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Editorial: The changing global stand on LTTE

Dec 17 (DM) It is certainly encouraging to note that the European Union nations are finally waking up to the terror that was gaining life and energy right under their noses. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, delegations from several EU countries including Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands have visited Colombo seeking greater clarifications on the activities of the LTTE international, in their own countries. more..

JVP at World Festival of Youth & Students

Dec 17 (LT) The JVP is represented at the World Festival of Youth and Students being held in South Africa from 13th to 21st of this month by a team of representatives from Socialist Youth Union and Socialist Students Union states the media unit of the JVP. The Team of the JVP at the festival consists of the National Organizer of the SYU former Parliamentarian Bimal Ratnayake, Member of the Western Provincial Council Waruna Rajapakse, National Organizer of more..

Is the Tamil version of our national anthem a joke?

Dec 17 (GV) Recent media coverage in Sri Lanka has focussed on the confusion over the ban of the Tamil version of Sri Lanka’s national anthem. In media reports that need to be read in the context of the ignominy suffered by the President in England recently, it was suggested that the President had, “reportedly argued that no one of the other countries in the World had national anthem ‘in more than one language’. more..

O country, Thy National Anthem…

Dec 17 (GV) It was reported lately that an interesting issue came up at a recent cabinet meeting, namely, the National Anthem of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. It was also reported that the cabinet has established that the National Anthem will hereafter be sung exclusively in Sinhala. According to news reports published in the local and international media, several cabinet ministers opposed this measure, while others supported it. more..

Dehiwala Zoo Baby Orangutan for public viewing

Dec 17 (LP) The newly born Orangutan baby at the Dehiwala Zoo will be on public display from today (16). The baby orangutan was born at the zoo after a lapse of 28 years to a couple of which arrived in at the Zoo in 2003. The couple Aki and Yufo is from Indonesia. Naming the Baby orangutan will also take place today where the public can participate in the competition, the best name for the baby will be selected by a panel. more..

NIBM, now in Jaffna

Dec 17 (ST) Shattered lives of people in the northern region of the country are now regaining with lot of aspirations and needs. It is a fact that students in the region were deprived of better education and industrial exposure over the period of the past 30 years. As a result, they missed almost all opportunities created in other parts of the island and the world. The cost of the devastating war is untold and incalculable. more..

Young people spend heavily on non-essentials despite rising living costs

Dec 17 (ST) A Business Times panel discussion in Colombo this week entitled "Inflation and the Consumer", which comprised noted economist Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne, advertising executive Sandya Salgado and Housewives Association representative Amena Mohamedally, has revealed that while many Sri Lankans claimed that they did not have any disposable income, their perception of what construed essential items drastically differed depending on factors such as more..

Jobs in Qatar– MIRAGE: nothing at end of it

Dec 17 (LB) Sri Lankan Embassy in Qatar requests people to be more vigilant when signing job contracts in Qatar as many get stranded once they land in that country for employment. Qatar employs an overwhelming 1.2 million expatriate workers and out of this, close to 100,000 are Sri Lankan migrant workers. Most of the workers who are stranded in the country without jobs are awaiting repatriation with permission from CEID. more..

Are our leftists on right path?

Dec 17 (NS) The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) that was formed in 1935 completes 75 years of its existence. The party emerged from the Suriyamal Movement which started as a protest movement against the British. The protest itself brought out the sale of poppy flower for the British war effort. Before the LSSP leadership came back to Sri Lanka from their studies abroad the Suriyamal movement as well as the youth movement which had a strong base in Jaffna, there were already more..

Teacher shortage to be eliminated

Dec 17 (DN) The dearth of English Medium teachers for Advanced Level classes in National Schools will be solved by appointing over 1,500 English trained teachers in January. Education Minister Bandula Gunewardane said. He said that about 500 teachers were absorbed to Advanced Level classes at all National Schools as an initial step last week. The Minister said he received many complaints from school authorities and parents of A-L students regarding the shortage of more..

'2005 survey revealed youth hated politicos'

Dec 17 (Island) Minister Dallas Alahapperuma says a survey carried out in 2005 has revealed that the Sri Lankan youth hate both, politics and politicians. Addressing members of the Youth Parliament, at the end of a three-day workshop, he said that the majority of Sri Lankans disliked politicians. MP said that regardless of ‘Blue’, ‘Red’ and ‘Green’ politics, lawmakers could either take a country forward or destroy it. more..

Five National Parks to be upgraded

Dec 17 (Island) Agrarian Services and Wildlife Minister S. M. Chandrasena yesterday said that the government would take measures to upgrade five national parks to international standards soon. Minister Chandrasena, who the Chief guest at the opening of first Wildlife museum yesterday in Girithale, said the Yala National Park, Kumana, Minneriya, Wilpattu and the Horton Plains would be upgraded to international standards soon. more..

Students seeking foreign schols taken for a ride

Dec 17 (Island) The Higher Education Ministry says some unscrupulous elements have collected money from many parents promising foreign scholarships through the ministry. Higher Education Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne told The Island that the ministry had received a spate of complaints regarding a bogus scholarship programme involving an institution called California Education Department. more..

All Sri Lankans should respect and honour National Anthem

Dec 17 (Island) All Sri Lankans should respect and honour the National Anthem. Also all should act as patriots and dedicate themselves for the development of this country, Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella said at a ceremony held at A. Ratnayake Maha Vidyalaya in Walala, Kanday on Monday (13th) to distribute school books and herbal saplings to 1000 students in the Kundasale electorate. more..

Police raid illicit brewery in Katunayake

Dec 17 (DM) The Katunayake police raided a hideout in Adiambalama that had been used to produce illicit liquor (Kasippu) on a large scale. The officers were able to seize ten barrels of illicit alcohol during the raid while the value of the illicit brew seized was yet to be ascertained. They had also seized 640 drams of goda, a stock of copper wires and sugar that was used to produce the illicit brew, police media spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said. more..

Rs 5,000 as interim CoL allowance: ACTWU

Dec 17 (DM) The All Ceylon Transport Workers’ Union (ACTWU) yesterday alleged that their records show that the government had to pay a transport worker a Cost-of-Living allowance of Rs.15,059 at today’s rates. The Union urged the government to consider a payment of Rs 5,000 as an interim measure as the cost of living had become unbearable. “We ask the government for at least Rs.5, 000 of what it owes us,” said ACTWU General Secretary, Sepala Liyanage. more..

Full text of the UK home office country report on Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (LG) This Country of Origin Information Report has been produced by COI Service, United Kingdom Border Agency, for use by officials involved in the asylum/human rights determination process. The Report provides general background information about the issues most commonly raised in asylum/human rights claims made in the United Kingdom. The main body of the report includes information available up to 20 September 2010. more..

Sri Lanka's Ambassador in Cuba gets Venezuelan plaudits for Palestinian solidarity

Dec 17 (TC) The Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Cuba, Tamara Kunanayakam, participated on Saturday, 11th December, in A Day of Voluntary Work to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, by joining in the renovation of the Kindergarten Amiguitos de Palestina (Little friends of Palestine) in the Havana suburb of Alamar. In an effort, characterised by an extraordinary spirit of teamwork and unity for a common cause, more..

Sri Lanka can’t be complacent on LTTE

Dec 17 (DNA) The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been decisively defeated and its top cadres, including it chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran, were killed in the military operations in 2009. But it should not be taken to mean that the danger posed by the extremist group is at end. The resurgence of the Taliban after its defeat in 2001 should serve as a grim reminder that it is not enough to score a military victory over terror groups. more..

Interview III - Michael Roberts

'Pak-Sri Lanka trade to reach $1bn in next 5 years'

Dec 17 (DT) Bilateral trade berween Sri Lanka and Pakistan is likey to double from Rs 28 billion Rs 55.5 billion by 2015, said D W Jinadasa, the newly appointed Council General of Sri Lanka to Karachi. “Politically and economically, our ties are sound and are growing from strength to strength. The signing of the Free Trade Agreement in 2002 and its implementation in 2005, were significant milestones in our bilateral relations. more..

Singapore man sentenced in Tamil Tigers arms slot

Dec 17 (AP) A man from Singapore has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison for trying to funnel arms to a Sri Lankan terrorist group. Forty-eight-year-old Balraj Naidu was sentenced on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. He was convicted in October of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Federal prosecutors say Naidu was part of a conspiracy to buy weapons for the Tamil Tigers, more..

WikiLeaks: Indian officials tell US neither Sri Lanka govt nor Tamil Tigers respect international community

Dec 17 (Guardian) In a meeting with PolCouns on April 26, MEA Joint Secretary Mohan Kumar: said that the caretaker government in Bangladesh has reached a crossroads by allowing Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia to return, stating such a move weakens the government and will force it to reassert itself in some way; - suggested the U.S., UK and India agree on a core message to give the Bangladeshi caretaker government, one that supports the government while more..

'My neighbours burned my house because they thought I had HIV'

Dec 17 (PN) There are few positive stories of people living with HIV out of Sri Lanka, but Princey Mangalika's is an exception. Since learning she was HIV positive in 2001, she has made overcoming stigma associated with HIV a personal crusade, heading the Positive Women Network, one of a handful of NGOs working to support an estimated 3,000 people living with HIV in the country. "Before my husband died of AIDS in July 2001, I had never heard of AIDS, much less HIV. more..

Indian southern states alerted against LTTE attacks

Dec 17 (Hindu) The Centre has issued an alert to all southern States, particularly Tamil Nadu, following intelligence inputs that the LTTE, may be trying to regroup in India. Highly placed sources in the Union Home Ministry said on Thursday that intelligence agencies had warned of fresh threats from the LTTE to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai. more..

Liam Fox cancels Sri Lanka trip amid claim in cables of Colombo's war crimes complicity

Dec 17 (Guardian) Liam Fox, the defence secretary, was tonight forced to abandon a private visit to Sri Lanka this weekend after a row with William Hague, who feared that he would upset Britain's carefully balanced approach to Colombo. Fox announced his change of heart as US embassy cables leaked tonight provided fresh allegations of the Sri Lankan government's complicity with paramilitary groups in last year's offensive against the Tamil Tigers. more..

Welgama extends railway land leases to draw investors

Dec 17 (Island) Minister Kumara Welgama has taken action to extend the five-year Leasing Procedure with regard to railway land by several years under the Land Ordinance. This has been done for the convenience of both local and foreign investors. The current leasing procedure, valid for only five years is keeping away wouldbe investors. Under the modernisation of railways programme, all stations would be modernised with necessary facilities and required infrastructure, more..

Gem mine collapses; six injured, one missing

Dec 17 (DM) Seven young men who were digging a gem pit at Puhulwella in Kirinda had been buried under a pile of earth when the pit caved in last evening, six have been rescued so far. The Thihagoda police, with the help of the Army and the residents of the area, had freed six of the men. One is in a critical condition and undergoing treatment at the Matara General Hospital. Rescue operations were continuing in an attempt to unearth the remaining miner. more..

WikiLeaks: Doctors 'pressured' to release civilian casualty figures during Sri Lankan conflict

Dec 17 (Guardian) The five doctors who worked inside the final conflict zone (the government-declared "no-fire zone") and who released accounts of the situation and the numbers of killed and wounded civilians there gave a press conference press conference on July 8. The doctors said they were "pressured" by the LTTE to release the casualty figures during the fighting, and that in reality the number of killed and wounded civilians was much lower. more..

State replaces chief prosecutor

Dec 17 (DM) The Chief Prosecutor in the White Flag trial in which some of the key witnesses had completed evidence before a trial-at-bar comprising three High Court judges, was replaced yesterday. Hitherto Chief Prosecutor DSG Wasantha Navaratne Bandara has already led evidence of witnesses including ‘The Sunday Leader’ editor Frederica Jansz, in relation to an article published on an interview with former Army Commander more..

Neglected rubber lands to be restored

Dec 17 (Island) Action has been taken to re-cultivate the large number of neglected rubber lands to increase new rubber plantation in the country, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. The neglected lands have been found to be suitable for re-cultivation and the Government is taking steps to utilize the lands for this purpose, he said. He was addressing an international workshop on white root disease (WRD) affected in rubber plantation in Sri Lanka. more..

DG Medical Supplies confirms withdrawal of billions worth drugs

Dec 17 (Island) Director General of the Medical Supplies Division Dr. Ajith Mendis yesterday confirmed Wednesday night’s electronic media news reports that certain drugs purchased by the State at a cost of several billion rupees had had to be withdrawn after being found inferior or past their shelf life. He however denied that the State would have to bear the cost of those drugs which were finally destroyed. more..

WikiLeaks: 'Progress' on human rights in Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (Guardian) According to Congressional mandates and Administration policy, U.S. assistance to Sri Lanka, particularly military assistance, is tied to progress by the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) on several key issues, including treatment of IDPs, human rights, political reconciliation, and accountability for alleged crimes perpetrated by GSL troops and officials during the war with the LTTE. more..

WikiLeaks: Human rights abuses by Tamil Tigers

Dec 17 (Guardian) In late May PolOff met the XXXXXXXXXXXX described the LTTE's complete control of all activities that take place in Tiger-controlled territory, including forced conscription and the use of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) to extract money from INGOs. XXXXXXXXXXXX also criticized the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission's (SLMM) complacency in the face of coercive techniques the LTTE employs to maintain control of its northern stronghold. more..

Royalty benefits for artistes

Dec 17 (DM) The Cabinet has approved a proposal to provide royalty benefits to singers, lyricists and musicians when their creations are being telecast or broadcast over television and radio channels following a joint proposal made by Mass Media and Information and Industry and Commerce Ministers. Accordingly, Rs. 3.00 each will be paid to the singer, the song writer and the musician each time a song created collectively by them is broadcast over the SLBC. more..

Excise discovers major scam: Liquor firm fined Rs 100 m

Dec 17 (DN) The Excise Department has slapped a Rs 100 million fine on a licensed liquor manufacturer in Hanwella for swindling the state of revenue for understating stocks to the Excise Department. This is the biggest ever excise fine imposed to date in the country, Excise Commissioner General D G M V Hapuarachchi said. The raid on the distillery was carried out following a tip-off, he said. more..

‘White Flag’ Trial-at-Bar: Defence Counsel’s objections dismissed, video evidence accepted

Dec 17 (Island) The Trial-at-Bar on Thursday accepted video evidence in the ‘White Flag’ case in spite objections raised by the Defence Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty. The video of defeated presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka’s speech at a rally at Ratnapura during the Presidential election was accepted as evidence by High Court Judge Deepali Wijeysundara, while more..

WikiLeaks: Sri Lankan government accused of complicity in human rights abuses

Dec 17 (Guardian) Allegations of government complicity in crimes committed by organized paramilitary groups have mounted in the last year. Paramilitaries such as the LTTE-breakaway Karuna group and EPDP have helped the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) to fight the LTTE, to kidnap suspected LTTE collaborators, and to give the GSL a measure of deniability. The GSL, which denies any links to paramilitary groups, has recently touted its efforts to improve its human rights record, more..

Digital leap for broadcasting: Analogue system to wither away by 2017

Dec 17 (DN) The terrestrial television broadcasting system would be converted to digital technology to keep pace with world trends, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. The Minister addressing the weekly Cabinet briefing yesterday, said the terrestrial broadcasting would be fully converted to digital technology by 2017. The present analogue transmission would come to an end and analogue signals would not be available thereafter. more..

WikiLeaks: Sri Lankan doctors released on bail after charges of false civilian casualty reports

Dec 18 (Guardian) Four government doctors, held by the police CID since the end of the war in May for allegedly filing false reports on civilian casualties in the No-Fire Zone during the last several months of the war, were released on bail today. XXXXXXXXXXXX 2. (S) The doctors XXXXXXXXXXXX had been pressured to give the press conference held in early July (reftel), where they recanted all the statements they had made from the No-Fire Zone. more..