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Sinhala families in Jaffna: New land for the displaced

Oct 20 (DN) All Sinhala families in IDP centres in Jaffna will be resettled. They will be given new land, Resettlement Minister Milroy Fernando promised 150 displaced Sinhala families living in makeshift tents at the Railway Station. Minister Fernando told the families that he will brief to President Mahinda Rajapaksa about their problems. He assured them that they will get food, water and sanitary facilities and extra care from the Ministry during their stay in the IDP centre. more..

India cozies up to Sri Lankan strongman

Oct 20 (AT) As in Myanmar, so in Sri Lanka India's policy seems to be dictated by strategic interests rather than principles of democracy and justice. Its invitation to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi has earned it the ire of Tamils and pro-democracy activists in Sri Lanka and abroad. Rajapaksa's conduct of the war against the LTTE, especially in the final stages last year when more..

Rajapaksa wants consensus for political solution to Tamil issue

Oct 20 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has made it clear that any political solution to the ethnic issue should be preceded by consensus among Tamil parties. "Some (Tamil parties) had already responded positively. There are more parties than one representing Tamils and we look forward to consensus among all, especially on aspects of development," Rajapaksa said in Colombo on Monday evening, more..

Slideshow: Sri Lankans find a home in London

Oct 20 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government's 26-year war with Tamil Tiger rebels, which killed thousands, ended in May 2009. The bloody strife also forced hundreds of thousands of civilians, specially those from the Tamil community, to seek asylum abroad. According to Home Office figures 1,893 Sri Lankan Tamils landed in the UK in 1985 seeking asylum. In 1986 another 1,275 came to the UK and over the years more refugees seeking safety have continued to arrive. more..

Sri Lanka raises defence spending by six percent

Oct 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka announced Tuesday it would raise defence spending by six percent in 2011 -- broadly in line with annual hikes announced during the government's war with Tamil rebels. The government allocated 215 billion rupees (1.92 billion dollars) for defence in calendar 2011, according to official figures tabled in parliament Tuesday -- about a fifth of the national budget. Official sources say the state needs to keep defence spending high, more..

'Foreign-based Tigers trying to regroup'

Oct 20 AFP) Tamil rebel leaders based in the United States and Norway are trying to revive their defeated separatist movement, Sri Lanka's prime minister told parliament on Tuesday. Premier D. M. Jayaratne's statements came during a debate to extend a state of emergency giving sweeping powers to police and armed forces to arrest and detain suspects for long periods without trial. more..

SriLankan Airlines adds flights to India

Oct 20 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines plans to improve connections to major Indian cities by adding several flights to Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, a statement said. The island's national carrier, one of the largest overseas operators into India, will add three more flights a week to Mumbai, and one more to both Chennai and Bangalore, starting December 01. “We are expanding our operations to India," SriLankan’s Head of Worldwide Sales Mohamed Fazeel said. more..

Young Lankan invents jet engine

Oct 20 (DM) Taking Sri Lanka closer towards the building of its first ever airplane, Sudath Sunimal Perera a young aero engineer has created history by manufacturing the first locally made fuel efficient jet airplane engine. Sudath told Daily Mirror he had already received the patent right No: C25B 1/02,F42D1/00,H01M8/00 dated October 4 2004 from the office of Sri Lanka’s National Intellectual Property Rights. more..

Good times ahead for North

Oct 20 (SO) The AN-32B of the Air Force plane with a high profile US investor delegation landed at the Palali Airport after a 50 minutes journey from Colombo’s Ratmalana Airport. Still with doubtful eyes, as they were yet to explore the real ground situation of the once ‘dangerous zone’ which was badly hit by LTTE terrorism, had mixed feeling about the real picture of Jaffna. “Is it safe there ?”, the young female investor murmured while on board. more..

Private University Project in Sri Lanka

Oct 20 (LG) This has been an ‘on again off again’ topic in Sri Lanka for the last 30 years or so and now it seems to be ‘on again’ again for some time! particularly after Mr S.B. Dissanayake became the new higher education minister in June 2010. Although many commentators of the calibre of Dayan Jayatileke, Carlo Fonseka, Kumar David, Jehan Perera, Sumanasiri Liyanage, Malinda Seneviratne, H.L.D. Mahandapala et al, are busy at contributing to almost daily changes in politics, more..

Government fermenting racial hatred in the north

Oct 20 (LG) According to the state owned Daily News (Oct 19, 2010) ‘All Sinhala families in IDP centres in Jaffna will be resettled. They will be given new land, Resettlement Minister Milroy Fernando yesterday promised 150 displaced Sinhala families living in makeshift tents at the Railway Station.’ This unprecedented intervention of the nationalist Minister Milroy Fernando is expected to cause considerable tensions in Jaffna. more..

Training on Indian ships a boon to naval cadets

Oct 20 (MoD) Miles of ropes connected to a large sheet of cloth designed to catch the wind connected to the massive mast in the canter of the ship, may baffle anyone who boarded this ship which was anchored in the Colombo harbour last week. Dozens of midshipmen of the Sri Lanka Navy climbed the mast to have a first hand experience of catching the wind into the sails to propel the ship forward using miles of ropes connected to the sails of INS Tarangini more..

The wondrous thinking in our paradise island

Oct 20 (DM) Political situations, continuous rhetoric on how committed and hardworking each minister and deputy is, uncontrolled violence at the drop of a pin all appear to have become the ethos of our culture. The cost of living with the price of a coconut so needed to savour the much hyped and praised rice, the increase in poverty, the tamashas including a wap magul for good measure and the impending budget proposals , the demand for higher pay packets and more..

Looking for alibis, not action

Oct 20 (DM) I am no great admirer of Henry Kissinger. But his pithy remark, “America needs a strategy, not an alibi,” in a recent article on the US operations in Afghanistan sums up the situation. If you substitute India for America it would aptly describe the desperate straits of New Delhi in handling our own internal situation across the country, whether it is Kashmir or the Maoist and Northeastern extremists. Kashmir is in an undeclared “intifada” with more..

Sri Lankan war widows clear landmines for a living

Oct 20 (UCAN) Shantha Pushpanathan, a widow and mother of four, braves Jaffna’s land mines to support her children and her cancer-stricken brother. “How long could people provide food aid for refugees? Getting 20,000 rupees (US$450) handling explosives is better,” Shantha said with weak smile. Many women like Shantha have been forced to become landmine cleaners because there aren’t any stable jobs at more..

Yet another opportunity for the idiot savants of the Rajapaksa sycophancy

Oct 20 (SL) I would be most surprised if the two best-known sides of the coin of the Rajapaksa Sycophancy don’t dive in, off their high board, to take on the Nobel Prize Committee over its selection of the Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo, who is already serving an 11-year sentence for daring to suggest (with a few hundred brave countrymen) that the Chinese government needs to abandon its Stalinist governance of the world’s most populous nation. more..

Mahinda’s new cabinet: Same book with a new cover

Oct 20 (SL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa when forming his new cabinet of ministers on the last occasion, told the aspirants for the post of Prime Minister, that D.M. Jayaratne is being appointed as the PM only until November this year. After his swearing in as the President for the second term in November, a new PM will be appointed under the new cabinet, he added. One of the hopefuls for the PM post at that time was Basil Rajapaksa who is the present Minister of Economic Development and more..

John doesn’t categorically say he won’t join Govt. in future

Oct 20 (LB) Gampaha District UNP MP John Amaratunga says that as of now, he is firmly behind his party and has no intention of ditching it in favour of the UPFA. But, nevertheless he asserted that he was still unable to predict as to how the future will unfold, saying a possible cross-over to the government will hinge on the political situation at the time. He maintained that he was looking forward to being a part of the UPFA’s recent delegation to more..

Editorial: Saving children from 'liberators'

Oct 20 (Island) It is unfortunate that university students, in spite of their education and intelligence, offer their services like draught animals to carry the political burden of some bankrupt revolutionaries who dangle the utopian carrot before them. We have had two politico-military disasters in the southern parts of the country, one in 1971 and the other in 1987-89, and both occasions the country lost many students including schoolchildren like more..

Editorial: First ladies to the rescue

Oct 20 (DM) Despite being the wife of one of the most unpopular US Presidents, Laura Bush enjoyed an approval rating of 80 per cent as first lady. As such it is no surprise that Michelle Obama maintains an average of 70 per cent in ratings while her husband’s have plummeted to an alarming 40 per cent. Laura Bush no doubt was an epitome of charming modern woman – pleasant, intelligent, never too bold or backwards. more..

Local authorities election bill will reinforce two-party rule

Oct 20 (LB) The government’s proposed bill to change the local government elections system is being slammed on the grounds that it seeks to keep out minor parties and independent groups while reinforcing the two-party system. The Bill decrees that if a party or independent group does not get five percent of the vote in a particular ward, the votes cast for them in that ward are not counted for proportional representation. more..

Batticaloa Court orders removal of ineligible occupants in Muslim colony

Oct 20 (TN) Batticaloa District Court ordered the Secretary of Ma’nmunaipattu to immediately remove all who are not eligible reside in the Muslim Colony for tsunami victims established in 2004 in the lands of Tamils by M.L.A.M. Hisbulla when he was the Minister of Post and Telecommunication during former Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaranatunge with funds from Kuwait government. “The small parties are against it because it’s disadvantageous to them,” more..

'Unreasonable restrictions disrupt Varsity’s cultural activities'

Oct 20 (DM) A hundred and seventy six university students have been suspended and more than 25 have been remanded in the past 60 days while student unions and cultural activities are halted due to unreasonable restrictions and in some universities the administrators have created a network to spy on students and lecturers, the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) said. The Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon in a statement has said while more..

Sex education and HIV/AIDS

Father of Hippo herd at Dehiwala zoo dies

Oct 20 (LP) The oldest Hippopotamus who was at the Dehiwala Zoological gardens passed away due to his old age said Zoo officials. Aged 27, the Hippo was the father of the current Hippo herd at the Dehiwala Zoo. He was brought gifted to the Dehiwala Zoo by the Miami Metro Zoo under the Animal Exchange programme in the year 1986. According to records he was born in the year 1983. The animal had found it difficult to stand on its own feet on Sunday where more..

Enriched Samurdhi beneficiaries return their cards

Oct 20 (SO) Nearly 500 Samurdhi beneficiaries in Thalawa divisional secretariat division will return their Samurdhi beneficiary cards to the Government as they reached income generation level due to various programs implemented by the Samurdhi movement to uplift their socio-economic conditions. Handing over of cards will take place at a ceremony organised by the Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority (SLSA) at Thalawa to mark the International Day of Eradication of Poverty more..

Bill Oddie, most famous birder in Britain, tours Sri Lanka

Oct 20 (NF) Bill Oddie, arguably the United Kingdom’s most famous birder, together with Liam Creedon, a travel writer from the Press Association in the UK was on a wildlife tour in Sri Lanka from the July 23 to 28. The visit, hosted by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), was initiated by its British representation company Representation Plus. Leia Morales from Representation Plus and wildlife populariser Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne met more..

Lessons to be learnt and reconciliation

Oct 20 (LG) What are the lessons that we can learn from the so-called ethnic conflict supposed to have lasted for about fifty years? The first lesson is, of course, not to try to find solutions for non existing problems. The second lesson is to formulate the problem, if any, before attempting to find a solution. The third lesson is not to be either guided or directed in any manner by the western concepts and theories not only in social sciences but even in what are known as natural sciences. more..

Political justice and military justice

Oct 20 (SL) A Colombo University don’s speech on Courts Martial to the Media Ministry received front page billing in the Daily News on Wednesday where he claimed that Courts Martial rulings are accepted all over the world while referring the Courts Martial held to try former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka. The lecturer, Prabath Mahanama Hewa, had said that politics should be differentiated from law in such Courts Martial. more..

Sajith rejects ‘Grama Charika’, leaves for confab in India

Oct 20 (Island) Sajith Premadasa, MP says the recently launched Grama Charika programme, to strengthen the party at the grassroots, is nothing new. "I have been working in the deep South for years," he said yesterday before leaving for India to attend a four-day confab commencing today). He said that the party leadership had failed to realise that such ad hoc measures wouldn’t make any difference on the ground. more..

PCs: JVP isolated as UNP, UPFA vote for LG Bills

Oct 20 (Island) Despite reservations, the UNP yesterday voted with the ruling UPFA to endorse the Local Authorities (Special Provisions) and Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) at the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council. A spokesman for the Sabaragamuwa PC said that the Bills had been passed with a majority of 33 votes with 12 UNPers throwing their weight behind the UPFA group comprising 23 members. Two JVP members voted against the Bills. more..

PSD vehicle knocks down man

Oct 20 (DM) A 58-year-old man who was knocked down early yesterday morning by a Presidential Security Division vehicle at the Golumadama junction on the Galle road succumbed to his injuries on admission to hospital. The vehicle was travelling from Moratuwa to Colombo when the accident took place around 5.45 am. The victimKalu Banda is a resident of Walapane in Hanguranketha. He died on admission to the Kalubowila hospital. more..

'Captaincy criticism par for the course'

Oct 20 (CI) Criticism from outside the camp doesn't ruffle Kumar Sangakkara. He's used to it. But in Australia it usually takes something seriously wrong for an ex-player to break the code of support for the country's captain. During Australia's series loss in India Shane Warne targeted Ricky Ponting's fields and Geoff Lawson has called for him to become a specialist batsman. more..

Orders reserved on rights organisation's petition

Oct 20 (Hindu) The Madras High Court on Monday reserved orders on a petition filed by a rights organisation challenging an order of The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal rejecting its application for permission to participate in the tribunal proceedings. The First Bench consisting of Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam reserved orders after hearing the arguments of the petitioner's counsel, M. Radhakrishnan and more..

Uva to come alive with Deyata Kirula

Oct 20 (DN) The Deyata Kirula 2011 exhibition will be held in Buttala, Moneragala in line with the Independence Day celebrations, Economic Development Deputy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. The Deputy Minister said so while participating in an inspection tour at the location in Buttala where the Deyata Kirula exhibition will be held from February 4 to 11. Prior to the exhibition, a series of development activities will be carried in the Moneragala district. more..

President tells officials in Vavuniya: Serve public equally

Oct 20 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday called on State officials to serve all members of the public equally, without taking into consideration their caste, ethnic, religious and other differences. He told them to consider serving the public similar to serving God. He stressed that assistance to the masses should be distributed equally and advised State officials to impart their services without bias. more..

Sri Lanka discusses nuclear plans with US

Oct 20 (DM) US Ambassador in Colombo Patricia Butenis called on Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka on Monday and discussed Sri Lanka’s nucler ambitions among a range of other topics. The minister told her that Sri Lanka was keeping its options open with regard to the technology supplier for the country’s nuclear programme. He commended the US renewable energy policy and explained in detail the efforts being made by his ministry to veer away from depending on fossil fuel. more..

Patient tag for drug addicts

Oct 20 (DN) The National Dangerous Drugs Control Board said the drug dependents will be hereafter considered as patients who require treatment and rehabilitation. According to Board Chairperson, Leisha De Silva Chandrasena, the Board is ready to begin compulsory treatment and rehabilitation process for the drug dependents under the Drug Dependents Persons (Treatment and Rehabilitation) Act No, 54 of 2007 soon on the directive of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lanka's can have growth, low inflation if budget deficit is tamed: IMF

Oct 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's recently controlled inflation and an economic recovery can be maintained if state deficit spending can be tamed, giving ordinary citizens to engage in growth creating economic activities, the IMF has said. The IMF, in a statement issued following the annual 'Article IV' consultations with Sri Lanka commended the central bank for keeping inflation under control and stabilizing economy and allowing interest rates to be cut. more..

A Hambantota Indian consulate to monitor China’s string of pearls

Oct 20 (DM) When President Mahinda Rajapaksa is being sworn in for the second term as the President of Sri Lanka on the 19th of November , the ceremonial entry of the first vessel into the Hambantota Port has also been scheduled for the same day. While the Hambantota port project is being expedited with this in view ,the Indian High Commission office in SL is also agog with the objective of opening its Hambantota Consulate office swiftly. more..

Six hurt in Vavuniya bomb blast

Oct 20 (Island) An explosion inside a parked vehicle at Mill Road, Vavuniya around 8.30 p.m. on Monday caused serious injuries to six persons. The luxury car was badly damaged and according to investigations, the bomb had been placed under the bonnet. The injured were standing near the bonnet and were discussing a money transaction. Police suspect that the bomb had been placed by a militant organisation over a monetary transaction. more..

Murali says he has forgiven Darrell Hair for calling him a chucker

Oct 20 (CM) Spin wizard Muttiah Muralidaran says he has forgiven umpire Darrell Hair for branding him a chucker, but not quite former Prime Minister John Howard. Muralidaran believes Hair made a huge mistake when he called him for chucking during the 1995 Boxing Day Test at the MCG. However, Murali was at pains to point out he no longer had any ill-feeling towards Hair. "I have forgiven (him) and forgotten," Murali said. more..

TNA to give evidence before LLRC

Oct 20 (DM) The TNA yesterday said it would give evidence before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission within the next couple of weeks. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said party Leader R. Sampanthan would appear before the commission soon. “We are against this commission in principle. Yet, ours was the most affected community by the war. Therefore, we have to appear before the commission and put on record what actually happened to the Tamil people,” he said. more..

Sri Lanka signs US82mn hydro power deal with China

Oct 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state run Ceylon Electricity Board has awarded a 35MegaWatt 82 million US dollar hydro power plant deal to China, power minister Champika Ranawaka said. The run of-the-river plant known as the Broadlands project on Sri Lanka's Kelani River will be built by China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC) and connected to the grid by 2014. "The engineering estimate for the project was 102 million US dollar but more..

Ranil and Tissa to file objections on Nov 25.

Oct 20 (DM) The District Court of Colombo, yesterday, allowed the leader and the secretary of the UNP to file objections and answers on November 25, in the case concerning the two UNP MPs who voted in support of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and were consequently suspended from the party and subsequently sought an injunction restraining the party from expelling them. more..

Tissa admits limitations in UNP strategy asks for ‘a little more time to re-organise’

Oct 20 (Island) UNP General Secretary and parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake says the UNP needs some more time to reorganise the party in the wake of the defeat at the April 08 general election. Attanayake acknowledged shortcomings in their post-April strategy. He said he was confident of rectifying the shortcomings. Attanayake said that the party was ready for the forthcoming Local Government elections. more..

Doctors oppose clinical training of male nurses in Obstetrics and gynaecological wards

Oct 20 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association has accused doctors of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital of trying to cover up the sabotage of clinical training of nurses at the hospital by alleging that male nurses had entered the labour room. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said on Sunday that if the Government Medical Officers’ Association had "such a big problem with male nurses’ training in the labour room then more..

'Anura should resign and appoint Anoma for vacant seat'

Oct 20 (Island) The Deputy leader of the DNA Sarath Manamendra, on Monday said that JVP Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake should resign and offer his seat to Fonseka’s wife Anoma, if Sarath Fonseka were to lose his seat in Parliament. He said that though JVP member Lakshman Nipunaarachchi was the next in line to be appointed from the Colombo district list, he had no ethical right to occupy Fonseka’s seat. more..

To develop N/E, why is govt. reluctant to work with TNA? asks Suresh

Oct 20 (Island) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna District Parliamentarian and party media spokesperson Suresh Premachandran on Monday said that they were unable to state categorically why the government was reluctant to work with the TNA to develop the North and the East. It sometimes could be the thinking of the government after getting two thirds majority in Parliament. more..

'Switch to CFL and save'

Oct 20 (DN) Sri Lankan households can save Rs eight billion annually on their electricity bills by using energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said. The Minister addressing a public awareness program regarding the energy efficiency rating system for CFL bulbs recently in Colombo, said people should use energy efficiency electrical appliances considering it as a national task. more..