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Don’t play ball with Tigers at our expense – GL tells the West

Nov 25 (Island) Reiterating President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s commitment to publish observations and recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday urged those countries concerned over accountability issues not to be part of the eelam lobby, but to throw their weight behind the ongoing Sri Lankan initiative. more..

Editorial: Climate change and water wars

Nov 25 (DM) After the unprecedented violence in parliament on Budget Day, the debate rages on the plusses and minuses with government leaders claiming it is a development-oriented budget with a hundred proposals including several for local production and export. But independent economists and opposition leaders say there will be little or no immediate relief for the millions of suffering people while the devaluation of the rupee – with the dollar rate going up from more..

Sri Lanka stocks end down one-pct

Nov 25 (LBO) Shares fell further Friday, following Thursday's crash below the 6,000 point mark, with a trading halt caused by an error trade jolting investors already unnerved by uncertainty and margin calls. The main All Share Price Index fell 1.04 percent to 5,805.76, while the Milanka index fell 1.80 percent to close at 5,052.91. Turnover was just over a billion rupees. Distilleries Company, a large cap stock in which an error trade triggered a trading halt after more..

The invisible handcuffs

Nov 25 (DM) Media in Sri Lanka has always walked a tightrope. Plagued by insecurity and fear, journalists constantly reassess their opinions or facts to ensure that one misstep on their part does not render dire consequences for themselves or those around them. The govt blocked five websites recently claiming that they had been slandering and insulting individuals, including a number of prominent persons. Although the law dictates that criticism of more..

Sri Lanka tea prices fall

Nov 25 (LBO) Sri Lankan tea prices fell at this week's Colombo auctions with reduced demand and brokers saying the island is unlikely to match last year's annual production owing to a slower recovery in crops. A key buyer also kept out of the first day of the auctions owing transport problems involving threats from a ruling party politician that were sorted out after the intervention of the plantations minister, officials said. Brokers said there was lower demand for more..

Police raid Church-run orphanage

Nov 25 (UCAN) Police this week conducted a raid on a Catholic Church-run orphanage in Colombo archdiocese on suspicion that the facility was engaged in child trafficking, according to an official with the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). Anoma Dissanayake, chairperson of the NCPA, accompanied police on November 23 to the Prem Niwasa orphanage run by the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity in Moratuwa after receiving an anonymous tip via an emergency hotline. more..

Central Bank to defend rupee, devaluation one-off

Nov 25 (Reuters) Central bank on Friday said it will sell dollars from its foreign exchange reserves to defend the rupee currency after it was devalued 3 percent this week and may allow appreciation if inflows push back depreciation pressure. Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said the devaluation is a one-off change, after he ordered the central bank to implement it during his 2012 budget presentation on Monday. more..

U.A.E-Sri Lanka Business Forum ends successfully

Nov 25 (GDI) The first ever high powered UAE-Sri Lanka Business Forum was successfully concluded yesterday at Hilton Hotel in Colombo. 48 Business participants from the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) attended this forum. Reports from the Forum said that the event led to more than 30 successful business to business mini-networking and introduction sessions between UAE and Sri Lankan business delegates continuing long after the Forum itself concluded. more..

Chamber welcomes currency depreciation

Nov 25 (GDI) The Chairman of the Sri Lanka National Chamber of Commerce Mr. Ashoka Hettigoda has commended the government decision for depreciating the exchange rate by three percent. He said that it is a proposal made by the Chamber to the government since a long time. He said that many countries in the world have depreciated their exchange rates, to facilitate exports and India depreciated its exchange rates by 15 percent during the last three to six months. more..

WikiLeaks: Rajapaksas are keen on eliminating or neutralizing Fonseka

Nov 25 (CT) “We do not know how much of the story about Department of Homeland Security’s request to interview Fonseka is real and how much may have been fabricated by Fonseka himself to score points against the Rajapaksas.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. The cable recount details of a meeting the US Ambassador has had with the Foreign Minister Bogollagama on Nov 2, 2009. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” by the Deputy Chief of Mission more..

Body of Loku Seeya found?

Nov 25 (NF) A body believed to be that of a person known as ’Loku Seeya’ who was abducted on the Kerawalapitiya Road in Mahabage has been found in the Akkaraipaththuwa area. Police Media Spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana said that the body was discovered on the 6th of this month. The body has been placed in the Akkaraipattu Hospital for identification. The investigations were launched on a statement made by a person claiming that the body is that of Loku Seeya who disappeared. more..

Pakistan naval ship on Sri Lanka visit

Nov 25 (PTI) A Pakistani naval ship will arrive on a goodwill visit to Sri Lanka tomorrow, officials said today, as both the countries step up efforts for stronger maritime ties. Pakistani High Commission "the Ship SAIF will be in Colombo from 26 to 29 November as both Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy warm diplomatic and strong military ties". Pakistan Navy ships frequently pay port visits to Sri Lanka demonstrating the resolve of both Navies to contribute towards achieving more..

Showers across the island; Tanks full in NC Province; Strong winds in South

Nov 25 (HN) 145 persons belonging to 29 families have been affected due to the prevailing adverse weather conditions affecting several parts of the island. Assistant Director of the Center Pradeep Kodippili stated that 2 persons are reported missing as well. He stated that those missing were from Siyambalaanduwa and Thanthirimale areas. Meanwhile, several buildings in Matara have been damaged due to heavy winds that blew across the Southern province. more..

President Rajapakse gears Officials to meet flood situation

Nov 25 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapakse today directed the state officials to assess the present disaster caused by heavy rains and winds in the areas and provide urgent relief to the affected people immediately. The President addressing a discussion held at Temple Trees this morning emphasized on the importance of securing the public from natural disasters. He directed relevant authorities to deploy trained personnel from the forces to assist to meet any challenge. more..

Sri Lanka, Thai hotel venture to build beach property

Nov 25 (LBO) Thailand's Minor International is to build a 160-room beach hotel on Sri Lanka's south-west coast in a partnership with the island's Hemas Holdings group at a cost of 25 million US dollars. Minor International chief executive Dilip Rajakarier said the group is working with Serendib Leisure on hotel ventures. The new hotel planned to be built in 2013 will be next to an existing property, the Kani Lanka, in Kalutara, he told, our sister news website. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 25.11.2011

Buddhism betrayed and the Norwegian peace process

Nov 25 (CT) Even after two decades of its publication, the seminal work of late Professor Tambiah is more misunderstood than anything Sinhala nationalists did not even bother to see the ‘?’ that was in the title of this unmatched research debate but declared it as an ‘!’ by Tambiah. Thus, the book is still banned in Lanka. Norwegians and Eric Solhaim the key architecture refused to recognize the central power dynamic that created, fuelled, mobilized finally led to more..

Lankan delegation explore business opportunities in Antwerp

Nov 25 (Island) Minister of Industry & Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen, accompanied by the Sri Lanka private sector business delegation on a two day official visit to Belgium, last week also visited several business enterprises in Antwerp - the commercial hub of Belgium. The visit of the private sector delegation was coordinated by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board. Welcoming the Sri Lanka delegation Luc Luwel, CEO of the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce briefed them on more..

'Unrest could arise if students are pressurized'

Nov 25 (DM) UNP MP and President of the National Youth Front Ruwan Wijeyawardena said if the students were pressurised, a situation that was seen in Egypt or in Syria would take place in Sri Lanka in the future. “Democracy in the country is currently broken into pieces by the govt,” he said, while addressing the media about the deepening crisis in the university system at a meeting organised by the University Youth Front, more..

‘India, Lanka links date back to pre-historic era’

Nov 25 (DM) India is much ahead of other countries in the South Asian region in literature, arts, education, agriculture, industry and technology, Irrigation and Water Resources Management, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. Addressing the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore titled ‘Prabhu Amar – Priyo Amar’ organised by the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) at Bishop’s College auditorium in Colombo, Minister said Sri Lanka highly appreciates more..

Former AG 'misled UN' says FMM

Nov 25 (BBC) A media watchdog in Sri Lanka has accused the govt of misleading the United Nations over the plight of missing and tortured media personnel. The Free Media Movement (FMM) says the former attorney general Mohan Peiris, who represented Sri Lanka “deliberately misled” the UN Committee against Torture (CaT). Responding to the disappearance of political columnist and cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda, who is missing since January 2009, Mr Peiris said that the journalist has more..

Fonseka murder conspiracy alleged

Nov 25 (BBC) An opposition MP in Sri Lanka has alleged a murder plot against the former army chief Sarath Fonseka. Arjuna Ranatunga, MP, who represents Mr Fonseka’s political party says that the former military chief is prevented from meeting doctors for medical treatment. “Not only he is being sent to prison but they are trying to kill him in the prison,” he told the journalists at Colombo court complex. Mr Fonseka attended the court as his lawyers filed an more..

Australia to free some asylum seekers from centers

Nov 25 (AP) Australia on Friday loosened its highly charged policy of mandatory detention for asylum seekers who arrive by boat, freeing 27 from overcrowded, prison-like conditions and estimating more than 100 would be released monthly. The move was welcomed by human-rights groups. They have strongly criticized the 20-year-old policy as inhumane, though it remains popular among many Australians who regard the increasing boat arrivals as a major political issue. more..

Several tanks reach spill over level; Upcountry night mail train called off

Nov 25 (HN) Due to the prevailing weather conditions, several medium sized tanks have reached their spill over levels. The Director of the Irrigation Department G.G.A. Godaliyadda speaking to our news team stated that 12 tanks in the Horowu-pathana region in Anuradhapura have reached spill level. In addition to this the Director of the Irrigation Department also stated that some tanks in Batticaloa and Trincomalee Districts too have reached spill levels. more..

Duminda seeks six months House leave

Nov 25 (ST) A secretary of UPFA MP Duminda Silva who is undergoing medical treatment for injuries he had received in the shootout in Kolonnawa has written to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa requesting six months leave from Parliament. MP Silva who was recovering treatment at the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital went to Singapore for further medical attention. The copy of the letter has also been copied to General Secretary of the SLFP, more..

Sri Lanka primary school closed over mumps outbreak

Nov 25 (Examiner) Health officials ordered the principal of a primary school to close grade 1-5 classes Friday in an effort to prevent further spread of an outbreak of mumps in the student population. Ministry of Health official, Dr. Prasad Liyanage had the principal of Ratmale Junior School in the Matugama Education Zone close classes after 67 students reportedly contracted the viral disease, mumps. There is no indication how the outbreak originated and how long the more..

Charge sheets filed against Fonseka’s supporter

Nov 25 (DM) The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) today filed charge sheets in court against a disabled army captain, who was a supporter of former army commander, General Sarath Fonseka on charges of preventing prison officials from carrying out their duties when Mr. Fonseka was being taken for treatment to the private hospital on July 21. When the captain, Gayan Prasad Kumara Vithanage, appeared before Colombo Fort Magistrate, he announced that he was pleading not guilty for charges. more..

Facebook affair goes sour

Nov 25 (DM) A youth who was arrested and produced in court on charges of having blackmailed a lady teacher into sex by threatening to post her nude photos on Facebook was released on bail by a Colombo Court today. The suspect who was working at a private media institution was arrested by the CCD and produced before Colombo Fort Magistrate. The lady teacher in a complaint to the CCD said she was blackmailed into sex by the suspect who befriended her on Facebook, more..

Why Burt should look at Chilcot

Nov 26 (Island) Alistair Burt the UK’s Foreign Office Minister gave the impression of a jack-in-the-box when he leapt into the ring to call for accountability by Sri Lanka, no sooner the Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission handed in its report to the President. The news channels are full of so many matters of foreign policy that are directly affecting the United Kingdom, much closer home and with much more impact than the situation in Sri Lanka. But, Sri Lanka was on top of more..

Mass struggle must be launched to defeat this dictatorial terror regime

Nov 26 (TC) Text of a speech made at the inauguration of the multi-party,multi-ethnic, multi-religious “Movement for Justice” in Colombo on November 23rd 2011. Today there is a serious challenge to democracy in this country. On the surface, one sees only democratic tendencies. We can have press conferences and protest meetings. Elections are held and parliament, provincial councils and town councils are functioning, courts are operating with out state intrusions. more..

Reconstruct not desecrate Jaffna landmarks

Nov 26 (Island) The Friday Forum is a group of concerned citizens who have regularly been drawing attention to issues that are of importance in the life of our nation. The Island this week published a letter that the Friday Forum had written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa about a month earlier. That letter referred to various incidents pertaining to law and order, acts of omission and commission by various political personalities, more..

Editorial: Egypt: ‘Swapping ginger for chillies’

Nov 26 (Island) There seems to be no end in sight to Egyptians' woes. Time was when they thought Hosni Mubarak's marathon innings as President was the bane of their country. They resorted to people power and ousted him last February giving, in the process, a turbo boost to the Arab Spring, which has had a domino effect in the region and beyond. Nine months on, the Egyptians have flocked to the Tahrir Square again. This time around, they are demanding the exit of the military rulers more..

'We do not want to live like the displaced again'

Nov 26 (DM) If, due to ties of marriage, employment, tenure of ownership, they decide to make their permanent residence in a part of Sri Lanka other than their area of origin, there should be full recognition by all quarters - administrative, judicial, cultural, that this constitutes the exercise of a Right of Citizenship of a Sri Lankan. Should he wish to re- settle in his area of origin, a like recognition of his right as a citizen to do so should undoubtedly be the basis of more..

President Mahinda Rajapaksa: Indomitable courage and invincible determination

Nov 26 (NS) ‘Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man’ was the headline of an article published in a newspaper on the day in May 2009 when the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit, the LTTE was routed with the most dreaded man Velupillai Pirabhakaran by the army at Nandikadal in the north. The Man of the headline was President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the hour was the victory of all people of Sri Lanka. It would indeed be no exaggeration to say the defeat of more..

Citizens’ Commission on the Expulsion of Muslims from the Northern Province by the LTTE

Nov 26 (GV) As one of the members of the Citizens’ Commission on the Expulsion of Muslims from the Northern Province by the LTTE in October 1990 (Citizens’ Commission), it is my privilege and pleasure to say a few brief words on behalf of all the Commissioners on the occasion of the launch of our Report. The Citizen’s Commission was an initiative of the Law and Society Trust (LST) and its partners’ in the absence of an official government inquiry into the expulsion of Muslims more..

‘White Breed’ at Channel 4 and concocted videos…

Nov 26 (NS) Once again the ‘White Breed’ at Channel 4 who speaks and write English, a language falsely claimed as the ‘Queens Language’, though it has its original roots to a tribe in Germany centuries ago as evidence, are now preparing another concocted video on baseless and unfounded ‘war crimes’ in Sri Lanka, displaying the venomous pattern of the old imperial hegemony in insulting the people of Asia, as they’ve done to Africa and Latin America from time immemorial. more..

8-seater three-wheeler hits the road

Nov 26 (Island) The latest three-wheeler that could carry eight passengers has been introduced to the Sri Lankan market. The Saaj, a Chinese manufactured three-wheeler introduced by Saaj Motor Company Ltd, will dominate the local market soon due to its space and other unique features and facilities. The vehicle has a 250 CC capacity water cooled engine and a fixed fuel tank with a capacity to hold 13 litres of petrol and travel more than a 400 km more..

Budget helps curtail imports

Nov 26 (DN) Sri Lanka can be self sufficient in milk production in three years and with the newly introduced budget proposal this mark could be even closer, stakeholders said. The country’s first milk powder manufacturer Ariyaseela Wickramanayake said that the new budget proposal encourages local milk powder production. “The budget proposal will help to curtail imports of five items: milk powder, steel, pharmaceuticals, fabric and cement, as it has also proposed incentives and concessions for new enterprises as well as expansion of an existing enterprise,” more..

CSE inquiring into bizarre error trade

Nov 26 (FT) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) said yesterday it would be conducting an inquiry into the error trade which triggered the market halt for 30 minutes to cool off after the Milanka Index crashed by 5%. CSE said at 10:57 a.m. on 25 November 2011 the MPI dropped over 5% from the previous market day’s close, prompting the CSE to impose a market halt of 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The market halt was lifted at 11:30 a.m. “On further inquiry, the CSE noted that more..

US Senators urge Secretary of State to take lead in establishing independent international commission if LLRC fails

Nov 26 (TC) Letter from US Senators dated Nov 4th, 2011 to US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, urging The United States to “take the lead in pressing for the establishment of an independent international commission, either by the UN Human Rights Council or under the Secretary-General’s own authority”, was released to the media today. Dear Madam Secretary: The defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka was a welcome and more..