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Sri Lankan Tamils will not be helped by chauvinist attacks on Rajapaksa

Sept 21 (ET) Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has commenced his visit to India, to the delight of assorted self-styled champions of Sri Lankan Tamils in India, most notably, Vaiko. Many groups and parties in Tamil Nadu seek to mobilise local support in the name of Sri Lankan Tamils. Their competition with one another in this race has degenerated into wholly retrograde measures such as attacking visiting pilgrims from Lanka, calling for banning football matches more..

Divi Neguma Bill to be back anew

Sept 21 (FT) Undeterred by the Supreme Court’s decision, the Govt yesterday said it would push ahead with a revamped Divi Neguma Bill in the near future. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said that the Govt would take the Court’s concerns into account but would push ahead with the Bill, which will also see 26,000 Samurdhi officials becoming fully-fledged public servants. “The reason that we presented the bill without more..

Sajith takes up land for landless issue

Sept 21 (Island) The Opposition yesterday asked the government whether there was any plan to provide land for those who do not have land of their own. Deputy Leader of the UNP Sajith Premadasa said that there were more than 1,200,000 families in the country without a single plot of land of their own. He asked the Minister of Land and Land Development Janaka Bandara Tennakoon whether he was in a position to set a timeline as to when the government could provide land for them. more..

Govt. allocates Rs. 450m for Samurdhi officers’ increments

Sept 21 (Island) The govt yesterday announced that it had decided to solve the salary and ranking problems of Samurdhi officers with immediate effect. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that the govt had allocated Rs 450 million to meet the outstanding emoluments due to the Samurdhi Officers. He said the Samurdhi officers had delayed the Divinaguma project, introduced by the govt, due to several issues in their salary structures and rankings. more..

Defence Sec. dismisses TNA claims

Sept 21 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday that Tamil speaking people living in the Northern and Eastern Provinces were free now. Tamil people appreciated the ongoing accelerated development programme in war devastated districts. The international community was appreciative of the post-war recovery process, the Defence Secretary said, alleging that despite all that an attempt was still being made to portray a bleak picture. more..

New CM Ranjith pooh-poohs Berty’s claim

Sept 21 (Island) Newly appointed Chief Minister of the North-Central Province S.M. Ranjith yesterday said that he did not care about what others had to say about his election to the top post in the provincial council as he was now only interested in serving the people. Ranjith told The Island that some found it difficult to accept defeat. It was a case of sour grapes as the man who lost the post was unable to stomach failure and was making various statements to the media, he said. more..

SriLankan’s Hambantota office opens

Sept 21 (GDI) SriLankan Airlines in a bid to increase its presence in all parts of the country opens its latest passenger sales office in Hambantota, today (20). The Hambantota office is the second officially declared Passenger Sales Agency (PSA) office of the airline for the year, bringing all sales related services, directly to the people of the district. The airline has appointed Classic Travel (Pvt) Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of the Expolanka Holdings conglomerate, as its PSA to spearhead more..

Assault case against Malaka, Rehan to be taken up today

Sept 21 (Island) The Colombo Fort Magistrate Court will take up the case involving the assault of an army major today, following a request made by lawyers for the main suspects, Malaka Silva and Rehan Wijeyaratne. It was earlier scheduled to be held on Sept 24. The lawyers appearing on be half of the suspects, Malaka Silva and Rehana Wijeyaratne, who allegedly assaulted army Major, had made a request to the court more..

Release govt. docs to replace Indians in pvt. sector – GMOA

Sept 21 (Island) The GMOA has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to permit doctors and consultants attached to State-run hospitals to work for private hospitals too. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya yesterday requested that government medical officers and consultants be allowed to provide round-the-clock health care services at private hospitals, instead of allowing unscreened Indian doctors to do so. more..

Jayalalitha cannot invalidate treaty signed between govts - Rajitha

Sept 21 (DN) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jayaram cannot invalidate an international bilateral agreement signed between two governments just because she wants to take over Sri Lanka’s Kachchatheevu island, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratna said. He said this on being asked to comment on the recent resolution brought to the Tamil Nadu state government by Jayalalitha which seeks to takeover Kachchatheevu island from Sri Lanka. more..

President Rajapaksa calls on Indian Premier Manmohan Singh

Sept 21 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is in India on a three day state visit primarily to lay foundation stone for the International University of Buddhist Studies in the historically important city of Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh held comprehensive deliberations with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Thursday. It was the first meeting between the two parties after India voted in favour of U.S. backed more..

Editorial: Evil minds contaminate the earth

Sept 21 (DM) It is said that what comes out of our human minds is what often corrupts and distorts our human personality. When that happens we distort and corrupt most things around us. Such evil thoughts contaminate humanity and the earth as well. Today we live in such a contaminated world, which is able to infect those living in it. The result is the destruction of people and societies. We could see how today’s world rests on the foundation of evil intentions that spring from human hearts, more..

Politics should not be confrontational, but participatory

Sept 21 (DM) The victory of the UPFA in the recent Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) elections has to be given serious thought by the Muslim community. Though the UPFA has got 204000 votes and captured 14 seats, this does not mean that the UPFA is the governing body of the EPC. If the UPFA had got at least 21 seats, then the situation would have been different as it could have been sworn in to governance with their CM candidate. more..

Kapilavastu relics: It was a life-long dream come true, say devotees

Sept 21 (ST) The sacred Kapilavastu relics that were brought to Sri Lanka on August 19, after more than three decades, made its way back to India on Wednesday (12) after an estimated three million people stood in winding queues for long hours to show their veneration and fulfil what some said was a life-long dream. A tired but overjoyed 75-year-old M.A. Kamalawathi said she had stood in the line at the Kelaniya more..

Kamala Ranatunga to resign seat for Ameer Ali to be made National List MP

Sept 21 (DBS) UPFA national list MP Kamala Ranatunga is to be “requested” to resign her seat “willingly” by the Rajapaksa Govt in order to fill the vacancy created with Former Eastern province MP and recently elected Provincial Councillor SMM Ameer Ali. This move is being enacted in a bid to appease two constituent Muslim parties of the Govt namely the National Congress led by Local Govt and PC cabinet minister ALM Athaullah more..

Kundankulam – set to destroy

Sept 21 (LB) Sri Lanka is not in a position to claim compensation if a nuclear disaster occurs in South India and would also be unable to do anything in the event a nuclear accident occurs in the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), just 240 km away from Sri Lanka, a government minister said. Meanwhile, several anti-nuclear movements are prevailing upon the Govt of India to abandon the entire project in South India. Minister Champika Ranawaka who is preparing to participate at more..

'It is necessary to increase direct taxes'

Sept 21 (DM) In terms of the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act No. 03 of 2003, the Ministry of Finance is required to present a Mid-year Fiscal Position Report — 2012 to the people through the Parliament. The purpose of this report is twofold: 1. To provide an updated information on the Govt’s performance as per its Fiscal strategy. 2. To provide an opportunity to the Parliament to review mainly the Fiscal and Monetary policies and to assess the more..

U.S. govt supports Northern fishermen's return to Sea

Sept 21 (USE) U.S. Ambassador Michele J. Sison handed over fishing supplies to 130 families in Kallar, Killinochchi on Sept 20. This donation, through the U.S. Embassy’s development arm, USAID, is part of a larger initiative of partnering with families in conflict-affected areas, bringing dignity back to their communities. Although the fisheries sector remains an economic mainstay for the Northern Province, more..

Election victory used as a licence to jack up revenue – Opposition

Sept 21 (Island) The govt yesterday announced a tariff increase of 5 to 20 per cent on pipe-borne water. National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) Chairman Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that the new tariff on water consumption would come into effect from Oct. 01. According to the new tariff, domestic and commercial water bills would go up by Rs. 12 for 0-05 units, Rs. 16 for 06-10 units, Rs. 20 for 11-15 units, more..

‘Silent Walk’ for abused children

Sept 21 (Island) Professor Harendra de Silva, Professor of Pediatrics, yesterday called on every individual to be active and work together as one community to eradicate child abuse and not to be passive perpetrators being silent on the issue. Addressing the first news briefing of the ‘Citizens for a Secure Sri Lanka’, an informal network to protect women and children from abuse (It was formed two months ago by a group more..

SLC slams unfounded expectations

Sept 21 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has launched a vitriolic attack on the media and fans for "delusional and grandiose" expectations placed on the board. "It's absurd," said a spokesman. "We have proven time and again, over many years no less, that we are completely and utterly baffled as to how to run this organisation, but people continue to hope this will change. We've racked up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, built grounds and more..

Protest against Rajapaksa visit, Vaiko detained

Sept 21 (PTI) MDMK General Secretary Vaiko was on Friday detained by the police when he tried to move further from Gadchicholi to Sanchi to protest Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit. "Vaiko has been detained as he tried to move further from Gadchicholi near Pandhurna along with his supporters," Madhu Kumar, Inspector General told PTI. Vaiko along with hundreds of his supporters has been protesting for more..

Malaka and Rehan released on bail

Sept 21 (AD) Malaka Silva and Rehan Wijeratne, who were remanded over the alleged assault on an Army Major, were released on bail by the Fort Magistrate’s Court today. Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne ordered the duo released on a cash bail of Rs. 50,000 and a personal bail of Rs. 1 million each, Ada Derana court reporter said. Malaka, Rehan and the Army Major in question were yesterday ordered to appear before the court today. more..

Sri Lanka keeps watch on Vaiko's protest

Sept 21 (HT) The MDMK chief Vaiko may not be successful in lodging his protest before Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Sanchi Sri Lanka is apparently keeping a close watch on his protest and movement in Madhya Pradesh. An Indian agency's report on Madhya Pradesh govt's decision to stop Vaiko at Pandhurna appears prominently on '', which claims to be official website of govt of Sri Lanka. Earlier on Sept 17, the news on chief minister more..

Drought wreak havoc: Rs. 17.5 billion in crop losses

Sept 21 (Island) The drought which prevailed during the Yala 2012 season has wreaked havoc resulting in Rs. 17.5 billion in crop losses for paddy, despite there being no serious crop losses for vegetables and fruits. "This is one of the worst Yala seasons that we have had in recent times and we have lost around 500,000 tonnes of paddy and given that a tonne of paddy is around Rs. 35,000, the country has lost around Rs. 17. 5 billion in crop losses for the Yala season, more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

'Telecom sector loses Rs.8bn on rupee depreciation'

Sept 21 (DM) Sri Lanka’s telecommunication sector has lost approximately Rs.8 billion by way of exchange losses, as the majority of telecom firms operating in the country are exposed to foreign exchange borrowings, according to TRC Director General Anusha Palpita. “This is mainly due to the devaluation of the rupee in the first two quarters against the dollar. However, we believe that the impact would be less in the third and fourth quarters as the rupee is now stabilizing,” more..

Sri Lanka kerosene sales down after price hike

Sept 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's kerosene sales have come down after a price hike in February that reduced a subsidy given by tax payers, while highly taxed petrol sales continue to grow. Data released by the Central Bank shows that kerosene sales fell 26.7 percent in June to 11,000 metric tonnes from 15,000 metric tonnes a year earlier. In the six months to June kerosene sales were down 11.9 percent to 74,000 metric tonnes. Kerosene sales grew until February when prices were raised. more..

Sri Lanka to connect former war zone to national power grid

Sept 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run CEB will connect the northern Jaffna peninsula to the national power grid on September 25, with the commissioning of a power line to the north, officials said. The CEB is to commission a 132kVA high tension transmission line from Vavuniya to former Tamil Tiger separatist headquarters in Kilinocchi on September 25. A 30-year war with separatists ended in 2009. The CEB has also built a grid more..

Sri Lanka kicks off first-ever bamboo processing initiative

Sept 21 (CT) The first ever bamboo processing initiative in Sri Lanka kicked off recently at the Galle Face Hotel Colombo with the hope of revitalizing this beneficial industry in our nation. The project was launched in a collaborative effort by the UNIDO focal point office, Colombo; Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Global Environmental Facility along with the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, Secretary to the Ministry Anura Siriwardena, Secretary to the more..

Sri Lanka celebrates International Ozone Day 2012

Sept 21 (GDI) Sri Lanka is one of the countries that implement Montreal Protocol successfully. The country has achieved the Protocol objectives well in advance and completed a successful journey of phasing out ozone depleting substances through various regulations and activities. Year 2012 is a remarkable year for all parties to the Montreal protocol including Sri Lanka since Montreal Protocol celebrates its 25th anniversary. Sri Lanka commemorated this historical more..

Condemn the arrest of IUSF convener – JVP

Sept 21 (LT) The Political Bureau of the JVP has issued a statement condemning the arrest of the convener of the IUSF. The statement issued yesterday (20th) states, “Yesterday (18), the convener of IUSF the student Sanjeewa Bandara was arrested by the police. He was arrested while going back after participating in an agitation organized by the IUSF demanding the government to solve issues in the education sector including that of university teachers. more..

2,000 Muslims protest, demanding US punish creators of anti-Islam film

Sept 21 (AP) Sri Lankan Muslims have burnt effigies of President Barack Obama and American flags at a protest demanding the United States ban the film "Innocence of Muslims." About 2,000 protesters carried signs and banners near the U.S. Embassy in the capital Colombo after Friday prayers. It took place after the embassy's normal closing time of noon on Fridays. A protest organizer, Mujibur Rahman, said Muslims in Sri Lanka "have come to the streets today to join with Muslims more..

'Socialist Vietnam achieved gigantic economic & political victories'

Sept 21 (LT) The historical victory of Vietnam has been an unending source of enthusiasm and courage to the peace loving and progressive people the world over said the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe participating at the ceremony organized by Sri Lanka – Vietnam Friendship Foundation and held at Jayawardene Center in Colombo to celebrate the 67th National Day of Vietnam. He said since the victory of the revolution the people of Vietnam led by the more..

'Sri Lanka has to keep inflation in mid single digits to grow'

Sept 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka has to keep inflation in mid single digits allowing interest rates to be in single digits helping keep annual economic growth around 8.0 percent, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. The index has briefly moved above mid single digits in the past few months peaking at 9.8 percent in July, after the rupee fell from 110 to 134 to the US dollar due balance of payments trouble brought on by sterilized more..

12 hour water cut will be imposed tomorrow

Sept 21 (GDI) The National Water Supply and Drainage Board announced that there will be a 12 hour water cut from 8.00 pm on Saturday to 8.00 am on Sunday in the areas given below. Maligawatta Road, a section of Panchikawatte, from the Elfinston junction in Sri Sumanatissa Mawatha to Jetawana Road junction, Miraniya Street, Paradise place, Old Moor Street, Princegate, M. J. Lafir Mawatha, Bandaranayaka Mawatha, Mahavidyalaya Mawatha, New Moor Street, Huseiniya Street, St. Sebastian Street, Messenger Street, more..

Sri Lanka says China's top legislator's visit strengthened cooperation

Sept 21 (Xinhua) China's top legislator Wu Bangguo 's visit to Sri Lanka marked an important milestone in consolidating friendly ties and setting the tone for future cooperation between the two countries including at international forums, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. During Wu's meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, both sides acknowledged that bilateral relations based on historic and cultural affinities have reinforced mutual trust and confidence, more..

Sri Lanka Debrief 20-09-2012

Sri Lanka still unsafe

Sept 21 (ABC) A new documentary shows that Sri Lankan refugees are fleeing human rights abuses in their homeland and are not merely economic refugees, as claimed by the opposition. TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Many of the most recent asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat are from Sri Lanka. Whilst the Federal Opposition claims they're economic refugees and should be sent back, two Sri Lankan journalists tell a different story. In a new documentary they say Sri Lanka's more..

'Govt patting on the head and suppressing'

Sept 21 (AD) The UNP says that the present situation in the country is such that the sons of politicians can go anywhere, do anything they want and get away with anything. They can point firearms at anyone and assault them and still walk free, UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said while adding that the persons who are assault by them later file affidavits claiming nobody assaulted them. When govt officials are tied to trees they later declare they tied themselves to trees, more..