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NTUC to discuss with JSS and NSS

Jan 12 (SL) The National Trade Union Center (NTUC) has decided to hold discussions with trade unions like the UNP affiliated Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) and UPFA affiliated Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya (NSS) to decide on the action to be taken to urge for a salary increase for the working masses. NTUC Convener, Samantha Koralearachchi siad that the NTUC steering committee has decided to invite trade union leaders at grass root level to discuss the action more..

Affordable fuel soon

Jan 12 (NN) The government is to provide fuel to the public at affordable rates despite the increasing fuel prices in the global market, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today. Art a meeting with the Minister of Power and Energy Champika Ranawaka and other senior Ministry officials at the Ministry premises today the President said that the government is planning a programme to provide fuel to at affordable rates. The President also advised the Power and Energy Ministry to more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 11.01.2011

Rains ruin Sigiriya fountain

Jan 12 (ST) The heavy rain being experienced throughout the country in the past weeks has also hit archaeologically important Sigiriya with one of the fountains at the bottom of the historic rock being washed away. Eyewitnesses said three days of continuous rain had caused heavy damage to the fountain, parts of which had been washed away in the flood waters. The Sigiriya Dambulla area has been experiencing rain from December 24, but the worst had been over the weekend. more..

Private bus owners to meet President

Jan 12 (DM) Private bus owners will meet President Mahinda Rajapakse next week to discuss their concerns, the Private Bus Operators Association (PBOA) said today. The private bus owners were to go on strike today but the decision was revoked after senior Government officials intervened in the matter. The PBOA’s President Gemunu Wijeyratne said that they are anticipating an increase in bus fares after discussions with the President. more..

TMVP slams ex-envoy

Jan 12 (NN) The Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) has expressed outrage over the Wikileaks exposure quoting former US Ambassador Robert Blake who had stated that paramilitary groups including the TMVP ran prostitution rings for Sri Lankan troops in government-controlled parts of the Northeast, and child sex trafficking rings using their networks in India and Malaysia. Denying the alleged statement exposed through the Wikileaks cable, more..

Anti-Lanka film banned

Jan 12 (NN) The Chennai Regional Censor board has banned the release of Sengadal, a film based on Sri Lankan war and problems faced by Tamil fishermen in Indian Ocean. The film, according to sources, speaks elaborately on the atrocities of Sri Lankan army against the Eelam and Indian Tamils, the Indian media reported. After watching the preview of the film, the Board officials rejected to certify the movie, says a source. The Board also has reststricted the movie from more..

Viewing of ‘White Flag’ video evidence ends

Jan 12 (AD) Viewing of video evidence regarding the ‘white flag’ case ended today (11). A part of a speech made by Sarath Fonseka on December 24, 2009 during the previous Presidential election at a public rally in Ratnapura was exhibited to the three member judge panel headed by Judge Deepali Wijesundera. Consequently Chathura Alwis, a News Anchor of TV Derana who identified the footage and gave evidence stated that he had used footage including the depicted more..

Sri Lanka's war panel arouses strong emotions

Jan 12 (BBC) Emotional people have flocked to testify before the Sri Lankan commission looking into the final years of the country's war. Many of those who bore witness in the former war zone said their close relatives had disappeared. Charles Haviland was granted rare access to the hearings in the north-western town of Mannar. In a crowded room in a government building there was an agitated buzz of people talking Tamil. more..

Government allocates Rs. 100 Million for flood victims

Jan 12 (MoD) The government has taken speedy measures to help the people affected by floods and land-slides with an allocation of Rs. 100 million for the welfare of the displaced and affected persons. The relief assistance programme is being carried out through the District Secretariats with the cooperation of Divisional Secretariats, Grama Niladaries as well as the Tri-service personnel. The Minister of Health Mr. Maithripala Sirisena has appealed to more..

Deyata Kirula in Monaragala .

Jan 12 (GDI) The 5th “Deyata Kirula” Exhibition will be held in Buttala in the Moneragala District from 4th February to 10th February, in conjunction with the Independence Day Celebrations that will be held in Kataragama on 4th February. This is the first “Deyata Kirula” exhibition that is to be held in a hitherto neglected remote district with the objective of delivering the fruits of development to the rural masses. more..

Vaas considers Sri Lanka future after missing World Cup

Jan 12 (BBC) Chaminda Vaas is considering retirement from international cricket after being dropped from Sri Lanka's squad for the World Cup, starting in February. The fast bowler, who retired from Test cricket in 2010, was keen to play for his country at the World Cup, which will be part hosted by Sri Lanka. But Vaas and batsman Sanath Jayasuriya were left out of a final 15-man squad. more..

Roadmap to prosperity

Jan 12 (LG) Even though the Central Bank’s economic roadmap for 2011shows a lot of promise and prosperity in the years ahead, Sri Lanka’s economy is faced with daunting challenges this year. Oil prices are rising, inflation is gradually moving upwards and the reliance on remittances is too much – at a time when the dollar is weakening. On the bright side a weakened dollar –moving from Rs 113 at the beginning of 2010 to Rs 110 by end December and more..

Trap gun: A growing threat to human and animal life in Sri Lanka

Jan 12 (LG) A six year old girl was killed by a trap gun in front of her father in, Galagamuwa in Kurunegala district in early December. The incident happened when the father was preparing the trap gun with his daughter looking on and it accidentally exploded. This was the latest death reported in the media related to the trap gun menace in Sri Lanka. The same month a police sergeant was seriously injured with a trap gun when the teams of police officers were more..

On Flooding and Disaster Management

Jan 12 (GV) Over the last two days, torrential rainstorms in the Central and Eastern province have caused severe flooding, landslides and an overwhelming humanitarian crisis with 758,000 people affected island-wide (according to the latest update at 7:14AM today from the Disaster Mangement Centre 809 houses have been fully damaged and 2948 houses have been partially damaged. There have been nine deaths; nine injuries and four people are still missing more..

A new ethos to obtain electoral and economic victory

Jan 12 (LG) The government has dissolved most of the local authorities and declared that elections to them will be held in March this year. These elections will be taken by all parties as a referendum on the government’s continuing hold over the electorate. After President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election as President in November 2005 by a whisker, the government has repeatedly demonstrated a stranglehold over most of the electorate, with the exception of some more..

Talibanization of Trinity

Jan 12 (SL) Even though I have never considered myself a “professional” old boy of “the best school of all,” as that justifiably iconic example of the Church Missionary Society in Kandy is known, over the years, I have developed significant respect for what my alma mater stood for and the traditions of liberal education that were its most valuable contribution to Sri Lanka. The Norman Walter years in the first half of the 1950s that I spent there were more..

Book Review: Rise and fall of LTTE

Jan 12 (NS) Dr Mahinda Balasuriya’s ‘Rise and Fall of the LTTE’ is an edited version of a doctoral dissertation, published post-LTTE, authored by a very senior operative in the 30-year conflict. Therefore, it is unique. It is structured from concepts (Introduction) to the origins of the conflict (Chapter 1) and socio-economic- political, ethnic and psychological connotations, which fertilised the conflict. more..

Mismanagement and politics cause crises in most spheres of activity

Jan 12 (DM) The fact that Sri Lanka is plagued today with shortages and price hikes in essential items of food compelling the authorities to look for overseas supplies to maintain a regime of reasonable prices shows, among other things, the abysmal failure of successive administrations in this country to manage national affairs efficiently. The authorities attribute the recent price hikes in coconut to a shortfall in coconut production. more..

The need for a counter corruption commission

Jan 12 (DM) One day, more than ten years ago, I saw three blind men assaulting a man outside the Fort Railway Station. They were screaming at the victim. Apparently the three men were lottery sellers retailing dreams at the station. The ‘victim’ had robbed one of them. The robbed had recognised the robber, several months later, by his footsteps, or so we were told. The ‘victim’, silently took the mauling. The robbed were trying to gouge his eyes out. more..

Velupillai Yesupalan ~ 'My father is my role model'

Jan 12 (GV) Velupillai Yesupalan (16) seems nervous and unsettled as he waits at his school during the morning break~ drinks interval as it is called here in Jaffna. He wears a pair of Dark Blue shorts, White short sleeve shirt with the school batch stitched on the pocket of the shirt on left. A pair of his Black shoes removed and kept outside the library of his school. Normally shoes are removed when entering the library, more..

Geriatric retirement and pronouncements by the wise

Jan 12 (SL) It seems to be a trait (too polite to call it a disease) among our VIPs and celebrities that they don’t seem to know when to fade away genteelly, knowing their day and popularity are long past. Well, genteel is the last word to be used with such, so Meniks changes that to sense and decency. I have three persons in mind. Our ex PM, R. Wickremanayake, the Master Blaster and Susie Girl who is no longer a girl but a thirties or forties woman and a mother to boot. more..

Jaffna people should be assured of peaceful sleep

Jan 12 (NS) EPDP leader Douglas Devananda correctly portrayed the situation in Jaffna when he said that a fear psychosis had gripped the people of the north due to the alarming crime wave prevailing in the area. He said the security authorities should arrest this trend and bring the perpetrators to book. Imelda Sukumar, the govt agent of Jaffna indicated the intensity of the fear of the people when she told the media that people are spending sleepless nights. more..

Muslim musicians enriched Sinhala music

Jan 12 (SO) The major contributions made by Muslim musicians to Sri Lankan film music a few decades previously is ranked superbly excellent. The Muslim musicians' active involvement brought in a multicultural perspective to the Sinhala music arena and exploded the myths within Muslim communities towards music. The truly positive concern of Muslim musicians to Sinhala music directly appealed to a predominantly young, ethnically mixed audience more..

TNA to contest local elections, TPPF politically divided

Jan 12 (TN) The TNA has decided to contest all the local government institutions in the North and Eastern provinces in the forthcoming election. Some of the political parties affiliated to the recently formed TPPF have reportedly expressed their willingness to contest the forthcoming local election under the TNA banner. The official TNA stand is to contest alone. Meanwhile, the TNA is increasingly under pressure to put forward a document on political solution as more..

1,232,000 acre crops destroyed in Batticaloa flood

Jan 12 (TN) In Batticaloa district alone 1,32,000 acres of paddy and subsidiary crops have been completely destroyed due to the torrential rain now being experienced in the eastern province, according to the latest figures. Meanwhile Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) member R.Thurairatnam, in a memorandum sent to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has requested that farmers in the district who have incurred heavy loss including their capital due to the flood should be paid full compensation more..

What I said at the LLRC

Jan 12 (NS) The Sinhalese did not take up weapons against the Tamils despite several terrorist attacks on the community since 1984, the JHU said at the LLRC. JHU general secretary and Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, along with party spokesperson Udaya Gammanpila, presented their submissions to the commission on January 5. He also pointed out that the 30-year-old war had affected all the communities in the country. more..

Editorial: Of Prabhakaran's blind plunge

Jan 12 (Island) Propaganda constituted a main prong of the LTTE strategy. It helped the outfit build a bulwark of myths and fear by way of defence. The Tigers subtly used the media to disseminate their propaganda lies and condition people psychologically to believe they were invincible. Until the capture of Kilinochchi, during the Vanni operations, the LTTE propagandists who included some journalists, both local and foreign, NGO activists and politicians, insisted that more..

Editorial:Do we care for our urban poor?

Jan 12 (DM) In the midst of the Sri Lankan realities and brokenness we have a segment of our society, a community referred to as the urban poor. According to recent statistics they form 55% of greater Colombo’s population. These people are from all the major communities in our land. They are those who livie in sub human conditions work in various sectors of Colombo and other urban societies in Sri Lanka. To add to their woes, hundreds of these families now more..

Northern Muslims vs Puttlam Muslims

Jan 12 (LB) Resettling those who are displaced by war and managing the affects of a huge influx of the displaced into areas which never had much resources to begin will become one of Sri Lanka’s biggest post war challenges. The LLRC session in Puttalam demonstrated that sharing limited resources among a large IDP population puts a growing strain on host communities which eventually leads to open hostility. more..

Railways to resume Galle, Matara service

Jan 12 (DN) The Sri Lanka Railways is making arrangements to commence train operations on the newly layed express railway line from Galle to Matara at the end of this month. Train services between Galle and Matara were terminated temporarily from last August to upgrade the coastal railway line. The high-speed Southern Railway line project, from Matara to Maradana, was launched by Transport Minister Kumara Welgama by laying a new rail track at Pelana in Weligama. more..

C’nuts: From cash crop to import item

Jan 12 (LB) Yesterday, coconuts available in the Colombo market were all medium and small size nuts and retailed at Rs45 to Rs48 each. Just prior to Christmas, Colombo’s price per curry nut was Rs50 to Rs60. Government intervention of buying nuts at the farmgate at Rs28 each has compelled the middleman to limit his high margin of profit; or else, Colombo’s retail price would have hovered around Rs60 per nut, traders said. Coconut vendor Somawathie, at the Thota Langa more..

Conjoined twins have been successfully separated at Lady Ridgeway hospital

Jan 12 (NF) Conjoined twins have been successfully separated through a surgery performed at the Lady Ridgeway hospital in Colombo yesterday. According to the Hospital Director Dr. Mahanama Rajamanthri, this was the first successful separation of conjoined twins at the hospital. Ashinsha Deneth and Ashinsha Denuwan were born 10 months ago as conjoined twins, connected at the abdomen. more..

Erroneous New Year lottery incurs heavy loss for NLB

Jan 12 (ST) The National Lotteries Board (NLB) is preparing to recover from an Indian Printer the loss running to millions of rupees incurred due to the withdrawal of the ‘Samurdhi Yathra’ instant lottery ticket from the market owing to a printing error in the data base of price allocations. A senior official of the NLB said that according to the printing agreement the Indian company, Gobsons Printing has to pay the losses incurred by the NLB, following this mistake. more..

Sathosa also to buy vegetables directly from farmers

Jan 12 (DM) Trade Minister Johnston Fernando yesterday said Sathosa would be buying and transporting vegetables from the farmers in Nuwara Eliya in a similar fashion to the Army and the Civil Defence Force. “Our lorries will buy and transport the vegetables from farmers in Nuwara Eliya to keep the prices from increasing,” Minister Fernando said. According to him these vegetables that are bought from the Farmers would be sold at All Laksathosa Outlets islandwide. more..

Millions lost now the teller machine tells all

Jan 12 (ST) In the first week of December, a leading private bank received complaints from three clients that money from their accounts had been withdrawn without their knowledge. The bank manager found out that around Rs 300,000 had been withdrawn from the three accounts and the place of withdrawal was traced to Italy. As an immediate measure, the bank blocked ATM transactions in Italy on its credit or debit cards. more..

Canal neglected, paddy cultivation abandoned

Jan 12 (Island) The Makuletenne canal, which used to irrigate around 600 acres of paddy land, has been in a state of disrepair for a long time, people complain. Its banks have collapsed in several places hampering its flow. History records that during the reign of King Walagambahu, this canal helped cultivate a vast extent of paddy land both in the Yala and Maha seasons. According to the chronicles King Walagambahu developed the area as the feeder zone of the ancient more..

Changes in top diplomatic missions

Jan 12 (DM) Foreign Service appointments have been fast tracked since the appointment of Monitoring MP Sajin Vaas Gunerwardene, government sources revealed. Discontent ran rampant after the takeover of present Foreign Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe, with appointments being delayed or withheld, according to reports received by the Daily Mirror last year. A number of senior officials have been tipped to take up, long overdue positions, according to Government sources. more..

'We conducted a Humanitarian Operation, with zero civilian casualties'

Jan 12 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa Monday unveiled, a sales complex to market products made by disabled war heroes at 272, Denzil Kobbekaduwa road- Battaramulla. The sales complex was built under the patronage of Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero with cooperation of the Dharnayathana Trust. President Rajapaksa asserted that, Sri Lanka as a whole had to suffer due to a protracted conflict because of betrayals, subjugations and blunders made in the past. more..

Moves to change PR system make little headway

Jan 12 (ST) The Government admits that the Proportional Representation (PR) system used in electing members to Parliament, Provincial Councils and local authorities should be changed. The main opposition UNP which introduced the system by way of the 1978 Constitution too now thinks the system should be amended. However the first attempt to change the system at local government level made little headway in Parliament last week when the government said it more..