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Sri Lanka exports may be affected by US, EU slow down: report

Nov 9 (LBO) Stagnation in the United States and European Union might slow demand for Sri Lanka's exports and a shift away from such reliance to new markets would help to cushion growth prospects, a new rating report said. RAM Ratings Lanka also said the Central Bank is likely to hold repo rates at 7.0 percent for the coming year with inflation projected at 6.5-7.0 percent in 2012. The central bank is also expected to continue controlling the rupee's peg against the US dollar more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 09.11.2011

Remember that powers need Tamils too : Gajendrakumar

Nov 9 (LN) Just as Eezham Tamils need international recognition for their cause, the powers that make moves in the island for a world order also need Tamils. What the Tamil politicians should keep in mind is that there is no reason for them to compromise on the fundamentals of the cause upheld by the people, said Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam of the Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF) in writing to Colombo-based Tamil Daily, Thinakkural, Sunday. more..

Complaint have lodged with the Human Rights Commission on the death of Baratha Lakshman

Nov 9 (LN) Wife of former parliamentarian Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra , Sumana Premachandra have lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission stating that the Police and the CID are not carrying out proper investigations into his death. The complaint states that the officers who were investigating the killing, have been given transfers. In addition, it points out that witnesses in the case have not been produced in a proper manner. more..

Sri Lanka passes expropriation law, raising fresh fears

Nov 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka passed a law to expropriate assets of dozens of enterprises despite protests from trade chambers, religious and opposition groups who warned that it will scare off investors when the island is looking to rebuild after a war. The expropriation bill was passed in parliament wherewith 122 votes in favour and 46 against. The govt had insisted that the bill would be a one-off and it would not expropriate other firms in the future. more..

Businessman granted bail

Nov 9 (DM) A businessman who had allegedly bought pilfered computer toners from two peons attached to from the President’s Private Secretary’s Office was released on bail by a Colombo Court today. After taking into consideration a bail application by the suspect, the Colombo High Court had granted bail to the suspect Manoj Kumara. Accordingly, the businessman was released on cash bail of Rs.75,000 and two sureties of Rs.250,000. Meanwhile, the two peons attached to the President’s more..

women's 50-over match: Sri Lanka ease to convincing win

Nov 9 (CI) Sri Lanka Women started their preparations for the upcoming ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh with a convincing win against the hosts in the first of two matches. Sri Lanka's lower order made handy contributions to get them to 195 for 8 in 50 overs, and they then took early wickets to end the match as a contest. Bangladesh ended up crawling to 131 for 8 in their chase. Sri Lanka were put in and both their openers got starts. more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals hit new record high in 2011

Nov 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals in the first 10 months of the year has surpassed 2010's record as visitors to the island nation has continued to rise every month on a year-on-year basis since a 25-year civil war ended in May 2009. Tourist arrivals in the first ten months of 2011 jumped 34.2 percent to 667,569 from a year earlier, higher than Sri Lanka's record annual tourist arrivals of 654,476 reached last year. more..

Frequent flooding of city after heavy rains will wash ‘beautified’ Colombo down the drain

Nov 10 (TC) After all the work done in beautifying the City of Colombo or making it a Miracle City or Wonder of Asia, it will be sad if we see everything getting washed down the drain when a heavy rainfall plays havoc on the lives of the city dwellers rich and poor. Right now if only we look at what is happening in the city of Bangkok in Thailand it should serve as a timely warning for us living in our coastal Capital City of Colombo. more..

The killer on the road

Nov 10 (DM) On this basis an average of 7 persons die due to road accidents every day, about 16 persons are seriously injured and 34 persons receive minor injuries. In recent years from 2005 onwards there has been a considerable reduction in damage only accidents according to statistics. This reduction is no reason to rejoice, this drop is due to new insurance procedures in vogue where damage only accidents are settled directly through Insurers without being repored to Police Stations. more..

'Govt. must get its propoganda act together to counter false stories'

Nov 10 (LB) Two of the largest Canadian organizations – Canadian Peace Alliance and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (a trade union) have extended their support to the Pongu Thamil rally held in Queen’s Park, Toronto where protestors carried LTTE flags and portraits of slain Tiger chieftain Velupillai Prabhakaran. The event celebrated the gory past of the LTTE, more..

Healthcare sector needs major surgery

Nov 10 (NS) The institutions of healthcare in this country are so important and so problem-ridden not a day passes without the media carrying some news or comment on the country’s healthcare services. These news items reveal a wide range of shortcomings and problems in the sector vary from administrative problems to ethical questions concerning medical practitioners. Mismanagement, corruption, waste, inefficiency, indiscipline, dereliction of duty, negligence and more..

Web censorship in Sri Lanka: Documenting a growing trend

Nov 10 (GV) Over the weekend, a press release issued by the Director General of the Dept of Govt Information noted that all ‘websites carrying any content relating to Sri Lanka or the people of Sri Lanka… uploaded from Sri Lanka or elsewhere’ to ‘register’ for ‘accreditation’. Several websites Websites including lankanewsweb, srilankamirror, srilankaguardian and lankawaynews were blocked on the day the press release was issued. more..

Economic and political costs of over-extending military role

Nov 10 (DBS) Hello Friends; The war may be over but the Armed forces of Sri Lanka continue to play an assertive role in the affairs of the Country. This is more pronounced in the Northern and Eastern provinces of the Country where the armed forces continue to dominate may spheres of eeryday life in the regions where Tamils are a preponderant majority. If this is the existential reality in the North – East the Sinhala majority Southern provinces are more..

The State Defense and City Development Ministry: From Utopia to Dystopia

Nov 10 (GV) Security and development are primarily responsibilities of the state. Our cities need visionary leaders and disciplined citizens. We should also appreciate the efforts of our leaders who are trying to take our country forward amidst of many obstacles. But if urban development is merged with the Ministry of Defense as ‘State Defense and City Development Ministry’, we run the risk of replacing public-spirited behavior and deliberative politics with selfish interests, more..

Speaker calls forurgent and vital international cooperation

Nov 10 (LB) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa speaking at the Parliamentarians for Global Action at their 33rd Annual Forum held on October 28 at the Hilton Hotel, said that, “we also know the difficulties in delivering the expectations of our voters, through practical and tangible measures, in the context of regional and global realities of politics, fiscal and economic policy, culture and tradition... Yet we strive to deliver substantially, on the trust and confidence placed on us by our voters...” more..

Lawyers file response in courts saying General Shavendra Silva is not entitled to immunity

Nov 10 (TC) Attorneys yesterday filed a formal response to Sri Lankan Major General Shavendra Silva’s motion to dismiss the war crimes lawsuit against him in the Southern District of New York. Today, international human rights groups united to urge the United Nations to suspend the credentials of Silva, who is Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Silva is facing allegations in federal court for war crimes more..

Editorial: Championing media rights selectively

Nov 10 (Island) The govt has drawn heavy flak from some quarters for ordering that all websites specialising in Sri Lankan news be registered with the Information Department immediately. This requirement is widely seen as a draconian move to curb freedom of expression. It is being argued that the govt is trying to act like Big Brother (in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four). The European Union has expressed concern over what it terms the blocking of websites in Sri Lanka, more..

Expropriation Bill: Unmasks the Private Sector?

Nov 10 (TC) Although the “Revival of Under Performing and Under Utilized Assets” Bill has dire implications to the well-being of the country in general and the private sector in particular, our valiant captains of industry and commerce as reflected in the leadership of the main business chambers are reportedly comfortable with this Bill except for “serious concern” over some of the entities included! The ‘Mirror Business’ of 7 Nov. captures this aptly with its damning headline – “Gutless Chambers”! more..

Sri Lankans Padlocked in Saudi!

Nov 10 (SL) We have no food, no toilet facilities and no water,” said one of the 19 Sri Lankans imprisoned in a building in Saudi Arabia. “We have not had a meal in a long time, except for food given to us by sympathizing Sri Lankans. We have not had a bath and we have no way of attending to our basic needs,” claimed these Sri Lankans who went on to say that they are on the verge of desperation, having to sit on the floor of a room, day and night. more..

Colmbo Uni. administration advises parents of suspended U’grads

Nov 10 (Island) The Colombo University administration yesterday held a meeting with parents of Management faculty undergraduates who were allegedly involved in a clash which led to closure of the faculty two weeks ago. Vice Chancellor of the University Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama told The Island that 15 students were suspended for allegedly being involved in the clash and they were asked to submit explanations. "None of the parents were aware of the incident," more..

Shantha Sevana: A haven for the terminally ill

Nov 10 (ST) The gardens of Shantha Sevana are remarkably cheerful. Compared to the hustle and bustle of the Maharagama Cancer Hospital which stands adjacent to it, there is calm around the clean, beige-painted corridors of the hospice. Nurses in their crisp uniforms and spotlessly dressed hospice aides walk around busily attending to their duties while various doctors and family members make their way in and out of this home for the terminally ill. October 8 this year saw the world celebrating more..

Full Moon Poya day of iI, signifies the conclusion of the Katina Season

Nov 10 (Island) The Full Moon Poya Day iI, which falls today in the year 2555, since the Final Passing Away of the Sakyamuni Siddartha Gauthama Buddha, falls today on the 11th day of November 2011, in accordance with the Gregorian Calendar. This is a red letter day in the Buddhist Calendar, as it marks the conclusion of the Katina Season or the Cheevara Masaya on the month of robe which commenced on the Full Moon Poya Day of ‘Vap’, which signifies more..

'The govt makes empty statements without firm commitments to halt violations'

Nov 10 (AHRC) Yesterday (8) the govt delegation gave the state report relating to the questions raised by the Committee Against Torture (CAT) at the 47th Session of the CAT Committee. Mr. Mohan Peiris, a former Attorney General and now an advisor to the govt presented the report. After making the report the committee members raised a large number of questions for which they sought answers from the govt delegation. The govt is expected to answer these questions today (9). more..

Ramayana row divides India

Nov 10 (AT) India's liberal intellectual tradition has received a stunning blow with the removal of an essay that celebrates diversity from Delhi University's BA history (honors) syllabus. The decision marks the "surrender of academic freedom to political pressure", eminent Indian historian Romila Thapar has lamented. The essay in question is the late A K Ramanujan's Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translations. Written in 1987, the essay drew attention more..

Hard work has paid off for Welagedara : Marsh

Nov 10 (Island) As Sri Lanka’s winless streak in Test cricket extended for 15 months and 14 Test Matches following the series defeat to Pakistan, a few positives emerged for the team. Apart from Kumar Sangakkara’s outstanding form with the bat, Chanaka Welagedara emerged as the highest wicket taker in the series for Sri Lanka. When he began his Test career in 2007, Welagedara was often in trouble for running on the danger area and four years on more..

'We've competed, but we've slipped up as well'

Nov 10 (CI) It's essentially been one bad innings that has cost us each of the last three series. In Cardiff against England and then against Australia in Galle and now here in Dubai. It is something that we have acknowledged and looked at and it is an area where we need to improve. We realise we have slipped up and cannot make mistakes that cause us to lose entire series. At the same time, the positive is that we competed really well in all three Test series. more..

Shaym Saran to deliver India-Sri Lanka Foundation lecture series

Nov 10 (Island) The former Indian Foreign Secretary and Chairman, Research and Information System, Shyam Saran, is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka from November 13 to 18, 2011 to deliver a series of lectures under the auspices of the India-Sri Lanka Foundation, an Indian High Commission spokesperson said. He said that on November 14, Ambassador Saran would speak on ‘India’s Neighbourhood Policy and India-Sri Lanka Relations’ at the Jaffna University commencing 2.30 p.m. more..

Virtusa in Forbes’ 100 Best Small Companies in America

Nov 10 (Island) Virtusa Corporation, a global IT services company that offers a broad range of information technology services, including IT consulting, technology implementation, and application outsourcing services, today announcedit has been named to Forbes’ list of the "100 Best Small Public Companies in America." The list recognizes 100 companies across the U.S. that have withstood economic challenges to achieve impressive sales and earnings growth. more..

Business undergrads demand a faculty at P’deniya

Nov 10 (Island) A group of business administration undergraduates yesterday launched a sit-in-protest opposite the Senate building demanding that University authorities take immediate steps to establish a Management Faculty at the Peradeniya University. They have been fighting for a Management Faculty at Peradeniya for about three years. Yesterday’s sit-in-protest got under way following a two-hour-long demonstration. President of the Student Action Committee of more..

U’grads allege female student in trouble for calling VC

Nov 10 (Island) Undergraduates allege Vice Chancellor of the Colombo University, Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama is targeting a second-year female student for seeking an explanation from her regarding the recent undue delay in the bus available for students. Convener of the IUSF Sanjeewa Bandara said that the decision to hold a disciplinary inquiry was a move by the university administration to suppress the student community. Bandara alleged that the university administration had more..

Lawyers demand Govt. to withdraw ban on websites immediately

Nov 10 (FT) The Govt of Sri Lanka has banned several websites and directed that all websites reporting on Sri Lanka be registered with the Ministry of Mass Media. The real purpose of the ban is implied in the statement issued by Ministry of Mass Media and Information. It states “the contents of certain reports found on the websites are injurious to the image of country, Head of the State, Ministers, Senior Public Officials, VVIPP who have been targeted in more..

Road accidents claim six lives daily

Nov 10 (DN) Road accidents claim six lives daily in Sri Lanka, while annually between 2,000 to 2,500 lives are lost due to road accidents, a Health Ministry spokesman said. He said two persons get seriously injured due to road accidents every two hours while one road accident occurs every 10 minutes. The spokesman said 80,000 road accidents are reported islandwide each year. “Out of this, 30,000 are serious road accidents. The govt spends between Rs. one million to Rs 10 million to more..

Guidelines for media soon

Nov 10 (DN) In the backdrop of various slanderous articles being carried by websites targeting prominent figures in society, the government yesterday said that it would soon introduce a set of guidelines and a code of conduct for media to be adhered to by all media institutions and media persons in the country. The government jointly with private and state media is to set up these guidelines which would be gazetted under the relevent laws. According to Media Ministry Secretary more..

Protest if demands not met in Budget, say teachers

Nov 10 (DM) The Ceylon Teachers Service Union called on the Govt to increase public expenditure on education to 10% from the current 2.59% as low investments in education will cause the country’s education system to spiral downwards and threatened to protest if their requests are not met in the 2012 Budget. The union’s secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe said the Govt has allocated Rs.33.25 billion for the Education Ministry and Rs.24.47 billion for more..

Parliament Swindling exposed

Nov 10 (LT) At least Rs.484 million from allocations to Parliament and much more that has not been estimated yet has been swindled states audit reports. This was revealed in a report presented yesterday (8th) to Parliament by the Auditor General’s Department and Department of State Accounts. Frauds and misappropriation of finances have been carried out on 10 main sections in relation to expenditure of the Parliament. Some of these sections are the parliament modernization project, more..

Outer circle highway construction nears half way mark

Nov 10 (Island) Nearly 45 per cent of the 28-kilometre outer circle highway under construction in the suburbs of Colombo city, has been completed, according to the Ministry of Highways. It is scheduled to be opened in 2014. Currently, the construction of a nine kilometre stretch, from Kaduwela to Kottawa is underway. The outer circle highway starts from Kerawalapitiya linking the Colombo - Katunayake Expressway and also linking the Southern Expressway crossing at Kottawa. more..

Counsel wants fuller SC Bench to hear petition against takeover Bill

Nov 10 (Island) Counsel Romesh de Silva PC, appearing for the petitioners in a Fundamental Rights violation petition before a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, requested that the petition, filed by three parties against the Bill to take over private assets, be heard by a fuller bench of the Supreme Court. Counsel de Silva requested the Court to place the matter before the Chief Justice to appoint a fuller Bench of five, seven or more judges. more..

Sri Lanka confident of winning 2018 Commonwealth Games bid

Nov 10 (SKN) THREE days into the bidding process for the hosting of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and candidate city Hambantota, Sri Lanka, has already expressed confidence in securing the contract. Considered the underdog, Sri Lanka has never had the privilege of hosting the Commonwealth Games, unlike its competitor, Australia, which is bidding for the games to be hosted at Gold Coast. In support of their bids, each candidate country would receive opportunities to make presentations to more..

Tyranny majority gave life to a bad Bill – Dr. Harsha de Silva

Nov 10 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday in Parliament charged that the Government and Ministers misled the public, the clergy, Courts and the House saying Budget 2011 had contained the proposal whereas it referred to only “non-performing” enterprises and “uncultivated land.” He also said that this Bill was opposed by all including the Opposition, the private sector, and the clergy as it was bad with draconian precedents and powers. more..