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Indo – Sri Lanka FTA: Myths and realities

Sep 1 (LG) This article is written in recognizing the numerous opinions floating around in Sri Lanka in respect of the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India. Most of the public discussions and paper articles on CEPA, which we see today, are either based on personal or political sentiments or absolute analysis of numerical figures. more..

An opportunity to engage with the Tamil diaspora

Sep 1 (LG) The Sri Lankan diaspora broadly defined consists of all those who have left the shores of Sri Lanka. Some of them have gone abroad only for a short time, such as the migrant workers in the Middle East. But others have been in their adopted lands for over a hundred years, such as those in Malaysia. The Sri Lankan diaspora covers all its communities, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers. more..

Gota visits and assesses security of Mannar

Sep 1 (LG) The Secretary of Defence, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksha, accompanied by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Donald Perera and the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, visited Mannar last Saturday, 30th August 2008, in order to assess the security situation in the area. The itinerary of the visit comprised of visiting and assessing security condition of the area under North Central Naval Command. more..

'Trying ladders for jumping monkeys'

Sep 1 (LG) There is a Sinhala saying which states “PANINA RILAWUNTA INIMANG BANDINAWA WAGE”, a literal translation whereof would be “LIKE TYING LADDERS FOR JUMPING MONKEYS”. This saying comes to mind when considering the violence that one has now, most regrettably, been compelled to get accustomed to in the run up to, and often during any election for about the last 35 years [i.e ever since the Dedigama By-Election of 1973], more..

A President for war, and a President for peace?

Sep 1 (LG) Whatever the physical and psychological damage on the ground, the LTTE air-strike on Trincomallee may have rubbed on and spoilt the party for the ruling combine, at the height of the twin Provincial Council poll victories in North-Central and Sabaragamuva. This is the second time in the past months - earlier one being the attack on navy ship 'Invincible' - that the LTTE has taken the battle to the East where one was told it had ended. more..

Runs galore as Sri Lanka dominate

Sep 1 (CI) On a day dominated by the bat, Sri Lanka A seized a 181-run lead over their South African counterparts, with five wickets still remaining in their first innings. Resuming on 251 for 2, overnight centurion Tharanga Paranavitana took the score to 374 along with Angelo Mathews before he was out caught-behind off medium-pacer CJ de Villiers for 159. South Africa, though, once again had to wait a while for the next wicket, as Mathews and Thilina Kandamby put on a century stand. more..

Sri Lanka port has reclamation option for industry: expert

Sep 1 (LBO) Colombo port could reclaim land in shallow waters near the Sri Lankan capital city for industry and move containers by rail to avoid congestion as it expands the harbour, an expert says. Don Wootton, regional director, Scott Wilson, a firm of consultants advising the government on expanding its ports, said Colombo has an opportunity to emerge as a port city like other maritime centres. more..

Understanding electoral results in Sri Lanka: Beyond winners and losers

Sep 1 (GV) The UPFA claimed its second consecutive provincial electoral victory on the 24th of August by winning a clear majority of seats in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Province. This election was more competitive than the previous Eastern Provincial Council election, where the government managed to get the Tamil and Muslim votes by their crafty handling of Pillayan and Hisbulla. more..

LTTE hindering safe passage to civilians: Colombo

Sep 1 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s military on Sunday claimed at least 30 LTTE cadre were killed and scores others injured in continued battles in the north in the past 48 hours. The claim came amid growing concern over the fate of civilians trapped in the war zone. For some days now, the Air Force has been dropping leaflets in the LTTE-controlled areas pledging government support for the safety and shelter of civilians. more..

Mahela: Indians give up easily

Sep 1 (Hindu) Sri Lanka lost their first ever home ODI series against India but their skipper Mahela Jayawardene said his side could not be nailed for lacking fighting spirit. Jayawaredene even went on to say that his boys were better than the Indians, when it comes to handling pressure situation. “I don’t think we could be criticised for lacking fighting spirit. Even when we were losing we were fighting. I think the Indians tend to probably give up a bit too easily,” more..

Is the LTTE losing its propaganda war in Italy?

Sep 1 (AT) Recently, Hemantha Warnakulasuriya, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Italy, had the occasion to meet Rev.Ignazio Romesh Seimon, who is a member of the Benedictine Monastic Community in the Papal Basilica of St. Paul's out side the Walls (Vatican extra territory) in Rome, Italy. He had paid a visit to the Embassy to personally meet the Ambassador and to appeal to him about certain misconceptions that most visitors mainly from all parts of Italy and the rest of the world had expressed about Tamils. more..

New comers may receive ministerial portfolios

Sep 1 (AT) Elected members of the Sabaragamuwa and the North Central Provincial councils will sworn in as Provincial Councilors within this week and the General Secretary of the SLFP Maithreepala Sirisena said former Chief Ministers namely Berty Premalal Dissanayake and Maheepala Herath would be appointed as the Chief Ministers of the respective provincial councils. However UNP is still on discussions to select their Opposition Leaders. more..

The vicious agenda of BBC Sinhala service

Sep 1 (AT) From the time the BBC Sinhala service came under Vasantharajah in 80s to date, the contents of its reports on political and war related issues have been supportive of separatist agenda of the racists. In fact, bankrupt leftists, LTTE spokespersons and members of the NGO mafia in Sri Lanka prominently figure in the program even though the vast majority of the Sinhala speaking listeners do not condone separatism. more..

Public 'prevented' poll violence

Sep 1 (BBC) Election violence was drastically reduced on the polling day as a result of public reacting to pre-poll violence, a monitoring body said. Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said the violent incidents were much less than the pre-poll violence on 23 August. “This did not happen automatically. CaFFE observes that the response of the people against violence and the manner in which various sections of the community reacted to the atrocious pre-election situation more..

Machan screened in Venice

Sep 1 (BBC) A film which was premier this weekend at the Venice Film Festival is one of the few international co-productions ever made in Sri Lanka. Machan is based on the true story of a group of Sri Lankans who travelled to Germany on the pretext of taking part in a sports tournament but who were in fact seeking to emigrate. Four years ago the film producer Uberto Pasolini spotted a news item which led him to make Machan in and around Colombo. more..

SAARC-BIMSTEC link could help realise pious goals

Sep 1 (AT) If Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama had the time he might have expanded on a brief remark he made at the just concluded 10th ministerial session of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi- Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) in New Delhi. In the course of his address to BIMSTEC which he was attending for the first time, Minister Bogollagama dealt with technical cooperation between member states, the scourge of terrorism and more..

Bandaranayake and the SLFP lives only with change

Sep 1 (AT) Fifty seven years ago this day, late Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranayake created history by founding a political party that was destined to change the course of our socio- economic path for almost two decades and leave a social thinking that even today is held valid by the South and the Sinhala society. Forming of the SLFP brought together a different social layer of our rural society into active politics that had not more..

Surge in civilian unrest against LTTE: Tigers resort to 'Humanitarian Catastrophe'

Sep 1 (LG) A surge of civilian unrest against LTTE is imminent informed sources at Wanni said citing separate incidents reported from the non-liberated Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu districts recently. The news comes in the midst of a probable fall of the LTTE dictatorship in the Northern and Wanni region following the continuation of humanitarian operations by the armed forces. more..

War and displacement!

Sep 1 (LG) The number of displaced people has been increasing day by day following the military operations, artillery attacks and air raids. UN agencies have reported that a tragic situation has arisen and an additional 3000 families could be displaced. It is revealed that 18,970 families comprising 74,119 people have been displaced since June this year. The total number of people displaced in Killinochchi including these people has gone beyond 134,000. more..

Deprival of franchise of the upcountry people!

Sep 1 (LG) The upcountry parties are engaged in a postmortem examination regarding their defeat at the recent provincial council elections. It is clear that the election results have reflected the feelings and the voices of the Upcountry people. They have expressed frustration over the conduct of their leadership. They feel that the upcountry parties do not appreciate the aspirations of their people. more..

Troops enter Mallavi area

Sep 1 (GDI) Infantry, armour and artillery formations of the Army's 57 Division have overrun LTTE forward defences and reportedly entered into general area Mallavi in the Mullaittivu district following fierce fighting since Sunday morning, according to defence sources. Troops gained control over key LTTE outposts in the area and are now positioned strategically in anticipation of the probable fall of the garrison township despite heavy resistance from LTTE, sources added. more..

'Humanitarian Corridor' set up for civilians to escape LTTE terror

Sep 1 (GDI) The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has taken swift measures to establish a "Safe Corridor" so that civilians trapped in uncleared areas can escape to safe ground. Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinge while welcoming the move of the MoD said that the overriding interest of the Government was to ensure the safety and security of conflict-affected civilians who were being invited to seek the protection of the security forces in cleared areas in Vavuniya. more..

Belgium relaxes travel sanctions to Sri Lanka

Sep 1 (GDI) An earlier Travel Advisory imposed on Belgium travellers to Sri Lanka advising against non-essential travel to Sri Lanka was has been revised on Saturday. The new Advisory allows tour operations from Belgium to market Sri Lanka extensively for the coming winter season. The revised Advisory however restricts travel to the North and East only. Similar relaxation is expected from other European nations as well, officials state.

'People of Jaffna are with us'

Sep 1 (GDI) Elaborating on the current developments in the Jaffna peninsula, Commander of the Security Forces, Jaffna, G.A. Chandrasiri said that the number of LTTE operatives in the District has dropped drastically and that these cadres are engaged in disruptive activates to break the peaceful environment in the region. Commander Chandrasiri said that the Security Forces have taken effective measures to protect the civilians from the "Hide and Wait" attacks launched by the terrorists in the peninsula. more..

A Tragedy waiting to happen

Sep 1 (PISL) The recent report of a claymore explosion that damaged a car belonging to an NGO working in the Vanni, and injured its driver, should focus our attention on the background to a factor used to criticize the Sri Lankan government forcefully over the last couple of years. I refer to the sufferings of aid workers in Sri Lanka, the most publicized case being that of the 17 ACF staff killed in Muttur in August 2006. more..

Sangakkara to undergo finger surgery

Sep 1 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan batsman, is set to undergo surgery on his right index finger in Australia. Sangakkara played through the recently concluded three-Test and five-ODI home series against India nursing the injury. David Young, an Australian orthopaedic surgeon who also treated Sri Lankan bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga, confirmed Sangakkara will fly out to Australia in a week where more..

Indians gave up easily under pressure - Jayawardene

Sep 1 (CI) Despite losing the one-day series to India - their first-ever bilateral series defeat against them on home soil - Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, felt his side handled the pressure situations better, saying the Indians at times gave up a little too easily. Sri Lanka failed to carry on their good form from the Tests, which they won 2-1. After thrashing India in the first one-dayer in Dambulla, they went on to lose the next three before more..

Constitutional Council is a must for good governance- Justice Marsoof

Sep 1 (LeN) "In the absence of a properly Constituted Constitutional Council, elections are now held without the salutary oversight of the independent Elections Commission sought to be established by the said Amendment, and major appointments to the public service and the judiciary are made without complying with the mandatory provisions of the constitution." Supreme court Justice Sleem Marsoof expressed there views in making more..

Premier don't abuse Upahara

Sep 1 (LNP) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka has urged public servants not to abuse the recently launched communications package Upahara designed to provide mobile phones to state sector employees and pensioners. Addressing the media at Waters Edge Saturday night, he emphasised that they should not talk over their phones endlessly. `Like us politicians, you, too, are paid by the taxpayer. If you hang on to a phone, you ll have no time to work,` he said, more..

A catalogue of hypocrisy and sinister motives

Sep 1 (LNP) The moment someone is put behind a counter, Albert Camus has said, he or she begins to put on airs and graces. That is what authority does to nincompoops sans any achievement. They, when placed in a position of authority, throw their weight about, given half a chance in a bid to nurse their massive egos. The same goes for some hoity-toity types in foreign diplomatic missions in this country and their local acolytes. more..

Sri Lanka Army releases HSZ land in Jaffna

Sep 1 (LNP) The army has released a section of the High Security Zone (HSZ) situated in Ariyalai east between railway tracks and the Kandy-Jaffna A9 road. Army headquarters has authorised the release of 103 acres of cultivable paddy fields on the recommendation of Jaffna Commander Major General G. A. Chandrasiri. Inter-Agency Standing Committee which represents all INGOs including UN agencies has confirmed the release of land in its latest bulletin. more..

Polls for 5 PCs in March 2009

Sep 1 (SAMN) The government has decided to hold elections for the five remaining Provincial Councils (PC) after their terms end and as per the schedule prepared by the Election Commissioner. Healthcare and Nutrition Minister, Nimal Siripala de Silva said Sunday the elections would be held in March 2009 as the government has fixed the first reading of the budget on November 8 and budget debate up to December 8. more..

NFF to urge President to appoint APC

Sep 1 (SAMN) The National Freedom Front (NFF) will send a letter of reminder to President Mahinda Rajapaksa today renewing its appeal to appoint an ‘All Party Committee’ (APC) to look into the issues of people displaced in the Wanni region. NFF President MP Wimal Weerawansa said Sunday his party had earlier sent a letter to the President making this request, but there had been no positive response so far. more..

Electricity supply for 58 villages

Sep 1 (SAMN) A programme to provide electricity to 58 villages in 20 divisional secretariat areas in Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts has been launched by the Southern Provincial Ministry of Power and Energy. Arrangements have already been made to install transformers in 14 villages to extend the power supply. Funds amounting Rs. 29.5 million have been reserved to implement rural electrification schemes in the Galle district, more..

SL envisioned as maritime hub

Sep 1 (SAMN) A recent study, one among a galaxy of studies on the South Asian transportation, shows that if inland connectivity in the region is developed, Sri Lanka could play the role of the region’s maritime hub, and all countries stood to gain. This is according to a working paper published by the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) of India, titled ‘Restoring Afghanistan-Pakistan-India-Bangladesh-Myanmar (APIBM) Corridor: Towards a New Silk Route in Asia. more..

No CMC grounds for meetings

Sep 1 (SAMN) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) had decided not to lend the Town Hall grounds to any function such as musical shows, conferences, political meetings. It would be given only to hold meetings and other functions when President Mahinda Rajapaksa attends. This decision has been taken by the council taking into consideration the prevailing security situation of the country. A motion on the matter was passed at the monthly sessions of the CMC on Friday. more..

Outdated platelets: Probe on at A'pura Hospital

Sep 1 (DN) A special team investigating the alleged use of outdated platelet kits in blood transfusions in Government hospitals detected 30 such kits from the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital yesterday. Anuradhapura Hospital authorities have despatched this stock to the Blood Transfusion Centre in Colombo when they were found outdated. Blood Transfusion Centre officials have not accepted this stock and returned them to the hospital. more..

Rs. 10,400 million for three major irrigation projects

Sep 1 (DN) An estimated sum of Rs. 10,400 million has been allocated by the Government for three major irrigation projects for Wayamba, Southern and Eastern Provinces which are at present under way. It is expected to successfully complete these major irrigational projects at the end of 2010. Under this massive irrigational development projects the Deduru-Oya scheme for Wayamba, the Rambaken-Oya scheme for the East and the Menik-Ganga scheme for south will be irrigated. more..

SL to push for road connectivity with India

Sep 1 (Island) Sri Lanka is keen to commence operations on linking the country’s road network with that of India, the Chairman of the National Transport Commission, Prof. Amal Kumarage, said. Addressing the First South Asia Economic Summit last week, he said that the government would make its proposals to India when the region’s transport ministers meet later this year to take forward the declaration coming out of the 15th SAARC Leaders’ Summit to boost the regions connectivity through transport. more..

Uncertain political climate dooms tourism expansion

Sep 1 (Island) The SAARC Region has it all. Everything Western and Eastern tourists could wish for. But the industry floundered as never before, said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Renton de Alwis, delivering the key note address at the South Asia Economic Summit in Colombo last week. Parallel Sessions concentrated on promoting Tourism in South Asia. more..

Creeping Cobras cause pandemonium in bus

Sep 1 (DM) There was pandemonium in a Colombo bound bus from Kalawellawa, in Matugama in the early hours of yesterday, due to two unexpected commuters who had joined the journey. The unwelcome commuters were two huge cobras that crept out from under a seat frightening the passengers. Seeing the two cobras, the passengers had panicked and rushed to the exit and the entrance of the bus while some had jumped out of the windows. more..

JVP MP deported from Japan

Sep 1 (DM) A JVP parliamentarian has been deported from Japan after being detained and questioned at the Japanese airport by officials, well informed sources told Daily Mirror. The MP together with another party official had reportedly been questioned on Friday for several hours, among other issues, on the purpose of their visit to Japan. Subsequently the MP was deported while the other JVP member was permitted to proceed with his visit to Japan. more..

Wasantha Samarasinghe back as MP?

Sep 1 (LD) The JVP has unofficially requested the UPFA to reappoint to parliament Wasantha Samarasinghe, who had resigned from his MP position to contest polls for the North Central Provincial Council, a senior minister says. Speaking to ‘Lanka Dissent’, the minister said that Chairman of the UPFA and Secretary of the National Freedom Font, Nandana Gunatillake has asked that a member of his party be appointed to the post vacated by Mr. Samarasinghe. more..

LMD journalism & ethics questioned

Sep 1 (LD) The media is also to be blamed for glorifying corrupt entities and persons, said Amrit Muttukumaru, a public interest activist speaking to ‘Lanka Dissent’ on the business magazine LMD which is specially named in his letter sent to TI. In a letter addressed to Mr. Jermyn Brooks, the head of the Global Private Sector Programmes under Transparency International, Mr. Muttukumaru says, “The damning findings of COPE vis-à-vis the LMSL and SLIC divestitures reported to Parliament by its more..

Body of slain maid sent to Colombo

Sep 1 (AN) The body of a Sri Lankan housemaid found dead in the desert 10 months ago was finally repatriated to Colombo on Saturday night. “The body of Ihalagedarage Dayawathie, 28, was found by the police in the desert in Al-Jouf on Oct. 21 last year,” a Sri Lankan Embassy official told Arab News. The body had decomposed. The official said the authorities subsequently arrested the maid’s sponsor, Hamdan Ruwaishid, and his wife, Maryam bint Sadook, for the murder. more..

'Sri Lanka's EU GSP benefits could to be renewed'

Sep 1 (LBO) The European Union (EU) could renew Sri Lanka's GSP+ trade concessions but then put pressure on the government to improve its human rights record, a US trade law expert said Monday. Kevin Kennedy, a professor of law at the Michigan State University in the USA, said the EU may extend the concessions under which Sri Lanka's exports clothing duty free to European markets in a 'carrot and stick' approach. more..

Shares unmoved after after poors of select blue-chips

Sep 1 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares dipped slightly in thin trade on Monday with the handful of active investors shedding blue chip stocks after their poor performance this quarter. The Colombo All-Share index .CSE edged down 0.46 points or 0.02 percent to 2,408.18, its second straight fall. "The market is taking a breath after lower-than-expected corporate earnings from the main companies," more..

Sri Lankan military says 37 killed in new fighting

Sep 1 (AP) Sri Lankan troops closed in on a rebel-controlled town in the north Monday as fighting in the nation's civil war killed 32 guerrillas and five soldiers. Fighting between the two sides has escalated in recent months as government officials vowed to crush the Tamil Tiger rebels and military forces pushed northward, deep into rebel-held territory. Troops were closing in Monday from the south and west on the town of Mallavi, which lies along an important road in the north, more..

Bomb hoax at Consulate

Sep 1 (Hindu) Police security has been stepped up at the Sri Lankan Consulate in Chennai following a hoax bomb threat on Saturday night. A G Mourya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Mylapore), said that the traffic police wing in Guindy, around 8. 30 p.m, received an anonymous threat over telephone about some bomb planted inside the Sri Lankan consulate on T T K Road, Alwarpet. “A thorough inspection was conducted on the consulate premises. more..