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Boston Lanka News: August 11, 2011

Mother and Child will return to family fold

Aug 12 (DM) A 3 ˝ year old girl who had been living at “Suraksha Niwasa”, the child care centre of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Kuwait, for one year and later been reunited with her mother had been unable to leave the country due to legal constraints. They will now be able to returnto Sri Lanka and rejoin their family in Hambantota. The girl’s mother had been imprisoned by a Kuwaiti court a few days after the girl’s birth on June 30, 2008 and the infant who is called Singithi had been more..

Fire guts Seetha Maligawa

Aug 12 (DN) A fire broke up at the historic Seetha Maligawa in Parakkrama Samudraya in Polonnaruwa and destroyed most of the 950 year old building. Provincial Archaeological officers, Kaduruwela police and villagers took every effort to put out the fire, according to Polonnaruwa archaeological Department sources. The historic palace which is said to have been the summer residence of King Parakkramabahu, which is one of his great creations, is mounted on a natural highland in the middle of Parakkrama Samudraya. more..

In India, one protest results in two stories

Aug 12 (AJ) There was a protest, unannounced, not sanctioned by police, on July 9 in Chennai - the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Outside the Sri Lankan Airlines office, around 30 "youth" blocked a busy road for about 30 minutes. The police arrived, broke up the protest, and arrested 11 protesters on the (usual) charge of public disturbance. The "public", however, heard the protesters' demands, which were repeated in the media. more..

Fortis Chief Malvindra Singh flies in private jet for Lanka Hospitals Board meeting

Aug 12 (FT) World renowned Fortis Global Healthcare Holdings, Executive Chairman Malvinder Mohan yesterday flew in his private jet to attend the Board meeting of Lanka Hospitals Corporation Plc, in which the Singapore-based Indian healthcare giant has a 29% stake. The meeting was chaired by Lanka Hospitals Chairman Gotabaya Rajapaksa who is also the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence. During the Board meeting discussions centred on how Fortis can add value to Lanka Hospitals’ more..

ANCL dismisses labour tribunal judgement

Aug 12 (SL) The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) – popularly known as Lake House has come under severe criticism for its failure to uphold a Labour Tribunal judgment. ANCL’s failure to reinstate one of its sacked employees even after a Labour Tribunal judgment, has raised questions whether they do not obey the law of the land. Nishani Herath was attached to the Silumina editorial from January 1, 1998 but was interdicted on March 13, 2007 following an attempt to get more..

Indian parliament to debate Sri Lankan situation

Aug 12 (Hindu) Parliament would have a short duration discussion on August 16 on the steps taken by the Indian govt for ‘relief and resettlement of Tamils in Sri Lanka and other measures to promote their welfare.' It would be taken up simultaneously in both Houses. Several members are eager for an opportunity to express their views on the situation of Tamils in the post-conflict situation in the island nation and the need for an early political solution to address more..

Ranil ‘can’t win elections’ a myth

Aug 12 (LI) When a political party faces a series of defeats over a considerable period, there is a tendency for internal conflicts to occur. The UNP, the main opposition party which was expelled from power in 1994 is still struggling to come out of that chasm for nearly 17 years. There is a general perception that the Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe cannot win elections. Everybody talks about ’ousting Ranil’ and bringing someone else in. Is this really going to work? more..

Baby Zebra born after a lapse of 17 years

Aug 12 (AM) After 17 years a baby Zebra was born yesterday (10) at National Zoological Garden in Dehiwala, the Zoo authorities has announced. The last birth of a zebra calf took place in 1994 at the zoo. The baby was born to a zebra couple brought to Sri Lanka in 2008 from Xingjian Safari Park in China. The mother and father are around five years old now. The baby is in good health condition, officials in charge of the Zoo said. There are five Zebras in Dehiwala zoo and the newly born more..

Forced to leave, says Prof. Hoole

Aug 12 (Hindu) Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole, a respected Sri Lankan Tamil academician and a prominent returnee after the military defeat of the Tamil Tigers, said on Thursday he was forced to leave the country. “Yes, I left through Colombo airport for London before I am arrested. I will work in the U.S. till lawyers can sort this out for me,” he told The Hindu via e-mail, when asked if he had fled Sri Lanka. “I will return because Sri Lanka [Jaffna in particular] is my home.” more..

'Calm' Johnson enjoys tough conditions

Aug 12 (CI) Mitchell Johnson is rapidly becoming Australia's subcontinent specialist, after his six-wicket haul set up Australia's victory in the first ODI in Pallekele. Sri Lanka's batsmen struggled to handle Johnson, who has also proved himself dangerous man in India, where of foreign bowlers only Muttiah Muralitharan has more one-day wickets than Johnson. In his third ODI in Sri Lanka, the other two having come during this year's World Cup, Johnson struck in his first over when more..

Sri Lanka’s rebuttal of C4 allegations screened in Bangkok

Aug 12 (Island) Sri Lanka’s video rebuttal of the Channel 4 allegations was screened this week at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) in Bangkok before an audience of journalists, foreign diplomats, representatives of NGOs and other interested persons giving viewers the opportunity of listening to a different narrative that challenged the British TV network’s contentions. This is perhaps the first time that this video launched by the Defence Ministry was aired outside Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lankan president keen on cultural exchange with China

Aug 12 (CD) Sri Lankan president vowed to promote youth cultural exchanges with China, and five Chinese college students will leave for Sri Lanka in September to study the Sinhala language for half a year. "It is a little surprising that Chinese students speak Sinhala language so well, and I hope to see your Chinese kungfu performance in Sri Lanka soon," Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa told He Yan, a freshman of the Beijing Foreign Studies University, more..

‘C4 undermining SL’s peace-building’ - BJP National Convenor

Aug 12 (DN) National Convenor (External Affairs Cell) of India’s main Opposition Bharathiya Janatha Party Sheshadri Chari yesterday slammed Britain’s Channel 4 for what he said was an attempt to poison the conducive environment that is now being built between the government and the Tamil population for peace and reconciliation. In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Chari said the “Channel 4 documentary which in any case does not appear to be made on any verifiable proof was more..

Pakistan benefits more from FTA with Sri Lanka

Aug 12 (TN) Pakistan’s exports to Sri Lanka rose by 41 percent to $216 million in 2009 while imports from the country fell by 5.7 percent to $55.79 million, reveals a study available with The News. The main products that benefited from the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries between 2005 and 2009 included Basmati rice, potato and cement, reveals a study conducted by Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development (PITAD) titled ‘Evaluation of Trade Agreements: more..

CEB unions delay planned strike

Aug 12 (Island) Considering the on-going GCE A/L examination and the Holy month of Ramazan, the Joint Trade Union Alliance of the CEB yesterday decided to further delay their planned strike aimed at obtaining theie salary arrears. However, they warned that they will go on a half-day strike on Sept 7. More than 30 trade unions met yesterday to discuss the ongoing campaign to get their 10 months arrears. "A majority of the unions decided not to indulge in any activity that more..

Premadasa Group wants Ranil to quit before Aug.18 WC Meeting

Aug 12 (Island) The Sajith Premadasa Faction has resolved to request Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down as UNP leader before August 18, while continuing as Opposition Leader. Informed sources told The Island that following Tuesday’s stormy UNP parliamentary Group Session, Premadasa, accompanied by several other MPs, including Thalatha Athukorale and Ranjith Madduma Bandara, had called on Karu Jayasuriya at his Colombo residence around 7.30 p.m. more..

Nine killings in North and East after war ended – Govt.

Aug 12 (DM) The govt admitted yesterday for the first time that there had been abductions and killings in the North and the East during the post war period. Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardene gave some details, in parliament, of the killings and said there had been six killings in the North and three in the East during that time. He said in response to an oral question raised by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera that there had only been one kidnapping for ransom in the Jaffna District. more..

Sinha, Paswan join Vaiko’s protest on Sri Lankan Tamils

Aug 12 (PTI) Leaders of various political parties, including the BJP, on Friday expressed solidarity with Tamils in Sri Lanka, saying they will continue to raise their voice until everyone responsible for the “genocide” there are brought to justice. At a protest rally here organised by MDMK chief Vaiko to protest the Centre’s “silence” on the U.N. report, BJP’s Yashwant Sinha and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan criticised the govt for citing China’s growing influence as more..

UNP in a deadlock

Aug 12 (Island) With the party in a deadlock, with the Leader refusing to budge and Reformists threatening to take to the streets to force him out, UNP General Secretary MP Tissa Attanayake yesterday declined to comment on the ongoing crisis. National List MP Attanayake, widely believed to be a Wickremsinghe loyalist, told The Island that he wouldn’t discuss the issue as speaking out would only complicate matters further. An irate Attanayake said that his comments on the contentious issue of more..

Video: Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa speaks to ‘HeadlinesToday’

Aug 12 (TC) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa talked to Rajesh Sundaram of ‘HeadlinesToday’ in Colombo recently. ‘HeadinesToday’ is a news channel from India and the interview aired on August 8th. Commenting on the recent resolutions in Tamil Nadu State Assembly about Sri Lanka, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa said: “This (the resolutions in the assembly and statements by J. Jayalalithaa) must be for her to gain political advantage…It is not reasonable, more..

Stand on Rumsfeld case reveals US hypocrisy vis-a-vis Sri Lanka

Aug 12 (Island) Sri Lanka says the position taken up by the Obama administration regarding a former US military contractor moving a Federal Court against former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, over violations of the International Humanitarian Law, has revealed the duplicity in the US stand. The US Army veteran has alleged that Rumsfeld personally approved what he called torturous interrogation techniques on a case-by-case basis more..

Grease Devil panic grips rural Sri Lanka, at least three killed

Aug 12 (Reuters) Panic over nighttime assaults blamed on "grease devils" has struck across rural Sri Lanka, leading to the deaths of at least three people this week, prompting women to stay indoors and men to arm themselves, police and local media said. Historically, a "grease devil" was a thief who wore only underwear and covered his body in grease to make himself difficult to grab if chased. But lately, the "grease devil" has become a nighttime prowler who frightens and attacks women. more..

Sri Lanka begins 1st countrywide elephant census

Aug 12 (AP) Thousands of rangers and volunteers have climbed into treetop huts near reservoirs and watering holes in Sri Lanka to carry out the island nation's first full count of its dwindling wild elephant population. The govt says the three-day census through Saturday is aimed at devising a plan to protect the elephants. But several conservation groups have boycotted the count, accusing the govt of using it as a "smoke screen" for capturing and more..

Champika lashes out at US, Jayalalitha

Aug 12 (Island) Minister Champika Ranawaka charged that the attacks by LTTE supporters on Sri Lankan pilgrims in Tamil Nadu started only after US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton had discussions with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha recently. Ranawaka in a scathing attack on the US said that it is urging the international community and various international bodies to investigate alleged war crimes against Sri Lanka which they claim took place during the "Humanitarian Operation" conducted to more..

Sri Lanka auto market: Maruti, Toyota in pole position

Aug 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's brand new automobile market is dominated by India's Maruti and Toyota is leading the re-conditioned or imported used car segment, an analysis by J B Securities, shows. Maruti/Suzuki sold 1,373 cars in July 2011, and on average sold more than 1,100 units each month according to new vehicle registrations. The best selling model was the 'Alto' which sold around 600 to 850 units a month. In July 858 units were registered. Malaysia's Perodua and India's Tata cars were a distant second more..

US State Department believes Indian journalist on Sri Lanka issues

Aug 13 (AT) When the Indian journalist Mr. Goyal who is accredited to the State Department in Washington makes a statement at daily press briefings spokesperson who conduct the briefings accept his submissions as ‘Gospel truth’. Either the spokespersons do not have facts in hand to refute Mr. Goyall’s diabolical lies about the Sri Lankan situation allowing Mr. Goyal’s accusations go unchallenged to make them international news, or they are incompetent to reach Sri Lankan diplomats in more..

’What happened was predictable’

Aug 13 (RNW) In his recently published book ‘The Cage’ former UN spokesman Gordon Weiss is critical of the UN and points to evidence of the govt of Sri Lanka committing war crimes. As the UN spokesperson in Sri Lanka during the conflict, he experienced first-hand how the UN was unable to fulfill its duties. RNW asked him about the role of the UN and the lack of accountability in Sri Lanka. Q: Could you give a brief account of what happened with the UN in the last phase of the war? more..

'Open Embilipitiya hospital again'

Aug 13 (LT) Sunil Handunneththi in a letter addressed to the Minister of Health Maithreepala Sirisena has requested to open the Ambilipitiya hospital soon which has been closed since 08th instant. Although the hospital belongs to the Embilipitiya Provincial Council, the MP has emphasized that the Minister should mediate in this issue considering it as an urgent matter concerning the lives of the patients. In his letter the MP points out that 'duties attached to OPD and the Clinics on surgical, more..

Army Camps in closed schools

Aug 13 (LT) 'Lanka' newspaper reveals that the Ministry of Defence has taken steps to set up Army camps in schools which have been recommended as ineffective by the Ministry of Education. At the Attadassi Junior School at Watagedara, Thihagoda in Matara District an Army camp of 3rd Gemunu Regiment 'B" Group is being established. The Campaign for Safeguarding Schools has pointed out that the Ministry of Education has stated thousand secondary schools will be set up among selected schools while more..

Sri Lanka condo demand from foreigners to grow 7-10 pct a year

Aug 13 (LBR) Demand for Sri Lanka’s top end property segment, high rise condominium complexes will see a seven to ten percent annual increase from foreigners in the medium term, says a research firm. Research Intelligence Unit, a Colombo based firm specializing international market research and analysis says foreigners from the Middle East, China and neighboring Maldives are increasingly looking at renting or purchasing the luxury apartments. more..

UNP organiser’s house shot at

Aug 13 (DM) A shooting occurred in the early hours of this morning at the residence of Nilame Tennakoon the Chief Organiser for the UNP in the Southern Province. The shooting took place between 2.30am and 3.00am. There were no reports of any injuries. Tennakoon said, “We were sleeping inside our room and we heard an explosion and gunfire. It lasted for around two minutes,” he said, adding, “Our house is under renovation so anyone can walk into the hall. I put the light and walked out and I saw two men running more..

Sri Lanka looking at biotech, eco-farming to fuel further growth in booming food sector

Aug 13 (AT) Exports from the Sri Lankan processed food sector has increased by 31.7% in comparison to 2009. Sri Lanka is looking at biotechnology and even eco-farming to expand the processed food sector. And Sri Lanka’s Packaging sector is also growing in size similar to tea or coconut sectors, says minister Rishad Bathiudeen. He was addressing the Press Conference held on August 11 to announce the 10th “Profoods Propack 2011” annual exhibition by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. more..

Puthumadam students meet new friends from Panagoda army school

Aug 13 (IL) A group of teachers and students of the Army school in Panagoda paid a goodwill visit to Puthumadam Roman Catholic Primary School in Inuvil, Jaffna last Sunday. This visit was organized by the 513 Brigade of the Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna as an ongoing coordination programme for last two years to build the friendship bridge among students between the North and South. This worthy project was introduced by the Sri Lanka Army, more..

No politics at Ranil – Fonseka pow-wow

Aug 13 (DM) The leader of the UNP and General Secretary Tissa Attanayake in their meeting with General Sarath Fonseka had discussed the Appeal on Human rights violation placed before the International Parliamentary Union. Speaking to Daily Mirror Attanayake stated, “We discussed our complaint lodged with the International Parliamentary Union against the arbitrary detention of the General. We also discussed the report that was submitted by a member of the union after visiting the court hearings.” more..

UNPers withdraw from proposed hunger strike

Aug 13 (DM) The Sathyagraha which was to be staged by four newly elected UNP members of the Chilaw Pradeshiya Sabha and the Urban Council was called off after a discussion with Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at Sirikotha today. The Sathyagraha was to be staged by in front of ‘Sirikotha’ against the failure of the party to appoint a group leader and a whip for the council. It was called off following the assurance given by Ranil Wickremesinghe assured that the vacant posts would be filled. more..

Sri Lankans visiting Tamil Nadu requested to register with police

Aug 13 (KT) Sri Lankans visiting Tamil Nadu have been requested to register themselves with the Indian police upon arrival as a security measures. The extra-security has been implemented after a group of Sri Lankan pilgrims to India were subjected to attack by a pro-LTTE group identifying themselves as “Nan Thamizhan” (I am Tamil) 
earlier this week. The 84 Buddhist pilgrims, predominantly elderly men and women came under attack at a lodge the pilgrims were staying in Chennai. more..

Block deals, retail trades push Sri Lanka bourse up 1 pct

Aug 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's bourse rose 1 percent on Friday on retail buying and two large block trades but foreign investors sold out in the largest volume in three months, amid global economic uncertainty, traders said. Sri Lanka's main share index rose 1.24 percent in early trade closed 0.97 percent or 65.97 points firmer at 6,833.06, highest since Aug. 1. Foreign investors sold a net 871.5 million rupees ($7.9 million) worth of shares on Friday, highest since May 20, more..

Vidanage kicked out?

Aug 13 (NN) Disgraced Sri Lankan weightlifter Chinthana Vidanage has been kicked out of the Athletes' Commission of Hambantota's bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games after he was given a four-year ban for taking drugs, the ‘Inside the games’ website reported. Vidanage, 29, tested positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine at the Asian Weightlifting Championship held in China's Anhui province in April and has been given the ban by the International Weightlifing Federation. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 12.08.2011