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Repugnant fillip (Sri Lanka)

July 1 (Himal) Mahinda Rajapakse has had a good few months. First, he resoundingly defeated the LTTE, ending a war that had raged for almost three decades. Then, just as calls for an international investigation into his government’s excesses during the final days of fighting were gaining strength, the United Nations essentially gave him a clean sheet. On 27 May, during a special session called to discuss Sri Lanka, the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) passed a resolution praising Colombo’s war policy, and more..

Twenty 20 Championship: Well done, Sri Lanka

July 1 (TC) The Sri Lankan squad had a wonderful tournament, though the gloss was reduced by their comprehensive loss to Pakistan at the final hurdle. This disappointment should not be permitted to deny striking successes: (a) the comprehensive victories they secured over Australia (one of the favourites), West Indies (twice) and Pakistan in earlier rounds; and (b) the selection of Tillekeratne Dilshan as Player of the Tournament. more..

Pakistanis fail to capitalise on fine start

July 1 (CI) Pakistan got some valuable batting practice on the second day of their practice game against Sri Lanka Cricket XI, with openers Khurram Manzoor and Salman Butt both scoring half-centuries. Three wickets towards the end of day's play pegged the tourists back, as the Pakistan middle order failed to drive home the advantage after a great start. SLC XI started the day at 278 for 3, and added 67 to their overnight total to declare on 345 for 5. more..

Sri Lanka carves out economic zone for China

July 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka granted Chinese companies a separate economic zone on the island which has just ended nearly four decades of ethnic bloodshed. China's Huichen Investment Holdings Limited will manage and bring new investments into the Mirigama zone, some 55 kilometers north of Colombo, for a period of 33 years, officials said. Over the next three-years, Huichen will invest 28 million dollars to develop roads, power and sewerage facilities in the zone, more..

Sri Lanka says will boost size of post-war armed forces

July 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to add at least 50,000 people to its security forces to help control territory won back from Tamil Tiger separatists in the 25-year war that ended in May, the government said on Tuesday. The move could further complicate the country's efforts to get an International Monetary Fund loan seen as an important sign of foreign support and a boost for its economy and markets. more..

'Playing as a batsman a bigger challenge'

July 1 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene has said Sri Lanka's home series against Pakistan from Saturday will be a bigger challenge for him after giving up the team's captaincy early this year because he now wants to push himself "to the limit" as a batsman. Jayawardene has discussed his new role with Kumar Sangakkara, his successor, and will focus on holding Sri Lanka's batting together and improve its disappointing home record against Pakistan. more..

JHU 'will not leave' Govt.

July 1 (BBC) A senior leader of Sri Lanka's government says, he is confident that a key coalition partner will not leave the government despite a threat by a Sinhala nationalist party. Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) will leave the coalition if the government fully implements the 13 amendment to the constitution, a senior JHU leader warned. more..

Rains raise fears of malaria setback

July 1 (IRIN) Health experts warn that the arrival of monsoon rains in July could increase the risk of waterborne diseases for tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps in northern Sri Lanka. More than 280,000 people who fled fighting between government forces and the now defeated LTTE are staying in some 35 government camps in four northern districts - Vavuniya, Mannar, Jaffna and Trincomalee. more..

New PE firm says Sri Lanka is Cinderella story of Asia

July 1 (WSJ) Private equity investors wax poetic about Asia, but for the most part, by Asia, they mean established economies like Japan, or up-and-comers like China or India. Sri Lanka tends to be an area that gets a lot less focus, but one firm, Singapore-based Calamander Capital Ltd., hopes to change that. Calamander, headed by Chairman Roman Scott, is looking to raise $150 million to invest in the South Asian island nation. more..

Security tight for Pakistan's tour

July 1 (BBC) Just a week after Pakistan beat their South Asian friends and rivals, the Sri Lankans, in the Twenty20 World Cup final at Lord's cricket ground in the UK, they have embarked on a tour of the island which will take in three test matches and five one-day internationals culminating in a Twenty20 finale. Because of the militant attack on Sri Lanka as they toured Pakistan last March, security is a big issue. more..

Sri Lanka: winning the war on two fronts

July 1 (LM) When television channels across the globe began beaming visuals of Velupillai Prabhakaran’s body on 19 May, there was shock first and then, disbelief. Dressed in battle fatigues, his dog tag and his favourite revolver still on him, Prabhakaran’s skull was partially blown off, his eyes wide open even in death. Was he surprised? Shocked? Or simply frozen in fear when death came? No one will know for sure the exact circumstances under which he was killed. more..

President pledges to protect nation freed by brave Armed Forces

July 1 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today pledged to protect and safeguard the nation freed by gallant troops and stressed that he would not allow anyone to disturb the freed country again."I will uphold and execute all what is contained in the 'Mahinda Chintana' with sacrifice', the President asserted. The President made these observations addressing the newly appointed SLFP Organisers and District Organisers more..

"Govt. turning peoples sacrifices to win war into nightmare and hopes into despair"

July 1 (LG) It is a pity that people are increasingly beginning to realize that the end of the war after all is not reaping for them the benefits they expected and deserved despite the monumental sacrifices they made and sufferings they faced when the Government during the war went on ruthlessly imposing hardships on them by taxation , price hikes, tariff hikes and soaring cost of living burdens while taking refuge under the war expenditure. more..

'Elections are held to extend hegemony of the family'

July 1 (LT) The government instead of establishing economic development and good governance in the country after defeating terrorism holds elections to extend the hegemony of the family of those who are in power says JVP MP Vijithe Herath. He said, “After the war that continued for nearly three decades ended the people expected the government to establish the economy, development and good governance. more..

Govt allows elderly refugees leave camps for relatives

July 1 (Xinhua) Some 9,000 IDPs camped in northern Sri Lanka who are 60 years old or above will be allowed to leave the camps and join their relatives, the police said Tuesday. They are to be released to the care of their relatives who are living outside the camps after a due documentation process. "We have identified about 9,000 of them and they will be allowed to leave camps and be with their relatives," more..

Sri Lanka appoints a career diplomat to head its only mission in Latin America

July 1 (AT) Sri Lanka appoints for the first time a career diplomat to head its Embassy in Brazil. Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Brazil is the country’s only diplomatic outpost in the Latin America and already the Ambassador designate A. M. J. Sadiq has left for Brasilia to head the country’s mission. After the opening up of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Brazil, General Rohan de S. Daluwatte, former army commander was its first Ambassador. more..

LTTE: Comeback Trail

July 1 (AT) The distance between the IDP sheltered in the camps in search of a new life and the Externally Displaced Diaspora engaged in a self determining exercise of rediscovering themselves while competing with fractions within the fractured LTTE in exile, is a bridge too far to cross. Both are presently homeless and in search of identities. IDPs have a home to go back; but the Diaspora once hopeful of welcome return for the prodigal sons by the LTTE, will have no welcoming team on arrival in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka’s judiciary: Politicised courts, compromised rights

July 1 (ICG) Sri Lanka’s judiciary is failing to protect constitutional and human rights. Rather than assuaging conflict, the courts have corroded the rule of law and worsened ethnic tensions. Rather than constraining militarisation and protecting minority rights, a politicised bench under the just-retired chief justice has entrenched favoured allies, punished foes and blocked compromises with the Tamil minority. more..

Charity funds are sacred - Father Jeyanesan must submit his accounts

July 1 (SLW) Father Sellathurai Jeyanesan gets a third of what VeAhavta in the US raises as donations to charity and his US colleague Eric Parkinson, an attorney, gets two-thirds for operating this charity founded by him in 2001. It is claimed this charity is one of the few NGOs functioning in Sri Lanka to provide aid to those affected by the war claiming that more than 300,000 people are being held in detention camps against their will. more..

Criminal gangs and the failure to invest in the administration of justice

July 1 (AHRC) About a hundred criminals have been shot dead either in gun battles with the police or in mysterious circumstances like trying to attack police officers, even when handcuffed. This was revealed in an article published in the Sunday Lakbimanews, written by Gayan Kumara Weerasinghe. The article goes on to enumerate many criminal gangs operating around Colombo. These are the Farji gang, the Anamalu Imtiaz gang, the Diga Faizer gang, the Baiyya gang and more..

World Refugee Day 2009

New Committee of all parties set up under President

July 1 (BL) In the latest development in creating a conducive environment for finding a political solution to the ethnic issue the new Development and Reconciliation Committee, comprised of representatives of all parties was set up with President Mahinda Rajapaksa as its chair. Even though the specific functions of the Committee were not immediately available the appointment follows hot on the heels of two political parties, namely the JHU and NFF, being vociferous in their condemnation of the APRC. more..

Minor floods in Ratnapura: DMC

July 1 (BL) The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) reported yesterday that there was danger of low lying areas of the Kalu Ganga being flooded, particularly in Ratnapura. This is due to upper areas of the river being deluge with over 120mm of rain, prompting the warning. The people have been cautioned and relevant officials have been notified. Water levels had reached 19 feet by evening as well. more..

TNA to shun pro-LTTE and pro-Govt. MPs?

July 1 (BL) The TNA is to decide on the fate of four of its Parliamentarians, who have failed to be present for Parliament sessions for the last three months. The TNA is to decide the future of four of its members- S. Jayananthamurthi from Batticaloa, Selvam Addaikalanathan from Vanni, Selvarajah Kajendran and M K Sivajilingam from Jaffna, who have failed to present themselves in Parliament during the last three months, allegedly due to security threats to their lives. more..

Sri Lanka can do it says Akashi

July 1 (BL) Japan’s Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi last night called on all Sri Lankans to draw strength from its greatness to overcome challenges in the highly favourable post-war era. “I am not aware of any other developing country that has faced such a dire challenge and emerged with significant results,” Akashi said commenting on the Government’s response to the humanitarian crisis in the North at a premier business forum yesterday. more..

The I.D.P. Experience: Do I know what it means?

July 1 (DBS) Hello Friends, The troubles and travails faced by the displaced civilian population of the Northern mainland, Wanni is indeed a tragedy of our times. I have in the past written extensively about the Wanni civilians who lived in tiger-controlled territory and described them as the wretched of the Wanni earth. These people are now uprooted from their homes and compelled to live as “Internally Displaced Persons” in various camps described as welfare centers. more..

Arrests made over acid attack on Sri Lankans

July 1 (AAP) Police say they've made a breakthrough arrest over an acid attack on two Sri Lankan students in Sydney. At least five men forced their way into a home on Alexandra Avenue at Westmead about midnight (AEST) on May 17, police said. They allegedly assaulted Jayasri Watawala, 22, and Chathuika Weerasinghe, 27, throwing acid over the pair, leaving them severely burned. The attack came just hours after two brawls between more..

Be ready to admit Lankan refugee kids, Indian schools told

July 1 (TOI) Readying government schools for the children of Sri Lankan refugees, school education secretary M Kutralingam has written to various departments for permission. According to S C Chandrahasan, treasurer, Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR), there could be an influx of students later if conditions did not improve in the camps for the war-displaced in the island nation. more..

Sri Lanka revives draconian law to gag media

July 1 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government has revived legislation that vests the Sri Lanka Press Council, a statutory body, with broad powers to restrict the media and punish offending journalists and publishers with fines and imprisonment. The law was first enacted in 1973 by the coalition government of Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike amid a deep economic crisis and widespread social discontent. more..

JHU likely to harm the quest of peace in Sri Lanka

July 1 (SLW) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) threatens to pull out over the 13th amendment claiming that is a threat to the unitary status of Sri Lanka. This highly contentious observation reeks of racism and reflects on the JHU as a political group that can cause much harm to Sri Lanka. This country has gone through a hell of a nightmare ever since 1956 and we have just ended a civil war all because terrorism hijacked the ethnic crisis and nearly damned the whole country. more..

LTTE mercenary army suffered the worst defeat

July 1 (LG) Now the thirty year old war in the North and East of the country is over. The whole country is indebted to the President for the achievement of this historic victory. Throughout this war he had shown the world that he was a leader with a vision-oriented mission, though there were critics to disrupt his work. It has been said by that eminent historian Dr. Senarath Paranavithana: "Had there been no Vijaya Baha I, there would have been no Singhalese today." more..

Opposing parties should place alternative to 13th Amendment

July 1 (PSM) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU)'s threat to pull out from the govt. and the opposition of the JVP and its splinter group JNP over the 13th amendment claiming that is a threat to the unitary status of Sri Lanka can cause much harm to the fragile peace in Sri Lanka, political analysts say. Sri Lanka has gone through over 50 years of a nightmare ever since 1956 and we have just ended a civil war all because terrorism hijacked the ethnic crisis and nearly damned the whole country. more..

The solution (Part IV)

July 1 (LG) It is unfortunate that a series of weekly articles each confined to about 1300 words on a single theme cannot be written as invariably there would be distracting snippets by "distinguished" and respected" "scholars" and others that need immediate responses. This series on the solution has to give some space this week to respond to Dr. H. L. Seneviratne who is respected by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka. more..

Coal power plants to reduce power tariff

July 1 (GDI) The cost of electricity would be reduced with the establishment of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, Minister of Power and Energy W. D. J. Seneviratne said at a special media briefing in connection with the launching of Phase Two and Three of the coal power plant. He pointed out that Phase Two was scheduled to be completed by year 2012. “There is speculation today that the electricity charges are very high. more..

Mobile office program for NICs to voters in Southern Province

July 1 (GDI) The Government has decided to conduct mobile office in the Southern Province with a target of issuing National Identity Cards (NICs) to all those persons within the province who have attained 18 years of age. The purpose of this program is to provide facilities to residents in all Grama Niladhari division in southern province whose names are listed in the Election Register of 2008 but have not obtained the NIC as yet and those who have lost their NICs to obtain NICs. more..

Ministry of Public Administration mobile service in Vavuniya

July 1 (GDI) The Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs will conduct a mobile service at the Vavuniya Tamil Maha Vidyalaya on July 11 and 12. The mobile service will address issues with regard to national identity cards, land, driving licenses, pass ports, birth certificates and any other relevant matters of public interest. The Presidential Task Force entrusted in Resettlement, Development and Security of the North coordinates the mobile service more..

Government’s first priority to re-settle IDPs

July 1 (GDI) The Government’s first priority would be the resettlement of the displaced now accommodated in welfare centers in the north. Some political parties had criticized the government over the proposed implementation of the 13th Amendment. They should realize that the government’s main task at the moment was to resettle the displaced, Defence spokesman; Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told more..

'President is a successful leader'

July 1 (GDI) Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene addressing a press conference today (01) said that the President’s home grown solution to the war was not only extremely successful, but also appreciated and emulated by many other countries. A multitude of military experts, politicians, economists and other professionals echoed a win over the LTTE is unimaginable. more..

All in place to pay homage to Our Lady of Madhu

July 1 (GDI) Catholics will celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Madhu on August 15 under state patronage and all arrangements have been made to hold the "Annual Madhu Feast" on a grand scale and the annual flag hoisting day will be held on the 6th of next month. The feast will be held on the 16th. Around 400 thousand devotees are expected at this year’s festival. Security in the area has been strengthened. more..

Sri Lanka supports Indian Ocean free trade

July 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka has welcomed the initiatives taken to promote trade and investment among member states of an Indian Ocean regional grouping, the foreign affairs ministry said in a statement. It was issued after a council of ministers of member state of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) in Sana’a, Yemen. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hussain Bhaila who led the Sri Lanka delegation to the conference called for a Preferential Trade Arrangement in the IOR-ARC. more..

No single standpoint in UPFA; Some are duped by opposition – Dulles

July 1 (LT) There are various views in the UPFA, he considers it an advantage for a good governance and certain individuals in the opposition are trying to artificially bring the dead forces of separatism on to the stage says Minister Dulles Allahapperuma. He said he would ask the opposition not to make jealousy a political theory and added that certain individuals in the government are being manipulated by the opposition. more..

Begin ‘Mathata thitha’ from the cabinet

July 1 (LT) The President should give an example to the country by beginning his ‘Mathata Thitha’ (halt to alcoholism and drug abuse) programme from his cabinet says UNP Parliamentarian for Ratnapura District Ms. Thalatha Athukorala. Ms. Athukarala said the government that carries out a wide propaganda for the ‘Mathata Thitha’ programme has issued a large number of licenses between 2004 and 2009 to open new wine stores throughout the island and more..

Tax for gas up – another increase in prices?

July 1 (LT) The government has decided to levy a tax of Rs.5.00 from every kilogram of gas sold by companies in Sri Lanka. According to Shell Company the new tax would be implemented from today. Earlier the government levied a tax of Rs.26.50 for each kilogram of gas sold and with the new amendment this tax would be Rs.31.50 per kilogram of gas. Shell Company states the companies are not worried about increase in taxes as they are able to recover this tax from the consumer. more..

'More Prabakarans will be ceated if police powers given to North'

July 1 (LT) Creation of another Prabakaran cannot be ruled out if police and land powers are given to the North says Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Janaka Bandara Tennekone. In an interview with ‘Lakbima’ newspaper yesterday (30th) Minister Tennekone said, “If Prabakaran had police powers while he was living he would not have stopped at nothing. Hence, it is very necessary to think carefully about granting police powers to the North. more..

'Let CPC sell gas to consumers'

July 1 (LT) The JVP has asked Minister of Petroleum & Petroleum Resources Development A. H. M. Fowzie to make available gas from Ceylon Petroleum Corporation at a cheaper rate instead of selling its gas to private companies. A letter sent by JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake states, “I hope you admit that the privatization process carried out in the petroleum sector has brought about a big loss to the state and inconvenience specially to the consumers. more..

SriLankan - thrice weekly flights to Tokyo

July 1 (LNP) SriLankan Airlines has made flying to Japan easier with three direct non-stop flights to Tokyo every week from Colombo. SriLankan s flights now operate on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. All three flights depart the Bandaranaike International Airport at 11:40 p.m. and touch down at Tokyo s Narita Airport at 11:50 a.m. the next day. The return flights are via a short stop in Male. more..

Taedium vitae of the Saffrons

July 1 (LNP) One day, a beast of burden happened to defecate while lumbering along a rivulet downstream. Moments later, it was surprised to find itself being overtaken by its own dung. `How come what should be behind me is going ahead of me?` the poor creature wondered. President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be asking himself the same question as that proverbial animal on being made witness to pompous histrionics of some lesser minions in his rainbow coalition. more..

Secretary General responds to the Daily Mirror

July 1 (PISL) Dear Sir, I write with reference to your main article headlined ‘APRC gets one month’ which claims I had said ‘the APRC would be given one month’s time to complete its deliberations and submit a final document’. This is quite untrue, as indeed is made clear by the following assertion that ‘other alternatives would be looked at in case the APRC failed to complete its work within the stipulated deadline’. more..

Gang disrupts garbage dumping

July 1 (DN) Heaps of garbage were piling up again in different places in the city of Colombo as the Colombo Municipal Council had not collected garbage for the last few days because of an organized gang’s work at the Kollonnawa dumping site. CMC workers were working during the weekends too to clear the garbage in the city limits to keep it clean and to eradicate the dengue mosquito menace ,but, all that work had become negative since more..

'Astrologer detained for his predictions, a first for Sri Lanka'

July 1 (Island) The detention of astrologer Chandrasiri Bandara, under Emergency Regulations, indicates the extent to which the government was denying people of their democratic freedom, General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake said. He told The Island that this was the first time in Sri Lanka’s history that an astrologer has been questioned and also detained for practicing his profession. more..