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impartial's Page - Archive of Jul 2010

China backs Lanka stance on UN panel
Saturday, 3 July 2010 - 10:54 AM SL Time

Chinatoday backed Sri Lankain its opposition to the setting up of a human rights panel by the UN to look into alleged rights abuses during the ethnic war, saying the government was capable of handling it.

China said Sri Lanka and its people were capable of handling the issue and asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and world community to help the Colombostabilise its internal situation.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Colombohas appointed a `Reconciliation Commission` of its own to probe the charges of human rights abuses during the last stages of the conflict against the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

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US IQ study slammed as racist
Sunday, 4 July 2010 - 11:25 AM SL Time

New Delhi, July 3, IANS: A US research suggesting that people in developing countries have lower intelligence quotient (IQ) because their bodies divert energy from the brain to fighting diseases has been slammed as racist by experts here.

The report is definitely racist. There is no link between intelligence and diseases, said Kamal Verma, senior neurologist from the Asian Institute of Medical Science, Faridabad.

Previously, there have been studies which suggested that IQ is directly related to the wealth of the nation. However, America still lags behind as compared to countries like Brazil in IQ. In fact, most of the developed world is functioning on the IQ of the developing world, Verma told IANS.

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Steve Jobs -Short Bio
Sunday, 4 July 2010 - 5:02 PM SL Time

Youth (1955-75)
Steven Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco, California on February 24 1955. His biological parents, unwed college graduates Joanne Simpson and Abdulfattah Jandali, had him adopted by a lower-middle-class couple from south of the bay, Paul and Clara Jobs.

Young Steve grew up in a valley of apricot orchards that was already turning into the world center of computer technology: Silicon Valley. It was not uncommon there to see engineers fill their garages with all kind of electronic devices. Steve Jobs was interested, and that`s why, in 1969, he was introduced to a computer whiz kid: Stephen Wozniak commonly known as Woz. Woz was five years older than Steve, but they still became friends because of their common interest in electronics.

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Lankan Tamils should not be given automatic refugee - UN
Tuesday, 6 July 2010 - 10:06 AM SL Time

The United Nations refugee agency in its revised asylum guidelines say that Tamils from Sri Lanka should no longer automatically be granted refugee status due to the greatly improved situation in their homeland.

But the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the situation is still evolving and all claims by Sri Lankan asylum seekers should be considered on the basis of their individual merits .

The Australian government suspended the processing of Sri Lankan asylum claims in April. It argued the move was justified by improving circumstances in the country.

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Protest at UN to continue
Wednesday, 7 July 2010 - 8:42 AM SL Time

The government says it understands that those who are demonstrating outside the UN office in Colombo intend to continue with their protest until the UN system revisits the matter of the Panel on Sri Lanka.

A statement by the government information department said the government hopes that the UN complex in Colombo would continue to function as normal in the days ahead. It also said that while the protest continues the freedom of entry and exit to and from the complex for authorized personnel will remain constant.

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IMF staying in business: Certifies good economic performance
Wednesday, 7 July 2010 - 9:54 AM SL Time

By the Economist
The IMF announced that it was continuing its standby facility of US$ 2.6 billion and restoring the delayed tranches. Its announcement on the eve of the 2010 mini Budget last Tuesday also praised the government`s economic policies and predicated a strong economic growth. The IMF statement, as well as its continuation of the credit facility, would enhance confidence in the economy, boost international confidence, improve the government`s capacity to borrow from abroad and ensure financial stability. It was good for the IMF too as it could remain in business in an international environment where their business opportunities are diminishing.

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Without visas Ban Ki-Moon is heading nowhere
Friday, 9 July 2010 - 9:13 AM SL Time

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, and Sri Lanka have locked horns and are fighting it out in the diplomatic, international and national arenas. Right now Sri Lanka has a sizeable battle on its hands in the international arena. Though it has formidable friends in Russia, China, Iran and the majority of the Non-Aligned Movement Europe and USA are playing an unfriendly role that is pushing Sri Lanka further away from the West to the East.

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Sri Lankan June tourist arrivals up 48-pct
Saturday, 10 July 2010 - 11:02 PM SL Time

July 10, 2010 (LBO) - Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose 47.9 percent to 44,730 in June 2010 from a year earlier, with strong growth from South Asia, Western Europe and North American, data from the island`s tourism office showed.
In June arrivals from Western Europe rose 36.6 percent to 13,881 in the off-peak season. The UK sent 6,262 visitors in June, up 6.4 percent and Germany sent 1,880 tourists, up 64.7 percent.
Norwegian arrivals were up 413 percent to 847 arrivals, while French arrivals were up 115 percent to 1,481, tourism data showed.

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Seeman arrested for anti-Lankan comment
Monday, 12 July 2010 - 10:08 PM SL Time

Tamil Nadu Film director and founder of Naam Thamizhar Iyakkam Seeman was arrested in Chennai today for his alleged inflammatory speech against Sri Lanka at a protest meeting recently.

Taking part in a protest meet organised to condemn the Lankan government in Chennai a couple of days ago, Seeman had reportedly delivered a speech against which a police complaint was filed.

A case was filed against him under Sec IPC 153 for inciting violence. This morning Seeman came to the Chennai Press Club where he was arrested by the police. Speaking on the occasion, Seeman however denied making such a speech.

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More cases mount against Fonseka
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 - 10:51 PM SL Time

Criminal cases against Democratic National Alliance (DNA) leader and former Army Commander Gen. (retired) Sarath Fonseka mounted with the filing of yet another case before Colombo High Court yesterday.

An indictment with 21 charges was filed against Gen. Fonseka and his son-in-law who has gone missing since the investigation for cheating public funds during the tender procedure to procure military ware to Sri Lanka Army.

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um jailed for sex with adopted-out son
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 - 11:03 PM SL Time

A woman in the United States has been jailed after pleading guilty to having sex with the biological son she gave up for adoption and later tracked down on the internet.

Detroit area mothers_day.jsp' class=black>mother Aimee L Sword, 36, apologised at her sentencing on Monday in the Oakland County Circuit Court where she was sentenced to at least nine years in prison.

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Half of Sri Lankan arrivals have ties to Tigers
Thursday, 15 July 2010 - 1:17 AM SL Time

He said tAS many as half of Sri Lankans seeking asylum in Australia are suspected of being former fighters, operatives or supporters of the Tamil Tigers.
The Tigers have been designated a terrorist organisation in many countries but not in Australia.

Sri Lankan officials estimate that between 25 and 50 per cent of Tamils fleeing to Australia have connections to the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

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Subpar Construction On Colombo-Matara Expressway
Thursday, 15 July 2010 - 11:01 AM SL Time

Following a University Of Moratuwa report, three bridges on the new Southern Expressway have been demolished and reconstructed to adhere to better safety standards. They have recommended the overhaul of twenty-eight more.

The 126 km long expressway is expected to connect Colombo and Matara in one and a half hours, bypassing the congested coastal Galle Road. There are also plans to extend the road to Sri Lanka`s second international airport in Weerawila, Hambantota. The project is funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. It is built partly by Chinese contractors who have previously revised cost estimates up, almost doubling them for certain sections.

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Sri Lanka removed from cargo war risk insurance list
Friday, 16 July 2010 - 12:59 AM SL Time

July 15, 2010 (LBO) - International insurers have removed Sri Lanka from their cargo war risk insurance list paving the way for reduced import costs, removal of surcharges and increasing business confidence, a government statement said.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said Sri Lanka has been removed from all marine war, and marine strikes risk of the Joint Cargo Committee Joint Cargo Watch List by Lloyd`s Market Association with effect from July 5, 2010.
`In addition, the Ground Risk of 2.6 (High Level) previously applicable for the entire ground in Sri Lanka is now confined only to the Vavuniya Jaffna Section of the A-9 Highway(in the island`s north),` it said.

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Shed political differences, serve nation - President
Friday, 16 July 2010 - 1:01 AM SL Time

There is massive development in the North today. The time has come for everyone to join in serving the people sans political differences. We must commit ourselves to rebuild the lives of the people who suffered for thirty years due to terrorism, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the public officials in Kilinochchi today (14 July).

The development work in this area is quite clear. We have resettled IDPs in a speedy manner unparallel to anywhere else in the world. They are also provided with necessary security, he further said.

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Over 80% war displaced Sri Lankans resettled
Friday, 16 July 2010 - 1:03 AM SL Time

The Sri Lankan government said Thursday that more than 80 percent of the war displaced civilians in the north has been resettled to their original villages and the number of Internally Displaces Persons (IDP) is fast dwindling.

Minister of Resettlement Milroy Fernando told reporters that over 250,000 IDPs have already been resettled to their original villages.

`There are only 38,127 IDPs in welfare centers in Vavuniya now, ` Fernando said.

During the military operation against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009, about 290,000 IDPs crossed to government control areas and sought refugee in state-run welfare centers.

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Real UN Lanka WAR
Sunday, 18 July 2010 - 11:47 AM SL Time

Only a few years ago the UN was a well respected organization in Sri Lanka and a lot of our citizens thought of it only as a benevolent entity, but things have changed. Because of some incidents which happened during the final phase of the war a lot of the common people look at the UN with suspicion, a senior UN official serving in Colombo told us last week.
He added that in 2008, a protest was carried out against the UN on a statement made by one of the spokesman of a UN office, regarding the way the Sri Lankan government conducted the war and he said that ever since then,

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Hundreds of LTTE war widows seek government assistance
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 12:49 AM SL Time

Rehabilitation and Prisons Reforms Minister Dew Gunasekera says an urgent programme is needed to provide relief to war widows, including wives of the LTTE cadres killed during the war.

Speaking to The Island after meeting groups of war widows in Vavuniya, Jaffna and Kilinochchi over a week ago, Minister Gunasekera emphasized the importance of meaningful measures to alleviate their suffering.

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Sri Lanka domestic air services chased by 13 firms: official
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 - 10:33 AM SL Time

July 19, 2010 (LBO ) - Thirteen firms that applied to start domestic air services in Sri Lanka after the end of a 30-year war are awaiting the final nod from the island`s aviation ministry and the president`s office, an official said.
Director general of Sri Lanka`s civil aviation authority H M C Nimalsiri said domestic, foreign and joint ventures between local and overseas firms had applied to fly within the island.
`We have sent the applications for approval to the aviation ministry and the President`s office,` he said.

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Top U.N. official slams Ban for deplorable Conduct:)
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 - 3:47 PM SL Time

n her last act at the United Nations, the organization`s chief anti-corruption official blasted Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as a bureaucratic weakling who has reduced the U.N. to a sad and perilous state of irrelevance by destroying accountability in his own house.

Inga-Britt Ahlenius, the departing undersecretary general for the Office of Internal Oversight Services, dispatched an end-of-assignment report at the close of her 5-year tenure on Friday that accused Ban of undermining her work to make the world body open and accountable.

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The controversial interview of Sri Lanka Ambassador of Israel
Sunday, 25 July 2010 - 11:06 AM SL Time

(July 23, 2010, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Donald Perera saw the blood-soaked stretcher carrying the body of Velupillai Prabhakaran being transported through the jungle, but he was not calm. Air Chief Marshal Perera, the Sri Lankan chief of staff at the time, had been chasing after the leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels who had terrorized his country for over 30 years. He wanted to make certain that the lifeless body in front of him was indeed that of his long-time adversary.

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Lankan asylum-seekers to face Aussie court over detention centre riot
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 - 9:48 AM SL Time

Eight Sri Lankan asylum seekers, accused of taking part in a riot on Christmas Island, will stand trial in Australia later this year. The Australian Federal Police charged the men with weapons and rioting offences, after the melee at the island`s detention centre in November, 2009.

Broom stick handles, pool cues and tree branches were allegedly used in the brawl, which involved up to 200 people and left 43 injured.

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