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'Even coconuts are out of common man’s reach'

Oct 13 (Island) Even coconuts have gone out of reach of the common man with a nut costing Rs. 40 or more, the UNP said yesterday. Gayantha Karunathillake MP, told The Island, that the government was claiming economic growth by citing various statistics, but the rising cost of coconuts had deprived the poor of even preparing the humble ‘Pol Sambol’, with which they used to eat bread. more..

Doctors to cripple Negombo hospital

Oct 13 (Island) The GMOA has decided to refrain from working at the Eye, ENT, Rheumatology, Medical and OPD of the Negombo Hospital with effect from today. Their decision follows the refusal of a female nurse in the Eye Clinic o comply with an internal transfer ordered by the Medical Superintendent, from the Eye Clinic to the Psychiatric Clinic. The GMOA warned that the boycott at the Negombo Hospital could spread to other hospitals as well. more..

Who could have shot Duraiappah?

Oct 13 (Island) Over three decades after the assassination of the then Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah, allegedly by Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has been told that the assassin could have been TULF stalwart A. Amirthalingam’s eldest son, Kandeepan, now living in Europe. The LLRC is investigating the collapse of the Norwegian-led peace process and more..

Notebook storm in white flag case

Oct 13 (DM) The trial-at-bar judges in the “white flag case” yesterday observed that the loose pages of the notebook which contained vital notes on the alleged statements made by Sarath Fonseka were different in colour and weight from the other pages of the same notebook. The three Judges Ms. Deepali Wijesundera Ms. W.M.P.B. Warawewa and M.Z. Razeen made this observation consequent to more..

Rajapaksa to hold talks with Manmohan

Oct 13 (Hindu) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is the guest of honour at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on Thursday, will hold bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on matters of mutual interest between the countries. An official statement here said that Minister of External Affairs G. L. Peiris will accompany Mr. Rajapaksa. “Professor Peiris will use his presence in Delhi to hold discussions with more..

Sri Lanka boxer wins bantamweight gold

Oct 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s Manju Wanniarachchi on Wednesday won Commonwealth Games gold in the bantamweight division for Sri Lanka’s first boxing title in 72 years. The 30-year-old from Kandy won a points decision 16-14 to beat Welsh teenager Sean McGoldrick over three rounds in a closely contested bout in which the scores were tied 7-7. Barney Hennricus won Sri Lanka’s only boxing gold medal at the 1938 Empire Games in Sydney. more..

Convener of Inter-Universities Students' Federation robbed in Jaffna

Oct 14 (LT) Mr Udul Premaratne, convener of Inter-Universities Students' Federation said that his travelling bag including mobile phone was robbed yesterday in Jaffna. In response to our enquiry on the incident, Mr Udul Premaratna said that a group of thugs snatched his mobile phone, camera and some valuable documents around 9 a.m. yesterday near Kopai Army Camp. The objective of his visit was to find out more..

Kuwait's abused domestic workers have 'nowhere to turn'

Oct 14 (BBC) "One day, she beat me, locked me inside the room, and also locked the outside door," a frightened and emotional Sri Lankan domestic worker in Kuwait recalls. "When she locked me in, I made a rope from bed sheets. I climbed down, through the window, from the second floor to the ground floor." Although Latha survived, many other women from South Asia have similar stories and have severely injured themselves while trying to escape abusive employers across the Gulf. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 13.10.2010

Sri Lankan government to intensify austerity measures

Oct 14 (wsws) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released the fifth instalment of its $US2.6 billion loan to Sri Lanka last month, cautiously noting that the government’s performance was “satisfactory,” but calling for further austerity measures to reduce the budget deficit. In a press statement on September 24, IMF deputy managing director Murilo Portugal focussed on next month’s budget, declaring that “the 2011 budget will be key to demonstrate more..

When I get bigger ...They'll call me freedom

Oct 14 (LG) The 2010 World Cup theme song has a striking resemblance to a different type of ball game played on a beautiful Island called Ladakawa. This Island is ruled by King Mahendra. He rules the country with an iron fist, closely supported by his family and brothers, popularly known as the Rajapaksha Samagama or The Kings Clan Ltd. All his subjects were rajapakshikayo, or so he liked to believe. Like many of his kind, King Mahendra enjoyed playing games. more..

President Vs the General – to be or not to be?

Oct 14 (LG) Sri Lankans, blessed as they are, usually are not short of humour in even the most difficult circumstances. Here they are equal to the British. Kotiyage valige is as good as the Bard’s to be or not to be fate poor President Mahinda Rajapakse finds himself in today. The Mahanayakas, now three, too are under pressure from all around and are urging the President to release “the National hero” - a pledge more..

Rhyme, Reason, & Realism in Tamil Politics

Oct 14 (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..

Is the SL judiciary ready to learn from the Ayodha case verdict?

Oct 14 (DM) Following the end of the war and the discovery of the body of Prabhakaran from the Nandikadal lagoon , the International crisis group in its policy report underlined that there is an urgent need for reconciliation and reform of the Sri Lanka (SL) judicial system .The International crisis group warned that the Sri Lankan judiciary is not working in a fair and impartial way that secures justice and human rights for everyone regardless of ethnicity. more..

'Sri Lanka losing ground in US apparel market'

Oct 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka is losing ground to China and Bangladesh in the United States apparel market, but the country can retain its place in the top end by banking on non-price competitive strengths, the island's top US apparel buyer said. "Sri Lanka has not recovered from China's surge in the US apparel market," Martin Trust, head of US-based Brandot International told a business forum in Colombo, more..

Mahinda Chinthanya observed in the breach in reconciliation

Oct 14 (DM) The Mahinda Chinthanaya is not just an election manifesto in the old tradition of such documents, the “Chinthanaya” seeks to be much more, it holds the promise of being to Sri Lanka what the “little red book” was to Mao’s China, the guidebook to public policy if not to quite to life. Clearly it is in the interest of President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the Chinthanya which bears his name, was his election platform and public mandate be implemented during his term of governance. more..

Asai Rasiah: Power of a painter and his paintings

Oct 14 (TC) Soft spoken and mild mannered, Asai Rasiah, the elderly art master, greets us warmly as we enter his humble home in the heart of Jaffna. Showing us the many paintings hanging on the walls, he leads us to his garden for an informal chat about Asai Rasiah, the artist. His eyes though, tell a whole other story…a story that remains etched in our hearts, long after we have left him. “When society is going through a particularly bad time, more..

Commander of the Navy stresses Importance of Training onboard Sailing Ships

Oct 14 (MoD) Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe stressed the importance of the training onboard sailing ships for the success of aspiring career Naval officers. He made this comment while addressing the SLN officer training contingent and the ship complement of INS Tarangani at the Port of Colombo. The sail ship training programme for 25 midshipmen of the Sri Lanka Navy on board more..

IOM Admires Army's Role in De-mining & Resettlement in Jaffna

Oct 14 (MoD) A three member high ranking UN officials met Commander Security Forces - Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe at the SF-J Headquarters Palaly to review the progress of de-mining process and resettlement of displaced persons in Jaffna. The delegation representing International Organization for Migration (IOM) comprised Chief of Mission Mr. Richard Danziger, Head Early Recovery/Livelihood Development Mr. Patrick Charignon and more..

'Jaffna soldiers now fighting a different war to ensure wellbeing of civilians'

Oct 14 (MoD) Soldiers and the commander SF Jaffna who fought against terrorism in the recent past are now fighting for the wellbeing of the war affected civilians and we must thank them for their noble effort " said Mrs Emelda Sukumar, the District Secretary and Government Agent Jaffna. She told the above in a function held at the Kopay Government Teachers' College to hand over wheelchairs and artificial limbs to physically handicapped civilians in the area. more..

Vasavilan Central College reopened for education

Oct 14 (MoD) Vasavilan Central College which gave knowledge to thousands of students and to Teacher Trainees at Kopay Teachers' College was reopened, Monday. School education of the students in the area crippled with LTTE's forced conscription of children into its cadre. However, Sri Lankan Security Forces were able to liberate the area including the school premises in September 1990. more..

A Brief Commentary and Table on the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill 2010

Oct 14 (GV) The Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill 2010 (Bill) proposes a series of changes to the laws relating to the election of local authorities (LA) that include Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas. A principal change proposed in the Bill is the introduction of a mixed system of First Past the Post (FPP) and Proportional Representation (PR). The Bill reintroduces the ward system, more..

Fonseka Trial - CCTV Camera’s installed

Oct 14 (LG) The CCTV cameras have been installed in the court house (HC No.1) where Sarath Fonseka's case is heard. This is practice is not done anywhere else in the world. Usually, it is not permitted to use camera’s within court premises when proceedings are taking place. The purpose of the camera’s seem to be to monitor what is happening in courts. Who monitors court proceedings? The behavior of lawyers and judges can be monitored in this way and later be replayed by those at the top. more..

Mahela refutes allegations against Hope Cancer Hospital project

Oct 14 (SL) Former Sri Lanka Cricket Captain Mahela Jayawardene says that the Hope Cancer Hospital Project initiated by him in 2002 in aid of the Maharagama Cancer Hospital is still ongoing, although the process is laboriously slow. Mahela refuted allegations that the project had been discarded or was at a standstill — as was reported by a number of media outlets — saying that his commitment to the cause remained strong, and more..

IUSU demands release of Northern youths detained or disappeared

Oct 14 (TN) Inter University Students Union (IUSU) president Uthila Premaratne said that a demonstration demanding the release of young men and women of the North detained by Sri Lanka government or gone missing is to be held in Jaffna, in a press meet in Jaffna town Tuesday. He appealed to the families of the youths detained or disappeared after arrest by Sri Lanka armed forces to join in the protest demonstration that more..

The order: Chase voters and stuff ballot boxes

Oct 14 (NS) Who burned the Jaffna Public Library is well known and widely recorded. None of the culprits had been identified and brought to justice is also accepted. The sentiments of the Tamil people was deeply bruised by the burning is also acknowledged. The Sinhala nationalist JHU too has acknowledged that the burning was an atrocious folly. Its general secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka, who donated two million rupees worth of books to the Jaffna Public Library on more..

AG questions J’ pura hospital payments: Over Rs. 171 million paid to 14 surgeons

Oct 14 (Island) The Auditor General has, in a query dated Aug. 19, 2010, questioned the payment of Rs. 171,320,168 to 14 consultant surgeons at the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital for the year 2009. The AG has also sought clarification from the management of the Hospital regarding the high charges on operations performed with hospital equipment in February this year, while hospital earnings were very low more..

Sri Lanka honors Christian writers

Oct 14 (UCAN) Christians writers in Sri Lanka have contributed to uniting society by helping people appreciate each other’s culture, says the prime minister. “They opened up avenues for people to find spirituality needed for coexistence, which we need so much today,” said Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne during the awards ceremony for the 2nd National Christian Literary Festival. The awards were presented during the Catholic Cultural Day event organized by more..

‘Franklin-Ness’ and ‘Mahinda-Ness’: Can we call them birds of a feather?

Oct 14 (NS) As a nation, we have participated time and again in what is called an election. Of course, we all know that those days of determination were preceded by months of campaigning, of platform oratory, debate, and demonstrations. All means of communication were used and as we well know, the partisans of each side wished to persuade a majority of citizens to follow their course of action and elect candidates of their choice. more..

Gender equality, health and survival indicators: Sri Lanka among top

Oct 14 (DN) Sri Lanka is among the top 20 in the world for gender equality according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2010 compiled by the World Economic Forum. Ranking at 16th place, it is above all South Asian nations and second only to Philippines from the Asian region. Sri Lanka stands above developed countries such as United States, Netherlands, Canada, Australia and many other European countries. more..

'The reforms may boomerang'

Oct 14 (DM) G. H. Buddhadasa, chairman of the UPFA controlled Kaduwala Pradeshiya Sabha and former president of the Association of Pradeshiya Sabha Members, said yesterday that the proposed local government electoral reforms might boomerang on the ruling party some day. Mr. Buddhadasa said that the ward system that was to be introduced under these reforms would have adverse effects on the SLFP which heads the UPFA today. more..

Editorial: The race has begun

Oct 14 (Island) It looks as if President Mahinda Rajapaksa had already launched his campaign for securing a third term even before being sworn in for the second one. What matters most in power politics is reaching out to the people at the grassroots as well as attending to their pressing needs in a tangible way, for it is their votes that matter at an election. The President is doing just that. He is conducting development review meetings at the provincial level more..

Jewellers should issue quality certificates

Oct 14 (DM) All jewellers selling gold, silver or platinum jewellery will hereafter be required to issue a ‘Responsibility Certificate’ to the customer to certify the genuineness of their product, said Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa. A jeweller is required to specifically meention the carat value or PPT (Parts Per Thousand) of gold, silver or platinum jewellery, their correct trade mark and the price more..

Editorial: Triumph of human spirit

Oct 14 (DM) In a world where wars rage and climate plays hell, Chile has offered a gleam of hope. Its extraordinary rescue operation for 33 trapped miners certainly speaks about man’s indomitable will for survival. The whole episode - which came at a time when the world was getting depressed about the war in Afghanistan, fights in the middle East, famines in Africa and the slew of natural disasters that rocked the world - has awakened the world to more..

Mervyn seeks divine help to keep SF behind bars

Oct 14 (SL) Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva had reportedly attended religious observances at the Badrakali Amman Kovil premises at Munneswaran and a special pooja at an Ishwara Kovil to call for divine help to keep former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka behind bars. A group of about 300 people from the Kelaniya area had reportedly attended religious observances and dashed coconuts in the Badrakali Amman Kovil premises at Munneswaran on Tuesday (12) to more..

JHU calls for resettlement of Sinhalese

Oct 14 (BBC) The JHU says that more than a hundred and fifty thousand Sinhalese families have been displaced in the North and East due to the war. Addressing a news conference in Colombo, Leader of the JHU Ven.Omalpe Sobitha Thera said that more than 150 Sinhalese families are stranded in the Alfred Dureyappa stadium and Railway Station in Jaffna, as they have not been allowed to settle in their lands. more..

New Haj committee for Sri Lankan pilgrims

Oct 14 (SG) A new committee has been appointed to oversee the Haj of 5,800 Sri Lankan pilgrims, according to Sabarullah Khan, the Sri-Lankan Consul General on Wednesday. The country’s Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs has appointed about 70 Haj operators to handle the pilgrims. The first Haj flight will arrive on Oct. 17. Alavi Moulana, the Governor of the Western Province of Sri Lanka, will lead the delegation, more..

'Govt has made mockery of natural justice'

Oct 14 (SL) President, National Lawyers’ Association, Senior Attorney Upul Jayasuriya speaking to The Sunday Leader said that the court martial decision could not legally affect the parliamentary privileges of former DNA MP Sarath Fonseka. “A court martial is not an established court under the constitution. It is neither an independent court nor a transparent public proceeding as is the case in a normal court proceeding,” he said. more..

'Sri Lanka should be re-assessed by US business'

Oct 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka should be re-assessed by US businesses after the end of a 30-year war as the country moves forward in a peaceful environment though ethnic reconciliation remained a challenge, a top US trade official said. Michael Delaney, assistant US trade representative said US foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka was only a modest 200 million dollars so far. more..

Measures to arrest egg shortage

Oct 14 (DN) The Co-operatives and Internal Trade Ministry plans to provide five million eggs to the market within the next few weeks to ease the shortage and rising prices in the country. This action was taken to avoid the upcoming festival season being adversely affected by soaring prices and shortages of eggs in the market, Minister Johnston Fernando said. Meanwhile, Minister Fernando has informed the Sri Lanka Small and Medium Scale Poultry Farmers Association to more..

Sinhala dictionaries launched

Oct 14 (DN) The fifth part of the explanation Dictionary of Sinhala, the Second Part of the Elliptic Dictionary Sinhala and 27th issue of the Sinhala Dictionary will be launched at the Sinhala Dictionary Office in Colombo today. The Dictionary launching ceremony will be held under the patronage of National Heritage and Cultural Affairs Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and the participation of Deputy Minister Gunaratna Weerakoon. more..

3D - Current Political Situation in Sri Lanka

Court summons students on Oct. 27

Oct 14 (DM) Kandy High Court judge Preethi Padman Surasena ordered to call for notices on October 27 to consider the request for bail for the four students under remand in connection with a flurry that erupted at a ceremony at the Peradeniya University attended by te Minister S.B. Dissanayake, on July 12. The four students said to have caused the disturbance on July 12, had been remanded and were refused bail on the 7th by the Magistrate court. more..

Wheeler-dealing vehicle yard busted after several years

Oct 14 (ST) An illicit vehicle yard that assembledbrand new-looking luxury and semi-luxury vehicles incorporating imported spares was busted this week at Tiththawella in the Kurunegala district, police said. According to police the multi-billion-rupee-racket had been going on for several years, with the chief suspect maintaining links with politicians and other top officials. At the time of the raid police found a brand new-looking Prado jeep, one van and more..

Sri Lankan minister says Tamils seek money not safe haven

Oct 14 (TS) Send them back. That’s what a senior Sri Lankan government official says Canada should do with more than 500 Sri Lankan Tamils who have arrived in the last year on Canada’s west coast requesting asylum. The aspiring refugees are being dishonest when they tell Canadian officials they fear for their personal safety in Sri Lanka, says Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris. more..

PC inaugural meeting soon

Oct 14 (DM) The inaugural meeting of the Parliamentary Council (PC) established under the 18th Amendment in place of the Constitutional Council, would be held shortly, the Secretary General of Parliament, Dhammika Kithulegoda said yesterday. “The first meeting would focus on the laying down of guidelines, regulations and standing orders of the five member council. “The Speaker, Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader are ex-officio members. more..

Negombo Docs return to posts on promise of punishment for stubborn nurse

Oct 14 (Island) The Government Medical Officers Association called off its trade union action, at the Negombo Hospital, following the Provincial Health Minister’s intervention. He assured them that disciplinary action would be taken against a nurse attached to the Eye Clinic and the acting Matron. Doctors attached to all clinics in the Hospital refrained from working in the clinics due to a nurse attached to the Eye Clinic failing to comply with more..

Govt. plans to plant 2.5 million trees in ten months

Oct 14 (Island) The Ministry of Environment will launch the National Tree Planting Campaign on Friday (15) at the Gonagama village in Wariyapola. It is part of the government’s plan to plant 2.5 million useful trees island wide during the next ten months. Theprogramme will be carried out under the direction of Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Environment. more..

'Media has made UNP scapegoat for fear of criticising govt'

Oct 14 (Island) The new media culture was to criticise the opposition and not the government, the UNP said yesterday. Lakshman Kiriella MP, said that journalists were scared to criticise the ‘powers that be’ because they knew what would happen to them. "So, instead of exposing the Mahinda Rajapaksa government’s blatant violation of the rule of law, human rights and good governance, which was the role of the media, more..

Sri Lanka donates two baby elephants to Korea

Oct 14 (GDI) Sri Lanka donated two baby elephants to Seoul Metropolitan city authority at a grand ceremony held at the Seoul Zoo Wednesday. Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa who is currently on a four-day official visit to the Republic of Korea made this donation. Sri Lanka’s donation of two elephants has earned wide publicity and goodwill about Sri Lanka among the people of Korea. more..