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The behaviour of aid agencies in the context of Sri Lanka’s conflict

Sep 1 (GV) The purpose of this article is to try and explain the behaviour of aid agencies in the context of Sri Lanka’s conflict. With the escalation of the armed conflict between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan state in recent times, there have been a number of developments within aid agencies that seem to be contradictory. While some agencies have reduced or even closed down their operations, others continued to support Sri Lanka. more..

Shares up on post-war economic optimism

Sep 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's shares rose for a sixth straight session, buoyed by post-war economic optimism with heavy volumes of trading across the board, traders said on Monday. The bourse, one of best performing markets in Asia this year, closed 0.24 percent or 6.15 points firmer at 2607.65, its highest close since May 15, 2008. The market is up 73.5 percent so far in 2009 and 36.7 percent since the government declared victory in the war on May 18. more..

Paranavitana fined 50% match fees

Sep 1 (CI) Tharanga Paranavitana has been fined 50% of his match fees for violating ICC's Code of Conduct during the second Test against New Zealand in Colombo. Paranavitana was found guilty of breaching Level 2 of the code that states players must at all times "conduct play within the spirit of the game as well as within the Laws of Cricket", when he claimed and celebrated a catch to dismiss Iain O'Brien in the 105th over of New Zealand's second innings. more..

Sri Lanka corporate debt market sprouts green shoots

Sep 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's corporate debt market is generating green shoots with rates coming down, lenders gaining confidence and credit spreads narrowing, officials said. "We are seeing the first securitizations transactions after the absence of more than six to eight months," says Ajith Fernando, head of Capital Alliance Holdings. "Corporate debt markets are starting to become active." more..

‘LTTE, not RAW, tried to kill Pak envoy’

Sep 1 (EB) It was LTTE and not India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), that attempted to assassinate Bashir Wali Mohmand when he was Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka three years ago, claimed Sri Lanka sleuths. Interrogation of arrested LTTE cadre in recent weeks had revealed that the LTTE had set off the blast at Kolpitty junction on August 14, 2006, and that Mohmand was not a deliberately chosen target, more..

Victorious Sri Lanka turn focus on India

Sep 1 (AFP) Having toyed with Pakistan and New Zealand, Kumar Sangakkara's Sri Lanka are eyeing India as their next scalp as the battle heats up to be the world's top Test team. Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan and New Zealand by identical 2-0 margins at home to climb to the number two spot in the official rankings with a rating of 120 behind number one team South Africa's 122. With India just one rating point behind Sri Lanka on 119 and more..

Sangakkara reclaims number-one position in Test batting

Sep 1 (ANI) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has reclaimed the number-one position in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen for the fourth time in his career after brilliant knocks in the second Test against New Zealand. The Sri Lanka captain followed up his half-century in the first innings with an exquisite 109 - his 20th Test century - to reclaim the top position from India's Gautam Gambhir. more..

Sri Lankan power workers strike for pay increase

Sep 1 (wsws) Thousands of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) workers took part in an islandwide, one-day strike last Friday to demand a 40 percent pay hike, the restoration of working conditions and the scrapping of the Electricity Bill adopted earlier this year. In an attempt to break the strike, the government cancelled all leave and threatened “tough action” against anyone who stopped work. more..

Muslims fear runaway girl's case will fuel religious hatred

Sep 1 (OS) From the sidelines, the Muslim community watches the saga of Fathima Rifqa Bary with sadness and weariness. What looks to many Muslims like a family squabble between Muslim parents in Columbus, Ohio, and their runaway daughter in Orlando has become something of a new crusade by evangelical Christians. The frustration for many Muslims in Central Florida is that the accusations of one teenage girl who says she fears her father would kill her for more..

Police 'attackers' identified

Sep 1 (BBC) Victims of an alleged police abduction and assault case have identified five police personnel in parades held before a magistrate. Family members of a senior police officer, SSP Vaas Gunawardene, and other police officers are accused of abducting and assaulting a young student, Nipuna Ramanayake in Malabe. Mr. Ramanayake and his colleague, Chamila Seneviratne, have identified five suspects at six parades held before Kaduwela magistrate on Monday. more..

Pulmodai IDPs 'ignored'

Sep 1 (BBC) Relatives of displaced people in Pulmodai have accused the media and authorities of ignoring their plight. A mother whose son has been kept in a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) said she was allowed, for the first time, to visit her son by the authorities, last week. The mother, who is also an IDP from Trincomalee in the early stages of the conflict, said it took nearly three days for her return trip from Batticaloa. more..

Fake execution video exposed!

Sep 1 (AT) Channel 4 TV, an obvious victim of the current economic crisis engulfing the United Kingdom due to advertising famine, extended its doctrine of self-righteousness by telecasting an execution video, allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces last week. The Asian Tribune has obtained the expert-evidence to prove that the video has been doctored to cater for the right audience – the human-rights body who more..

India working on agreement for transfer of prisoners with Sri Lanka

Sep 1 (Hindu) The Union Ministry of External Affairs is working with the Sri Lankan government for an agreement on transfer of sentenced prisoners. Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said this in a letter to Kozhikode-based Sunni leader Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliyar who had sought his intervention regarding release of Indian prisoners held in Sri Lanka. more..

IFJ condemns brutal jail term for journalist Tissainayagam

Sep 1 (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned a 20-year jail term against senior journalist J.S. Tissainayagam as "brutal and inhumane" and accused Sri Lankan authorities of abusing anti-terror laws to silence peaceful critics. The High Court of Colombo today convicted Tissainayagam, a prominent Tamil journalist, of "causing communal disharmony" and "receiving money from Tamil Tiger rebels to pay for his website". more..

Domestic Gas prices go up

Sep 1 (AT) The price of a domestic cylinder of gas was revised with effect from midnight yesterday. Accordingly, the price of a 12.5 kg of Shell gas will now be Rs. 1550 and Laugfs gas Rs. 1476, Sri Lanka’s Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunewardene said. Minister also said that the price changes were made according to the price formula adopted by the consumer protection authority and the companies. more..

Sri Lanka tsunami survivor nominated for business award

Sep 1 (LBO) A young Sri Lankan businessman who survived a tsunami that destroyed his business and home has been short-listed for an international award for young successful entrepreneurs, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said. Mustapha Abdul Kadar Mohamadu, a 34-year-old leather bag and purse manufacturer from southern Hambantota, has been short-listed in the Journey to Enterprise category for the YBI (Youth Business International) Entrepreneur of the Year award. more..

Ministry favours India-Sri Lanka ferry service

Sep 1 (BL) The proposal for ferry connectivity between India and Sri Lanka, mooted at the SAARC Transport Ministers’ conference, may have received a further boost with the Union Shipping Ministry understood to have given a green signal in this regard. The Shipping Ministry has enquired about the facilities at the Kochi port such as immigration and Customs available at the port as it is of the view that it should be possible to operate a Kochi–Colombo and Colombo–Tuticorin service at an early date. more..

President in Libya to attend revolution anniversary

Sep 1 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is in Libya to attend the 40th anniversary of the Libyan Revolution tomorrow (Sept. 01). He is in the country as a special invitee of Libyan leader Muammar Al Gaddaffi. Mr. Rajapaksa left the island early today and was received on arrival at Tripoli airport by the country’s planning minister. Around 30 heads of state are scheduled to attend the anniversary celebrations. more..

Sri Lankan reporter named winner of Peter Mackler Award

Sep 1 (AFP) J. S. Tissainayagam, a Sri Lankan reporter sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison, has been named the first winner of the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. "We are happy to reward J.S. Tissainayagam in 2009, a terrible year for Sri Lanka," Jean-Francois Julliard, secretary-general of the Paris-based press rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), said. more..

Attorney targets alleged terror ties in case of runaway girl

Sep 1 (FOX) A 17-year-old girl who fled to Florida after converting from Islam to Christianity will be in "clear and present danger" if returned to Ohio due to her parent's affiliation with an Islamic cultural center, her attorney claims. Attorney John Stemberger claims Fathima Rifqa Bary, who will remain in foster care in Florida at least until a hearing on Thursday, should not be returned to the custody of her parents, more..

'Sri Lanka to call new oil exploration bids'

Sep 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka will soon call for fresh bids for oil exploration in the waters of the Mannar Basin off the north-west coast, Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said. The island has already given out one block to Cairn India, a unit of Britain's Cairn Energy. Oil exploration is an area where Sri Lanka has much potential in future, Cabraal told an investment conference in Colombo attended by more than 40 Thai enterprises. more..

Sri Lanka to test its Tsunami warning towers

Sep 1 (AT) Sri Lanka is ready to test newly set up pre-tsunami danger warning towers in 10 districts starting from today (September 01). The warning tower built in the Kalutara district will be tested today around 10.00am to 1.00pm. “The public are advised not to be perturbed or raise panic over these warning signals or messages”, announces by the Disaster Management and Human Rights Ministry more..

Sri Lanka's Next Battle

Sep 1 (Forbes) After the end of Sri Lanka's long and often barbaric civil war, there's no avoiding President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Banners espousing his election manifesto Mahinda Thought line the nation's roads and railways. Pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV and his mustachioed visage appears a dozen times, illustrating the most innocuous of stories. Most every street corner and public building seems plastered with his picture. more..

Sri Lankan editor’s trial shows media under threat, U.S. says

Sep 1 (BN) Sri Lanka’s jailing of a Tamil journalist for 20 years shows the country’s media is under threat, the U.S. said. J.S. Tissainayagam, a magazine editor and publisher, was sentenced by the Colombo High Court yesterday after being found guilty of terrorism-related offenses. President Barack Obama referred to him in May as one of the ‘emblematic examples” of prosecuted journalists in the world. more..

'Lopsided sovereignty sentences Tissainayagam'

Sep 1 (TN) If Tissainayagam is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for 'inciting communal feelings' by editing, printing or distributing North Eastern Herald Monthly, what should be the punishment to Sarath Fonseka, who as commander of the armed forces publicly said Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese, mutilating the constitution and inciting genocide in the island, asks a senior journalist in Colombo. more..

World Bank holds seminar in Jaffna University

Sep 1 (TN) The World Bank Sri Lanka Office held a seminar Monday in Jaffna University Library Auditorium on its recent report on Higher Education in Sri Lanka titled ‘The Towers of Learning’ which said “the economic relevance and quality of the higher education sector at present is considerably below the level required of a middle-income country”, sources in Jaffna said. more..

Union Assurance to open branch in Point Pedro

Sep 1 (TN) Union Assurance, a leading private insurance institution in Sri Lanka is to open its second branch Tuesday in Point Pedro in Jaffna district and has donated funds to Jaffna Teaching Hospital and the hospitals in Point Pedro and Valveddiththu’rai, the institution's Chief Excutive Officer, Ms. Marina Darmaratne said in a press meet held Monday evening in the head office of Union Assurance (UA) located on Stanley Road Jaffna. more..

Education vacancies to be filled before October

Sep 1 (GDI) All existing vacancies in the Education Administrative Service Grade 1 will be completed by the end of September. The Minister of Education Susil Premajayanth made this observation addressing a gathering which in Colombo yesterday to grant appointment letters to principals who reached the Principals’ Service Grade 1. He pointed out that the third term exams will be conducted under the direct supervision of the Education Ministry. more..

Next Deyata Kirula in Kandy

Sep 1 (GDI) The next Deyata Kirula exhibition is to moved to Kandy, in the hill capital for the first time. President Mahinda Rajapakse has directed relevant units to organize this exhibition. The international Buddhist centre in Pallekele has been chosen as the venue for the Deyata Kirula exhibition next year. The Pallekele centre is located on a 25 acre land. A discussion to this effect was conducted by Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya at the genetic resource centre in Gannoruwa. more..

Ministry of Child Development on IDP children

Sep 1 (GDI) The Ministry of Child Development and Women's Empowerment has taken steps to help internally displaced children , Secretary to the Ministry of Child Development and Women's Empowerment M. Sumanadasa told He pointed out that the Government has taken steps to protect and care of conflict affected and displaced children by resettling them with their parents. more..

Sri Lanka produce best tea in the world - Plantation Minister

Sep 1 (GDI) "Sri Lanka produce the best tea in the world. Our tea cannot be marketed with unauthorized labels. Our tea fetches Rs. 1700/- per kilo. Modern methods are adopted in tea growing and manufacturing processes and if the cultivator is provided with fertilizer promptly there should be enough tea in the market and fetch good prices", Minister of Plantation Industries D. M. Jayaratne said while addressing the tea small holders at Illuktenna more..

Angulana killings - Suspects remanded till September 11

Sep 1 (LNP) Mount Lavinia Magistrate Harsha Sethunga yesterday returned a verdict of death due to gunshot injuries of youth Dinesh Tharanga, caused to his head and heart after he was taken into custody by the Angulana Police. The Magistrate delivered his verdict after recording the evidence at the magisterial inquiry conducted into the killings of two youth Dinesh Tharanga (26) and Dhanushka Udayanga Aponsu (22) more..

'One bus for one village' concept in Hambantota

Sep 1 (GDI) The Ministry of Transport has taken steps to introduce 18 new buses to meet the transport needs of the rural population living in the Hambantota district under the Gemi Siriya project. These buses will be deployed on 18 routes in the Hambantota district and provided to the Ambalantota, Tangalle and Kataragama depots. Under the theme 'One bus for one village', social and economic needs of the rural commuters of many villages in Hambantota more..

National Zoo in record book again

Sep 1 (GDI) The National Zoological Gardens broke a record that was set earlier this month for the most number of visitors in one day. According to tallied figures, nearly 30,000 persons had visited the Zoo during the course of the day. Earnings within two days reached nearly 2.3 million rupees. The public has now begun visiting places of attraction with the return of peace to the island. Earlier these places were deserted as they had fear and suspicion in undertaking such leisure trips. more..

Officials want to keep refugees in small camps

Sep 1 (EB) For security reasons, Sri Lankan officials want the 280,000-odd Tamil war refugees to be kept in smaller camps rather than in sprawling ones accommodating many thousands, as is the case now. The Island daily quoted un-identified officials saying that the authorities in charge of the camps in Vavuniya district had been unable to cope with the large numbers of refugees and as a result there were concerns that security was being compromised seriously. more..

Open letter to the President of Sri Lanka

Sep 1 (LG) We are a group of concerned Sri Lankans of all ethnic origins and religious beliefs in Switzerland. We have read the “Open letter to the President of Sri Lanka” in the Sunday Island of 23 August 2009 and we consider that it highlights a dangerous drift towards the total break down of law and order in our country. We wish to identify ourselves with the views expressed in this letter. more..

S Jeyasankar’s play for children

Sep 1 (LG) Pillai Alutha Kaneer (Tears shed by the child) is a play written in Thamil by S Jeyasankar senior lecturer in drama and theatre arts, Eastern University. Jeyasankar who engages in theatre and research activities is also a traditional theatre (Koothu) performer. A poet in Thamil and English he writes essays on literary subjects, is a coordinator of Third Eye Local Knowledge and Skill Activists’ Group and Third Eye English Forum, and more..

Essentials of a National Drug Policy for SriLanka

Sep 1 (LG) The People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients (PMRP) wants the Supreme Court to order the Minister of Health to submit legislation to parliament to establish a national drug policy. A national drug policy is essential. The current system has two major weaknesses. First, not all patients can afford to buy even the cheapest generic drugs let alone expensive brand names that are available in the market. more..

Please pardon Tissainayagam Mr. President

Sep 1 (LG) A Colombo court found Tissainayagam guilty of inciting communal violence with his writing and sentenced him to 20 years rigorous imprisonment. Despite what the judge believed as a fit punishment for Tissainayagam’s alleged crime the people world over would say the punishment is extremely disproportionate to the alleged crime. He has been found guilty for expressing his views in the print media. By the way, he was a journalist. more..

International Support for Sri Lanka and the continuing legalcy of war

Sep 1 (NPC) There are many reasons that may be given for Sri Lanka having historically received a significantly higher level of international assistance in relation to its population than other similarly situated countries. One reason is that the country is sufficiently small so that foreign aid can actually be seen to make an impact unlike in the case of bigger countries. more..

Asia-Pacific Army Chiefs consider Sri Lanka a fruitful Case Study

Sep 1 (LP) Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army during his participation in the recent 6th Pacific Armies Chiefs’ Conference (PACC VI) in Japan held a record thirteen bilateral discussions with participating Chiefs of Armies and two representatives. The Sixth Pacific Armies Chiefs’ Conference, held in Tokyo, Japan (24-27 August) was co-hosted by the USA and Japan. more..

Swiss drugs donation for IDPs

Sep 1 (MoD) The Swiss Government has donated a consignment of essential drugs worth Rs.10 million for the use of IDPs. It has also made arrangements to develop Amithirigala Base Hospital at a cost of Rs.20 million. Representatives from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (Swiss Cooperation Office) including Swiss Ambassador Ruth Flint and Deputy Country Director Philipp Beautler handed over the drugs more..

Committee to resolve Vaharai land dispute between Tamils & Muslims

Sep 1 (PSM) The government has appointed a special committee to resolve a long standing dispute between Tamils and Muslims in Vakarai, Batticaloa district over around 1000 acres of paddy lands. The committee will be headed by Disaster Relief Services Minister M.S.S. Ameer Ali and Eastern Provincial Council Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, and will consists 14 members. more..

A travesty of justice: The sentencing of J.S. Tissainayagam

Sep 1 (GV) Groundviews first highlighted the case of J.S. Tissainayagam last year, noting that, Salient points of Tissa’s case point to a larger and more chilling deterioration of media freedom in Sri Lanka under the Rajapakse administration. Tissa’s case in particular reveals a particularly twisted logic, and through it, confirms fears that the regime in the South now completely mirrors the intolerance of media freedom and more..

President congratulates the Democratic Party of Japan on the victory at Parliamentary elections

Sep 1 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent a message of congratulations to His Excellency Yukio Hatoyama, Leader of the Democratic Party of Japan on the victory of the Democratic Party of Japan at the Parliamentary elections held on 30 August 2009. "Sri Lanka enjoys long standing relations with your country based on historical and cultural links dating back to many centuries. more..

War heroes to get artificial limbs

Sep 1 (LP) War heroes who lost their limbs in the battle against the ruthless LTTE terrorists will be provided with limbs. A ceremony to hand over artificial legs for the war heroes who lost legs will be held on the 03rd of September at 03.00 pm at the BMICH. 60 legs will be donated to the war heroes on this occasion. The ceremony will be attended by Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister Laxman Yapa Abeywardena, Minister Dallas Alahapperuma and MP Vimal Weerawansa. more..

Govt’s formula is drawn up to bring profits to companies, not to bring relief to masses – JVP

Sep 1 (LT) The government’s formula has been prepared to bring profits to companies and not to give relief to masses says the JVP. Issuing a press release protesting against the increase of gas prices from midnight yesterday the JVP states the government that did not give the benefits of the decrease in prices in the world market has increased the price of gas burdening the masses further. more..

Mega irrigation projects launched in Jaffna

Sep 1 (GDI) The Government has taken several measures to reconstruct, renovate the irrigation system in the Northern Province on the directives of the Chairman of the Northern Task Force, Basil Rajapaksa, Governor of Northern Province Major General G.A Chandrasiri said. The demining process is being successfully carried out in areas surrounding the Giant Tank and Iranamadu Tank. more..

A draft of devolution package to President

Sep 1 (LT) A draft of the proposals for a solution for the national question Minister Tissa Vitharana had prepared on behalf of the APRC has been handed over to President Mahinda Rajapakse. Minister Vitharana has said a new constitution which clearly defines devolution of power between the central government and provincial councils has been proposed and this would solve all issues that are a hindrance to the full enactment of the 13th Amendment. more..

SPC election candidate Sajin uses 31 vehicles with same number plate

Sep 1 (LNW) An Alliance Minister representing the Southern Province told Lanka News Web that the President’s candidate at the Southern Provincial Council elections, Sajin Vaas Gunawardena uses 31 jeeps in his campaign work bearing the same registration number, C-4727. He also said that the police are unable to take any action against this illegal action, as Sajin is in the habit of misusing Presidential powers. more..