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impartial's Page - Archive of Jul 2011

Sri Lanka economy grows 7.9-pct in first quarter
Friday, 1 July 2011 - 6:45 PM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s economy grew 7.9 percent in the first quarter of 2011, up from 7.1 percent in the same period a year ago, with strong growth in industry and services while the agriculture sector contracted

The industry sector grew by 11.1 percent and services by 9.5 percent while agriculture contracted by 5.1 percent, department of census and statistics said.
`We were a little concerned initially that because of the floods agricultural output may be low,` central bank governor Nivard Cabraal said.

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Sri Lanka state-run airport firm profits up 40-pct
Monday, 4 July 2011 - 6:48 AM SL Time

State-run Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd, which has a monopoly airport operations in the island has reported a profit of 1.3 billion rupees for 2010, up 40 percent from a year earlier

Revenues rose to 6,091 million rupees from 5,491 million a year earlier. It had expenses of 4.1 billion rupees, up from 4,050 million a year earlier, with staff costs going up to 2.8 billion rupees from 2.6 billion.
AASL runs Sri Lanka`s only international airport at Katunayake and domestic air strips. It is now building a second international airport in Mattala in Sri Lanka`s south with a loan from China`s Exim Bank.

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Another 552 Ex-LTTE cadres rehabilitated
Tuesday, 5 July 2011 - 10:14 AM SL Time

Another batch of 552 former LTTE cadres, who had completed their term of rehabilitation, were reintegrated into the mainstream of society at a function presided over by the Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera at Punthottam Tamil Vidyalaya in Vavuniya on Monday (4), Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe said.

He said that the remaining 2,950 youths would be successfully rehabilitated and reintegrated into civil society before the end of this year.

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woman has been arrested for trying to sneak her husband out of prison
Wednesday, 6 July 2011 - 7:50 AM SL Time

A Mexican woman has been arrested for trying to sneak her husband out of prison in a suitcase following a conjugal visit.

Maria del Mar Arjona, 19, was stopped as she left the prison in Chetumal, the capital of the Caribbean state Quintana Roo.

Staff became suspicious as the young woman seemed nervous and was struggling with a black, wheeled suitcase which looked particularly bulky.

Police spokesman Gerardo Campos said prison guards checked the bag and found inmate Juan Ramirez Tijerina curled up inside.

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Seven more large scale hotel complexes in future Amunugama
Wednesday, 6 July 2011 - 6:08 PM SL Time

The Government today revealed in parliament that seven more grand scale hotel complexes similar Hong Kong based Shangri La luxury hotel project will come up in future. Senior International Monetory Co-operation Minister Sarath Amunugama today said that this was the first time the government was releasing this information.

Amunugama revealed this during the general debate on the relocation of the Defence Headquarters to Battaramulla. He added the `Pentagon` of Sri Lanka will be located in Battaramulla

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Sri Lanka gets set for Indian cargo boom with new port terminal
Thursday, 7 July 2011 - 7:21 AM SL Time

A new deep-water terminal in Colombo port will help Sri Lanka take advantage of increasing Indian cargo volumes, said the head of a local firm doing the project in a joint venture with a Chinese company.

Parakrama Dissanayake, chairman of Aitken Spence Maritime, said Indian efforts to modernise its own ports and attract direct calls by shipping lines would pose a challenge to Colombo`s status as the region`s transhipment hub.

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Sri Lanka doubles ICT workforce in four years
Thursday, 7 July 2011 - 5:26 PM SL Time

- Sri Lanka`s information and communications technology workforce has doubled in the past four years as the island ramps up training and investment to make the sector a key export industry.
A new survey said the number of ICT sector jobs increased by 100 percent to over 62,000 this year from 30,120 in 2006. Over 50,000 people are estimated to have been employed in the IT sector in 2010.
The national ITC workforce survey by the state-run Information and Communication Technology Agency covered 80 state institutions, 325 private sector firms, 30 BPO (business processing outsourcing) firms, and 75 IT training institutes.

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Colombo among cheapest cities: survey Colombo among cheapest cities to live: survey
Friday, 8 July 2011 - 6:16 AM SL Time

Colombo has been ranked among the cheapest city in the world, landing up at the bottom of the index for the Economist Intelligence Unit`s biennial cost of living survey.

Sydney and Melbourne are now the sixth and seventh most expensive cities on the planet, the Economist Intelligence Unit`s biennial cost of living survey revealed.

More significantly Perth and Brisbane, major regional centres closest to the country`s booming coal and iron ore mines, rose to 13 and 14 respectively.

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Sri Lanka policy rates unchanged credit growth to slow: CB
Friday, 8 July 2011 - 6:01 PM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s central bank held its policy rate at which excess money is withdrawn from the market at 7.0 percent in July saying credit growth was slowing and inflation would ease further
In June 12-month inflation fell to 7.1 percent from 8.1 percent in May, measured by the widely watched Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) in which the basket was changed to a new base period from June, reducing the food share.

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Court permits detention of suspect, providing false info to Channel 4
Friday, 8 July 2011 - 6:36 PM SL Time

Colombo Magistrate`s Court today (July 08) granted permission to the CID to detain and question an individual arrested under suspicion for providing false information to Channel 4.

The suspect was taken into custody following information received he had provided false information that the Sri Lanka Army had committed war crimes, Police stated at Court.

Police informed court that further interrogation of the suspect, arrested on June 31 in Sri Lanka after returning from UK, was necessary.

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No Cricket for This Tendulkar
Saturday, 9 July 2011 - 7:12 AM SL Time

VAVUNIYA, Jul 8, 2011 (IPS) - His father named him after the famous Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar, one of the best sportsmen of his generation. But little Sachin Tendulkar from the northern Sri Lankan town of Vavuniya harbours no ambition of following in the footsteps of his illustrious namesake.

`I want to be a teacher,` six-year-old Tendulkar told IPS, smiling broadly as he sat among four dozen classmates at the Vipulananda School, just outside Vavuniya town about 250 kms north of the capital Colombo. The boy loves his teachers and wants to be one of them someday.

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Auditor General s report vindicates Sangakkara
Saturday, 9 July 2011 - 10:44 AM SL Time

Close on the heels of former National cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara`s criticism of Sri Lanka Cricket for corruption and political interference, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has blamed the recently dismissed members of the Interim Committee (IC) for plunging SLC into a financial crisis.

In spite of its financial woes, some 133 employees of Sri Lanka Cricket had shared a staggering Rs. 14,965,000 among themselves as bonuses for World Cup 2011.

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Standing tall and calling a spade a spade
Sunday, 10 July 2011 - 9:28 AM SL Time

t was one of the most erudite expressions made about contemporary cricket in Sri Lanka. It was articulate, eloquent and very Sri Lankan. In short, after going through the content, I can understand how the former Sri Lankan cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara managed to keep an audience of over 1,500 people spellbound for more than an hour with his own experiences in the game and other matters which affect the game. As a matter of fact it was done at the home of cricket Lord`s.

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Probe the Minister, Not Sanga
Sunday, 10 July 2011 - 12:50 PM SL Time

by Rex Clementine

For all its charm, tradition and history, Lord`s can be a funny place. If your skin is dark, stewards tend to tell you, `Oi! Where do you think you are going?` But the spellbinding speech of Kumar Sangakkara the other day at Lord`s is sure to turn things around completely. That Monday evening itself, after Sangakkara delivered the Lord Cowdrey Lecture on the Spirit of Cricket, there was a remarkable change in stewards` attitude. `Excuse me sir, can I help you?` A complete turnaround within an hour!

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Most missing Tamil children were recruited by LTTE : UNICEF
Sunday, 10 July 2011 - 5:54 PM SL Time

A study spearheaded by UNICEF in collaboration with the Northern Provincial Department of Probation and Child Care and Government Agent of Vavuniya has revealed that the majority of complaints received from Tamil speaking parents related to children forcibly recruited by the LTTE.

Of 676 complaints regarding missing children, about 64 per cent related to ex-LTTE child soldiers. UNICEF has facilitated re-unification of 78 children with their families.

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Lankan jailed after 517 cards cloned in chip-and-pin fraud
Monday, 11 July 2011 - 9:55 AM SL Time

A Sri Lankan illegal immigrant has been sentenced after ripping off hundreds of customers at a petrol station where he worked in Merseyside, England.

Murugaiya Selvakumaran, 36, swapped the chip and pin machines at a Murco petrol station in Wallasey with card readers which allowed international criminals to copy customers` cards and make fraudulent withdrawals.

The fraud only came to light towards the end of February 2009 when banks began to tell their clients they were victims of 41,500 of illegal transactions.

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Sri Lanka exports up 37-pct in April
Monday, 11 July 2011 - 7:15 PM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s exports rose 37 percent in April 2011 to 745.7 million US dollars driven by a 41 percent gain in industrial exports to 574 million US dollars, while imports also rose 53 percent to 1.5 billion US dollars, the Central Bank said.
Apparel exports rose 32 percent to 302 million US dollars and rubber products doubled to 54.8 million US dollars. The central bank said revenues from solid tyre and rubber glove exports.

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CIA tried to get bin Laden DNA
Tuesday, 12 July 2011 - 9:23 AM SL Time

The CIA used a fake vaccination program to try to get DNA from Osama bin Laden`s family in a bid to track him down, Britain`s The Guardian newspaper has revealed.

The fake program was conducted in May in Abbottabad, the Pakistan city were bin Laden was eventually killed in a raid by US force.

Doctor Shakil Afridi who was recruited as part of the operation has since been arrested by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency for co-operating with American intelligence agents, The Guardian reports today.

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Lankan asylum seeker stand-off enters second day
Tuesday, 12 July 2011 - 4:26 PM SL Time

A large group of asylum seekers intercepted in Indonesian waters while on their way to New Zealand may ask to be resettled in Australia. The 85 Sri Lankans, who were caught by Indonesia`s maritime police on Saturday night, are still refusing to leave their boat, which is moored at the port of Tanjung Pinang in the Riau Islands off Sumatra.

The head of the Tanjung Pinang immigration office, Hasan Basri, said today the group had demanded to speak with officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), adding that they remained determined to be resettled in a third country.

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Sri Lanka war-torn north shows highest economic growth: CB
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 - 6:28 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s northern province, which had been badly hit by war, had the highest rate of economic growth in 2010 as a post-war rebound continued, the central said.
The north`s gross domestic product grew 22.0 percent last year, the bank said in an analysis of provincial GDP.
The eastern province, which had also been affected by war, came fourth with a growth of 18.7 percent after the north-central province which grew 20.3 percent and Sabaragamuwa province which grew 19.1 percent.

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New video - more confusion
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 - 7:57 AM SL Time

Diverse government positions on footage of an alleged summary battlefield execution have befuddled even devout followers of this continuing saga.
Officials had insisted for months that the video clip first aired in August 2009 by UK`s Channel 4 was `fake.` But they now say they are in possession of the `original` clip which might be a genuine depiction of the Tigers killing Sri Lanka Army soldiers. 5-1
The film purports to show the execution of nine prisoners (some of whom are already dead) by men in uniform. It first surfaced in 2009 when Channel 4 ran a story around it. The broadcaster said the video - reportedly shot by a soldier on a mobile phone and obtained from Journalists for Democracy - was validated by experts.

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President Rajapaksa spearheads Northern polls campaign in bid to prove Tamil people are with govt
Thursday, 14 July 2011 - 7:21 AM SL Time

President Rajapaksa will spearhead huge propaganda effort to enable good performance by UPFA at forthcoming local authority polls in North
The president will spend at least 3 days in Kilinochchi & Jaffna districts this week & invigorate the United Peoples Freedom Alliance campaign

President wants to uplift socially underprivileged sections of Tamil society. They will be given priority in land,housing & job allocations

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Briton `with CDs` further detained
Thursday, 14 July 2011 - 9:48 AM SL Time

A British Tamil arrested on allegations of providing video footage to British Channel4 television on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka had 71 compact discs in his possession say the police.
Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) told Colombo magistrate that the suspect was arrested on 30 June.

Nandavanam Jagatheeswaram is accused of trying of tarnish the image of Sri Lanka military by providing fake war crimes footage.

Police said they are investigating the content of the arrested 71 CDs.

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Sri Lanka to decide road toll next week
Friday, 15 July 2011 - 6:37 AM SL Time

Fees for Sri Lanka`s first toll expressway to the south of the island will be decided next week ahead of its opening scheduled for later this month, head of Sri Lanka`s road development authority R W Pemasiri said.
Pemasiri said only a small amount of work remained to be done on the Galle expressway and the agency is expecting to open the road before the end of the month.

Pemasiri said tolls would be collected manually through the issue of tickets. The fund will go to the Treasury directly he said, and will be voted back to the road agency.

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Indian Track
Friday, 15 July 2011 - 10:54 PM SL Time

India`s state-run Indian Railway Construction International Ltd (lRCON) has been given a 149.3 million US dollar contract to build a remaining part of a railway track to Sri Lanka`s north, the government`s information office said.
The entire track from Vavuniya to Jaffna was destroyed during a civil war which ended in 2009.

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Misleading viewers with Channel 4 fiction
Saturday, 16 July 2011 - 1:55 PM SL Time

Amidst hundreds of oral and written protests by the Sri Lankan community in Australia, it`s appalling that the ABC telecast the fiction film clip titled `Sri Lanka`s killing fields` borrowed from an unethical broadcaster from UK- Channel 4. Even though the Channel 4 is a public TV funded by the Tax payers, Channel 4 is alleged to be in the edge of bankruptcy and telecasting this clip would have bought them out of the RED presumably by LTTE funding.

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Oil, cricket gamblers plunder billions
Sunday, 17 July 2011 - 2:52 PM SL Time

Two years after the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas, both Sri Lankans and the government are reaping some peace dividends.

The biggest dividend for Sri Lankans is the confidence to move without fear of bomb explosions that had caused loss of lives and limbs. To the government, which quite rightly took the credit for that transition after two and half decades of war and violence, priding itself for development activity and pledging to provide a better environment for those in the once ravaged areas, has become a priority.

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Pakistan-SL too for currency swap
Monday, 18 July 2011 - 7:35 AM SL Time

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said his country is already having a dialogue with Sri Lanka for a currency swap arrangement to strengthen trade and economic ties, the Express Tribune reported.

President Zardari, who is on a visit to Iran proposed a currency swap agreement with Iran to strengthen trade and economic ties between the two countries. He said Pakistan was already in a dialogue process with Turkey, Sri Lanka and China for currency swap arrangements.

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ICC reiterates inability to act on Lanka
Monday, 18 July 2011 - 1:06 PM SL Time

Head of the International Criminal Court, President Sang-Hyun Song has reiterated that the ICC was unable to act on matters from non-signatory states such as Sri Lanka, Israel and the US.

Whenever certain atrocities are committed in the corners of the world, everybody seems to refer to the ICC as an ultimate place to send that situation to, he said.

We are very glad to notice all this growing recognition of the court. On the other hand we have to play by the rules that are specified in the Rome Statute.

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LTTE considering legal action to Protect their image
Monday, 18 July 2011 - 2:01 PM SL Time

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) issued a declaration today prohibiting fake accounts of members of the LTTE on the popular site Facebook. Violators will be produced before Tamil Eelam Supreme Court and after a quick trail will face the death penalty.

This follows after a Moroccan government arrested an individual who created a fake account on the king of Morocco`s brother. LTTE supremo, Hon. Leader V.Prabhakharan had released a statement stating that the pictures of him on Facebook are not very flattering as they show him obese and overweight.

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Sonia Gandhi wanted Colombo to decimate LTTE before finalising a political solution
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 - 6:54 AM SL Time

Sam Rajappa is a veteraqn Indian journalist with vast insight and knowledge about the happenings in the Indian corridors of power.

After having worked for a number of Indian and Foreign media institutions he served as director of the Statesman print journalism school after retiring from active journalism.

In a recent article appearing in The Statesman Sam has made a very bold revelation about how and why New Delhi Allowed Colombo to go ahead and decimate the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) without having a political settlement finalised beforehand.

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Sri Lankans capture 10 out of 32 golds at Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge 2011
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 - 4:35 PM SL Time

A Maldivian was voted the best chef at Hotel Asia Culinary Challenge 2011 which concluded in Male on Saturday, but Sri Lankan nationals captured 10 of the 32 gold medals on offer.

Dimunitive Saeed Mohamed won gold in the `Most Outstanding Chef`,`Best Maldivian Dish` and `Best Culinary Establishment`categories, at a glittering ceremony held at Nasundhara Palace Hotel.

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Sri Lanka may not take last IMF loan tranche: Fitch analyst
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 - 6:26 AM SL Time

There is a `strong possibility` that Sri Lanka may not take the final tranche from the International Monetary Fund under a 2.6 billion US dollar bailout program Fitch Ratings Asian Pacific director Art Woo said.
`There is a strong possibility that the government will not accept the final disbursement there,` Woo told a teleconference a day after upgrading Sri Lanka`s sovereign rating by one notch to `BB-`.
Woo said the IMF program is formally scheduled to end in March 2012, but foreign reserves were high at 7.0 billion dollars, from a low of 1.4 billion at the height of a balance of payments crisis in mid 2009.

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A solution can never manifest itself if it comes at the cost of other party
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 - 8:46 AM SL Time

India and Sri Lanka are consistently engaged in working out a practical solution to the issues involving their fishermen.

Given the close proximity between the two coastlines, and the depleting fisheries resources in the area, as also the livelihood issue involving fishermen on both sides, our two governments are giving special attention to the problems that have arisen conerning what is called the fishermen issue between the two countries.

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Gates Foundation: `We need to reinvent the toilet`
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 - 10:15 AM SL Time

This unsightly piece of technology, which everyone uses but no one seems to think much about, is in desperate need of an overhaul, according to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which launched a challenge to `reinvent the toilet.`

The foundation announced $41.5 million worth of grants on Tuesday aimed at getting someone to reengineer the flushing porcelain pot, which has been in use since the 1700s.

`No innovation in the past 200 years has done more to save lives and improve health than the sanitation revolution triggered by invention of the toilet,` Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the foundation`s global development program, said in a statement. `But it did not go far enough. It only reached one-third of the world. What we need are new approaches. New ideas. In short, we need to reinvent the toilet.`

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Tamil Separatism Vs. The Arab Spring
Thursday, 21 July 2011 - 9:30 AM SL Time

How is/was Tamil separatism in Sri Lanka different from the Arab Spring? I don`t mean federalism (good idea, people deserve to be troubled by a government that at least speaks their language). I mean separatism, the idea of a separate state for the Tamil race in the North and East of the island.

1. Tamil Separatism was violent

Images of the Arab Spring
After the peaceful satygraha by Tamil parliamentarians was crushed on the Galle Face Green (1956), non-violent Tamil resistance went into growing disrepute. Indeed, it was hard to justify in the face of fairly regular riots, culminating in 1983. I was one year old, but that historical inheritance still shames and horrifies me.

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Ottawa says 30 war criminals hiding in Canada
Friday, 22 July 2011 - 10:59 AM SL Time

Thirty fugitives wanted for war crimes or crimes against humanity are believed to be hiding in Canada, the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday.

The government`s Border Services Agency published on its website the names of suspects from Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Ghana, Haiti, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and the former Yugoslavia, among others.

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Sri Lanka offers Air Taxi services to reach tourist havens in the East
Friday, 22 July 2011 - 4:53 PM SL Time

Colombo, 22 July, ( With the East coast of Sri Lanka becoming a tourist haven in the country, following opening up of several chalet-type hotels, commencing boat services to the near-by islands such as the pigeon island which has several hundred varieties of corals and colorful fish, whale and dolphin watching, surfing and sun bathing in the silvery beaches luring scores of tourists, SriLankan Airlines plans to extend its floatplane services to the east coast.

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Clearance of ships sunk by LTTE to cost India Rs. 2.18 bn
Saturday, 23 July 2011 - 6:11 PM SL Time

Planned removal and disposal of six vessels sunk by Sea Tigers off Kankesanthurai during the war will cost a staggering Rs. 2.18 bn.

The operation expected to be completed before end of this year is funded by a grant from India under an agreement aimed at restoring Sri Lanka`s main northern harbour at KKS. A military official placed the total number of ship wrecks in and outside the KKS harbour at seven, though the Indo-Lanka agreement referred to only six wrecks.

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Jaffna peaceful, Kilinochchi marred by violence
Sunday, 24 July 2011 - 11:23 AM SL Time

The former Tamil Tiger stronghold Kilinochchi has been marred with violence and intimidation but Jaffna has been peaceful during the elections for the local bodies on Saturday, journalists say.
A youth organizer of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has been transferred to Jaffna hospital after an assault using a pistol allegedly by a pro-government ex-militant group.

Sunderalingam Yogeswaran is the chief youth wing organiser of the TNA and a local school teacher.

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Nishantha says `no conflict` in CSN job
Sunday, 24 July 2011 - 5:03 PM SL Time

A former senior official at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has rejected accusations of conflict of interest for taking up a senior media job while working at the SLC.
Nishantha Ranathunga, the CEO of Carlton Sports Network (CSN), told BBC Sandeshaya that the SLC was officially informed about his taking up the job with the CSN while being the secretary of the SLC.

The CSN was offered media rights by Singapore-based Somerset Entertainment Ventures (SEV) for the currently postponed Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL).

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DMK calls for referendum among Sri Lankan Tamils
Monday, 25 July 2011 - 9:35 AM SL Time

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Sunday called for a referendum among the Tamils in Sri Lanka on providing them with their due rights and bringing about a political solution to the ethnic issue.

Equal rights were a long-pending demand in the island nation and a separate Eelam was once seen as the way to achieve it. But, divergent views and stands among Tamil groups came in the way of realising this objective, the DMK`s general council said in a resolution here.

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Govt. should address problems in a united Sri Lanka TNA
Monday, 25 July 2011 - 1:50 PM SL Time

The Government should take steps to solve the problems of the Tamil populace under a united Sri Lanka, the TNA said today. Former TNA MP M.K. Sivagilingam speaking to Ada Derana said that the TNA has emerged as the sole representative of the people in the North.

The election has given out the strong message and franchise to the TNA to represent the Tamils towards solving the national issues.

At the recently concluded Local Government Election the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) secured power in 20 of the 24 bodies it contested in the North.

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While America mulls ban on aid to SL
Tuesday, 26 July 2011 - 12:30 PM SL Time

Close on the heels of a US House Foreign Affairs Committee decision that American aid to Sri Lanka should be banned, some of the biggest American multi-nationals have written to the US government explaining their intention to form a Coalition for US-Sri Lanka Business to promote commercial activities here stating that it `will generate substantial benefits to both countries, including additional America jobs resulting from increased exports across a number of US industries. `

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Setback for Rajapaksa`s reconciliation
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 - 7:36 AM SL Time

BANGALORE - Local election results in Sri Lanka indicate that while President Mahinda Rajapaksa can still count on solid support in the Sinhala south, his post-war development strategy to address Tamil alienation has failed to cut ice with Tamils in the north and east.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) exceeded expectations to take control of 18 of 26 local bodies in the north and east in the polls on Saturday. Another Tamil party, the Tamil United Liberation Front, took two local councils - both in Killinochchi district - where it was reportedly backed by the TNA.

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Sri Lanka May 2011 imports up on aircraft, cars
Thursday, 28 July 2011 - 7:25 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s exports rose 34 percent in May 2011, to 832 million US dollars and imports rose at a faster 67 percent to 1.76 billion dollars partly due to strong imports of cars and a aircraft, the Central Bank said.
Agricultural exports rose 19 percent to 182 million US dollars, with tea rising 10 percent to 116 million dollars. Industrial exports rose 39 percent to 638 million US dollars with textiles and apparel rising 22 percent to 321 million US dollars.

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Decision to reduce Jaffna parliamentary seats is unfair
Thursday, 28 July 2011 - 5:38 PM SL Time

The decision taken to reduce the number of parliamentary seats allocated to the Jaffna electorate from ten to six is an unfair one, Spokesman for the Tamil National Alliance Suresh Premachandra stated.

The Elections Department earlier today stated that it may reduce the number of allocated seats for the Jaffna electorate to six in view of the decrease in the voter base by 320,000 since 2009.

Premachandra stated that many of the civilians in Jaffna had fled to other parts of the country as well as foreign countries during the war and were still in the process of returning to their homes which was the reason for the low voter base.

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Norwegian peace evaluation delayed :)
Friday, 29 July 2011 - 7:28 AM SL Time

Norway seems to be reluctant to make public a costly evaluation of its unsuccessful peace efforts in Sri Lanka.

Although Norway initially planned to unveil the final report in the first week of April 2011, ahead of UNSG Ban Ki-moon`s unsubstantiated `war crimes` report, an influential section in the Norwegian government is concerned about the outcome.

Sources told The Island that in view of a spate of revelations made by WikiLeaks with regard to the Norwegian-led peace process since February 2002 the interested parties would not be able to manipulate the Norwegian evaluation. The Norwegian government may not want the report to cause further embarrassment to its allies by exposing sharp discrepancies in the UNSG`s report.

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Ranil solves disputes among UNP-UK factions
Friday, 29 July 2011 - 9:25 PM SL Time

UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe requested UNP party members in the UK to join hands together to bring the party into the winning stream. He made these remarks when Mr Wickremasinghe met the interim committee and the members of the UNP-UK branch in London and solved the ongoing disputes among them for some times.
He has given firm guide lines to both groups which maintained the most number of member supporters in the UK and agreed to establish a new branch by 2012 onwards. He also advised them to take the majority agreement and work for the betterment of the party. Members of the both factions also agreed with the decision taken by their leader and looking forward to work together by establishing a new branch in the UK.

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Ranil solves disputes among UNP-UK factions lolz
Friday, 29 July 2011 - 9:26 PM SL Time

UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe requested UNP party members in the UK to join hands together to bring the party into the winning stream. He made these remarks when Mr Wickremasinghe met the interim committee and the members of the UNP-UK branch in London and solved the ongoing disputes among them for some times.
He has given firm guide lines to both groups which maintained the most number of member supporters in the UK and agreed to establish a new branch by 2012 onwards. He also advised them to take the majority agreement and work for the betterment of the party. Members of the both factions also agreed with the decision taken by their leader and looking forward to work together by establishing a new branch in the UK.

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Ch-4 video, a personal attack on me and Defence Sec: Shavendra
Saturday, 30 July 2011 - 10:45 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s United Nations deputy ambassador Shavendra Silva commander of the frontline 58th brigade during the final phase of the war, said yesterday the latest Channel-4 video was a personal attack on him and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the first killing fields documentary failed to attain its objectives.

Major General Silva made these comments in a telephone interview with Daily Mirror from New York.

In the latest Channel-4 video a person called Fernando is accusing me and the Defence Secretary that orders were given to me to execute some of the people who surrendered, he said.

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Sri Lanka: Former Tamil Tigers complain of harassment
Saturday, 30 July 2011 - 10:51 AM SL Time

Former Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels in Sri Lanka say they cannot find jobs or reintegrate into society, a year after they were freed from government `rehabilitation` and detention camps.

In a series of exclusive interviews with the BBC, some also said they were being harassed by the security forces, though others were being left alone.

After the LTTE were defeated in 2009, more than 11,000 former militants or alleged militants were taken to the special camps after being screened off from civilian war refugees. A few thousand remain inside but more than half have been released, in phases, and gone home.

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Angelo Mathews named Vice Captain
Saturday, 30 July 2011 - 10:16 PM SL Time

Angelo Mathews named Vice CaptainJuly 30, 2011 05:11 pm
Angelo Mathews has been appointed Vice Captain for Sri Lanka`s home series against Australia, Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Selection Committee Duleep Mendis said.

Mathews, who captained the Sri Lanka team in the 2006 U-19 Cricket World Cup, was overlooked as vice captain, with selectors naming Thilina Kandamby, for Sri Lanka`s 2011 tour of England.

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Shavendra alleges British media plot to discredit the government
Sunday, 31 July 2011 - 6:52 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s Deputy UN Representative, Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva, alleges a British media plot to discredit the government of Sri Lanka at the behest of the UK-based LTTE operatives.

Responding to queries by The Sunday Island in the aftermath of the UK-based Channel 4 News confronting him outside his offices in Manhattan, he emphasized the need to expose those behind the Channel 4 News operation targeting Sri Lanka.

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Two with LTTE links repatriated to Sri Lanka
Monday, 1 August 2011 - 1:15 AM SL Time

Two people detained in Malaysia under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for links with terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LLTE) have been repatriated to Sri Lanka.

Malaysia`s Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said details on the repatriation of the two will be revealed tomorrow.

He said the ministry is considering to release Immigration Department officers detained under ISA for their involvement in human trafficking.

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