own uncertain political future. Faced with the juggernaut of the Mahinda Rajapaksa presidency and the UPFA govt, the opposition does need a charismatic figure to lead them. Leaders such as Ranil Wickremesinghe, Karu Jayasuriya, Sajith more..

Rajapaksa govt looking at abolishing 13th amendment

Oct 21 (SL) The Rajapaksa govt is edging towards a head on collision with neighboring India over the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The govt’s steadfastness in getting the controversial Divi Neguma Bill implemented amidst accusations that the piece of legislation usurped powers vested with the provincial councils would mess up Indo-Sri Lanka relations that are being mended more..

Fonseka, Sajith and Karu use Hyde Park rally to club political sixes

Oct 21 (NS) The week was marked by accusation and counter-accusation, a lot of hyperbole and indulgence in conjecture with respect to the rally against the Executive Presidency organized by the ‘United Bikkhu Front’ along with former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. In the end it degenerated into curiosity about which UNPers would participate and who would keep away, rather than a protest against the Executive Presidency. President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to more..

Fascinating insights on S.P.Tao’s entry to SL

Oct 21 (Island) Mr. Shing Pee Tao, the founder of Overseas Realty PLC owning the World Trade Centre (WTC) in Colombo which is often touted as the city’s best business address, on Friday night offered some fascinating insights on how he first became active in Sri Lanka’s business scene. In a speech read out at the 15th anniversary celebration of Overseas Realty PLC which is now developing Havelock City in partnership with the Bank of Ceylon, Tao recalled his first visit to Colombo more..

'UNP needs military style discipline'

Oct 21 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe declared that the UNP needed to adopt military style discipline if it was to challenge Rajapaksa govt. A strong govt couldn’t be defeated unless the Opposition was disciplined, a smiling Wickremesinghe told a public gathering in Kandy. The veteran politician asserted that the Opposition leader should have to act like the Commander of the Army to ensure party discipline, more..

Ban export of Lanka’s wildlife, say animal rights groups

Oct 21 (ST) Local animal rights activists are calling for a ban on giving elephants as gifts to foreign countries and overseas-based beneficiaries. This request follows on a petition for the release of “Mali”, a Sri Lankan elephant that was given to the Manila Zoo more than 30 years ago. The animal was 4 years old at the time. International animal welfare activists have sent a letter to the Mayor of Manila asking that animal be released to a sanctuary in Thailand where she can spend the rest of more..

Role Model for Peace in Asia award winner given warm welcome

Oct 21 (Island) In a singular honor, Mrs. Rupika Damayanthi De Silva was the only community service leader to be awarded the prestigious 2012 Role Model for Peace in Asia award by the President of Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino in Manila recently. The other recipients of this top accolade from N-Peace Network in collaboration with the UN Development Program and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), were an MP from Afghanistan and more..

Left parties stand for 13th Amendment

Oct 21 (LB) Leftist parties in the govt’s coalition are offended by Defence Secretary’s call for the abolition of the 13th Amendment, Left party heavyweights said. Senior Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana said: “Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa should not have made such a comment at this juncture, especially when the UN sessions are scheduled to take place next week. We should not give ammunition to our enemies.” more..

Good business call in Sri Lanka

Oct 21 (NST) The Jalur Gemilang is flying high in Sri Lanka these days with Malaysian businessmen reaping the dividends off investing in a post-civil war country hungry for development. Sensing the potential for growth on the island after civil strife ended, they have been filling a vacuum left by decades of moribund trade. Here is an indicator of the Malaysian presence on the island; when the average Sri Lankan uses his mobile phone, he is most likely using a service operated by more..

Power to the (Tamil) people! There's a curry revolution going on in Tooting

Oct 21 (Independent) An unheralded revolution is brewing in Tooting. This is extremely exciting news for revolutionaries and foodies alike. But before I tell you what it involves, some caveats. First, we're not talking here about the return of Citizen Smith, the would-be Che Guevara who led the Tooting Popular Front in John Sullivan's sitcom of the same name. Though commies abound here, he's not been seen since 1980. Second, this is a revolution involving Tamils, but it has nothing whatsoever more..