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Wimal slams Jayasingha

Dec 3 (NN) Government Minister Wimal Weerawanse today slammed the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London Nihal Jayasingha saying he had failed to warn President Mahinda Rajapakse over the security concerns in London prior to his departure to address the Oxford Union. Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Weerawansa also alleged that the cancellation of President Rajapake’s speech by the Oxford Union was manipulated by the British government with the support of some pro-LTTE elements. more..

Power sharing from grass roots – President to Liam Fox

Dec 3 (GDI) Mr. Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom who called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa in London yesterday discussed aspects of the wider sharing of power in Sri Lanka, and development assistance from the UK. In discussions on the Governments proposals for sharing of power among all communities, President Rajapaksa explained that he saw thenecessity for the local government authorities to be more strengthened, more..

SLMC Parliamentarian Noordeen Mashoor passes away

Dec 3 (GDI) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Parliamentarian Noordeen Mashoor passed away in Colombo this morning. Mashoor represented the Vanni electoral district in the Sri Lankan Parliament between October 2000 and April 2004. Firstly he was an MP under the National Unity Alliance led by late Minister Mohamed Ashruff then the United National Front (UNF). He returned to Parliament in April 2010 also representing Vanni for the UNF and more..

Legal action to be taken against conspiring opposition MPs

Dec 3 (AD) The Government will take legal action against every opposition MP who took part in international conspiracies against the country, Director General of the Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalla said today. He added that after facts are unearthed regarding such conduct legal measures will be taken. Hulugalla stated that certain statements made by opposition MPs during foreign visits have instigated the pro-LTTE diaspora. more..

Nurses in lunch-time protest

Dec 3 (ST) Thousands of nurses with the state hospitals launched a lunch-time protest throughout most parts of the country today to press home several of their demands, a unionist said a short while ago. The nurses are demanding a five day working week, for Cabinet to approve the Grade One posting after 12 years of service, to extend the present training period from three years to three and a half, to implement the promised wage hike to more..

Pair in toilet and vehicle park protest .

Dec 3 (ST) Two persons have climbed the roof at the Economic Trade Centre in Dambulla in protest over alleged irregularities in tender procedures relating to the Market’s toilet and Vehicle Park. Officials with the Market told Timesonline that owing to interference by a regional politician the tenders that were to be called on Wednesday was put on hold for unexplained treasons allowing the previous operators to carry on with a lesser fee. more..

Udul’s bail request advanced by Court

Dec 3 (AD) On a request made by the Convener of the Inter University Student’s Federation (IUSF) Udul Premarathne, his lawyer filed a motion for an earlier date for his bail application which was scheduled for January 14, due to an urgent need. Considering the request Colombo high court judged Deepali Wijesundara fixed the date for December 07. Premaratna was arrested and remanded for forcibly entering the Ministry of Higher Education premises and damaging government property.

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 02.12.2010

EDITORIAL: Rajapakse’s failed trip to London: Advisors should have known better

Dec 3 (LG) President Rajapakse’s private visit at the at the expense of taxpayers’ money to satisfy his ego has failed and his so-called talk at the Oxford University organised by the Sri Lankan students there has been cancelled. In the eyes of right thinking people, the London trip is utterly useless and insignificant with no benefit whatsoever either to the President Rajapakse or to the people of Sri Lanka. more..

Value of Defeat

Dec 3 (LG) The reactive action by Oxford University in cancelling its engagement with Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse under the pretext of ‘security’ reveals to the independent observer, the fall in status of this once prestigious University. Had the initial decision been made on merit basis, Oxford University would have honored its engagement– come what may. It had the responsibility to uphold that merit based engagement. more..

What I said at the LLRC?

Dec 3 (LG) I thank the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission for having invited me to present my point. I consider it a privilege to have this opportunity to submit my view on this important occasion. I am an expatriate Sri Lankan from Tamil origin, living in Australia. I have decided to narrate the events on my life as twines in and out of the tragic story of the 30-year-crisis that ruined the lives of more..

Oh, democracy, what damn lies are told in thy name

Dec 3 (DM) The state is the root of deception. The WikiLeaks exposé shows that the state resorts to lies and deception. It has evil motives such as toppling an elected government — as in the case of Turkey where, according to WikiLeaks postings, the United States had reportedly held discussions with Turkey's powerful military about overthrowing the Islamic-rooted government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan. In another case that undserscores the double-dealings or duplicity of states, more..

Wikileaks set back efforts to counter ideological extremism and terrorism

Dec 3 (DM) The Wikileaks demonstrated that no counter terrorist or counter insurgency campaign can be conducted without civilian fatalities and casualties. Certain measures adopted to meet the threat in a hurry may have compromised standards that must be maintained. The Wikileaks will make Muslim governments and Muslim NGOs that are cooperating with the US to think twice of collaboration. more..

More Families Resettled at Keeramalai

Dec 3 (Cimic) Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna (SF-J) on directives of the Army Headquarters took steps early this week to release some more lands at Keeramamli for the civilians who were original settlers there. Those blocks of lands were within the restricted zone due to the threat of landmines and other unexploded ordnance which made the area risky for civilians and their movements. more..

Stop preaching , start practising

Dec 3 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam, asalamu alaikkum and best wishes as we usher in December amid calls for poverty eradication and a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources. In your inauguration speech on November 19 and in your 20/11 budget speech you underlined the need for poverty eradication and devolution of power directly to the people to restore their dignity as human beings. more..

'Definition of the word relief is very important'

Dec 3 (DM) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabral speaks to the Daily Mirror about the proposed 2011 budget. He explains the reasons for an insignificant increase in the education budget, a constant defense budget and the benefits of relaxing foreign exchange controls. Q: What sort of stimulation to the economy can be expected from the relaxation of Foreign Exchange regulations? A: Actually this is something that we have been planning for sometime; more..

'The cordial relationships we want between the Tamil and Sinhalese people have not been built'

Dec 3 (TC) Mr. Speaker, I am glad that important Ministers and Members from the Government side have come to listen to this speech. I must first state that I am happy to have been able to join the Budget Debate. I thank all concerned for giving me the opportunity. I intend to subject the Budget presented by the President on Monday to constructive criticism. Mr. Speaker, I want to be constructively critical. more..

Ex-combatants under motor mechanic training visit David Pieris Motor factories

Dec 3 (MoD) Thirty ex-LTTE combatants currently on motor mechanic training course at David Peries motor Company at Bandaragama, visited the factories of David Pieris group of companies at Piliyandala recently. The rehabilitees are following the three wheelers and motor bike repair training course facilitated by the David Pieris Motor Company. As at now the company provided training opportunities for 90 beneficiaries. more..

Commander of the navy's divisions in view of Sri Lanka Navy's 60th anniversary

Dec 3 (MoD) Commander of the Navy's Divisions in view of the Navy's 60th Anniversary was held at SLNS Rangalla in the Port of Colombo Yesterday (01). The Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe inspected the divisions and addressed the Naval personnel of the Western Naval Command. A two-minute silence was observed in honour of the Naval heroes who sacrificed their lives in the defence of more..

Death of a tusker

Dec 3 (NS) Enraged by human invasion into their habitats, infuriated by the constant threat of being relocated into an area they are not familiar with and exasperated by the increased difficulty in finding sufficient food, the magnificent elephant population in the country has waged war with the humans. The latest episode in this long-drawn-out war is the tragic death of another majestic tusker – a breed of elephants that is slowly being pushed towards extinction. more..

Close down Saravanamuttu Jehan NGOs -- Academic

Dec 3 (LB) Academic and writer Dr. Susantha Goonetilleke, in his written submissions before the LLRC has made a cogent argument for banning certain NGOs such as the National Peace Council, Centre for Policy Alternatives, and International Centre for Ethnic Studies. He also stated in his presentation last week that politicians and public officials who supported P-TOMS and the ISGA etc., during the time of the ceasefire agreement with the LTTE, should be deprived of their civic rights. more..

Ransom money in hands of Tamil businessmen

Dec 3 (LB) Millions of rupees collected from traders in and around Colombo and its city limits during the latter stages of the humanitarian operations against the LTTE are allegedly kept by some businessmen in Colombo, investigations conducted by the Terrorist Investigation department (TID) revealed. This money is said to have been collected as monthly ransom by Tamil traders in Colombo on behalf of the LTTE, investigations have further revealed. more..

The National summit on paddy development begins in Kandy today

Dec 3 (SLBC) The national summit on paddy development will be kicked off this morning in the Plants and Genetic Resources Centre in Gannoruwa under the patronage of minister of agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena. Identifying high yield verities of paddy, launch of eco friendly cultivation and many other issues related to paddy cultivation will be discussed in this summit. Experts in the cultivation sector and more..

US Embassy to host forum on Jataka Katha

Dec 3 (N360) The U.S. Embassy in Colombo will be hosting an Author’s forum on the “Jataka Katha” of Lord Buddha. Accordingly the event which will be held on the 8th of December in Colombo will discuss a book published under the title of “Tales of Lord Buddha” which has rewritten 217 of the Jataka stories. The “Tales of Lord Buddha” has been written by two American authors Ken and Visakha Kawasaki. U.S. Embassy in Colombo says the “Tales of Lord Buddha” is been written in more..

Did a U.S. ambassador accuse Sri Lanka's president of war crimes?

Dec 3 (FP) Are we surprised to learn, via WikiLeaks, that American diplomats in Colombo blame Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his top officials for the massacre of tens of thousands (by most estimates) of Tamil civilians during the final months of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war? The goods are in a Jan. 15 cable sent by U.S. Amb. Patricia A. Butenis on the eve of Sri Lanka's presidential elections (which Rajapaksa won handily). more..

Interview III - Bradman Weerakoon

Editorial : Britain's moment of shame

Dec 3 (Island) That the United Kingdom is a state sponsoring terrorism is only too well known as it harbours terrorists of all kinds who do not pose a threat to it, including the LTTE and lets them raise funds for wars in other countries like Sri Lanka. But, as we saw on Wednesday, Britain has now been reduced to a puppet state manipulated by terror backers on whose support some British political parties and politicians are dependent to win elections! more..

Editorial : Health for all means wealth for all

Dec 3 (DM) Since President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s inauguration on November 19 for his second term in office and 2011 Budget speech, government leaders have been proudly and loudly proclaiming that Sri Lanka has entered an era of mega development to make it one of the foremost countries of the world. Opposition critics and cynics are as loud and clear in their argument that such mega development or economic miracles cannot be achieved through large scale commercial borrowings or more..

UK protests 'threaten freedom of expression'

Dec 3 (BBC) The Sri Lanka government says that protesters in the United Kingdom threatened freedom of expression. In an apparent effort to counter number of allegations that are appearing in the British media in recent days about the war crimes in addition to give government's response to the last minute cancellation of the president's address at a leading debating union, GL Peiris spoke to journalists in a hurriedly convened press meet in London. more..

Bowling in pairs the key for Sri Lanka, says Bayliss

Dec 3 (CI) Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lanka coach, has singled out Suranga Lakmal for special praise after Sri Lanka's comeback with the ball on the second day at Pallekele. "He [Lakmal] has bowled extremely well although he's got only wicket," Bayliss said. "He is the least experienced in the team but I thought he's probably been one of our better bowlers." Lakmal had dismissed Chris Gayle with the first ball of the Test but went wicketless on Thursday. more..

Bell Pottinger and official communiqués of the Sri Lankan government

Dec 3 (GV) For security reasons the speech by President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka at the Oxford Union, the home of free speech, has been cancelled. This is a decision that has been made unilaterally by the Oxford Union, reportedly as a result of pressure applied by pro-LTTE activists. His Excellency said: “I am very sorry this has had to be cancelled but I will continue to seek venues in the UK and elsewhere where I can talk about my future vision for Sri Lanka.” more..

Cable TV operators to pay Rs. 10 mn each day in taxes

Dec 3 (Island) In the face of a huge black market segment, licensed cable TV operators could end up paying levies amounting to as much as Rs. 10 million a day, if the government goes ahead with plans of extending the Rs. 200,000 levy on imported programmes and Rs. 25,000 on imported films currently applicable to terrestrial TV to the cable TV sector as well. The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), a think tank, in a preliminary observation on changes to more..

Tamil equivalents to Sinhalese names a must: TNA

Dec 3 (DM) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in Parliament yesterday urged the Government to find Tamil equivalents to the Sinhalese names given to certain projects, programmes and even savings accounts. During the committee stage debate on the Ministry of National Languages, TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that the Government had used Sinhalese names such as Rajarata Navodaya, Ran Aruna and Vanitha Vasana even in books printed in Tamil. “ more..

Teachers demand settle salary arrears of Rs. 2b

Dec 3 (DM) Teachers of the Colombo Education zone yesterday urged the authorities to take measures to pay the salary arrears of more than Rs. 2 billion to the teachers countrywide and vowed to take strong union actions if their requests are left unanswered. The protesting teachers held placards and chanted slogans in front of Maradana Ananda College yesterday urging the authorities to take immediate measures to solve several main issues which the members of the more..

'Pleasure to see era of farmer suicides end'

Dec 3 (Island) It is a pleasure for the entire nation to see the end of an era when farmers drank poison because they could not get a reasonable price for their produce, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a message of felicitation to the Rice Congress 2010, which was inaugurated yesterday at Gannoruwa in Peradeniya. The two-day sessions of the congress was inaugurated at the Plant Genetics Resource Centre (PGRC) with more..

J'pura undergrads told to appear in Court

Dec 3 (DN) Nugegoda Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Rohana Anura Kumara Herath yesterday ordered four students of the Sri Jayewardenepura University who are on suspension orders be noticed to appear in Court for illegally entering the University premises and joining a demonstration staged by a group of nearly 500 students. The four student suspects are H S M Samarasinghe, K G C Deshapriya, P A N Dhanushka and K K N S Karunatilleke. more..

Over 54 tons of narcotics seized, 20,421 arrested - IGP

Dec 3 (Island) Over 54 tons of Narcotics had been seized and 20,421 suspects arrested in the Police Department’s attempts to eradicate the illicit liquor and dangerous drugs menaces, IGP Mahinda Balasuriya told a media conference at Police headquarters yesterday. He said the Police Department launched an island wide operation on October 13 to detect dangerous drugs and arrest the culprits behind those illegal operations. more..

Aluthgamage against shifting Peradeniya town

Dec 3 (Island) Sports Minister and Co-Chairman of the Kandy District Cordinating Committee, Mahindananda Aluthgamage disagrees with the proposal to shift the Peradeniya town to a new site over fears of a possible landslip. Due to the threat of the hill-side sliding down onto the existing town of Peradeniya, as it happened on two earlier occasions, it has been arranged to re-locate the town on a land at Eriyagama. more..

Sri Lanka renewable tariffs: waste, dendro, wind most expensive

Dec 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's new tariffs for renewable energy show that dendro would be more expensive than wind and municipal waste heat would be paid the highest tariff, displacing wind as the most expensive source. New tariffs released by the Public Utilities Commission in November 2010 say that municipal waste fired plants would be paid 22.02 rupees a unit (kilowatt hour), up from 15.31 rupees listed last year, under the so-called flat tariff scheme. more..

Textile experts question investment in Sri Lanka mills

Dec 3 (JS) Plans just announced by the Sri Lankan government to develop the country's textile sector have been questioned by industry specialists who doubt the viability of more textile mills. Sri Lanka currently has only six textile mills to supply the apparel export sector. As a result, garment makers still import around half of their fabric requirements. This week, though, the government, in its national budget for 2011, announced incentives for the textile and apparel sector more..