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Rizana Nafeek faces public execution

June 28 (IE) A woman in Saudi Arabia is poised to be executed by beheading in front of a crowd of people for allegedly killing a baby in her care. The young maid, Rizana Nafeek, was arrested in May 2005 on charges of murdering a four-month-old baby who was in her care. Sri Lankan born Nafeek, who alleges she was a teenager at the time of the incident, has vehemently denied all allegations against her, saying that she had desperately tried to save the child, more..

Jayasuriya poised for farewell match

June 28 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya will bring to an end a 22-year international career when he makes his final appearance for his country at the venue - The Oval - where he made his highest score against England in all formats: 213 off 278 balls in the one-off Test 13 years ago in 1998. Asked whether Sri Lanka had anything planned for him, stand-in captain Thilina Kandamby said, "We haven't decided yet but we should do something. Sanath is one of the legends that more..

China, Russia, Sri Lanka: A new axis seems to be forming

June 28 (TC) “Are you still afraid to kill a terrorist?” asks a man, most likely a soldier, in Sinhala to the one standing next to him, with his gun pointed at three blindfolded people, their hands bound, naked and kneeling on the ground. Gunshots are heard, the three prisoners flop to the ground, their heads drenched in blood. Gruesome images emerge in quick succession—naked and possibly sexually abused dead women being dumped into a trunk, heaps of dead bodies of child soldiers of the LTTE, more..

Sri Lanka tour in doubt over security

June 28 (TA) Australia's tour of Sri Lanka may be in doubt if reports from that country's government that the security budget has been slashed prove correct. The Australians are due to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches in the former war-torn country from August. A team from Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association has returned from a pre-tour inspection in the past fortnight and more..

Farmers protest wind power project

June 28 (UCAN) Residents of Mampuri village in the country’s northwestern Puttalam district demonstrated yesterday against the expansion of a wind turbine farm by the Senok Wind Power Company that aims to boost the nation’s energy production. About 300 Catholic and Buddhist farmers, joined by priests from local parishes, gathered to protest the expansion they say could deprive them of the land they depend on for their livelihoods. “As villagers depend on cultivation, more..

Sri Lanka consolidating knit fabric niche

June 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka is fast becoming a niche producer of knitwear with the with finished products exports growing faster than those with woven cloth, partly due to the country's specialization in intimate apparel, officials said. In 2002, 34 percent of Sri Lanka's apparel exports were from knit fabrics, but by 2010 the share had increased to 51 percent. "So Sri Lanka's exports had been racing towards a huge knit influence," Ashroff Omar, chairman of Brandix, more..

Sri Lanka's Jetwing plans Rs5bn equity raising: report

June 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Jetwing Leisure group plans a raise 5.0 billion rupees for expansion through a private placement and an initial public offer, as tourist arrival rise after a war, officials and reports said. "The private placement will be concluded this year,’’ Jetwing Chairman Hiran Cooray was quoted as saying in The Sunday Island newspaper. "The IPO will follow. We’re already getting inquiries about the private placement." more..

No SLN Vessel has retreated seeing Indian Ship

June 28 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy categorically denies the news story titled “Sri Lanka Navy retreats seeing Indian Ship” published in The Hindu of 26th June. No SLN vessel has retreated on seeing an Indian Ship as alleged by The Indu in its article. Sri Lanka Navy carries out routine sea patrol and has no hesitation in apprehending anyone found encroaching and poaching in Sri Lankan waters. SLN ships and craft have been issued clear standing orders to carry out their surveillance and patrolling efficiently. more..

BIA in US$ 400mn expansion, to get second terminal

June 28 (Island) The govt has rolled out a major expansion programme at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to the tune of US$ 400 million to cater to 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2015, Airport and Aviation Services Chairman Prasanna Wickramasuriya said. "At present, BIA’s annual passenger capacity is six million but in 2010 alone more than 5.3 million passengers went through the BIA, which was closer to the saturation point with the ever increasing number tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka," more..

Coach Law leaves Sri Lankans

June 28 (Age) Sri Lanka has less than six weeks to find a new coach before Australia's limited-overs and Test tour there because of interim coach Stuart Law's decision to quit the country. The 42-year-old has been an assistant coach for the past 20 months and has assumed the head-coach position since the resignation of fellow Australian Trevor Bayliss after the World Cup earlier this year. Law delayed responding to an offer to succeed more..

Miliband- Kouchner: Comes to the Party after Long Silence

June 28 (DM) David Miliband and Bernard Kouchner, long time hot under the collar- lambaste Sri Lanka in a script titled “The Silence of Sri Lanka” venting reasons for their vituperations. Their visit in April 2009 during the last days of the LTTE, was to make a three-in-one call for “humanitarian aid and their workers to be allowed in and the fighting to be stopped”- went unheeded, as they grumble. That’s the break point. Going home on an empty stomach with nothing to show, more..

Leaderships and their Limitations

June 28 (DM) Every discourse on a political solution in post-war Sri Lanka has centred on a single argument: President Mahinda Rajapaksa, having won the war against the LTTE, should have no problem delivering peace to the larger Tamil society and polity. Not only the Tamils in the country or their Diaspora brethren believe in it but the international community also has faith in such presumptions. The inevitable conclusion flowing from such a construct is that President more..

Sri Lanka Army continues community welfare in Alaveddy area, Jaffna

June 28 (IL) The Sri Lanka Army continues their community welfare and social projects for the villagers in the Jaffna peninsula where people need a helping hand to uplift their livelihoods. This time they extended their social work again in Alaveddy area under the directions of Security Forces Commander- Jaffna, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, Security Forces Headquarters in Jaffna. The official function was held at the Mahajana Sabha Hall, more..

An unenviable dilemma of extreme non-governance

June 28 (LG) In a perfect world, it would be delightful to form part of a collective onslaught on this govt, indisputably the most illiberal and quite shamelessly undemocratic political administration that we have been unfortunate enough to witness in recent decades. This is not a statement that is made lightly in the sense of the deliberately pejorative terms employed. This week’s rejection of a Right to Information (RTI) Bill presented by UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya is the most recent case in point. more..

Who Is Our Judge

June 28 (LG) I write in response to the article ‘Replacing investigations with gossip’ by Mr. Basil Fernando, published in Sri Lanka Guardian. I admire the commitment by Mr. Basil Fernando towards improving the legal system in Sri Lanka – starting with the ordinary person without portfolio. Laws that do not work for the ordinary person genuinely committed to law and order, is largely academic and if indiscriminately mixed with reality, it disturbs the Peace of the whole. more..

‘Music is my passion'

June 28 (Hindu) Soundarie David Rodrigo is the consummate musician who transformed the Western music scene in Sri Lanka by starting and directing a femal'e ensemble, Soul Sounds, the first choir to perform and win awards internationally over the last few years. She was the first Sri Lankan to be on the panel of the Asian Choir Games held in Korea. She has toured with Soul Sounds Australia, Kuwait, India, France, China and last year the U.S. and Malaysia. more..

Editorial: Jayalalithaa's shame

June 28 (Island) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram seems to be having sleepless nights worrying about the plight of the people struggling to rebuild their lives in the northern and eastern parts of this country. She has taken up the cudgels for their rights and even demanded that economic sanctions be slapped on Sri Lanka for what she calls the latter's failure to look after the Tamil people. However, her critics accuse her of shedding crocodile tears for the war affected people more..

Editorial: SLC bowled by party politics and fraud

June 28 (DM) The shocking news, that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had refused to issue ‘no objection certificates’ to the 12 Indian cricketers who had agreed to participate in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) T20 cricket tournament had not only ‘surprised and hurt’ the severely cash-strapped Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) but also saddened and disappointed the millions of cricket fans in Sri Lanka. In the absence of some of more..

'Home-grown political agenda vital to counter foreign interference'

June 28 (SO) JHU MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said we should have home-grawn political agenda to counter various interferences made on Sri Lanka by some Western countries. If our political agenda is transparent, there won’t be room for any external force to interfere into the internal affairs of our country. Ven. Rathana Thera stressed the need for providing a political reply to the TNA at the next Provincial Council Election by giving them more..

‘Assification’ and de-assing of David Miliband and Bernard Kouchner

June 28 (LB) In April 2011, writing to The Nation (The Ki-moon panel’s report and the strippers it spawned), I expressed surprise that David Miliband hadn’t yet joined the anti Sri Lanka, pro-LTTE, blind-to-own-crimes bandwagon: ‘I am perturbed, though, that David Miliband hasn’t joined the clown-wagon yet. He has all the credentials to outstrip Saravanamuttu, Ganguly and Weiss.’ It took him just two months. He’s just co-authored a letter to the New York Times with more..

Gloom, doom and the global economy

June 28 (LB) The global economy, that means world capitalism, is showing little sign of pulling out of a depressing scenario. This means that the medium term prospects for wunderkinds like China and India too are gloomy - there are limits to decoupling from the rest of the world and in any case, there are fractures surfacing in the internal economies of the wunderkinds. This gloomy assessment is not a comment about the economic policies of Obama, Bernanke, the IMF, more..

‘I have asked to visit Sri Lanka but this has so far been denied’

June 28 (TC) Q: The Channel 4 documentary calls on viewers to make many inferences regarding the footage used. It suggests, for instance, that women were raped although it is not possible to determine from the bodies whether sexual abuse had in fact occurred. Never once did footage show govt shells landing on civilian areas, etcetera. How would you analyse the Channel 4 documentary from a journalistic perspective and from a rights perspective? more..

SEC commits Rs.22m on surveillance system

June 28 (BL) Sri Lanka’s capital markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it had committed a sum of Rs.22.5 million to Millennium Information Technologies during the year 2010 to supply and install hardware and software towards implementing a new surveillance system. The new automated surveillance system negotiated and acquired from the Millennium IT (Software) Limited (MIT), a member of the London Stock Exchange was installed during the third quarter of the 2010. more..

Colombo Hilton owning firm HDL celebrates ‘Decade of default’ today

June 28 (FT) Colombo Hilton owning company Hotel Developers (Lanka) Ltd., (HDP) perhaps deserves insidious ‘congratulations’ for celebrating an unprecedented decade on the Colombo Stock Exchange’s Default Board today. Exactly on 28 June, 2001, HDL was relegated to the CSE’s Default Board for non submission of Annual Reports for the financial year ended on 31 March, 1991. Today marks a decade on the Default Board whilst the company has also not released accounts for 20 years. more..

The legend who made us look stupid

June 28 (Island) There are some similarities between UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe and Sri Lankan opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya. One is that they both are politicians and the other is that however much you push them, they won’t go. And at least one of them will bring down the curtain today ending an illustrious career that spread over two decades, 22 years to be exact. It looked as if Jayasuriya was ever present in the Sri Lankan side. more..

Kandamy sorry to see Law and Jayasuriya go

June 28 (AFP) Thilina Kandamby said the side were about to suffer a double blow with the news that interim coach Stuart Law, as well as veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya, were about to leave the team. Law was appointed the new coach of Bangladesh on Monday, succeeding fellow Australian Jamie Siddons whose contract was not renewed after the Tigers' failed to reach the quarter-finals of this year's World Cup. Law - a former top class Australian batsman - will take up his Bangladesh post on July 1. more..

Sri Lanka likely to release 23 fishermen today

June 28 (Hindu) Sri Lanka is likely to release the 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen, who were apprehended for fishing in Sri Lankan waters, on Tuesday, a senior official here said. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris and Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha discussed the issue and officials on both sides were hopeful that a solution to the problem would be found by Tuesday. Asked if Sri Lanka linking the release of its fishermen held in India to Tamil Nadu fishermen being held more..

Sri Lanka calls to reform UN

June 28 (BBC) Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa called for reforms in the United Nations alongside other international institutions. Addressing the 50th annual session of the Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO) in Colombo President Rajapaksa said "we strongly support timely reform of the international financial architecture, with particular reference to revamping of the Bretton Woods institutions”. more..

Sivajilingam, Sri Kantha decide to join TNA, restructure TELO

June 28 (TN) Former TNA MPs as well as TELO leaders Mr. Sivajilingam and Mr. Sri Kantha have decided to dissolve their newly formed party Tamil National Liberation Alliance (TNLA) and to re-join TELO and TNA, with a view of strengthening TNA and restructuring TELO to meet the demands of the times. They took the decision after a group of former TELO members in the diaspora taking the initiative to speak between them and the TELO president cum TNA MP Mr Selvam Adaikalanathan. more..

All five blocks at Yala to be opened

June 28 (Island) With the increase in the number of local and foreign tourists visiting Sri Lanka’s wild life parks, the govt has decided to open all five blocks of the Yala National park for visitors so that they could spend several days within the park and go bird watching to Kumana and Lahugala in the East, said Minister S. M. Chandrasena. He who toured the Yala National Park from the Palapatuna entrance in the south, accompanied by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner more..

Some paddy poisoned - or a ploy to stop rice-eating?

June 28 (LB) Last week we disclosed how the contamination of arsenic and mercury had led to implications countrywide and even a political upheaval as well. Now details have emerged how such contamination has taken place. The first step in this direction was taken by the NFF at a press briefing held on June 19. At this press conference which was also attended by the officials of the Sri Lanka Haritha Party (Green Party) and several other activists from more..

We have to give room for seniors: MP Nishantha Muthuhettigama

June 28 (NF) Individuals who obtained less than half of the number of votes I got in the polls are cabinet ministers today said the UPFA MP, Nishantha Muthuhettigama. He made this comment at a function held in the Baddegama area in Galle yesterday where the Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dullas Alahapperuma declared open a Technical Training Centre to commemorate the death anniversary of late Minister Amarasiri Dodangoda. more..

Race to Hambantota: CBK started but failed; Mahinda speeding says Cabraal

June 28 (FT) Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal yesterday indicated that the race to develop Hambantota now gathering pace wasn’t a Rajapaksa obsession but that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga started it though failed. Answering a question at a media briefing with representatives from the 2018 Commonwealth Games Evaluation Commission whether Hambantota was selected as the candidate city for its connection with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Cabraal stated. more..

Fuel price hike in the offing says UNP

June 28 (Island) The govt, having admitted that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has suffered a huge loss, has set the stage for a hike in fuel prices, the UNP said. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillake said it was only recently that LIOC was permitted to increase fuel prices and an assessment of statements made by Petroleum Resources Development Minister Susil Premajayanth, was a clear indication that the consumer would be asked to pay more. more..

Schoolgirl collapses with heart attack in bus

June 28 (ST) Anne Madushala Natalie Peiris, at 17, was the soul and spirit of her parents Sunil and Kumudini, and brother Ashane of Kandawala, Negombo, when her sudden and untimely death on Monday (20), left them devastated and in the depths of depression, unable to come to terms with the irreplaceable loss. It was not only her death that has shaken the family, but also the callous, insensitive and inhuman circumstances under which she died. more..

No truth in the beheading news of Rizana Nafeek

June 28 (AT) Sources in Saudi Arabia confirmed to Asian Tribune that there is no truth in the news item circulated in Colombo about the impending beheading of Sri Lankan House Maid Rizana Nafeek. This news item was brought to the notice of Asian Tribune which was transmitted via SMS: “Media Reports says death sentence imposed on Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek has been confirmed by the Saudi Court: She will be executed by beheading – local media.” more..

Preview: England v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Dilshan fit

June 28 (CI) This time last week, Andrew Strauss was England's man at the helm. On Saturday, for a perfunctory 37.2 overs, Stuart Broad took over as national captain, and at 12.30pm tomorrow afternoon, Alastair Cook will line up at the toss as England's third skipper in eight days. The policy of separate leaders for all three formats always looked like a bit of a gamble, but right at this moment, following the most anticlimactic coronation more..

Widulamu Lanka electricity project will cost Rs. 8 bn

June 28 (Island) With the aim of providing an efficient and friendly service to the consumer an E city office was inaugurated adjacent to the Electrical Engineers Office in Polonnaruwa recently. A special office was also opened by Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka with the aim of completing the electrification transmission network before the end of 2012. Ministry officials said that, a project named Widulamu Lanka was also inaugurated at an investment of Rs. 8,000 million. more..

Japanese Ambassador lauds Lankan on book about Japan

June 28 (Island) Japanese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Kunio Takahashi thanked Saman Athaudahetti for his very inspiring contribution in introducing the cultural landscape of Japan to Sri Lankan readers, who would not have the opportunity to visit Japan or study its historic aspects, through his book ‘Wondering Pleasure-Along the Hanamichi’. The Ambassador also said that the book could be taken as a token of solidarity of the Sri Lankan people with those in Japan who more..

Development Diaries June 22, 2011