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Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister on the hot seat

Oct 1 (Forbes) Sri Lanka has been in the news recently for not the best reasons. After being the best performing stock market globally for nearly two years, investor sentiment is beginning to shift as disturbing news continues to emanate from that country. Earlier this month its Parliament passed an amendment scrapping presidential term limits and increased the concentration of power in the hands of the president. more..

Azwer, Swaminathan nominated to PC

Oct 1 (DM) UPFA national list member A.H.M. Azwer and UNP national list parliamentarian D. M. Swaminathan have been nominated by Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe respectively as their Muslim and Tamil nominees to the Parliamentary Council, the Daily Mirror reliably learns. When inquired Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said he would send the two names sent to him by the PM and the opposition leader yesterday to more..

Bill on nuclear terrorism to be presented in parliament

Oct 1 (DM) The government said yesterday that a Bill to give effect to the ‘International Convention for the Suppression of ‘Nuclear Terrorism’ would be presented in Parliament soon. Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukkwella said that Cabinet had given approval for this. This convention was negotiated and concluded on 1st of April 2005 by the UN Ad-hoc Committee on Terrorism under the Chairmanship of Sri Lanka and more..

US businessmen to meet in Sri Lanka

Oct 1 (IANS) A second annual conference to attract US investment to Sri Lanka will be held in Colombo Oct 12-14, giving business executives a chance to expand businesses in the island. The conference is organised by the Sri Lankan embassy here and the Office of the US Trade Representative, the US Department of Commerce, the US embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lanka Trade Ministry. more..

'Tigers' Become Tourists

Oct 1 (IPS) The younger ones in the group tried to imitate the older boys, in their teens and early 20s, who wear the latest fashion promoted by Hindi and South Indian movie stars – faded denim jeans, tight T-shirts, and oversized belts hanging nonchalantly around their slim waists. Alongside them, the handful of women wore brightly coloured ‘shalwar kamiz’ (traditional South Asian dress) that fluttered in the wind. more..

Returnees brace for monsoon rains

Oct 1 (IRIN) Next month's upcoming monsoon rains could spell trouble for thousands of returnees to conflict-affected northern Sri Lanka. The annual northeast monsoon rains run from November through February, and are usually accompanied by strong winds and extensive flooding. Inter-monsoonal rains have already begun in some areas. "I'm very concerned for the returnees once monsoon rains start," more..

Ranjan refused anticipatory bail

Oct 1 (DM) The Kandy Additional Magistrate yesterday turned down the anticipatory bail application filed by parliamentarian and popular actor Ranjan Ramanayake sequel to allegations levelled by a Katugastota school teacher against the petitioner over the alleged cheating of one million rupees on the promise of marriage. The Kandy Special Crimes investigation Bureau is carrying out investigations into the matter. more..

‘Drop in’ centres for street children

Oct 1 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority, has set up ‘Drop In’ centres for street children in order to provide them physical and mental development activities, NCPA Deputy Chairman Nanda Indrawanse said. Parents who need help for their children could contact 1929 to get details about those centres. These Centres have good library facilities and recreational areas, so more..

Literary famine over - President

Oct 1 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that the literary famine faced by the country for the past 30 years ended with the eradication of terrorism and the members of the literati have complete freedom for creative activities. The President was speaking at the State Literary Festival held at Temple Trees yesterday. This is the first time the State Literary Festival was held at Temple Trees. more..

Committee on Reforms and Monitoring

Oct 1 (Island) Senior DIG Gamini Navaratne says special measures are necessary to tackle waste, corruption and irregularities in the police department. He asserts that an internal mechanism can be of immense use to combat corruption. In a post-war era, combating corruption should be a priority, Navaratne says. A special committee appointed by IGP Mahinda Balasuriya is in the process of reviewing relevant issues, more..

'Consultants make millions while Sri J’pura hospital runs at loss'

Oct 1 (Island) Consultant physicians employed at the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital earn millions while the hospital is running at a loss, Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena says. He told The Island that the consultants had made it a big business while the hospital had been ruined due to numerous malpractices. The report of an inquiry, conducted by Deputy Health Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, more..

Anoma Fonseka rules out appeal for pardon

Oct 1 (DPA) The wife of the former army chief in Sri Lanka imprisoned for 30 months for violating tender procedures ruled out Friday an appeal by the family to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a pardon. Former army chief Sarath Fonseka started his sentence after being transferred to a high-security jail in Welikada in Colombo city late Thursday after Rajapaksa endorsed the verdict handed down by a court martial. more..

Thirty month RI: MR ready to review decision if SF appeals

Oct 1 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is willing to review the Second Court Martial decision to sentence former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka, MP, to 30 months rigorous imprisonment if the DNA leader appeals to the President. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that the President was ready for a re-evaluation of the recommendation of the Second Court Martial on the basis of a plea by MP Fonseka. more..

Sri Lanka stock's beat the world amid bubble fears

Oct 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed up 110.9 percent so far this year, becoming the best performing market in the world Friday, beating Mongolia Bloomberg data shows, though fears of overheating are emerging. Stocks in Mongolia were up 109.7 percent and Bangladesh was a distant third at 56.4 percent. Colombo's benchmark closed at 7,147 topping the 7,000 mark Friday. Last year Colombo stock rose 120 percent, ending the year as the world's second best performing market. more..

Sri Lanka, India local currency trade mooted

Oct 2 (LBO) Using local currencies to trade between India and Sri Lanka could reduce transaction costs and speed up cargo movements, an expert has suggested. Somi Hazari, former president of the India]ASEAN]Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said delays in clearing cargo could have serious repercussions for traders. Indo-Lanka trade continues to be in US dollars which is one of the reasons for high transaction cost, more..

NTUC to submit demand as budget proposal

Oct 2 (SL) The National Trade Union Center (NTUC) together with the Forum of Joint Trade Unions decided today (1) to submit its demand for a Rs. 8,000 salary increase for the working masses as a budget proposal for 2011 to the government. NTUC Head and JVP Politburo member K.D. Lalkantha told The Sunday Leader that the demand for a salary increase would be proposed to the government as a budget proposal by the trade unions. more..

Unauthorized structures being built at Sigiriya - UNP

Oct 2 (AD) Under the guise of developing Sigiriya, attempts are being made to build unauthorized structures at the historical site, said UNP Central Provincial Councilor Sanjeewa Kaviratne at a press conference today. He added that currently the area around the Sgiriya rock is being excavated in a large scale while 432 craters have been left following the digging. Approximately 300,000 bricks have been transported to the top of the Sigiriya rock he said. more..

Vengeance follows General to prison

Oct 2 (LT) The ceiling fans and the bed that were in the cell in Ward F in Welikade Prison where Gen. Sarath Fonseka is to be detained were removed yesterday before he was brought there say prison sources. The facilities of two fans and a bed were arranged in the cell for the former Parliamentarian for Colombo District Chandana Kathriarachchi who had been accused of murder. However, all that had been removed yesterday. more..

Karu condems Fonseka incarceration

Oct 2 (ST) Deputy Leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya said that by incarcerating General Sarath Fonseka and stripping him of his dignity, this regime has shown its callous and brutal hand, and the lengths to which it will go to seek vengeance from the man who dared to stand against them. “Day after day, at the hands of the present administration, the death bells are tolling for Sri Lankan democracy; more..

IOM delivers Indian roofing sheets for Sri Lanka's homeless returnees in North

Oct 2 (IOM) IOM this week took delivery of over 75,000 corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) sheets donated by India to Sri Lanka to provide roofing for some 6,200 displaced families returning to their home areas in the north. At the request of the Ministry of Economic Development, IOM will move the CGI sheets in 29 containers from the Port of Colombo to the Divisional Secretariats in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Jaffna, Mannar and Vavuniya for more..

SLA denies permission to reopen Central College in Palaali HSZ

Oct 2 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials in Palaali High Security Zone did not permit the school administrators to reopen Vassavi’laan Maththiya Makaa Viththiyaalayam located in Palaali HSZ which was officially handed over Tuesday in a event held in the school in the presence of Northern Province Governor Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, SLA Jaffna Commander Major Gen. Mahinda Kathurusinghe, Minister Douglas Devandanda and more..

'President who preached Buddhist philosophy at UN assembly takes revenge from his opponent'

Oct 2 (LT) The President who said the country should be administered according to the teachings of Buddhist Philosophy is taking revenge from his competitor at the presidential election says the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. He said, “4.1 million people who voted for Gen. Sarath Fonseka at the presidential election do not accept this verdict. Masses who voted for him and elected him more..

'While capitalism is confronted with its worst crisis China is achieving a massive development'

Oct 2 (LT) China has achieved a massive development despite capitalism that was considered as the answer for all victories is confronted with the worst crisis it has come across in history says the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. He said this speaking at the celebrations organized by the ‘Sri Lanka – China Friendship Foundation’ to mark the 61st National Day of People’s Republic of China more..

UN selects cops

Oct 2 (DM) 43 Sri Lankan police officers from various ranks were selected for peace keeping operations overseas with the United Nations after the UN Selection Assistance Team (SAT) from New York visited Sri Lanka recently. The Selection Assistance Team conducted the relevant language, driving and firing examinations from the 27th to 30th September, SSP Maxi Proctor, Head of the Fraud Investigations Bureau (FIB) who coordinated the selections told Daily Mirror online. more..

Anoma Fonseka returns after visiting husband

Oct 2 (ST) Anoma Fonseka who was allowed to visit former army chief Sarath Fonsek at the Welikada prisons today evening returned with the national dress worn by the army chief saying 'I can't understand as to why he was punished for winning the war'. Ms Fonseka, choked with emotion and pointing out at the national dress said he had been provided only with a mat and a pillow inside the cell where he is being held. more..

Now, Pak accuses India of giving birth to suicide bombings via LTTE in South Asia

Oct 2 (ANI) Addressing the UN General Assembly, Pakistani delegate Amjad Hussain Sial has alleged that India had supported terrorist elements in neighbouring countries and also helped to set up the most lethal terrorist organisation, the Tamil Tigers, which introduced suicide bombings in the South Asian region. While opposing Indian External affairs Minister S.M. Krishna's accusation that Pakistan was linked to terrorism, more..

Central Bank to loosen grip, slowly

Oct 2 (Island) The Central Bank said it would reduce a 1 percent general provision on existing loans at the rate of 0.1 percent over the next five quarters, reducing the provision to 0.5 percent. "This could release Rs. 8 billion to the banking sector, considering the present loans of the banking sector amounts to Rs. 1.6 trillion, and hopefully they would lend," Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told journalists yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 01. 10. 2010

Sri Lanka citizen's group outlines path to freedom

Oct 2 (LBO) A citizen's group in Sri Lanka has outlined harsh lessons from the island's post independent history and suggested ways to a regain lost liberties by re-establishing rule of law. The submission of the 'Friday Forum' group was made to a state-appointed 'Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission' (LLRC) which is looking into a recently ended 30-year armed uprising by a section of the Tamil minority. more..

Rajapakses and Tamils – Promises and Performances

Oct 2 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapakse addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on September 19 made many happy when he declared for the whole world to hear “no nation on earth can wish Sri Lankan Tamils more fortune than Sri Lanka itself” In the Island, in the world and in the diaspora opinion will be divided on this but the President deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt. more..

Who killed Alfred Durayappah?

Oct 2 (LG) The late Augustine Saverimuttu, Jaffna correspondent for the Sunday Observer was a daily visitor to my house which was Jaffna M.P. C.X. Martyn’s official residence and which had a telephone, a luxury in those days. He was given carte blanche to use the telephone to send his stories to Lake House. I still remember vividly the day in 1975 he came with photographs of the slain Jaffna Mayor showing gunshot wounds in the stomach. more..

The road to serfdom via democracy

Oct 2 (LG) Man, wrote Professor Arnold Toynbee, does not live just in the immediate present. He lives in a mental time-stream, remembering the past and looking forward – with hope or with fear- to an oncoming future. Toynbee was arguing the case for the study of history; why we should concern ourselves with anything beyond the range of our own time and space. The two World Wars and the present worldwide anxiety, frustration, tension and violence tell the tale. more..

Friday Forum submissions to LLRC

Oct 2 (TC) The Friday Forum is an informal gathering of public spirited persons committed to contributing to the future development of Sri Lanka within a framework of democracy, pluralism and social justice. The Forum brings together a diversity of expertise and viewpoints reflecting its membership consisting of academics, various professionals, retired diplomats and civil servants, educationists, leaders of civil society organizations and leading personalities from the business sector. more..

Making an Example of Gen. Fonseka

Oct 2 (LG) Sri Lankans, look and beware; meditate on the fall of Gen. Sarath Fonseka and realise the costs of impeding the Rajapakse juggernaut. Fonseka, war-winning Army Commander, scourge of the Tigers and Sinhala hero, is in the Welikada Jail. He will stay there for the next 30 months, engaged in hard labour, like any common or garden convict. Fonseka’s fate is symbolic and it is meant to be. more..

Horrendous fraud by the govt on the development of the North

Oct 2 (LG) Our investigative news ‘Government awards contracts to commission paying contractors in the North’ and ‘euroville given free hand by president’s brothers has attracted considerable interests from our readers. The news exemplified the cursory and underhand intentions and the rogue agenda of the government that hyphens it’s never ending publicity of development work in the north by playing the game of stunts and propagation of falsehood. more..

Police order Kalmunai Muslim youths to surrender weapons

Oct 2 (TN) Officer-in-Charge of the Kalmunai Police warned this week that legal action will be taken against Muslim youths who fail to surrender their weapons and continue to engage in unlawful activities. Kalmunai Police have asked the Muslim youths who underwent military training under the leadership of late Muslim leader M. H. M. Ashraff to surrender their arms to the mosques in Kalmunai immediately to avoid arrest, more..

Fishing in the Palk Bay and Indo-Lanka Relations

Oct 2 (TC) The question of the livelihood of thousands of fishermen on both sides of the Palk Bay has been vitiating India-Sri Lanka relations for several years. The India-Sri Lanka Maritime Boundary Agreements of 1974 and 1976, which ceded to Sri Lanka the island of Kachchatheevu and bartered away traditional rights of Indian fishermen, had always been a matter of concern for the governments and people of Tamil Nadu. more..

Standard time for Sri Lanka

Oct 2 (LP) The Government has decided to officially announce a standard time for the country under a gazette notification. The government decided to do so as the time on clocks in different parts of the island display different times. The standard time will be declared from 12 midnight from the 31st of December this year and the task has been vested on the Quantity Survey, standard and Services Department. GMT-Greenwich Mean Time is 5.30 hours ahead of Sri Lankan time and more..

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: E is for Eelamist

Oct 2 (GV) The word Eelamist (as adjective or noun) refers to a person or organisation which supports the Tamil separatist cause in Sri Lanka. Like certain other -ist words (Zionist, Islamist, Loyalist), the word is loaded with political connotations – an article of faith for some, a term of abuse for others. But it is also used in serious political discourse, for example in these quotes from Groundviews: more..

The curtain falls on defence services games 2010

Oct 2 (MoD) Closing Ceremony and presentation of awards for the winners of the Defence Services Games (DSG) 2010 was held Friday (1) at Sugathadasa Stadium Colombo with Secretary of Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa gracing the ceremony as Chief Guest. The Chief Guest was warmly welcomed by the Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Air Force Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunathilake on arrival. more..

Army flags blessing ceremony today

Oct 2 (MoD) The traditional army flags blessing ceremony will take place today at 6 am in the presence of the Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya participates as the Chief Guest of the event. The Army Commander, Security Forces Divisional Commanders, Brigade Commanders, Area Commanders, Commandants and Unit Commanders of all regiments of the Sri Lanka Army are attending the ceremony with their respective flags taken in a slow motion parade escorted by more..

'Whiskey and Kasippu, both equally bad'

Oct 2 (NF) Whiskey from England and kasippu brewed in the villages are both equally harmful to the human body, and about 300 deaths are reported per day due to the consumption of alcohol, says Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Health. The minister was making these comments at a function in Manampitiya, Polonnaruwa yesterday. The function was held to distribute farming equipment to farmers of the Mahaweli B Zone at the Manampitiya Cultural Centre. more..

Sri Lanka, India trade deal seen helping lure Indian investors

Oct 2 (LBO) An upgraded free trade deal between India and Sri Lanka can help the island lure more investment from Indian companies who are increasingly venturing abroad, India's envoy in Colombo said. The framework for closer economic integration between the two economies is provided in the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Arrangement being discussed between the two governments, more..

Editorial: Ayodhya – A universal verdict

Oct 2 (DM) It was definitely the judgment of the year, certainly the most hyped about and searched topic in cyberspace on Thursday. The air force was on red alert while paramilitary troops were sent to potentially vulnerable areas and the Indian government extended a ban on bulk SMS and MMS for 24 hours as a precautionary measure. Many feared that the verdict would spoil the Commonwealth Games as either way it was to spell disaster and more..

Editorial: Is 'literary famine' really over?

Oct 2 (Island) The war robbed us of many things and impacted adversely on every aspect of our lives. President Mahinda Rajapaksa pointed out on Thursday at the State Literary Festival at Temple Trees that terrorism had plagued the country for thirty years making many Tamil writers flee and the Sinhala writers lose their bearings. Besides, liquor bars and casinos had mushroomed dislodging bookshops, he said stressing that Sri Lanka's 'literary famine' was over. more..

Christina from Sweeden meets her birth mother in Sri Lanka after 32 years

Oct 2 (NF) Children are the most precious for parents and this is the story of Christina, who travelled all the way across the globe from Sweden to Bulathkohupitiya in Sri Lanka in search of her mother. Christina's mother, W. D. Gunawathie, a resident of Bulathkohupitiya in Kegalle, had come to the Ratmalana area 35 years ago to serve as a domestic aide due to financial difficulties. more..

TV/Print adds scrutinized

Oct 2 (DM) A special “Fraud Intelligence Unit” has been setup to monitor all television and print advertisements for their legitimacy and do the relevant investigations when the necessity arise, SSP Maxi Proctor, Head of the Fraud Investigations Bureau (FIB) said. The Intelligence Unit will create a database regarding advertisement and act as a preventive factor for fraudsters of many varieties who daily dupe the general public using advertisements. more..

Reconciliation the priority – President Mahinda Rajapaksa tells the world

Oct 2 (DM) “Excellencies, The entire focus of our nation, is now on building a lasting peace; healing wounds, ensuring economic prosperity and guaranteeing the rights of the whole nation to live in harmony. We are mindful that in order to fulfil these aspirations, economic development and political reconciliation must go hand in hand. Towards this end, constitutional changes which appropriately reflect aspirations of our people more..

'Crazy day,' says broker CSE rockets through the roof

Oct 2 (Island) The Colombo bourse rocketed yesterday on a Rs.6 billion turnover, up from Rs.5.8 billion the previous day, with both indices going through the roof – the All Share by 150.56 points (2.21%) and the Milanka by 276.34 points (3.66%) with Dockyard, Commercial Bank, Richard Pieris and JKH generating high business volumes. "It was a crazy day," Asmath Iqbal of John Keells Stockbrokers (JKSB) said. more..

Talks underway

Oct 2 (DM) The Sri Lankan mission in Egypt is currently having discussions with Egyptian officials regarding the Sri Lankan crew member onboard the Panama flagged merchant vessel which was hijacked by Somali pirates in early August, External Affairs Ministry sources told Daily Mirror online. The Egyptian officials are taking the necessary steps to expedite the release of the crew onboard the vessel as the Panama flagged merchant vessel is owned by an Egyptian company. more..