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A regular monthly feature in future: Rs 14m in rewards for 631 police personnel

Nov 4 (SO) IGP N.K. Illangakoon distributed nearly Rs.14 million as rewards among 631 police personnel who had brought honour to the Police department, by rounding up and prosecuting several suspects who were involved in the bombing of the Central Bank, hard drug trafficking, possession of explosives and those involved in the killing of innocent people in the country. As mark of recognition a special award was given to the CID team who were more..

Reconciliation needed with the British Govt

Nov 4 (LG) On 31 October, I received from a Tamil leader the message headed ‘Britain urges Sri Lanka to make progress on rights by 2013’, published in The West Australian. I registered particularly the following part of that report: ‘Put to him in a BBC interview from Perth that Canada might boycott the 2013 meeting, Cameron said: "I've been discussing this with the Canadians and I think we all have a similar view, which is we want to see Sri Lanka do more in terms of more..

The vilification must stop!

Nov 4 (NS) The LTTE organisations abroad are taking tedious effort to embarrass Sri Lanka internationally ever since the fall of the LTTE through their monetary power buying foreign parliamentarians and representatives of international bodies to point finger at the Sri Lankan Government on allegations of war crimes. It is farcical since the LTTE is a banned terrorist organisation. If international bodies had investigated the LTTE ever since it first started its crusade of suicide killing, more..

'Mahinda Chinthana caused the stock market crisis'

Nov 4 (LB) UNP Senior Vice President Lakshman Kiriella charged that the country’s economy was currently in the doldrums with expenses surpassing the revenue twice over and thus forcing the UPFA govt to borrow heavily to meet 50 per cent of its expenditure. “This is the statement one can make considering the repeated contradictory views expressed by several ministers of the govt that the Stock Exchange of a country reflects the state of its economy,” more..

Commonwealth Members must stand up for the victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war

Nov 4 (TC) A govt accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and numerous human rights violations is set to take control of an organisation of govts representing more than 2 billion people around the world. Sri Lanka is to pick up the baton from Australia as the next head of the Commonwealth from 2013 to 2015. And most of the governments that make up the 54-member union appear content to let it happen. They appear content to ignore the Sri Lankan govt’s record in more..

The Post-Newtonian Political Equilibrium in Post-War Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (CT) At the beginning of a new phase of the ethnic conflict after the July ’83 holocaust, Newton Gunasinghe predicted that the ethnic conflict was to over-determine Sri Lankan politics. His analysis remained an influential one among theoretical Marxists in the country for a long time, since it addressed one of the central problems of Leftist political debate; the complicated relationship between the ethnic conflict and the class struggle. more..

SLC awaiting Johannesburg response to DRS

Nov 4 (ST) Sri Lanka is not sure if their next cricketing engagement which would begin seven days after the current Pakistan series would include the Umpire Decision Review System. The Interim Committee Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Upali Dharmadasa speaking to the Sunday Times said ,"We have written to our counterparts in Johannesburg on this matter and are awaiting their response". The Lankan cricket chief also added, "However I feel if the DRS is more..

Australia’s Tamil Eelam Lobby and CHOGM

Nov 4 (GV) The war on the battle field may be over, but the propaganda war is alive and well. The Australian news media, particularly the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, were in an uncontrollable frenzy two weeks before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) by the predictable lobbying against Sri Lanka. There are legitimate issues that Australia must and did raise with Sri Lanka during CHOGM 2011. more..

Editorial: Hillary's epiphany

Nov 4 (Island) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton boasted the other day while making a statement to the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee that her country had succeeded in 'devastating' al-Qaeda. True, that terrorist outfit has suffered a string of crushing losses during the past few months including the elimination of its elusive supremo, Osama bin Laden, and a number of its second rung leaders. But, how can she be so sure that the monster is really down and out? more..

'Govt. takeover via new Bill only way out of morass for Colombo Hilton'

Nov 4 (FT) A Government takeover and coming under a Competent Authority is said to be the only way out for beleaguered multibillion-rupee-loss-making and debt-saddled Hotel Developers Lanka Plc, (HDEV) the owning company of Colombo Hilton. Analysts said that HDEV’s carried forward losses were now Rs. 10 billion, whilst it owes Rs. 12 billion in debt to the State, with its cash flows unable to serve Rs. 1.6 billion in interest fully. more..

Selector’s blunders behind debacle

Nov 4 (ST) Watching the Lankans playing today is like a travel down memory lane. Yes, even thirty years ago when they were initially given the green light to play along with the big boys in the park in 1982, Sri Lankan cricket was good. They possessed talent, but they were not competitive enough. Today sadly the truth is mighty watertight; the Lankans are playing the game just like they did thirty years ago. All the good work that Arjuna Ranatunga as the first futuristic captain more..

Sri Lanka was not ready for VAT system

Nov 4 (Island) The value-added tax system, considered to be a money making machine by some theorists, has failed to live up to its potential in Sri Lanka as the country was not prepared for it, a senior economist said. In 2002, the VAT system was adopted in favour of the goods and services tax (GST) which had brought in revenue to the government amounting to 6 percent of GDP. The BTT tax, which was in place before GST, generated revenues averaging 6.5 percent of GDP. more..

Arsenic tainted pesticides in the market again despite Court restraint

Nov 4 (ST) Pesticides contaminated with arsenic have been issued to the market despite a Court recommendation that such pesticides be prevented from distribution, Court was told this week. Petitioner, Centre for Environmental Justice (Guarantee) Ltd., informed Court that the Registrar of Pesticides had issued pesticides contaminated with arsenic, despite a Court recommendation against distribution of such pesticides. more..

Sanga, a role model for all – Marvan

Nov 4 (Island) Former Sri Lanka captain and the batting coach of the national cricket team Marvan Atapattu had lavish praise for Kumar Sangakkara after the left-hander became the fastest batsman to score 9000 runs in Test cricket yesterday. Sangakkara, who last year became the fastest batsman to score 8000 Test runs, broke Rahul Dravid’s record for the fastest batsman to reach 9000 runs in four innings fewer than the former Indian captain. "He’s a fantastic player. He is more..

Sri Lanka bank tax savings mooted to help revive tea industry

Nov 4 (LBO) Savings made by Sri Lankan banks after tax cuts that govt ordered be set aside for investments could be used to revive the ailing tea industry, a top exporter has suggested. Govt support is needed in long-term financing and regulatory changes to "re-align" the traditional tea sector and help it regain competitiveness, said Malik Fernando, Director Operations of the MJF Group, owners of the Dilmah brand. For financing, Fernando suggests a model similar to more..

Boston Lanka News: Nov. 03, 2011

SriLankan to more EU destinations

Nov 4 (Island) An agreement had been signed, by the Ministry of Aviation, with the European Union last week to broaden the air services between the member states of the EU, an official from the ministry said. "The agreement enables Sri Lanka to negotiate with individual EU countries on increasing the number of frequencies," Additional Secretary to the ministry, G.S Vithanage said. Prior to this agreement, holding discussions with the aviation authorities of more..

Contempt suspects allowed bail

Nov 4 (Island) The Minuwangoda Additional District Judge and Chief Magistrate Kema Swarnadhipathy allowed bail for four persons who were charged with contempt of Court through the use of abusive language towards two Attorneys-at-Law just outside Minuwangoda Magistrate’s Court. Two separate cases were filed against Jayantha Wijeyrathna, Sudarshana Wijeyrathna, Supushpa Wijeyrathna and Sujeewa Wijeyrathna for use of abusive language against two lawyers, Shan Senanayaka and more..

'Mervyn will not stop animal slaughter for Haj'

Nov 4 (Island) Minister Mervyn Silva would not try to stop the animal slaughter by the Muslim community on the eve of the Haj festival, President of the Moors’ Islamic Cultural Home, Omar Kamil said. "Haj is the largest pilgrimage in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam," he said. Kamil, who was till recently the Colombo Special Commissioner said that he had asked the Police to support the forthcoming Haj Festival between Nov 6 and 9 more..

Free education at the price of independent thought

Nov 4 (DM) The concept of free education was proposed and implemented by C.W.W.Kannangara in 1944 and has resulted in a high literacy rate. In fact, it is much higher than expected of a developing nation. Despite this, Sri Lanka’s unemployment rate ranked at 5.8% last year. A number of nations worldwide offer free education but only a few of them offer this free service up until higher education. Much to the merit of our education system, Sri Lanka is one such nation. more..

Cabinet congratulates President, delegation to UN, UNHRC

Nov 4 (DN) Cabinet noted that the Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, has been successful in precluding an attempt by certain Western countries to prejudge the national reconciliation process and the conclusion of the LLRC, at the 18th session of the UNHRC held from October 12 to 30 in Geneva. Cabinet noted that the delegation has enlightened the representatives of council member states of the progress made in post war reconstruction and more..

Police and Judiciary 'can do nothing'

Nov 4 (BBC) Legal procedures were overlooked when Duminda Silva was taken to Singapore for further treatment says Hirunika Premachandra, the daughter of murdered presidential advisor Baratha Lakshman Premachandra. MP Duminda Silva was treated for brain injury as a result of gunshot wounds sustained during the shooting that killed Baratha Lakshman Premachandra. It is reported that Duminda Silva was air lifted to Singapore for further more..

Rugby goes to Jaffna

Nov 4 (Island) Rugby Union was introduced to Jaffna by the Development Committee of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU), with an introductory programme for schoolboys and girls, which was held at the Duraiappa Stadium, Jaffna, recently. Group captain, Nalin de Silva, Chairman, Rugby Development Committee, SLRFU, said that initially rugby would be introduced at junior level (Under-10, 12, 14 and 16). The programme was conducted with the assistance of National coach, more..

President’s mature leadership won the day for SL - Weeratunga

Nov 4 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s mature leadership, personality, stature and diplomatic skills enabled Sri Lanka to achieve major victories at the recently concluded 22nd CHOGM in Perth , Australia and thwarted last minute attempts made by disgruntled LTTE sympathizers to decry it and tarnish its image internationally, stated Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga in an interview with SLRC chairman Mohan Samaranayake. more..

Amend Revival of the Underperforming and Underutilised Assets Bill: UNP

Nov 4 (DM) The UNP has decided to ask the govt to amend the Revival of the Underperforming and Underutilised Assets Bill excluding the properties of some companies from the list of 37 ventures to be acquired. The Bill, if passed in Parliament, will empower the state to acquire 37 private establishments which the govt has cited as underperforming or underutilsed. Among these ventures, are the land properties of the Sevanagala Sugar Company more..

Contempt application filed against top Central officials

Nov 4 (Hindu) A contempt of court application has been filed in the Madras High Court Bench here against top Union Government officials for having allegedly disobeyed interim orders passed by the court on October 14 to strengthen security on the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between India and Sri Lanka in order to prevent attacks on Tamil fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy. The petitioner, B. Stalin, a Madurai advocate, had sought to punish Union more..

Cigarette production down 20 pc in five years

Nov 4 (DN) Cigarette production in Sri Lanka has gone down by 20 percent in the last five years. Around 4,900 million cigarettes were produced per year and it had reduced to 4,200 million, said Dr. Sajeewa Ranaweera. The percentage of daily smokers in Sri Lanka is 18.6 percent. It is the lowest rate among 140 countries. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) research done by the the percentage of cigarette consumption has reduced to five percent in Sri Lanka, he said. more..

Four demining machines from Russia

Nov 4 (DN) Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Sri Lanka Vladimir P Mikhaylov stated that the Russian govt will continue to extend its support towards national reconciliation and other post conflict activities in Sri Lanka as they supported Sri Lanka during the operation to defeat terrorism. The ambassador made this observation yesterday during a simple ceremony to officially handover equipment and spares including four MV4 machines worth Rs 302 million, more..

The wonders of Asia and its economic discontents

Nov 4 (DM) It has become another wonder in Asia that when in the past the price of an oil barrel was varying between USD.89 - 93 and the price of oil in the world market decreased by 2 percent that such an increase has taken place. When the price of an oil barrel had risen to US$.98/- in the world market, the price of oil was reduced as it was the election period. Today when the price of oil is USD.92 in the world market isn't the price increase another wonder in Asia? more..

Govt to take over 37 plots of unutilized state land

Nov 4 (DN) The govt has decided to take over 37 unutilized state lands given to private enterprises with the intention of making them available for serious investment, a senior govt official said. He said that even though the govt had granted state land with tax benefits and sufficient time to these investors to start development projects, they have failed even to embark on them. He observed that these investors have entered into agreements with the govt that these projects more..

Gota scotches SLAF role in Duminda’s transfer from SJH

Nov 4 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said the SLAF hadn’t been involved in moving critically injured parliamentarian R. Duminda Silva from the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital for treatment abroad on Tuesday night. Defence Secretary Rajapaksa dismissed speculation that helicopters had been deployed to protect an ambulance taking the MP either to the Ratmalana air base or Bandaranaike International Airport. more..

Yet another strange customs probe

Nov 4 (Island) In a strange inquiry two Pakistanis who were caught at the BIA, on Wednesday afternoon, attempting to smuggle out of the country US$90,000 the customs were haggling with their lawyers till late last night. One custom official said the inquiry would be completed this morning. Although this money is believed to be drug related, as usual no police or narcotics sleuths were involved in their interrogation and sources said no sooner they were fined for the offence they would be allowed to slip out of the country more..

India’s rice exports blur SL’s hopes to export more rice

Nov 4 (DM) India’s release of rice stocks to the international market has blurred Sri Lanka’s hopes to export more rice to various countries at the moment, officials said. A few weeks ago, Sri Lanka exported a stock of 250 tonnes of rice to Kenya for the first time in history. Later, the govt was planning to send more stocks to different countries. However, Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Trade said that India had released two million tonnes of rice to the world market, and more..

Sri Lanka state entities making losses; ruined by political meddling: report

Nov 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state entities have been badly hit by the appointment of unqualified persons to top positions and while annual accounts were not available for some. "The appointment of unqualified people to top management posts on political grounds and the lack of financial and administrative disciplines had ruined many of the public enterprises," Daily Mirror newspaper quoted minister DEW Gunasekara as saying. more..

Sri Lanka donates flood relief items to Pakistan

Nov 4 (GDI) On the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Ministry of External Affairs has arranged to dispatch a consignment of flood relief goods such as tea, biscuits, sleeping bags, bed sheets, exercise books and medicines to the flood affected people in Sindh province in Pakistan. Minister G.L. Peiris handed over a token donation of relief goods to Ms. Seema Illahi Baloch, High Commissioner of Pakistan in Colombo at the Ministry of External Affairs today and more..

SC rejects appeal against AC judgement

Nov 4 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday refused leave to appeal to T. Ukkubanda of Melsiripura, who had appealed against a judgment of the civil appellate Court of Kurunegala where a judgment was given in favour of the Basnayake Nilame of the Natha Devalaya Kandy. The Basnayake Nilame, H. M. Ananda Heenkanda, had filed a plaint in the District Court of Kurunegala seeking to eject Ukkubanda from a 50 acre block of land belonging to the Natha Devalaya. more..

Poor Colombo Muslims say they are political rejects

Nov 4 (LB) ‘Mamma no, Papa no, house when break, where to go?’ It’s faulty English, but, much the way Mohammed Afra, 20, of Dematagoda expressed his view on the govt’s pronouncement that 65,000 houses in Colombo city are to be demolished. Afra also bears the psychological scars of being the sole survivor of his family when the Asian tsunami of 2004 struck, destroying his house in Kalmunai, on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. more..

EPF Loses Billions In The Stock Market

Nov 4 (SL) Trade unions have called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to carry out an independent inquiry into the billions of rupees lost by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) after investing in the Colombo Stock Exchange. The ICEU said the government had swindled away billions of rupees in EPF funds by investing in stocks in a fraudulent manner. ICEU Head Wasantha Samarasinghe said that some officials were trying to dissolve the EPF by investing monies in stocks belonging to companies affiliated to them. more..

Changes to the student visa system - cutting abuse and raising standards

Nov 4 (UKBA) Tough new rules and enforcement action to stop abuse of the student visa system mean that over 450 education providers will no longer be able to sponsor new international students. In total these colleges could have brought more than 11,000 students into the UK to study each year. New UK Border Agency regulations have significantly raised the standards education providers must meet before they can bring international students to the UK. more..

Govt. as well as UNP trembles before ‘Economic Assassins’

Nov 4 (LT) The govt and the UNP are in turmoil due to the attempt to present the ‘Revival of the Underperforming and Underutilized Assets Bill’ on the 8th In Parliament and get it passed. This bill is brought to fulfill conditions of the IMF before the 2012 budget. Among those who are affected are businessmen and ministers who joined Rajapakses lately. They consider that the attempt to present the bill is an arbitrary move by more..