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Sri Lanka 2011

Public sector vacancies in N/E to be filled by year's end

May 21(DN) The government will recruit officials for the existing vacancies in the public sector in the Northern and Eastern Province by the end of this year, said Minister W D J Seneviratne. He said the government will provide all facilities to the North and the East. Speaking at the opening of Walikamam South Divisional Secretariat in Uduvil, the minister added that Rs 212 million has been allocated for the development of all administrative institutes in the North and the East. more..

New rail bus service between Gal Oya, Trinco

May 21(DN) Sri Lanka Railways will launch a new rail bus service between Gal Oya junction and Trincomalee under the Negenahira Navodaya project from May 26. The inauguration will take place at the Gal Oya railway station under the patronage of Transport Minister Kumara Welgama, a Sri Lanka Railways Spokesman said. He said that the first rail bus launched under the Negenahira Navodaya between Batticaloa and Gal Oya is being operated successfully. more..

Brigadier Balraj: LTTE’s fearless frontline commander

May 21 (DBS) Three days in May (17th -19th) marked the second anniversary of the total military defeat suffered by the LTTE. While a large number of senior LTTE leaders and military commanders including tiger supremo Veluppillai Prabhakaran met with their end during this period the greatest LTTE military commander of them all died a year earlier. Kandiah Balasegaran alias “Brigadier Balraj” the Deputy military chief of the LTTE was spared more..

GL to seek China’s support

May 21 (DM) External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris will visit China on Monday to seek the support of Sri Lanka’s powerful ally against the UN experts’ panel report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Ministry officials said the panel report would be the primary reason for the visit on the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. They said the minister was only scheduled to meet Mr. Jiechi. Minister Peiris was in India this week and discussed the panel report and more..

Bribery Commission operational again

May 21 (Island) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has recommenced investigations into complaints on alleged acts of bribery and corruption, a press release issued by Information Department said yesterday. Complaints can now be forwarded in writing or in person to the Commission. The Commission had been defunct since March 29, 2010 due to new appointments not being made after the Commission’s term had come to an end. more..

Continuing the Struggle

May 21 (AJR) Tsunami aid misappropriation. Abuse of government power. Corporate fraud. These are the types of stories to which award-winning investigative journalist and newspaper editor Sonali Samarasinghe gravitated. When she won the Global Shining Light Award at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in 2008, it cited "her work to reveal misuse of power and corruption in Sri Lanka." But there was one story for which she was completely unprepared. more..

Sangakkara expects a tough series ahead

May 21 (IANS) Sri Lanka's top batsman Kumar Sangakkara has rated England as a "very good" Test side and said the upcoming series between the two sides will be a close contest. Sangakkara, who joined the squad after captaining the Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League, said the toughest challenge for them would be to face England's "disciplined" bowling attack. The first of the three-match Test series starts at Cardiff on Thursday. more..

Arjuna went through hell after protecting Murali – Roy

May 21 (Island) In this fifth and final interview with Roy Dias in our segment ‘Lords at Lord’s,’ he speaks on the wonderful bond the 1998 Sri Lankan team had built up and believes that unity helped the side to overcome some tough moments. Dias also says the understanding he had with captain Arjuna Ranatunga and Manager Ranjit Fernando helped the team to reach great heights. He goes on to state that during Sri Lanka’s 1998-99 tour of Australia, after Ranatunga staged more..

UNP warns of mass public protest against PSP Bill

May 21 (Island) The UNP yesterday warned that it would stage a mass public protest along with other like minded political parties and trade unions, if the government does not withdraw the Private Sector Pension (PPS) Bill which was nothing but an attempt to rob workers of their hard earned monies. Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe, addresssing representatives of UNP affiliated trade unions at ‘Srikotha’, said that more..

Private sector pension scheme: Govt to consult trade unions next week

May 21 (AT) Sri Lanka’s government said that the amended draft of the private sector pension scheme bill will not be presented to parliament next week (24th) as scheduled but it will present to the trade unions next week. “The amended draft will be given to the National Labor Advisory Council (NLAC) next week. So, the bill will not be presented to parliament next Tuesday (24), as initially planned. “Labor Minister Gamini Lokuge said. more..

England Lions v Sri Lankans: Dernbach stars as Sri Lanka struggle

May 21 (CI) Sri Lanka's difficult preparations ahead of the first Test continued on the second day at Derby as their top order floundered against a strong England Lions pace attack. Jade Dernbach was the most successful of the quartet with 5 for 44 while Ajmal Shahzad and Graham Onions claimed two apiece as the tourists were bowled out for 266. At 97 for 6 the innings was hurtling towards a rapid conclusion, but an eighth-wicket stand of 89 between more..

'Sri Lanka war-torn regions to show highest nominal growth'

May 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka former war-torn has shown the highest nominal growth among all regions (before inflation adjustment) after the end of a 30-year war and the momentum is expected to continue, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. The war in the north ended in May 2009, but military activities in the Eastern province ended earlier. In 2009 the Northern Province had grown by 14.1 percent in nominal terms, which was the highest among all provinces, more..

Sri Lanka squash officials under probe

May 21 (DM) The Sri Lanka Squash Federation (SLSF) activities are under investigation by the Ministry of Sports for alleged irregularities violating the Constitution and Sports Law and the AGM which was due to be held before March 31, 2011 and now indefinitely postponed by the Sports Ministry until a report is submitted by the committee appointed by the Ministry. A Ministry official has been appointed to overlook the administrative functions of the SLSF in the meantime. more..

Jayalath Jayawardene to head JSS

May 21 (DM) UNP Gampaha District MP Jayalath Jayawardene is to be named the President of the party’s trade union wing – the Jathika Sevaka Sangamya on Monday amidst objections from the reformist group. Top JSS officials confirmed that Dr. Jayawardene would be named as the president at the working committee meeting of the trade union on Monday. Referring to the allegations made by some pro reformist members of the trade union, JSS sources said nothing illegal had been more..

CEB unions demand GM be reinstated

May 21 (Island) Ceylon Electricity Board trade unions, led by the Engineers’ Union, yesterday staged a protest against the dismissal of CEB General Manager Badra Jayaweera. They demanded that she be reinstated. More than 500 men, representing nearly 60 unions, held their lunch hour protest near the CEB headquarters. CEB Chairman Vidya Amarapala last week called for explanations from the General Manager on the reappointment of Dr. Susantha Perera to more..

UK judicial system can be abused for political reasons - British HC

May 21 (Island) The British High Commission in Colombo says existing mechanism to secure arrest warrants in respect of universal jurisdiction offences are an anomaly that allows the British system to be abused for political reasons. Changes designed to rectify the shortcomings have been proposed to ensure that people aren’t detained when there is no realistic chance of prosecution, the HC says. more..

Private pension: Protests mounting

May 21 (DM) Unions yesterday vowed to continue with their trade union action to prevent the government from establishing the controversial pension scheme for private sector employees despite the Bill not being taken up in parliament next Tuesday as planned. The Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) said they would continue as planned with walk outs and protest campaigns next Tuesday to protest against the establishment of the Employee Pension Benefit Fund (EPBF) bill. more..

Call for LTTE ban in Norway

May 21 (BBC) Norway must follow the European Union and proscribe the LTTE in the country says a Norwegian MP. Chairman of the Defence and Security committee of the opposition Conservative Party, Peter Gitmark says that it is wrong to allow the Tamil Tigers to operate in Norway. Confirming the recent detention of a leading LTTE activist by the Norwegian police, the MP says Perimpanayagam Sivaparan, also known as Nediyawan is wanted by the police of the Netherlands. more..

Ranil invited to TN

May 21 (SL) The newly elected Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha has invited the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for a tour in Tamil Nadu. The invitation has been extended as the Chief Minister Jayalalitha telephoned Wickremasinghe to thank for the congratulations rendered by the latter, UNP sources have said. The duo has had a lengthy telephone dialogue, according to a party spokesman. They have discussed the situation in the North and East and more..

New circular on use of chemicals to ripen fruits

May 21 (Island) The Health Ministry has issued a new circular on the use of chemicals in the process of fruit ripening. Director General of Health Services Dr. Ajith Mendis has issued instructions on the use of chemicals to ripen the foods. He said that the use of chemicals below the required amount or over the limit affects the health of the consumer. He said that a test carried out on the fruit ripening process had found that more..

Ban stands by report

May 21 (NN) UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon stands by the expert panel report on Sri Lanka and is still awaiting an official response to it from the Sri Lankan government, the UN has said. However the UN reiterated that it is for the Sri Lankan government to investigate what happened during the last stages of the war and the UN will not get involved without being given a mandate to do so. more..

Southern Highway opens from Kottawa to Galle

May 21 (DM) The National Transport Commission is planning to operate bus services after opening the stretch of the Southern Highway from Kottawa to Galle in August this year. The commission has focused attention on operating buses with closed doors on the expressway. A senior official of the Transport Commission said initially the bus service would operate from Kottawa to Galle as a pilot project with more..

Lanka will assist probe of LTTE leader Nediyawan

May 21 (NN) Following the arrest of Norwegian based LTTE leader Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyawan in Oslo, Sri Lanka says it will assist the Norwegian and Dutch authorities in the investigations if a request is made. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Norway Rodney Perera said that the Embassy was aware of Nediyawan’s arrest and they were following the developments closely. Asked if Sri Lanka will seek to obtain information from Nediyawan regarding more..

Court suspends Sri Lanka student boot-camp plan

May 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has suspended a government plan to make military training compulsory for students who qualify for university education, an official said Saturday The top court late Friday ordered the education ministry to delay implementation of the training programme until a ruling is made on a legal challenge to the scheme. The govt has said the three-week residential military training program, which was due to begin on Monday at military camps, more..

University academics who resigned from their posts to migrate

May 22 (NN) University academics who resigned from their posts over salary demands are to go overseas for employment. The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) said that some university lecturers have already gone overseas and more are expected to follow. FUTA warned of a complete breakdown in the university system as a result of the govt’s failure to address their concerns. Minister S.B. Dissanayake has refused to give into the demands for more..

Politics entering police

May 22 (NN) The opposition has urged the govt to keep politics out of the police service and also called on the police to implement the law in the eastern province. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the govt was attempting to use the police for political gain. He said that the police should act independently and curb the violence which has broken out in the east no matter who is involved. A govt statement had said this week that the police had been urged to respect more..

Sri Lanka eyes better rating before $1 bln bond sale

May 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka is hoping for a better credit rating to boost its plans to sell a $1 billion sovereign bond this year, an official said Saturday, ahead of a visit by ratings agencies. The Central Bank's deputy governor Dharma Dheerasinghe said the agencies, Standard and Poor's, Fitch and Moody's, will begin a visit to the island next Monday to assess its financial health. "We have a better credit story to tell now," more..

Rugby: Japan records smashing win in Sri Lanka send-off

May 22 (ST) Centre Alisi Tupuailai breached in with five tries as Japan gave a smashing send off to minnows Sri Lanka who were badly beaten by 90-13 in the final match of the Asian5Nations top group rugby match played at Longdon Place today. Japan ran in to reach the try line 14 times and converted 10 tries for their 90 points. Sri Lanka collected their points from a converted try, a drop goal and a penalty. Japan played a game that suited the Sri Lankans to more..

Is insulting the judiciary an ordinary entity for SB? – IUSF

May 22 (LT) IUSF referring to the statement made by the Minister of Higher Education ignoring the decision given by the Supreme Court yesterday asks whether insulting the judiciary has become a normal exercise for Mr S B Dissanayake. In a communiqué issued by the IUSF it further states that the Minister who was found guilty for insulting the Judiciary once is considering making such remarks on the Judiciary as an ordinary entity. more..

Leadership training - a component of Undergrads orientation program

May 22 (GDI) Sri Lankan Higher Education authorities will go ahead with its proposed program of providing leadership Training to the University entrants as scheduled on May 23. Accordingly, the first batch of 12,000 of the 22,000 new entrants will enroll themselves for three weeks training on leadership and positive thinking at 28 locations. Sri Lanka's main opposition parties criticize the latest move by the University authorities as more..

Editorial : Who needs leadership training?

May 22 (LG) Do Sri Lankan University students lack leadership skills? The Government of Sri Lanka believes they do, and has come up with a remedy to provide compulsory leadership training in a military establishment under a secret curriculum. As usual, the basis to take this decision, nor the details of the program have not been made clear to the students and their parents. Submit without questioning is the order! My experience with Sri Lankan students and graduates prompts me to more..

Mullivaikal: The moment of deep sorrow and courage

May 22 (LG) Today, we moan from the very depths of our hearts the deaths of thousands of Tamils who were killed in Mullivaikal as well as in other places. Who are they? They are our beautiful children, our courageous young sons and daughters, beloved parents and grandparents whose burial grounds we do not know. On this day, as a Sinhalese, let me remember not only the physical deaths of thousands of Tamils, but also the moral and spiritual death of the Sinhala nation to more..

'Building a city any Sri Lankan can be proud of is our aim'

May 22 (SO) Colombo, the commercial hub of the country received a face lift during the past two years constantly changing its appearance from one of pre-colonial setting to a modern city. Much of the changes were done during the past few years to facilitate the free movement of traffic, hassle free walk for the pedestrians and also to provide a better environment for the public. You may have tired when you were walking along the section of more..

Editorial : View Sri Lanka from a broader perspective

May 22 (SO) Extremist elements in the Tamil diaspora made another subtle attempt to discredit Sri Lanka and its Security Forces at the European Parliament. Nevertheless, several knowledgeable members of the European Parliament, who are deeply cognizant of the developments in Sri Lanka and its unrelenting efforts to eradicate terrorism, were quick to shoot down the moves. Thus, the European Parliament last week defeated a resolution proposed by the Socialist group more..

Editorial : India, the U.S. and Rajapaksa

May 22 (SL) Both India and the United States have now made it clear the ‘price’ President Mahinda Rajapaksa has to pay for not having to face charges on war crimes and crimes against humanity. Both countries want the 13th Amendment plus to be implemented and the emergency regulations lifted. In addition to that, the Indians are demanding that delays in implementing a series of Indian funded projects in the north and east be cleared. more..

'Auditors to shed light on irregularities, malpractices'

May 22 (SO) Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka in an interview to explain the recent action on LECO General Manager Dr. Susantha Perera says he has begun the dangerous task of cleansing the CEB and LECO institutions of corruption and fraud in line with the vision to make CEB continue as a profitable public enterprise. He says he has raised a hornet's nest by launching this operation that will investigate each and every project under more..

Editorial : Remembering war victory

May 22 (NS) The events that marked the second anniversary of the defeat of the LTTE were relatively low key this year possibly because it was overshadowed by the more spiritual Sambuddhatva Jayanthiya that was commemorated only a few days prior to that. Nevertheless, two years is an opportune moment to reflect on this watershed in our history: neither too soon to be overcome by sentiment relating to the event nor too late to be unable to redirect our energies for the betterment of our nation. more..

Editorial : Devolution derring-do again

May 22 (LB) Was it the idea of a second chamber - Senate — that caused our Indian neighbours to be so chagrined as to repeat the devolution manthra to external affairs Minister G. L. Peiris when he visited New Delhi last week for talks that would prepare the ground for a high-level Indian delegation to visit Sri Lanka next month? But devolution has been for long a tolerated four letter word in the Sri Lankan political lexicon. It seems that each time devolution is more..

Living beneath the Veil

May 22 (SL) My name is Maryam. I am a Muslim, I am Sri Lankan and I am a journalist. And not one of these three identities challenge the fact that I wear a headscarf. The first one encourages it, the second one is indifferent to it. And so is the third. As a girl growing up among a minority in this country, I’ve had to answer my fair share of Islam-related questions: Why do you pray five times a day? Do you really fast for one month? What does ‘halal’ mean? more..