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Attack on Lankan team: warrants for accused

Dec 21 (Dawn) A Lahore High Court division bench on Tuesday issued non-bailable warrants of arrest for three accused involved in attack on Sri Lankan cricket team for not appearing before the court during the last many hearings. The bench, comprising Justice Sheikh Ahmad Farooq and Kazim Raza Shamsi, also ordered the capital city police officer to arrest accused Qari Muhammad Mushtaq, Amanullah and Ubaidur Rehman and produce them in court. more..

Peace challenges Sri Lanka with new environmental choices

Dec 21 (DW) On Dutch Bay in the Kalpitiya Islands, a Sri Lankan couple prepares a fishing net, as they've done every day for the last 25 years. Ambrose and his wife, Renuka, survive on the fish they catch from the waters that lap just a few feet from where they stand. They say their lives are about to change. "This area is good for us. If we have to go to another area we will be unable to make a living," Renuka said. "We have the lagoon and the sea, and fishing from them is more..

All Student Unions in Pera suspended

Dec 21 (DM) The Vice Chancellor of the Peradeniya University has suspended All Student Unions with effect from 2.00pm today. The suspension came in light of the protest march the students had planned. The students were to come in procession from Peradeniya to Colombo but the march was halted due to a court order obtained against it. The students then gathered at the Galaha Junction and were shouting slogans against the establishing of more..

Why has the left neglected the Tamils of Sri Lanka?

Dec 21 (NS) Earlier this week, a piece was published by the Daily Telegraph that contained the latest in a powerful body of evidence that indicates the Sri Lankan army committed atrocities during the final phase of the country's civil war. It referenced damning allegations of war crimes committed by govt forces during the conflict's conclusion. These were sourced from an affidavit containing the testimony of a former member of the military who held more..

Commercial Bank opens ATMs at railway stations

Dec 21 (LBO) Commercial Bank has begun opening automated teller machines at railway stations to give commuters access to its electronic cash dispensing facility. The bank’s first ATM machine under the programme was commissioned at the Fort Railway Station, the biggest terminal, in the heart of the capital Colombo recently. This is to be followed by the installation of ATMs at the Maradana station, also in Colombo, and in the suburban stations of Ganemulla, more..

WikiLeaks: Nugegoda mob attack was directed by Presidential Secretariat

Dec 21 (CT) “A senior police officer (protect) confided to Pol FSN: ‘police received instructions from the Presidential Secretariat to stop the rally and to assault participants if SIPDIS they did not adhere to the police instructions to disband.’ The police source added that the Presidential Secretariat further instructed the police not to arrest the group led by Deputy Minister Silva. Local journalists told the BBC January 9 that more..

Sri Lanka asks Russia for phased import duty reduction

Dec 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka has asked Russia to cut import duty on tea in a phased manner following its admission to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) after 18 years of negotiations. Russia's accession into the WTO has to be first ratified by its Duma or parliament which will be in March 2012 after which it has three months for implementation, Hasitha De Alwis, director promotion of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, told LBO. Russia is the biggest market for Ceylon tea, more..

‘Those who joined from the UNP have messed things up’

Dec 21 (SM) Transport minister Kumara Welgama says those who have joined the government from the UNP are of excitable nature, and want to become leaders overnight. On the other hands, those in the SLFP are composed and carry out their responsibilities without making a mess of it, he said at the opening of a water supply scheme in Dodangoda on Dec 18. The minister said those in the UNP want to win the race quickly somehow, and if they are not given any positions, more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 21.12.2011

Number of Elephant Deaths increased significantly

Dec 21 (GDI) Wildlife Conservation Department informed that 48 persons and 200 wild elephants died in human–elephant conflicts so far this year. Department said that 75 of the elephants died by shooting, 20 elephants by getting caught in traps laid by farmers and number of elephants getting killed through traps laid with food containers packed with explosives has increased considerably. 15 elephants have died by the recent floods, and 10 have died by train accidents. more..

President’s Fund too to the gnome!

Dec 21 (LT) A sum of Rs. 1057173093/= from the President’s fund that has been established to donate to various public welfare including surgery for heart patients has been misappropriated. This is revealed in the report for 2009 released by the Auditor General. The information required for auditing has been made available to the Auditor General on 28.12.2010 and the Auditor General has released his report on 31st January, 2011. According to the report misappropriation more..

LLRC report presented to UK parliamentarians

Dec 21 (GDI) High Commissioner Dr. Chris Nonis briefed British Parliamentarians from the House of Commons and the House of Lords, academics and Think Tanks, at an interactive dialogue on the LLRC Report held last afternoon in Portcullis House in the British Parliament. Dr. Chris Nonis articulated that the holistic approach of the LLRC is entirely consistent with restorative justice embedded with accountability. He further stated that more..

Niromi 2009 versus Niromi Tigress 2011

Dec 22 (GV) Niromi de Soyza’s so-called autobiography, Tamil Tigress, has received extensive coverage in Australia and has traversed the world now because of critical reviews by several personnel and devoted defence from others. It has been described as “part memoir, part compelling reportage, part mea culpa” by Nikki Barrowclough in the Sydney Morning Herald’s weekend magazine.[i] Gordon Weiss, the moral crusader, proclaimed it to be “incredibly moving” and considers it more..

Internationally established investigation to ascertain facts and propose remedies

Dec 22 (TC) US Tamil Political Action Council dismayed at flawed domestic inquiry in Sri Lanka: Urgent International Investigation Need of the Hour. The United States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) finds the report of Sri Lanka’s domestic inquiry into alleged war crimes deeply flawed and urges the implementation of UN Panel of Experts’ recommendations by creating an international investigative mechanism. USTPAC welcomes the public release of more..

The power of Angam haramba

Dec 22 (SO) He is not a Kung Fu or Karate master, but he is our own ‘gladiator’, who has revived the great indigenous martial art – Angam haramba of Ritigala. There was a time, many centuries ago, all the villagers in the ancient villages around the serene ‘Ritigala’ knew a martial art, which was purely a Sri Lankan way of defending themselves against the enemy. The highly disciplined method of 'physical combat’, known as ‘Angam Haramba’ was more..

Implementing the LLRC recommendations

Dec 22 (Island) While the subject of reconciliation is addressed in Chapter 8 of the LLRC report, recommendations as to how issues pertaining to reconciliation are addressed are contained in Chapter 9. There is bound to be disagreement as to the validity and relevance in respect of the totality of the recommendations. However, there has to be consensus in respect of some core recommendations, some of which would require time and resources to implement while it would be possible for others to more..

Editorial: Thus spake Ranil

Dec 22 (Island) Re-elected UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is cock-a-hoop after Monday’s impressive victory, has outlined his strategy to steer his party to victory. He said in a television interview on Tuesday that no party was capable of immediate recovery after a crushing electoral defeat; An SLFP-led coalition's stunning victory in 1970 had left even the legendary UNP leader J. R. Jayewardene reeling for five years. It was only in 1975 that JRJ had managed to more..

Double-dip crisis and Asia’s post-Durban rise

Dec 22 (DM) It was a sunny day with clear skies. The aircraft, having taken off from Dubai and being airborne for about nine hours, was nearing its destination. The bird’s eye view, I had through the window of the descending aircraft been fascinating. There, I saw a vast stretch of sandy beach towards which dark blue waters of the Indian Ocean, cruising relentlessly and creating milky waves of some pattern. At last, the aircraft made a perfect more..

A paradigm shift in education vital

Dec 22 (SO) The need for a paradigm shift from the present education system to a system that is in conformity with the 21st century goals is of paramount importance. One aspect of the paradigm shift is a clear articulation of the purpose of education. For this it is important to formulate a clear vision of where we want to go in the future. If a school is serious about achieving 21st century goals, its vision statement must reflect it. The vision statement should be a more..

The dire need for a specialized Cancer Hospital in Kandy

Dec 22 (LB) Over the years – cancer – a non-communicable disease has been on the rise not only in Sri Lanka but the world over with more than 11 mn new cases and seven mn deaths every year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the number of new cancer cases could go up to 16 mn and the number of deaths would rise up to 10 mn by the year 2020 – a mere eight years from now. While facilities – state of the art hospitals, highly trained doctors, new drugs, et al., are more..

'Most serious problem faced by people in the North-East on a day to day basis is that of militarisation'

Dec 22 (DBS) Hello Friends; The recent speech in Parliament during the Defence ministry vote by Tamil National Alliance National list Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran provides a different perspective on the growing militarisation of Sri Lanka with particular focus on the Northern and Eastern provinces. I am reproducing the full text of Sumanthiran MP’s parliamentary address on my blog for the benefit of readers. more..

Curtailing prostitution and preventing AIDS

Dec 22 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia turns its spotlight today on curtailment, if not eradication, of prostitution and prevention of HIV-Aids in Sri Lanka as Sri Lankan society would aspire for the achievement of both these goals. It is an unequivocal fact that prostitution in Sri Lanka is functionally interconnected with the spread of HIV Aids. Solutions adopted to combat AIDS and related diseases of development need to take more..

Your “Privacy” is at stake !

Dec 22 (SL) There was no space for such “privacy” within Saddam Hussein’s model of Bhath Socialist development. If State repression in Soviet Russia under Stalin was crude and brutal as some have written, then, State repression in Iraq under Saddam Hussein was meticulously ruthless. The un-embedded Indian journalist Satish Jacob who covered the Iraqi war, left this passing remark on the surveillance system that Saddam Hussein had for the Iraqi citizens, in his book titled more..

Spree of brutal killings and suicides: what is the cause?

Dec 22 (DM) Last Saturday night, a family of four, including three women, were hacked to death inside their house in the Katiyawa area in Eppawala. This was not the first such incident reported in the recent past. The tendency for brutal killings has risen as suspects do not fear the prevailing laws or the police. According to many reports and analysis, lack of capital punishment has led people to commit such crimes: criminals are certain that if more..

Accounting for public enterprises

Dec 22 (FT) Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) Chairman D.E.W. Gunasekera has called for the appointment of special accounting services to promote maintenance of accounts and professionalism. One can only highlight this as a big step in the right direction. Media reports indicate that as much as Rs. 19 billion has been mismanaged by the 229 organisations monitored in 16 months, leading one to question: What steps will the Govt take to minimise these excesses? more..

Remembering the Durban fiasco

Dec 22 (Island) Any visit to the steamy Durban, a port city in the eastern part of South Africa, takes your memory back to the turbulent World Cup fixture between Sri Lanka and the hosts during the 2003 World Cup, which South Africa co-hosted with Zimbabwe and Kenya. The game was the last for both teams in the group stage and although Sri Lanka had had a decent campaign, their surprise defeat to Kenya in Nairobi had created doubt regarding their progress to the second round more..

Dep. Minister in Gampaha taking bribes?

Dec 22 (DM) A certain deputy minister who represents the Gampaha District takes a bribe of Rs.3.5 million from anyone putting up a filling station in the district, Parliament was informed today. Western Provincial Council Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has made a written complaint to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in this regard. A copy of the letter was tabled by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake today in the House to be included in the Hansard report. more..

Seven years in no man’s land

Dec 22 (SL) Since the tragic events of December 26th, 2004, the population living along coastal belt of Maruthamunai have faced hardship due to the incompetence of the authorities at the Kalmunai Divisional Secretary. In 2007, construction of the Mertuvattai Housing Scheme began. Funded by the Venezuelan govt, 30 acres of land was acquired for the scheme, though only 10 acres have been used. Last month the construction came to completion, however, the houses have more..

Exhibition to showcase risks of smoking

Dec 22 (DN) An exhibition to raise awareness on the importance of introducing pictorial warnings on tobacco packaging, that depicts health risks of smoking, would be held today at the National Cancer Institute, Maharagama. The exhibition will illustrate pictorial warnings on cigarette packs in various countries, and will explain the necessity of implementing pictorial warnings in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has been the first Asian country and the fourth in the world to more..

TNA asked to study new US anti-terrorism laws before...

Dec 22 (Island) UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena wants the TNA to explain its position on the new law which allows the US military to indefinitely detain without trial American terror suspects arrested on US soil. The new law permits the suspects arrested in the US moved to the Guantanamo Bay prison notorious for prisoner abuse and torture. "I raised the issue with TNA MP, M. A. Sumanthiran early this week in parliament," the Galle District MP said more..

Three tractor load of Garbage cleared from Horton Plains

Dec 22 (Island) A staggering three tractor loads of garbage, was collected in close vicinity to one of the country’s most income generating parks, the Horton Plains National Park. The programme was conducted by the Friends of Horton Plains, a nonprofit oriented, environmental group in association with the plantation community, scientists and members from various NGOs in the Nuwara-Eliya District, with the support of the Department of Wildlife Conservation. more..

Sri Lanka's first-class matches postponed

Dec 22 (CI) Sri Lanka's domestic first-class Premier Tier A and B league matches, which were to begin on Wednesday, have been indefinitely postponed. This is the latest twist to the troubles afflicting Sri Lankan cricket, and the clubs and national board have offered conflicting reasons for the postponement. SLC's head of cricket operations, Ashley de Silva, said that the clubs requested a postponement on the grounds that there would be "too much cricket following more..

Sri Lankan maids honored on Migrants Day

Dec 22 (AN) International Migrants Day is a day to honor workers who work and sweat for their country overseas, Sri Lanka Consul General in Jeddah Dr. Athambawa Uthumalebbe said on Monday. The diplomat was speaking at a ceremony to mark the occasion among his country’s expatriate workers in the Kingdom. The event was organized by the mission in cooperation with the Colombo-based SLBFE, which looks after the interests of the country's migrant workers. more..

Sri Lanka approves 2012 budget, ups defence spending

Dec 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka's parliament on Wednesday approved the country's 2012 budget, officials said, boosting spending on defence despite the end of the island?s decades-long Tamil separatist war in May 2009. The annual budget for 2012 unveiled last month by President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also the finance minister, was passed with a two-thirds majority. The budget increased defence spending to 230 billion rupees ($2.1 billion) from 215 billion rupees in 2011. more..

SL, world's 8th most charitable country

Dec 22 (DN) Sri Lanka has been rated the world's eighth most charitable country in the World Giving Index (WGI) compiled by the Charities Aid Foundation. According to the survey of 153 nations, Sri Lanka was named the country with third highest percentage of population claiming to 'volunteer time' at 46 percent. The World Giving Index 2011 ranks nations based on how likely citizens are to donate money, volunteer their time and help strangers. more..

'Let’s deal with it in Puttlam'

Dec 22 (DM) Govt MP Arundika Fernando, raising a question of privilege in Parliament today, said that he was threatened by UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara on Tuesday, and therefore he feared for his life. The two members who are from the Puttlam District got involved in a physical brawl in which Mr. Fernando allegedly dealt a blow at Mr. Bandara in the face. Mr. Fernando had become furious after Mr. Bandara made some remarks involving his personal relationships. more..

Established to promote national security: Army camps to stay

Dec 22 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the army camps set up at district level are of national importance, and these camps which have been established with the intention of promoting national security will not be removed. The President made this observation while making his reply speech during the committee stage debate on the finance heads of the Finance and Planning Ministry in his capacity as the Finance and Planning Minister. He noted that this was a more..

Economy ecstatic!

Dec 22 (FT) Yet again proving its resilience amidst global shocks and the recession in the West, the country’s economy in the third quarter has grown by 8.4%, a rate viewed by analysts as faster than expected. The high 8.4% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was above the 8% achieved in the corresponding period of last year. It also figures well above the 8.2% achieved in the second quarter of this year and is also the highest quarterly growth since the 2010 last quarter’s 8.6%. more..

Arjuna wants ICC payments to cricketers probed

Dec 22 (Island) Former World Cup winning Sri Lanka Cricket captain and DNA MP Arjuna Ranatunga told Parliament yesterday that the International Cricket Council (ICC) should not pay Sri Lankan players direct. He asked the Sports Minister to look into how such payments were being made. "The money must be sent to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for disbursement and a very bad precedent has been created by paying players direct," Ranatunga said. more..

Enjoy and celebrate the season ‘wisely’- NCD Unit

Dec 22 (Island) "Enjoy and celebrate the season wisely and don’t end up in hospital with non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels". This is an appeal made by the Health Ministry’s Non-Communicable Diseases Unit. The spokesman for the Ministry’s NCD Unit appealed to the public to refrain from consuming food items that had excess oil, flour, salt and sugar during the festive season. The spokesman said that hospitals recorded more..