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Govt. request for aid from Muslim countries

Oct 13 (SL) Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiutheen says the government has requested aid from the Muslim countries to resettle the displaced Muslims in the country. Bathiudeen has said that he and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa had explained to the ambassadors of several Muslim countries the circumstances under which more than 100,000 Muslims of the North became internally displaced. more..

Fonseka to get TV access

Oct 13 (ST) The Colombo High Court today directed prison officials to provide jailed former army commander Sarath Fonseka facilities to watch television as is allowed for other prison inmates. The court made this directive after his lawyers informed court that this facility which was given to other prisoners was not provided for Mr.Fonseka. The directive was made when the trial-at-bar into the “white flag’ case resumed today.

Sri Lanka News Debrief- 12.10.2010

Sri Lanka expects Shell Gas deal to be wrapped up in a month

Oct 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's government is expecting to wrap up the purchase of Shell's gas unit in the island within a month, Sirisena Amarasekera, who heads the state committee in charge of the deal said. The government is paying 63 million US dollars for a 51 percent stake in Shell Gas Lanka in which it already owns 49 percent and for a 100 percent stake in a storage terminal company. The government originally sold the then Colombo Gas Company to Shell as more..

'With minimum waste, SLTB can go for Rs 50m a day

Oct 13 (NF) “My target for the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) is to go for Rs. 50 million a day. We can achieve it by minimising waste,” said Kumara Welgama, Minister of Transport today. He was addressing a ceremony where a MoU was signed between the Sri Lanka German Technical Training Institute and the Sri Lanka Transport Board in a bid to further strengthen the relationship between the institutions. more..

'UN Sec Gen pleased with Sri Lanka'

Oct 13 (SL) Attorney General Mohan Peiris has said that the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had expressed his satisfaction on the situation in Sri Lanka. Peiris had made this comment during a meeting with the Chief Incumbent of the Getambe Rajopawanarama Temple in Peradeniya, Ven. Keppitiyagoda Siriwimala Thero. Peiris had also said the UN Secretary General was pleased with the activities of President Mahinda Rajapaksa for more..

Reflections on the Constitution- Part-5

Oct 13 (LG) Above mentioned incidents are just a few of the robberies reported in the news papers in the month of October. Beside these, almost daily stories of robberies are been heard from all parts of the country. What is more revealing is that several of the published reports mentions that police officers of various ranks are involved in these alleged robberies. In one instance, an ASP was caught with 8 other police officers, when more..

Drinking water from Iranaimadu to Jaffna Will Ruin paddy cultivation in Kilinochchi

Oct 13 (LG) The paddy cultivators of Kilinochchi, predominantly colonists, are highly perturbed over the Government taking steps to tap Iranaimadu water for drinking purposes in to the Jaffna District and Poonakari area. I strongly urge that you should suspend work on this project and before taking a decision have this matter fully discussed, with the concerned parties and experts. Being fully aware of the situation, I have a duty to advice you on this matter. more..

Rhyme, Reason, & Realism in Tamil Politics

Oct 13 (TC) As far as Tamil politics go, intrinsically and as a sub-set of Sri Lankan politics, the touchstone is not the 18th but the 13th amendment. More: the dominant trend throughout the political history of Tamil nationalism has been an absence of rationality and realism. Has the TNA failed the tests of both pragmatism and principle? A striking exception was Mr S Thondaman, a master of pragmatism and principled co-existence. more..

A note on a ‘labyrinthed’ man

Oct 13 (DM) In February 2010, not too long after Mahinda Rajapaksa was re-elected President, I pointed out in an article titled ‘Observations on the “labyrinthing” of Sarath Fonseka’ that men and women who have the potential to be great leaders suffer great falls because they lack omniscient eye, are humanly frail, are often blinded by ambition and sometimes too complacent on account of inflated sense of self-importance. more..

‘Resettlement process should speed up’

Oct 13 (DM) Resettlement is taking place at a snail’s pace. It is very, very slow, I must say. Today, I saw pictures in a Tamil daily depicting the plight of resettled Tamils in a village called Sannar in the Mannar district. In the name of resettlement, they have just been allowed to go back and put up a temporary shelter. The World Food Programme (WFP) continues to give these families food assistance. more..

54 Div organizes a 'Sramadana' at Mannar hospital

Oct 13 (MoD) In parallel to series of events organized to celebrate the 61st anniversary of Sri Lanka Army, 54 Division deployed in Mannar area conducted a 'Sramadana' campaign to clean the buildings and surrounding of the Mannar district hospital on 9th October. The 'Sramadana' campaign was organized under the directives of 54 Division Commander Brigadier Maithree Dias and over 100 army personnel participated for the 'Sramadana'. more..

Hand tractor skids and kills girl bathing at tube well

Oct 13 (NF) A 16-year-old girl was killed in an accident in the Gothameegama area in Kataragama. Police said that the accident occurred when a hand tractor skidded off the road and hit the girl who was taking a bath near a tube well. The girl succumbed to her injuries upon being admitted to the Hambantota hospital. In Nochchiyagama, anurse was killed and three others were injured in an accident more..

Great opportunity for the opposition!

Oct 13 (LB) I was against this war conducted to crush the Tamil insurrection. We are told no widows in the north, as war victims. That is the bottom line. Devastation has consumed thousands of people. That is why it comes under the category of a genocidal war. I firmly believe it was a war without heroes. So, Sarath Fonseka is not my war hero. Nor do I agree with his politics which I then classified as more right wing than that of Mahinda. more..

Our universities must be free of ‘union terror’: SB

Oct 13 (NS) Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake is in an open showdown with unruly JVP-led student unions in the university system that have held virtually the entire student body of many a university hostage. Dissanayake explains his vision for the Lankan universities to come out of their dark age. Q: If we look back, university students hooting the country’s leaders was quite common. more..

Reforms required for realization of economic expectations

Oct 13 (ST) Although the most severe obstacle to economic progress during the last three decades has been removed, rapid economic development cannot be achieved over the next decade without appropriate economic policies. Even though peace is an indispensable condition, it is not a sufficient condition. Among the other essential requirements is fiscal consolidation or the containment of the large fiscal deficits. more..

Sarath Fonseka jailed – but not nailed

Oct 13 (ST) The agitation to have Sarath Fonseka released seems to have acquired a momentum of its own from the moment the man was transported to the Welikada prison. The groundswell of public sympathy for the former army commander is palpable, now more than at any point before in the whole unsavoury episode, as the one-time hero is dragged down (‘like a common criminal’ as many protest) by a relentless process seemingly outside his control. more..

Boston Lanka News: Oct. 11, 2010

Indian fishermen encroach Jaffna seas

Oct 13 (TN) Indian fishermen are allowed to fish in the seas of Kaangeasanthu’rai and Kaarainakar where local fishermen are not permitted to fish for the last fifteen years, Jaffna District Fishermen Society representatives complained to Jaffna Government Agent (GA) Ms. Imelda Sukumar Monday. The GA had convened a meeting to look into complaints by Mullaiththeevu Fishermen Society representatives that Jaffna fishermen are encroaching Mullaiththeevu seas. more..

SLA continues to limit number of students into VMMV College in Palaali HSZ

Oct 13 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities in Palaali High Security Zone (HSZ) permitted only three upper grade classes to function in a small section of Vasaavi’laan Maththiya Makaa Viththiyaalayam (Central College) located in Palaali military HSZ in an event Monday when the building was officially handed over to the school administration. Though Sri Lanka government had handed the entire school officially in an event held with more..

Colombo stops construction of cricket stadium in Trincomalee

Oct 13 (TN) The Sri Lanka’s Department of Archaeology has instructed the Divisional Secretary of the Trincomalee Town and Gravets to stop work immediately on the construction of a cricket stadium in the Trincomalee esplanade. The directive was issued by the Department of Archaeology following the finding of a stone inscription from the site while the leveling of the ground was in progress. more..

Unleavened passion

Oct 13 (LB) Terrible. I heard paan-demonium reigned yesterday in Lansiwatte, and then from Kuppiyawatte to Sinhalawatte. A Lansiwatte chappie was in a row mood saying that he had been eating pebbles and drinking blood since the time of the Portuguese. I was sure the man should be arrested for blue murder, until somebody called me aside and said he was only figuratively speaking. In Sinhalawatte more paan-demonium reigned with one fellow saying “Weerawansa modaya kevun kanna yodaya.” more..

Editorial: Neva gilunath ban choon

Oct 13 (Island) The sinking Postal Department is on a luxury cruise, as we reported yesterday. On the World Post Day, which fell last Saturday, the postal big guns had a shindig aboard a ship called Jetliner. Trade unions are furious. They point out that the Postal Department, which is incurring massive losses, must avoid such extravagance. Interestingly, they have likened Saturday’s bash to Nero's fiddling while Rome was burning. more..

'Costly' bred is food for thought

Oct 13 (NS) The recent price increase of a loaf of bread has raised fresh speculations that people would opt for alternative food items. Bread prices have been on the increase for the past many years. But it has not stopped the public from buying it. Bread has been used by the people for many decades and is still the most popular breakfast item despite the price increase over the years. more..

Editorial: Just like cricket

Oct 13 (DM) When Sri Lankan cricketers took the ramp on Monday it made a difference. Not that they looked unglamorous otherwise but seeing them on the catwalk for a good cause prompted many to come up with some generous comments. As the curtain closer of the Delhi Commonwealth Games approaches one could not help but wish how good it would have been if the Sri Lankan government could invest resources on other sports as it does with cricket. more..

3 children raped daily in Sri Lanka

Oct 13 (ST) At least three children are raped in Sri Lanka each day, indicating that the incidence of sexual assault of minors is escalating. Statistics available at Police Headquarters reveal that 480 cases of child rape were reported between January and June this year, while 925 such cases were reported last year. An officer at Police HQ said Ratnapura district had the country’s highest number of child rape cases – 79 in 2009, and 47 in the first six months of this year. more..

A year after defeating the LTTE: SL Army gears for ‘peace time ops’

Oct 13 (SO) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) stands tall and proud among all the armies in the world after spearheading a successful military campaign against the 30-year terrorism and annihilating the LTTE, the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world. Today an army of over 203,000 men, the SLA celebrates its 61st birthday with a humble pledge to contribute all its might to make Sri Lanka the ‘Wonder of Asia’, more..

Legislators spar over New York ‘bar visits’

Oct 13 (NS) The no-confidence motion against External Affairs Minister G L Peiris and the imprisonment of former army commander Sarath Fonseka, who is also the leader of the DNA, altogether were hyped to create heated arguments and cross-fires in parliamentary sittings this week but in average turned out to be rather unflustered with most parliamentarians not attending the sittings. Of course, there were heated cross-fires between certain members from either side more..

Health Minister pledges to implement Bibile policy

Oct 13 (ST) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has given a firm assurance that Prof. Senaka Bibile’s National Medicinal Drugs Policy (NMDP) will be implemented soon so that all people will have access to quality drugs at affordable prices. Addressing the annual Senaka Bibile commemoration meeting organized by the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation and the State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation, the Minister said more..

Media questions the legality of Fonseka verdict

Oct 13 (BBC) Final interpreting authority of the verdict against former head of the army, Sarath Fonseka rests with the supreme court say a leading constitutional law expert Dr. Jayatissa de Costa. Chaiman of the Public Utilities Commission, Dr, Costa was addressing journalists in Colombo on Tuesday at the "Asidisi Viduwath Kathikawa" organised by the Ministry of Mass Media and Information held. more..

Now or never!

Oct 13 (Island) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes Sri Lanka has the potential to maintain sustainable growth and become an emerging market of tomorrow, but there is a lot that needs to be done. Sri Lanka was averaging 6 percent GDP growth each year prior to the global economic crisis where growth contracted to 3.5 percent in 2009. But there was strong growth during the first and second quarters of this year, at 7.1 percent and 8 percent respectively. more..

Courts Martial rulings accepted world over

Oct 13 (DN) Colombo University Senior Lecturer Dr Prathibha Mahanama Hewa yesterday said Courts Martial rulings are accepted all over the world including the United States and Canada. Dr Hewa stressed that Courts Martial are part of law in the US Constitution. Two top ranking military officers in India are being tried in Courts Martial and no one raises questions why they were being tried in Court Martials, he said. more..

Schools also at fault

Oct 13 (DM) Some 3,558 out of 6,964 public schools are being infested with mosquito breeding grounds, a study conducted during the ‘National Dengue Control Week’ from October 7 has found. Teams comprising health volunteers, DMOs, PHIs and the police carried out an island wide check to detect possible dengue breeding grounds at schools, private and state establishments, local government offices and residences in the last few days, more..

Rally calling for the immediate release Sarath Fonseka: Video and photos

Oct 13 (GV) The JVP organised a massive rally in Colombo on 11 October calling for the release of Sarath Fonseka from prison. Eye-witness accounts suggest over 3,000 people were part of this rally in the heart of Colombo, which took place in front of the prison where Sarath Fonseka is incarcerated. No violence was recorded. Mainstream print and electronic media coverage of this rally was abysmal in Sri Lanka, suggesting a very high degree of self-censorship on this issue, more..

Resettlement: TNA to meet Basil

Oct 13 (DM) The TNA yesterday said it would seek an appointment with Minister Basil Rajapaksa soon to discuss the proposed mechanism that aims to look into the resettlement of displaced civilians. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told the Daily Mirror that his party nominated members to this mechanism, but there was no progress. “The resettlement is done at snail’s pace. We want to raise our concerns with the Minister and President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Discrepancies in Frederica's notebook

Oct 13 (NF) It was revealed in court today that there were discrepancies amongst the pages of the note book used by the journalist Frederica Jansz, to take down her notes of her interview with the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, where he allegedly made a statement about a white flag incident. This revelation was made when the case was called up before a trial at bar at the Western Province High Court. more..

Galle Road to be redesigned

Oct 13 (DM) More parking facilities and special footwalks will be constructed on the Galle Road through the redesign and restoration process which would be carried out as part of turning the stretch on Galle road from Bambalapitiya junction to Kollupitiya junction into five-lanes, CMC Chief City Administrator Omar Kamil said. He said that this decision was being carried out as a step towards relaxing the traffic congestion on the Galle Road as well as more..

Govt to build 350-foot communications tower in Peliyagoda

Oct 13 (Island) The Government has decided to construct a 350-meter-tall communications tower in Peliyagoda. It would be a hub for private broadcast and television channels to enable their clients farflung areas to get clear signals, Director General of the TRC Anusha Pelpita said yesterday. The tower would be taller than the 172-metre Kokavil telecommunication tower, the construction of which was completed recently. more..

US in small business road show in Sri Lanka

Oct 13 (LBO) The United States is organizing a series of forums Sri Lanka country giving an opportunity especially to smaller businesses outside the capital to find out how to increase trade with the US. The 'Doing Business' seminar with assistant trade representative Micheal Delaney will off in Colombo on October 15. Similar events will also be held in Galle in the Southern Province on October 20 and in Trincomalee in October 21. more..

Canada's role in Thailand arrests queried

Oct 13 (CBC) Immigration advocates say Canada may have contravened international law if it had any role in the arrest of more than 150 Tamil migrants in Thailand on Monday, even if they were headed for Canada. Thai immigration officials and police raided 17 apartment buildings in suburban Bangkok, arresting 155 Sri Lankan migrants accused of being in Thailand illegally while awaiting transport elsewhere. more..

18-year-old school girl abandoned at Kandy Railway Station

Oct 13 (Island) An 18-year-old school girl from Mathugama, abandoned at the Kandy Railway Station on Sunday (10), was rescued by the Kandy police following a tip off. She was taken into custody and her statement recorded. The GCE A/L student of a school in Mathugama, she had told the Women’s Bureau of the Kandy Police that she met a woman when she went to a nearby boutique to buy a loaf of bread on Sunday morning. The woman had asked her the way to Kalutara. more..

Taking country towards development: New Govt after Nov 19

Oct 13 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said a new Government will be sworn in after November 19 to take the country towards development. He added that the country will reach a crucial juncture from which it will lead to development with the start of the second term of office in November. The President made these sentiments at a meeting with Trade Union representatives at Temple Trees yesterday. more..

Consider public suggestions for development work - President

Oct 13 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa advised State Administrative officials and politicians to take on board public suggestions and their needs when starting development activities. He told them to plan prudently prior to going ahead with any development initiative and to implement them successfully in line with peoples needs. The President was addressing officials during the Wayamba Province development review meeting held at Madampe, Chilaw more..

Sri Lanka halts stock trading after fall over 5 pc

Oct 13 (LBO) Trading in Sri Lanka's stocks were halted for 30 minutes after an index of liquid stocks fell more than 5.0 percent as an intensified sell off continued for a second day, driving stock prices down. The benchmark Colombo All Share Index was down 4.52 percent to 6,238 point in mid morning trade and the Milanka Index was down 5.09 percent to 6,757 according to Colombo Stock Exchange provisional figures. Stocks fell 4.4 percent yesterday after more..

Row over Rajapaksa's invitation to India Games ceremony

Oct 13 (BBC) Activists have criticised India's decision to invite Sri Lanka's president to attend the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony in Delhi. Sri Lanka's government said President Mahinda Rajapaksa would be the guest of honour at Thursday's event. The move has angered rights groups and the Tamil diaspora who are critical of Sri Lanka's human rights record. The Commonwealth Secretariat says the decision to invite Mr Rajapaksa to be chief guest was made by India. more..

Sri Lanka: No footprints on the sands of time

Oct 13 (DBS) The overall situation in Sri Lanka at the present time is not something anyone truly concerned about the land described once as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean can be proud of or be happy about. The decadent political culture deteriorates gradually. The corruption, nepotism,crime, sycophancy,the rise of the mediocracy coupled with the decline in democracy and rule of law are all issues that compel those who feel and those who think to cry out for the beloved country. more..

Maran calls on PM to discuss Lankan Tamils issue

Oct 13 (Hindu) Union Textile Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, on Friday called on Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and reiterated the concern of the DMK President and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.Karunanidhi, over the plight of Tamils living in refugee camps in Sri Lanka. During the 30-minute meeting, Mr. Maran told the Prime Minister that the displaced Tamils were facing untold sufferings for want of medical care and other basic amenities and more..

'Govt. demarcating electoral boundaries secretly'

Oct 13 (Island) The UNP yesterday accused the government of demarcating electorates secretively, in preparation for the next local polls. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the Local Government Ministry has unofficially directed District Secretaries to demarcate electoral boundaries for the next local elections to be held under the First Past the Post System. more..

Police ordered to arrest couples misbehaving at Galle Fort

Oct 13 (Island) The Cultural Affairs Ministry has ordered police to arrest couples behaving indecently at the Galle Fort Heritage site. A press release, issued by the Ministry of National Heritage and Cultural Affairs, said that Minister Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi had personally instructed the police to take action against unscrupulous and criminal elements making use of the site for their criminal acts. more..

'Govt. threatens to evict Colombo’s poor'

Oct 13 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the government had threatened to evict low income dwellers in Colombo City if they did not pay their rates within a fortnight. Addressing a public rally in Wellawatte on Monday, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the government had sent this warning in writing. He said the government had threatened to evict these dwellers as per section 252 of the Municipal Ordinance. more..