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ICC admits construction behind schedule: DS slams media for false reports

Jan 25 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket chief D. S. de Silva has accused the local media of publishing false reports over the delay in constructing World Cup venues. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has raised concerns over some venues. The initial ICC deadline for completion of construction of venues was November 30. The World Cup, co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, begins on Feb. 19 after a week of warm-up games. more..

Earth crack in Trinco: Nothing to fear

Jan 25 (DN) Geological Survey and Mines Bureau Chairman Dr N A Wijayananda referring to cracking earth in Salapayaru in the Kuchchaveli division in the Trincomalee district, said that it was only a natural environmental sediment. Dr Wijayananda said the public need not fear. “We believe that the particular area where the changes occurred had been a part of the Salapauru lagoon earlier. It is similar to the present Muthurajawela landscape in Negombo. more..

War of words does little to solve reports from Jaffna

Jan 25 (ST) The issue of the deteriorating security situation in Jaffna was first raised in Parliament in early January by none other than the Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda. At the time it seemed like he wanted to seize the initiative from the members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) by beating them at raising the issue that was important for people of his electorate as well as for many TNA MPs. more..

New investor record in 2010

Jan 25 (FT) Thanks to the Bull Run fuelled by the post-war optimism, Sri Lanka in 2010 created the most amount of new share market investors with the record figure almost equaling preceding four years combined total thereby propelling the overall number to pass the half a million mark. The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) last year saw a record 57,093 new Central Depository System (CDS) accounts opened up by 27% from 2009. more..

Editorial: Let us care more for our children

Jan 25 (DM) It is ironical that in an era of unprecedented global wealth millions of children across the world are growing up malnourished. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Sri Lanka a country that suffers no significant food shortages and provides free and extensive maternal and child health services, malnutrition affects nearly one third of the children and a quarter of women. more..

Editorial: Smooching with terrorists

Jan 25 (Island) In Hollywood blockbusters, we have seen some eerie looking evil extra terrestrial beings possess earthlings to destroy humans. It looks as if deadly terrorists and their backers in disguise had adopted the same method to use political leaders of the developed world like zombies to advance their macabre agendas. Else, the unspeakable subservience of foreign powers to terrorists and their lobbyists is inexplicable. more..

Embassy to authenticate Belgium Court order

Jan 25 (DM) Colombo High Court yesterday ordered Captain Senaka Haripriya de Silva to get the translation of the Belgium Court order authenticated by the Belgium Embassy in Sri Lanka in order to consider bail. Colombo High Court Judge Ms. Deepali Wijesundera made this order on the second accused Captain Senaka Haripriya De Silva who is indicted with the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka for allegedly harbouring army deserters in more..

Jaffna enjoys the impact of MICE tourism with JITF 2011

Jan 25 (Island) On Sunday the 23rd January, Jaffna International Trade Fair 2011 ended its successful 2nd edition having great impact on northern business and community activities. Everyone that participated for this year’s exhibition including local and foreign business delegates and the people of Jaffna was satisfied with this massive trade exhibition which is a rare event that takes place in this part of the Island. more..

Buffaloes and camels to be imported

Jan 25 (DM) The government is to import 5,000 buffaloes and ten camels from Pakistan within the next three years, a top official said today. 500 buffaloes would be imported to the country in March initially to be reared in the state-run farms, Livestock Ministry Secretary H.A. Gamage said. He said that this would be done under the agreements for economic cooperation signed between the two countries during the visit of Pakistani President Asif Al Zardari to Sri Lanka recently. more..

Duty cut helps LIOC- Govt. Too late, says LIOC

Jan 25 (DM) A dispute between the Finance Ministry and the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) was brewing up yesterday following the Ministry decision to slash duty on a litre of petrol by Rs.10, which the IOC said was too late. The Finance Ministry slashed customs duty by Rs.10 levied on a liter of petrol effective from January 10, Petroleum Ministry Secretary H.T.M. Jayawardana said. He added that the customs duty reduction of Rs.10 from Rs. 15 was to more..

Teachers Union condemns one-day pay cut in East

Jan 25 (TN) Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) has cut one-day pay of teachers in the province from their wages for January. The chairman of Ceylon Teachers' Union, Joseph Stalin, has condemned the act as political bankruptcy of the EPC that has bypassed the regulations for such wage cut. While the people of the other provinces and the larger international community have come forward to help the flood victims, the EPC has been engaged in cutting the wages of the victims more..

Forced recruitment of traders by Colombo to contest elections in Jaffna, Vanni

Jan 25 (TN) Colombo’s terror campaign and abductions in Jaffna and Vanni now aim at forced recruitment of traders to contest local bodies elections under Mahinda Rajapaksa’s SLFP ticket, sources in Jaffna said. In recent days, many leaders of traders associations in Jaffna were abducted by SL Army officers coming to their houses and were taken to Colombo. They were not told why were they abducted and where were they being taken. more..

A’pura courts fire destroys record room

Jan 25 (DM) A fire broke out in the Anuradhapura Magistrate courts early yesterday morning causing extensive damages to the record room. The fire was doused after several hours by the fire department attached to the Anuradhapura Municipal Council. A spokesman at the fire brigade said that nearly seven fire brigade vehicles were engaged in dousing the fire. The policemen on duty at the courts premises have alerted emergency service. more..

Lawyer: Lives of Sri Lankan Tamils still the same

Jan 25 (TS) There is no truth to the claims that Sri Lankan Tamils are leading a normal life with the civil war over, Makkal Osai reported. E. Angayarkanni, a Chennai-based lawyer who visited Sri Lanka recently, said the condition of Tamils remained the same as it was immediately after the war. She said her visits to several places in the north showed that the lives of people who were living in camps or were relocated to other places remained the same despite the more..

Colombo university team wins debate in India

Jan 25 (Island) A team of the University of Colombo has won a debating competition in India. Thakshala Tissera of the university’s Department of English was adjudged the best debater in a debate entitled "In Tagore’s philosophy of education aesthetic development is as important as the intellectual." The debate was held at the International Relations Department of the University of Delhi on January 21. This was the second debate in the series, more..

Mahabodhi temple attacked: LTTE move to provoke backlash suspected

Jan 25 (Island) An unidentified group last night stormed the Mahabodhi Temple in Chennai and assaulted those present there including five Buddhist monks. Chief Incumbent of the temple, Ven. Banagala Upatissa Thera had been hospitalized. The Chennai police had initiated an investigation into the attack by the time this edition went to press. According to government intelligence sources, the LTTE activists were involved in the attack aimed at more..

SL domestic helpers demand for freedom

Jan 25 (DM) Dozens of Sri Lankan domestic helpers protested at their embassy in Amman, Jordan on Monday, demanding that the government allow them to leave the country. Some of the 96 workers have called the embassy home for over a year, others a few weeks. All have fled their employers due to unpaid salaries or abuse, according to the embassy. Sri Lankan Ambassador Andrayas Mohottala said the embassy has been working with the government to secure workers’ rights and more..

No squatting allowed on Reservations – Nimal

Jan 25 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that following the flooding of Mahaweli areas no government could allow squatters within the 100 meter reservation surrounding the reservoirs. He requested the Director General of Mahaweli D.M.C. Dissanayake to carry out a survey immediately to identify the genuine Mahaweli settlers from squatters. The Minister gave this order when he visited flood affected Mahaweli (L–Block) areas on Sunday, more..

'Tuticorin-Colombo ferry service by February-end'

Jan 25 (Hindu) Ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo is expected to commence by February-end, G. K. Vasan, Union Minister of Shipping, said on Monday. Initially, it would be operational thrice a week. Later, the frequency would be increased. Inaugurating a passenger terminal and laying the foundation stone for North Cargo Berth II on the premises of Tuticorin Port, he said that TPT would soon be named after freedom fighter V.O. Chidambaram. more..

Fishermen threaten to seek asylum in Lanka

Jan 25 (EB) In a desperate step to save their lives, about 500 fishermen from the village of Pushpavanam near Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district have planned to seek asylum with the Sri Lankan government for their safety. M Kathirvel, president of the village panchayat, told Express: “Since the state and Central governments miserably failed to protect us while fishing despite having the world class Navy and Coast Guard, we have decided to seek asylum with the = more..

Senior DIG on importance of clean environment

Jan 25 (Island) The Police had been able to earn for the government at least Rs. 600,000 through fines from those who polluted the Kandy town during the past two months. This was disclosed by Senior DIG Gamini Navaratne at a meeting on ‘keeping Kandy clean’. The meeting was held the office of the DIG, Central. Navaratne told the meeting that causing embarrassment to citizens by prosecuting them was not a satisfactory measure and that all those, more..

Video: Minister Naveen Dissanayaka in action resolving differences

Jan 25 (NF) A clash broke out between Minister Naveen Dissanayaka and his supporters and another group at the Mahaweli Center a short while ago. The clash was over the nominations for the upcoming local government elections on behalf of the ruling UPFA government from the Nuwera Eliya district. The nomination papers for the UPFA candidates were being accepted at the Mahaweli Center when the clash broke out. more..

Terror campaign against Tamils reemerges

Jan 25 (wsws) Death squads operating in collusion with the military have once again begun to terrorise Tamils in the North and East of Sri Lanka despite the end of the war with the LTTE in May 2009. During December, a spate of killings, abductions, disappearances and robberies has occurred in the northern Jaffna peninsula. Similar incidents also have been reported from the Kilinochchi, Mullaithivu and Mannar districts that were previously held by the LTTE. more..

Pakistan to send relief items to flood-hit Sri Lanka

Jan 25 (Xinhua) Pakistan will send relief items for the hundreds of thousands of people in Sri Lanka soon, official sources said Tuesday. Aid agencies said that more than one million people have been affected by flooding in Sri Lanka and more than 33,000 families are displaced in temporary relocation centers across the island. Relentless monsoon rains in early January have caused floods, mudslides and displacement across the eastern and more..

SC to give interpretation of Court martial today

Jan 25 (DM) The Constitutional interpretation of the Supreme Court on the question whether the Court Martial is a Court in the sense of the Constitution would be disclosed today by the Court of Appeal. The Bench would comprise Justices R.L.Ranjith Silva, A.W.A.Salam and Upaly Abeyrathne. This Bench was constituted on the question of issuing Interim Order with the Writ application filed by the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. more..

Sri Lanka: Stonewalling on Wartime Abuses

Jan 25 (HRW) The Sri Lankan government refuses to investigate alleged war crimes despite growing evidence of widespread atrocities during the civil war that ended in 2009, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2011. The government has threatened and intimidated journalists, opposition politicians, and civil society activists, and has consolidated President Mahinda Rajapaksa's grip on power by by extending executive power over previously independent government commissions, more..

'Sri Lanka inflation may exceed 7% after floods'

Jan 25 (BN) Sri Lanka’s inflation rate may rise to more than 7 percent in January after floods damaged vegetable and paddy crops this month, according to the head of the prices division in the statistics department. “Point-to-point inflation will be affected and could be between 7 percent and 7.5 percent with vegetable prices going up,” D.C.A. Gunawardena, director at the Department of Census and Statistics, said more..

Jaffna crime wave: Govt, EPDP trade allegations

Jan 25 (Island) The government and the EPDP continue to trade allegations over the recent abductions, extortions and killings in the Jaffna District. Contradictory positions have been taken by the authorities. While some officials have blamed the EPDP for the crime wave, others told the media that two, of the four suspects arrested, were army soldiers. One of the arrested suspects was in possession of papers confirming his links to the EPDP. more..

Sri Lanka tourist office in home stay push

Jan 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka Tourist board wants to promote home stays giving the opportunity to a broader section of the community to participate in the sector and get jobs, an official said. Sri Lanka's tourism promotion office is launching a 'home stay and bungalows' program as tourist arrivals rose 46 percent last year after the end of a 30-year war and industry infrastructure needs time to catch up. more..

'LTTE massacre of 600 policemen: Not even inter-departmental inquiry'

JJan 25 (Island) Fearing the wrath of then President R. Premadasa, the police never initiated at least an inter-departmental inquiry into the circumstances under which the LTTE had executed over 600 police officers and men at the onset of the Eelam War II in June 1990, the LLRC was told on Monday. The police top brass had been too scared to probe the massacre of those who had surrendered at the behest of President Premadasa, more..

Sri Lankan army accused of making parts for landmines

Jan 25 (Independent) Activists have accused the Sri Lankan military of manufacturing components for landmines while the government was involved in an internationally-sponsored ceasefire with Tamil rebels and receiving millions of pounds in aid for de-mining projects. The Tamil activists claim to have obtained classified documents they say show the Sri Lankan military sought tenders from several suppliers in Colombo and more..

Prison admin changed

Jan 25 (NN) Following a special meeting held in Anuradhapura this morning the administration of the Anuradhapura prison was changed in order to defuse tensions prevailing in the prison. North central province senior police DIG Jayantha Gamage said that with 8 prison officials hospitalized following the shooting incident at the prison yesterday a decision was taken to change the administration. more..

SL High Commissioner requests security for all Lankans

Jan 25 (MoD) Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New Delhi, Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam left for Chennai this morning to seek the welfare of Buddhist monks who were injured in the attack on the Mahabodhi Temple in Chennai last night. Ambassador Kariyawasam is to meet with the Chief Secretary and other key officials of Tamil Nadu to express concern of the Government of Sri Lanka over the incident and request security for all Sri Lankans on pilgrimage, more..

Court Martial accepted by the Supreme Court

Jan 25 (NN) The Supreme Court has informed the Court of Appeal that according to it’s interpretation a Court Martial is in line with the constitution, the Court of Appeal said this afternoon. The Bench was constituted on the question of issuing an Interim Order following a Writ application filed by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. The Court of Appeal with the Bench comprising Justices R.L.Ranjith Silva, A.W.A Kalam and Upali Abeyratne more..

Sleepless in Sri Lanka

Jan 26 (HT) If governments have the power to ban, the rest of us have the inalienable right to boycott. So, Reporters Sans Frontier (RSF) was well within its right to call for the boycott of the upcoming Galle Literary Festival (GLF) as taking part in it could mean endorsing a government with a dubious human rights record and more than contempt for journalists. But journalists and rights activists here thought that RSF was wrong in making that call. more..

Sri Lanka cuts taxes on milk powder

Jan 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka has cut taxes on imported milk powder from 50 rupees a kilogram to 28 rupees as global commodity prices surged, a finance ministry official said soon after taxes on petrol were cut to maintain prices. S R Attygalle a senior Treasury official said. Sri Lanka imported about 3,000 tonnes of milk powder and the state will lose about 500 million rupees in tax revenues a month from the move. A day earlier, Titus Jayewardene, secretary of the petroleum ministry said more..

Sarath Fonseka loses bid to keep Sri Lanka seat

Jan 26 (BBC) Imprisoned former military commander Sarath Fonseka has lost a Supreme Court appeal to retain his parliamentary seat. The court ruled that a court martial in September which found him guilty of arms procurement offences meant that he could no longer be an MP. The BBC's Charles Haviland in Colombo says that the ruling is a severe legal blow for Mr Fonseka. He will lose his seat and civic rights, including voting rights for six years. more..

Are ghosts killing our fishermen?

Jan 26 (Sify) Three men in a fishing boat are asked to jump into the sea by personnel aboard what one of them identifies as a Lankan Navy fast craft. A fisherman hesitates because his hand is injured, and he can't swim. At this, the men on the fast craft tie a rope around his neck and strangulate him by pushing him into the sea. Then, they ride off, leaving his comrades to search for his body. The victim, 28-year-old Jayakumar, was unarmed. So were his companions - his brother more..

Maha Bodhi attack: Sri Lanka asks India for security of monks

Jan 26 (IANS) Sri Lanka Tuesday urged India to provide security to all its pilgrims visiting Chennai, a day after an attack on the Maha Bodhi Society Temple there in which two Lankan Buddhist monks were injured. Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam met Tamil Nadu's Chief Secretary S. Malathi in Chennai and discussed the the welfare of Buddhist monks who were injured in the attack, an official statement said. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 25.01.2011