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Mahawa homeless family gets house on World Habitat Day

Oct 4 (Island) To mark the World Habitat Day which falls on Oct. 4, Minister of Construction Engineering Services, Housing and Public Utilities Wimal Weerawansa has decided to provide a house for a mother with five children at Mahawa in the Kurunegala District. The minister had met the recipient Mrs. Veeraiah Walliamma and her children at the Ministry Auditorium at Sethsiripaya and instructed the officials to build a house for them. more..

The ‘Socialist Democratic Republic of who cares Sri Lanka’

Oct 4 (LB) Now we have news that, in a cabinet reshuffle due next month, five deputy ministers are to be allotted portfolios. This will instantly raise the number of ministers from 41 to 46. It is reported too that two UNP parliamentarians who recently changed sides will receive ministerial posts while the SLMC will get one in exchange for supporting the 18th Amendment. That would take the total up to 49. more..

Mahinda, Nimal to respond to Dr. JJ’s allegations at Geneva meet

Oct 4 (Island) The government will make representations to the Human Rights Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva on Monday as regards the circumstances that led to the incarceration of DNA leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka. The government delegation comprises Ministers Mahinda Samarasinghe and Nimal Siripala de Silva and MP Nirupama Rajapaksa. Minister Samarasinghe alleged that the ‘bankrupt Opposition’ was making an attempt to deceive the international community more..

Inflation,interest rates too high?

Oct 4 (Island) Being a developing country, Sri Lanka will continue to have high budget deficits in order to spur economic growth and this is why inflation and interest rates would be higher than in developed countries as the government borrows to cover its deficit. But as the country develops, inflation and interest rates would begin to fall. Central Bank Deputy Governor K.G.D.D. Dheerasinghe said inflation and interest rates in Sri Lanka were too high. more..

Irate UNPers force Ranil to leave Galle meet

Oct 4 (Island) Beleaguered UNP and Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was forced to leave an internal party confab at former Galle District UNP MP Vajira Abeywardena’s residence at Uluvitige, Galle, yesterday by a group of irate party organisers and their supporters. Those present at the meeting told The Island that Wickremesinghe had been repeatedly interrupted and heckled until he walked out of the meet accompanied by his body guards. more..

US road map for GSP extension

Oct 4 (DM) Sri Lanka runs the risk of losing US trade concessions if it fails to implement a ten point plan jointly submitted by FTZ Workers and an America Labour Organization to the US State Department, a source said. The ten point plan was jointly submitted by the Free Trade Zone Workers Union (FTZWU) and the America Free Labour Council of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO) to the US State Department and more..

MR to appoint PC this week

Oct 4 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa would constitute the five-member Parliamentary Council (PC) early this week as Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa on Friday sent the names of Parliamentarians A.H.M. Azwer and D.M. Swaminathan nominated by Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe respectively, a senior official of parliament said. He added that President Rajapaksa would constitute the PC with a set of guidelines on more..

War amputees fight for new limbs

Oct 4 (IRIN) More than 16 months after the Sri Lankan government ended a 26-year civil war by defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, thousands of amputees await help. Ninety percent of Sri Lanka's estimated 160,000 amputees, many disabled by landmines and explosions linked to the civil war, lack proper prosthetic limbs, says the Sri Lanka School of Prosthetics and Orthotics, a project of the Cambodia Trust. more..

Saudi Arabia slaps ban on recruitment from Lanka

Oct 4 (SG) The National Recruitment Committee has called upon all private recruitment offices in the Kingdom to sign no further contracts for the employment of Sri Lankan nationals from abroad. The “extremely urgent” call followed disputes between the Sri Lankan Labor Union (ALFIA) and the Sri Lankan Labor Office, which could lead to delays in the arrival of workers to the Kingdom. more..

Gota: Where were those shedding crocodile tears for SF during war?

Oct 4 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says those politicians now shedding crocodile tears for incarcerated Sarath Fonseka never uttered a word in support of him during the Eelam war IV. He says none of them appreciated the former Army Commander’s role in the war until he quit a 40-year career to take on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the January 26 presidential election. more..

Sri J’pura Hospital records Rs. 827 m loss, Maithripala likely to intervene

Oct 4 (Island) The Health Ministry is under heavy pressure to intervene in the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital, which is incurring heavy losses due to poor management. Authoritative sources say the Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital has recorded a loss of nearly Rs. 827 million last year (2009). The hospital administration obtained a government grant of Rs. 775 million. more..

How China and India displaced the West in Sri Lanka

Oct 4 (TIME) As a Sri Lankan military offensive destroyed the last remnants of the Tamil Tiger separatist insurgency in May of last year to end a quarter century of bloody civil war the country faced a problem at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva: The European Union (EU) was trying to move a resolution critical of Sri Lanka, and calling for an investigation into rights violations during the offensive. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom looks to raise US$125mn

Oct 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom, the island's largest fixed access operator, may raise 125 million US dollars from bonds to fund expansion if the terms are right, as business conditions in the island improve, an official said. "We want to raise 125 million US dollars," SLT's CFO Shiron Gooneratne said. "We have got several good proposals from investment banks in response to a request for proposals. But the board (of directors) is also looking at other options." more..

Sri Lanka a no-show for 2018 Commonwealth Games presentation

Oct 5 (SLNN) As only one of two contenders for hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Sri Lanka failed to show up to make a scheduled presentation to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly in New Delhi on Saturday. Sri Lanka nominated the southern city of Hambantota, already undergoing massive development projects, for hosting the games. It would have been an opportunity to make the case in front of the 71 representatives of all member nations more..

A new state-of-the-art facility at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital

Oct 5 (IL) A new state-of-the-art facility at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital was declared open yesterday by the President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka Mr. Kunio Takahashi in the presence of distinguished guests. The new facility, funded under a 2,740 million rupee (2,193 million yen) grant by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and more..

Minister Wimal's defender bangs the Water supply Pipeline

Oct 5 (LT) A back-up vehicle - Defender, assigned to Minister Wimal Weerawansa has knocked against a main water supply pipeline near the Diyawanna Oya. As a result water supply to several areas in Colombo has been dropped temporarily. Accordingly water supply in Borella, Jawatta, Thummulla, Havelock Road, Thimbirigasyaya, Polhengoda, Pamankada, Wellawatta, Bambalapitiya and Nugegoda areas has been affected. more..

Karu: Govt. responsible for SF’s life

Oct 5 (SL) UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya has said today (4) there was no adequate security for former Army Commander and DNA Leader Sarath Fonseka and that the government would have to take full responsibility for Fonseka’s life. Jayasuriya has told the media outside the Welikada Prison after visiting Fonseka inside the prison premises. Jayasuriya has said that there is a rumor that three suspected LTTE suicide cadres have more..

'Fonseka blamed Gotabhaya for killings'

Oct 5 (BBC) The defence secretary has ordered the killings of the Tamil Tigers who came to surrender, former commander of the army had told the editor of Sunday Leader, the Colombo High Court was told on Monday. The editor, Frederica Jansz was giving evidence in a trial against the former military chief. Sarath Fonseka is accused of spreading public disaffection by quoting allegations that the defence secretary ordered surrendering Tamil Tiger leaders to be shot dead last year. more..

'Politicians and artistes are responsible for the ethnic conflict'

Oct 5 (GDI) Minister Dullas Allahaperuma said politicians and those in the build of arts together with media personnel are responsible for the ethnic conflict that robbed our country of thirty years. Therefore, this day could be considered the meeting of all the accused of that serious crime said the Minister. He expressed these views at a get-together of Sinhala Tamil and Muslim writers where new Sinhala and Tamil books were launched at more..

Five universities to be upgraded to international level

Oct 5 (NF) The government has decided to upgrade five Sri Lankan universities to international standard. According to Higher Education Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne, these universities include the Moratuwa, Colombo, Peradeniya, Sri Jayawardenapura and Kelaniya universities. The official said that under this initiative, university curriculum will be revised and many other aspects of those universities developed. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief 04 10 2010

Siriwardene aims for improved Sri Lanka show

Oct 5 (Yahoo) Shashikala Siriwardene, who returns as captain of the Sri Lankan team for the ICC Women's Cricket Challenge, has said she's keen to begin her second leadership stint on winning note. The tournament, featuring teams ranked between five and ten in a series of one-day and Twenty20 matches, will be held in Potchefstroom in South Africa between October 6th and 16th. Siriwardene, a 25-year-old allrounder who has played 46 ODIs, was captain from 2005 to 2009, more..

NTUC signs wage hike demand as budget proposal

Oct 5 (SL) The National Trade Union Center (NTUC) today (4) signed the budget proposal calling for a Rs. 8,000 salary increase for the working community in the country and is to be handed over to the government on Wednesday (6). The decision to submit the demand for a Rs. 8,000 salary increase for the workers as a proposal to be included in the 2011 budget was decided by the Joint Trade Unions Forum convened by the NTUC. more..

Protests outside Hultsdorp over Fonseka issue

Oct 5 (ST) Lawyers and UNP MPs and their supporters have launched a protest outside the court premises in Hultsdorp today afternoon. Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka’s vehicle was blockedfor about 20 minutes by the protestors.Later the police intervened and they were able to take Mr. Fonseka’s vehicle into the court premises. The protestors chanted slogans calling for the release of Mr. Fonseka. more..

UNP changes stance on a political solution based on fedaralism

Oct 5 (TC) The BBC’s Sinhala service, Sandesaya quoted United National Party (UNP) General Secretary Tissa Attanayake on September 26 as saying that there was no need for a federal political solution in Sri Lanka. This might have disappointed many Tamils especially politically conscious ones who have been demanding more devolution than what had already implemented, for the past several decades. more..

Keep your eyes to the road, not the rut

Oct 5 (LG) Why are ‘we’, meaning the so-called analysts commentators and the talking-heads speaking and writing on the subject of regime continuity, or regime change, and the viability or otherwise of Sri Lankan democracy quite a bit these days in the first place? Why aren’t we talking instead about the great economic bounty that has been promised in the years to come, for starters? It’s the best sign yet, in my view, that Sri Lanka is not Singapore or Malaysia, more..

'Interim solution acceptable to all'

Oct 5 (NS) UNP Parliamentarian Kabir Hashim who came forward as the mediator in the party leadership dispute, while admitting failure to come up with a final solution in 10 days as set out earlier, says they have achieved an interim solution, whereby everyone is now thinking on one track till the reforms are adopted into the party constitution at the national convention in November. more..

Feast of a President

Oct 5 (LG) On Feb. 3 2010, I wrote about how Sri Lanka stepped into post-war peace over one of the most violent presidential elections ever recorded. However, I never thought post-war peace and new rule of law would grow up to be strong enough to make the united opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka end up in jail. Sarath Fonseka, the four-star general who survived two suicide bomb attacks from the LTTE, more..

Jaffna Troops Contribute to 'Brave Hearts'

Oct 5 (MoD) In gratitude of sacrifice made by valiant soldiers to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the motherland, soldiers serving in Jaffna contributed their share donating Rs. 2 million to "Brave Hearts", the account opened by Seva Vanitha Army Branch to fund the construction of "Abimansala" (Wellness Resort) for differently able solders in sacred city of Anuradhapura. more..

Army flags blessing ceremony

Oct 5 (MoD) The traditional army flags blessing ceremony took place yesterday (Oct 02) at 6 am in the presence of the Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya participated 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 attended the ceremony with more..

Sri Lanka told to speed up paper work for trade with India

Oct 5 (LBO) Early issue of export documentation by Sri Lankan authorities could help reduce delays in clearing goods shipped to India under a free trade deal, trade experts and economists told a forum. The Indo-Lanka free trade agreement (FTA) has eliminated or reduced import duties, improving market access for businesses in both countries. But trade is still subject to many types of delay one of which concerned the certificate of origin, more..

Police security to Jaffna Tamil daily strengthened

Oct 5 (TN) Following threats to a Tamil daily in Jaffna by EPDP led by Sri Lanka minister Douglas Devananda the editors had sought extra protection from Jaffna police and security to the office of the daily has been strengthened, media sources in Jaffna said. The daily had published Sunday, news related to the illegal sand excavation by EPDP firm ‘Maheswary Funds’ highlighting the appeal by the residents of Vadamaraadchi East to more..

Sri Lanka regulator warns against unregulated investments

Oct 5 (LBO) Sri Lankans investing in unregulated investment schemes face higher risks and should not expect government bailouts if their investments go sour, the banking regulator has warned. Central bank governor Nivard Cabraal said the regulator has repeatedly warned the public of the risk of investing money in unregulated institutions and publicised those that are regulated. more..

Trincomalee under heavy security for Rajapaksa’s visit

Oct 5 (TN) Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to preside over a conference at the Trincomalee Naval Base Monday morning to discuss development of the Eastern province that comprises the three districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampaa'rai where security arrangements have been strengthened heavily. Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers and policemen deployed in large numbers are on patrol covering all parts of Trincomalee town. more..

'Resettlement in Valikaamam North HSZ not possible'

Oct 5 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander, Major Gen. Mahinda Kathurusinghe, who had earlier admitted the possibility of resettling uprooted families in Valikaamam North SLA High Security Zone, however, said that resettlement is not possible due to the danger of landmines. He told the representatives of the Committee for Peace and Goodwill so in a meeting held in Jaffna Bishop House Sunday, presided by Bishop Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam. more..

Point of View: Dr. Rohan Gunaratna

Gene test to decide dad of 14-year-old mother’s baby

Oct 5 (NS) The Colombo Hulftsdorp Main Magistrate’s court had ordered a DNA test on two men to find out who fathered the baby of a 14-year-old mother at the Castle Street Hospital. The 14-year-old girl gave birth to the baby at the hospital this week. Magistrate Dulani Amarasinghe has ordered a DNA test as two men are suspected of having had sexual relationships with the girl. At the age of 13, the girl had been raped by a mason while she was living with her sister. more..

Closed factory ordered to compensate workers

Oct 5 (NS) A court has ordered Paradise Clothing factory of Niyagama, Galle, to compensate its employees discontinued as a result of its sudden closure. The president of the Galle Labour Tribunal (G/LT) and additional magistrate, E A D Y M C Ekanayaka, delivered this verdict recently. Many male and female workers lost their jobs resulting from the sudden closure on September 15, 2009 many male and female workers lost their jobs. more..

'Thalsevana', the luxurious holiday resort in Jaffna

Oct 5 (MoD) Hours after the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya inaugurated the count down to the 10 day long commemoration ceremonies in connection with the Army's 61st Anniversary and Army Day at Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, the Commander of the Army declared open the newly constructed 'Thal Sewana' Holiday Resort at Kankasanthurai in Jaffna Saturday evening. more..

Make CEPA document public, says Indian HC

Oct 5 (Island) The Indian High Commissioner for Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha said the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was important if economic ties were to improve between the two countries and problems in the existing free trade agreement were to be rectified. He said the document must be made public and if it could not stand the test of public scrutiny, the document would not be worth it. more..

Several Eastern roads completing reconstruction

Oct 5 (MoD) Several Eastern road systems are completing reconstruction according to the Ministry of Highways. On the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, A-15 road from Batticaloa to Trincomalee, A-5 road leading to Peradeniya through Chenkal-adi Maha-oya, Padiyathalava, and Nuwara Eliya, A-11 road leading to Maradankadawala through Thrikondiyamadu, Manampitiya, Polonnaruwa and Habarana, A-4 road from Batticaloa to Colombo are being re-constructed. more..

No ban on recruitment from Sri Lanka

Oct 5 (AN) The Sri Lankan government has denied newspaper reports that Saudi Arabia has stopped recruiting workers from Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Ambassador Ahmed A. Jawad told Arab News that there was absolutely no truth in the reports. "We have no official information from the government of Saudi Arabia on this issue," the envoy said, adding that there were no disputes between the two countries. more..

Pension is a right and not a privilege

Oct 5 (Island) General Sarath Fonseka had his pension rights stripped as punishment. Losing the pension that was earned through selfless service for donkey’s years would make any retired person a ‘beggar’ in real sense. In contrast, most civilised nations in the world have unconditional social welfare mechanisms in place to care for their elderly recognising them as senior citizens, and entitling them with concessions for services such a transport and healthcare. more..

Editorial: Banning posters for the wrong reason

Oct 5 (Island) In this country, there is hardly any public place free from posters. The never ending poster tide has not even spared private properties if the repulsive look of wayside walls and shop fronts with many layers of pulp and paper is any indication. Vital road signs, bridges, flyovers, lampposts and all other structures have been defaced. Local government institutions have made their contribution to this rampant visual pollution in more..

'The relationship between Europe and Sri Lanka is strong and a very old one'

Oct 5 (IL) President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy has characterized the relationship between Europe and Sri Lanka as “strong and a very old one”, and that between Belgium and Sri Lanka as “excellent”. Mr. Van Rompuy, who was previously the Prime Minister of Belgium, made these observations when he and Madam Van Rompuy participated as the Guests of Honor at a concert more..

Nursing Minutes would lead to crisis in health sector – GMOA

Oct 5 (Island) The GMOA warns that the implementation of the Nursing Minutes will lead to a crisis situation in the health sector. It will extend the nurses three-year training period by another six months and provide nurses with midwifery training, too. GMOA Committee Member Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said yesterday if all nurses were to be given midwifery training male nurses would have access to labour rooms. more..

Consumers in soup as poultry prices bite...

Oct 5 (NS) Probably the cheapest form of protein available to man, eggs are an essential part of our daily consumption -- be it fried or in other food items like cake or hoppers we find eggs in almost everything we eat. Egg prices have climbed drastically going from five to 15 rupees in recent times, depriving the people of cheap access to the protein nutrient. The government has been saying that the price increase in eggs was unnecessary and that producers and more..

Indian govt donates 55 buses to Sri Lanka

Oct 5 (IL) The Government of India has promised to donate 55 buses to schools, social and other educational institutes and non government organizations to boost the educational facilities and also uplift the transport facilities in the rural areas of Sri Lanka. As a part of this new scheme two buses were handed over to two schools in Puttalam District at the ceremony organized at Al Rahuma Maha Vidyalaya, Rahumathpuram, Veppamadu more..

From Personal politics to systemic politics

Oct 5 (LG) Within days of returning from the UN, where he had addressed the world on the Sri Lankan model of reconciliation after war, President Mahinda Rajapaksa ratified the jail sentence of 30 months imposed on his defeated opponent at the Presidential Election held this year. This action, which also confirmed rigorous imprisonment with hard labour to General Sarath Fonseka did not conform to the hopes of many if not most Sri Lankans who more..

Horton plains -a tourists paradise: No facilities

Oct 5 (LB) Rough grassy terrain is what you see from a distance. As you keep climbing the air gets colder and mistier, sometimes even blurring your vision but what hits you most in the end is the fact that basic facilities are sadly lacking in the Horton Plains National Park. A team of journalists took off from Colombo on September 25 to visit Horton Plains. It took us about five hours to reach Nuwara Eliya, but this was not a difficult journey because more..