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Only 27,000 troops in North now: Govt.

Sept 7 (DM) The government yesterday stressed in Parliament the necessity of continuing to maintain a substantial presence of the armed forces in the North until every inch of land in the area became safer for human habitation. Responding to Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the House and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said only 27,000 Army, Navy and Air Force personnel were now stationed in the North. more..

At UN screening on Sri Lanka Murders, Kohona tells press to ask Nambiar

Sept 7 (ICP) Sri Lanka's two top diplomats at the UN in New York took Press questions after they screened "Lies Agreed Upon," of which the invitation from the president of the UN Correspondents' Association stated, "Sri Lankan Authorities state, 'this video directly challenges the assertions contained in the UK Channel 4 video, Sri Lanka's Killing Fields.'" ICP asked Palitha Kohona about his role in more..

SB defends giving MPMC degree awarding status

Sept 7 (Island) Despite doctors threatening to strike on Wednesday (7) in protest against the granting of degree awarding status to the Malabe Private Medical College, the Higher Education Ministry reiterated its commitment to allow private universities operate in the country. Minister S.B. Dissanayake said that the Malabe Private Medical College (South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine - SAITM) had been seeking the degree awarding status since 2008, more..

'Stop land grabbing in the name of development'

Sept 7 (TC) Protest is held in Colombo today ~ 6th September 2011 to highlight the issues related to current development process in Sri Lanka. The protest is organized by Land Forum of Sri Lanka, National fisheries Solidarity Movement and Praja Abhilasha Network. Fishermen, Farmers and activists participated actively in today’s protest. The organisers say “The reality of development: threats to the people’s hereditary inheritance more..

'Rs.700 mn spent on refurbishing Ranil’s office'

Sept 7 (Island) UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena revealed that the previous UNP-led govt had ordered an electronic documentation storage system at a staggering cost of Rs. 700 mn. The system envisaged providing three desk top computers to each officer attached to the Office of the then Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, MP Gunawardena said. The SLFPer challenged UNP MP Harsha de Silva to comment on the Rs. 700 mn deal as more..

Many job offers from overseas but only a few takers

Sept 7 (DM) In spite of the offer of 739,297 job opportunities for Sri Lankans from Middle East countries and elsewhere, only 160,697 persons had been sent, reveals the annual report of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau. The Data shows that job agents in Sri Lanka had failed even to make use of one fourth of the job opportunities made available to the country. Out of 5,381 posts for professionals offered last year only 438 had accepted these posts. more..

Sri Lanka business delegation to visit Pakistan

Sept 8 (GDI) A Sri Lankan delegation of leading businessmen is expected to visit Pakistan shortly to establish direct contacts with Pakistani businessmen to boost bilateral trades. Minister for Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen revealed the planned visit at a meeting with the Pakistani Senior Minister for Commerce, Makhdoom Amin Fahim who is currently on a visit to Sri Lanka. Senior Minister Fahim said that there is a tremendous opportunity for trade between more..

National conference on self regulation in the media underway

Sept 8 (ST) A national conference on self regulation in the media is currently underway at the Sri Lanka Press Institute. The two day conference organised by the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) began today at the Auditorium of the Sri Lanka Press Institute at 96 Kirula Road, Colombo 5. The recent phone hacking scandal in the UK which led to the debate to reinvigorate respect for the Editors Code of Professional Practice and review self-regulation within more..

'Galle pitch not dangerous'

Sept 8 (PTI) The match referee may have declared the Galle stadium pitch poor leading to an ICC inquiry, but Sri Lanka Cricket chief Upali Dharmadasa said the pitch was not dangerous by any means. The first Australia-Sri Lanka Test of an ongoing series was played here and there were complaints of the pitch being too dusty. "You see no one got injured by playing on the surface at Galle. Moreover one batsman scored a century and another got a 95 on the last day of the match," more..

Sri Lanka stocks still seen over-priced

Sept 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stock market is still comparatively over-priced despite coming off record highs that made it Asia's best performing bourse after the end of the island's ethnic war, an analyst said. "I can't help but wonder whether the peace dividend has resulted in the market being over priced and whether it is a bubble waiting to burst," said Ravi Abeysuriya, chief executive of Heraymila Securities. "No market can give earnings like this." more..

Gateway to study in Japan

Sept 8 (GDI) A Japanese Education Seminar organized by the Embassy of Japan together with the Japanese Graduates Alumni Association of Sri Lanka (JAGAAS), and the Japan International Cooperation Centre (JICE) will be held on September 10, from 10.00 am to 4,00 pm. at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute Auditorium in Colombo. Admission to the Seminar is free of charge. According to a press release issued by the Embassy of Japan a total of seven reputed universities in Japan, more..

Amnesty slams Sri Lanka over 'flawed' war probe

Sept 8 (AFP) Amnesty International on Wednesday said Sri Lanka's inquiry into its military victory over Tamil rebels was "flawed at every level" and no substitute for an international war crimes investigation. The human rights watchdog issued a 69-page report slamming the work of the govt's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) ahead of next week's meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, expected to discuss Sri Lanka. more..

Ex- combatants on a familiarization tour in the south

Sept 8 (GDI) Over 500 ex- combatants from north who were rehabilitated are to visit the south on a familiarization tour. These five hundred ex combatants have gone back home to start a new life free of violence having undergone a successful rehabilitation process under the govt’s rehabilitation program and after learning to brush up their hidden skills and the values of life. During the last moment of the war with LTTE over 11000 combatants were brought under more..

Emami promoters make $400m Lanka realty foray

Sept 8 (PTI) A real estate firm majority owned by the promoters of Emami has made its maiden overseas foray with a $400 million mixed-use, high-end project in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The project consisting of luxury retail stores, restaurants and residential apartments is coming up at a two-acre land at Sir James Peiris Mawatha street and is part of Sri Lankan government’s plan to convert some of Colombo city’s high streets into promenades. more..

We will respond appropriately: Ministry of External Affairs

Sept 8 (PTI) The Ministry of External Affairs intends on responding to a report by Amnesty International (AI) released today, condemning the report by the LLRC, while the Commission itself does not want to be distracted by responding to such report. “AI is an independent body and can put out any reports that it wishes. After having looked at the report carefully we will respond appropriately,” a high ranking official of the Ministry of External Affairs more..

'Vietnam is an encouragement for those who believe in Socialism'

Sept 8 (LT) Today after 30 years of war, the vast economic development achieved by Vietnam is an encouraging spring for those who strive for a socialist system, said the leader of the JVP Mr Somawansa Amarasinghe. At a ceremony held at the New Town Hall Colombo last evening (6) to mark the 66th commemoration ceremony of Vietnam National Day, Mr Amarasinghe made this observation. Appreciating the victory of the Vietnam Communist Party Mr Amerasinghe more..

Demonstration demanding the opening of wards built by the JVP

Sept 8 (LT) A demonstration demanding the opening of the 3 storied wards complex built at the Kethumathi Maternity Home in Panadura on the request of JVP Local Govt Members was held yesterday (6). JVP Local Govt Member Mr Nalinda Jayatissa and former Member Mr Jagath Pushpakumara also participated in this event. Mr Pushpakumara said the wards which was a worrying need for the expectant mothers in the hospital was built at a cost of Rs 100 million as a result of a struggle more..

'Colombo for them - Tax burden for the masses'

Sept 8 (LT) Quoting a poster seen around the city 'Colombo for us' , the General Secretary of the JVP MrTilvin Silva said that the true meaning of the poster is that the Govt needs Colombo. He pointed out that 'us' does not mean the masses. Addressing a meeting convened to educate the candidates of the JVP for the forthcoming Local Govt Elections, Mr Silva added that, "It is for the Govt and not for the masses. This Govt is suffering from this mania. more..

Sri Lanka should stop defending currency peg: IMF

Sept 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka should stop defending a rupee peg and allow the domestic currency to respond to market developments, the IMF said. The IMF cautioned against further reserve sales to defend a rupee peg. "This policy does not seem to be in line with the fundamentals in the economy," IMF mission chief to Sri Lanka Brian Aiken said. "In responding to market pressures the Central Bank should henceforth limit its interventions and allow more exchange rate flexibility." more..

CPI(M) asks Indian govt to address plight of Sri Lankan Tamils

Sept 8 (PTI) Voicing concern over the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka post the conflict, the CPI(M) today asked the govt to play a more active role in rehabilitating and relocating them as per India's commitment under the peace accord between the two countries. The demand was made through a memorandum submitted by a CPI(M) delegation to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. "It has been two years since the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka. But still the problems of Tamils more..

Preview: Sri Lanka v Australia, 2nd Test

Sept 8 (CI) Australia surprised many people by outplaying Sri Lanka in their own conditions in Galle, even if the dusty pitch did mean the toss played a significant role in the outcome. Now, Michael Clarke can rack up his first series victory if the team backs up with another strong performance in Pallekele. It's nearly 18 months since the Australians have won a Test series, the last time being on their tour of New Zealand in March 2010. more..

Eranga favoured to debut

Sept 8 (CI) Shaminda Eranga, the fast bowler, has a strong chance to make his Test debut for Sri Lanka in the second Test that begins tomorrow in Pallekele, as left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara struggles with a knee problem. Eranga, 25, had impressed during his appearances on the ODI-leg of this tour, and Australia were a little surprised not to see him in the XI for the first Test in Galle, which the hosts lost by 125 runs. Welegedara had trained gingerly on Wednesday, more..

Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka almost double

Sept 8 (Xinhua) Statistics released by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board show that the number of Chinese travelers to the island nation has almost doubled from last year. In August, the number of Chinese tourists stands at 1071, a 2.4 percent decrease over the previous month when 1097 people came to Sri Lanka, which brings the total number of tourists to 11,183. Last year, 6,678 Chinese people traveled to the country. Foreign visitors to the country in the first eight months of more..

Mobile brothels inside tinted vans At Galle Face Green at dusk time

Sept 8 (LP) An organized gang of men and women appearing to be from the upper-middle class in Colombo are now engaged in a 'Mobile Brothel' operation at the Galle Face Green at dusk with prostitutes being supplied inside air-conditioned vans with tinted glasses,Police have uncovered. Police said these gangs mainly target youth groups who visit the green and the men acquaint the youngsters and provide the mobile telephone of the 'Madam' inside more..

Former Scarborough federal candidate visits Sri Lanka

Sept 8 (IT) She didn't meet Sri Lanka's president, and didn't go to the island's north as she planned but Marlene Gallyot said her mission as a self-appointed "goodwill ambassador" was still a success. Gallyot, who managed a second-place finish this spring as a Tory candidate in Scarborough-Rouge River, had said she wanted to meet Mahinda Rajapaksa to "build a bridge of friendship" between Canada, Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, the Indian state where she was born. more..

PMK slams India's move to help Lanka set up power plant

Sept 8 (PTI) PMK today condemned the move to help Sri Lanka set up a coal-based power plant, saying it only meant that the Union Government had chosen "not to honour" the state assembly resolution which wanted economic sanctions imposed on the island republic on the Tamils issue. Drawing comparisons between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's objections on the Teesta water-sharing issue and the assembly resolution, PMK founder S Ramadoss said while Centre more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 07.09.2011

Finger flickin' Mendis a must for Pallekele

Sept 8 (CI) In the wake of Australia's domination in Galle, Sri Lanka must turn to their finger-flick spinner Ajantha Mendis for the second Test. Suraj Randiv, their offspinner, not only struggled to get wickets in Galle, he was unceremoniously knocked about, while the little left-hander Rangana Herath shouldered the spin bowling load. Now, Mendis must play. How well I recall the first time I set eyes on the finger-flick man. Out of the fog-like mist of steamy Colombo in mid-2006 more..

Labor laws to be amended

Sept 8 (SL) Labor Minister Gamini Lokuge says the govt is committed to providing greater protection to workers and that more amendments would be introduced to existing labor laws to fulfill the workers’ needs. Parliament yesterday unanimously passed Industrial Dispute (Amendment) Bill, which has increased the fine an employer has to pay in the event he is found guilty in an industrial dispute from Rs. 20,000 to Rs 100,000. Lokuge has said the amendments would provide redress to more..

Top Chinese legislator meets Sri Lankan PM

Sept 8 (Xinhua) Top legislator Wu Bangguo met with Sri Lankan Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne and Samoan Vice Prime Minister Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo on Wednesday in southeast China's coastal city of Xiamen. The two foreign leaders came to the city to attend the 15th China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT). During his meeting with Jayaratne, Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, more..

Mega projects 'displace' landowners

Sept 8 (BBC) Fishermen and women, farmers and trade union representatives staged an angry demonstration in Colombo, complaining that ambitious govt development projects are displacing them from their land. They are particularly opposed to big new tourism schemes. The govt says tourism is a key sector in its post-war development plan. The protestors roundly criticised the infrastructure projects being built according to what's called the Mahinda Philosophy, named after the Sri Lankan president. more..

'Media limitations seriously damage country’s people'

Sept 8 (DM) There should not be limitations on the media as it would result in grave damage to the people in a country, the Press Complaints Commission’s Dispute Resolution Council (DRC) Chairman Sam Wijeysinghe said today. “The press being muscled in any country results in a lot of damage and we assure that freedom of the press prevails. Likewise the press has a duty to ensure the protection of the people as well,” Wijeysinghe said. These views were expressed at more..

Sri Lanka 'misled' world football body

Sept 8 (BBC) The international football governing body, Fifa, is not aware that the cash strapped Federation of Football of Sri Lanka (FFSL) premises is rented out to private enterprises. Fifa earlier said that it understands the HQ is solely used for the purpose of football governance, although renting out "has been the case in other countries." But FFSL says its headquarters is currently rented out to private business to cover the costs of running the game. more..

From Murali to Mendis, there's method in the madness

Sept 8 (BA) No country has in recent times produced more original cricketers than Sri Lanka. Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasinth Malinga, Murali and Ajantha Mendis stand out as the most unorthodox players of their generation. In that time, Sri Lanka has endured a civil war, reporters have been eliminated, the defeated presidential candidate languishes in jail, and the cricket community has for 15 years been run by interim committees. Maybe chaos can be liberating, maybe organisation can stifle. more..

GMOA refuses to accept private medical uni

Sept 8 (DM) the midst of protests by the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) which had refused to accept the legality of the private medical university in Malabe, the Higher Education Minister today vowed that the university will continue to function and that many more private universitiesof the kind will be established in Sri Lanka in the future. Minister S. B. Dissanayake said the Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), the first private medical university more..

China backs Sri Lanka over probe into humanitarian crimes

Sept 8 (PTI) China today assured its support to Sri Lanka to safeguard its sovereignty as the country gears up to face pressure at the forthcoming UN Human Rights Council meeting for a credible international probe into charges of humanitarian crimes during the war against LTTE. The assurance was given by top Chinese leader Wu Bangguo during his meeting with visiting Lankan Prime Minister D M Jayaratne, on the sidelines of the more..

Against all odds

Sept 8 (LG) The govt, particularly the Sports Ministry, should hang its head in shame for ignoring an international sports star who had to take the bus to her hometown Dambulla while the dime-a-dozen MPs are accorded luxury vehicles and security even when they travel for their private engagements. As reported by Damith Wickremasekara of the Sunday Times and reproduced by Sri Lanka Guardian, Upamalika Ratnakumari hails from a dirt-poor family not dissimilar to that other golden girl in athletics Susanthika who more..

Should the Government revoke PTA as demanded by LTTE proxy TNA?

Sept 8 (LG) Sri Lanka is not a fantasy island the TNA seems to think. We have a strong president elected twice with an absolute majority in the Parliament where no one can dictate terms to the Govt and for that matter definitely not TNA who represents only a small percentage of the Tamil population in the North and East. The LTTE proxy TNA has made two demands on the governments and they are (i) that the government should immediately revoke the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and (ii) grant a more..

Rajarata Viskam and Anurapura Udanaya 2011

Sept 8 (SO) The invaluable contribution by small and medium scale industrialists in the country should be commended. The economy in any country could be developed not only with the support extended by industrialists but also by cultivators and service suppliers. Therefore it is the duty of the governments to provide necessary assistance to all sectors to carry out their activities smoothly. The forthcoming `Rajarata Viskam and Anurapura Udanaya 2011', more..

India should revise its stance on HR violations by Colombo

Sept 8 (LG) Intervening in the Lok Sabha debate on the “Steps taken by the Govt of India for the relief and rehabilitation of the Tamils” on August 26, 2011 the Minister for External Affairs SM Krishna referred to human rights violations that had taken place at the end of the Fourth Eelam War and clarified New Delhi’s policy on the subject as follows: “It is for the Sri Lankan Govt to investigate and enquire into them and establish their veracity or otherwise through a transparent process. more..