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DPF condemns assault on LTTE suspects in Anuradhapura Prison

Nov 29 (Island) The Democratic People’s Front (DPF) condemned the treatment meted out to 67 LTTE suspects in remand custody at the Anuradhapura Prison on Sunday and the party said that the remandees had refused to take food till the time justice was metted out and assurance given that such of inhuman behaviour by the Prison guards will not be repeated. DPF Secretary-General Dr. Kumar Guruparan said that the suspects were not planning to celebrate LTTE Heroes Day and more..

'US/SL tensions won't affect aid projects'

Nov 29 (DM) USAID said today that the political tensions between Sri Lanka and the United States Govt would not have any bearing on the aid projects in the country. When questioned whether the tensions between the two countries were taken into consideration in the allocation of aid USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives Mission Director James F. Bednar speaking to the media at USAID’s 50th anniversary celebrations said, “Not really, we are concerned with more..

Sri Lanka stocks rally loses steam

Nov 29 (LBO) Main share index closed slightly weaker Tuesday after a morning rally on the back of Monday's surge in prices lost steam on profit-taking. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.04 percent to 6,020.08, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.26 percent to close at 5,246.62, according to stock exchange figures. Turnover was 1.7 billion rupees. Shares had shot up 3.6 percent Monday on optimism a meeting between stockbrokers and President Mahinda Rajapaksa could more..

State Trading Corporation revived

Nov 29 (GDI) The state trading corporation which was sold by the UNP Govt to theprivate sector for a very low price in 2002 has made a record income of 250 million rupees afterit was re-acquired by the govt. The Corporation had assets of over 10 thousand million rupees and the UNP Govt sold it to the private sector to a very low price. Ultimately only the building for the Corporation remained intact. There were several thousand million rupees of bank loans outstanding. more..

Only Colombo can resolve Tamil problems: Malaysian MPs

Nov 29 (IANS) Two Malaysian MPs who are very vocal about the situation in Sri Lanka now say that only Colombo can resolve Tamil problems, not any other country or govt. M. Manogaran and S. Ramakrishnan also called upon the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt, which they have bitterly criticized in the past, to show a large heart and meet the aspirations of the island's minority communities. 'Only the Sri Lankan govt can address their (minorities) problems,' more..

Sri Lanka lures investors in former war zone

Nov 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's markets watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will hold a forum in the northern Jaffna peninsula to attract more investments from the former war zone. The 'Investor Day' on Dec 03, is being organised by the SEC in association with the Jaffna Branch of the Colombo Stock Exchange. "The lectures will be conducted in Tamil and will give investors basic information required to participate confidently in the capital market," more..

Over 66, 000 displaced due to storms in Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (Xinhua) Authorities are still assisting over 66,000 people displaced in a spate of storms that hit Sri Lanka's southern coastline and repairing 1000km of power cables damaged, officials said here on Tuesday. Strong storms battered four districts in the island nation for four days last week killing 22 people, said Pradeep Kodippili, assistant director of the Disaster Management Center. Over 40 people, mostly fisherman, are reported to be missing and feared dead as more..

WikiLeaks: Sangha Sabha to discuss ‘Fonseka arrest’ was postponed after the monks received bomb threats

Nov 29 (CT) “The Fonseka arrest has led to a rift between the Rajapaksa leadership and four mahanayakas (chief monks) of the largest Buddhist sects. The arrest sparked the monks to raise broader issues of democratic governance and to call a Sangha Sabha (council of clergy) to discuss the situation. But the council was indefinitely postponed after the monks received bomb threats. Govt apologists retaliated by promising that 500 temples would be more..

TIC calls on the govt to create a single authoritative record of war causalities

Nov 29 (CT) The Tamil Information Centre (TIC) welcomes the statement made by the Sri Lankan Secretary of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday, 24 November, at the Inaugural National Conference on Reconciliation: The Way Forward for Post Conflict Sri Lanka”, recognising the importance of recording civilian casualties of war in Sri Lanka. Secretary Rajapakse confirmed that a census is being carried out by the Department of Census and Statistics, more..

Court extends enjoining order against Shan Wickramasinghe

Nov 29 (AD) District Court extends the Enjoining Order issued against TNL and Shan Wickremasinghe preventing them from publishing any defamatory article on Dilith Jayaweera till January 9, 2012. The enjoining order issued on November 16 by District Judge of Colombo Ranjith Wathupola prevents TNL TV and Isira Radio, and its chairman Shan Wickremasinghe from causing any defamatory publications against Dilith Jayaweera. Order was given consequent to an action more..

Nun gets bail following arrest

Nov 29 (UCAN) An Indian nun has been arrested on charges of human trafficking after a raid on a children’s home run by the Missionary of Charity (MC) sisters. Sister Mary Elisha, an Indian nun was freed on bail yesterday following her arrest on Nov 25 at the Prem Niwasa children’s home in Moratuwa, around 18km south of the capital Colombo. The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), says Sister Elisha is charged with child trafficking and more..

Payment of Compensation commenced

Nov 29 (GDI) Minister Mahinda Ameraweera said that paying of compensation for the people affected by the unfavourable weather has started. He said the govt has allocated Rs. 20 million for payment of compensation for Galle and Matara districts alone. He said that further compensation will be paid based on assessments of damage. The DMC informs that 1,723 families in the districts of Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Kilinochchi and Jaffna districts have been displaced. more..

Sri Lanka mulls more agriculture export zones

Nov 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to set up more dedicated 'agro export zones' to help promote export of agricultural produce by private sector exporters. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce said in a statement it would set up the zones focusing on private-public partnerships between the government and the private sector. The zones are being set up in agricultural districts in Sri Lanka with the first opened in the Bingiriya in the north-western Kurunegala region more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 29.11.2011

More investigations from now on

Nov 29 (DM) With the recent raid on an orphanage in Rawatawatta last week by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), the police have stepped up investigations on such places where underage pregnant girls are looked after and taken care of, to ascertain whether they have violated terms of the Penal Code. The police said that the NCPA is investigating the raid they carried out at the orphanage to verify whether the guardians had violated several conditions of the Penal Code. more..

Cabinet to consider India's plan to build 50,000 houses in SL

Nov 29 (PTI) India's proposal to construct 50,000 houses for displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka is expected to move a step forward to reality soon when the Union Cabinet considers it. The houses are proposed to be built by three state-run companies - Hindustan Prefab Ltd, Hindustan Steelworks Construction and National Building Constructions Corporation - at the cost of around Rs 1,200 crore, sources said. India is already constructing 1,000 dwelling units in Sri Lanka. more..

Hicorp case against Former Army Commander taken up

Nov 29 (NF) The Hicorp case filed against Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka was taken up before Colombo High Court judge Sunil Rajapakse today. Attorney-at-law Rukshan Nanayakkara appearing on behalf of Sarath Fonseka produced the evidence which was produced before the second court martial. He produced the evidence with the assistance of translator M.S.A. Nafli. Nafli got on to the witness box and read out the evidence given by more..

Video: Motorway drives Sri Lankan growth

Nov 29 (BBC) Infrastructure projects have been a big part of China's investment strategy, both at home and overseas. Chinese companies and workers have been involved in the building of Sri Lanka's first motorway. The road, which runs from the capital Colombo to the southern town of Galle, has just been completed. Ranjith Premasiri, Chairman of the Road Development Authority said in the past six years they have built more roads than any other time. Lakshman Walpitagamage from more..

Sports has been made a big business – Arjuna

Nov 29 (LT) There is a little stir in certain sections of the society at present regarding the election of office bearers to ‘Sri Lanka Cricket.’ Despite it being limited to certain sections various views are published regarding this mini election. The Parliamentarian of the DNA Arjuna Ranatunga speaking at a ceremony held at Wadduwa had this to say. "Unfortunately sports has been turned to a business. You could see the destruction that has been brought about for cricket. more..

Sri Lankans protest the jailing of ex-army chief

Nov 29 (AP) Thousands of opposition activists marched Tuesday demanding the release of Sri Lanka's former army chief, who was sentenced to a second jail term, this time for implicating the defense secretary in war crimes. Supporters say former presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka is being victimized for his political allegiance. The demonstrators displayed placards that read "curse the rulers who put the general in the prison" and more..

Ratwatte bribery case set aside

Nov 29 (DM) The Colombo High Court today set aside the case filed by the Bribery Commission against the former Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte for not declaring the mode of earning of his assets. At the outset of the inquiry counsel Wasantha Batagoda filed the death certificate of Mr. Anuruddha Ratwatte in court and submitted that Anuruddha Ratwatte had succumbed to injuries caused to his brain as a result of an accident. On perusing the death certificate and considering more..

Lankan HC in London celebrates Deepavali

Nov 29 (LM) The Sri Lanka High Commission in London celebrated Deepavali festival on November 20 at the High Commission premises with the participation of a large number of the Sri Lankan Diaspora members. The event commenced with the lighting of traditional oil lamp, said the High Commission in a statement. Hindu religious observances were conducted by Sivasri Ramanatha kurukkal who blessed President Mahinda Rajapaksa, all Sri Lankans, the High Commissioner and the staff. more..

Inquiries to be conducted: JVP

Nov 29 (DM) The JVP central committee today appointed a three-member disciplinary committee to conduct inquiries into the charges against its dissidents, the party’s General Secretary Tilvin Silva said. The committee consists of propaganda secretary Vijitha Herath and former MPs Jinadasa Kitulegoda and Lakshman Nipunarachchi. “The central committee decided that no party member should be allowed to criticise the party and its leadership publicly. more..

Abject poverty and the misery of beggars in Sri Lanka

Nov 30 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia turns its spotlight today on abject poverty and the misery of beggars in Sri Lanka,which defeats the aspirations of our society to be free of such misery. The media reported recently that the eighth beggar was killed in the Kelaniya Police Division. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has made an exceptional urgent appeal after observing the increased numbers of more..

November 18th, A day of national & personal significance

Nov 30 (SL) Having over-nighted in Kandy and woken early enough to make our way to the lab that was to perform the battery of tests that is the lot, once a year at least, of those over-the-hill types like yours truly and the better half, we certainly didn’t expect the amount of excitement that was ultimately packed into half a day! We were certainly aware that this was to be the day on which a whole slew of events of significance were to occur, all centering around more..

The way forward for post-conflict Sri Lanka

Nov 30 (DM) ‘Reconciliation: The way forward for post conflict Sri Lanka’ was a forum held at the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute where eminent speakers spoke on various aspects of reconciliation under their areas of specialty. The day’s programme was divided into sessions and the first session was chaired by terrorism expert Prof. Rohan Gunaratna head of ICPVTR, Singapore. He asked his two panelists Former Attorney General Mohan Peiris and more..

The End of Kyoto: What next?

Nov 30 (DM) The only significant milestone in the 20 years-long UN Climate Change negotiations was the Kyoto Protocol (KP) signed in 1997. The first commitment period of the KP for Green House Emissions reduction is coming to an end by the end of 2012 (next year). The steps relating to the post Kyoto commitment period, need to be discussed and finalized at the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - 17th Conference of Parties (UNFCCC - COP 17) more..

‘Ehi Passiko’ - Come, live the ‘moment’

Nov 30 (DM) Man’s longing to silence his mental chatter and create a space to live the ‘moment’ has seen him embarking on many journeys for centuries, if not millennia. Millions have ventured on while hundreds of thousands have succeeded in their spiritual quest. All these journeys and pilgrimages have been triggered by one human condition – man’s miserable failure to sustain happiness. He is either worrying about the past or the future, thus hardly living in the present. more..

‘Lies Agreed Upon’ for budgets read out loud

Nov 30 (SL) Debate on the the 2nd complete UPFA budget since the conclusion of the war in 2009 May, is now on both within the parliament and without. Heavy weights both critical and positive about this budget, have access to media. The debate is about urban middle class life and the Western Province economy. Not much is said about the allocation of 230 billion rupees for the defence ministry in this 2012 budget, for that does not seem to more..

Rebellion, Repression and the Struggle for Justice in Sri Lanka: The Lionel Bopage story

Nov 30 (GV) This is a book that documents the life story of Lionel Bopage, who was one of the highest ranking leaders of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP- the Peoples’ Liberation Front) and a major figure in the JVP led youth insurrection of 1971 in Sri Lanka, drawing on a series of personal interviews with him. After migrating to Australia two decades ago, he has remained active not only in Sri Lanka related political activities but in the more..

Separating Fact from Fantasy on the ‘Research Note’

Nov 30 (GV) A Response by the SJC87 Working committee to Mr. M. Sarvananthan’s ‘research note,’ titled Outing a Counterfeit Guerrilla: A tale of lies by Tamil Tigress by Niromi de Soyza published on Groundviews (19 Nov). Mr. Sarvananthan’s so called ‘research note’ has seriously undermined the reputation of the SJC87 initiative and its ability to function as a non-political, non-profit charity organization purely involved in humanitarian efforts. more..

Sri Lanka: The miracle of Asia

Nov 30 (SL) Nodath and Sududath, alumni of the Instant English Taught Here in Six Months College, were having their usual political pow-wow at the Waterhole. Sududath (SD): So, how, how Machang, budget and all that? Nodath (ND): What for the telling. You saw on TV no? Pull Serial. Only thing missing Kadu pight and Pisst pight. Damn good for the UNP Bugg…rs. Trying to hoot our leader. It was like Julius Squeezer (Ask our English Lit master) — Like Veni, Vici, more..

Editorial: Keep them on a tight leash

Nov 30 (Island) Former Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara once famously said that politicians who misbehaved and plundered public funds would be reborn as buffaloes. But, we think it happens the other way around. It is the buffaloes doomed to a protracted samsaric journey due to outstanding sins in their previous births that are reborn as politicians! That may explain why politicians have a predilection for wallowing in mud and blocking roads, among other things. more..

Mobile Broadband: Key element in developing economy

Nov 30 (Island) Alcatel-Lucent has a clear role to play in helping developing economies get connected with the global digital world, and that connection can have a significant impact on rising GDP, according to the company’s Asia Pacific President Rajeev Singh-Molares, who is visiting Sri Lanka this week. Singh-Molares who holds the chairmanship of the World Economic Forum’s Global ICT Agenda cites a World Bank study that claims a 10 percent increase in mobile penetration more..

Lewis Hamilton F1 Mercedes races to Sri Lanka in rare display

Nov 30 (FT) Sri Lanka got its fair share of Formula 1 racing yesterday as duty free operator Autogrill Lanka Ltd unveiled the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 racing car used by former World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Jensen Button at the BIA. The sleek red and grey car is being exhibited at the Duty Free area of the BIA and will be on display for two months. Being the first time an F1 car is being displayed outside a F1 hosting nation, more..

Spotlight on poor productivity

Nov 30 (Island) Despite the global Market becoming more competitive, Sri Lanka has managed to leap ten positions from 62 to 52 in the Global Competitive Index but, the country now needs to focus on greater productivity and quality for further improvement according to senior officials. The Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Quality and Productivity (SLAAQP) said that more..

Snake bite victims rise in A'pura

Nov 30 (DN) The average number of people subjected to serpent bites daily in the Anuradhapura district has risen to almost four with the onset of rains recently. This is because serpents, including snakes, tend to creep or get swept into houses and crop fields tended by farmers due to floods caused by heavy rains experienced in the region, said Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital's nursing officer in charge of Health Education and Promotion Athula Indrajith. more..

Cricket and Ministry bigwigs discuss on way forward

Nov 30 (Island) The Ministry of Sports would like to state that the Minister of Sports, Mahindananda Aluthgamage convened the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Selection Committee, senior players and SLC administration to discuss how the national cricket team can be strengthened sighting the drawbacks faced by the team in recent tournaments, starting from the series against England, Australia and Pakistan. Senior players such as Mahela Jayawardene, more..

About 400,000 seek electricity connections

Nov 30 (DN) About 400,000 people are waiting for electricity connections from the national grid, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said in Parliament yesterday. He said that the Ceylon Electricity Board has sold 7,445 million units of electricity upto September in this year. The minister said that another 150MW will be added to the national grid in December with the commissioning of the Upper Kotmale power plant. He added that another 600MW to be generated from more..

Project to build cancer hospital in Kandy

Nov 30 (DN) First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa yesterday inaugurated a project for the construction of a 10 storeyed cancer hospital affiliated to the Kandy General Hospital at the Up-country Cultural Centre in Kandy. The project was launched to construct the hospital on the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa with assistance from the business community in Kandy. This project estimated to cost over Rs. 350 million is to be completed within three years. more..