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'I am not part of Sri Lanka’s Vadakkin Vasantham'

Aug 7 (AT) Eminent agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan has clarified that he is not part of the Sri Lankan Government’s plan to revitalize the northern province through revival of agriculture Vadakkin Vasantham (North Blossom) and that he has only given inputs to the Indian Government. Clarifying his position in the wake of protests by pro-LTTE leaders like Tamil film director Seeman, Dr Swaminathan told more..

Coming to a full circle

Aug 1 (LG) The government of Sri Lanka under President Mahinda Rajapaksa said it was going to war against the LTTE with the battle cry of freedom. It spoke of a vision of a Sri Lanka where peoples lives would not be determined by the language they spoke. However, after the war is over, with a great deal of sacrifice of men and material resources, the emerging socio-political environment does not indicate the vision coming true; it may well remain what it was – just a vision. more..

Sri Lank to be promoted in the eastern China

Aug 1 (LG) Mrs. Zhu Chengrong, Vice Chairman, Shanghai Municipal Tourism Bureau will lead a 10 member delegation comprising officials from Shanghai Municipal Tourism Bureau, Chinese travel agencies and media to Sri Lanka from 2nd to 8th August 2009. During the visit an MOU will be signed to further enhance ties between Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Shanghai Municipal Tourism Bureau as well as to promote Sri Lanka in East China, and more..

A high level Chinese Buddhist delegation to visit Sri Lanka

Aug 1 (LG) The Most Venerable Shi Yie Chang, Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China who is also the Chief Abbot of the Lingguang Temple in Beijing, would lead a 102 member Buddhist delegation to Sri Lanka from 2nd to 9th August 2009. The visit is organized with a view to enhancing the bilateral Buddhist Cultural relations of over thousand years between China and Sri Lanka. more..

"IMF loan : Govt. escaped capital punishment by putting the Nation to the Guillotine"

Aug 1 (LG) It was none other than the Rajapakse Govt. which said, on the 4th of July that it will not need the IMF loan as the war is over , and the economy of the country is rosy, which ultimately begged for and took the loan abjectly capitulating to all the stringent conditions and rigorous terms imposed by the IMF, said, UNP M.P. Sagala Ratnayake speaking to the media at the UNP media unit today (31 Jul). more..

Summary of Cabinet Decisons

Aug 1 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Felix Perera for the establishment of a fish canning and loins factory in Galle. The estimated cost for the project is USD 50 million and is a joint venture between the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation and Spirit Wind Ltd of New Zealand. The proposed fish canning and fish loins factory will be established for canning of Tuna Fish at Kaduruduwawatta more..

Remembering Prof. Kodagaoda

Aug 1 (GDI) The Deshamanya Nandadasa Kodagoda 12th Memorial Oration will be held on Monday the 3rd August 2009 at 5.30pm at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo 7. This public event is organized by the Nandadasa Kodagoda Memorial Trust to commemorate the 12th death anniversary of the late Deshamanya Professor Nandadasa Kodagoda. more..

SL Foreign Missions remunerations revised

Aug 1 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance submitting a cabinet memorandum for approval to the cabinet noted that the payment of salaries to the officers serving in Sri Lanka Missions abroad were more than double the amount due to them. According to the cabinet paper, this has occurred due to the number of exchange rates used in the conversion of salaries to U.S. dollars. more..

'If you don’t let Chairman carry on his work I’ll close Film Corporation'

Aug 1 (LT) The Film Corporation has suffered loss due to weak administration of its present Chairman Jayanthe Dharmadasa and salaries, overtime and other allowances of employees have been slashed. On request from the Sri Lanka Freedom Trade Union President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga had a discussion with the union leaders on the 28th of last month. more..

'Abducting baby tuskers is discredit to Buddhism'

Aug 1 (LT) All those who are responsible for bringing discredit to Buddhism by robbing two baby tuskers from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage claiming it was to offer to Temple of the Tooth should apologize states National Bhikku Front (NBF). Announcement issued by the NBF with the signature of its General Secretary Ven. Aththanayale Samithe Thero states: The shocking and outrageous incident of forcefully taking the first two baby tuskers more..

Notice to Army deserters-Release of Army deserters

Aug 1 (LP) Army deserters who were released from prison have been advised to bring their National Identity cards (NIC) issued by Registration of Person office ,if NIC is not available a letter of complaint made to the Police (copy) should be forwarded stating the misplacement of NID ,together with photocopy of passport/ driving license /postal ID with photo. If the NID mentions ‘Army Solider’ as the job , it needs to be amended on the NIC more..

Batting continues to worry Pakistan

Aug 1 (CI) The first one-dayer on Thursday wasn't as one-sided as it was turning out to be at one stage. The Pakistan lower order fought commendably with only a couple of wickets in hand but it wasn't enough to erase an inept performance by the top order. Pakistan's coach, Intikhab Alam, stated after the match that the pitch was not to blame; his team lost it in the field when they had a chance to restrict the Sri Lankans below 200. more..

JHU says IMF loan confirms economic crisis

Aug 1 (CT) The JHU alleges that the government’s obtaining a loan from the IMF confirms the clear existence of an economic crisis in Sri Lanka. In a statement, the party says this has been further established by the fact that the IMF grants neither development nor long-term credit. It urges the government and financial policy planners the announce to the country the conditions agreed upon for this loan. more..

President calls for report into school term tests

Aug 1 (CP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for a report into the controversy surrounding school term tests. The inquiry, ordered to the education minister, will be based on information collected from education zones from where discrepancies in the tests have been reported. A committee headed by the director general of the National Institute of Education is holding a separate inquiry to prevent a recurrence. more..

Sri Lanka inflation accelerates to 1.1-pct in July

Aug 1 (LBO) Consumer inflation in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo accelerated to 1.1 percent in July from a year earlier, with prices moving up 0.4 percent in the month, the government's statistics office said. In June prices hit a low of 0.9 percent from a year earlier. Prices fell in absolute terms for seven months running from October to April before reversing direction. Inflation showed up most in food prices. more..

Colombo eases fishing curbs

Aug 1 (Hindu) The much-awaited “Hikkaduwa Beach Fest” took off on a low-key note late on Thursday even as the military announced on Friday that restrictions on deep sea fishing in the northern seas — in force since 2005 due to terrorism — had been relaxed. Hosted by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (STPB), the four-day beach blitz, was marketed as the biggest cultural festival to give spurt to tourism industry in the island nation badly hit due to war. more..

Tiruchelvam, Tigers and the Tamil “Traitor” tragedy

Aug 1 (DBS) Ten years ago on the morning of July 29, an unknown ‘human bomb’ exploded at the Rosemead Place-Kynsey Road junction. The suicide attack resulted in the death of Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam. In a few seconds of madness the LTTE had murdered the foremost intellectual in contemporary Tamil politics. The void created is yet to be filled. It is particularly felt at this juncture as the Sri Lankan Tamils flounder in a rudderless, leaking boat on choppy waters more..

Kandy Esala Perahera and its significance to Christians

Aug 1 (LG) July-August is the Perahera time in Sri Lanka. There are so many Peraheras such as Senkadagala Dalada Perahera, Saman Devale Perahera in Ratnapura, Vishnu Devala Perahera in Devinuwara, Kataragama Perahera, Munneswaram perahera, Bellanvila Perahera etc. The Esala Perhera in Kandy-where pride of place is given to pay homage to the Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha - is the grandest of all. more..

The Pinnawela Baby elephant ‘Abduction’

Aug 1 (LG) Due to my profound interest in elephants, and the numerous interactions I have had with many people during my ‘Elephant Talks’, and the book that I wrote about the elephants of the Uda Walawe National Park, I have perhaps earned a reputation for being somewhat of an ‘Elephant Enthusiast.’ Consequently to the recent incident, where two juvenile elephants at Pinnawela were removed to be taken to the Dalada Maligawa, there has been a huge cry of protest from all and sundry. more..

Did the Govt. death squad kill the arrested Tamil Tiger leaders in the prisons?

Aug 1 (LG) Information filtering through highly restricted government sources confirms that number of LTTE leaders arrested in the IDP camps immediately after the defeat of the LTTE have been killed after severe torturing in the prisons in the southern Sri Lanka. ‘Over one hundred odd LTTE men have been silently and systematically wiped out by the government death squads’ said one source. more..

Defence Priorities in the aftermath of the War

Aug 1 (LG) National security common to any nation state is political stability, territorial integrity, social justice and economic strength. Defence policy is required to determine the manner in which, without impoverishing the country, security forces can be deployed to fulfill the requirements of national security. The Armed Forces are an extension of the political will of the government. more..

Committee to probe exam paper issue

Aug 1 (GDI) Education Minister, Susil Premjayantha has appointed Dr.Lal Perera, Director Genral of the National Institute of Education to probe the mid year test paper crisis that affected 12 educational zones. This measure was adopted by the Education Minister on the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa who wanted a full probe into the matter reported back to him at the earliest. more..

Rubber cultivation expanded

Aug 1 (GDI) With the demand for Sri Lankan rubber gathering momentum in the international market, the government has decided to expand the cultivation of rubber, official sources disclosed. A number western countries and neighboring nations including India have sought natural rubber from Sri Lanka and the demand was growing more day by day. In a bid to meet the demand, the Ministry of Plantations has given the green light to cultivate rubber in 15000 acres in the Moneragala district. more..

National Farmers' Week in Vavuniya

Aug 1 (GDI) Following the restoration of permanent peace in the northern front after crushing terrorism, the government has given priority for agriculture development in that theatre and to encourage the farming community. Accordingly a National Farmers' Week is being planned in Vavuniya in October this year as an incentive measure of encouragement. Agriculture in the north played an important role in the national production and economy more..

UN conference on SL model

Aug 1 (GDI) A United Nations styled conference for students based on a Sri Lankan model is now underway at the BMICH with over one thousand students from around the globe participating with skills. The conference which began yesterday, will conclude tomorrow. Titled Sri Lanka Model United Nations (SLMUN) 2009 is a forum to enhance intellectual skills and abilities of the student population to prepare them to face challenges at global level. more..

Randoli Perahera begins today

Aug 1 (GDI) The most colourful pageant which proudly boasts of its pomp and pageantry in the historic Kandy Esala Perahera will wend its way on the streets of Kandy tonight adding glamour to the hill capital in the country. Elaborate arrangements are being made by the Dalada Maligawa for the colorful pageant to take to streets tonight. The perahera will leave the maligawa at 7.48 pm facing the South to parade the streets and return to the maligawa from Raja Veediya. more..

United States to establish exchange program for Sri Lankan Students

Aug 1 (AT) The United States Department of State is to establish an Exchange Program for Sri Lankan students who are currently pursuing high school degree (Grade 11/12) with the objective of promoting a dialogue among various ethnic and religious communities in Sri Lanka. This is one of the many steps and projects the State Department envisages to implement in its exchange program for FY 2010/11 to more..

The Mahanayake Theros Have Committed Panatipata

Aug 1 (AT) We understand that the President has been moved by the suffering the baby elephants have gone through and has decided to order their release to their parents but those guilty of this dastardly crime are fighting back and insulting us by attempting to deflect public attention through diversionary tactics and stupid talk at their level of intelligence. That will not work because a permanent blot has been made on the dignity of the posts of more..

Curtains come down on SLAVF sports meet

Aug 1 (MoD) The closing ceremony of the annual Inter Regiment Sports Meet of the Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force (SLAVF) which has a proud history of over 147 years took place at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Thursday (30). In this three-day long Sports Meet which started on 28th July, over 1000 male and female soldiers including a number of competitors with national and international records took part. more..

More LTTE military items uncovered in clearing operations

Aug 1 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army troops continued clearing operation in liberated areas uncovered more LTTE military hardware from Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu districts yesterday (31 July), military sources said. Troops of 61 Division conducted search and clear operations in general area Pawakkulam in Vavuniya district recovered 10 x Hand Grenades (Argus) during the same day. more..

SLAF helicopters for Sajin’s election campaign

Aug 1 (LNW) A senior SLFPer told Lanka News Web that the President has provided SLAF helicopters to help the campaign work of Sajin Vass Gunawardena, who is to contest the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council election as the President’s special representative. Sajin had attended an election related meeting in Hiniduma in a VIP helicopter provided on a presidential directive. more..

Gemidiriya to link remote areas in rural sector

Aug 1 (LP) The government has drawn a new program to link inaccessible areas in the rural sector and estate sector. The first infrastructure sub project is scheduled to be implemented today in Passara in the Badulla district. In keeping with this project, Akiriya bridge and 10 km long road will be built as a new access road to Meegahakiula. The total cost of the project is Rs. 35 million. Gemidiriya will provide Rs.29 million. more..

Railway staff to be trained in India

Aug 1 (LP) A training which was received by the high ranking officers will now be received by other staff members of the Railway Department. Accordingly 600 members representing all categories of the Railway Department will be sent to India to receive technical Training said Minister of Transport Dallas Alahapperuma. In order to strengthen the ties with India the construction of the proposed railway track linking Sri Lanka and India (Thalaimannar – Rameshwar) will commence in the near further. more..

Kudu Lal provided with security by Mervyn

Aug 1 (LNW) Labour Minister Mervyn Silva has taken steps to immediately send his unofficial bodyguard, who is also a leading underworld figure, known as Kudu Lal, overseas as a precautionary measure. Although the government has launched an operation to wipe out underworld figures in the country, it is yet to be reported of any underworld figure affiliated to government members and ministers or of Sinhalese ethnicity being eliminated under this programme. more..

SE University gets Rs. 42 Million

Aug 1 (PSM) The government had allocated Rs. 420,147,022 for infrastructure development of the South Eastern University under the 'Nagenahira Nawodaya' Programme. The South Eastern University should be a center of excellence within the next few years, Higher Education Minister Prof. Wiswa Warnapala told administrators and academics of the Oluvil University, at a meeting at the UGC auditorium to discuss more..

Sajith Premadasa avoids Moneragala election campaign

Aug 1 (LNW) A senior UNP MP told Lanka News Web that UNP Hambantota District parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa, who requested the party’s Working Committee to appoint him as the Moneragala District campaign coordinator, had not even visited the district in the run up to the Uva Provincial Council election. The party leadership and the Working Committee unanimously agreed to grant Premadasa’s proposal to take charge of the Moneragala District. more..

'Govt cannot intervene in the fraud of Rs. 13 billion'

Aug 1 (LNW) The Attorney General says the government cannot intervene in the matter of the alleged financial fraud by the Finance and Guarantee Company, which is a member of the Ceylinco Group. This observation was made by Deputy Solicitor General, Yasantha Kodagoda on behalf of the Attorney General when the case of the alleged financial fraud against the Finance and Guarantee Company was taken before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. more..

Forcible resettlements in East

Aug 1 (GV) Perhaps the President is unaware that even as he cites the above as reason for delays in resettling people displaced from the Vanni, his government has started to dump displaced people in the East into remote jungle areas infested with wild elephants, against the wishes of the concerned people. Savukady is a small village near Chenkalady, a few kilometers inside from the A4 main road to Batticaloa from Chenkalady. more..

'Baby elephants at Maligawa in good health'

Aug 1 (DN) Refuting allegations about the two baby elephants Sindhu and Raju being harassed after being brought to the Sri Dalada Maligawa from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, senior lecturer of the Peradeniya University and veterinary specialist Dr. Asoka Dangolla yesterday assured that the two baby elephants were in good health. Certain media and environmental and animal rights organizations alleged that the two baby elephants were being harassed more..

Our Holidays: Elephant Orphanage

Ban on mobile phones in schools: Throwing baby with bathwater

Aug 1 (DN) Following the shock waves rippling through the country with the suicide of a student in a leading girls' school in Colombo after being nabbed with a mobile phone in possession, the Government moved to ban the use of mobile phones by students in schools. The Daily News interviewed a cross section of the public to elicit their views on whether they agree or not with the enforced ban and their reasons for doing so. more..

Hot under the sun, Yala wetlands protect fauna

Aug 1 (DN) Sri Lanka's largest and most famous National Park, Yala, renowned for its variety of wildlife is currently attracting hundreds of tourists and local visitors on a daily basis. One of the world's highly rated and visited biodiversity hot spots to have shut its gates to the world due to terrorist problems , is now open to local and foreign visitors. Now, botanists, journalists, entomologists, mammalogists, naturalists and generlogists to name a few, more..

Nurses can now enter Cancer Hospital

Aug 1 (DN) Nugegoda Magistrate Wasantha Jinadasa yesterday cancelled an earlier Court Order preventing nurses attached to the Cancer Hospital from entering the Hospital. The nurses are now free to enter the Hospital according to the Magistrate's Order. Magistrate Jinadasa made this order on an application by Maharagama Cancer Hospital nurse D.E.T. Udayangani that she had received a note from Maharagama Hospital not to report to the Maharagama Cancer Hospital. more..

Tigers’ arsenal amazes Army

Aug 1 (Island) Sri Lankan forces yesterday said that 24 four barrelled 14.5 mm anti-aircraft guns of Chinese origin (ZPU 4) had been among arms and ammunition worth millions of US dollars recovered by troops during Eelam War IV. They said that the mobile guns had been acquired along with a range of other armaments from China producing North Korean and Eritrean end-user-certificates. more..

Baby jumbo case before Supreme Court

Aug 1 (Island) Sagarika Rajakarunanayake of the ‘Sathva Mithra’ organisation has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, that two baby elephants under the age of three years had been virtually abducted from the Pinnawela elephant orphanage and taken into the custody of the Diyawadana Nilame, Kandy. The petition said that Article 9 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka states that Buddhism is the State Religion and it condemns cruelty to animals. more..

Intl. Breastfeeding Week:Two babies denied mothers’ milk

Aug 1 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have acted like a caring father of three sons. He has, we are told, decided to return the two baby elephants, Raju and Sindhu, cruelly held by Diyaawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela on behalf of the Asgiriya and Malwatte temples to their grieving mothers. Today is the beginning of the International Breastfeeding Week and the Dalada Perahera is reaching its final stage. more..

Why we love elephants so much?

Aug 1 (DM) The news that the two baby elephants from Pinnawala - who have been in the eye of a storm during the past few days ; are soon to be united with their mothers, gives some respite to those who got agitated over their plight. The episode rocked the nation for six days.It is always a good question to ask as to why most people, even those who fail to empathize with their own kind, have so much of sympathy for elephants. more..

Judge slams Police on Politico's case

Aug 1 (DM) The Colombo High Court yesterday reprimanded the police saying some policemen did not have a backbone and shivered at the sight of certain people. Judge Kumudini Wickremasinghe made these strong comments when inquiring into the murder trial where former Colombo District PA parliamentarian and Kesbewa SLFP chief organiser K.D. Chandana Kathriarachchi was an accused and after a Panadura police officer had failed to give a definite answer on more..

Spiritual leader to be deported

Aug 1 (DM) The Religious Affairs Ministry has requested Emigration and Immigration authorities to cancel the visa and deport a person said to be an Islamic spiritual leader who is alleged to have been involved in the recent clashes in Beruwala. Ministry Secretary H. M. Herath said this person had been preaching in a manner which provoked the feelings of various Islamic groups in the country thus creating discord among them. more..

Positive thinking

Aug 1 (SB) Mohan Maheswaran admits that he wasn’t natural management material. The Sri Lanka native is an engineer by trade, and he preferred tinkering with technology. But during a decade-long stint with Texas Instruments, a mentor showed him tinkering could come from the executive suite. “One of the things that he said to me was any good business must drive its own energy,” Maheswaran says. more..