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Calls to revoke Rizana's death sentence

Oct 26 (BBC) Human rights activists have called on the King of Saudi Arabia to commute the death sentence of Rizana Nafeek who was found guilty of a murder of an infant. Describing the death sentence as "the ultimate cruel, inhumane and degrading act," London based Amnesty International has also questioned the judicial procedure in the Islamic Kingdom. "Trials in Saudi Arabia fall far below international standards. more..

'Govt. won’t bear costs of Norochchole fire'

Oct 26 (AD) The government will not bear the costs of the damages caused by the recent fire at the Norochchole Thermal Power Plant. The Chinese company conducting the constructions at the site will be paying for the damages caused due to accidental the fire, Minister Champika Ranawaka states. He said that the estimated cost of the damaged property has not been tallied thus far and a full investigation on the Norochchole fire is still being carried out. more..

VC vows action while student monks protest

Oct 26 (SL) Vice Chancellor of the Jayewardenepura University says that strict disciplinary action will be taken against the student monks who had allegedly assaulted university officials. Vice Chancellor Dr. N.L.A. Karunaratne has been quoted in the media saying that less than 20 student monks were involved in the assault. According to the Vice Chancellor, the act of several student monks has brought disrepute to other student monks as well. more..

Sri Lanka gets 20 bids for vessel monitoring system

Oct 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka has received 20 bids from vendors in nine countries for a satellite-based vessel monitoring system tender which will be awarded before the end of the year, fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne said. "We need to decide the system and also choose which satellite it uses," Senaratna told reporters. "We want a system where the transponders have two way communications and can send multiple messages a day. more..

'Afford Fonseka’s rights'

Oct 26 (AD) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva stated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa should afford Sarath Fonseka the same justice and fundamental rights given to him in the past by the courts. Speaking at a public petition signing campaign at the J.R. Jayawardena Centre today (25 October) he added that without the past intervention of the courts the President would not be holding his current position. more..

Hand tractors of ICRC distributed among Namal's favourites

Oct 26 (LT) It is reported that some two-wheel tractors which the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) expected to distribute in Mullaittivu and Vavunia Districts were allegedly distributed among people of his choice by MP Namal Rajapakse who attended the ceremony with a group of UPFA members, overruling the list of beneficiaries prepared by the ICRC. The ceremony had been organized by Ms Maryse Limonar, more..

Sri Lanka stx edge down ahead of IPOs; rupee up

Oct 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's benchmark share index edged down 0.8 percent on Monday, as investors cashed in to raise money for upcoming initial public offerings and foreign investors sold over 1 billion rupees' worth of shares, analysts said. Sri Lanka's main share index .CSE fell 52.66 points or 0.79 percent to 6633.33. It is still Asia's best performer in 2010 with a 95.9 percent gain as the island's economy rebuilds more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News - 25.10.2010

No charges 'for years' against suspects

Oct 26 (BBC) Lawyers representing four Sinhalese accused of supporting the LTTE say the suspects have been detained without charge for over three years. Senaka Perera, a counsel appearing for the "Sinhala Tigers" told Colombo magistrate court that his clients have been detained for nearly three years with no charges framed. The magistrate ordered the Attorney General to file a report after the counsels informed the court that army personnel strip search the more..

'World Peace' painting for Nagasaki Peace Rally from Sri Lanka

Oct 26 (UNI) Ono Hideaki and Nishifuji Masaru Executive Committee members of JPGU Kanto Branch visited Sri Lanka to participate at the UNI Apro JPGU Scholarship Award Ceremony. Japanese Postal Unions have been supporting the children of postal employees by way of a scholarship scheme. UNI affiliates in Postal sector UPTO and NPTWU members children receive ten scholarships bi-annualy since 2000. more..

IDPs now down to 18,799

Oct 26 (GDI) The total number of IDPs in the Vavuniya relief villages has dropped to 17, 641 by end last week due to the Government’s speedy resettlement programme, the Ministry of Resettlement stated. In addition, 1158 IDPs remain in Jaffna bringing the total number of IDPs to 18, 799. Now the resettlement of these IDP are taking place regularly. In the last stage of the Eelam war around 280,000 people fled the LTTE and more..

President to write to Saudi King on Rizana

Oct 26 (BBC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to make a direct appeal to King of Saudi Arabia to revoke the death sentence imposed upon Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek, a foreign ministry official told BBC Sandeshaya. The appeal comes after the Saudi Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by the parents of the Sri Lankan maid against the death sentence imposed by a high court in 2007. Human rights activists have also called on the King Abdullah to commute the death sentence. more..

Cartoon dialogues under probe

Oct 26 (DN) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday special attention will be focused on certain dialogues used when television cartoon programs are being dubbed into Sinhala, which the Minister noted was of a substandard quality. He stressed that TV commercials, tele dramas and other programs that pervert the minds of the young should be banned adding that if this continues the harm it could do to young minds would be more damaging than the drug business more..

Channel 4 has failed to counter the challenge made on Doctored Photographs

Oct 26 (GDI) With the prime motive of vilifying Sri Lanka and its people certain International Non-Governmental Organisations are carrying out a malicious campaign against Sri Lanka. The recent release of some photographs by organisation calling themselves they are humanitarian organisation was one such incident. The photographs released was doctored photographs similar to more..

Krishanthy and Koneswary’s gang rapes repeated with Aneeta’s rape by the army’s Ranjith group!

Oct 26 (LG) Under heavy international pressure, the former President of Sri Lanka Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranayake allowed the excavation of the mass burials of Tamils killed by the army in Chemmany in Jaffna and permitted legal process to deal with the gang rape and brutal murder of a school girl Krishanthy Cumarasamy. Krishanthy’s mother and brother who went in search of her too were killed by more..

History lessons at LLRC and not war crimes: it will only report to President

Oct 26 (LG) The eight member LLRC is not mandated to make its findings public. It has been given a six month period to complete its task and present the report to the President himself. What he does with the report is nobody’s business least of all the media, human rights groups and those who were directly affected by the war which ended on May 19, 2009. The government allocated an initial sum of Rs10 million and so far, more..

'No private buses to university students for protests'

Oct 26 (NF) The Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association has taken a decision not to hire out buses to transport university students to take part in protests. “In the even the university students need to hire buses for other purposes, they will have to provide a certification, said the Chairman of the Association Gemunu Wijeratne during a media briefing convened yesterday. more..

521 Brigade takes students & teachers on trip to Kandy

Oct 26 (MoD) The Headquarters of 521 Brigade in Nagar Kovil arranged a three-day education trip to Kandy for 53 students and 7 teachers of Government Mixed Tamil Maha Vidyalaya last week. During the trip, students could learn about ancient arts and crafts at Gadaladeniya temple, Ambekke Devala of God Skandha and Sri Murugan Kovil. In addition, they worshipped Sri Dalada Maligava (Temple of the Tooth) Kandy and more..

War is definitely savage though “accusations” differ

Oct 26 (GV) The latest WikiLeaks “dump” of around 400,000 US classified war reports on Iraq from 2003 to 2009, the biggest “war leaks” ever in US history, reveals how inhuman and savage the war is, never mind who conducts it and where. A few months ago in July this year, WikiLeaks’ first dump of over 90,000 US classified reports on the Afghan war, also revealed the insanity in waging war. With this second enormously huge “leak”, more..

Challenge to good governance posed by budget

Oct 26 (LG) The government’s second budget after the end of the war has seen proposed appropriations that give the first place to the defence, and that by a very wide margin. By way of comparison, the defence appropriation of Rs. 215 billion dwarfs the resettlement appropriation of Rs 1.7 billion. It also dwarfs the second largest component of the budget which is Economic Development, which obtained Rs. 75 billion. more..

Workshop on Mass Media for Armed Forces and Police

Oct 26 (LP) With the aim of providing a basic knowledge to the Armed Forces and Police the Media Centre for National Security has implemented a workshop to educate on basic theories and concepts of Mass Media. This workshop was opened today (25) at the Japanese Cultural Center in Colpetty by the directions of Lakshman Hulugalle the Director General of the Media Centre for National Security and all equipment was facilitated by Military spokesman Major General Ubaya Madawela. more..

Sri Lanka to hand over its 2nd ship to India

Oct 26 (LP) Colombo Dockyard PLC will hand over the second passenger ship built by Sri Lanka to India next week. According to the Colombo Dockyard the ship built in Sri Lanka is worth over Rs. 02 billion. Colombo Dockyard delivered MV Arabian Sea, the first of two passenger-cum-cargo vessels ordered by the Administration of Union Territories of Lakshadweep, India in January this year. MV Arabian Sea is the first and the largest sea going 250-passenger ship constructed in Sri Lankan more..

Ravi K pushing for consensual politics, stronger opposition

Oct 26 (NS) Q: In the latest cross talk between the UNP and the JVP, you had accused them of trying to exploit the Fonseka case, but the latter says that it is your party that has been playing double games all along. Even on the proposed local government electoral reforms, while your general secretary condemned the reforms at a media briefing, the party’s provincial council members have voted to approve them. more..

‘Good’ of the Sinhalas, ‘Good’ of the Tamils!

Oct 26 (DM) In New Delhi, recently, External Affairs Minister G L Peiris reiterated President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s resolve to take the Tamils ‘on board’ ahead of finding a political solution to the ethnic issue in native Sri Lanka. It can be safely assumed that it was also what the President told Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the course of their official talks when the former was in New Delhi for the valedictory function of the Commonwealth Games. more..

Why Fonseka must suffer ignominy

Oct 26 (NS) There was a photograph doing the rounds on the Internet recently. It was of Sarath Fonseka. In prison fatigues. In a line with other prisoners. ‘Hard-labouring’ with mop and pail or something like this, I was told. There were hundreds of comments. Some expressed sadness, some horror, some took objection to what was believed was an unpardonable way of treating a war hero. Some reflected on the rise and fall of Sarath Fonseka. more..

If Sarath Fonseka can be treated this way then what could be the plight of ordinary Tamil or Sinhala persons?

Oct 26 (TC) Hon. Deputy Chairman of Committees, At the determinations of salaries for judges of superior court, when those salaries and allowance are being raised and right at the outset I wish to state that we agree with the motion for the determinations that have been placed before the house. The salaries of judges are an important component that ensures independence of the judiciary. more..

Only 20% of vehicles abandoned during war can be returned to owners

Oct 26 (TN) Some of the vehicles abandoned by their owners during the war on Vanni are found fit enough to be handed over to the owners, Ki’linochchi Government Agent (GA) said. A team of motor vehicle inspection has identified 2050 motor cycles and 250 vehicles of other types as fit to return, the GA said. The owners have to produce a copy of the complaint made to local police and the documents of ownership to claim their vehicles. more..

TNPF opposes new local government elections bill

Oct 26 (TN) Former Jaffna district MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam said that TNPF would oppose the proposed new local government elections bill by Sri Lanka government in a press briefing held at the party office in Jaffna Sunday. Meanwhile, TNA which had also expressed its strong opposition to the said bill will file a petition against it Monday in the High Court, according to the announcement made by TNA Jaffna parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah. more..

Sri Lanka - Citibank oil derivative arbitration to start in Singapore

Oct 26 (LBO) Arbitration proceedings of disputed oil derivative contracts between Sri Lanka's state-run run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Citibank will start in Singapore on November 01, a top official said. Sri Lanka has disputed oil derivative contracts sold to the by Citibank, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank and two Sri Lankan banks; state-run People's Bank and privately owned Commercial Bank of Ceylon. more..

Hidden Agendas

Oct 26 (LG) A weekend paper published an interview with Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe who is determined to prove that human rights NGOs have a hidden agenda to cause as much trouble for Sri Lanka as possible. So, yes I confess, I did have a hidden agenda but I have now been encouraged to bring it out into the open. Do I want to overthrow the government of Mahinda Rajapakse? Well yes, I do, but it's a bit difficult when you live several thousand miles away and more..

TVS unit enters Sri Lanka’s solid tire industry

Oct 26 (PTI) Sun Tyre & Wheel Systems, part of India´s TVS Group, has acquired Watts Lanka Pvt. Ltd., a solid industrial tire maker in Colombo. Watts Lanka Pvt. Ltd. was a joint venture between Watts Tyres Ltd. of England and KVK Invest JSC of Bulgaria, principal shareholder in Balkancar Zarya P.L.C. The acquisition of the Sri Lankan company will not only add much-needed capacity and considerably ease delivery pressures, more..

Videos to identify campus ‘saboteurs’

Oct 26 (NS) The Higher Education Ministry is planning to launch a `special operation’ to identify students with designs to create chaos with a view to sabotaging the university system in the country, sources said last night. Under this operation, recalcitrant students will be identified with the aid of video tapes depicting student agitations and eye-witness evidence. The offenders will be dealt with more..

Editorial: Hybridism to stop manapa poraya

Oct 26 (NS) In a country where political paradoxes abound, nothing should surprise the student of statecraft. Yet, we observe strange political alliances emerging in recent times over the issue of local government elections. It was the ruling UPFA which mooted the concept of reverting to the Westminster style, first-past-the-post system for these polls, albeit in hybrid with the proportional representation (PR) system. more..

Editorial: Transport woes

Oct 26 (DM) The improvement in the quality and the extent of the road network and the drastic cuts in vehicle taxes have prompted more and more people to buy their own vehicles creating a slow but sustained drop in the number using public transport. However still half of the newly convert still would have preferred to stay with public transport had there been a decent service, one that would meet the expectations of the middle class. more..

Socialist Youth Union ready to take to the streets on behalf of unemployed youth

Oct 26 (LT) Socialist Youth Union has decided to engage in campaigns to demand the government to set up a programme to provide employment to hundreds and thousands of unemployed youth in the country says National Organizer of the Socialist Youth Union Bimal Ratnayake. Speaking at a media conference held in Colombo he said, “Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse has presented four budgets by now. more..

Editorial: Avert a ‘Tiananmen’ type disaster here

Oct 26 (Island) The Sri Jayewardenepura University has been plunged into chaos once again over an incident on Sunday night at a Bhikku hostel on the campus. Vice Chancellor Dr. N. L. A. Karunaratne has told this newspaper that a group of Bhikku undergraduates set upon some university officials accompanying him on an official visit. Monks say it was they who were roughed up and the university authorities are trying to mislead the public. more..

Principal by ‘political diktat’

Oct 26 (NS) Believe it or not, a principal has been appointed to a leading girls’ school in Kalmunai just 10 days after the advertisement was published and 10 days prior to the closing date of applications and without a single interview being held for the post. Eastern Province Education Ministry secretary H K U K Weerawardene had called application from candidates to be appointed as principal to Km/Mahmud Ladies College, Kalmunai in the Tamil weekly Veerakesari more..

Chinese Hush-Hush: Guess the costs?

Oct 26 (LB) It is no secret that the People’s Republic of China has granted — and continues to offer — massive amounts of loan aid to Sri Lanka. It is also no secret that China is financing all of Sri Lanka’s largest infrastructure projects including the Hambantota port, the Puttalam coal power plant, the reconstruction of Northern roads, the Mattala airport and the Colombo-Katunayake expressway. more..

A Texan Tamil's Jambu-stained words hurled at the Sri Lankan President

Oct 26 (TC) It is with deep pain and a sense of futility that I read the seemingly well-articulated "ataappali" of my fellow Tamil George Willy in Texas, directed at President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his visit to the US. However, as an old man who grew up during the Donoughmore era, I am probably several decades older than Willy, and heard fine speeches from the silver tongues of the Ramanathans and Ponnambalams of an earlier era. more..

Rs. 55bn govt. debt retired

Oct 26 (Island) Assistant Governor C.J.P. Siriwardena said Treasury bills amounting to Rs. 55 billion had been retired after the proceeds of the US$ 1 billion sovereign bond issue was realised. "The purpose of the sovereign bond issue was to restructure public debt and also finance capital expenditure requirements. During the road shows to promote the bond issue we told investors that 50 percent of the proceeds raised from the issue would be used to retire high yield short term debt," more..

Interview III - Tami Tamitegama

‘Kalawana crisis’ in spotlight as opposition challenges ‘flawed’ process

Oct 26 (NS) The incarceration of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka has had many repercussions but an interesting legal conundrum has been emerging over the past few days: the fate of Fonseka’s seat in parliament. Officially, the government’s position is that Fonseka has forfeited his seat after being found guilty at the second court martial and being handed down a sentence of thirty months’ imprisonment. In accordance with this, more..

GMOA accuses Health Ministry of favouring nurses

Oct 26 (Island) The Government Medical Officers Association yesterday charged that 40 duties assigned to nurses have been illegally deleted from the Nurses’ Service Minute leaving them with a mere 14. The GMOA accused the Health Ministry of amending the Minute with the help of some nurses’ trade unions. Health services will be seriously affected if the Minute is adopted in the present form, it said. Dr. H. Epa, a committee member of the GMOA, said that more..

Electricity on pre-paid basis

Oct 26 (DN) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) will be able to provide a new system that enables the public to obtain electricity on a pre-paid basis in future. The public will be able to check the current electricity bill and pay the bill on-line using this system, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. A new tariff is to be introduced from January next year based on the recommendations of the Public Utilities Commission. more..

No names of nominees yet: Speaker

Oct 26 (DM) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said yesterday President Mahinda Rajapaksa had still not sent him the names of members who would serve in the seven independent commissions. He said the first meeting of the Parliamentary Council (PC) which would observations on these appointments would be held after the names of the members of the independent commissions were announced. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution passed on September 8 more..

Weapons found in tea plantation

Oct 26 (Island) The Terrorist Investigation Division of the Central Division based in Kandy on Saturday, unearthed parts of T56 fire arms from a tea plantation at Talawakele in the Nuwara-Eliya district. The police team led by the OIC of the Unit, IP Saman Yatawara, were recovered same after a two day search operation in the plantation. A youth aged 28-years was suspected of concealing the weapons that were part of the arms and ammunition brought down from more..

Sri Lanka on threshold of recording highest ever remittances

Oct 26 (Island) Sri Lanka is to record the highest ever foreign remittances in her history by the end of this year, the Central Bank said yesterday. Senior Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Dharma Dheerasinghe said that the government expects the remittances to increase by US$ 500 million by the end of this year. The highest recorded remittances earned so far was in 2009, when the country earned US$ 3.3 billion, more..

Whips query on Central bank

Oct 26 (DM) Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardane and Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga yesterday queried from President Mahinda Rajapaksa as to why the Central Bank requested people to exercise due care when depositing their money with the banks and the financial institutions authorized by it. Mr. Amaratunga, having read the Daily Mirror news item in this regard, had requested Mr. Gunawardane to direct this question at the President at more..

Student unrest at Rajarata Uni.

Oct 26 (DM) A group of students of the Rajarata University yesterday stormed the university and assaulted five female students who were sitting for the examination at the faculty of Management Studies and had caused damage to the lecture room, a University official said. The Registrar of Rajarata University A.G.Karunaratne said the same attackers had put road blocks in the premises burning tyres. The female students who were beaten had gone to Mihintale Police and lodged complaints. more..

Year after death, LTTE chief's case closed

Oct 26 (TOI) The LTTE supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, is no more the prime accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. In the first official acknowledgment by India of the LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran's death, a designated court for Tada cases in Chennai has dropped all charges against him, on the basis of a CBI report. "The case against the absconding accused A1 Prabhakaran, A2 Pottu Amman is hereby dropped and more..