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Sri Lanka water tariff hike yields profit but leaks too high: CBSL

Apr 17 (LBO) A tariff hike improved the finances of Sri Lanka's state water supplier in 2009 but losses from leaks remain too high while purification costs are growing as pollution increases, the Central Bank said. "Revision of water tariff with effect from February 2009 has had a significant positive impact on the revenue of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWS&DB)," it said. more..

Hotel shares push Sri Lanka bourse up; rupee falls

Apr 17 (Reuters) Shares rose on Friday led by hotel shares on the anticipation of a post-war tourism expansion, while the rupee closed weaker on importer demand for dollars. The All-Share Price Index of the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 0.28 percent or 11.04 points firmer at 3,966.87. It hit an all-time high of 3,981.67 points on Monday. The hotel sector index hit a record high led by a 6.57 percent gain in John Keels Hotels. more..

Debrief News - 16. 04. 2010

Sri Lanka thanks trade for support

Apr 17 (TTG) The trade were thanked for supporting Sri Lanka and helping boost UK visitor numbers at an event celebrating the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations on Tuesday. The Sri Lankan High Commission, Sri Lankan Airlines and Sri Lanka Tourism invited members of the trade to the event at the Sri Lanka High Commission. It was hosted by Sanjika Perera, Sri Lanka Tourism UK director, who said UK arrivals were up 34% year-on-year for more..

Dutch priest accused of sex abuse in Sri Lanka

Apr 17 (RNW) The priest has been suspended with immediate effect by the Rotterdam diocese, which contacted the police following questions raised by Radio Netherlands Worldwide and daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad. The priest, who was until today in charge of a parish in the towns of Leidschendam and Voorburg on the outskirts of The Hague, is a regular visitor to Sri Lanka, where according to the diocese he was "active in the field of charity". more..

Mano Ganesan attacked

Apr 17 (DM) UNF parliamentary candidate and leader of the Democratic People’s Front Mano Ganesan’s vehicle convoy came under attack this evening in Kadilhena, Nawalapitiya. “We were traveling with police protection and that didn’t stop these attackers, we have identified them to be thugs of a former minister. I ask the President to intervene and discipline his politicians,” Ganesan said. more..

Navy celebrates New Year with liberated civilians

Apr 17 (SLN) Upholding the national traditions and customs, all Naval Commands celebrated the New Year in keeping with the festive spirits. Naval personnel, conducting New Year festivals in their respective naval bases, joined in the celebrations held nationwide. This year’s New Year is of greatest significance being the first New Year celebrated after the restoration of fullest freedom to the nation and lasting peace to the Motherland. more..

Tamil vote on pressing case for homeland

Apr 17 (Age) Australian Tamils are to vote in a referendum this weekend on the creation of an independent Tamil homeland. The Tamil Congress of Australia said more than 10,000 Tamils had registered to vote in the referendum, which follows similar votes in Canada, England and Europe that backed the establishment of a Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka. Polling booths had been set up in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT and there was provision for postal votes. more..

Resettlement continues says Govt

Apr 17 (BBC) The government says that it is continuing the process of resettlement of IDPs. A spokesman from the competent authority’s office for resettlement said that on Friday more than one thousand IDPs living in the Manik Farm Camp were taken to Mullaitive for resettlement. He further elaborated saying that IDPs will be taken to Killinoachhi and Oddussudan for resettlement within the next week. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils should get due respect: Sachar

Apr 17 (EB) Justice Rajinder Sachar on Thursday said that Sri Lankan Tamils should be given due status and respect as equal citizens of the island nation. Participating in a convention on ‘The unspoken Genocide: War crimes in Sri Lanka,’ Justice Sachar said that though the war was over, the situation was yet to change and the Tamils were yet to get their due respect as fellow citizens. more..

Dialog Telekom to be renamed Axiata

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's dominant wireless operator Dialog Telekom intends to change its name to Dialog Axiata, following the renaming of its Malsyaian parent firm, a stock exchange filing said. The proposed name "will accurately reflect its corporate identity," Dialog said in a statement. The proposed name is a combination of the brand 'Dialog' and the name of the parent firm, Axiata Group Berhad in Malaysia. more..

India refuses landing to Pirapaharan's mother

Apr 17 (TN) Mrs. Vallipuram Parvathi, the ailing mother of LTTE leader Mr. Velupillai Pirapharan, was refused landing by Indian immigration officials at Chennai airport Friday night around 11:30 p.m., media sources in Tamil Nadu said. Mrs. Parvathi, travelling from Malaysia, was seeking medical treatment in India. She was sent back to Malaysia in the same flight. more..

JMC evicts Sinhalese pavement traders in Nallor

Apr 17 (TN) Due to pressure from Jaffna Traders’ Union (JTU) and civil society organizations in Jaffna peninsula Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) administration has begun evicting the Sinhalese pavement traders who had illegally set up stalls in the surroundings of historically famous Nalloor Kanthasuvami Koayil. Some of the above Sinhalese traders along with Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers had on 22 March demolished the memorial pillar of Lt. Col. Thileepan more..

Tamil Group urges urgent action by President Rajapaksa to address mounting Tamil concerns

Apr 17 (TC) Noting the disappointing results of the April 8th Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka, the Tamil American Peace Initiative (TAPI) called on the winning party, the UPFA, to immediately start working towards reconciliation between all religious and ethnic groups on the Island. TAPI admonished the UPFA and President Mahinda Rajapaksa for missing so many opportunities in more..

TNA performs creditably in parliamentary elections

Apr 17 (DBS) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) contesting under the House symbol of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) has performed creditably in the recently concluded Parliamentary elections. By the dint of this performance the TNA has strengthened its claim to don the political leadership mantle of Sri Lankan Tamils. Though results of Trincomalee district are yet to be officially released due to more..

'Madman surrounded by criminals causing terror in Nawalapitiya'

Apr 17 (NF) An individual with a deranged mind, who is surrounded by criminals, has initiated a reign of terror throughout the Nawalapitiya polling division, said S. B. Dissanayake, UPFA general election candidate for the Kandy district. Addressing a media briefing this morning, Dissanayake said that the reign of terror in Nawalapitiya must be brought to an end. more..

A heated election in a cool city

Apr 17 (BBC) The voters of Nawalapitiya, in the hill country will be returning to the polling station within less than two weeks time. As the commissioner of elections annulled the election results due to wide spread election violence the voters will receive another opportunity to cast their votes on Tuesday the 20th of April. Voters of thirty six election divisions in the Nawalapitiya electorate are being canvassed for Tuesdays’ polls. more..

'The day leaders conspiring to oust me are kicked out from the party is not very far'

Apr 17 (LT) “Despite the leadership of the UNP requesting people not to cast their preference vote for me, the people of Welelassa have elected me to the Parliament with the highest majority. I would never leave the party but the day the leaders who are conspiring to oust me from the opposition are kicked out from the party would not be very far away,” said the UNF MP for Monaragala District Ranjith Madduma Bandara. more..

'Charges against judges of the court martial were proved with witnesses'

Apr 17 (LT) The objections against the judges of the second court martial held against Gen. Sarath Fonseka on the 6th April were proved valid at the court martial itself says former JVP MP Anura Dissasnayake. He said, “The second court martial against the General was convened on the 6th. The President of the court martial was Maj. Gen. Milinda Peiris and other members were Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe and more..

'Why a specialist doctor recommends medicine if General has no ailment?'

Apr 17 (LT) The propaganda being carried out by the Rajapakse government that Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who was illegally arrested by Military Police and is being arbitrarily detained at Navy head quarters, is not suffering from any ailment is a blatant lie and this was proved when a specialist doctor examined him says Ms. Anoma Fonseka. She said, “They say we don’t mention anything regarding General’s health condition now. more..

Rohan Gunaratna, Professor Terror

Apr 17 (G&M) WHO HE IS: Rohan Gunaratna is an international terrorism expert who claims to have interviewed hundreds of terrorists and who heads a research centre in Singapore. He was the chief adviser last fall to federal immigration investigators trying to determine the identities of 76 Tamil refugees. His chief area of expertise is Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. more..

The Tamil boat mystery

Apr 17 (G&M) The Canadian navy plane circled above the mysterious cargo ship, a rusted, 100-metre-long vessel steaming at a steady 10 knots per hour toward Vancouver Island. Below, dozens of Tamil passengers who had been at sea for weeks changed into their best clothes and poured onto the upper deck. One of them, a 39-year-old man who goes by the fictitious name of Selva, squinted skyward and, he now recalls, thought, “I've been saved.” more..

Sri Lanka’s low voter turnout: A sign of coming class battles

Apr 17 (wsws) The record low turnout in last week’s general election in Sri Lanka provoked consternation in Colombo ruling circles because it highlights the extent of popular hostility to the entire political establishment. Barely half of registered voters—just 52 percent—filled out a ballot; 12 percentage points less than the previous low in 1989. In the war-torn northern district of Jaffna, voter turnout was just 23 percent. more..

Contemporary relevance of Baba Saheb Ambedkar

Apr 17 (LG) Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s memory was celebrated by large numbers of admirers and followers in India and outside once again this week. Perhaps no other modern contemporary leader of India is as much remembered by such large numbers of (mostly much oppressed) people throughout India as Ambedkar is. One-time untouchables, who now called themselves Dalits, a name that was given to them by B.R. Ambedkar, remember him as an inspiration in their own struggles to regain their dignity. more..

New teacher training centre at Homagama

Apr 17 (GDI) The Education Publications Department has taken steps to construct a teacher training centre at Pitipana, Homagama, the Education Publications Commissioner N.M.J. Pushpakumara said. The Asian Development Bank will financially assist the Education Publications Department to construct the Centre, which will be on a three acre plot in Homagama. It will facilitate around 200 participants at a time. more..

Jaipur Foot Team provides 1400 artificial limbs

Apr 17 (GDI) The Jaipur Foot Team provided 1400 artificial limbs to internally displaced persons at its Artificial Limb Fitment Camp at Menik Farms in Vavuniya since March this year. Stating this, the Indian High Commission said in a press release that he team had returned to India after completion of a successful assgnment. In keeping with its commitment to assist Sri Lanka in more..

Sri Lanka armed forces and dynamics of change

Apr 17 (LG) Sri Lanka has undergone irreversible changes after President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s successive victories in the Eelam War IV followed by the presidential poll and parliamentary elections. After the three interconnected events, President Rajapaksa has emerged as THE most powerful head of state in the nation’s history. His vast powers as executive president are further augmented by his ten-party UPFA coalition’s majority in the newly elected parliament. more..

The path less travelled: Ethics in sports, politics and governance

Apr 17 (GV) A few days ago a parent of a potential player of a big match for a Colombo school told me of calls they got asking them for one lakh of Rupees to get their son into the big match team. They had a discussion with their son and he agreed that he does not want to buy his way into the team, even though he knew he deserved to be there. I hope that this is the kind of response most parents would have given, as I believe that many of us are ethical beings. more..

Inability to admit wrongs led to defeat of UNP

Apr 17 (LG) This is the period of making post-mortems as far as the Sri Lanka's main opposition party is concerned. However, much of the post-mortems about the defeat of this political party do not show much sincerity on the part of the critics. Most who criticize from within the party do not really want to find out the actual causes that have resulted in these defeats. They are just looking for some kind of excuse, more..

Party should support government – SLMC seniors tell leadership

Apr 17 (LT) Several senior members of SLMC have asked the leadership that the party should cooperate with the government during the next six years say internal sources of the SLMC. Despite a discussion had been arranged yesterday in Colombo to come to a decision regarding this, it had to be postponed due to absence of the Leader of SLMC Rauff Hakeem who was busy participating in election campaigning at Nawalapitiya. more..

Editorial: Belling the cat

Apr 17 (LNP) The UPFA is all out to muster a two-thirds majority in Parliament. We reported yesterday that it was wooing the SLMC for that purpose, though the latter had let it down at a crucial budget vote a few years back. However, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told a group of his senior party men that anyone could join his government on his terms without demanding Cabinet posts unlike in the past. The UPFA boasts of already having two or three Opposition MPs in its pocket more..

What place for the Tamils in the Rajapakse Yugaya?

Apr 17 (TC) A new political yugaya is haunting Sri Lanka, and it is the Rajapakse yugaya. It is being compared to the Bandaranaike yugaya that lasted from 1956 to 1977 with a five year (1965-1970) UNP interregnum. Before that and for nine years after independence was the Senanayake yugaya. Following the Bandaranaike yugaya was the Jayewardene yugaya that went on for 18 years. more..

Aids in Lankan women : Hubbies to blame

Apr 17 (DN) Around 50 percent of the HIV/AIDS infected women in Sri Lanka have contacted the virus from their husbands without their knowledge, Health Education Bureau Mass Communication Publication Unit Coordinator Dr Shantha Hettiarachchi said. There were 1,233 Sri Lankans (725 males and 498 females) living with HIV by the end of last month while 208 AIDS deaths were reported from the country, Dr. Hettiarachchi told the Daily News. more..

‘Matha’ footage stolen

Apr 17 (DN) The footage of Matha, Director Boodee Keerthisena’s upcoming movie, has been stolen from the Nawala Ru Cinema Creation House. The loss of the footage was discovered Thursday. It is believed to have been stolen either Wednesday or Thursday. Mirihana police are investigating. “This is a film about our country, a film that tells the world the tale of the bitter conflict we endured. An extremist or a jealous rival stole the footage in an act of discouragement,” more..

Remove katu-kambi that divides and impoverishes us

Apr 17 (DN) Gunadasa Kapuge comes to me in strange ways and times. He died in early April 2003 and I did not realize that this is why the Sinhala radio stations were all playing his songs one crazy afternoon. I remember thinking that if he were to die I would be asked by Manik De Silva, editor of the newspaper I worked for at the time, to write something about the man and that I would not have the words. That’s what happened. more..

Some binding Avurudu games

Apr 17 (DN) A New Year has dawned. Next month the trees will bear juicy fruits. The changing climate would be warm and bring about significant changes in the new year. This would be the time (during and following the new year) to review our Folk Culture. Specially about playing our folk games in our villages. There are mainly two kinds of folk games- indoor games and outdoor games. more..

Jaffna International Trade Fair to attract investors

Apr 17 (LP) Preparations are underway to hold the first-ever Jaffna International Trade Fair 2010 (JITF) titled 'Your Gateway to Yarlpanam' on Sunday at the Jaffna Central College. The three-day event organized by the Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services in collaboration with the with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka aims to attract the business community from all over the country. more..

Editorial: Health reforms package for Lanka

Apr 17 (DM) Amidst varying proclamations and promises if not post mortems on the results of the April 8 general elections, the new UPFA Government that takes office on April 22 for the second stage of the Rajapakse era needs to remember that a historic result also means a historic responsibility. For the last few months most of the potential UPFA ministers and MPs have been involved in petty and extravagant rivalry for preferential votes, personal gain or glory. more..

Experts expect President to pick the best ministers

Apr 17 (Island) Energy experts, scientists and environmentalists expect President Mahinda Rajapaksa to make the best possible choice when appointing ministers to key portfolios which have a direct link to natural resources. They said Science and Technology, Environment and Natural Resources, Power and Energy and Public Recreation – under which the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela and the Botanical Gardens come - should have some connection with each other. more..

Mervyn bans liquor sales in Kelaniya electorate

Apr 17 (Island) Former Minister Mervyn Silva has imposed a ban on the sale of liquor in the Kelaniya area effective from today. Silva said that the rule applied to one and all, whether they possessed a permit or not. However, he said that he would hold discussions with permit holders. The ban was announced through megaphones fitted to vehicles yesterday afternoon. more..