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Court rejects police request

Oct 8 (DM) A Colombo court turned down a police request to disperse a Satyagraha at Torrington Square seeking the release of Sarath Fonseka from jail. On Wednesday the Cinnamon Gardens Police filing a report before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmika Singappuli moved for a court order to disperse the Satyagraha performed by two opposition Provincial Councilors of the Western Province Provincial Council. more..

Tamil migrant ship MV Sun Sea towed to Nanaimo shipyard

Oct 8 (VS) Amid reports of a third ship steaming its way toward B.C.'s shores carrying Tamil asylum seekers, the rickety vessel that carried 492 people into Victoria in mid- August was towed and berthed in Nanaimo Thursday. The MV Sun Sea carrying ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka was intercepted and boarded on the night of Aug. 12 off the west coast of Vancouver Island and escorted into CFB Esquimalt the next morning. more..

Disapproving dad runs down daughter, boyfriend, court hears

Oct 8 (CN) A Toronto dad admitted Thursday he used his minivan to run down his daughter, her boyfriend and his son-in-law because he disapproved of his daughter's boyfriend. Selvanayagam Selladurai, 46, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault for the June 1, 2007, incident in the city's Scarborough neighbourhood. He was initially charged with three counts of attempted murder and other related offences. more..

Inquiry urged into Sri Lankan rights violations

Oct 8 (IT) Human rights violations committed during the Sri Lanka conflict must be subject to an independent, international investigation, former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday said last night. “Sri Lanka has been forgotten, despite the staggering violations of human rights, the war crimes and the crimes against humanity that took place there,” he said. “All this has been ignored.” Mr Halliday was speaking following the second of two public meetings in Dublin more..

Disappointment written all over for Lankan contingent

Oct 8 (DM) It was a disappointing return for the athletes from Sri Lanka as most of them failed to qualify for the finals in their respective events at the 19th Commonwealth Games held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium yesterday. Prasanna Amarasekera qualified for the semi-finals in the 400 metres event with a rather unimpressive run. He returned a time of 47.50 seconds but was far behind Conrad Williams of more..

No faith motion motivated by malice, jealousy - GL

Oct 8 (Island) External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said that the motion against him was motivated by malice and jealousy. He said that a no-confidence motion was a serious business in parliamentary tradition. Such a motion should be based on facts and must be founded on strong issues pertaining to the interests of the country, he said. "I knew that this motion lacks such ingredients and therefore wanted to expedite the debate. more..

University bars male students

Oct 8 (DM) The Colombo University’s Arts Faculty has restricted male students other than freshers from entering university premises after a clash between a group of final year students last month. Colombo University Senior Student Counselor, Dr. Premakumara de Silva said a committee appointed by the Vice Chancellor had decided on temporarily restricting the students from entering the university premisestill the University reopens on November 15. more..

Luxury train service lengthened

Oct 8 (DN) The Government plans to extend the luxury train service it had introduced for the IIFA Festival from the Bandaranaike International Airport to Colombo upto the Hikkaduwa Tourist Zone, Parliament was told yesterday. Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said that this move to extend the luxury railway service would be based on passenger requirements and demand. The luxury railway service was inaugurated on June 1, 2010 and more..

'Family not keen to get SF freed'

Oct 8 (DM) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday claimed that neither Mrs. Anoma Fonseka nor her two daughters were keen to get Mr. Sarath Fonseka released from prison and that was why they had given Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the UNP and the JVP the responsibility to lead the campaign to free Sarath Fonseka. He that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would not entertain any plea from any quarter for more..

'Apology should come from SF’s end'

Oct 8 (DM) The issue regarding DNA Leader Sarath Fonseka should be resolved even through an apology by DNA Leader’s end, UNP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told Parliament yesterday, Speaking during the debate on the No faith Motion against Minister G.L. Peiris, in the House yesterday, Mr. Rajapakshe said efforts should be made to get DNA MP’s wife Anoma Fonseka to tender an apology. more..

SF wants bed, fan and exercise machine

Oct 8 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, who is serving a jail term at the Welikada prison, yesterday requested the Prisons Chief to provide him with a fan, an exercise machine and a bed, informed sources said yesterday. They said following a request from Fonseka to meet Prisons Chief Major General V.R De Silva, the meeting took place yesterday morning at the Commissioner’s Office at Welikada. more..

'Time for sponsors to turn to weightlifting'

Oct 8 (Island) Commonwealth Games silver medal winner Chinthana Vidanage said Sri Lankan weightlifters’ medal winning feats in New Delhi could be regarded as a cry for help for uplifting a struggling sport. Vidanage, who won the silver medal in the 69 kg category on Wednesday (Oct. 6), also said the weightlifters have proved a point by winning two medals and it was time for the sponsors to support this sport more..

'Army marking anniversary sans a war hero'

Oct 8 (Island) The Sri Lanka Army will celebrate its 61st anniversary on Sunday on a grand scale without its former Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who won the war against LTTE terrorism and is languishing behind bars at Welikada jail, says UNP Western Provincial Councillor A.J.M. Muzammil. He said that Fonseka would have been a free man and even served as a diplomat if he had not rivalled President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential election. more..

Colombo takes on different face

Oct 8 (DN) The Colombo city has undergone a new and cleaner look under the leadership of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The city is now free of dengue, rabies, garbage and floods. No floods have been reported from Colombo during this rainy season. Health Ministry Epidemiology Unit latest statistics reveal that only 24 dengue cases had been reported from the Colombo Municipal Council area during this month and only 21 dengue cases had more..

Sri Lanka govt to import chicken, eggs

Oct 8 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government is to import chicken and eggs during the traditional festive seasons in November-December and the traditional new year in April, according to a Cabinet decision. Demand for chicken and eggs go up sharply - by between 40 - 60 percent - during these months, according to a Cabinet paper released at a media ministry news conference Thursday. more..

'Govt. using police to stop union action'

Oct 8 (DM) The government is using the police to intimidate and stop trade unions from taking action, the Trade Union Confederation (TUC) charged yesterday. The Confederation said they would file a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition in the Supreme Court if this continued. TUC national organizer Joseph Stalin said the government and police stopping those who put up posters was a violation of the fundamental rights of the public. more..

Central Bank to relax exchange control regulations

Oct 8 (DM) The Central Bank said yesterday that a new exchange liberalisation package will be announced in the third week of October, offering a fair amount of relaxation of the country's exchange control policy. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that the new package would be announced in the third or fourth week of this month offering some relaxing the rules, but declined to reveal any details. more..

Hambantota Port filled with water: Site closed for visitors from Oct. 15th

Oct 8 (Island) The flooding of the inland basin of the Magampura Port, which began on Aug. 15, has been completed. An area of 43 hectares has been filled with seawater up to 16 m. Magampura Port is one of the five harbours being constructed and developed around the country. About 85% of the total investment of US $360 mn of Magampura Port construction, has been extended by the Exim Bank of China. more..

IGP says Police retirement age is 60

Oct 9 (SL) Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mahinda Balasuriya has issued a circular stating that all police officers will be required to retire at the age of 60 in future. Police Spokesperson SP Prashantha Jayakody has told the media that the internal circular had been issued following a directive from the Public Administration Ministry. Through the circular, the IGP has announced the cancelled of extensions based on leave system.

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 24.6-pct in Sept

Oct 9 (LBO) Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose 24.6 percent to 47,339 people in September 2010 from a year ago, driven by sharp increases from traditional European markets, tourism office data showed. In the January-September 2010 period, tourist arrivals were up 44 percent to 445,228 compared with the same months last year. The number of tourists from the United Kingdom, a key market, rose 21.5 percent to 8,904 while more..

DNA to go to SC over Fonseka’s seat

Oct 9 (AD) We will go to the Supreme Court against the desicion to vacate the Parliamentary seat of Sarath Fonseka, DNA Secratery Vijitha Herath told Ada Derana today. He claims that the court martial does not come under the constitution and is not a recognized court, hence he added that the decision of the Court-martial should not have a bearing on a persons parliamentary seat. more..

Bangladesh apparel exports surge as EU buyers shift from Sri Lanka: report

Oct 9 (LBO) Bangladesh's exports of apparel are surging beyond projections as buyers from the European Union shifted orders ahead of Sri Lanka losing preferential duty concessions, a media report said. Sri Lanka is losing duty free entry to the EU of garments and a number of other exports this year over a state failure to fully implement international laws that protect human rights and political and civil liberties of its citizens. more..

Sri Lanka national carrier to list stake in catering unit

Oct 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run national carrier SriLankan Airlines is planning to divest a part of its fully owned catering unit through a public listing, Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe said. "We are working on it," Wickramasinghe said. "We have called for proposals from banks." Wickramasinghe said Sri Lankan Catering was also gearing up for expansion with another airport also planned in the south of the country. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 08.10.2010

Sri Lanka to liberalise civil aviation

Oct 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to further liberalise its civil aviation sector and remove flying restrictions with the end of its ethnic war, an official said. The private sector will be given more opportunities to operate hot air balloons, float planes and helicopters, the Civil Aviation Authority director-general H M C Nimalsiri said. New civil aviation policy proposals have been sent to the aviation ministry and will be made public soon, more..

No quorum, Parliament adjourned

Oct 9 (AD) Due to the minimum number MPs required to conduct proceedings not being present in Parliament, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa adjourned the Parliament until October 19th. The House had only 18 members present, at least 20 members are needed to form a quorum to conduct proceeding.

Judge Lekamwasam steps down from SF appeal case

Oct 9 (NF) Court of Appeal judge D. S. C. Lekamwasam says that he is stepping down from the appeal petition case filed by Sarath Fonseka against the verdict by the first court martial. Judge Lekamwasam revealed this when the appeal was taken up today citing personal reasons. The petition was taken up today before president of the Court of Appeal Sathya Hettige and D. S. C. Lekamwasam. more..

Sri Lanka shares rebound on bargain hunting; rupee down

Oct 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's benchmark share index rose on Friday after four days of losses, as investors bargain-hunted after a long-awaited correction. Sri Lanka's main share index .CSE rose 62.87 points to 6,833.61 from a two-week low. It is Asia's best performer in 2010 with a 101.8 percent gain. The index fell 5.3 percent in the last four sessions through Thursday. Banking and hotel shares led the climb after early losses. more..

A pay hike for private security firms

Oct 9 (LP) Salaries of the employees of the Private Security Firms have been increased said the Ministry of Labour Relations and Productivity Promotion. Accordingly Security officers, watchmen, patrolmen etc employed in this field are entitled for a an increment up to Rs 6785. Supervisors and other higher ranking officials of involved in the private security firms will have an increment up to Rs 7260 per month more..

Agitation in Colombo today to force release of Cuban five heroes

Oct 9 (LT) An agitation was held opposite the American Embassy in Colombo today to force United State to release five Cuban patriots who have been imprisoned by USA over 12 years. More than 1000 participants took part at this occasion with participation of Cuban Solidarity Movement and political parties. A petition which comprised signatures to force the immediate release of more..

100% electrification coverage in NC province soon

Oct 9 (PRIU) A programme is underway to provide electricity for over 33,000 households in the North Central Province, under the Rural Electrification Project 4 which will extend the electrification coverage to 100%. Under this project 225 rural villages are to be provided electricity that involves the construction of 225 new substations. The project is being implemented under the financial assistance arranged by SIDA. more..

Fonseka's replacement for Parliament named

Oct 9 (PTI) A member of the opposition DNA has been named to replace Sri Lanka's former army chief Sarath Fonseka in parliament after he was court-martialled to serve a 30-month rigorous jail term for corruption in defence deals. The name of Lakshman Nipunaarachchi of the DNA was sent to be gazetted by the Election Department to fill the House seat that fell vacant after Fonseka was stripped of the membership following his jail sentence. more..

CBK denies requesting for a pardon for Vijaya

Oct 9 (SL) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge denied the statement made by Minister Wimal Weerawansa that she had requested for a pardon from President J.R. Jayewardene on behalf of her husband Vijaya Kumaratunge, when he was jailed in the 1980s. She that the statement is an absolute lie. “I didn’t ask anyone to release Vijaya as I believed that he was unjustly incarcerated for no reason like Sarath Fonseka,” more..

Reflections on the Constitution -- Part 3

Oct 9 (LG) This picture shows the executive president sitting above the Supreme Court Complex. The Supreme Court is the highest court but the post of the executive president is above it. Article 35 of the Constitution specifically places him outside the jurisdiction of the courts. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution gives the president the power of selection of judges to the highest courts with no procedural limitations. more..

Foreign Employment: Opportunities and Dangers

Oct 9 (LG) Foreign employment has overshadowed the traditional incomes of many labour producing countries in Asia and Africa. Employees from Asia are educated, forward and demanding. Opportunities in the host countries mainly the Middle East are ever growing due to the demand and disproportionate development schemes as a result of enormous oil wealth. The white collar professionals in the Middle and the Western countries are well looked after, insured and protected. more..

Protect Pasikuda

Oct 9 (NS) The calm sea waters stretch up to the horizon. It is the later hours of evening at Pasikuda beach stretch. Many visitors flock to the beach to take a bath and relax in the cool breeze. After the decades of civil war, the roads to the Pasikuda beach has been opened without fear of travelling. As a result, local and foreign tourists arrive in massive numbers to see and enjoy the glory of the pure sands and calm waters of Pasikuda beach. more..

Campus virginity and insanity

Oct 9 (LB) The administrators of Sri Lankan universities have a tendency to treat university students like Montessori kids rather than as adults who have adult rights. And unfortunately this tendency seems to be intensifying. In a bizarre incident of history repeating itself, the vice chancellor of the University of Sri Jayawardenepura has sent five female students for ‘virginity checks’ after the girls were found seated with their lovers in the university premises. more..

Introspection Time in Fonseka’s Case?

Oct 9 (DM) It is not entirely unsurprising that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has attested GCM-II’s award of a 30-month jail term to cashiered Army commander Sarath Fonseka nor is the near-subsequent announcement of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that the President would be willing to consider any appeal for redressal in the matter. Shorn of nuances, if any, Gotabhaya’s observation that it was an internal and personal matter needing more..

Children’s Day October 1: They too matter

Oct 9 (NS) As humans, we may not care much about being young, naïve and childish for too long – after all, our only strategy is to be older, wiser and succeed in life. We may be living in the 21st Century, but we surely have a lot to learn about human nature. Our fondest memories would be those as a child, not as an adult; often playing with sand and mud, running about the house in a frenzy with a couple of friends, more..

Working less, achieving more!

Oct 9 (DM) The eight-hour day and the five-day week of paid work, with its longer paid holidays, sick leave, and maternity leave, remains firmly at the centre of people’s lives, providing access to benefits and pensions as well as wages and salaries, and shaping how we use the rest of our time. The ‘working week’ usually refers to the time spent in paid labour, but not to all the other work we do that isn’t paid. more..

The fate of a General

Oct 9 (DM) By endorsing the decision of the Court Martial against Sarath Fonseka, sentencing the last Presidential candidate and war hero to 30 months on RI, the government has revealed its true autocratic intent to the world. This decision is outrageous and reminds one of the Burmese junta on Aung San Su Kyi a few years back. I wish to maintain that the Court Martial itself is illegal. Who convened it and how do you then avoid the use of powers within? more..

Sri Lanka’s smallholder agriculture dies a slow death

Oct 9 (DM) Since the end of the war in May 2009, there has been a lot of talk about ‘reconciliation and development’ in Sri Lanka. Though this is a slogan promoted primarily by the government, many, including the business sector and civil society, have welcomed such rhetoric. This has been buttressed by the support of some donor agencies, whose main agenda has been the promotion of a capitalist economy. more..

You can do it; prorogue parliament, impeach and vote out oligarchy

Oct 9 (LG) We cannot change our politicians and their pre-occupation with staying in power. They will insist on changing the constitution, heaping upon themselves powers willy-nilly, amassing wealth in the short-term they are in power (or in the case of our President a long, long term until he needs the support of his sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to escort him to his throne or the toilet) and in the process turning us into morons and imbeciles. more..

Universities in Sri Lanka and International Standards

Oct 9 (Island) I read the new item about raising the standards of five universities in Sri Lanka up to international level. Dr Sunil Navaratne, Secretary to the ministry of higher education has announced that Peradeniya, Colombo, Moratuwa, Sri Jayewardenepura and Kelaniya Universities have been selected for this project under which infrastructure, curricula and many other aspects of these universities would be improved in order to more..

Michael Ondaatje and Sri Lankan - Canadian diaspora

Oct 9 (SO) This week, continuing on the writings of diasporic writers, I will examine the life and works of Sri Lankan born Canadian author Michael Ondaatje mainly focusing on few of his selected novels. In doing so, I intend to focus what lessons that we could learn from some of these internationally acclaimed diasporic writers to enrich Sri Lankan fiction and creative work. more..

Have they killed the three Tamils arrested at the Airport?

Oct 9 (LG) Three Sri Lankan Tamils who arrived at Colombo from Indonesia have been arrested by the CID at the Katunayaka International Airport on October 05. To-date there is no information about these people, the Sri Lanka Guardian learns. According to the sources, M.K. Vigneswaram, from Jaffna, Ilayathambi Thindujan from Batticaloa and Ravindran Sudarshan from Mannar arrived at the Airport and were in the line for immigration clearance when more..

Sri Lanka has abandoned all efforts to solve ethnic issue – CPG

Oct 9 (TN) The Jaffna district Committee for Peace and Goodwill (CPG) said that Sri Lanka government has abandoned all its efforts to find a solution for the ethnic issue and that the Indian government maintains silence over the issue, when the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Mr. Ashok K. Kantha met the CPG Thursday at the Bishop House in Jaffna. India has forgotten the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord and the 13th Amendment in the context of more..

Global recognition for a well-managed economy

Oct 9 (SO) Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said Sri Lanka has become a model on how an economy should be well managed. At present there is global recognition that the Sri Lankan economy is well managed. Dr.Amunugama in an interview with the Sunday Observer said President Mahinda Rajapaksa went to UN at a time when we are getting credit for defeating terrorism and putting the economy on a growth path. more..

Radhakrishnan to lead UPF political wing

Oct 9 (TN) V.Radhakrishnan, a senior MP of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), one of the constituent parties of the ruling UPFA is to lead the political wing of the Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF) which was founded and led by late Mr. Periyasamy Chandrasekaran. Mrs. Shanthini Devi Chandrasekaran is currently leading the UPF after the demise of her husband. Mr. Radhakrishnan was elected to the parliament on the CWC ticket in April general election. more..

Post war suicide rate is escalating in the former LTTE town

Oct 9 (LG) According to authoritative news published in the independent website, the suicide rate in the former Tamil Tiger capital Kilinochchi has reached an alarming level after the war. According to psychiatrist Dr M Jeyarajah, serving at the Kilinochchi District hospital, under the present circumstances over four persons, mainly women, are committing suicide in Killinochchi per day. more..