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CB’s currency policy gets Indian backing

Sept 24 (DM) Support has been expressed for Central Bank’s interventionist currency policy by a top research house in India, Religare Research. A recent report published by Religare Research states that intervention by the CBSL is necessary in order to maintain economic stability, due to the import-dependent nature of Sri Lanka’s economy in relation to manufactured products. more..

CCTV installed at Postal Dept.

Sept 24 (Island) Postal Services Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga yesterday said steps would be taken to provide better facilities for the workers and recommendations will be made for promotions. However, he said that he will not allow anyone to tarnish the image of the Postal Department. "Some workers have the knack of doing things as temporary relief but they do not understand the gravity of it," he added. more..

Sri Lankan spikers create history

Sept 24 (DN) Sri Lankan volleyball players created history yesterday by entering the super-eight stage of the 16th Asian Men’s Volleyball Championships which is being held in Teheran, Iran when they beat Indonesia 3 sets to 1 yesterday (25-21, 28-26, 20-25, 21-25, 15-13). The match was one of the most exciting so far in the tournament. The first two sets saw the Lankans making a strong approach but the third and fourth sets were won by the Indonesians. more..

JVP factions go to the grassroots

Sept 24 (DM) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday ruled out any possibility of resolving the differences with the dissident group, and said the party had instead, organized a campaign to educate grassroots level organizations on the political challenges lying ahead in the aftermath of the crisis. JVP propaganda secretary Vijitha Herath addressed party members in Monaragala while General Secretary Tilvin Silva did so in the Gampaha district. more..

Private medical colleges will fade away: GMOA

Sept 24 (DM) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) Central Working Committee, which will meet tomorrow to decide what action should be taken against the controversy-ridden Malabe private medical faculty, said the institution did not have a future in the country. The Central Working Committee comprises 180 practicing doctors. GMOA spokesman Upul Gunasekara said the five-member committee appointed by more..

Sri Lanka tightens finance business law

Sept 25 (LBO) Central bank said it had tightened a law on finance businesses closing several loopholes and allowing authorities to probe unlicensed businesses more easily. A new bill on Finance Business passed by parliament on September 21, will replace an existing Finance Companies Act brought in 1998, the central bank said. "The need to amend the Finance Companies Act which was enacted over 20 years ago has been felt by the a sector as well as the regulator to suit the current situation," more..

'Proud to be a government servant to serve the nation'

Sept 25 (MoD) "I am very proud to be a government servant and bound with public service. People of this country had given me a big opportunity to work for the nation as a govt servant and die as a public worker" said Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 21st Sep 2011 at Payagala, Kandewatta,Sri Sirisumana temple where he ceremonially offered the renovated temple to the Buddhist order as the Chief guest. Further Mr. Rajapaksa mentioned though the newspapers more..

Injured Sri Lankan maid is saved from deportation

Sept 25 (CM) A Sri Lankan maid who last week faced deportation has received a one-year work permit to stay in Cyprus from immigration authorities. Priyanka Dona, who was left unemployed and homeless after a serious workplace accident in 2010 was released from Phinikoudes police station in Larnaca on Friday, where she spent 44 days awaiting a decision. Dona will now spend the next year living with and employed by the Stylianou family in Lefkara, more..

UNP: Illegal sand dredging in Wilpattu

Sept 25 (SL) The UNP says that illegal sand dredging was taking place in lands belonging to the Wilpattu sanctuary. UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera has told parliament that persons have illegally dredged 15,000 cubes of sand from the river, Modaragan Aru in the sanctuary. He has also charged that a government minister had illegally settled some families in land belonging to the sanctuary. Jayasekera has also show photographs in parliament to prove his allegations. more..

Corruption and Impunity – twin destroyers of good governance

Sept 25 (LG) That was Indian journalist and economist Prem Shankar Jha writing many years ago in the respect of the Indian economy. Jha was writing in the context of the push for economic liberalisation in India at that time. It was in a similar context (about giving executive powers to Members of Parliament) that Sam Wijesinha is reported to have told J R Jayewardene, the architect of economic liberalisation in Sri Lanka: ‘If you remember, when you came into power more..

Sri Lanka fast tracks resettlement of remaining 10,000 internally displaced

Sept 25 (Xinhua) The govt is fast tracking resettlement of the last batch of around 10,000 internally displaced people still living in camps so that the process will be completed by the end of 2011. Resettlement Minister Gunaratne Weerakoon told parliament that the ministry was taking steps to resettle 7,427 people living in the last two camps by December. There are 3,324 IDPs still living in a camp called Kadirgamar Relief Village more..

Family deprived of hope

Sept 25 (SMH) VAHESAN RAHAVAN will celebrate his first birthday today with a big cake, but there will be no record of the occasion. Vahesan, the son of Tamil refugees, has never had his photo taken. That's because the toddler has spent every day of his young life in detention, where no cameras are allowed. He, his sister and brother, Atputha and Abhinayan, pictured, and his father, Yogachandran, a former chicken farmer, and his mother, Sumathi, are being detained indefinitely more..

Are there really gay Sri Lankans?

Sept 25 (GV) As I write this, friends and people I have worked with, are living in fear. In truth, since Saturday before last (10th September) when Rivira published their exposé on condoms and lubricating gels being distributed to men who have sex with men, and the community based organization involved in the process, tensions have been high for the gay community. In the 10th September article, the organization was identified by name, their detailed address was also more..

Hambantota 2018 praised by European delegates as superb

Sept 25 (ITG) Hambantota's bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games has received a massive boost after its concept was widely praised by European delegates who have just completed a visit to the Sri Lankan city. The group representing Cyprus, England, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Malta, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales share 10 votes between them, which could be crucial at the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly in more..

The Bloody Lanzas

Sept 25 (SL) The once calm and tranquil town of Negombo better known as ‘Little Rome’ is expected to be plagued with thuggery and violence in the run up to the October 8 Municipal Council election. Although officially Negombo police do not agree with this theory, police sources on the basis of anonymity confirmed to The Sunday Leader that they are getting ready to deal with the situation. “Through first-hand experience we are predicting that there will be a blood bath during more..

Face Off: The Colombo Candidates

Sept 25 (SL) New candidates, new policies. With Municipal Council elections coming up, candidates are canvassing with a will. Posters of a few candidates are already visible around Colombo. Yet, it would seem that quite a few are reluctant to vote. There are those like Nazly, who said that he would vote, as he did for all elections. “It is my right to use it wisely on the candidate whom I feel will do well for the general public as a whole,” he said. But he was clearly in the minority. more..

'International investor confidence on Sri Lanka'

Sept 25 (LP) International investor confidence on Sri Lanka has been improving steadily. International rating agencies upgraded Sri Lanka’s sovereign ratings and revised outlook in a positive direction in the second consecutive year, addressing the 2011 Annual Meeting, World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, Governor of the World Bank Group and the IMF for Sri Lanka Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. The Full Statement of more..

The ex-keeper of the sacred tooth Vs the UPFA

Sept 25 (SL) Kandy looks like any other town when elections are around the corner. Posters of future Municipal Councilor hopefuls smile (or sometimes glare) down at you from almost everywhere: walls, gates, shop-fronts, vehicles and trees. Somewhere in the town, even a garbage dumpster was not spared. The good news is that the area surrounding the Kandy lake was untouched, allowing one the usual scenic view of the lake, with occasional glimpses of the Dalada Maligawa. more..

Sri Lankan homes to generate room capacity for tourism industry

Sept 25 (ST) Sri Lanka’s home stay concept initiated by the tourism industry is due to be launched next month and expected to generate about 1000-1500 rooms immediately. Sri Lanka received 654,000 tourists in 2010, which is expected to top 750, 000 this year. In this regard the home stay and bungalow programme is expected to generate about 1000-1500 rooms immediately. The industry has received 348 applications with 125 of them obtaining registration amounting to more..

Development Diaries September 14, 2011

The grease devil, the latest weapon of pre meditated State terror

Sept 25 (LG) Despite the recent assurances by his brother the Defence Secretary Gothabaye Rajapakse, that President Rajapakse has not recently acquired a taste for human blood, the grease devils operating in the various parts of Sri Lanka especially the Tamil speaking areas in the north and east continue to instill terror into the Tamil speaking peoples. These are not zombies, witches, vampires or werewolves. They are humans as much as you and me, and their activity designed and more..

The Proposed global fuel tax on aviation - A deficit of judgment

Sept 25 (LG) This article draws on circumstances that have spurred the World Bank onto considering the feasibility of imposing a global fuel tax on aviation as mandated by the Finance Ministers of the G20 countries. It argues that the thinking behind this measure is fundamentally flawed when considered as a means of finding financial resources to replenish the Green Fund as envisioned by the developed countries at the meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations more..

'People are our primary concern'

Sept 25 (SO) Minister Johnston Fernando said the people in Colombo who want to see Colombo city and its road network being developed would definitely vote for the UPFA at the forthcoming election for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) irrespective of political differences. The Minister in an interview with the Sunday Observer said if anybody votes against the UPFA he might be a person who opposes the victory achieved against terrorism and development the Colombo city. more..

It may be useful for the govt to publish monthly statistics of visits by overseas Tamils

Sept 25 (TC) Reading through the various accounts by some politicians in Western countries about how bad things are here for Tamils, I realize that they must be influenced by the propaganda of extreme elements in the diaspora. And since that diaspora became massive because of what was alleged to be discrimination against Tamils, it is understandable that Western politicians are inclined to be sympathetic. The fact that the violence Tamils suffered from in the early eighties was not repeated more..

On the JVP’s identity crisis

Sept 25 (NS) The results of the 2010 General Election floored a lot of people, especially the JVP which suffered the biggest losses in terms of reduced numbers in Parliament. From some 41 seats secured in 2004 courtesy of support from the SLFP voters in 2004, that party slid to the single digits, hooking up with Sarath Fonseka’s fledgling party saving the blushes. That was in-your-face signal to engage in identity-seek. The JVP is officially ‘left’, politically, and officially ‘Marxist’ in ideology. more..

Campaigning flies high in the House

Sept 25 (DM) The election campaign that is seemingly getting into full swing, particularly in the Colombo Municipal Council area, made its way to the chamber of Parliament this week in the form of two adjournment debates. The legislators cutting across the political divide of the House, probably in their eagerness to hold sway in the campaign over one another, took up the issues concerning the Colombo voters during these debates. more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka has fulfilled its obligations

Sept 25 (SO) UN Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon, in his opening address at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Wednesday, stressed "the need to serve the planet, lifting people out of poverty and advancing economic growth". Emphasising the need to face these challenges, the UNSG said that these three factors "are one and the same fight". He highlighted the importance of a collective global effort to address these issues. more..

Editorial: Sri Lankans In Wikileaks

Sept 25 (SL) A picture emerges from the WikiLeaks cables of a Sri Lanka where all is not as it seems. Mahinda Rajapaksa, contrary, to his caricature as a Sinhala extremist, emerges as a relative moderate, even in the eyes of an Archbishop. The cables also reveal broad awareness of human rights violations within the government and of dissent from within. All in all, these candid reports from the US Embassy reveal a churning political system which Mahinda Rajapaksa follows as much as leads. more..

'UNP wanted a free lunch'

Sept 25 (LB) DPF Leader Mano Ganesan says that if he is elected as the mayor at the LG polls on October 8, he will usher in real time democracy for the citizens of Colombo as he is the person with a real Sri Lankan identity. Ganesan said that the Colombo Tamils are with the DPF, and expressed optimism that contesting alone was not be detrimental to his party. He also said that the UNP would receive its ‘just desserts’ at the forthcoming LG polls for mistreating the DPF. more..

Editorial: Our battle for peace

Sept 25 (NS) The diplomatic offensive against Sri Lanka is apparently never ending. Last week we reported in these pages how the United Nations ganged up against our country. This week saw two other nations join the witch-hunt against Sri Lanka: Canada and Australia. Canada fired the first salvo when Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he would boycott the 2013 Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka because of alleged human rights concerns and urged other commonwealth leaders to follow suit. more..

Editorial: Global politics, local reality

Sept 25 (LB) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has averred that one size fits all does not apply in the global reality, and that home-grown solutions are the only remedy for the varieties of political problems that face countries such as ours, particularly in the global South. This position taken at the UN General Assembly sessions, was predictable coming from Mahinda Rajapaksa, who also unequivocally expressed his support for the creation of a new Palestinian state under UN auspices — a proposal now more..

Record 71,114 overseas job orders this year

Sept 25 (BL) Job orders for nearly 71,114 Sri Lankan skilled construction related crafts persons for overseas employment has been placed with the Sri Lanka Bureau for Foreign Employment this year, according to latest statistics released by the labour market information bulletin published by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission released on May 20, 2011 as per orders received by the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau from foreign principals. more..

Editorial: Statehood and Palestine

Sept 25 (Island) Whatever its efforts to pretend the contrary, the Western powers led by the US have always lived by the credo that might is right. This was once again proved at the United Nations last week when Palestine, in the teeth of US pressure, made an application for full membership of the UN. As the UN bureau chief of Inter Press Service, Thalif Deen, incidentally a Sri Lankan who graduated from Peradeniya and worked at Lake House reported, any lingering doubts on whether the Palestinians will be able t more..

Editorial: Palestine: World peace itself at stake

Sept 25 (ST) US President Barack Obama told a special symposium on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly sessions which began this week that henceforth, the people of Libya will be able to guide their own destiny as free citizens in a free country and enjoy the fruits of their resources. He was talking of the glorious 'Arab Spring' that is ushering a new era in that troubled part of the world. Three days later, he made it clear that the US would not hesitate to use its veto to more..

No blessed deity looked at sacrificial Thilan

Sept 25 (ST) Not even ever so good Dr. Mervyn Silva, MP, who recently saved the lives of so many sacrificial goats and roosters, could step in this time. The Lankan national cricket selectors led by former skipper Duleep Mendis had the audacity to sacrifice veteran Thilan Samaraweera at the cricket’s altar on his 35th birthday. A veteran of 68 tests with 4,683 runs at a healthy average of 52.61 runs -- Samaraweera was unceremoniously beheaded when they sat down to select more..

Split in JVP further weakens Opposition

Sept 25 (NS) There was a time not so long ago when a split in the leftist JVP split in was unthinkable. While its ideology may not have attracted much mass appeal, the electorate believed that the JVP comprised of politicians who eschewed petty political gains for the sake of principles. The breakaway of the party’s leading orator, Wimal Weerawansa and his subsequent acceptance of a cabinet portfolio in the Mahinda Rajapaksa led UPFA was therefore a reality check for the JVP. more..

JVP in turmoil on the eve of LG polls

Sept 25 (NS) The long standing crisis gripping the Marxist party JVP which had been like smouldering embers underneath a cover of ashes has now exacerbated into a veritable volcano which is about to erupt with dire consequences to the party. The immediate cause for the crisis to escalate into volcanic proportions is the decision taken by the party hierarchy to remove the party’s `invisible leader’ Premakumara Gunaratnam and several other party stalwarts from the powerful Politburo. more..

‘Joe-what a character’

Sept 25 (ST) He won the Best Actor award at the Singapore International Film Festival in 1999 for "the simplicity and maturity of his performance as the role of a blind man whose nobility and honour transcends the depth of his personal sorrow." That was Joe Abeywickrema in 'Purahanda Kaluwara' – Prasanna Vithanage’s powerful award-winning cinematic creation. Not many will disagree that Joe who died on Wednesday at the age of 84, was the best character actor more..

Making Strauss-Kahns of the Rajapaksas

Sept 25 (Island) At the UNP parliamentary group meeting held last Tuesday, the UNP showed some slight signs of thinking like a party that once wielded power and one that had hopes of wielding power once again. Matara district MP Buddhika Pathirana raised the issue that the UNP had to have a stand on the Malabe private medical school matter. In reply party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe enunciated some points which would form the basis of the UNP policy on the issue - it had to adhere to the guidelines more..

Red split may spell danger or doom

Sept 25 (ST) My Dear Somawansa, I thought I must write to you because of recent happenings in your Red party which seems to have acquired the same illness that has afflicted the Greens for so long- that of dividing into two groups and then fighting with each other! You know, Somawansa, many people in our country may not have agreed with your party' policies or how they have acted in the past, but in the past ten to fifteen years they have come to respect most of its politicians as being quite principled and more..