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Drunkards behind wheel fined, licences suspended

Sept 20 (Island) Police under the direction of Colombo DIG Anura Senanayake launched a special operation on Saturday from 11 pm onwards in the metropolis to nab drunken drivers. 35 persons driving under the influence of liquor were taken into custody and produced before the Colombo Traffic Court yesterday. DIG Senanayake said that 34 drivers had been fined Rs. 5,000 each and had their driving licences suspended for three months. more..

Sri Lankan envoy hits back at Greens

Sept 20 (MSN) Sri Lanka's top diplomat in Canberra has hit back angrily at an Australian Greens-led group demanding a war crimes investigation of his government. Greens senator Lee Rhiannon on Tuesday hosted a roundtable meeting of academics and activists who want Prime Minister Julia Gillard to throw her weight behind international calls for an independent war crimes tribunal to investigate Sri Lanka. The roundtable's participants called for Sri Lanka's suspension from the Councils of the Commonwealth and more..

President Rajapaksa arrives in New York to attend UN General Assembly

Sept 20 (IL) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in New York, USA on Monday 19 September to attend the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The President led the delegation which also includes External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, to the UN Summit. Representative of Sri Lankan Airlines-USA and two little children warmly welcomed President Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa at the air port. more..

Modern Hotel near Mattala Airport launched

Sept 21 (GDI) Work on the construction of a Four Star hotel of Uva Leisure Resorts close to the Mattala Airport, commenced today under the patronage of Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratna and Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa. The four star, 200 roomed hotel complete with modern facilities will include a roof-top swimming pool, gymnasiums, auditoriums, squash and tennis courts, mini golf, kiddies play area and a coffee shop among others. more..

Sri Lanka telecom expansion slows

Sept 21 (LBO) Growth in Sri Lanka's mobile users 14.5 percent to 18.1 million in the second quarter of 2011 from a year earlier down from an 18.5 percent expansion seen in the first quarter, official data showed. Wireless fixed usage contracted 2.5 percent to 2.68 million in the second quarter from a quarter earlier thought total subscribers were still higher by 2.5 percent from a year earlier. Sri Lanka's stand alone fixed access telcos have been struggling to more..

Former Jaffna College principal Rajan Kadirgamar passes away in Toronto

Sept 21 (TC) Leading educationist, Mr.Rajan Kadirgamar who was associated with Jaffna College,Vaddukkoddai for several decades as student,teacher and principal has passed away in Canada. Born on October 27th 1928 he was in his 83rd year when he passed away peacefully in a Toronto hospital on September 17th 2011. The funeral will take place in Scarborough, Toronto. His mortal remains will be at the Chapel in Highland Funeral Home, more..

Sri Lanka tea plantations seen making losses

Sept 21 (LBO) Sri Lankan tea crops and prices have fallen below those of last year imposing losses on plantations whose costs also went up with a recent wage hike, a broker has said. The 'Uva' quality season when teas grown on the eastern slopes of the island's central hills yield their best quality and fetch high prices has also been disappointing, brokers John Keells said. Colombo auction average tea prices are now below those of the same sales in 2010, they said in a report. more..

11,000 deserters arrested: Army

Sept 21 (DM) The Military Police has arrested nearly 11,000 deserters who did not report for duty and failed to appear during amnesty periods, Brigadier Nihal Hapuarachchi said. The arrests were made from Nov 2010 to Aug 15, 2011. “Disciplinary action will be taken against them as they failed to report to their respective regiments,” he added. “As they failed to take the opportunity to surrender, they have to be subsequently traced down and arrested by the Military Police,” more..

SL v Aus, 3rd Test: Test finishes in tame draw

Sept 21 (CI) In his first series as Test captain, Michael Clarke has delivered Australia a 1-0 victory over Sri Lanka, moved them up to fourth in the ICC rankings, retained the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy and broken his own personal drought with his first Test century in 18 months. Not a bad way to start a new job. On the final day of the series, Clarke played a true captain's innings to deny Sri Lanka any hope of winning the match, which ended in a draw that more..

Visiting FOCEF of Indian Navy calls on Secretary Defence

Sept 21 (MoD) Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF) of Indian Navy Rear Admiral HCS Bisht paid a courtesy call on Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajaaksa short while ago, (20). Rear Admiral Bisht arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday to take part in the Joint Naval Exercise code named "SLINEX 11" between Sri Lanka Navy and Indian Navy from 19th to 24th Sep. He called on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy and the Director General Operations at the Naval Headquarters more..

Sri Lanka stocks end down 0.7-pct

Sept 21 (LBO) Stocks closed down Tuesday with a sharp increase in the price of an insurer control of which changed hands recently and continued trading in shares that had drawn speculators, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index fell 0.72 percent to 6,821.69, while the more liquid Milanka index fell 0.83 percent to close at 6,157.90. Turnover was 1.8 billion rupees. On Monday, there was no trading after the Colombo Stock Exchange cancelled all orders and more..

Muralitharan hoping for a buyer

Sept 21 (Sportal) Spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan is hoping to be picked up by another franchise after the BCCI terminated Kochi Tuskers Kerala from the IPL on Monday. Indian Board took the step at the AGM held in Mumbai after the Kochi outfit defaulted on paying the annual guarantee money to the tune of Rs 156 crore. Murali was part of the Chennai Super Kings for the first three seasons and was bought by Kochi in the auctions ahead of the fourth edition. more..

PMK opposes Indo-Sri Lankan Naval exercise

Sept 21 (PTI) Strongly criticising the ongoing joint Naval exercise by India and Sri Lanka, India’s PMK today demanded that it be called off keeping in mind the ‘sentiments’ of people of Tamil Nadu that there should not be any ties with the island nation. “Sri Lankan Navy has always worked against the Indian interest. After the Katchatheevu agreement in 1974, so far 540 Indian fishermen have been killed by the Lankan Navy,” PMK founder S. Ramadoss alleged in a statement more..

‘Minister’ privileges saved Douglas from arrest

Sept 21 (AD) It was not possible to arrest Douglas Devananda as he had visited India as a “Minister,” the Central Government of India has informed the Madras High Court. The Madras High Court had ordered the Central Government to show cause as to why Minster Devananda had not been arrested, when he had visited Delhi, when an arrest warrant has been issued for the arrest of the Sri Lankan Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development. more..

Sri Lanka to shut down its largest displacement camp

Sept 21 (PTI) One of the world's largest displacement camps, that housed nearly 3,00,000 IDP from the conflict with the LTTE, will soon be shut down, defence ministry announced today. Preparations have begun to relocate those still at the Manik Farm camp in the northern district of Vavuniya on a 600 acre site elsewhere. "Accordingly, 7,394 IDPs of 2,097 families presently accommodated at Manik Farm relief village will be resettled in the village, and more..

Campaign targets child abusers

Sept 21 (UCAN) Caritas Chilaw has launched an awareness campaign to highlight the problem of child abuse in rural areas. The social arm of the Catholic Church in Chilaw diocese made a presentation on the issue to 40 women and 60 children in Akkara, a village within the diocese. Caritas has plans for another four presentations, or “awareness camps,” to take place in other parts of the diocese where abuse has been reported. “This is not a problem that has cropped up recently, more..

Students receive solar lamps

Sept 21 (UCAN) Christian activists this week distributed solar-powered lamps to Muslim and Hindu children resettled from war-torn areas in a bid to ease the burden of displacement on their lives and studies. A group of women activists and nuns met the children, studying in small villages in Mullaitivu district, which lacks regular electricity, during a three-day visit that ended yesterday. “We feel that we have visited our relatives,” said Scholastika Silva, more..

Mayoral candidate condemns attack on UNP meeting

Sept 21 (SM) UNP mayoral candidate A.J.M. Muzammil has condemned an attack on a party meeting in Colombo yesterday (19). Denouncing the ‘dastardly attack carried out by thugs’, he says in a statement that the same government that boldly claimed they will have no problems winning the upcoming Colombo Municipal Council Elections has now resorted to brutality and thuggery in desperate attempts to stifle the will of the people. more..

Grade 1 Admissions: School Principals To be netted in for bribery!

Sept 21 (LP) The Bribery Commission with the Education Ministry will jointly probe allegations against school Principals who have reportedly taken and demanded bribes to admit children to Grade one in 2012, Bribery Chief, Justice Jagath Balapatabendi said. A discussion in this regard will be held next week with the participation of the Education Ministry Secretary and other relevant officials, he added. Nearly, 75 complaints have been received by more..

Police find C-4 explosives In a Jaffna bound bus

Sept 21 (LP) The Monaragala police have detected a parcel of C4 explosives inside a Jaffna bound private bus at the check point close to the Monaragala police station. The parcel which contained 615 grams of C4 explosives was hidden in the meter Board at the driving seat, Monaragala police said. The driver and the conductor were arrested on suspicion and they are due to be produced before the Monaragala Magistrate Court today (20), police added.

Special authority covering Colombo and 5 other Municipalities

Sept 21 (AD) A special authority covering the Colombo Municipal Council limits and the areas of five other Municipalities will be established by Parliament within a short period of time, Minister Wimal Weerawansa says. Today not only the city of Colombo but the entire country is undergoing an enormous speedy transformation, the Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities said during an event to handover title deeds to public. more..

Prisoners To Cultivate Food Crops

Sept 21 (SL) Prison authorities have decided to assign prisoners to do agricultural activities in prisons island wide. Commissioner General of Prisons P.W. Kodippili has said the prisoners would from now on provide their food requirement by growing the crops on their own. The Commissioner General has already directed the prison authorities in prisons located island wide. Kodippili has said that prisoners would be used the development of the national economy by more..

Sri Lanka credit growth to slow to 27 pct by Dec

Sept 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's private sector credit growth will decline to 27 percent year-on-year compared to a 16-year high of 34.4 percent in June this year, due to a higher base and a slowing global economy, the island nation's central bank said. Credit growth had eased to 34 percent year-on-year in July from a 16-year high of 34.4 percent a month ago. Economists have warned that more-than-expected private sector credit growth could add inflationary pressure more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief 20 09 2011

Probe over cheating by bogus ASP

Sept 21 (DM) The CID is probing an incident where a group of police officers had been deceived by a person who had posed as an ASP attached to the police headquarters by sending them a false police message. The investigations were initiated on a complaint by IGP N.K. Illangakoon and the CID filed a fact report before Colombo Fort Magistrate. Filing the fact report in Court, the CID said a person posing off as an ASP attached to the police headquarters had sent a false more..

Ban on Cadju nut import cracked

Sept 21 (NF) The prohibition imposed on importing Cashew nut (Cadju) into the country has been temporarily removed. Director General of Agriculture, Kamal Mankotte said that this has been approved by the Cabinet. He also stated that permission to import Cadju has been given only to a limited number of people so that the the local cadju farmers will not face any injustice. Kamal Mankotte added that the Cadju Quarantine Unit will carry out a full inspection of all imported Cadju.

Missed stumpings and a long conversation

Sept 21 (CI) Twice, on 15 and 71, Michael Clarke ventured beyond his crease but could not make contact with Rangana Herath. Each time Prasanna Jayawardene had the chance to stump Australia's captain, and each time he failed to make a clean take. Both instances were unusual. The first had Clarke trying to pad away the ball having left his crease, but somehow managing to let the ball sneak between his pads. Jayawardene cannot have expected such a more..

SRI LANKA: A new book: Gyges' Ring

Sept 21 (LG) The Asian Human Rights Commission announces the publication of a new book, Gyges' Ring -- The 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka by Basil Fernando. This book is a joint publication of the Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong and the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims, Denmark. This book is the most comprehensive study of the 1978 Constitution to-date. It is a contribution to the study of constitutional law and criminal law in Sri Lanka as well as the politics and more..

Sri Lanka: 27 Tamil journalists locked out

Sept 21 (LG) NfR Sri Lanka, a network of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights defenders living in exile expresses serious concern that 27 permanent cadres of the Tamil language daily newspaper Thinakkural have been locked out due to industrial dispute by the new owners of the newspaper. Senior journalists of the newspaper, Editor-in- Chief of the Sunday Thinakkural, News Editor, Deputy News Editor, and Senior Editorial Assistants are among the locked out staff. President of the more..

'UPFA brimming with confidence to secure Dehiwala - Mount Lavinia MC'

Sept 21 (SO) Kesaralal Gunasekara, a well-known figure both in national and local politics, who led the opposition in the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council is of the opinion that the activities of the local government should be broadbased to cover more areas which have not been effectively tackled either by the central govt or the provincial councils. As a prospective Mayoral candidate he believes in non-confrontational politics though there is a stiff fight more..

Out of hurting stalemate

Sept 21 (LG) For the past three years the issue of war crimes and human rights violations has been hanging over Sri Lanka. Every six months or so, especially around the time for the UN Human Rights Council to meet in Geneva, the battle heats up. On this occasion, the govt has strongly criticised the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for deciding to transmit the report of his Advisory Panel on Sri Lanka to the office of the Human Rights Commissioner as well as that of the President of the Human Rights Council without more..

Kirindiwala Police tortured a man to fulfill the whims of a third party

Sept 21 (LG) The AHRC has received information that Mr. Chaminda Sanath Kumara (38) of No: 171/1, Bodiya Road, Walapola, Papiliwala in the district of Gampaha is married and a labourer by profession. Police officers of the Kirindiwala Police Station came to his house, supposedly to investigate a complaint made by the victim's Sister-in-Law and even though the matter had been settled by a Mediation Board they arrested the victim and severely tortured him at the police station. more..

The captivating Marble Beach

Sept 21 (SO) Tired of the city's heat, headaches and hassle - need a place to relax and rest your feet while watching the sun rise against a serene 'shaded blue' sea front, where the crystal clear water would make you forget all the aches and pains - that little haven would be the Marble Beach, situated close to the southern tip of Trincomalee Bay - this virgin stretch of sandy beach was unexploited for decades and it was declared an Air Force detachment and a high security zone. more..

Only possible explanation for Grease Yaka pheomenon is racism

Sept 21 (TC) I want to argue in this article that the phenomenon of the grease yakas (devils) should be seen in terms of a paradigm of racism, and not just in terms of the phenomenon of lawlessness, and the people’s reactions against the grease yakas should be seen not just as people taking the law into their own hands but in terms of a paradigm of an ongoing world revolution. First of all, I must say that part of the reaction to the grease yakas may have been hysterical and excessive, but more..

Because I was asked to be silent

Sept 21 (GV) I am not a patriot. I am not a patriot if it means that to be a patriot I must deny that innocent people have been killed. I am not a patriot if it means that I have to turn a blind eye to the destructive activity of self-righteous members of the Sangha who feel it within their purview to destroy a Muslim shrine. Neither am I a patriot if it means I have to be amongst the Sinhalese who support this crime. Nor am I one if, like the Catholic Church I remain silent or am partisan to the Rajapaksa regime. more..

Creating our own international problems and fight them

Sept 21 (DM) After the total defeat of the LTTE by the armed forces in May 2009 there has been a considerable agitation that the state of Public Emergency proclaimed from month to month by the president should not be extended. This sentiment was also forcefully expressed by the other countries particularly India, EU and the USA. This is another instance where an essentially internal issue acquired an external dimension due to the failure on the part of the govt to more..

China’s risky claim to the high seas

Sept 21 (LB) Any naval spat between India and China is of the utmost interest to us, more so at this time when the strategic future of the Indian Ocean is so often a topic of comment. With our soft bottom exposed and washed by swathes of ocean waves and given the foreign policy balancing act that Colombo has been heavily embroiled in due to the recent war, anything involving the three words India, China and Navy, sets off alarm bells. I don’t think the Chinese will mount a naval challenge to the Indo-American axis in the Indian Ocean for reasons more..

The logical application of presidential power

Sept 21 (SL) The charade that constituted the State of Emergency being permitted to lapse, while the even more draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act continued unabated and then had added to it, immediately, more new laws that permit (as if permission was required!) military govt throughout the country, brought to mind the famous/notorious statement by the late J.R. Jayawardene which indicated pithily the extent of Presidential power something to the effect of “I can do anything except more..

The elephant census: for protection or domestication?

Sept 21 (DM) The domestication of elephants developed into a matter of heated discussion among environmental groups and the Sri Lanka wildlife authorities in the recent past. Days before the country’s first elephant census after the 30 year war was to take place, wildlife groups who had earlier agreed to extend their support, later formally announced that they would boycott the census following statements made by the Minister S.M. Chandrasena. more..

Editorial: Who will pay for LTTE's crimes?

Sept 21 (Island) In Libya, the anti-Gaddafi forces are shelling the remaining pockets of resistance with tens of thousands of civilians trapped in them. NATO continues air strikes in spite of heavy civilian casualties in a desperate bid to put an end to the war and get out of the place as soon as possible. While the Libyan rebels are being assisted by a collective of western govts to the hilt in unleashing hell on enemy positions in their hunt for a dictator on the run regardless of more..