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TNA rejects allegations of supporting rebels

Dec 3 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main Tamil political party, the TNA, on Tuesday rejected allegations it supported the Tamil Tiger rebels during the war. In an address to Parliament, TNA leader R Sampanthan said that his party only looked to work with the rebels to secure a political solution to the conflict but never supported the atrocities they had committed. Some members of the Sri Lankan govt and hardline groups have often accused more..

Pujith new Senior DIG NP

Dec 3 (Island) Senior DIG Pujitha Jayasundara will assume duties as senior DIG Northern Province today at the SDIG office in Kankasanthurai, though he has been handling duties in the province from a few days back. Police sources confirmed the appointment yesterday and added that the transfer had been effected in accordance with the exigencies of the Law and Order Ministry. Sources said that the senor DIGs and DIGs would be transferred normally with the approval of the Secretary to the more..

Will Chidambaram’s bold Sri Lanka move work for the Congress?

Dec 3 (FP) “PM will visit Jaffna, meet Tamil leader” “Only Congress can take care of Sri Lankan Tamils” “We won’t rest until Tamils secure their rights” “Sri Lanka must punish human rights violators” These are some of the media headlines attributed to Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram over the last fortnight. For a national party, which preferred south Asian geopolitics to the unanimous sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu for a long while, this is a huge departure. But why? more..

Charity accuses Sri Lanka over 'heinous' aid workers massacre

Dec 3 (AFP) France's Action Against Hunger (ACF) on Tuesday accused Sri Lankan security forces of killing 17 aid workers in cold blood and then organising a cover-up of what it termed a "heinous" war crime. In a report due to be made public later in the day, the charity said it has proof that Sri Lankan army, navy and police personnel were implicated in the August 4, 2006 massacre in the city of Muttur, in the mainly Tamil north more..

BBS in favour of private campus

Dec 3 (DM) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Organisation today said that it was in favour of establishing private universities in Sri Lanka and said the move would stop Sri Lankan monies going out of the country. “We cannot let people or organisations like JVP to act on their agendas and oppose for moves that benefits the country. Students wouldn’t have to spend millions of rupees for universities abroad when there are standard private universities in Sri Lanka,” more..

New species of Catfish found here

Dec 3 (Island) Mystus zeylanicus, a new species of catfish, has been discovered in lowland rivers and reservoirs of Sri Lanka. The new finding has been highlighted in the latest edition of the world renowned international journal for field-orientated ichthyology, Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters by scientists Dr. Heok Hee Ng of Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore and Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda of Ichthyology Section, Australian Museum. more..

China becomes Sri Lanka's largest source of FDI in 2013

Dec 3 (Xinhua) China has emerged as Sri Lanka's largest foreign direct investor accounting for 24% of the inflows for 2013. Govt has set a target of 2 billion U.S. dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI) for 2013 and as of November had achieved 1.2 billion U.S. dollars. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said that companies from China accounted for the largest amount of FDI into the country followed by Hong Kong with 12%. more..

JVP says documents on corrupt deals stuffed in their mail boxes

Dec 3 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa told Parliament that he would commence an investigation into a complaint made by JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti who said that unknown persons put files of documentary proof of some corrupt deals of ministers into the letter boxes belonging to JVP MPs. MP Handunnetti participating in the Third Reading Stage of the Budget 2014 said that each MP had a letter box in the Parliament complex. "The boxes belonging to us are filled with files of more..

Sri Lanka's third integrated resort to have foreign investment

Dec 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's third integrated resort in Colombo with a 300 million US dollar investment will have 80% foreign investment. Minister Lakshman Abeywardene said an agreement has been signed with Sri Lanka's Board of Investment for the Queensbury project, a name given to an integrated resort promoted by Sri Lanka's gaming tycoon Dhammika Perera. BOI director general Lakshman Jayaweera said and relevant gazette notice for tax breaks is being prepared. more..

Packer's Crown resort-casino in Sri Lanka faces further delay

Dec 3 (Reuters) A $400 million Sri Lankan resort and casino complex planned by Australia's Crown Ltd faces additional delays and is unlikely to be approved before the end of the year, a top govt official said. The new delay comes after opposition politicians alleged Crown's chief, gambling tycoon James Packer, was getting concessions not given to local entrepreneurs. Buddhist leaders also said the casino could more..

Cop’s leg infected after horse bite

Dec 3 (Island) The horse bite wound on the leg of a police sergeant is said to have got infected. The sergeant’s leg was swollen and he fainted and vomited from time to time. That condition has led the hospital authorities to give him an anti-rabies vaccination, the spokesman added. When the sergeant, accompanied by a PC, visited the Botale Walauwa last Thursday (28) the horse which was grazing there had bitten the left leg of the sergeant and bolted. more..

Canada seeks progress by March

Dec 3 (CG) The Canadian govt says it hopes the Sri Lankan govt will show progress by the time the UNHRC meets in Geneva next March. Canada’s Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Human Rights, Deepak Obhrai, speaking to the Tamil media in Canada, said that he was disturbed to find during his recent visit to Sri Lanka that people still feared the government despite the end of the war and a provincial administration being established in the North. more..

Major shakeup at Law College

Dec 3 (DM) The conduct of several officials within the Law College are currently under scrutiny for alleged malpractices committed in the ‘administrative and exams procedures, following the suspension of former Principal W. D Rodrigo. Subsequent to the suspension of the Principal, irregularities and malpractices pertaining to the exams of the Law College allegedly committed by the Principal and ‘high ranking officials’ more..

Animal activists, CMC in dogfight

Dec 3 (Island) A clash between animal welfare activists and the Veterinary Department of the Colombo Municipal Council over stray dogs caught during the CHOGM continues with the Animal Welfare Trust accusing the Department of releasing the dogs in faraway places. President of the Animal Welfare Trust (AWT) Irangani de Silva accused the CMC Vet. Department of dumping stray dogs of Colombo city in areas like Puttalam, Madampe and Anuradhapura. more..

Sri Lanka post program assessment by IMF

Dec 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's inflation is easing and has weathered recent external turbulence well but the country has to be careful about external borrowing and effects of recent rate cuts, the IMF has said. In the first post-program monitoring discussion with Sri Lanka, the IMF has also warned against a rise in bad loans. Bad loans usually rise after a credit bubble burst and a period of low interest rates end. On Nov 27, 2013, the Executive Board of the IMF concluded the Ex-Post Evaluation of more..

Sri Lanka ranks 91 in corruption index

Dec 3 (DM) Sri Lanka ranked 91st place on Transparency International’s corruption perception index for 2013. Sri Lanka got a score of 37. Denmark and New Zealand are together the least corrupt countries out of the 177 surveyed by the anti-corruption watchdog. On a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is clean, India ranked 94th on the index and got a score of 36. The three most corrupt countries, tied on more..

Beyani holds meetings in Jaffna

Dec 3 (CG) The UN Special Rapporteur Chaloka Beyani held meetings in Jaffna today as he began a visit to the North to examine the overall situation of IDPs in the country. In Jaffna, Beyani met the Northern Province Governor, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri and the Govt Agent, among others, to gather information on the IDP situation. Beyani commenced his five-day official visit to Sri Lanka yesterday during which he said he will look to gather first-hand information from all parties, more..

Short-lists announced for ICC Awards 2013

Dec 3 (ICC) England’s James Anderson, South Africa’s Hashim Amla and Australia captain Michael Clarke have all been short-listed for the top honours at this year’s LG ICC Awards 2013. The three cricketers have been short-listed for both the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year and the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year, with the awards to be announced in a TV show that will be broadcast on 14 Dec. The votes for the LG ICC Awards 2013 short-lists have now been cast more..

Army questions ACF motives

Dec 3 (CG) The army has questioned the motives behind a French NGO releasing a report on the murder of 17 humanitarian workers in 2006 before sharing the information with the govt. Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that the contents of the report, reportedly issued by the French NGO Action Against Hunger (ACF), contains allegations of a very serious nature implicating the security forces over more..

SL's Oct trade deficit narrows 39% yr/yr

Dec 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's trade deficit contracted 38.9% to $494.3 million in October from $808.8 million a year earlier. October exports jumped 35.1% from a year earlier to $1.04 billion, while imports edged down 2.8% to $1.54 billion. For the first 10 months of 2013, the trade deficit narrowed 6% to $7.22 billion from $7.68 billion a year earlier. Foreign direct investment into the island-nation jumped 42% to $870.1 million in the first nine months of the year, the data showed.

DMK to flag Lanka's alleged war crimes, Katchatheevu island

Dec 3 (PTI) DMK would demand a resolution for an independent inquiry into the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka and raise the issue of retrieving Katchatheevu from Sri Lanka in the winter session of Parliament. Briefing reporters after an all-party meeting convened ahead of the winter session of Parliament here today, DMK Parliamentary leader T R Baalu said his party would also seek a discussion on the outcome of CHOGM summit held recently in Sri Lanka. more..

Video: Govt can only be toppled through the economy - Lakshman Yapa

Dec 3 (AD) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that various inaccurate opinions are being expressed regarding foreign investments in Sri Lanka and that certain forces are operating against such investments. He rejected recent media reports alleging that the development project ‘Katana City,’ a resort city inclusive of casinos, has been granted approval by BoI. “Not even a proposal (for the project) has been accepted,” more..

The Yogarajan Reconciliation Proposal

Dec 4 (NS) Those who lecture Sri Lanka on what is best for the country and the people, claim that accountability and justice are necessary and non-negotiable preconditions for reconciliation. Never mind their moral authority to pontificate there is truth in this position. ‘Forgive-and-forget’ is easy to say but hard to obtain. It is the same for the aggrieved, whether grief arrived in May 2009 or somewhere in the mid-80s for the simple reason that some sorrows can only be laid to rest with any degree of more..

Fishy behavior at Unawatuna

Dec 4 (NS) Unawatuna fish are literally acting fishy, complain local fisher community. The cause could be a breakwater put up between Welle Devala Temple and Bellangala boulder by the Coast Conservation Department. In a letter addressed to the president dated Nov 5, the Unawatuna Peellagoda Fishermen Corporative Society informed that they were forced to change fishing routes, causing potential danger to lives as well as fishing boats and equipment. more..

Batticaloa district, a hub of prosperity

Dec 4 (SO) There is a conducive environment in the Batticaloa district for industrial and tourism sector development with the expansion of road network and other facilities blossoming in the district. The Batticaloa district which remained a ghost city is turning gradually into a hub of prosperity. Major, medium and minor scale development projects have been implemented in the district under the Nagenahira Navodaya more..

Resurrecting the LTTE’s ghost?

Dec 4 (SL) That TNA leader R. Sampanthan made clear the TNA MP Sritharan’s glorification of the LTTE and Prabhakaran in Parliament was not in tune with the party line has to be taken at face-value. It cannot, however, stop the possible resurrection of the LTTE’s ghost in the post-CHOGM permissiveness than any time in the post-war past. A hard-liner who did not always see eye-to-eye with the moderate TNA leadership, Sritharan’s parliamentary speech coincided with more..

Editorial: Cop killers biting the dust

Dec 3 (Island) An underworld figure, known as Ketayam Wasantha, wanted for the killing of a police constable and his wife in Kamburupitya, has died at the hands of the Special Task Force (STF). He is the fourth suspect killed during the last few days. The police say he died in a gun battle. The police seem hell bent on eliminating criminals rather than crime. An Opposition lawmaker has expressed grave concern about the manner in which suspects in police custody get killed. more..

ICC announces 2013 Test and ODI Teams

Dec 3 (WC) The ICC today announced its Test and ODI Teams of the Year, as chosen by a specially appointed selection panel chaired by the ICC’s Cricket Committee chairman and former India captain Anil Kumble. The announcement was made by ICC Chief Executive David Richardson at a media conference in Mumbai, at which Mr Richardson also announced the short-lists for the LG ICC Awards 2013, which will be broadcast more..

CHOGM balance sheet

Dec 4 (CT) One might say it is too early to draw up the balance sheet of the CHOGM held in Colombo between 15th and 17th Nov and other events which were associated with it which the Govt of Sri Lanka claimed were all part of the CHOGM programmme. This is because the results of some of the extraneous events like Commonwealth Investors’ [Business] Forum might take time to gestate and produce results. Many wheels would have to turn before the Investment Forum more..

Land – A Raw Nerve

Dec 4 (CT) Weli Oya was conceived as a northward expansion of the Padaviya Scheme with quasi-military motivation. The spirit in which the Padaviya settlement was done in 1957 and the secretive methods employed had some similarity to Weli Oya in 1984 (see T. Sabaratnam, The Murder of a Moderate, pp.52-60, 85-86). A part of Trincomalee District bordering the North Central Province came at the tail-end of the scheme where 400 allotments were to be given to Tamils who were more..

Beyond Boston with Dr. Thrishantha Nanayakkara

Fertilizer use in plantations and future implications

Dec 3 (DM) It has been said that with the rising incidences of chronic kidney diseases in the agricultural areas of the island, SL govt is taking measures to control the indiscriminate usage of chemical fertilizer and agrochemicals by the farmers. According to the govt, the country is experiencing adverse effects of the use of chemical fertilizer and agrochemicals introduced to increase crop productivity and ensure food security. Although Sri Lanka has become self-sufficient in rice and more..

England and Sri Lanka’s problem – III

Dec 3 (Island) England wants the Sri Lankan govt to appoint a commission to investigate into the crimes during the last two weeks of the humanitarian operations. Both the English PM Cameron and the opposition leaders the Miliband brothers, sons of the late "socialist" Ralph Miliband compete among themselves to help the innocent Tamils to punish the war criminals, who are none other than the President, the Defence Secretary and of course the officers and the soldiers of the SL forces, more..

'Govt misled public on CHOGM cost'

Dec 4 (SL) The JVP has been strongly critical of the govt expenditure towards CHOGM. The party is of the view that the govt spent millions and billions of public money to invite more troubles i.e., international war crimes inquiry, bad publicity and allegations on human rights violations in the country. It has also called out the govt for hoodwinking the public on the real expenses of CHOGM without disclosing the more..

Losing game in Sri Lanka

Dec 3 (Island) PM Manmohan Singh cancelled his Sri Lanka visit for the Commonwealth summit that concluded last week due to political pressure from Tamil parties. Is it a serious diplomatic error on the part of the UPA Govt? Should regional parties decide India’s foreign policy? How will it impact the India-Sri Lanka ties? Why did PM Manmohan Singh choose to stay away from the CHOGM that concluded last week in Colombo? Was it a gesture to save the political fortunes of the Congress more..

Act now or face the consequences

Dec 3 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt reacted angrily to British PM David Cameron’s ultimatum that the failure on its part to initiate what he called a credible investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the Army during the final phase of the offensive on the Vanni east front would prompt him to move the UNHRC, against Sri Lanka in March next year. The British Conservative leader issued the challenge on Nov 16 after having met President Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the CHOGM in Colombo. more..

October exports soar to record $ 1.04 b

Dec 3 (FT) The country’s exports in October have established an all-time record of $ 1.04 billion, whilst overall external sector performance gathered further strength. Central Bank said that the external sector strengthened further with the trade deficit contracting sharply in Oct 2013. Earnings from exports increased to record levels, reflecting the ongoing recovery in the global economy, while expenditure on imports declined. more..

Death of a young woman in Kilinochchi

Dec 4 (GV) On Nov 28, a pregnant mother from Malaiyalapuram in Kilinochchi District died at Jaffna Teaching Hospital. She was 17 and 2/7 weeks pregnant at the time of her death. She had been injected with Jadelle, a Progestogen-only subdermal implant (PODSI), on Sept 7. The deceased, Ms. Manjula Satheeshkumar was 26-years-old. She was married and had one child, a boy. At the time the implant was inserted, Ms. Satheeshkumar was two months pregnant. more..

The Blue Water unveils 40 new luxury suites

Dec 3 (FT) The Blue Water, a property owned and managed by Union Resorts Ltd, opened its new wing consisting of 40 Luxury Suites, under the patronage of Minister Basil Rajapaksa and at the invitation of Union Resorts Chairman Ajith Wijeyesekera on 30 Nov. The new wing consists of a Presidential Suite and 39 suites designed by Architect Channa Daswatte and Project Architect Sumudu Athukorala. All 40 suites over look the spectacular Indian Ocean. more..

Lanka - Korea joint research on oral cancer

Dec 4 (IL) Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea recently organized a ceremony to support Sri Lanka in oral cancer research. Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers prevalent in Sri Lankan patients. Unfortunately, the prognosis of the cancer is poor and leads to high morbidity and mortality rates. Despite these facts, research in this field is inadequate due to the lack of infrastructure facilities that would help promote more..