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BOI says signed $500 mln port deal with China Merchants

Sept 23 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA), local conglomerate Aitken Spence and China Merchants Holdings on Thursday signed a $500 million deal to build a new container terminal at the Colombo port, the state investment body said. Hong Kong-based China Merchants will hold 55 percent of the project, Aitken Spence 30 percent and the SLPA 15 percent respectively. "The agreement for one of the largest foreign direct investments will strengthen Colombo's status as more..

Motion to suspend SL from Commonwealth defeated in Australian Senate

Sept 23 (LP) The Australian Government and the Opposition voted together today to defeat a motion moved in the Senate by Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon (Senator for New South Wales) to suspend Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth. Speaking on the motion, a representative for the Govt of Australia said that they do not believe that complex foreign policy issues can be resolved through motions such as the one mooted by Senator Rhiannon. more..

International concerns grow over plight of Sri Lanka's Menik Farm refugees

Sept 23 (ANI) As the Sri Lankan govt plans to close the Menik Farm camp, one of the world''s largest refugee camps, located in the country’s northern region, international concerns have grown regarding the conditions of the refugees who will be located to new camp site. The govt said that the 7,400 people remaining in the camp, that accommodated around 300,000 Tamil civilians caught up in the extreme violence of the final months of Sri Lanka's civil war more..

Medical Council rejects registration for Malabe school

Sept 23 (LT) The proposal; made by the UGC that Malabe medical school should be given temporary registration until all facilities of a medical college are fulfilled has been unconditionally rejected states Sri Lanka Medical Council. Sri Lanka Medical Council states it proposed to the UGC that registration should not be given when there are no facilities for clinical training for students, the institution should be given six months to provide facilities and then more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 22.09.2011

Extrajudicial killing; impunity; rule of law

Sept 23 (LG) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mr. Garusinhage Priyantha (45) of Nelu-Yaya Kithulkote at Thanamalvila in Monaragala District was extrajudicially killed by officers attached to the Special Task Force (STF). Priyantha was arrested by the police officers at the 'Morning Side Estate' in Sooriyawewa and was brought to their station and detained. According to the STF officers he was brought to a house at a chena cultivation in the more..

Free People from Fear and Oppression

Sept 23 (LG) The phenomenon of ‘Grease Yaka’ first appeared in Kahawatta, causing death to several elderly women. Then it was thought to be a ‘Ghost’. Subsequently it spread to the hill country and later to Puttalam and to the North and East of the country causing anxiety and a feeling of deep insecurity among the population. A number of deaths were reported from Hatton and Puttalam. In Jaffna hundreds were assaulted and later arrested and about 7-8 were hospitalized on the orders of the magistrate. more..

Cooking up a taste of Jaffna

Sept 23 (ST) A “pottu” the hostess dots you with and ushers you into Yaal Virundu hosted by the Ramada. Attesting to its immense popularity, the annual Jaffna food festival is now in its seventh successive year. If you haven’t been before, do avail yourself of this opportunity over the next three weekends to get a taste of Jaffna. Curious about cooking traditions particular to Jaffna, I request to meet the chefs whom one expects were brought down from the peninsula. more..

Communal relations in independent Sri Lanka

Sept 23 (LG) I read with interest the response of Ilaya Seran Seguttuwan to my note titled, 'A brief overview of post- independence history of communal relations in Sri Lanka'. The criticism he directs at me is more valuable than the complements, in view of his erudition, experience and long involvement in Sri Lankan affairs. He has raised a couple of issues that require explanations from me. 1.“For reasons not clear, he is a strident critique of the TNA, the TULF and the Tamil leadership under more..

Human Rights: Final Destination Sri Lanka?

Sept 23 (LG) The decision to hold the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka is strongly rumoured to be a done deal. The dice, it is said is cast. The Heads of Govt meeting in Perth this October end is expected to cement the decision as a mere formality. To call it to question is a waste of energy and breath – unless the Commonwealth’s fundamental principles matter. In 2009 at the Trinidad CHOGM, deep concern about the country’s suitability to play host resulted in more..

‘What we have now is plain and utter corruption’

Sept 23 (LG) A State has an undoubted duty as well as a right to defend itself against present as well as imminent threats. It is understandable therefore to look askance at complaints by former cadre of the LTTE who base their applications for asylum to Western countries on the reasoning that they are routinely checked by the Sri Lankan Army post release. What else would one expect the govt and defence authorities to do? This is a reasonable question. more..

The World of today, Sri Lanka tomorrow

Sept 23 (LG) I was on a double decker when two young ladies got on and sat opposite me. Though it’s impossible to guess ages these days, their skirts gave the age away, as they wore it a lot above the Plimsoll line and their feet were covered with what looked like Roman legionaries sandals with wafer thin soles. It was a cold and damp day in central London, No one talk when riding in under or over ground trains or buses. It is customary that no one smiles either. To be accepted and be “cool “at the same time, more..

Heh heh. Listening to those who ‘do not wash their bottoms’?

Sept 23 (LB) Two weeks ago I received a comment on one of my articles from one Ajit Randeniya. He thinks I am Lynda Snell. He said: “Usual arrogance of a blow-in from the British Isles (turned red by Asian and African blood) trying to dictate to us as to how to manage our national affairs. Should the bombers be sent over to Sri Lanka to save Canine Right to sterilization? May be the new hymie friend Zarcoseeeee will also want to join in! Or you can go home to the pure environs of London or more..

HACK ATTACK and religious tosh

Sept 23 (LB) Animal sacrifice becomes a hot topic each September as Sri Bhadra Kali Amman Kovil in Munneswaram, Chilaw slaughters hundreds of animals as part of its annual festival. Each year, animal rights activists and religious leaders attempt to stop the gruesome practice – in which animals are hacked to death with a hatchet – without much success, as there is little support from the higher courts of law or the govt, despite several existing laws which prohibits more..

Open minds in closed UNIs?

Sept 23 (LB) What would an institute – say, a university premises or a factory – be without a fence or a walling mechanism? We have been socialized in such a way – and we have internalized this from a very young age – where physical boundaries or “limiting measures” have become mandatory in everything we do. That is what we are brought up to feel; that we cannot even conceive a “space” without a boundary or a fence. We are trained to see the presence of a tangible “boundary of a sort;” and this, more..

The people’s reps need a code of ethics

Sept 23 (DM) One really wonders reading the press news reports, listening to the radio or seeing political coverages of the meetings held by Ministers and other politicians, especially these days with local government elections around the corner whether they were really considering the impact of what they say on civil society. Do they just talk to impress the people that they have the power to do anything, but essentially all executive powers must flow from the President and even more..

Govt. to table all land deal documents in Parliament today

Sept 23 (FT) The Govt will be tabling all documents relating to land that has been sold or leased for development during the last few years in Parliament today. Following the land debate that took place yesterday, Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena has announced in Parliament that all documents would be tabled and presented to the Opposition. Instigated by the Opposition’s claims on misappropriate selling of land with no transparency whatsoever, more..

Editorial: Weak laws and big crooks

Sept 23 (Island) Much as it is universally accepted that the rule of law must be respected and preserved in any society because its absence has a deleterious effect on democracy, some absurd laws, however well implemented they may be, (as well as ridiculously lenient penalties for serious offences) also lead to a severe erosion of public faith in the justice system. We reported the other day that a suspect nabbed at the BIA while trying to smuggle out a large amount of foreign currency to more..

Editorial: Drugs and Food: Lanka a garbage dump

Sept 23 (DM) Health Minister Mithripala Sirisena, apparently sincere in his commitment though facing obstacles from vested interests and self-centred officials, has again promised that virtually life-saving legislation to provide quality drugs to all people at affordable prices will be presented soon. The minister said the legislation based on the revered Senaka Bibile’s essential medicine’s concept was ready at last and would be presented in Parliament within the next four months. more..

Muzammil challenges Moragoda for TV debate

Sept 23 (DM) The UNP mayoral candidate at the elections to the Colombo Municipal Council yesterday challenged his rival UPFA candidate Milinda Moragoda for a debate on national television so that the people could decide whom they should vote for. Mayoral candidate A.J.M. Muzammil extended this challenge to his rival Milinda Moragoda at the launch of the UNP manifesto. It outlined plans for housing, developing basic infrastructure facilities such as more..

Govt seeks investors for Milch cow farms

Sept 23 (Island) The government has decided to invite local business community to join hands with MILCO and invest in mega-commercial milch cow farms with herds of over a hundred having a guaranteed market for their milk, Chairman of MILCO Sunil Wicremasinghe said yesterday. Asked whether the offer was open to foreign investors, Wickremasighe said the answer was a ‘definite yes’. "We will not reject any good offer from investors from milk producing countries like Australia or New Zeeland. more..

Excise Commissoner agrees to revoke licence to liquor store near sacred place

Sept 23 (Island) The Excise Commissioner will revoke the licence given to liquor outlet located close to sacred places and schools, and will consider public opinion on the issue, Additional Solicitor General Uanjan Wijayatillake P.C., said in the Court of Appeal yesterday. In this case the Excise Commissioner has been made the first respondent, in the Writ application filed by Ven. Randuwe Gunanda Thera of Purana Viharaya Wadduwa and Ven. Wadduwe Dharmawansa Thera of more..

Col Ramesh's wife files a case in US against President for Killing her husband

Sept 23 (EIN) Col Ramesh's wife, Mrs. Vathsala Devi, has filed a case in the United States, against the visiting Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse for killing her husband. This case was filed in the Southern District of New York, under Alien Tort Statutes, on behalf of Col Ramesh's wife, by Attorney-at-Law Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran. Col Ramesh was shown on a documentary by UK's Channel 4 "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields", being interrogated by Sri Lankan soldiers in more..

'No proper leadership in tottering UNP'

Sept 23 (DM) The UNP has become a part of the UPFA as the leaders of the headless monster that was the grand old party are vying to join the govt, Irrigation and Water Resources Development Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. He further said the present leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, had ruined the UNP - one of the oldest political parties- that was established by the first Prime Minister of independent Sri Lanka and had made it weaker than a minority political party in the country. more..

Four treasure hunters arrested in Yatiyantota

Sept 23 (DM) Four suspects were arrested by police while they were engaged in treasure hunting in the Potalagama area in Yatiyantota. The suspects were arrested following a tip-off received from residents of in the area about their activities. Several sharp objects used to break stones, a gas regulator and other equipment were found at the site. A special team had been deployed to arrest them according to police media spokesman Maxi Proctor who added that the suspects were residents of the area. more..

Iran, Nepal, Columbia leaders commends Sri Lanka’s rapid development

Sept 23 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa held bilateral talks with the leaders of Iran, Nepal and Columbia in New York yesterday. At these discussions President apprised the three leaders about the rehabilitation and resettlement of IDPs, progress on demining activities in the Northern and Eastern provinces, about the elections held recently in the two provinces, reconstruction of the two provinces and the mammoth development programme being launched in the country. more..

Jailbird brought back by relatives within 24 hrs

Sept 23 (Island) A talented prisoner who bolted from his guardians at Welikada on Wednesday and rushed home in a three wheeler to see his sick mother in Ragama was brought back to the prison yesterday morning by his relatives. Cyril Rodrigo alias Art Suda as his pet name suggests, is an artist of repute who is much sought after when it comes to erecting Wesak pandals, gave the slip to his guards while he and several other prisoners were deployed to beautify the front of the prison on more..

An appeal against infringement of university autonomy

Sept 23 (TC) The Ministry of Higher Education has issued a directive that all state universities should hire the services of Rakna Lanka Ltd for provision of security services. The undersigned of the University academic community considers that directive to be in complete contravention of the norms and conventions by which universities are expected to function. The letter issued by the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education seeks to bypass standard procedures that are followed in more..

Boston Lanka News: Sept 22, 2011

BASL wants action against cop violence inside court complex

Sept 23 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday demanded an impartial inquiry into an alleged attack by police in the Jaffna Courts complex last Monday. A spokesperson for the BASL said that those responsible should be brought to justice without delay. The BASL threw its weight behind members of the legal profession practicing in the district, who last Tuesday decided to boycott Court sittings until all seven police personnel involved in the attack were arrested. more..

Kankasanturai Cement factory mulls IPO

Sept 23 (Island) Minister Dayasritha Tissera says the Kankasanturai Cement Factory (KCF) located in the Jaffna peninsula will be commissioned via a public-private partnership before the year-end and would go for a public listing on the Colombo Stock Exchange. He said a 30 percent stake of KCF would be offered to the public while the balance 70 percent would be retained with the state. Currently, a feasibility study is being carried out by a leading bank in the country. more..

Sri Lankan envoy speaks out against Commonwealth suspension call

Sept 23 (ABC) Sri Lanka is dismissing calls for its suspension from the Councils of the Commonwealth and complained to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs about the latest campaign. A group of Australian academics, politicians and human rights campaigners is making the demand unless Sri Lanka cooperates with an independent investigation into alleged war crimes during the country' civil war. more..

Sri Lanka port consortium in deal for tax breaks

Sept 23 (LBO) A Sino-Lanka consortium that is to build a container terminal in Colombo's new deep-water South Port has signed a deal with Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency entitling it for tax breaks. Building of the 500 million US dollar terminal by the consortium consisting of China Merchants Holdings, Sri Lanka's Aitken Spence conglomerate and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will begin in January. "The terminal will be assured of business as it would be the only deepwater more..

'Joe’s death, a loss to the country'

Sept 23 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday he was saddened by the news of the sudden demise of veteran artiste Joe Abeywickrama who made an immense contribution to bring Sri Lankan cinema to the international arena. Abeywickrama’s service for the development of the local cinema will be remembered by the nation with gratitude, President Rajapaksa said in a condolence message. “As I am attending the UN General Assembly, I am unable to pay my last respect to this artiste,” more..

Lanka welcomes UN anti-terror centre, wants end to hypocrisy

Sept 23 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that the setting up of a UN counter-terrorism centre could facilitate and combine global efforts to fight terrorism at every level. However, its success would entirely depend on a unified approach to tackle terrorism, Rajapaksa said in a brief interview with The Island on the eve of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s address to the 66th UNGA in New York. more..

No animal sacrifices at kovil- Court rules

Sept 23 (DM) The animal sacrifice which was to be performed today at the Kali Kovil in Udappuwa, Arachchikattuwa was suspended on a court order yesterday. Puttalam Additional District Judge Mrs. I.D. Illangasinghe gave the restraining order after having considered a report filed by the Mundalama Police. OIC Mundalama Police IP Sujeewa Alawatta told court that he sought a court order restraining the animal sacrifice at the Udappuwa Kali Kovil to prevent any possible civil commotion. more..

Girl clubbed to death; boyfriend’s father arrested

Sept 23 (DM) A suspect was taken into custody and remanded on Monday in connection with the killing of a schoolgirl of Kananke whose body was recovered from a hollow in a shrub jungle in the Yakkalamulla area. The victim Prabodha Madhuwanti of Thudagalakanda in Kananke was a grade eleven student of the Kananke Maha Vidyalaya in Immaduwa. The suspect taken into custody and remanded was her boy friend’s father. When the girl went missing from home more..

'SL at risk of being hauled before UN'

Sept 23 (DM) Sri Lanka needs to counter the Darusman Report in a concerted and effective manner at an International level because the country is still at risk of being hauled before the UNHRC, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. The minister, who was a member of the high-powered govt delegation that represented Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva, said the delegation was able to prevent the Darusman Report being included in the agenda or taken up for debate. more..

Two delegations of French and British entrepreneurs exploring investment opportunities

Sept 23 (AT) High level business delegations from France and the United Kingdom are in Sri Lasnka led by the French Ambassador and the British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka with a view to promoting investments from France and the United Kingdom. They include representatives of some of the leading enterprises in the field of Insurance, Garments, Tourism and Pharmaceuticals. Minister Basil Rajapakse who met the delegations have urged the entrepreneurs to make use of more..

Vehicle licences for hearing-impaired

Sept 23 (DN) The Social Services Ministry will present a Cabinet paper to get approval for issuing light vehicle driving licences for hearing impaired individuals withing two weeks, considering requests of the Sri Lanka Central Federation for the Deaf, Social Services Minister Felix Perera said. ‘The ministry will create a successful communication method for the hearing impaired people. It is the duty of the authorities to make a systematic communication method for hearing impaired individuals, he said. more..