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Sri Lanka to analyse war footage of alleged atrocities

July 5 (BBC) Sri Lanka's govt says it is analysing video which it claims proves the falsity of a documentary on alleged atrocities during the civil war. The documentary showed footage appearing to incriminate the army. But the govt claims it now has evidence of what it calls the original version of footage later used by the British TV station, Channel 4. It is part of a broad govt campaign to discredit the Channel 4 documentary, broadcast last month. more..

Sri Lankan Navy arrests 14 Indian fishermen

July 5 (PTI) In the second such incident within a fortnight, 14 Indian fishermen were today arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy and taken to the island nation for allegedly fishing in their waters. Eighteen fishermen had set out to sea in two boats and 14 of them had been arrested and taken to Mannar district in Sri Lanka, assistant director of fisheries department Markandeyan said. One boat was detained. Four other fishermen were released along with one boat, he said. more..

Farveez Maharoof eager for a return to Lancashire

July 5 (BBC) Lancashire's Sri Lanka all-rounder Farveez Maharoof has said he would like to return next season after enjoying his first spell in county cricket. Maharoof has proved popular with the fans after scoring a century on his Championship debut and a match-winning knock against Yorkshire in May. "For a foreign player it's all about feeling homely and from the first day I did," he told BBC Radio Lancashire. "The spectators have been really good. Hopefully I can return in future." more..

Navy denies arrest of Indian fishermen

July 5 (DM) Sri Lanka Navy today denied reports by the Indian media, that it arrested 14 Indian for allegedly fishing in Lankan waters. Navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya denied the report and said that no arrest of Indian fishermen has been made by the Navy. “Nothing of this sort has taken place”, he said. In the report, it alleged that the eighteen fishermen had set out to sea in two boats and 14 of them had been arrested and more..

Carpeting Galle District Provincial Roads

July 5 (GDI) Carpeting of Provincial Roads in the Galle District will be inaugurated this morning by Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa. These roads will be carpeted under the supervision of the Southern Provincial Council. 310 kilometers of roads in 9 electorates of the Galle district are to be carpeted under this project. Under this programme 13 road projects will be implemented in the Akmeemana electorate, 12 projects in the Habaraduwa electorate, more..

Cook not amused by Matthews tactics

July 5 (CI) England batsman Alastair Cook is surprised over Sri Lanka switching modes in order to secure Chandimal's ton. Sri Lanka won the match by six wickets. England were bemused as Angelo Mathews put his teammate's personal glory before his country's - and almost risked the match for the same. Sri Lanka would have reached the target earlier. Chandimal nearing his hundred and matthews playing the defending role made the contest unnecessarily close. more..

Sri Lanka to turn war-time fort into tourist attraction

July 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to convert a colonial-era fort in the north that was also fought over during the recent ethnic war into a tourist attraction. "The Fort of Jaffna is to be converted into a tourist centre soon when the phase one of the ongoing renovation projects costing 104 million rupees is completed shortly." Jaffna Fort was built as a small garrison by the Portuguese in 1618 when the Portuguese invaded the north. more..

EU oks sulphur use in Cinnamon processing

July 5 (NN) The European Union (EU) has allowed Sri Lanka’s request for the use of Sulphur Dioxide in the processing of Cinnamon, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Brussels said. Sulphur dioxide (SO2) has been used for 2 purposes, viz for its biocidal activity and for bleaching. The cinnamon industry has traditional practices in cinnamon processing and the use of SO2 in fumigation has been known to the industry for centuries. SO2 fumigation keeps the hygienic quality and more..

Sri Lanka approves investments of US4.0bn in first half

July 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Board of Investment, the state investment promotion agency, had approved 4.0 billion dollars of local and foreign investments in 28 projects in the first half of 2011, its acting chairman A M C Kulasekera said. "The projects are in tourism, infrastructure and manufacturing," he said. Kulasekera told an economic forum in Colombo organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce that the agency was now focusing on approving only large projects. more..

Electronic tickets for trains

July 5 (NN) The railway department is to do away with train tickets and introduce an electronic card system which can be reloaded like mobile phone reload cards. Railway Department's Sisira Kumara said that as a pilot project the electronic tickets will be issued for train passengers travelling between Colombo and Gampaha. He said that the electronic plastic card will have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and can be reloaded at most stores more..

Sri Lankan situation: the truth must come out

July 5 (ABC) Tonight, ABC's Four Corners will show Killing Fields, the UK Channel 4 documentary that claims to provide evidence of war crimes committed at the end of Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war. But yesterday, the Sri Lankan High Commission asked the ABC not to broadcast the documentary. The program was shown to the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva last month and has already aired in the UK. The Sri Lankan govt claims the documentary contains manipulated videos and is biased. more..

‘Neluwe Priyantha’ killed

July 5 (DM) The undisputed underworld leader of the Southern Province known as “Neluwe Priyantha” who was involved in range of criminal activities including 25 murders, kidnappings and drug trafficking was shot dead by Special Task Force (STF) during a confrontation in the Deyyandara. The raid was carried out by a special team under the directions of STF Commandant DIG R.W.M.C Ranawana. The STF intelligence gathered the vital information about the whereabouts and more..

GTF mobilizes international opinion against Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes

July 5 (DBS) Global Tamil Forum (GTF) is taking steps to mobilise International opinion against Sri Lanka over alleged war crimes & crimes against humanity. The GTF together with Britain’s All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGT) will co -host a parliamentary reception on Tuesday July 5th. The political meeting cum reception co-hosted by the GTF & APPGT will be held at the Attlee Suite of Portcullis House in Westminster. Chief speaker at the event will be more..

CID to probe Kahawatta killings

July 5 (DM) A special team from the CID was to probe the seven killings of women in the Kahawatta area, IGP N.K Illangakoon said. One suspect has been arrested by the police so far. According to IGP Illangakoon the suspect had accepted that he committed three of the killings of which one was due to a personnel dispute. Four large teams from Ratnapura under an ASP had been sent to the Kahawatta area to arrest the rest of the suspects involved. more..

Proper training for policemen - IGP

July 5 (DM) The 33rd Inspector General of Police (IGP) N.K Illangakoon said that he has taken steps to give proper training to 18,000 policemen who have not completed their training and added that this was a reason that discipline required by policemen is not kept to the required standards. “Therefore we have taken steps to give them proper police training and rebuild the police-public relationship, IGP Illangakoon said. more..

SF quoted out of context - Karu

July 5 (DM) The Sunday Leader newspaper article under the headline,“Gota ordered them to be shot” has been taken out of context, UNP Deputy Leader and parliamentarian Karu Jayasuriya told the white flag Trial-at-Bar today. Mr. Jayasuriya, giving evidence before the Bench comprising Judges Deepali Wijesundera (President), W.M.P.B. Warawewa and M.Z. Razeen said he was at present the UNP Deputy Leader and had been a Cabinet Minister on several occasions. more..

India seeks to deepen Indo-Lanka ties

July 5 (PTI) India today sought inputs from individuals and institutions in Sri Lanka to deepen the political and economic relations between the two neighbours following the end of the civil war in the country. As India expands its activities in Sri Lanka since the end of a three-decade ethnic conflict in May 2009, the Indian High Commission here called on "individuals, institutions and groups to submit proposals aimed at developing India-Sri Lanka relations". more..

Power failure interrupts 'White Flag' case again

July 5 (LT) When the ‘White Flag’ case against former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka was taken up before the High Court Trial-at-bar this morning it was interrupted again due to a power failure. The power went off when Mr Karu Jayasuriya was giving evidence at the 'white flag' case and the Courts suspended sittings for five minutes. But due to the continuation of power failure, the case was put off for tomorrow more..

Navy accused of land grab in Ampara

July 5 (BBC) Villagers in the eastern Sri Lankan district of Amapara have been protesting against the moves by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) to acquire their ancestral land in order to establish a new camp. Panama, Kumana, Helawa and Ragamwela residents who have tried to resettle after the war say they were prohibited by the SLN, which the villagers charge of land grabbing. Residents of Ragamwela who were chased away by an armed group almost a year ago say they are now helpless and more..

Sri Lanka ranked 82nd in innovation index

July 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been ranked 82nd, in a global innovation index issued by Insead, an international business school, behind India but ahead of other key south Asian countries. Switzerland topped this year's ranking in the Global Innovation Index (GII), while Sweden took second place and Singapore third. The GII 2011 ranks 125 economies across the world in terms of their innovation capabilities and results and highlights those that achieve more more..

JDS challenges Sri Lanka 'new video'

July 5 (BBC) A group of exiled journalists from Sri Lanka have dismissed the "new executions video clip" with Tamil speech aired in a pro govt television channel as "fake" and one that emerged two years ago. Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) say that the "newly emerged" video was first published in a pro govt website on 18 September 2009. JDS also calls upon the govt to submit the clip to an international investigation for authentication. more..

Rajapakse & Co’s., Creative Version of ‘Killing Fields’

July 5 (LG) I have followed the Govt version of the Channel 4 ‘killing fields’ revelations. I have some observations to make and these are: 1. When the Channel 4 released this hard evidence, the Sri Lankan government denied this as a fake and it is a bogus drama and it was shot outside Sri Lanka. Now they have turned the story and are claiming the recording is true but killers were the LTTE. From its denial position to acceptance of C4 presentation the govt position has become true. more..

The barbarians at the gates

July 5 (LG) In terms of democratic freedoms, are Sri Lankans worse off now than they were before the war ended? This is perhaps a most crucial question in the current post war phrase. When the danger of oneself or one's loved ones being blown to bits on any given day is no longer a threat, answering the above question may seem ludicrously easy. But we owe it to ourselves to venture beyond a superficial answer and examine the tremendously complex problem as to who we are, post war, more..

Final phase of resettlement completed in Jaffna

July 5 (Cimic) The last cluster of families displaced during the period of war were resettled in their original homesteads in Vadamarachchi east Sunday completing the resettlement of IDPs in Jaffna peninsula. At the final phase, 1110 members of 297 families who had so far been living at Ramavil IDP Welfare Centre in Kodikamam were resettled in Pokkarappu, Kevil, Mulliyan and Vettalaikerny Grama Niladhari Divisions belonging to Maruthankerni more..

Channel 4 Report – True or False?

July 5 (LG) I refer to the article ‘False Propaganda Countered : Lanka on solid growth path’ by P. Krishnaswamy published in Sunday Observer. According to this report ‘Minister and Chief Govt whip Nimal Sripala de Silva who was a member of the Govt delegation that visited the UNHRC last month said in an interview with the Sunday Observer that their delegation effectively countered the charges levelled against Sri Lanka on the basis of the Darusman Report and the more..

Call for old-age pension

July 5 (LG) When HNB Assurance Managing Director Manjula de Silva completed a short presentation at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the Sunday Times Business Club (STBC) on options to invest vis-à-vis the population statistics, veteran trade unionist T.M.R. Rasseedin, President of the Ceylon Federation of Labour quickly intervened saying, “I may now need to change our pensions’ position and call for an old-age pension scheme.” The two along with Ravi Peiris, Director-General of more..

BC Cooray's nightmare

July 5 (CI) While the increasing use of technology has reduced some of the uncertainty about umpiring decisions in high-level matches, there are still occasional moans and groans. But in early 2001, BC Cooray, an experienced Sri Lankan umpire, managed something rare in the game. He united both sides in the series between Sri Lanka and England, and also the spectators, who all agreed his umpiring was atrocious. The 59-year-old Cooray was widely regarded as more..

The Untold Side on War Crimes

July 5 (DM) Is the choreography being reset for a second coming after a failed bid to enter by an armed intervention on a beach front near Nandikadal Lagoon? This time it is not an amphibious landing by US Marines in camouflaged fatigues but well-oiled inmates from judicial homes of elders in moth balled suits, entering a courthouse with a blinded scale of justice and a sharpened hatchet in either hand: impatient to tweet a judgment. Attempt for a military intervention failed by more..

The importance of speaking in one voice

July 5 (DM) Govt leaders seem to be speaking in many voices in dealing with important national issues. Not only the various constituent political parties in the ruling coalition, the UPFA, but also the leaders of the main party in the coalition, the SLFP make differing public pronouncements. Interestingly, the media too do not seem to have taken those opposing remarks by the players of the same side of the political divide seriously, apparently because this has been more..

The police dog with a mission: Karat is no more

July 5 (SO) ‘Karat’ could not hide its excitement. As soon as its handler put on its ‘special track kit’ the dog was all set and ready to ‘shoot’ on his next mission. As far as duty was concerned, for Karat, there was nothing called ‘too early or too late’. You would always see him in the ‘right mood’ to hunt down anything or anyone any time of the day. Such was his dedication and loyalty to his master. The case before Karat this time, more..

Tightening the noose on Pakistan and Lanka

July 5 (LB) The strategy of the Western powers, especially the US, Britain and France, in dealing with contentious human rights issues in the MEM (Middle East and Maghreb, that is Arab North African) countries, Asia and Africa have hardened considerably in the last year. There are three reasons; first when MEM uprisings showed a road to replacing authoritarianism with more democratic and also pro-Western regimes, ‘Why not’ they reasoned. Second, internal lobbies more..

The glamour boys of war criminality party to death in Libya

July 5 (LB) Say one thing, do something else. See certain things, but not others. Take umbrage at nothing and keep mum over the horrifying. Give a penny, take dollar (or Euro). Help and demand a pound of flesh for services rendered. Sorry, 100 pounds of flesh, closest to the heart, blood and all. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the nutshell version of US foreign policy. It describes also the UK, France and other countries in the West. Sadly, our friends across the Palk Straits more..

Midnight ‘resettlement’ of IDPs for Basil-show

July 5 (TN) IDPs from Vadamaraadchi East affected by the war and were staying in the Raamaavil camp near Kodikaamam for more than two years were all of a sudden ordered to vacate the camp immediately by Saturday midnight and were herded by the occupying SL Army into military vehicles, after telling them that they would be ‘resettled’ in their villages in Vadamaraadchi East. They are at present staying in a school building in Vadamaraadchi East, without any food or facilities. more..

Editorial: Libya: Cloning monsters

July 5 (Island) The West is currently committing in Libya the same blunder as the US in Iraq under Saddam Hussein's jackboot and Afghanistan under Russian occupation. Gaddafi eviscerated the Libyan democracy and made a mess of that country, no doubt. But, NATO is sure to leave it in a far worse imbroglio. So far Libya has had only one Gaddafi and if NATO succeeds in ousting him and paving the way for a ragtag band of heavily armed rebels thirsting for blood, oil and power, more..

Editorial: Free media: Headlines and deadlines

July 5 (DM) According to the highest and most hallowed principles of the free media, their main role is to be a powerful and prophetic voice of the voiceless, marginalized or oppressed people and the instruments through which the common people especially exercise their fundamental right to the freedom of information and expression. The media also need to play the dual role of reflecting public opinion and moulding public opinion, giving the people a balanced share of what they want and more..

'Economic growth to average over 8% in next few years, inflation under 7%'

July 5 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera says Sri Lanka’s economy would grow at an average of above 8 percent each year from 2011 to 2016 with inflation below 7 percent throughout this period while consolidation of the budget deficit is expected to stay within target. He said Sri Lanka’s growth rate had averaged between 4 to 5 percent from 2000 to 2004, 6 percent from 2005 to 2010, with growth reaching 8 percent in 2010 the first full year of more..

On the govt’s political solution and ‘Southern Suaveness’

July 5 (GV) The stage is set to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee in order to formulate a political solution to the north and east crisis. During a meeting with the print and electronic media heads on Tuesday at Temple Trees, President Mahinda Rajapakse had stated that he would accept any solution that will be outlined by the parliament. In an interview with a weekend newspaper last week the Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Pieris revealed that the govt will carry out a dialogue with more..

Subsidizing Addiction?

July 5 (GV) It was with this that I opened my article on ‘wildlife conservation’ in 1979. I was being confronted to a national extinction of the in-situ wildlife populations within anthropogenic ecosystems. In other words, the huge diversity of our native wildlife that shared our gardens, ranging from the large Papilionid butterflies to the flycatchers, from the Osbekia bushes to the Vanda clumps, were doomed to extinction from our gardens by the indiscriminate use of more..

Sri Lanka Shangri La hotel designs being wrapped up: official

July 5 (LBO) Hong Kong based Shangri La group's two projects in Sri Lanka which are now in the final design stage will cost as much 630 million US dollars to build, chief financial officer Madhu Rao said. The group bought a six acre block of state land in Colombo's 'Galle Face' beach front for 125 million US dollars to build a 500 room hotel, shopping and apartment complex. "The design takes a long time freeze because of the integrated structure we have to more..