Friday, December 17, 2010

An Active Land Settlement Policy Needed


 
By Don Wijewardena
December 16, 2010

Prabhakaran had to rely on the idea of a Tamil kingdom that was purported to have existed in the north to push for Tamil Eelam. And it continues to remain central to some of the current political parties too for obvious reasons: their very survival depends on the claim that attracts votes.

The main argument for not disturbing the existing pattern of land settlement in the north hinges on the claimed existence of an ancient Tamil kingdom. But this has been disputed by eminent historians, among them Professor Karthigesu Indrapala of the Jaffna University, Mudliyar C. Rasanayagam, Bernard Gunatillake and a host of others. The available evidence in fact, suggests the contrary. As noted by Prof. S Ranwella if there had been an independent Tamil kingdom in and around the Jaffna peninsula in ancient times, at least a few Tamil inscriptions of those kings who ruled in that kingdom should have come to light in and around the Jaffna peninsula. But so far not a single Tamil inscription, or any other inscription testifying to it has been discovered.

It is interesting that the earliest Tamil inscription discovered in the Jaffna District is by a Sinhalese king, namely Parakramabahu I(1153-1186) who ruled at Polonnaruwa. This inscription was found at the entrance to the famous Nakapusani-Amman Temple in the small island now know as Nainativu or Nagadipa; and it contains certain trade regulations concerning wreckages off the port of Uratturai i.e. present day Kayts (UCR. Vol.XXI, pp.63-70). In the words of Dr. Karthigesu Indrapala, the editor of this inscription ‘the fact that this edict was issued not by any subordinate official, but by the king himself shows that the monarch was in supreme control of the northern most region of the island (UCR.Vo.XXI,p.66). A map of Yapanaya or Jaffanapatnam recently found in the Beeldbank National Archives, in the Netherlands done in 1695 had more than 85% off all villages with Sinhalese names[1].

There is also ample evidence readily available in chronicles, records of foreign visitors to Sri Lanka and in contemporary inscriptions indicating that there were large and extensive Sinhalese settlements there from very early times and that the Sinhalese kings, from the beginning of the historical period up to the middle of the 18th century and thereafter the Nayakkar kings of the Kandyan kingdom up to its fall in 1815 were the lawful rulers of and the legal heirs to the Jaffna region.[2]

In view of the existence of a large body of literature on the subject it is not intended to delve into it in more detail here. But in spite of the evidence to the contrary the traditional homeland idea will continue to be pushed by some politicians, INGOs and a section of the media, more for their own benefit than in helping to clarify issues. To deal with the issue in a reasoned manner the government needs to develop a land settlement policy that addresses current realities and helps promote the national interest and democratic values.

 An objective basis for addressing the problem

The President has quite rightly pointed out recently that limiting settlement to a particular group or community cannot be justified in a democracy where its citizens should be able to acquire property rights anywhere in the country. In fact recent history of Sri Lanka suggests this facility has been widely used by Tamil people. According to the census data for 1981 and 2001 the population of Sri Lankan Tamils in the Colombo district increased from 10 to 11 per cent, in Kalutara from 1.2 to 1.3 per cent, in Galle 0.9 to 1.3 per cent, in Puttalam from 6.6 to 6.9 per cent and in Ratnapura from 2.4 to 3.4 per cent[3].

In absolute numbers the increase in the Tamil population in the greater Colombo region was 82,365. The city along with the adjacent urban areas of Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Kolonnawa and Kotte have accounted for 75,954 (or, 92% of the total district increase).

This increase, moreover, was brought about by the immigration of Tamils into the area from the north-east. As indicated in a post-census publication of the Department of Census & Statistics (2004), out of the total of 206,310 ‘life-time immigrants’ resident in the Colombo city in 2001, 54,732 had migrated from source areas in the north-east, with Jaffna District alone contributing 41,248 to this segment of the population[4].

These are telling statistics. They show that the Tamil people used their democratic right to move around in choosing where they wanted to live. It also shows that contrary to the LTTE claims of genocide by the Sinhalese, ordinary Tamils preferred to leave their ‘homeland’ to live among the Sinhalese even after the 1983 riots. 

It was not only the Tamil community that has shown such a high degree of mobility. Census data for the Colombo district shows that the Sri Lankan Moor population also increased at a similar rate during the period.

Given this background it is surprising that some politicians raise concerns regarding the reverse flow of population to predominantly Tamil areas. The government, as part of facilitating democratic process, needs not only to support such migrations but also to remove any legal or other impediments to such flows.

 National priorities

One of the key objectives of President Rajapaksa’s agenda for his second term is doubling of per capita income. High among the requirements for achieving this is the productive use of the country’s resources in particular, land and labour.  The past policy of colonization was based on this principle of moving people to where the land resources were and it paid off handsomely with vastly increased paddy production.  A first approximation for the basis of such a move is related to population density. Density measures the population per square kilometer of land. Census department data for 2009 shows that the average density of population for the country is 312 per square kilometre. Some districts, such as Colombo, have almost 12 times this average. At the other extreme is the district of Mannar, which has a population density of only 16 per cent of the average. (See table 1)

 TABLE 1:POPULATION DENSITY 
District Area (km²) Census of 1981-03-17 2009-07-01 2009 Density
Colombo 699 1,699,241 2,521,000 3607
Gampaha 1,387 1,390,862 2,165,000 1561
Kandy 1,940 1,048,317 1,415,000 729
Kalutara 1,598 829,704 1,128,000 706
Galle 1,652 814,531 1,074,000 650
Matara 1,283 643,786 831,000 648
Jaffna 1,025 738,788 607,000 592
Kegalla 1,693 684,944 813,000 480
Nuwara Eliya 1,741 603,577 755,000 434
Ratnapura 3,275 797,087 1,113,000 340
Kurunegala 4,816 1,211,801 1,550,000 322
Sri Lanka 65,610 14846750 20,450,000 312
Badulla 2,861 640,952 874,000 305
Puttalam 3,072 492,533 770,000 251
Matale 1,993 357,354 490,000 246
Hambantota 2,609 424,344 565,000 217
Batticaloa 2,854 330,333 537,000 188
Ampara 4,415 388,970 634,000 144
Trincomalee 2,727 255,948 368,000 135
Polonnaruwa 3,293 261,563 405,000 123
Kilinochchi 1,279 91,764 154,000 120
Anuradhapura 7,179 587,929 820,000 114
Vavuniya 1,967 95,428 169,000 86
Moneragala 5,639 273,570 435,000 77
Mullaitivu 2,617 77,189 154,000 59
Mannar 1,996 106,235 103,000 52
Source: Department of Census and Statistics

A logical basis to spread the population to less populated regions is colonisation of sparsely populated areas.

But this will require meeting at least two other conditions: sufficient arable land and adequate supply of water for irrigation. Although it may appear that some regions, especially in the arid zone, are not suitable for colonisation because of low rainfall modern technology allows for diversion of waterways to most parts Sri Lanka being a small island.
  
But at the same time it is worth noting that present day growth need not be limited to maximising output from the land since the service sector too can contribute enormously to the GDP. Having a relatively educated workforce may allow Sri Lanka to develop knowledge-based industries, which do not have to be necessarily located in Colombo or in close proximity. If call centres in Mumbai can answer the telephone of a New York based company, working from Hambantota or Point Pedro should not pose major problems.

Prevention of terrorism

Settlements also have major implications in terms of preventing terrorism. For instance to fire the first salvo in the Eelam war IV, Prabhakaran closed the Mavil Aru anicut on 26 July 2006, which supplied water to 30,000 farmers downstream. In retrospect, that may appear as a stupid idea since he was on the run from then on. But in fact it was part of a LTTE master plan to recapture Jaffna. The LTTE followed the closing of the anicut by attacks a week later, on army detachments at Kattaparichchan, Mahindapura and Pahalathoppur all with the aim of taking full control of the area surrounding the Trincomalee harbour and creating a land corridor to the north. It was also to allow free access to the Habarana-Trincomalee main supply route. All these were of critical importance to recapture the LTTE’s crown jewel, Jaffna peninsula. But a major obstacle to achieving this was the Sinhalese settlements south of Trincomalee especially in Kallar, Somapura and Serunuwara. These farmers relied on water from Mavil Aru and the first phase of the war was to drive them away by cutting off water supply[5].

But when that failed, with severe loss of manpower, the LTTE withdrew with the plan to capture Jaffna in tatters. This was a defining moment in Eelam War IV. Prabhakaran was banking on inflicting severe damage on the armed forces  at Mavil Aru before moving on to capturing the Jaffna peninsula. But all that failed and from then on Prabhakaran was unable to determine the course of Eelam War IV. 
  
There is an important lesson in the LTTE’s failure to recapture Jaffna. The Sinhalese settlements in Kallar, Somapura, Serunuwara and surrounding regions that interspersed with other communities formed a bulwark which the LTTE could not penetrate. Yet it was necessary for the LTTE to do this before it could take control of the Trincomalee harbour and create a passage to the north and access to the Habarana-Trincomalee supply route. Their inability to achieve this was a major reason for the Tiger failure. It proved that settlement by a mix of communities, instead of vast regions comprising a single community, is an effective barrier against covert activities by terrorists groups.

Other issues

Allowing for freer mobility of people to areas occupied predominantly by one community may in the long term dilute political representation. This may not pose major problems as evident from the way it has been handled in the Colombo region with multi-member electorates etc. Any major concerns regarding minorities should be addressed at the centre to ensure adequate representation in parliament for these groups. In this regard, among other things, the idea of a second chamber holds promise.

In summary, an active land settlement policy is critically important at this juncture both to promote democratic values in the community and support national objectives. The government should not be dissuaded by arguments of groups that survive on perpetuating sanctity of a mythical homeland.


[1] http://www.jaffnahistory.com/Northern_Province/Sinhala_Villages_of_Jaffna_1695.html
[2] Prof. S.Ranwella, The so-called Tamil kingdom of Jaffna:  Paper submitted to Sansoni Commission.
[3] S. Maduraperuma, The census of population and housing, 2001. http://www.ancsdaap.org/cencon2002/papers/Sri%20Lanka/SriLanka.pdf
[4] G.H.Peiris, Ethnic relations in Sri Lanka: conflict or concord?, Lanka Guardian, http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2009/03/ethnic-relations-in-sri-lanka-conflict.html 
[5] Don Wijewardana, How LTTE Lost the Eelam War, Stamford Lake Publications, 2010

120 comments:

Ananda-USA said...

Indeed!

An active land settlement policy should be implemented within the context of Ethnic Integration with the IDEAL GOAL of achieving a uniform demographic distribution of communities throughout the nation.

In this way, future separatism can be prevented, and communal harmony assured!

This is the ONLY WAY to permanently disable separatism!

Ananda-USA said...

Mark my words: These Tiger Nominated Agents of the TNA will propose AUTONOMY for the North & East, including Police Powers, as a step towards their vanished EELAM.

POLITICAL POWER should NEVER be DEVOLVED to ANY COMMUNITY on an ETHNICITY BASIS.

ONE PERSON ONE VOTE they ALREADY HAVE is ENOUGH FRANCHISE for any Sri Lankan citizen. They should use it to ELECT their Representatives to Parliament!

ALL Provincial Councils should be DISMANTLED; DISTRICTS should be the largest administrative units.

PCs are TOO LARGE .. they pose a THREAT to the Central Government and represent an unnecessary layer of tax-supported bureaucracy.

Just say NO to these hidden separatists, and PROSECUTE THEM for their TREASONOUS ACTS in the PAST and send them to PRISON!


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Tamil political parties of Sri Lanka to submit proposals for a political solution

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 18, Colombo: A former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian has said that the proposals for a political solution to the ethnic issue will be handed over to the government within two months by the forum of Tamil political parties.

He has also called for the administrative affairs in the North and East within a united Sri Lanka should be given to the Tamil speaking public.

General Secretary of the Tamil National Freedom Alliance and former TNA MP M. K. Sivajilingam has told the media today that the Tamil people have faced many injustices in recent times and it is time to change it now.

According to Sivajilingam, steps should also be taken to protect the rights of minority nationalities in other areas of the country.

He has added that the proposals to provide a political solution to the ethnic issue, which is currently being prepared by a group of Tamil political parties, will be handed over to the government within two months.

Ananda-USA said...

Wikileaks reveals: Behind the Scenes collusion between India & US against Sri Lanka in 2007.

..............
Situation in Lanka beyond bleak - Indian official told US

By Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times,
Colombo
December 18, 2010

A senior Indian bureaucrat had warned the US that the situation in Sri Lanka was bad, even beyond bleak two years before the civil war between government troops and separatist Tamil rebels ended in May, 2009, a cable released by Wikileaks has revealed. The same cable revealed that India wanted US
to make an assessment of the port that China was building for Sri Lanka in Hambantota.

In a cable dated, April 27, 2007, then joint secretary Mohan Kumar is quoted by US diplomats as saying: "the situation in Sri Lanka is "bad, really bad - beyond bleak". The discussion was held in New Delhi.

Kumar told the diplomats that neither the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) nor the Lankan government had any regard for the international community's opinion.

"Characterising the government and the LTTE as two sets of people with scant regard for the international community, Kumar was skeptical that political progress could be achieved anytime soon," the cable said.

In the 2007, the armed forces and the LTTE were locked in a pitched battle in eastern and northern Sri Lanka. The LTTE was pushed out of the eastern province soon after.

The cable further stated that, "Kumar said it would be helpful to get the American assessment of the port being built in Hambantota, which he estimated China was willing to spend $500 million to help develop. He noted that China has increased its influence with President Rajapaksa, opining that Rajapaksa had a "soft spot" for China following his visit to Beijing in March."

Meanwhile, reports from Washington have said that several US lawmakers on Friday urged a global probe into the allegation of human rights in the last stages of the Lankan civil war. The Lanka government's own efforts do not ensure accountability, they said.

According to AFP, in letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 17 senators and 30 members of the House of Representatives called for the United States to seek a United Nations role investigating last year's finale of the Tamil Tiger insurgency.

The Lankan government has set up a Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to look into events between 2002 and end of war in 2009. The UN too has set up a three-member commission to advice the secretary general Ban Ki-moon on the issue of rights violation.

Ananda-USA said...

Wikileaks reveals: Double-Standards and Blind-Eyes of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) on LTTE terror!
..............
Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission turned a blind eye to LTTE violations, WikiLeaks cable reveals

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 17, Colombo: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) used draconian conscription methods to recruit Tamil civilians living in the Wanni to its forces and Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) turned a blind eye to LTTE forced conscription, another WikiLeaks cable released to the media said.

In a cable dated 12 June 2007, then United States Ambassador to Colombo, Robert O. Blake, Jr., has informed Washington that the LTTE had complete control of all activities that take place in Tiger-controlled territory, including forced conscription and the use of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) to extract money from INGOs.

The cable published in The Guardian noted that the SLMM has remained complacent in the face of coercive techniques the LTTE employed to maintain control of its northern stronghold.

The Embassy has learnt from a contact that the LTTE had ordered International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) to provide all project funding through local NGOs, which are managed collectively by the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO).

According to the informant even though the United Nations did not work through the TRO, its funds had been channeled to the TRO through local NGOs.

The U.S. Embassy in Colombo had come to the conclusion that the money extorted by the TRO probably funded the LTTE administration in the territory it occupied, rather than arms purchases as the amounts are miniscule compared to what the overseas Tamil Diaspora raises.

The Embassy speculated that the Diaspora money funded the arms purchases that were smuggled into the Wanni.

Ananda-USA said...

Bad MISTAKE!

The UN Panel won't stop at meeting the LLRC.

They will meet all of their underground agents and begin "fact finding" activities gathering false "evidence" to engineer a REGIME CHANGE in Sri Lanka.

This will evolve towards a vast political move to DESTABILIZE Sri Lanka and resurrect the EELAM war ... just like the iNGOs did during the last 30 years!

KEEP THE BUMS OUT OF SRI LANKA!

Ask them to submit written submissions to the LLRC from abroad!

..............
Sri Lankan government willing to consider if request made by UN Panel to meet with LLRC

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 18, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government Saturday said that it was ready to consider if a request is made by the United Nations Secretary General's Panel of Experts to visit Sri Lanka to meet the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Bandula Jayasekara has told the media today that the government would consider if a formal request is made by the UN Panel to visit Sri Lanka.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday the Panel of Experts appointed by him to probe Sri Lanka's accountability issues plans to visit the island and meet with Sri Lanka's Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission.

In response, the External Affairs Ministry today issued an official statement saying the Government of Sri Lanka has the responsibility to facilitate those desirous of presenting representations, as set out in the mandate of the LLRC.

"Accordingly, in the event of the Panel of the Secretary-General wishing to present representations to the Commission, the Ministry of External Affairs will make the arrangements that are necessary to enable the Panel to do so," the External Affairs Ministry said.

The Ministry has already conveyed this position through diplomatic channels, to the United Nations in New York.

Ananda-USA said...

Bad MISTAKE!

DO NOT Allow REGIME CHANGERS of the UN to visit Sri Lanka, to COLLUDE with local LTTE agents and political opponents to DESTABILIZE the country.

KEEP THE BUMS OUT OF SRI LANKA!

...............
UN Expert Panel to visit Sri Lanka to meet Reconciliation Commission

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 17, New York: The Panel of Experts appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to probe Sri Lanka's accountability issues plans to visit the island and meet with Sri Lanka's Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission, the UN said Friday.

Responding to a question on the progress of the UN Panel at a media conference held by the UN chief Friday at the UN headquarters in New York, Mr. Ban said the Panel will be able to visit Sri Lanka following a discussion between himself and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

"After long consultations between myself and President [Mahinda] Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka, I am pleased that the Panel of Experts is now able to visit Sri Lanka and meet with the Commission on Lessons Learned and Reconciliation, and I sincerely hope that the Panel of Experts will be able to have good cooperation, to have an accountability process and make progress as soon as possible,"

The Sri Lankan government vehemently opposed the appointment of the three-member UN Panel, led by former Attorney General of Indonesia Marzuki Darusman, saying that it is unnecessary and unwarranted as the government has already set in motion its own mechanism to probe the events took place during a seven-year period prior to the conclusion of the war.

The government said the panel members, who started their work on the issues on September 16, will not be allowed to enter the country for any investigations.

The UN Chief said the Panel's intended visit is a result of long consultations, and said he appreciates the flexibility of the President Rajapaksa on this issue.

The four-month deadline that has been set for the panel to submit its report on Sri Lanka's war to the UN chief will end in the middle of January next year.

Ananda-USA said...

The rail line extension to Hambantotata is essential to move goods to and fro from the Magampura Port.

The extension to Kataragama will serve pilgrims and serve this town fast growing into a city.

The GOSL should consider extending the rail line FURTHER from Hambantota to Batticoloa along the South Eastern Coast to enable population growth and settlement of that region that is sparsely populated now.

The Grand Vision should be to create a railway that ENCIRCLES THE ENTIRE ISLAND from Colombo to Galle to Matara to Habantota to Kataragama to Batticalao to Tincomalee to Mullaitivu to Paranthan to Pooneryn to Mannar to Puutalam to Colombo.

Other existing rail lines from the interior of the country to the coast can serve as the SPOKES connecting the existing network to the WHEEL of this coastal railway.

This would promote National Integration and help bind the country DEMOGRAPHICALLY and ECONOMICALLY together into ONE UNITED NATION.


.................
Sri Lanka's Southern Railway to be extended to Kataragama within the next five years

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 18, Ambalantota: Construction work of the Southern Railway line between Matara and Kataragama will be completed within the next five years, the Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama said today.

At a function held at Ambalantota Katugaswewa Sri Dharmaraja Viharaya today, the Minister said that the railway line will be constructed in two stages.

The railway from Matara to Beliatta will be completed within the next two years under the first phase of the project, he said.

The government has signed a contract with a Chinese company to extend the 30-kilometer long railway tracks from Matara to Beliatta.

The project to extend the rail line to Kataragama will be carried out in two stages. The track will be extended up to Hambantota from Beliatta under the second stage and in the last phase, it will be extended from Hambantota to Kataragama.

Minister Welgama said the people of this country will be able to make a journey from Matara to Kataragama within a short time after the completion of the proposed railway line project.

Ananda-USA said...

Wimal Weerawansa is RIGHT:

This UN Panel is PART of the Globally Orchestrated REGIME CHANGE ORCHESTRA of the powers that be, aided and abetted by the Eelamist Diaspora!

We would only be give them the opportunity to achieve their goals and DESTABILIZE Sri Lanka.

KEEP THE BUMS OUT OF SRI LANKA!

.................
Sri Lankan minister says government should not allow UN Panel to visit the country

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 18, Colombo: Leader of Sri Lanka's National Freedom Front (NFF) and Housing and Construction Minister Wimal Weerawansa today said that the United Nations Secretary-General's Panel of Experts should not be allowed to arrive in the country to carry out investigations into alleged human rights violations.

Weerawansa has told the media that the External Affairs Ministry should continue with its former stance of not permitting the Panel to visit Sri Lanka.

According to Weerawansa, groups opposing the government might provide false information to the Panel if it is allowed to visit the country. The Panel, he has said would also get the opportunity to prepare bogus reports by meeting fake witnesses.

He has firmly said that the three-member UN Panel should not be allowed to enter the country under any circumstance.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the media yesterday (17) that the Panel of Experts appointed by him plans to visit Sri Lanka and meet with the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The government earlier said the panel members, who started their work on the issues on September 16, will not be allowed to enter the country for any investigations.

The Sri Lankan government vehemently opposed the appointment of the three-member UN Panel, led by former Attorney General of Indonesia Marzuki Darusman, saying that it is unnecessary and unwarranted as the government has already set in motion its own mechanism to probe the events took place during a seven-year period prior to the conclusion of the war.

Ananda-USA said...

An Indian's viewpoint on the India-China Economic Race.

...............
Bet On India, Not China

By Raghav Bahl
Forbes.com
October 27, 2010

Its private economy, currency policy and favorable demographics give it an edge.

The Amazing Race Between China's Hare and India's Tortoise

China has woken up--as predicted its economic growth has shocked and awed the world. There is a saying in the Red Army that quantity has a quality all its own. China today is investing nearly half its GDP, something that is simply unprecedented. Over 200 years of economic experience tells us that hyper-investment creates a bubble and ends in a dreadful collapse. But China has consistently defied all such prophesies of doom.

True, there have been bumps along the road: China has weathered a few storms and some small bubbles have been pricked, but nothing that can be called an epic disaster caused by an epic spree of hyper-investing. Actually, the time has come to acknowledge a truth: either conventional economic theory will have to be rewritten, or China will eventually collapse. The two cannot coexist.

I would venture a 50 per cent wager on China actually trumping conventional theory. Why do I say that? Because by investing on a scale hitherto unknown and untested, China may have defined a new "escape velocity" of capital spending. By putting so much capital, not in factories, but in infrastructure, China may have escaped the "gravitational pull of low thresholds."

Big factories create waste, while big infrastructure, especially life-enhancing social assets, empowers people. The sheer scale of your activities could end up swelling the tide in which everybody and everything rises together; a new model of "tidal wave investing" could buoy the whole ocean to a much higher watermark.

India's structure is an uncanny prototype of a "promising" economy. Well above half its GDP--nearly 58 per cent--is consumed by over a billion people (another 11 per cent is consumed by the government), giving it the kind of organic strength that transformed the economies of the US, UK, Germany and Japan. Just its rural economy is made up of 800 million people spending over $425 billion.

This when agriculture's share is declining, manufacturing is rising, and services are already more than half the GDP--again, a classically attractive mix (although India needs to have higher manufacturing and even lower agriculture, but the lines are moving in the right direction).

Like China, India saves nearly 40 per cent of its GDP, but the bulk comes from households (as against China, were state-owned corporations with somewhat contrived accounting contribute more than households). India's resource consumption has decreased for every incremental dollar of GDP since 1991 (as against China, which was using three times more resources per dollar of GDP than India).

India's economy is healthily private, with state-owned corporations accounting for less than a tenth of the output. Its stock exchange was set up in 1875, the oldest in Asia--it is also perhaps the most digitized in the world. About 40 per cent of the economy is exposed to global trade (exports and imports)--low enough to escape world crises, yet high enough to remain an open, competitive economy. The Indian rupee largely floats against world currencies, in contrast to China's yuan, which is globally pummeled for being artificially undervalued.

A red flag is India's weak government budget and rather high public debt at 80 per cent of GDP--but here again, the highly vulnerable dollar loans are paltry by Asian standards. India is in a very sweet demographic spot, being the youngest country in the world: half a billion Indians are less than twenty-five years old, giving it a unique "demographic dividend" among peers.

Ananda-USA said...

Bet On India, Not China

....continued....
India is a classic textbook case. If 200 years of economic theory is sound, then India simply must succeed in creating an America- and Japan-like miracle. Continuing to infuse physics into economics, India's growth is like the "wave theory": closer to the epicenter the waves are tiny, densely packed, and look really small. But as they spread outward, they pick up cascading strength, making larger and stronger concentric ripples. That could be India's model--micro changes picking up energy, pumping up a balloon of spreading prosperity.

But I would still venture no more than a 50 per cent bet on India, because we are at a critical crossroads in economic history. In stock market parlance, China is the "beta stock": it could give wildly high returns, or it could sink like a stone. India is the "defensive [pick]," which may not leap to the stratosphere, but is also unlikely to fall too much from where it is.

If China scales the summit, it will force a rewrite of economic textbooks. If India ascends to the top, it will reinforce the strength of conventional wisdom.

Raghav Bahl is the founder-editor of India's largest media house, Network18. Amongst the partnerships he has created are channels, websites and magazines--CNN-IBN, CNBC-TV18, Viacom-Studio18 and Forbes India, for example--growing the company from its inception in 1993 to a market cap of $1 billion.

Ananda-USA said...

Clearly biased in favor of India .. but let us read and critically assess his views.

..........
Indian Entrepreneurship Trumps Chinese

By Raghav Bahl
Forbes.com
October 13, 2010

Private ownership, intense competition and high productivity are a few reasons why.

George Soros came to India in December 2006. He was on a book promotion tour. I interviewed him for CNBC-TV18, the country's leading business news channel that I had founded in 2000. After the recording was done, I asked him, "George, what is the one thing, that single fact, which in your opinion gives India the edge over China?" Soros thought for a while and said, "Entrepreneurship." After a pause, he added, "Your entrepreneurs have built world-class companies. I simply don't see that in China."

When it comes to harvesting entrepreneurial energy, India may have got it set up better than China. Mao's Cultural Revolution cut off the oxygen to China's entrepreneurial lungs. Tarun Khanna, an Indian professor at Harvard Business School who has done outstanding work in studying entrepreneurship in China and India, says: "China wiped its slate clean in the Cultural Revolution. Literally and metaphorically, it got rid of intellectuals, human capital, private enterprise, everything.'

Until 1978, private ownership of any kind was banned in China. Today, Chinese citizens can own property, businesses and shares. Land-lease titles have been made long-term, inheritable and transferable, but have stopped short of full ownership. This looks like a trouble-free crossover from communism to capitalism. Thousands of state-owned companies were sold quite frenetically in the early years. But nine out of ten enterprises were owned by local party officials or indirectly by state-owned enterprises. Such a "privatization" was quite unfair; unlike genuine entrepreneurs, these cadres took no risk, which devolved on taxpaying town residents. Minxin Pei has called this the "decentralized predatory state," one where the exploitative actions of a market economy are layered over by the excesses of state control.

If Chinese entrepreneurship is fake or illusory--then what explains the fact that Chinese goods have taken quality conscious western markets by storm? Is that possible, without genuine entrepreneurs leading the charge? Where is the dichotomy? To understand this phenomenon, you have to take a closer look at "Made in China" goods strewn about in American malls. The products may be made in China, but they are manufactured in factories whose owners are foreign.

That's the striking "dualism" of China's economy. A thriving export sector dominated by multinational corporations which are productive, efficient and quality conscious. This is not native Chinese enterprise--it is expatriate entrepreneurship! To put it a bit more starkly, China offered labor arbitrage to foreign capital--it opened the floodgates, offered foreign companies an unlimited supply of very cheap labor, and "on-shored" what was in reality just a western manufacturing facility.

Entrepreneurship is embedded in Indian genes. The competitive intensity in India is startling; perhaps no other market of the world is as crowded with start-up brands as India is. Today, India has over 400 television channels, created in less than two decades! Where else in the world do you have six direct-to-home broadcast brands and 70,000 mom-and pop last-mile cable operators?

Ananda-USA said...

Indian Entrepreneurship Trumps Chinese

....continued...

The telecoms industry is equally bewildering; opened to private competition just about fifteen years ago, it is today the fastest growing in the world. Over 15 million new buyers are added every month to the existing base of over half a billion subscribers. Perhaps nowhere in the world is entry into this business as easy as it is in India, with the result that intense competition among nearly half a dozen players has created the lowest tariff regime anywhere in the world.

Some very sensible people are now crying out for a few entry curbs, since Indian telecom could become a victim of hyper-competition. But that's not a debate to be entered into here; the point is that such breathless growth has spawned a cottage industry of telecom entrepreneurs in retail, repairs, re-sales (and perhaps even in the grey market of stolen and smuggled handsets!).

India had also overtaken China as the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world, not just in percentage terms, but also in absolute numbers. Given India's large population, and the fact that China had maxed out, you could say this was entirely expected. But wait--India now exported 60 million mobile handsets to over sixty countries in the world. At 250 million units by 2012, it was "poised to become the telecoms manufacturing hub of the world," gushed Nokia's India chief. Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony Ericsson--everybody was scrambling to build more manufacturing capacity in India. Again, something counter-intuitive was happening.

Remember, China was the exporter–manufacturer of the world, with its cheap currency, land, labor, credit and low taxes. India had never been that obsessed about pushing car or handset exports. Indian interest rates and production taxes were incredibly high. Then how did this happen? Perhaps it was a triumph of cheap Indian skills, and high productivity caused by intensely competitive conditions in the economy.

A Chinese phrase catching rapid currency is guojin mintui--it means "the state advances and private sector retreats." There has always been plenty of evidence of China discriminating against private entrepreneurial talent in favor of large state- or foreign-owned enterprises. There were several instances of private firms trapped in title disputes whose assets were seized. Today, the Chinese media is full of stories about the "second wave of nationalization," as stimulus-cash-fattened state enterprises gobble up fast-expanding private companies.

Marshall Meyer in Knowledge@Wharton believes that the "government will always remain in control of the 100 largest firms in China," giving it direct ownership of nearly 50 per cent of GDP. Eight out of ten largest listed companies in China are state-owned. In India, nearly half of the ten largest listed companies are in private hands.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the EU says the Human Rights Sub-Committee is not interested in a balanced discussion on Sri Lanka

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union (EU) has said that the European Parliament is allowing itself to be used as a platform for LTTE sympathizers to discredit Sri Lanka.

In a letter of protest addressed to Heidi Hautala, chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has strongly protested the denial of Sri Lanka's 'right of reply' at an "exchange of views on Sri Lanka" held last week at the European Parliament.

He has said that, "its denial by the Presiding officer at the time, leaves the unmistakable impression that the Human Rights Sub-Committee is not interested in having a reasoned and balanced discussion on Sri Lanka, but is merely content to allow itself (the European Parliament) to be used as a platform for LTTE apologists to discredit the Government of Sri Lanka."

Aryasinha has informed Hautala, who was not present during the discussion, that in the over an hour long discussion on Sri Lanka on December 6, of the 32 members of the European Parliament on the Sub-Committee only one chose to speak.

The Ambassador has charged that other than for a few comments by the European Commission, most of the time was given to a number of Non-Governmental Organizations.

Ananda-USA said...

Why do SOME US Lawmakers support Global Terrorists?

Is it to deflect ALLEGATIONS of human rights abuses AGAINST THE USA by its enemies, that they TARGET Sri Lanka to draw "Red Herring" across the "human rights" trail?

Instead, the US should support Sri Lanka, the ONLY NATION to have SUCCESSFULLY DEFEATED TERRORISM within its borders in recent years ... ALL BY ITSELF without the USE OF FOREIGN TROOPS ... as an INVALUABLE LONGTIME ALLY in the Global War against Terrorism!

Why, Oh Why, is the US MAKING SUCH TERRIBLE MISTAKES in Foreign Policy pushing its NATURAL ALLIES away?

These kinds of accusations by the US will make it IMPOSSIBLE FOR OTHER DEMOCRACIES to DEFEND THEMSELVES against terrorism!

Short Term Expediency is overwhelming the LONG TERM INTERESTS of the United States!

Let SANER minds PREVAIL!


.................
Sri Lanka says US lawmakers call for rights probe unwarranted

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka has said that a call made by a group of United States lawmakers for an international probe to investigate alleged human right violations during the last stages of Sri Lanka's war with the Tamil rebels was "unwarranted".

Local media reports quoting a Ministry of External Affairs spokesman said the Sri Lankan government has already set in place a mechanism for the purpose.

"We have a robust domestic mechanism in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself has said the Commission must be given time and space to complete its task," Ministry of External Affairs Director General of Public Communication and Spokesperson Bandula Jayasekara has told the Daily Mirror.

In separate letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 17 senators and 30 members of the House of Representatives have called for the United States to seek a United Nations role investigating the final stages of the war, an AFP report said Saturday.

The senators in their letter have called for a parallel international mechanism to verify the findings of Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to probe the events during the last seven years of war.

"Without a means of verification, any findings will lack credibility and true accountability," the senators' letter has stated.

In June this year during a meeting with Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Secretary Clinton has welcomed the appointment of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and said that the United States strongly supports political and ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka yesterday said that it will allow the Panel of Experts, appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to probe the accountability issues of Sri Lanka's war, to meet the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission if the Panel made a request.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka's Ocean University to be shifted to Southern Province

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed the relevant officials to shift the Ocean University of Sri Lanka (Sagara Vishwa Vidyalaya) to Matara in the Southern Province.

The Ocean University is now situated in Mutwall in Colombo 15. It is to be shifted to Wellamadama area close to Ruhuna University, sources say.

The University is to use the newly set up buildings of two schools in Matara. The buildings were constructed to relocate St. Servatius' College and Mahamaya Girls' College that were devastated by tsunami. But the school authorities have expressed unwillingness to move from the present locations.

The Ocean University plans to work in close collaboration with the Universities in Iceland, Norway, Canada, New Zealand and Japan for the development of maritime and fisheries studies, according to the University officials.

Ocean University of Sri Lanka was established in 1999, by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, when he was the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, with the objective of producing necessary manpower for the sustainable management and utilization of fisheries and oceanic resources.

Ananda-USA said...

HERE IS THE REASON WHY Sri Lanka CANNOT & SHOULD NOT not reduce Security Force Levels in the North & East for the FORESEEABLE FUTURE.

.................
Explosive laden motor cycle discovered

December 18, 2010

A motor cycle which had its petrol tank fitted with explosives was discovered in a jungle area in Pavakkulama in Chettikulam along with a suicide bombers jacket by officials of the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) on Friday.

The detection was made by the sleuths who were acting on a tip off given by a detained LTTE suspect.

A search operation ahs been launched in the area following this discovery.

Ananda-USA said...

D aide probed for LTTE links

By J Dey, Mumbai
December 20, 2010

Mirza Mohiddin Baig was arrested in Colombo last year

Mumbai's Anti Terrorism Squad is questioning a key member of Dawood Ibrahim gang for alleged links with the banned outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to supply arms for terror activities in India.

ATS has sought a fresh remand for D-Company top lieutenant Mirza Mohiddin Baig, currently under Crime Branch's custody, to question him in connection with terror links in the country.

ATS has sought a fresh remand for D-Company top lieutenant Mirza Mohiddin Baig, to question him
in connection with terror links in the country. The gangster had links with gun suppliers in Bangkok, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Additional Director General of Police, Rakesh Maria, has confirmed to MiD DAY that Baig is being interrogated for terror links in India. He refused to give further details.

Baig, who was on the Interpol's wanted list, had been arrested in Colombo on May 8, 2009, after a long stint in Sri Lanka, and deported to India. The police had recovered three pistols and 18 live rounds from him.

Since then, the gangster had been in judicial custody until last week when the Crime Branch took over, after his name cropped up again after intelligence reports indicate that D-Company is procuring arms and ammunition from the remaining members of LTTE for operations in the country.

Investigations by ATS and the Crime Branch provide evidence that D-gang members have allied with the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba for spreading terror in the country. Reports indicate that under the 'Karachi Project', terrorist organisations have been using Dawood's network in India for logistic support.

A few hundred of the LTTE core cadre have gone underground with huge quantities of arms and deadly explosive RDX after the Sri Lankan army stormed their bastion killing their leader V Prabhakaran last year.

Baig was arrested soon after the operations.

Sources informed that Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence operatives have covertly trained and armed members of LTTE to carry out attacks in India. Even more so after the Indian Peace Keeping Force was deployed in the Island since late 1980s.

Reports indicate that LTTE have also been selling sophisticated arms and explosives to the Maoist factions across the country.

Baig's questioning assumes significance in light of reports that LTTE is planning to target the country's Prime Minister and Home Minister.

Police sources said that Baig could also be questioned for the alleged involvement of D-Company, directly or indirectly, in the Varanasi bomb blast earlier this month.

Backgrounder

Baig climbed up the mafia ranks after he was running illegal ISD facilities. Dawood's second-in-command, Chhota Shakeel, soon made him the nodal person in Mumbai.

The gangster from Kortula in Karim Nagar district in Andhra Pradesh was assigned the task to deliver arms to D-Company shooters in Mumbai, before he was arrested by the Crime Branch's Criminal Intelligence Unit.

An AK-47 rifle and four imported revolvers were recovered from Baig during the raid on his hideout in 2000.

The gangster had then confessed of having links with gun suppliers in Bangkok, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, a former Crime Branch officer said. Baig soon jumped bail and escaped to Dubai and later surfaced in Colombo.

Rashid Malbari, another ace shooter in Dawood's gang, was carrying out underworld operations from Sri Lanka.

Ananda-USA said...

Female migrant suspected of Tamil Tiger links, refugee board told

By Sunny Dhillon
GlobeandMail.com
December 20, 2010
VANCOUVER

A woman who sailed to Canada on the MV Sun Sea worked for the Tamil Tigers and had a necklace that is given only to members of the terrorist group on their wedding day, a government representative alleges.

The woman, who can't be identified because of a publication ban, had a detention review on Monday before the Immigration and Refugee Board. She and her children have been in custody since the MV Sun Sea arrived in August carrying 492 Tamils.

Jennifer Friberg, a hearing officer for the Canada Border Services Agency, told the refugee board the woman is a security risk and must be detained. Most of the other migrants who have been kept in custody were held on the grounds that their identity had yet to be established.

Ms. Friberg said the woman admitted to working at a Sri Lankan library that CBSA believes to have been funded by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, an organization banned in Canada. A distinct piece of jewellery the woman was carrying also raised suspicions.

“She’s in possession of a Tamil thali that is believed to be given only to LTTE members on their wedding day,” Ms. Friberg said, noting that a thali is a necklace with a pendant.

“Information appears to suggest that the specific thali that she has is only given to the LTTE members, and is not a generic thali that solemnizes all marriages.”

The woman is wed to a man border officials have also accused of being a Tamil Tigers. His name and identifying details may not be published.

The woman, who is being detained at a Burnaby facility, did not appear at the review in person. She listened in via teleconference and spoke only when addressed by an interpreter.

Ms. Friberg said when border officials questioned the woman, she gave vague answers about her husband’s link to the terrorist group. The Tamil Tigers were defeated last year after a decades-long Sri Lankan civil war.

Ms. Friberg said the woman also claimed to not know anyone on the ship except for her family, even though other passengers told officials they recognized her.

“She’s trying to distance herself from anyone that she feels has LTTE connections,” she said.

CBSA argued the woman should be held while it verifies the authenticity of the thali, and explores the library link.

Ananda-USA said...

Female migrant suspected of Tamil Tiger links, refugee board told

.......continued......
Douglas Cannon, the woman’s lawyer, disagreed and said the government had provided no evidence his client was a security risk and unlikely to appear for future hearings if she was released.

“Where’s the evidence that [the library] was funded by the LTTE?” he asked. “Where’s the evidence that this Tamil thali is used by members of the LTTE?”

Anita Merai-Schwartz, the refugee board’s adjudicator, ruled the government had adequate grounds for suspicion. She ordered the woman to remain in custody until the authenticity of the thali and the ownership of the library are verified.

“I’m satisfied the minister is taking the necessary steps to come to the final conclusion with respect to the security issue,” she said.

The MV Sun Sea docked at CFB Esquimalt on Vancouver Island on Aug. 13. It carried 380 men, 63 women and 49 minors. An Immigration and Refugee Board spokeswoman said about 220 of the men had been ordered released. A CBSA spokeswoman could not say how many of the men had actually left custody.

About 10 women remain in custody, five of whom are with their children.

One of those women, a mother of three, also had a detention review on Monday. She had no identifying documents when she arrived in Canada and was ordered to stay in custody at least until the new year.

The woman, who participated in the hearing via teleconference, wept as she was told she would have to remain in custody. Mr. Cannon, who also served as her counsel, said the woman has appeared more and more despondent and doesn’t believe she’ll ever be set free, even though some of her documents have been verified.

Cases involving women and children were supposed to be given priority, and Mr. Cannon said some of them have been let down. He accused the Ministry of Public Safety of dragging its feet to make an example of refugees who arrive in large groups.

“They’re political prisoners,” he said.

Ananda-USA said...

MoD plans for 2011 submitted to Parliament: Big workload for SLN

By Shamindra Ferdinando
Island.lk
December 20, 2010

In the wake of the restoration of civil administration in all parts of the country, the Defence Ministry, in consultation with the three services, police, Civil Defence Force and the recently established Coast Guard, has formulated a comprehensive plan for 2011, which envisages a major role for the Sri Lanka Navy in the post-war era.

The plan has been outlined in the Defence Ministry progress report for 2010 submitted to Parliament this month.

Under a five-year plan, the Defence Ministry intends to set up a ‘naval air station’ with the involvement of the Air Force as part of the overall strategy to improve maritime surveillance, maintenance of large vessels currently in service, improve and expand the SLN’s Research and Development Division, strengthen the Special Boat Squadron and Rapid Action Boat Squadron, installation of day and night surveillance equipment, streamlining intelligence gathering and information exchange processes among ships and SLN headquarters.

During the war, the Research and Development Division played an important role in the overall naval strategy.

In line with the new development plan, the SLN is expected to build small craft and Fast Attack Craft (FAC) of medium size. The Defence Ministry says the SLN should work closely with foreign navies, particularly in the South Asian region, while ensuring effective deep sea patrols to thwart attempts to exploit natural resources in Sri Lankan waters.

The SLN will acquire four Israeli-built vessels to strengthen the FAC squadrons. The four vessels are among six FACs ordered by Sri Lanka. The SLN took delivery of two of the vessels in March and July this year.

The SLN is also expected to acquire its own Chinese-built YLC radar system to counter a possible air threat. During the Eelam War IV, the SLAF acquired Indian and Chinese radar systems to counter threats posed by the ‘Air Tigers.’ The SLAF installed them at strategic locations taking into consideration SLN’s concerns.

The SLN built seven ‘wave rider’ type craft in the first seven months in 2010 and construction of three similar boats is in progress. During 2010, the SLN installed seven high tech radar systems to enhance coastal security, night vision equipment provided to six SLN vessels.

The SLN is in the process of setting up pre-cast buildings for five main camps and 32 detachments.

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa recently told The Island that the provision of suitable and sufficient accommodation to security forces was one of the major challenges in the post-war era.

New naval ground infrastructure facilities are also in the pipeline.

Although there has not been any enlistment of officers and men in 2010, the SLN has recruited 100 Regular officers, 2,108 Regular sailors, 32 Volunteer officers, 101 Volunteer sailors and 118 sailors under Volunteer Special Recruitment, according to the Defence Ministry progress report.

In addition, the SLN would also recruit 132 officers to the Regular cadre, 2,209 personnel to Regular/Volunteer cadre and 118 under Volunteer procedure.

The SLA established a directorate for human technology, two Brigade Headquarters (532 and 221) and raised the 24 VIR.

Ananda-USA said...

Lanka intends to counter US allegations against its political, military leaders

By Shamindra Ferdinando
Island.lk
December 20, 2010

Sri Lanka intends to take up with the US contentious issues raised by Colombo-based US diplomats, during the Eelam War, IV in a bid to clear misconceptions amongst the US diplomats.

A senior External Affairs Ministry official on Monday (Dec. 20) said that the issues would be discussed through diplomatic channels without delay. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official said that diplomats, though they had a right to frank exchange of views, should base their opinion on valid assumptions. The revelation of US diplomatic cables by whistle blowing website, Wikileaks had revealed the misconceptions among the Colombo-based US diplomats on the basis of false and inaccurate information received by them over the years, he said.

The External Affairs Ministry, the official said, was in the process of studying the leaked US diplomatic cables pertaining to Sri Lanka. He said that only a fraction of the cables, which had originated from the US embassy in Colombo, had been released so far. The External Affairs Ministry would wait for some more cables to be released before raising the issue, he said.

Sources asserted that the US embassy would have shared information with like-minded foreign missions in Colombo and some INGOs, including UN agencies. Sources said that former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka and his chief assistant had met US officials during the presidential election campaign to assure them of the Opposition’s willingness to tackle accountability issues.

Ananda-USA said...

It is better if the UN Panel does not come to Sri Lanka.

Let them confer with the LLRC through a satellite video link .. if they have a COMPELLING NEED to do that.

Sri Lankans don't feel such a compulsion.


...............
UN panel might meet LLRC outside Lanka

P.K.Balachandran
December 21, 2010

COLOMBO: Given the political opposition to its visit to Sri Lanka, the three-member UN panel on the human rights situation in the island nation could well avoid a trip to the island nation, and instead, decide to meet the Lankan Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) in some other country.

In an interview to Sandeshaya, the BBC's Sinhala service on Monday, Farhan Haq, a spokesman for the UN secretary General Ban-Ki moon, said: ."We can't confirm if the panel will travel to Sri Lanka or will meet the LLRC in some other location.”

This contradicts Ban’s earlier statement that the panel would visit Sri Lanka to meet the LLRC as per an agreement reached between him and the Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, when the latter was last in New York.

The Lankan government has said that it will welcome the UN panel and that it will be allowed to address the LLRC and share with it, evidence of any war crimes committed by the Lankan armed forces in its battles against the LTTE.

But elements within the government and outside have expressed strong opposition to the visit. Cabinet Minister Wimal Weerawansa, the opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Patriotic National Front (PNF), a pro-government Sinhalese nationalist outfit, have said that the panel should not be allowed to step into the country.

The proposed visit of the panel has to be seen in the context of the cancellation of Rajapaksa’s address to the Oxford Union on “security grounds” and the cancellation of the visit of the British Defense Secretary, Liam Fox, to Colombo, on the specious ground that he had had to suddenly extend his tour of the Middle East.

Both cancellations had to do with the West charging Colombo of war crimes and right groups and elements of the Tamil Diaspora agitating against Lankan government leaders on the issue.

Ananda-USA said...

New Tory-led UK Govt induces changes in UK-India relationship.

..............
2010: UK sees political shake up

By H S Rao
December 21, 2010

LONDON: A regime change that saw Labour party's 13-year-old rule upturned by a Tory-led coalition marked the most important event in Britain this year but UK-India ties continued to move on a higher trajectory with the new Premier David Cameron choosing to visit the country immediately and endorsing it for a permanent UNSC seat.

The May elections which threw out the Gordon Brown government, also resulted in the establishment of Britain's first coalition government since World War II.

Catapulted to the position of 'kingmakers' in the face of a fractured verdict, the Liberal Democrats negotiated with both the Labour and the Conservative party but decided in favour of supporting the latter with their leader Nick Clegg joining the government as the deputy prime minister.

India-Britain ties had witnessed significant improvements during the Labour regime, and the new Tory-led coalition also pledged to take its relations with India to an even higher level of understanding and purpose.

This was quite evident from the fact that Cameron chose India as the first country for a bilateral visit in the first 10 weeks of his office with a large delegation including half a dozen cabinet ministers.

During this two-day visit from July 29, Cameron and his counterpart Manmohan Singh agreed on specific initiatives in the areas of economy and trade, science and technology, energy, education, defence, culture and people to people ties.

While pledging to forge "a special relationship" with India, Cameron reiterated Britain's support to New Delhi's quest for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

The two countries also agreed to collaborate in tackling terrorism, and Cameron even gave out a strong message to Pakistan from the Indian soil asking it to stop the export of terror.

Besides, the UK-India defence relationship has never been stronger. While the bilateral programme of exercises and exchanges continued to accelerate, the defence equipment co-operation was also in good shape and includes supply of AW101 helicopters and Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers.

Britain's Metropolitan Police extended excellent co- operation to Delhi Police in the preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and the two sides have decided to continue collaboration in providing security for the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The UK and India are sharing best practice in planning and preparedness in crisis management, official sources said.

Delivering on its election promise, the new British government also introduced a temporary cap on the number of immigrants coming in from non-European countries, a move that left Indians concerned given that migration is an important part of the UK-India relationship. .

Home Secretary Theresa May had in June introduced a raft of new measures to strictly control the number of immigrants as an interim measure before a permanent cap to be in place from April 2011. However, the High Court this month declared the move as 'unlawful' as it was done witout a parliamentary scrutiny.

The UK has its largest visa operation in India - with close to 425,000 visa applications made in 2009. Over 1 million people travel between the UK and India every year.

Between 1.5 million and 2 million people of Indian origin live in the UK, forming the largest ethnic group.

Besides, the year also saw the visit of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla to India to open the New Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010 in October.

Ananda-USA said...

2010: UK sees political shake up

....continued...
The year also saw several high-level bilateral visits on both sides. A number of top Indian leaders also visited Britain including External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal.

On the economic front, trade and investment flows continued to expand and the two countries have planned to double the bilateral trade in the next five years.

Bilateral trade was 11.5 billion pounds in 2009 and 12.6 billion pounds in 2008. In 2009, UK exports to India - goods and services - were 4.7 billion pounds and imports from India were 6.8 billion pounds.

Over 40,000 Indian students enrolled for higher education courses in the UK in 2009, the second largest number after China.

India is also one of the British Council's biggest operations and in the year 2009-2010, British Council administered over 210,000 UK exams in India, primarily English language tests and professional qualifications.

With the economy mired in financial crisis,Department for International Development (DFID) also debated this year whether it should scale down the 250 million-pound aid given to India annually given a growing clamour in the country.

Officials here said India's wealthy local people and NRIs could do more to help their poor countrymen.

Andrew Mitchell, International Development Secretary, also signalled that the "250 million pounds of public money spent annually in nuclear armed India could be scaled back."

In the May 2010 elections, the number of NRIs emerging victorious to the parliament also went up and, for the first time two Indian-origin women were elected to the House of Commons, setting a new record for representation of ethnic minorities in Britain.

The year also saw Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India's largest software exporter by revenue, bagging a 600 million pound deal to administer Britain's National Employee Savings Trust (NEST) scheme for 10 years.

IT business solutions firm Aditya Birla Minacs, also acquired UK-based Compass BPO, a finance and accounting services provider, for an undisclosed sum.

Ananda-USA said...

These BAREFACED Diplomatic LIES against Sri Lanka MUST END!

.................
Sri Lanka terms US assessments 'unwarranted'

PK Balachandran
December 21, 2010

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Tuesday asked the United States government, Senators and Congressmen, to be more circumspect while making allegations against it.

At a meeting here between the Lankan Minister of External Affairs, Prof.G.L.Peiris, and the US Ambassador, Patrecia Butenis, Peiris said that the purported diplomatic cables from the US embassy in Colombo to the State Department in Washington, brought into the public domain by Wikileaks contained “glaring” instances of allegations which were “totally unwarranted.”

As examples, Peiris cited claims of children being sold into slavery, with the boys sent to work in camps and the girls to prostitution rings. The cables had said that pro-government militant groups (led by Douglas Devananda and Karuna Amman who are currently ministers in the Mahinda Rajapaksa government) were indulging in such activities as the top echelons of the regime turned a blind eye.

The minister pointed out that the conveying of such “mendacious” stories clearly fabricated to denigrate Lanka, were totally negative to the objective of diplomacy, which was building bridges and promoting understanding.

Peiris said that at least in the future, greater circumspection would be appropriate.

He went on to express the hope that the US Embassy in Colombo and the State Department in Washington, would convey to US Senators and Congressmen, the need to avoid being pushed by false propaganda towards the adoption of a “pre-judgemental” attitude on the conditions prevailing in Lanka.

The reference was to a recent statement by a group of Congressmen and Senators which was highly critical of the human rights situation in Lanka. Colombo suspects that these law makers were influenced by the pro-LTTE lobby in America. The US is home to Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, the self styled “Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam” which Lankans see as a rump of the LTTE.

Ananda-USA said...

What exactly is this Former MP of the NFF Piyasiri Wijenayaka talking about?

Does he have ANY EVIDENCE?


.................
Officials in the Foreign Ministry assist separatists, charges Sri Lanka government coalition party

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka government coalition party National Freedom Front (NFF) today accused that there are certain officials in the Foreign Ministry helping the separatists.

The NFF is led by Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa who conducted a fast unto death earlier in the year before the UN office in Colombo in protest of the panel appointed by the UN Secretary-General to advise him on Sri Lanka.

Former MP of the NFF Piyasiri Wijenayaka charged that the officials that run businesses and help the separatists to divide the country are behind the decision to allow the UN General Secretary's panel to come to Sri Lanka.

Wijenayaka further stated that these officials should be arrested and legal actions should be taken against them under the charges of assisting separatism.

The MP vowed to rally the patriotic forces against the UN panel and fight to defeat it.

Ananda-USA said...

This is EXACTLY what needs to be done!

Don't treat all captured LTTE cadre equally.

Find out what they have REALLY done, and hold them ACCOUNTABLE for criminal acts that exceed service as ordinary fighters.

If MONSTROUS MURDERERS are allowed to go SCOT FREE, they will have NO FEAR OF RETRIBUTION & will CONTINUE TO PREY UPON Sri Lankans.

............
Sri Lanka court remands 160 hardcore Tamil Tigers

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 22, Colombo: A Sri Lankan court today remanded 160 hardcore Tami Tigers who were hiding among the internally displaced people after the war ended in May 2009.

Colombo Additional Magistrate Aruni Attygalle ordered to remand the LTTE activists until January 03, 2011.

The suspects have allegedly been involved in various crimes during the humanitarian operation last year and went into hiding among the IDPs in the camps.

They have been under the custody of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) following their arrest from camps.

The TID is still continuing the investigations but since their detention period has lapsed the suspects have been produced before the magistrate.

The Magistrate has ordered them to be remanded until the investigations are complete.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lankan government issues special licenses for vehicles transporting school children

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 22, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government said today that from January 01 next year vans transporting school children are required to have a special license.

The National Child Protection Authority, the Association of School Van Owners, and Civil Defence Transport Union have jointly launched a program to issue the special licenses for vehicles transporting school children.

The Motor Traffic Commissioner's office will begin issuing the licenses in the Western Province first and extend the process to other regions in the next few months.

All school vans in the island are required to have the license and the vehicles that do not have the licenses will not be allowed to transport children.

According to the Sri Lanka National Child Protection Authority the program is aimed at preventing school children being abused in the vans.

The police will fingerprint the school van drivers and other staff as part of the program and will begin to check for licenses soon.

The License is being provided after considering the 20 thousand applications received by the Transport Commission, the government said.

Ananda-USA said...

Jayawewa!
..............
Sri Lanka elected to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka's candidate to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Dr. Hiranthi Wijemanne was one of the eight members elected to the Committee from a field of 24 candidates.

The Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child held on Tuesday (21) elected eight members to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in a single round of secret balloting, the UN reported.

All eight candidates have received the required majority of 91 votes and will each serve a term of four years, replacing members whose terms expire on 28 February 2011. Dr. Wijemanna has received 97 votes.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child comprises 18 independent experts and monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as its two Optional Protocols by State parties.

Upon her election to the Committee Dr. Palitha Kohona, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations said Dr. Wijemanna is a candidate with enormous experience and expertise on the welfare of children.

Dr. Wijemanna who currently serves as an adviser to the National Child Protection Authority of Sri Lanka graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo University and holds a Master of Public Health Degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA.

Ananda-USA said...

Is this a ploy by the UN Panel to present LTTE Diaspora "witnesses of war crimes" to the LLRC?

The GOSL should beware of this possibility and that it will have no ability to verify these allegations of identities of the "witnesses".

Also, it could be stage-managed by the UN Panel .. and the LTTE Diaspora ... as a propaganda media stunt .. with LTTE Diaspora street demonstrations.


.............
Govt. planning UN Panel – LLRC meeting abroad ? - UNP says public and Opposition kept in the dark

By Zacki Jabbar
Island.lk
December 21, 2010

The government, according to reports, was now planning a meeting between the LLRC and the UN ‘war crimes’ Panel, probing allegations against Sri Lankan security forces, the UNP said yesterday. Addressing the media in Colombo, Lakshman Kiriella MP, said that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime as usual had kept the country and the main Opposition party, the UNP, in the dark. "The government having resisted the UN for one and a half years, said only twenty four hours ago, that it would permit the UN Inquiry Panel to enter Sri Lanka. However, according to reports, it was now planning to arrange an LLRC-UN Panel meeting in a foreign country. This, is too serious a matter to conceal from the public and the Opposition."

Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe, said that they would continue to agitate for the Rajapaksa regime to implement its election pledges of bringing down the high cost of living and also grant a Rs. 2,500 salary hike to public servants, as the vast majority of people were finding it difficult to survive.

Another reason to demand of the government to implement its pledges, was because the UNP does not want to make President Rajapaksa a "liar" by failing to deliver on his promises, he said.

Joseph Michael Perera MP, said that the UNP’s new constitution has not reduced any of the party leader’s powers, despite certain media trying to imply otherwise.

Polls for the five elect-able posts of Chairman, Leader, Deputy Leader, Assistant Leader and National Organiser, would be held in terms of the new constitution, if there were any contenders. But, as at yesterday there were no such applications, he said.

Meanwhile UNP parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana, addressing a public rally in Mahara yesterday, said that Ranil Wickremesinghe had never robbed public funds or property.

He said that Wickremesinghe was not greedy for power or positions and always placed the people first.

After the UNP had lost the 1994 General Election, Wickremesinghe, like a gentleman, packed his bags and left "Temple Trees" within hours, Pathirana said.

Ananda-USA said...

Alleged mass grave: Investigators await forensic report

DailyNews.lk
December 22, 2010

The forensic reports on ash exhumed from an alleged mass grave of Military and Navy personnel calls for further investigations, Police Spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody said.

He also told the Daily News that the ash was exhumed last month from an alleged mass grave located in Kilinochchi. He added that the ash were suspected to be of sixty Army and Navy personnel who were killed and burnt by LTTE cadres.

The investigations were initiated following the confession of four hardcore LTTE cadres arrested in Vavuniya that 60 soldiers who were held in LTTE custody were executed by them during the last days of the humanitarian operation.

He said that the ash was sent to forensic testing and so far the reports have not been received to continue the investigations. (skm)

Ananda-USA said...

A book on life stories of war heroes presented to the President

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 23, Colombo: Presidential Advisor, Venerable Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero presented the first copy of his book on war heroes titled "Viruwan Asuren Suvisi Vasarak" to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on Wednesday (22).

The book chronicles the life stories of war heroes in the battlegrounds of the North and East, and military camps within the last 24 years.

Members of the Maha Sangha, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe and Prof. Nalin De Silva were also present at the occasion.

(Photos by Sudath Silva)

Ananda-USA said...

TRUE RE-INTEGRATION of the Sri Lankan Nation will take place when Southerners not only VISIT the North, but will also SETTLE in
the North!

That will happen, in the FULLNESS OF TIME!

Jayawewa, Sri Lanka!

.............
Three million Sri Lankans from the South visit Jaffna

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 24, Colombo: A senior official of Sri Lanka Army has said that 2.8 million people from southern parts of the island have visited Jaffna so far this year, Sinhala daily The Divaina reported.

With the expected 200,000 year end holiday travelers, the official anticipates the total number of visitors that visit Jaffna this year would be three million.

People in the South did not have the opportunity to visit Jaffna for over three decades due to the ethnic violence that engulfed much of the North and East. Since the end of the war, the local tourists began to rush to Jaffna for holidaying and pilgrimages.

The official said that the number of visitors increased during school vacation months of April, August, and December.

Buddhist community of South visits the Nagadeepa island off the coast of Jaffna peninsula to worship one of the most sacred Buddhist temples in the country.

Ananda-USA said...

Yes, Indeed!

Our diplomats should become MORE ACTIVE in establishing links to politicians and community leaders of the countries they are assigned to, harnessing the energy of the Patriotic Sri Lankans who reside in these countries as well.

In short: Get the LEAD OUT from your pants, and hit the campaign road!

The BETTER ORGANIZED & DISCIPLINED Groups will always beat the **** out of their opponents!


.............
Govt initiates dialogue with its diplomats

By Irangika RANGE

Photo: Minister Prof G L Pieris

The Government has initiated a program to improve relations with diplomatic and consular missions abroad through a comprehensive dialogue.

“It is necessary to galvanize our resources especially Sri Lankan employees in foreign countries for the development and maintenance of accountability in collaboration with diplomatic missions abroad,” External Affairs Minister Prof G L Pieris said.

The Minister made these remarks during a program of Christmas Carols organized by the External Affairs Ministry at its premises in Colombo yesterday.

“I have summoned foreign representatives to engage more closely with countries in forging ties and conducting dialogues,” he said.

“We constantly apprise foreign countries about the latest developments in Sri Lanka,” he said.

The Minister said that the true spirit of Christmas was to pay attention to the needs and aspirations of the poor in the country.

Christmas is the time to cherish peace and goodwill and to be plenteous in mercy, he said.

It is also time to reflect on values, affections and traditions of the people.

“We are celebrating Christmas this year after ending a 30 year war that threatened the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. The Government united the country under a single national flag and embarked on an ambitious program to ensure democracy throughout the country, bringing a new political vision that seeks both Development and Reconciliation to build a new Sri Lankan nation.

Now the time has come for all of us to get together and renew our faith and rebuild our alliances to face the challenge of this millennium together,” Prof. Pieris said. A new era was dawning upon Sri Lanka. The era that affirms the identity of the Sri Lankan nation, built on the very cornerstones of three major spheres, politics, social standards and economy has already been set in motion in conformity with a well-structured administrative network that rules this country.

Our national pride must be preserved and elevated in the international arena. Therefore, it was necessary for all of us to work in collaboration and collectively endevour to achieve the future goals,” he said.

Ananda-USA said...

WE HEAR YOUR CALL, and ARE RUSHING to DEFEND & PROTECT THE MOTHERLAND!

.............
Minister calls on Sri Lankan expatriates to stand against adverse propaganda on the country

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 22, Colombo: A Sri Lankan government minister has called on Sri Lankan expatriates to stand against adverse propaganda carried out by LTTE sympathizers.

Irrigation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva addressing a gathering at the launch of a Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) website in Melbourne, Australia has called on the Sri Lankan expatriates to render their duty and responsibility to their country.

He has said that their relatives and friends living back in Sri Lanka expected them to perform their duty to the country.

De Silva has noted that following the defeat of terrorism, Sri Lanka was on a mega development path and that it was important to present the proper picture of the country to the international community.

The Minister has also blamed the main opposition UNP and the Marxist JVP for carrying out anti-Sri Lankan propaganda campaigns.

Ananda-USA said...

As I had PREDICTED, it is now acknowledged that the UN Panel has "a broader plan".

That is why they should not be permitted to enter Sri Lanka.

That "broader plan" is one of DESTABILIZATION & REGIME CHANGE in Sri Lanka to suit Western political interests.

NO WAY, Jose'!


................
UN says Expert Panel on Sri Lanka has a broader plan than just meeting LLRC

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 24, Colombo: The Panel of Experts appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to investigate accountability in the last stages of Sri Lanka's bloody conflict has a broader plan of work than just meeting the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed by the Sri Lankan President, the Secretary-General's Spokesman said Thursday.

At the media briefing on Thursday, Farhan Haq, Acting Deputy Spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said there is nothing to be announced yet at this stage on a date for a possible visit.

Responding to a media question the spokesperson said the Panel is working on potential arrangements for a visit.

"We're working on potential arrangements, so we are in touch with the Sri Lankan authorities. The Panel, that is to say, is in touch. I have talked to the Panel and I know that those discussions are continuing. But at this stage we don't have an announcement to make on this," Haq said.

When asked whether the Panel is going to meet only the LLRC the spokesman said the Panel's agenda will become clear once they have finalized the arrangements and the Panel has a broader plan.

"I think that will become clear once we have some sort of announcement to make. It's clear that the Panel's work is broader than simply dealing with the LLRC, however," he stressed.

The LLRC has said that it will hear the Panel's representations on the basis of the Commission's Warrant and the usual procedures followed for such hearings although the decision to allow the Panel to visit lies with the government.

"Any decision to facilitate the UN SG's Panel to visit Sri Lanka lies entirely with the Government of Sri Lanka. If a decision is made to permit such a visit the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) will hear such representations on the basis of its Warrant and the usual procedures followed for such hearings," the LLRC said.

The government earlier said the Panel members, who started their work on the issues on September 16, will not be allowed to enter the country for any investigations.

Ananda-USA said...

Colombo steps up fight against defamation

By R. K. Radhakrishnan
TheHindu.com
December 24,2010

Sri Lanka has stepped up efforts to counter the propaganda war unleashed by the Tamil diaspora about the condition of their brethren on the island and allegations of war crimes.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared on Tuesday that the battle against LTTE elements abroad would continue. The same day, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris invited U.S. Ambassador Patricia Butenis to meet him in the context of news reports that several United States Senators and Members of Congress had written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the condition of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Addressing officer-cadets at a passing-out parade at the Sri Lanka Military Academy in Diyatalawa, Mr. Rajapaksa said: “We have already started the war against them in the international sphere and are committed to continuing it.”

Quoting him, The Daily Mirror newspaper said on Wednesday that the defeated terrorist elements had encamped in several countries and their latest strategy was to defame the country by accusing war heroes of crimes during the decisive phase that decimated the LTTE.

Three events in the recent past have once again brought to focus the closing stages of the war against the separatist Tigers that was comprehensively won by Sri Lanka: First, the forced cancellation of the President's address at Oxford; second, the letter of several elected representatives in the United States to Ms. Clinton; and third, the timing of the announcement of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's three-member panel to advise him on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Rajapaksa's address to the Oxford Union was abruptly cancelled on December 1 owing to security fears and “expected protests” by U.K.-based Tamil groups. Mr. Rajapaksa described Oxford as “the home of free speech” and had issued a statement regretting the decision of the Union. On December 18, in letters to Ms. Clinton, 17 Senators and 30 members of the House of Representatives called for the U.S. to seek a U.N. role in investigating last year's decimation of Tamil Tiger insurgency.

On the visit of the U.N. panel, the Sri Lankan Foreign Office said on Saturday: “The Government of Sri Lanka has the responsibility to facilitate those desirous of presenting representations, as set out in the mandate of the [LLR] Commission. Accordingly, in the event of the Panel of the Secretary-General wishing to present representations to the Commission, the Ministry of External Affairs will make the arrangements that are necessary to enable the Panel to do so. This position has already been conveyed through diplomatic channels, to the United Nations in New York.”

In his meeting with Ms. Butenis, Mr. Peiris referred to the allegations of war crimes in the WikiLeaks cables. He said that he was constrained, however, to point out that the purported cables did contain glaring instances of allegations, totally unwarranted by the ground reality, being conveyed to Washington. As examples, the Minister cited the claims of children being sold into slavery, with the boys made to work in camps and the girls pushed into prostitution rings.

When contacted by The Hindu, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, declined comment on the meeting.

Ananda-USA said...

Colombo steps up fight against defamation

.....continued....
The Minister emphasised that conveying such mendacious stories clearly fabricated to denigrate Sri Lanka, was totally negative to the objective of diplomacy, which is for building bridges and promoting understanding.

The Minister said that greater circumspection would be appropriate in such cases in future, a release from the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said.

On the letter of some Senators and Congressmen to Ms. Clinton, Mr. Peiris pointed out that the text of the letter as carried by the media, appeared among other matters, to assert that the effort of the government of Sri Lanka through the Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) lacked mandate and broad scope.

A Foreign Ministry release issued on Tuesday said the Minister emphasised that on the contrary, the Terms of Reference establishing the Commission expressly called for it to make recommendations to prevent recurrence of the inflicted strife of the past, while promoting further national unity and reconciliation among all communities.

Ananda-USA said...

WOW! A 737 MW SOLAR ENERGY power plant in Hambantota!

It could be a mix of both Solar Thermal and Solar Photovoltaic technologies.

High Temperature Solar Thermal using Solar Concentrators will be cheaper in a rural setting on a life-cycle cost-of-energy basis.

Photovoltaic will have greater capital and per energy unit costs, but will be easier to maintain, and faster to install.

As Solar Power Plants go, this is A HUGE INSTALLATION!

Way to go, Sri Lanka!

Jayawewa!


.............
Solar energy park to be established in Sri Lanka

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Power and Energy says measures are being taken to establish a solar power park in the Hambanthota district of Southern Province.

The solar energy park is to be set up in two stages at Barukankanda area in Hambanthota District.

The project to be initiated in January 2011 will establish a 737 MW power plant in this dry zone area.

Japanese and Korean governments will provide financial assistance for the solar energy project.

The government of Japan has offered Rs. 1.024 billion and the government of South Korea has offered Rs. 513 million to the project. The government of Sri Lanka is to invest Rs. 114 million, the Ministry says.

Ananda-USA said...

This is a GOOD idea, but FEASIBLE only if the installed solar panels can be PROTECTED FROM THEFT!

I suspect that would be an INSURMOUNTABLE BARRIER until PERSONAL INCOMES in Sri Lanka rise to developed country levels.


.............
Power and Energy Ministry considers solar energy for Sri Lanka's street lamps

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka Power and Energy Ministry is to consider introducing solar energy to light street lamps in the country.

The Ministry has said that the project would help save billions of rupees that are being spent on lighting up street lamps.

According to Ministry statistics, there are almost 700,000 street lamps that are in use in urban and rural areas and Rs. 4 billion is annually spent to light up the street lamps.

The Ministry has further noted that Ceylon Electricity Board incurs a loss of Rs. 2.4 billion annually due to the unauthorized street lamps.

Ananda-USA said...

Consumption Level based Electricity Rates in the Offing for Sri Lanka ... just as in the United States.

This is INEVITABLE.

The GOSL should subsidize installation of roof-top solar energy units for homes and bussinesses through direct grants and tax deductions, and arrange low-interest loans for such installations through banks.

Let CEB allow/install "Net Metering" on an annual basis to permit the use of the national grid for solar energy storage of net-connected residential solar energy generation units. This will allow residents to generate energy when the sun shines, and consume energy off the grid, as and when they need the energy. They will be automatically be credited the generayted solar energy and will pay only for the "net energy" consumed over a year.

Net Metering is common practice in the United States.

This will jump start an entire green energy industry in Sri Lanka generating incomes and jobs, and will reduce energy costs to Sri Lankans.


.............
Refrigerator users will have to pay more for power

The Public Utility Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) is all geared up to implement the tariff hike to stabilize the debt ridden CEB.

By Ifham Nizam
Island.lk
December 23, 2010

Any home that uses a refrigerator will consume more than 90 units of electricity per month and will be compelled to pay a higher tariff rate beginning January, a senior Engineer of the Ceylon Electricity Board said.

The proposed tariff hike will hit the consumer who uses more than 90 units. However, consumption in excess of 90 units will be charged separately in blocks of 30 units, he said.

The Public Utility Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) is all geared up to implement the tariff hike to stabilize the debt ridden CEB.

The CEB’s projected loss this year is around Rs. 40 billion. According to the CEB Working Director Roshan Gunathilake, personal costs itself comes to eight per cent of it.

The CEB’s accumulated long-term loans stood at Rs. 94 billion at the end of 2009, while its short-term borrowings from commercial banks amounted to an additional Rs. 72 billion.

The Island learns that like in the previous years, each employee of the 15,000 workforce is paid one month’s salary plus Rs. 5,000 as bonus. This works to a total of Rs 500 million.

CEB’s cost for electricity generation and distribution in 2010 was estimated at Rs. 160 billion but the income was only Rs.120 billion.

A high ranking CEB official said though more than 70 per cent of the 4.5 million consumers use less than 90 electricity units, if a refrigerator is used, the consumption would surpass 90 units.

The Island however learns that consumers who use two fans, six bulbs, a television set and with the limited use of an iron could limit consumption to under 90 units.

He said a consumer can take some voluntary but mandatory steps within one’s home and work place to save on energy expenses.

"Many of us use remote control devices to switch off the TV, AC, fans, stereo etc.

leaving the appliances running on standby power. This, in fact, means the appliance is still using electrical energy and wastes a significant amount of power,’ he added.

By switching off the main power button, or even the socket, one could save both- energy for the nation and money for oneself, he said. Items left on standby consume roughly 85 per cent of the energy they would, if switched on completely.

Ananda-USA said...

Refrigerator users will have to pay more for power

....continued....
In many homes, about 10-15 per cent of electricity is consumed for lighting.

He said conventional bulbs waste a lot of energy by turning it into heat but energy saving bulbs work in a similar way as fluorescent lights, the tubes coating glows brightly as an electric current passes through gas in the tube. They may be more costly to purchase than conventional bulbs but they are worth the investment as they last over 10 times longer and consumes four times less energy.

A washing machine is one of the appliances that consumes plenty of energy. One may not be able to limit its usage but can make some small changes in its use to save energy. The machine should be used when there is a full load, but if one has to do small washing, use the half load function. The spin on the machine may indicate that additional energy is used.

Ananda-USA said...

The SLMC is CRAZY to want to join the Tamil Political Parties Forum stage managed by the Tiger Nominated Agents of the TNLA.

They will be tarred with the same anti-national brush as the TNLA by the GREAT MAJORITY of Patriotic Sri Lankans.

Bloody IDIOTS!

..............
Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka to decide on SLMC's request in January

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 23, Colombo: The Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka are yet to make a final decision on a request made by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) to join the Tamil Political Parties Forum.

The Tamil political parties are to consider the request at its next meeting. Former TNA MP and Tamil National Liberation Alliance (TNLA) Secretary, M.K. Sivajilingam has said that the next meeting is scheduled for the first week of January.

SLMC General Secretary M.T. Hassen Ali on Tuesday (21) proposed that his party joined the Tamil Political Parties Forum.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the major Tamil party in the country, has also said that it was supportive of such an alliance.

Ananda-USA said...

Life IMPRISONMENT is how INDIA PUNISHES its TRAITORS!

Can Sri Lanka AFFORD TO DO LESS?

The traitors among the TNA Leaders have gotten away SCOT FREE .. so FAR!

India sings "Reconciliation" ballads to Sri Lanka to GO SOFT ON Sri Lankan TRAITORS, but dances to an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT TUNE when its own National Security is at STAKE!

Different Strokes for Different Folks .. INDEED!


..............
Binayak Sen gets life for sedition

By Sujeet Kumar
December 24, 2010

RAIPUR / NEW DELHI: Rights activist and doctor Binayak Sen was Friday sentenced to life imprisonment by a Chhattisgarh court for alleged links with Maoists. His shaken family called it a sad day for Indian democracy while fellow activists reacted with disbelief and vowed to appeal.

As Sen, 59, clad in a kurta-pyjama and looking his frail self, watched on, district and sessions court judge B.P. Varma convicted him for sedition and conspiracy under 124 A and 120 B of the Indian Penal Code.

He was also found guilty under various counts of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and the Chhattisgarh Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The court also convicted two others - Narayan Sanyal, in his 80s, and 30-year-old Kolkata-based businessman Piyush Guha - as Maoists and handed them life terms. They are already in judicial custody and were present in court.

Sen was, however, acquitted of waging war against the state.

A doctor by profession, Sen was out on bail but was taken into custody soon after the judgement. He had been arrested in 2007 from Bilaspur for alleged links with Sanyal but released in May 2009 at the behest of the Supreme Court.

His wife Illina said at the court building: "I totally disagree with the court's decision. There is no evidence against him. We will go to the high court.

"One who has worked for the poor of the country for 30 years, if that person is found guilty of sedition and conspiracy - when gangsters and scamsters are walking free - I think it's a scandalous situation.

"I am sad. I am sad because my daughters, my husband and I will have to fight another long legal battle. I don't how long will this be. I am even more sad for the state of Indian democracy," Illina said.

The family was visibly shaken.

"I lost my voice, please leave me," Binayak Sen's distraught brother Dipankar, in tears, told reporters at the court.

Binayak Sen is a vice president of the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).

"This is a fabricated case by the Chhattisgarh government and police. We will go for appeal," said PUCL national general secretary Kavita Srivastava.

Rights activists had thronged the trial court ahead of the verdict. Police had sounded an alert in an around the court premises.

"I am shocked. We never expected this because there was not a shred of evidence against him. This is a sad day for our democracy," Mahipal Singh, secretary of PUCL, told IANS in New Delhi.

"We have just got the summary of the judgment, so it will take some time for us to decide the legal course of action," he said.

Since coming to Chhattisgarh in 1981, Sen had spent much of his time to bring healthcare to tribals in the impoverished tribal areas.

In 2008, when he was in jail, the US-based Global Health Council awarded him for his work in global health and human rights. The same year, a group of 22 Novel laureates condemned Sen's incarceration.

The case against Binayak Sen continued even as Maoist guerrillas stepped up attacks on security forces in Chhattisgarh, killing scores of them. The state's Bharatiya Janata Party government has been accused of acting tough against rights activists.

Ananda-USA said...

Man Mohan Singh "identified Naxalism, communalism and management of law in metropolitan cities as immense challenges" to India!

I agree they are .. and pray that he has the same sympathy and understanding for Sri Lanka when we do what is necessary to eradicate and suppress these VERY SAME ILLS from Sri Lanka.

However, that "sensitive sympathetic approach" to terrorism will DENY INDIA SUCCESS in doing that.

We tried that approach for 30 years .. it only killed more people and brought Sri Lanka to the brink of disintegration.

TIME to DITCH THE WAILING and GET TOUGH, Dear President Singh.

If you don't, the current opportunity for India's teeming millions to rise from poverty will slip through their desperate fingers!


................
PM warns of terror becoming internal problem

December 24, 2010

NEW DELHI: Amid growth of homegrown terror groups, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today warned about the dangers of terrorism becoming an "internal intruding problem" and said credible effective strategies needed to be devised to deal with such a challenge in a sensitive manner.

Addressing IPS Probationers here, Singh said terrorism coming from external sources was easy to deal with in some ways but the homegrown terrorism needed required sensitive handling.

He said the growing problem the country faces is of terrorism "sometimes supported by forces outside our country but we must also recognise that today I think there are dangers that terrorism can become an internal intruding problem as well".

Contending that terrorism "driven by outside forces or sent to our country" was in some way "easy" to tackle, Singh said, however, that "if the terror modules are to be found in our country and some misguided elements of our society take to that path, I think we have to tackle this problem with all the sensitivity that it requires."

This is one area which requires "very sensitive handling", he said asking the young police officers to devise "credible effective strategies to deal with this very sensitive issue".

Singh was not specific but was apparently referring to the growth of terror incidents involving homegrown groups like Indian Mujahideen and SIMI.

Underlining the need for respecting human rights while dealing with terror-related cases, the Prime Minister said law and order enforcement machinery must use technologies and techniques which do not have recourse to third degree methods.

"I think as citizens of our country, we must devise ways and means of conducting our inquiries by the police and other entities without use of third degree methods. We must respect the rights of our citizens", he said.

Ananda-USA said...

PM warns of terror becoming internal problem

....continued...

Singh said that until conviction, everybody should be regarded as innocent. "That's the basic philosophy of our system. These are some of the concerns that I have", he said.

Along with terrorism, he identified Naxalism, communalism and management of law in metropolitan cities as immense challenges to the law and order machinery in all parts of the country.

"Questions are the same everywhere, answers must be location specific," he said.

Talking about Naxalism, the Prime Minister said the people of tribal areas fall easy prey because of disaffection for which the root causes are social and economic.

Emphasising the need for "sensitivity" to recognise the root causes of the disaffection, he said Naxalism needed to be handled both as law and order problem and as a development problem.

"Naxalism today afflicts central India where the bulk of India's mineral wealth lies and if we don't control Naxalism, we have to say goodbye to our country's ambitions to sustain growth rate of 10-11 per cent per annum" which is needed to get rid of poverty, ignorance and disease.

"What causes this disaffection? Why some elements of the tribal societies take to that path? They become an easy prey to the Naxalite propaganda", he said asking the police to have an in-depth study of the issue and devise strategies to deal with this menace.

Ananda-USA said...

Binayak Sen's Path to Prison .. for Sedition!

Note how Western Human Rights Groups awarded Sen the "Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights by the Global Health Council."

Same tactics by the pupeteers, as in Sri Lanka and in other developing nations, to protect their local anti-national puppets who run afoul of the law.


..............
Binayak Sen case timeline

December 24, 2010

NEW DELHI: The following is the timeline of the prosecution of Binayak Sen, a doctor and human rights activist convicted for sedition and conspiracy by a Chhattisgarh court and awarded a life term Friday.

May 14, 2007: Binayak Sen arrested in Bilaspur on charges of carrying messages between Piyush Guha, a businessman, and Narayan Sanyal, a Maoist ideologue.

May 15: Sen remanded to judicial custody.

May 25: Chhattisgarh government claims he is a threat to state security. Bail is not granted.

May-June: Human rights activists rally across India in Sen's support.

Aug 3: Police file chargesheets against Sen under the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Satyabhama Dubey.

Dec 10: Two-judge Supreme Court bench denies Sen's bail petition.

Dec 31: Sen awarded R.R. Keithan Gold Medal by the Indian Academy of Social Sciences in recognition of "his outstanding contribution to the advancement of science of Nature-Man-Society for improving the quality of life of the poor, the downtrodden and the oppressed people of Chhattisgarh".

March 15-April 11, 2008: Sen kept in solitary confinement. Prison authorities claim it is for his security.

April 21: Sen awarded Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights by the Global Health Council.

May 30: Trial begins in Raipur.

Aug 11: Second bail petition filed in Chhattisgarh High Court in Bilaspur.

Aug 14: First hearing on the bail. Hearing adjourned.

Dec 2: Bail petition dismissed.

Dec 3: Supplementary chargesheet filed, listing 47 additional witnesses.

May 4, 2009: Supreme Court issues notice to Chhattisgarh government questioning Sen's detention and demanding its response in two weeks. The court also asks for the best medical care to be provided for Sen's heart condition.

May 25: Sen released on bail by Supreme Courts vacation bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Deepak Verma.

Nov 23-26: Trial resumes in Raipur sessions court.

Late August-early September, 2010: Supreme Court directs Chhattisgarh government to complete presenting its evidence against Sen by end-September.

Sep 28: Prosecution finishes presenting evidence.

Nov 25-26: Defence presents 12 witnesses along with supporting documents.

Dec 24: Raipur Sessions Court delivers verdict, finding Binayak Sen, Narayan Sanyal and Piyush Guha guilty of sedition and conspiracy. Sen sentenced to life term.

Ananda-USA said...

When AMBITION takes CENTER STAGE during ELECTION CAMPAIGNING, here is what Indian Politicians do .. BASH Sri Lanka!

This is the ONE CONSTANT FEATURE of Indian Politics Sri Lanka MUST UNDERSTAND .. Sri Lanka will be thrown to the WOLVES when it is time to APPEASE the Racists of Tamil Nadu!

Sri Lanka MUST BE PREPARED & READY to WEATHER ANY & ALL changes in the political winds in India.


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Rahul wakes up to Lankan Tamils' plight

December 23, 2010

CHENNAI: Conveying his disapproval of the treatment of Sri Lankan Tamils in their country, AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he would personally take the issue up with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"The Indian government has been trying to get a fair deal for the Tamils. We have put utmost pressure on the Lankan government. The Indian government has given Rs 2,000 crore for the rehabilitation of Tamils and for building 80,000 houses for them," he added.

At an interactive session with 'intellectuals' at a hotel in the city, Rahul, who is on a two-day tour of the State, assured the gathering that he "will take up the issue personally with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to get a better deal for the Tamils in Sri Lanka."

He is also believed to have told them that "there is a limit beyond which we cannot go."

Rahul's remarks came when his attention was drawn to the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils and the feeling of the people of Tamil Nadu that the Centre was not doing enough for the Tamils in the island nation.

He reportedly admitted it as he said, "There is a general feeling that the Congress and the government have not done enough for the Sri Lankan Tamils".

When asked how he could bring about changes in the political scenario when surrounded by people of questionable integrity, he is believed to have answered, "People who are sincerely interested in society are not entering politics. Congress party's doors are open to sincere people. Because sincere and honest people are not coming forward. All types of wrong people are entering politics. I cannot prevent them."

Urging such "sincere people" to come into the political sphere, Rahul said he was trying to "make a beginning by revamping the Youth Congress by holding elections in a transparent manner to ensure that honest and sincere people from the grassroots level enter politics."

"We've made a start. Let's us see the result," he added.

Interestingly, Rahul reportedly made no mention of corruption or corrupt leaders during his interaction.

About 100 'intellectuals', many of them from the film industry, were invited for the interaction.

Actors Revathi, Nasser, Jayam Ravi, movie producer Ramanarayanan were among the 30 film personalities who attended the interaction and they appealed to Rahul to deal with issue of video piracy, which is adversely affecting the cinema industry.

The Congress leader asked them to give it in writing so that he could forward it to the respective ministry.

Ananda-USA said...


A Merry Christmas &

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to

All Sri Lankan Patriots!

Ananda-USA said...

India converts the defensive military equipment given in the past to Sri Lanka into GIFTS!

It would have been a WHOLE LOT BETTER if India had not initiated, trained and fostered terrorism in Sri Lanka the FIRST PLACE.

Even better if India had given MASSIVE MILITARY AID to Sri Lanka TO FIGHT TERRORISM when we DESPERATELY NEEDED & ASKED FOR IT, after the IPKF had advanced to the rear back to India leaving Sri Lanka to face the HOLOCAUST India SEEDED in Sri Lanka's bosom!

We Sri Lankans MAY FORGIVE, but we MUST NEVER FORGET who was responsible for the lives of hundreds of thousands of our dead citizens and security forces personnel.

We NEED TO PERMANENTLY MAINTAIN A STRONG DEFENCE FORCE for DETERRENCE against ANY and ALL of Sri Lanka's enemies .. even the mightiest.

It will be TOO LATE to CREATE THOSE FORCES after the NEED BECOMES EVIDENT.

DETERRENCE, as always DETERRENCE is the Name of the Game!

Let us not condemn ourselves to repeating historical mistakes!

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India likely to gift some military equipment to Sri Lanka

DnaIndia.com
December 24, 2010

As a goodwill gesture, India is expected to gift some military equipment such as shoulder-fired missiles and radars to Sri Lanka when defence secretary Pradeep Kumar undertakes a two-day visit there from Monday.

The equipment, part of the assistance provided to Sri Lanka to fight Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), is planned to be gifted apparently to demonstrate India's efforts to help build the defence capabilities of the Island nation in the backdrop of Chinese attempts to make inroads there.

India had provided defence hardware including two ground-based radars and a large number of Russian shoulder-fired IGLA ground-to-air missiles to Sri Lanka on a temporary basis, sources said.

India had also lent a coast guard vessel to Sri Lankan Navy during the war but it was not clear whether this would also be gifted.

Some IAF personnel were also deployed there to operate the systems, which were meant only for helping the Sri Lankan armed forces in defending their bases and not for offensive roles, they added.

Kumar, who will hold talks with his counterpart Gotabhaya Rajapakse, is also likely to discuss the future defence requirements of the Sri Lankan armed forces.

The visit comes soon after navy chief admiral Nirmal Verma travelled to Colombo to take part in the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lankan Navy.

The delegation will include senior officers from the three services and the coast guard and is also likely to discuss ways of increasing service-to-service cooperation between the two countries.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka's 'Highway of Death' Becomes Tourist Hot Spot

By Amantha Perera
Time.com
December 24, 2010

Photo:A father and his small child look at an amour plated tractor once used by the Tamil Tigers that now lies in Elephantpass

Elephantpass, a narrow causeway linking the northern Jaffna Peninsula with the rest of Sri Lanka, was the site of many bloody battles during the island's quarter-century civil war. Now it's the site of nation's most famous bulldozer. Covered in iron meshing and armour plating, the mean-looking machine sits on a pedestal, a testament to the over 25 years of conflict that ended in May 2009, and the nearly 80,000 lives lost along the way.

The bulldozer was used by the Tamil Tigers in July 1991 in an attempt to breach the defenses of a Sri Lankan army garrison stationed at Elephantpass. They would have succeeded if it weren't for the actions of government soldier Gamini Kularatne, who lobbed a grenade into its belly, stopping it in its tracks and dying in the act. The war ended 18 years after Kularatne's heroics, when the Tamil Tigers were destroyed by government forces. Since then, the bulldozer has become the most popular stopover point on the A9 highway, a road that runs through the northern Vanni region that was under Tiger control for over a decade until the war's end. Opposite the bulldozer, four more vehicles once used by the Tigers lie close to where they were abandoned in battle, sunlight streaking into the darkened interiors through bullet holes.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka's 'Highway of Death' Becomes Tourist Hot Spot

....continued....
Nowhere are the dramatic changes to Sri Lanka since the war's end clearer than on the 100 km stretch of the A9 that runs through the Vanni in the northern Sri Lanka. Once dubbed the highway of death because of the fierce fighting it saw during the war, the A9 is now more like the highway of the insatiable war tourist. Hundreds of buses speed daily on the narrow road, ferrying curious southern visitors to the north for the first time in their lives. What started as a trickle last year has turned into a steady stream; during school holidays, thousands of young Sri Lankans and their families flock to see what they could not for so long.

For the long decades of Sri Lanka's civil war, the south and north were cut off from each other. In the Vanni, the Tigers ran their own administration, and even during ceasefire periods, few southerners traveled on the road leading north. Soon after the conflict reignited in mid-2006 after failed peace negotiations, the region was completely sealed off from the rest of country, leaving the Jaffna Peninsula reachable only by air and sea. The Tigers fought for an independent state for minority Tamils in the north, in the process driving out the few majority Sinhalese and Muslims who lived in areas they dominated.

Many of Jaffna's old residents feel that the northern heartland is struggling to come to terms with the influx of southerners. "The cultural shock is tremendous," says Erabudugoda Piyadasa, a Sinhalese who has lived in Jaffna for six decades."Jaffna and the rest of the north have lived in isolation for so long. It still can't handle the effects of so many visitors." The retired schoolteacher says that one of the biggest surprises has been the dress code of some of the visitors. "Jaffna is still very conservative. When [locals] see women in tight jeans, they are shocked." Still, he says with a laugh, "it is better to be shocked at tight jeans than kill each other over mistrust."

For natives of Jaffna who fled during the war, returning to this ravaged landscape is a surreal experience. "It is hard to explain how I feel. My heart is heavy," says Rani Mangalam, who returned to Jaffna as a tourist after 38 years. "There is so much destruction, so many military, I don't know what to feel." Though the military retains a large presence in the region, the U.N. estimates that over 325,000 civilians who fled the fighting have left the temporary camps to return home or to live with relatives and friends. Some 21,000 people remain at one camp.

For those less attached, Jaffna has proved to be an alluring destination. Though exact figures are hard to come by, on every weekend at least 100,000 to 200,000 visitors flock to Jaffna, according to military officers who register the incoming vehicles. On some weekends, especially during a long holiday or religious festivals, the figures have reached nearly 300,000. "It is clear that the end of the conflict offers enormous growth potential. I see tremendous opportunities in the tourism sector," Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the managing director of the World Bank said soon after touring parts of the former conflict zone in eastern Sri Lanka over the weekend.

When the buses carrying the southern visitors enter the Vanni, the travelers' anticipation rises despite being on the road for hours. Passing Omanthai, the line of control that divided government areas and the Vanni until mid-2008, passengers strain their necks out to get their first glimpse of what was for so long the land of the Tigers. Many try to make out the Tiger post that was located just one kilometer from the government line. When the Tigers held sway, all vehicles were checked, travelers registered and goods taxed here. Now there is no sign of the Tiger's de-facto immigration offices, not even blown-out parts of buildings. The shrub jungle has quickly taken over.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka does not need ponderous, costly and obsolete (in concept) battleships that will be sunk in the first phase of any conflict at great cost in lives, treasure and defenses.

As Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe correctly pointed out, the SLN needs more small, fast and maneuverable missile ships armed with ship-to-air, ship-to-ship and ship-to-submarine smart missiles and an array of radar/guidance equipment.

The SLN also needs to acquire mini-aircraft-carriers capable of carrying a FEW VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) fixed-wing aircraft and fast attack helicopters, to allow the SLN to project power well beyond the range of surface ships in international waters thousands of miles away from Sri Lanka's shores.

Such a capability was a serious deficiency faced by the SLN during Eelam War IV. But now, more diverse threats .. including both terrorist groups and nation states .. will have to be considered in upgrading the capabilities of SLN to defend Sri Lanka's seas.


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Other Navies want to learn from Sri Lanka

By Harischandra Gunaratne
December 24, 2010

"The focus of the heads of other navies who visited Sri Lanka for the 60th anniversary celebrations of the country’s Navy was on Sri Lanka Navy’s defence capabilities and what they could learn from us," Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe said yesterday.

He said that it was a rare sight and for the first time in the world, ships belonging to the navies of Banglasdesh, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Thailand were berthed alongside each other at the Colombo port.

The visits by international navies to Sri Lanka also contributed to the country’s coffers. The fuel purchased by them alone was valued at USD 6,000, the Commander said.

They also purchased gems, jewellery and handicrafts and those purchases also brought in the much needed foreign exchange to the country, he said.

Addressing a news conference at the Navy headquarters he said "Other Navies want to share our expertise, particularly in combating terrorism, which has become a scourge to the entire world and to train their officers and men in Sri Lanka."

Even we have plans to exhibit the naval craft manufactured in Sri Lanka at international exhibitions as we have the expertise and capability to produce them locally. This would help us earn much needed foreign exchange by exporting some of them, he said.

"We have established closer cooperation with the other navies in combating terrorism, maritime security, intelligence gathering, human smuggling and other challenges," Samarasinghe said.

Responding to a question on whether the Navy plans to purchase a battleship, the Vice Admiral replied in the negative and said that it was not essential in the present context. The immediate need was smaller and speedier craft which was effective in monitoring the movement of fishing craft and other suspicious vessels.

Our success, achieved in stopping the human smuggling has been praised by the Australian government and no human smuggling craft from Sri Lanka has been detected by the Australian authorities, he pointed out.

"The UK’s Naval representative to our 60th anniversary has praised the country’s reconstruction efforts in the North," Samarasinghe said.

The comment made by South African Navy’s Rear Admiral who visited here that "a country which has a Navy becomes a greater nation," is a point to ponder, the Navy Chief said.

Ananda-USA said...

Excellent Decision!

I had also advised against the LLRC meeting the UN Panel outside Sri Lanka, where it would have been subjected to undue pressure, threats and demonstrations by the Eelamist Diaspora.

.................
LLRC rules out meeting UN panel abroad

By a staff writer
Nation.lk
December 26, 2010

Speculations that the advisory panel appointed by the UN Chief will meet the LLRC outside Sri Lanka were scotched by the commission last week, saying it would not meet any UN team outside the shores of the country.
The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), The Nation reliably learns, has no legal mandate to meet any foreign or local team outside Sri Lanka and hence has no plans to meet the panel appointed by secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in the event the LLRC is invited to meet the UN panel outside Sri Lanka.

Under the powers vested in President Mahinda Rajapaksa according to the constitution to appoint special commissions, the President appointed the LLRC on May 15, 2010 with the aim of focusing on the causes of the northeast conflict and its effect on the people.

Though the commission is mandated to move around and within the country to hear observations, comments and submissions from the public, the commission has no legal mandate to move out of the country, LLRC media consultant Lakshman Wickramasinghe told The Nation.
He said the LLRC would not travel outside Sri Lanka even if they are invited because the commission had no authorisation to do so.
“We are ever willing to meet the team here in the country, provided the government of Sri Lanka facilitates their visit.

Once this is done we will hear representations from the UN panel on the basis of the LLRC’s warrant and the usual procedures followed for such hearings,” Wickramasinghe said.

He also said the commissioners have not been sitting since December 23 and added the next sitting would be on December 27.
According to him the commission will pay a visit to the Boossa detention camp in the South on December 30 where a number of LTTE detainees are kept.

Ananda-USA said...

Are the Eelamist terrorists attempting to intimidate and control the Jaffna population ... all over again?

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Joint effort to curb crimes in Jaffna

Kayts and Manipay correspondents
SundayObserver.lk
December 26, 2010

Police and the Army have launched joint patrolling in the Jaffna to curb the various forms of criminal activities.

Following the complaints made by people from various parts in the Jaffna Peninsula regarding robberies and thuggery, the Police jointly with Army has stepped up the surveillance in the North, Police sources said.

In the past few weeks several houses in Manipay and Chunnakam areas were robbed by unidentified man who were armed with guns and knives, sources said.

Even during the day time houses are robbed and the valuables of the civilians are snatched on the lonely streets.

Police in Jaffna has also warned the civilians to be vigilant and corporate in curbing the criminal activities.A week ago a Hindu priest was shot dead by a group of robbers when he attempted to chase them away from his house, sources said.

Ananda-USA said...

Instead of building non-working Aircraft Models for use as souvenir gifts, the Air Force should start building working models of fixed and rotating wing aircraft for operational applications .. such as surveillance and mine detection UAVs.

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Sri Lanka air force gets into model aircraft business

AsiaOne.com
December 26, 2010

WARRANT Officer N P S Pathirana carefully fixes the rotors of a model MI24 helicopter gunship. During the height of the war with the now defeated separatist Tamil Tigers, the Sri Lanka Air Force extensively used Russian built MI24 attack helicopters for combat air support.

Back then, Pathirana was attached to the 9th squadron of the Air Force as a maintenance technician. His duty was to make sure that the engines of the MI24 attack helicopters worked perfectly. As the war escalated so did combat air missions against Tamil Tiger assets and defences.

Service personnel like Pathirana had to battle with time in challenging environments to make sure that the engines of the flying battle tanks were airworthy for each mission, adequate fuel was pumped and engine faults rectified.

Click here to find out more!
Today, 19 months after the end of Sri Lanka's war, Pathirana is engaged in a completely different task.

He and his team have taken on a more creative duty of turning out small models of aircraft to give away as gifts and souvenirs.

"During the war we did our duty and gave our fullest support to each mission," he said.

"Now we are mostly involved in making scale models of aircraft for people who would like to take home a souvenirs."

The Air Force says they have given opportunities to skilled personnel to engage in different tasks in the post-war environment.

"Any military person needs to be employed fully at all times. And within the military we have our process and projects where we employ people," Air Force spokesman Group Captain Janaka Nanayakkara said.

"This is about employing their competencies and skills gainfully for which we have within the service resources, space and also time."

The Model Aircraft Unit of the Air Force had been set up to meet the requirement of souvenirs for the Air Force Museum in Ratmalana, an airbase in a suburb just south of Colombo.

Pathirana and his team have been able to turn out models of all the aircraft in the Sri Lanka Air Force inventory including models of Kfirs and MIG 27s jets that played a key role in destroying Tamil Tiger ground assets and defences.

They also turn out models of vintage world war aircraft like the De Havilland DH 82 Tiger Moth, and the Chipmunk.

Among the other scale models of aircraft that are being made are the C130 or Hercules, Y12, AN32, BELL 212, BELL 412, K8, and F7s.

"In our quest to find souvenirs we realized that there are personal in the air force who as a hobby were creating these modules out of very basic tools that were fashioned out of their hands," Nanayakkara said.

"So we got the tools for these people and gave them a little bit of space, and funds and told them this was our requirement."

Pathirana says their miniature models, priced at 1,500 rupees and upwards, have become a hit among visitors to the Air Force Museum in Ratmalana.

"The demand is so great that it's difficult for us to meet it. We are working on increasing the supply," Pathirana said.

The air force says plans are underway to expand its production line, offer its miniature models to customers online and attract orders from foreign airlines.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka air force gets into model aircraft business

.....continued..
The establishment is confident that its personnel could turn out any scale model of air craft to meet international demands in the future.

"Some of these people who have built these air craft have not even seen the real aircraft. What they have seen is a picture or a factory module that has come down," said Nanayakkara.

"We gave some of our models to a few air lines and they were interested. Cost and quality-wise, I believe, by what they told us, that we have met the required standards. Quantity was a bit of a problem because our production line is not large enough.

"Once we go online next year everybody will have access to these models," Nanayakkara said.

Ananda-USA said...

Is there a POLITICAL/TERRORISM dimension to this recent spate of robberies by armed men?

.........
One killed in robbery attempt

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka police fatally shot a robber during a shoot out today in a suburb of Sri Lankan capital, local media reports said.

The incident has occurred in Maharagama on the outskirts of Colombo when a three-member gang has attempted to rob a jewelry pawn shop.

According to the local media, the police have received a tip off on the robbery attempt and have taken measures to nab the gang.

The police had opened fire when a member of the gang had tried to kill the owner of the pawn shop.

One of the suspects had escaped while another was arrested by the police, police spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody had told Daily Mirror online. The Police have also recovered some weapons.

The Maharagama police are conducting further investigations.

Ananda-USA said...

Six domestic airports to be developed around the country; six new short-haul passenger planes to be purchased.

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Sri Lanka to develop domestic airports

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Civil Aviation says that six airports in the country will be developed to boost the domestic air travel.

Palali Airport in the Jaffna peninsula of Sri Lanka is one of the prominent airports to be developed. India has extended financial assistance to develop the Palaly Airport.

Palali airport, which is currently under the Ministry of Defense and used mostly as a military airport, is to be taken over by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, says the Deputy Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayarathna.

Ratmalana in the outskirts of Colombo city, Koggala close to Galle, Weerawila in Hambanthota district and Anuradhapura in the North Central Province are the other airports to be developed.

The Ministry has planned to build a new runway at Seetha Eliya in Nuwara Eliya.

The government also plans to import six medium-sized passenger MA 60 aircraft from China to promote the inland passenger transport once the runways are improved.

Sri Lanka is currently building the second international airport at Maththala in the Hambanthota district.

Ananda-USA said...

Is terrorism being resurrected by the Eelamists and/or Sri Lanka's foreign REGIME CHANGE enemies?

This UNDERSCORES the need to maintain MASSIVE MILITARY and Police Force presence in the North & East ... PERMANENTLY!

The struggle for control of the populations of these areas is being REVIVED!


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Sri Lanka police investigate a terrorist-style killing in Jaffna

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 27, Jaffna: Sri Lanka police are investigating a terrorist-style assassination of a public official of the Northern Province.

Unknown assailants have fatally shot the Assistant Director of Education of Walikamam at Urumpirai, Kopai in Jaffna district yesterday around 11:30 p.m. police said.

The victim succumbed to injuries after he was admitted to Jaffna hospital.

A casing of a 9 mm ammunition was found from the scene of crime, police say.

Jaffna Police are conducting further investigations.

Ananda-USA said...

Great INITIATIVE by the Defence Secretary Gothabhaya Rajapaksa to protect the nation against criminals and terrorists in the future.

Now, the "human rights" NGOs will start their usual criticisms about "invasion of the right to privacy" on public streets!

After all, the criminals need protection; who cares about their victims?

LoL!


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CCTV cameras in Sri Lankan capital to be in operation from Wednesday

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 27, Colombo: The closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras that have been set up in the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo are to commence operations on Wednesday (29).

Following an initiative by the Defence Ministry, 108 CCTV cameras in 28 locations in the city has now been installed.

The cameras are to be monitored by a special unit from the Mounted Police Division building in Fort.

The CCTV cameras are to be commissioned tomorrow (28) by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Ananda-USA said...

Malaria: A Disease Close to Eradication Grows, Aided by Political Tumult in Sri Lanka

By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
NewYorkTimes.com
December 27, 2010

Malaria cases jumped 25 percent in Sri Lanka from 2009 to 2010, the country’s ministry of health is reporting. And while this year’s total is still small, at 580, the trend is unsettling to experts.

Sri Lanka is a bellwether for the dream of malaria eradication — and Exhibit A for the argument that politics affects the disease more than climate or public health measures do.

The country — the former British colony of Ceylon, famous for tea and cinnamon — is an island, so eradication is possible.

That almost happened once. After independence arrived in 1948, Sri Lanka had an estimated one million annual cases. With DDT and chloroquine, it drove that down to 18 cases by 1963. But spraying was cut back as DDT fell into disfavor, and by 1969, there were more than 500,000 cases.

Simultaneously, the country’s ethnic fabric fell apart. The majority Buddhist Sinhalese passed laws discriminating against the Hindu Tamils, who were favored under the British, leading to 30 years of civil war. The majority was also split for decades between pro-Soviet and pro-Western factions.

Malaria persisted, with cases highest in the north and east, where the Tamil Tiger insurgency was strongest. Nonetheless, by 2005, the country was below 2,000 cases, though experts said they were undercounted in rebel areas.

Last year, the rebellion was crushed, and malariologists hoped the new national reconciliation policy would lead to eradication. As cases ticked up, a ministry official blamed global warming — a weak argument in a wet tropical country. But he also said more clinics would be opened in former rebel areas.

Ananda-USA said...

Public Heath MUST AGAIN BECOME a National Priority in Sri Lanka, as it was when I was a child.

Eradication and Control of THE BREEDING GROUNDS of both TERRORISTS and MOSQUITOS is ESSENTIAL to PRESERVE THE LIVES of Sri Lanka's citizens and transform the Motherland into the New Wonder of Asia in the NEXT DECADE!


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Sri Lankan authorities take action against mosquito breeding

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 28, Colombo: Sri Lankan authorities have taken legal action against over 800 establishments for having mosquito breeding areas in their premises.

The Sri Lanka Public Heath Inspectors Association has said that between the period of January and December, legal action has been taken against 803 establishments for allowing dengue mosquito breeding areas in their premises.

According to the Association, a collective fine of Rs. 2.416 million has been received from these establishments.

Health inspectors have visited and inspected over 98,000 establishments island wide between January and December this year.

The government enacted the Mosquito Breeding Control Act and sought the support of the Defence Ministry to strictly enforce the law.

Although the spread of the mosquito-borne disease has slowed since September due to strict control measures, the epidemic has so far this year claimed 235 lives and infected 33,806 people.

Ananda-USA said...

Those afflicted by HIV, whatever the cause, should be helped by all to overcome that debilitating disease.

But, let us also be CLEAR: It is unsafe behavioral practices that spread this disease.

Therefore, let the STIGMA remain as a WARNING and a FEAR-INSPIRING BARRIER to the spread of the disease.

Let us not minimize its dangers and make risky behaviour that spread it socially acceptable by watering down and removing the STIGMA!

SOCIETY's TRADITIONS and NORMS are often the best protection against ills such as HIV, child abuse, or the neglect of elders, or criminal activities and terrorism.


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SRI LANKA: Stigma stifles HIV reporting

Photo: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/IRIN
Migrant workers like this one in Sri Lanka are reported to form half of those infected with HIV in the country


COLOMBO, 28 December 2010 (IRIN) - Reducing social stigma and improving awareness is needed to better monitor and prevent the spread of HIV in Sri Lanka, experts say.

HIV prevalence in Sri Lanka is relatively low: The latest government figures (December 2009) indicated 1,196 cases - less than 0.1 percent of people aged 15-49, and less than 1 percent of those in high-risk groups.

However, accurate assessment of HIV prevalence is difficult as social stigma and lack of knowledge make HIV prevention and information campaigns difficult. UNAIDS estimates the total number of infections is at least three times higher than indicated by official figures.

“The numbers are probably under-reported,” David Bridger, UNAIDS country coordinator, told IRIN. “What we really need to do is to concentrate on risk.”

“People know that AIDS is dangerous,” said Mohamed Naseer, coordinator of Positive Women’s Network (PWN), a national non-profit network of persons living with HIV. “Beyond that, they know very little else.”

Public efforts to spread knowledge about HIV have sometimes raised opposition, Naseer said.

On 10 December, a PWN director appeared on national TV to speak about HIV prevalence in Sri Lanka. The next day the PWN office was bombarded with threatening phone calls, and taxi drivers refused to give a lift to the official in question.

“We [people] are scared that we can get HIV by just sitting next to a victim,” Naseer said.

The stigma around HIV makes HIV-positive people reluctant to disclose their status or even get tested, warned a joint report by UNAIDS and the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka entitled People Living with HIV Stigma Index Sri Lanka.

According to Bridger from UNAIDS, this makes it hard to launch programmes targeting high-risk groups, including migrant workers, since no one is sure which those groups are based on prevalence.

Migrant workers

Job recruiters in the Middle East require HIV testing for Sri Lankan migrant workers, and preliminary results indicate HIV infection rates could be on the rise for this group.

More than half of reported HIV-positive cases in Sri Lanka are migrant workers, according to a November 2010 UN report, HIV and Mobility in South Asia.

With over a million Sri Lankans working overseas, and more people travelling since the end of a decades-long civil conflict in May 2009, Bridger warned that HIV monitoring is increasingly important.

“Sri Lanka is returning to normalcy… Tourism is taking off… The impact of this on the spread of HIV? This is a question we need an answer for.”

Ananda-USA said...

Relief granted by temporarily reducing electricity rates is only a bandaid that will addict the consumer to an unsustainable price and compound CEB's debt burden.

INSTEAD, the GOSL should enable homeowners to become self-sufficient in electricity by offering subsidized low-cost Rooftop Photovoltaic Solar Panel systems to them, combined with Net-Metering of the energy produced with guaranteed buy-back of excess electricity produced above annual consumption.

The GOSL should negotiate bulk-purchases of PV Solar Systems with manufacturers to get the lowest price.

In that way, the GOSL would allow each homeowner not only to MEET his own consumption at low cost, but also to EARN A NET-INCOME from his most valuable ASSET: HIS HOME.

The NATION benefits because it reduces fuel imports for powering power plants, and reduces the required plant generation capacity, and the capacities of transmission lines, transformers and control systems required to distribute the electricity to the consumers.

Moreover, it jump-starts a high-tech residential solar power plant installation industry that can provide well-paying skilled LOCAL jobs to Sri Lankan citizens; jobs that cannot be outsourced abroad.

In the near future, when inexpensive electric cars become commonplace, they can be charged using this roof-top solar energy.

The cost of vehicular transportation and the demand for fuel to power them will then be reduced .. with environmentally benign power derived from the ABUNDANT Solar Insolation that is our inheritance as Sri Lankans.

Let the GOSL take note of this proposal, and EMPOWER THE CITIZENS of Sri Lanka to fend for themselves in this area.


GIVE a man a tariff reduction
And power his home for a YEAR.

ENABLE a man to install a solar power plant on his roof
And FREE HIM of energy needs all his LIFE!


..............
Sri Lanka President grants power relief to middle class

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Ministry of Power and Energy to extend the concessionary rates of electricity up to the consumers whose usage is up to 120 units per month.

Earlier, the President stated in the budget speech that the concessionary rate would be valid only for the users that use up to 90 units of electricity per month.

However, the President announced the new decision at a discussion with the officials of the Public Utility Commission and the Ministry of Power and Energy.

The measure will be highly appreciated by the lower middle class, government sources say.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Power and Energy has come under sever criticism from the small and medium scale industrialists as the Ceylon Electricity Board has asked them to make deposit that equals to two months of electricity bills.

Ananda-USA said...

India plans underwater power line to Sri Lanka

Shine Jacob, Kolkata
Business-Standard.com
December 29, 2010

India’s first undersea power transmission project with Sri Lanka is likely to be implemented by 2014. The Power Grid Corporation, India’s largest electricity transmission firm, which will execute the project, will give the detailed project report (DPR) to the Centre within a month.

“It is upon the ministry then to put the plan on fast track,” said a top PowerGrid official. The 250-300 km power link, including submarine cables over a stretch of over 50 km, will be jointly implemented by PowerGrid and Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). The project is expects to start by 2014.

CEB, too, seemed optimistic about the date of the project. “If everything goes well, the project will take off. But I am not sure about the timing, since we have to wait for a feasibility report. On the basis of the report, we will fine-tune the plan,” said Vidya Amarapala, CEB Chairman.

“The estimated cost of this venture will be Rs 3,000-4,000 crore and is likely to transmit about 1,000 Mw by the end of 12th Five Year Plan period,” the Power Grid official said. The possible spot for this linkage is between Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. “The final decision on exact route will be taken by the two governments,” he added.

CEB is the largest electricity company in the island nation, with an installed capacity of 2,684 Mw, of which approximately 1,290 Mw is of thermal energy, and 1,207 Mw of hydroelectricity. India’s largest power producer, NTPC, too, has plans to foray into Sri Lanka by setting up a 500-Mw plant in association with CEB. This project, too, is in the final stages of clearance by the central government.

“It will be a direct link. There are similar grid connectivities in other parts of the world like the United Kingdom to Europe, the United States to Canada and East Europe to European grid. The technology for submarine transmission will be the same as these countries are using now,” Amarapala said.

“PowerGrid already has some overseas projects going on. While the Bhutan project is operational, a linkage with Bangladesh is under construction. But the Sri Lanka venture is important as it is an underwater linkage,” the PowerGrid official said.

However, experts are skeptical. “For the power industry, this will not have any impact other than just a bilateral confidence-building measure. The technology should be of global standard as an underwater line needs higher expertise compared to in-land power linkage and it will be a challenge for both the countries. If works out, it may help us in transmitting the power produced by NTPC plant in Sri Lanka,” said Rupesh Sankhe, a research analyst with Angel Broking.

“This might also be a strategic measure to counter the growing Chinese presence in Indian ocean. I don’t think a project in Sri Lanka would be financially viable, as it is not a favourite destination for private investors,” Sankhe said.

The CEB, however, has a different take on this. “CEB expects this bilateral project to be beneficial for both countries. We want it to be balanced marriage,” Amarapala said.

Ananda-USA said...

India's sponsorship of Tamil Separatists in Sri Lanka initiated terrorism in Sri Lanka.

India's realization that Tamil Terrorism in Sri Lanka would undermine India's own integrity is a more RECENT phenomenon that we Sri Lankans welcome.

Pakistan, on the otherhand, had ALWAYS ASSISTED Sri Lanka, when NO ONE ELSE WOULD HELP! We are FOREVER GRATEFUL to Pakistan for being our Friend-in-Need.

India needs to CONTROL the incurably racist politicians of Tamil Nadu in the interest of National Integrity, Security and Economic wellbeing. India should pursue a policy of STRICT NON-INTEFERENCE in the internal politics of Sri Lanka in a spirit of mutual respect and enduring friendship.

Given that we Sri Lankans always look with love and respect towards India as the land of our origin and shared culture .. India will undoubtedly EARN OUR FRIENDSHIP in return.

India must NEVER AGAIN WORK against the people of Sri Lanka and attempt to IMPOSE ITS WILL upon Sri Lanka by force .. as it did during the tenures of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi .. no matter what pressures are exerted by the incurably racist Tamil Nadu politicians, and no matter what MISGUIDED fears it may have regarding sovereign Sri Lanka's international relations.

Sri Lanka needs help from all of its allies to rise again as the New Wonder of Asia, but Sri Lanka will never compromise India's safety for any national gain. India MUST BE CONFIDENT about that policy of Sri Lanka that is permanently embedded in our national psyche.

As President Mahinda Rajapaksa has often declared, we may have other allies abroad, but the People of India are our relatives to whom we are inseparably bound by blood.


..............
Probe India's refusal to help in anti-LTTE operations: Swamy

TheHindu.com
December 28, 2010

Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday demanded that the Union government set up a Commission of Inquiry into India's role in the 2008-09 anti-LTTE terrorist operations in Sri Lanka and its national security implications.

The UPA government's refusal to provide heavy artillery and air force support for the Sri Lanka operation against the LTTE had enabled Pakistan to set up a base in the island by providing the requested military assistance, he alleged. Dr. Swamy said that his party would work for the defeat of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in the coming Assembly elections. He told a press conference here that the political affairs committee of the State unit would meet in Madurai on January 18.

The party would contest more seats on the plank of combating corruption, he added.

He expressed apprehension that the election would see a number of empty promises, including free houses for all. “Whether these promises would be translated into reality, no one knows.”

Dr. Swamy also announced that he would move the court if all the allotments of house sites and flats\houses made under the government discretionary quota were not cancelled by Pongal. “This scam is as big as that of Adarsh Housing Society scandal of Mumbai.”

Ananda-USA said...

Want an Experienced Professionally Qualified Accountant?

HIRE A Sri Lankan Accountant!

..............
Sri Lanka crunches numbers cheaply

TheAustralian.com
DEcember 29, 2010

SOME countries have oil. Others sit on vast deposits of ore.

Now Sri Lanka is striving to capitalise on its own bountiful resource: a mountain of cheap accountants.

For three decades the island nation was plagued by a civil war, which ended last year when government troops finally vanquished the separatist Tamil Tigers.

During the conflict, government universities, which could offer places to only about a fifth of the student population, were frequently closed.

"Many people went to private accounting colleges instead," Duminda Ariyasinghe, of Sri Lanka's Board of Investment, said. "It became a kind of habit; many still do accounting alongside their academic degrees. So, you see, accounting has become something of a national speciality."

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During the war, internationally recognised accounting qualifications also allowed holders to migrate, an attraction that allowed many to escape the conflict that claimed at least 80,000 lives.

As a result, Sri Lanka has the largest pool of qualified CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) members outside Britain, more than 2000 of them. It also has about 80,000 accountants in training.

A literacy rate of about 93 per cent and wages that undercut those in India by as much as 30 per cent lend Sri Lanka a crucial, further edge as a destination for outsourcing financial services.

An accountant with four years' experience and a CIMA qualification earns about ₤12,000 ($18,250) a year in Sri Lanka. A similar bean counter in Britain costs nearly five times as much - and his Sri Lankan colleague also puts in nearly an hour a day more at the office.

Many Sri Lankans sidestep college to do short diploma courses and cost even less, but the country is not aiming to become a destination for cheap book-keeping done on a bulk basis.

Rather, it plans to become a global centre for tasks such as derivatives pricing and risk management for money managers and hedge funds, stock research for investment banks and underwriting for insurance companies.

"Sri Lanka can play in niche areas, but it cannot provide the same scale and size of operations that India offers," Keshav R. Murugesh, of WNS Global Services, one of the largest outsourcers in the country, said. British groups that have a Sri Lankan presence include HSBC and Aviva.

The London Stock Exchange recently acquired MillenniumIT, a Sri Lankan financial services technology company credited with having built one of the world's fastest trading platforms.

"Sri Lanka is like an 'India-lite'," one Western executive said. "You have the same opportunity to cut costs, but it's generally a more pleasant place to operate. There's less congestion in the cities and less competition for the best workers."

Sri Lanka is also strong in software engineering. The American technology giant Motorola has a research and development centre in Sri Lanka and eCollege, a Pearson company, built one of its core online learning platforms with Sri Lankan engineers.

Ananda-USA said...

Want an Experienced Professionally Qualified Accountant?

HIRE a Sri Lankan Accountant!

..............
Sri Lanka crunches numbers cheaply

TheAustralian.com
DEcember 29, 2010

SOME countries have oil. Others sit on vast deposits of ore.

Now Sri Lanka is striving to capitalise on its own bountiful resource: a mountain of cheap accountants.

For three decades the island nation was plagued by a civil war, which ended last year when government troops finally vanquished the separatist Tamil Tigers.

During the conflict, government universities, which could offer places to only about a fifth of the student population, were frequently closed.

"Many people went to private accounting colleges instead," Duminda Ariyasinghe, of Sri Lanka's Board of Investment, said. "It became a kind of habit; many still do accounting alongside their academic degrees. So, you see, accounting has become something of a national speciality."

During the war, internationally recognised accounting qualifications also allowed holders to migrate, an attraction that allowed many to escape the conflict that claimed at least 80,000 lives.

As a result, Sri Lanka has the largest pool of qualified CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) members outside Britain, more than 2000 of them. It also has about 80,000 accountants in training.

A literacy rate of about 93 per cent and wages that undercut those in India by as much as 30 per cent lend Sri Lanka a crucial, further edge as a destination for outsourcing financial services.

An accountant with four years' experience and a CIMA qualification earns about ₤12,000 ($18,250) a year in Sri Lanka. A similar bean counter in Britain costs nearly five times as much - and his Sri Lankan colleague also puts in nearly an hour a day more at the office.

Many Sri Lankans sidestep college to do short diploma courses and cost even less, but the country is not aiming to become a destination for cheap book-keeping done on a bulk basis.

Rather, it plans to become a global centre for tasks such as derivatives pricing and risk management for money managers and hedge funds, stock research for investment banks and underwriting for insurance companies.

"Sri Lanka can play in niche areas, but it cannot provide the same scale and size of operations that India offers," Keshav R. Murugesh, of WNS Global Services, one of the largest outsourcers in the country, said. British groups that have a Sri Lankan presence include HSBC and Aviva.

The London Stock Exchange recently acquired MillenniumIT, a Sri Lankan financial services technology company credited with having built one of the world's fastest trading platforms.

"Sri Lanka is like an 'India-lite'," one Western executive said. "You have the same opportunity to cut costs, but it's generally a more pleasant place to operate. There's less congestion in the cities and less competition for the best workers."

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka crunches numbers cheaply

....continued....
Sri Lanka is also strong in software engineering. The American technology giant Motorola has a research and development centre in Sri Lanka and eCollege, a Pearson company, built one of its core online learning platforms with Sri Lankan engineers.

Sri Lanka's University of Moratuwa has had the most students accepted by Google's Summer of Code scheme - in which student developers are paid stipends to write code for open-source software projects - than any institution in the world for the past three years.

The roll-call of international companies establishing footholds has stoked hopes that a boom in high-end outsourcing could help to provide the peace dividend that the Government is so keen to harvest.

The IT and business process outsourcing sector is the fifth- largest source of exports, bringing in about $US384 million a year, and it is growing at about 26 per cent annually.

The Sri Lankan Association for Software and Services Companies has set a target for outsourcing to bring in $US1 billion a year by 2015 and, to encourage investment, the industry has been granted a 12-year tax holiday by the government.

Some claim that outsourced financial services can challenge tea and textiles to become the bedrock of Sri Lanka's export industry. Indeed, some suggest that accounting is now embedded in the national DNA.

Bradley Emerson, the head of CIMA in Sri Lanka, said: "Three or four decades ago Sri Lanka was sending accountants to Africa, the Middle East and Australia.

"We've been a global supply hub for some time. Students are still taking both academic and professional qualifications; they realise they have to compete in a globalised world. The difference is now they're staying at home."

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka capital under CCTV surveillance from today

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 29, Colombo: The CCTV cameras that have been set up in the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo to combat crime and ease traffic congestions commenced operations on Wednesday (29).

The Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa declared open the control room of the surveillance system today on the 6th floor of Police Welfare Society Building.

Images continuously transmitted from 105 close circuit cameras installed at vantage points in the capital city can be viewed at this control room on 28 LCD screens. The unit has facilities to store the images for several days.

Senior DIG Gamini Navaratne is the head of the project completed at a cost of 300 million rupees.

In May this year, a team led by the head of the project, Senior DIG Gamini Navaratne, underwent a week-long training programme in Singapore on the usage of the CCTV system.

Speaking at the inaugural function the Inspector General of Police Mahinda Balasooriya has said that the system fulfils a contemporary need.

Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had proposed the installation of security surveillance cameras in the cities a year ago but it was being delayed due to heavy cost of the technology.

Sri Lanka Telecom, The Ceylon Electricity Board, and the Colombo Municipal Council have assisted the police department to complete the project.

Ananda-USA said...

Novel Solar Roofing Tiles from Dow Chemical

A novel solar roofing system with appeal for homeowners. Dow Chemical will soon roll out shingles with embedded solar chips. Other companies, such as Lumeta, SRS Energy and SunPower, offer similar power generating shingles and tiles, but Dow's have a difference: They can be installed by any roofing contractor. An electrician is needed only for the final plug-in. Others require wiring each shingle.

Solar roofing systems offer big advantages over more conventional solar panels: In addition to being less bulky and more attractive, they offer more flexibility and can cover entire roofs, including irregular spaces, to capture more power.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka in Tiff with EU over LTTE

By Kalinga Seneviratne
InDepthNews.net
December 30, 2010

COLOMBO (IDN) - An "influential section" of the European Parliament has been accused of collaborating with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rump as well as its overseas supporters, and providing them a platform to spread "false propaganda" against the Sri Lankan government.

Sri Lanka Ambassador Ravinath Ariyasinghe told the 'Island' newspaper on December 19 that he had strongly protested in writing against the denial of his Government's 'right of reply' at an "exchange of views on the post-conflict period in Sri Lanka" at the European Parliament on December 6.

He pointed out that in the over one hour long discussion, of the 32 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in the Human Rights Sub-Committee only one had chosen to speak, and other than for a few comments by the European Commission, most of the time was given to a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

In a letter to the chair of the sub-committee, Heidi Hautala, who was not present at the discussion, Ambasador Ariyasinghe noted that despite his being present and demanding Sri Lanka's 'right of reply', he had been denied that right by the presiding officer at the time.

The denial, he added, "leaves the unmistakable impression that the Human Rights Sub-Committee is not interested in having a reasoned and balanced discussion on Sri Lanka, but is merely content to allow itself (the European Parliament) to be used as a platform for LTTE apologists to discredit the Government of Sri Lanka".

The EU mission in Sri Lanka did not respond to a request by IDN-InDepthNews for a comment on the Sri Lankan Ambassador's remarks. However, a December 27 press release by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Brussels said that EU had agreed to grant Sri Lanka the right of reply.

It said that in a letter to Ambassador Ariyasinghe, EU's Hautala had requested him to send her "your views in writing, expressing your Government's response to our grave concerns. I assure you it will be distributed to my colleagues of the sub-committee".

Sri Lanka has been peeved in recent weeks by the glaring double standards practiced by the Europeans in their battle against terror. Ever since Sri Lanka militarily defeated the LTTE -- one of the most ruthless terror outfits in the world -- in May 2009, there has been a witch hunt by the West, particularly the Europeans, against Sri Lanka on alleged war crimes, while covering up their own in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This witch hunt has been gathering momentum, with the bastion of free speech, the Oxford Union, giving in to pressure from LTTE supporters in the UK, and cancelling a scheduled address by President Mahinda Rajapakse, after he had arrived in the UK to deliver it.

LTTE, is banned as a terrorist group in the UK, but its supporters there were allowed to display photos of their dead leader Velupillai Prabakaran and wave LTTE flags in public demonstrations against President Rajapakse in London. All these acts violate British anti-terror laws.

In a recent interview with the Sri Lankan news portal Nation's Tharindu Prematileka, Singapore based terrorism expert Dr Rohan Gunarathna observed that only very few proscribed organisations have not been allowed to express themselves in Europe, most notable are Al Qaeda and the Muslim organisations.

"(Thus) in many ways, Britain has demonstrated double standards when it comes to fighting terrorism, and what happened when the President (Rajapakse) visited Britain is just one example of it."

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka in Tiff with EU over LTTE

.....continued 1...
Dr. Gunarathna argues that the Sri Lankan government needs to develop a well thought-out strategy to engage western NGOs (who have been brainwashed by the LTTE propaganda machine) and politicians to give the real ground reality in Sri Lanka.

"Without just complaining that the media is not listening to us or giving publicity to us, what the Foreign Ministry and the Lankan diplomatic staff in other countries must do is to proactively educate leading media personnel about what happened in Sri Lanka, and explain what the ground reality in Sri Lanka was and is," he argues.

"Because the Tamil Tigers had a very strong propaganda system, they were able to in many ways convince some Western politicians and Western NGOs including organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that there were significant human rights violations in Sri Lanka. So, unless Sri Lanka gets its act together the kind of events that took place in Britain (recently) will continue to happen."

Thus, some of the rather positive developments in the country have gone unnoticed in Europe. One such example is the peace award given to the commander of the army in the northern Tamil stronghold of Jaffna by the Gusi Foundation of the Philippines in November 2009.

While the Tamil diaspora groups, aligned with the vanquished LTTE, carry on with their witch hunt against the Sri Lankan army about alleged war crimes, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, who took command of the armed forces in Jaffna in January 2010, has been quietly transforming his army into a community building unit gaining the trust and the support of the local Tamil community.

For his efforts Hathurusinghe received the prestigious Gusi Peace Prize for 2010 from the Philippines in November 2010. The annual Gusi Peace Prize Awards, given to several individuals each year by the Manila-based Gusi Peace Prize Foundation, recognize their exemplary contributions to peace and human rights, science, politics, arts and literature, medicine and variety of other fields.

"Although the army was there since 1995, there has been some distrust because they (people of Jaffna) thought army was there to fight the war," explained Hathurusinghe in a telephone interview with me from his command headquarters in Jaffna. "(Since the end of the war in May 2009) among the various commanders at different levels we have worked out a committee system where every place they are deployed we have created a development committee," he added.

To gain the trust and the support of the people, the army has set up development committees that consist of village representatives, the village headman, secretaries of government institutions working in the area, Hindu temple heads and marriage priests, and other peoples' representatives. On the request of youth groups they have also recently co-opted students into these committees.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka in Tiff with EU over LTTE

.....continued 2...
"We reach out to the people through these committees," Hathurusinghe said. "We meet every fortnight to discuss development needs where everyone communicates. A major problem was communication. Now they are starting to understand us and we trust them."

Hathurusinghe, who joined the Sri Lankan army 30 years ago, has been trained in India and he has also completed a MBA in Sri Lanka and a Master's degree in National Security Administration from the National Defence College of the Philippines.

Writing in the Daily News, Dr Rajiva Wijesingha, the former secretary of the Disaster Management and Human Rights Ministry and currently a government MP (Member of Parliament), observed that "the manner in which the army transformed itself from a fighting force to a force for reconciliation was remarkable".

Hathurusinghe is bitterly disappointed that the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora is spreading false propaganda against the army, without visiting the area. "During the war the diaspora complained about people dying, we were shooting them etc, and when the war was over they were shouting about violation of human rights," complains Hathurusinghe.

"Yes we fought a war but after that we are with the people," the army commander says firmly, "they are part of our society, they have human rights, they want to be free and enjoy what people enjoy in Colombo".

In a veiled reference to those in the West who have nothing good to say about the efforts of the Sri Lankan government to build trust between the Tamil and Sinhalese communities, and help rebuild war damaged communities, Wijesingha argues that the peace prize Hathurusinghe received from the Philippines "is evidence that the international community -- particularly countries in Asia that matter most to us and face problems similar to our own -- value what we did, both our success in quelling terrorism, (and) our commitment to the ordinary citizens who are victims of terror in several respects". (IDN-InDepthNews/30.12.2010)

Ananda-USA said...

President Rajapaksa says no to the West: Geopolitical notes from India

By M. D. Nalapat
PakObserver.net
December 30, 2010

The past few days, this columnist has been in Colombo, the serene capital of the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, a country with an ancient history and a proud tradition. The Galle Face Hotel, where he is staying, is a combination of western colonial architecture and Sri Lankan heart and soul. The rooms are magnificent, especially those with a sea view, and the service impeccable. The only spot was the inability of the laptop to log on to the internet, a problem in this era of instant and continous communication.

Although India is Sri Lanka’s biggest neighbour, the reality is that it is Pakistan that seems more popular amongst the majority Sinhala population of the country. The reason for this may be that Islamabad has, since 1998,been a reliable supplier of weapons and equipment to the Sri Lankan army in its ( now victorious) battle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE),the organisation that killed Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993. Ironically, it had been Premadasa who secretly armed the LTTE against the Indian military contingent that was sent into the island by Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 to enforce a peace agreement between the Sri Lankan state and the LTTE, an organisation that had been funded and equipped by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the 1980s, but which subsequently turned hostile to her son and successore Rajiv in 1987,when he brought LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran to Delhi and made him agree to less than total independence for the Tamil-majority regions in north and east of Sri Lanka. Although Prabhakaran – under duress, as he was kept a virtual prisomer in the 5-star Ashok Hotel in Delhi as long as he was relyuctant to sign on to the dotted line - agreed, he changed tack as soon as he returned to Sri Lanka, and verysoon thereafter,his men began to harry the Indian military contingent.

When Ranasinghe Premadasa took over as President of Sri Lanka in 1989, he demanded that the Indian military withdraw from Sri Lanka, something that the new Indian PM, V P Singh, agreed to with alacrity. Till its withdrawal, Premadasa ensured that arms and cash were supplied to the LTTE, in order to harass the Indian army units. Being a fiercely patriotic Lankan, President Premadasa hated the idea of seeing foreign troops on his territory, and finally ensured their exit. However, once the Indian Peace-keeping Force (IPKF) left, the LTTE turned against him, again because he refused to concede to an independent Tamil Eelam (or homeland), killing him soon afterwards in a bomb attack.

Ananda-USA said...

President Rajapaksa says no to the West: Geopolitical notes from India

....continued 1.....
For thirty years, the LTTE had succeeded in destabilizing the security of Sri Lanka, preventing the country from entering the high-growth trajectory of other Asian economies. However, all that changed in 2005,with the election as President of Sri Lanka of Mahinda Rajapaksa. The new Head of State did not come from the westernized aristocracy that had ruled Sri Lanka since the British left six decades ago. Although Premadasa too came from the non-westernized segment of Sri Lankan society, he represented the urban underclass, rather than the rural Sinhala Buddhist community whose representative was – for the first time - President. Unlike Premadasa, who reigned while the westernized elite ruled in his name, the new Head of State very quickly began to replace westernized Sinhala and Tamil elements with representatives of the rural Buddhist commmunity. Since then, this elite has disliked him, and has been instrumental in spreading stories about him to friends in the US, the EU, Canada and Australia. Unlike his predecessors, Rajapaksa continued the military campaign against the LTTE until he was able to defeat the organisation by mid-2009, in the process eliminating the top leadership of the LTTE, including its supremo, Prabhakaran. Ever since it became clear by 2007 that he was serious when he said that he would not stop until the LTTE was eliminated, there had been tremendous pressure on him from the EU and to a lesser extent the US to halt the offensive and give the LTTE a chance to recoup its strength, the way it used to do previously. Under pressure from its DMK ally, both the “hardline” BJP-led government as well as the “soft” Manmohan Sing-led government refused Sri Lanka’s requests for weapons to fight Prabhakaran’s forces. In 1998, when it seemed as though the LTTE would even sweep into Colombo, then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee ignored urgent pleas for help, refusing to send even a single rifle to the island. In consequence, Colombio turned to Islamabad, and within days, cargo aircraft filled with weapons began landing at air bases across the country. These were joined by ships ferrying Chinese weapons, with the help of which the LTTE offensive was reversed. It was from that period that Pakistan overtook India in the goodwill stakes in Sri Lanka.

Ananda-USA said...

President Rajapaksa says no to the West: Geopolitical notes from India

....continued 2.....
During the 2006 Sri Lankan army campaign to retake the eastern provinces, once more Colombo turned for help to its northern neighbour, only to be ignored once again. However, in a repeat of 1998, Chinese and Pakistani weapons poured in, enabling the takeover of the eastern provinces without the loss of a single life among the Sri Lankan armed forces. Unlike in the past, when the LTTE quickly moved back to territories from which it had been temporarily expelled, this time around President Rajapaksa saw to it that units of the Air Force and Navy joined hands with armed police to prevent the LTTE from re-entering the eastern provinces. Soon, the army moved north, and pushed ahead till victor, much to the horror of Norway and other EU countries, who had become accustomed to being obeyed by successive Sri Lankan governments, and to India acquiescing in US-EU primacy in Sri Lanka, because of its own evolving alliance with Washington and Brussels. Today, because of India’s refusal to militarily assist the Sri Lankan armed forces in their victorious campaign against the LTTE, the influence of Delhi on Colombo has visibly declined. Part of the reason is the creaky nature of the Indian bureaucracy. Despite so-called “liberalisation”, each departmental initiative in a foreign country has to pass through the vetting of the External Affairs Ministry at South Block, which often delays decisions to the point when they become meaningless. Even crucial decisions involving collaboration with Sri Lanka, as for example in the important 3-language initiative of the government, designed to make each Sinhalese learn Tamil and each Tamil learn Sinhala. Unlike the Indian bureaucracy, both China and Pakistan are swift in taking decisions. Beijing in particular has been very pro-active in Sri Lanka, and is constructing a huge port in Hambantota, the home province of President Rajapaksa. When completed, this port will be one of the biggest in the region, and will sit athwart the sea lanes from Africa and West Asia to South-east and East Asia, thereby giving China privileged access.

In President Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka has a leader who is not afraid to say no to the big powers, including the US and the EU, who by their policies are wounding Sinhala pride and pushing the country ever closer to China. What Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will need to do is to escape from the prescriptive style of the US and the EU - both of whom exult in telling lesser powers what to do and how and when – and appreciating that Sri Lanka will take its own decisions on core matters of economics and security. Should he do this, then India can emerge as the key player in an economically rejuvenated Sri Lanka. Already, huge investments are being planned by Indian corporates, including in the vicinity of Hambantota. The US and the EU need to change course, before they convert Sri Lanka into another Myanmar. The people of the island have had decades of conflict. They deserve the prosperity that the newfound peace can bring.

—The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.

Ananda-USA said...

Bravo!

I have long advocated Sri Lanka adopting advanced agricultural methods used in Israel, especially in the areas of minimizing irrigation requirements and hydroponic farming.

................
Sri Lanka to cooperate with Israel on agriculture

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 31, Colombo: Sri Lanka is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Israel on agricultural corporation, the government media unit reported.

Sri Lanka's Cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal submitted by Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to cooperate with Israel on agriculture technology transfer.

The MoU will facilitate capacity building and transfer of know how and exchange of technical and scientific knowledge between the two countries.

The government says Sri Lanka can learn from the Israel's knowledge in the sector as the country is a world leader in agriculture despite the fact that the land is not naturally conducive to growing.

Ananda-USA said...

Sacrifices will have to be made -President

Island,lk
December 30, 2010

The major challenge before us is to raise the position of our country in the world, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksha in his New Year Message to the nation.

What follows is the full text of President Rajapaksa’s message:

"We look towards the future at the dawn of this New Year with renewed determination, firm commitment and many positive expectations. It is a great achievement that freedom and peace is now established in our motherland to make such aspirations possible."

"The major challenge before us is to raise the position of our country in the world. We recognize this year as one where many giant steps towards development will be taken based on the five-fold sectors of progress. There will no doubt be a considerable increase in the sacrifices needed to achieve this similar to those made to gain victory in the last five years.

"Our aim is to recover with speed all that was lost to Sri Lankan society in more than three decades. Our wish is to make use of every opportunity to ensure prosperity to Sri Lankan society by providing the equitable sharing of economic benefits.

"National unity is key to both uniting and developing the motherland. Thus, the time has come to rise above all differences. Only then could all conspiracies to deny coexistence, and those against the people and the nation, be defeated.

"With great determination and patience, we have built mutual understanding and trust among the people about the nation’s development. Strengthening this should be among our wishes for the New Year, In doing so, I trust you will gain further strength to make this New Year bring further victory to the nation.

"I wish you a Happy New Year!

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lankan government provides facilities to encourage investments to the country

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 31, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has decided to remove charges imposed by the Urban Development Act in a bid to promote investments.

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the media that the government has a target of increasing investments by over 40 percent within the next 10 years.

He has said that private and foreign investors could be encouraged only by offering them facilities.

Present legislation states that 1 percent of the construction cost, other than in the construction of houses, has to be paid to the Urban Development Authority and the government has now repealed the relevant gazette notification in order to promote investments.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka needs No-Load Mutual funds, such as those of the Fidelity, Vanguard and T. Rowe Price fund families in the United States, to attract and deploy both local and foreign investments in business enterprises.

The current move by the GOSL to bring ALL financial institutions in the country under regulation and active oversight by the Government, is ESSENTIAL to promote investor confidence.

That will help channel otherwise underutilized funds from both small and large investors into the nation building effort.


...............
Sri Lanka to introduce new Act to regulate financial bodies

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 31, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has decided to introduce a new Act to regulate all financial institutions of the country, the state-run radio reported.

Currently Finance Companies Act No. 78 of 1988 and Amendment of 1991 regulate the financial activities of Sri Lanka, including the operations of commercial and specialized banks.

Under the new Act maintaining of financial institutions and obtaining deposits from the public without a license will be prohibited.

The new Act aims to prevent illegal deposits and make the relevant legal changes required for technological upgrading. It will also help to maintain the stability in the financial sector, the government says.

In the past several unauthorized financial intuitions and individual fraudsters in the country have duped the Sri Lankan public and defrauded billions of rupees of their deposits.

Ananda-USA said...

We wish Happiness, Prosperity and Unbounded Joy to ALL PATRIOTS in the New Year!

Jayawewa!


Ratna Deepa, Janma Bhumi
Lanka Deepa, Vijaya Bhumi
Mey Apey Udara Wu
Mathru Bhumi-yayi!
Mathru Bhumi-yayi!

Ananda-USA said...

SHOOT THESE ARMED CRIMINALS ON SIGHT!

It does not matter whether they are LTTE elements, TNA goons, or Eelamist Diaspora agents trying to disrupt the peace and enslave Tamils again to revive the Eelamist dream, or are Sabateurs funded by Foreign Countries trying to implement REGIME CHANGE, or are unorganized robbers .. VAPORIZE THEM on SIGHT!

MAINTAIN PERMANENT & HEAVY Defense Force Contingents in the NORTH & EAST ans elsewhere in the country to Preserve Peace & Ensure Personal Security.

Where political groups ADVOCATE & FOMENT civil disobedience, violence and separatism, IDENTIFY THEM, ARREST THEM, PROSECUTE THEM & THROW THEM IN JAIL under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

As I have often stated, ARREST & PROSECUTE the Tiger Nominated Agents of the TNA FIRST for their TREASONOUS ACTS during the last 30 years.

Letting these criminals get away SCOT FREE and engage in disruptive communal politics only encourages them to INCREASE their anti-national activities.

Act FAST not allowing ANY orchestration of "human rights" demonstrations of any kind .. that they have refined into a fine art of destabilizing and overturning civil society.

We did not protect TAMILS against these HOODLUMS in the past and brought the nation and the Tamil community to its knees.

Let us not throw TAMILS TO THE WOLVES ... TO BE ENSLAVED AGAIN!


..............
Panic after fresh Jaffna violence

By Arthur Wamanan
Nation.lk
January 02, 2011

A sudden increase of violence in the Jaffna peninsula has raised alarmed northern parliamentarians and civilians.

The escalating violence has also prompted the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to call for an adjournment debate in parliament when it reconvenes this month

Jaffna district TNA Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran told The Nation that gun culture prevailed in the north despite the end of war in May 2009.

He said the TNA was pressing the government to bring the culprits to book.

The Nation learns that police have so far not arrested anyone responsible for the killings.
Military spokesperson Major-Genaral Ubaya Medawala said the removal of checkpoints had led to the sudden spate of killings.

EPDP chief and Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Minister Douglas Devananda, however, blamed the TNA for the growing violence, suggesting that parties like the TNA supported armed groups in the past and that trend might be still influencing the turn of events.

The past few weeks had seen a sudden increase in the number of killings.

Tension gripped Jaffna following the killing of two prominent people within two weeks. A Hindu priest was killed early last month and the Jaffna deputy zonal education director Markandu Sivalingam was shot dead in Urumpirai by unknown gunmen on December 26.

On December 11, unknown gunmen who had attempted to rob Murugamurthi Kovil in Changaanai, Valikaamam, had shot its chief priest, Niththiyantha Sharma (56) and his two sons.

The three people, who were fatally injured, were admitted to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.

The chief priest succumbed to his injuries a few days later.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says incidents such as these have become a daily occurrence in the peninsula.

Jaffna had remained under government control since 1995 although the war against terrorists ended only in May 2009.

Government officials, however, stressed that LTTE elements continued to be present in these areas in small numbers despite the military defeat of the organisation.

Ananda-USA said...

Panic after fresh Jaffna violence

....continued 1...
The TNA says that the matter was of serious concern to residents and it needs immediate attention.
“Incidents like killings and abductions are being reported from Jaffna on a daily basis. Sometimes they occur while looting. There are other times that the reasons for the killings are unknown,” Premachandran, said.

He did not rule out the possibility of LTTE elements being involved in such activities.
“The DIG of the Northern Province Gamini Amarakoon said that former LTTE cadres were responsible for the killings in Jaffna. However, it might be one of the factors,” Premachandran added.

He pointed out a former soldier was arrested in connection with the killing of the Hindu priest last month.

The TNA had expressed displeasure over the excessive number of security forces personnel deployed in the north after the war and had been calling for their pullout.
The military, however, says the army presence is important, as the LTTE elements continued to be present in the region.

When contacted by The Nation, military spokesperson Major-Genaral Ubaya Medawala said the military had introduced certain measures to prevent these incidents.

Checkpoints

He said the military has adopted a method to put up snap checkpoints in the peninsula as part of measures to control the situation.
“These are no permanent checkpoints. We have removed those checkpoints for the convenience of the public. The snap checkpoints will be put up at certain places sometimes for a period of three to four hours,” Maj-Gen Medawala said.

Tamil ministers also have taken serious note of the recent developments in Jaffna and said they were taking necessary steps to address the issues.

The Ministers claim that these attacks on civilians are not carried out by armed groups.
Devananda said blamed problems within society for the violence.
“Incidents such as these occur due to the problems within the society. Some of them choose the easy way to get what they want. These incidents are not limited to Jaffna alone. They are reported from all parts of the country,” Devananda said.

He says the violence in the past has had an impact on those who carry out such activities.
Devananda blamed the Tamil political leadership for opting for violence and encouraging it among the people.

“Certain Tamil political leadership should take responsibility for encouraging the people to take up arms. Parties like the TNA have continuously infused violence among the people and had encouraged it. Now they talk of democratic rights and violations. Some continue to stick to that culture and try to get what they want,” Devananda said.

Deputy Resettlement Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan had also visited Jaffna recently and expressed his concerns over the prevailing situation in the peninsula.

Muralitharan said last month’s incidents had created fear among the people of Jaffna. He ruled out the involvement of organised groups behind the robberies.
“These attacks are not planned and executed. The incidents that were reported were connected to burglary. However, this issue should be looked into immediately as it could turn out to be a serious matter, if neglected,” Muralitharan said.

He said he had already informed the Northern Province DIG on this matter. “I have also spoken to Minister Douglas Devananda about the the matter.”

Ananda-USA said...

Panic after fresh Jaffna violence

....continued 2...
SLFP view

Jaffna District SLFP organiser Angajan Ramanathan said the rising number of activities by illegal armed groups had created a fear psychosis among the people.
“The people whom I have met have called for the government to put an end to the atrocities of illegal armed groups. I believe that the military and the police should work together to stop this,” he said.

Ramanathan said he had already brought this matter to the attention of the Defence Secretary and the Jaffna Commander.

The police say that these incidents were not planned and carried out by armed groups.
Police spokesperson SP Prishantha Jayakody, speaking to The Nation, said the killings were carried out by individual groups, adding that LTTE elements were not involved in the recent incidents.

“The police had already arrested some of those who were involved in the killing of the Hindu Chief Priest. We are investigating into the killing of the Deputy Zonal Education Director and the necessary action will be taken accordingly,” he said.

“The situation in Jaffna is not so drastic. But, the police have taken adequate measures to ensure violence does not escalate.”
The military, meanwhile, urged the public to assist them in controlling this situation.

Maj-Gen Medawala pointed out that the support of the people was very important to curb the issue and to bring it under control.
“We have already informed the public on the matter. They are more than willing to assist us in order to bring this situation under control.”

Ananda-USA said...

Rapid economic development: Sri Lanka targets double digit growth

By Shirajiv Sirimane
SundayObserver.lk
January 02, 2011

Foreign economic experts say rapid economic development taking place in Sri Lanka could take the country’s economic growth to a near double digit level. The US-based prestigious Wall Street Journal in its year-end review states that Sri Lanka having ended a 30-year-old conflict is making rapid progress and is expected to record eight percent economic growth this year, up from an average of five percent in the preceding decade.

The journal states that in the 19 months since the conflict ended, stock market prices increased nearly 250 percent and the rupee was up six percent. Government debt is also in high demand. “Bond-market strategists are anticipating Sri Lanka’s credit rating to be revised upward next year,” the WSJ said.

An official of the Central Bank said that the country is on the right economic track to achieve double digit economic growth.

The UK Guardian , also says that Sri Lanka’s economy was expected to grow eight percent in 2010 and nine percent in 2011 - rates which are usually seen in China. “Tourism is booming, with 750,000 visitors anticipated in 2011, while tea exporters are also enjoying strong gains,” the Guardian report said.

Meanwhile, the Economic Times India commended the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) for becoming Asia’s best performing Bourse for the second year running.

Asia’s best performer in 2010 surged 96 percent year on year, analysts said. They said the increased investor confidence and optimism after terrorism was eradicated created the stock market boom. The daily average turnover for 2010 was at a record Rs. 2.4 billion, more than four times higher than the previous all-time high of last year’s Rs. 593.6 million. The year saw a net foreign outflow of Rs. 26.4 billion from the Bourse, more than double of last year’s net selling of Rs. 11.4 billion. Analysts said the bourse was trading at a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 17.5, the highest among emerging markets, compared with 13.1 of Asian markets and 12.1 of global emerging markets.

Over 65 IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) are due to be launched this year and this too would have a major positive impact on the economy. SriLankan Airlines and Litro Gas are expected to be among the companies that will be listed on the CSE.

Sri Lanka’s rupee has also appreciated following a record inflow of foreign investment, including a US$ 75 million upfront payment for the Shangri La project in Colombo.

Ananda-USA said...

OMG, Tiger Nominated Agency Wolves in Democratic Clothing to contest Colombo Municipal Council elections?

They should really be sitting in PRISON for 30-years of TREASON, instead of being allowed to POSE as Democrats and contest elections!


............
Sri Lanka's major Tamil constituency eyeing Colombo Municipal Council

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 01, Colombo: Political sources say that Sri Lanka's major Tamil constituency Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will contest the upcoming local government election in number of councils in the southern areas of the island.

Sources say that the TNA is eyeing to Colombo Municipal Council as a large number of Tamils live in the metropolitan area.

Democratic People's Front (DPF) led by former MP Mano Ganeshan holds power among Colombo Tamils. But the split in the party since the sole MP of DPF Prabha Ganeshan has joined the government, has paved way for TNA, political sources say.

TNA made up of several Tamil political groups was ill famous as a pro-Tamil Tiger group and so far contested elections only in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

Sujeewa Kokawala said...

Sarath Manamendra Arrested for criminal acts

Ananda-USA said...

If Released LTTE cadre committ crimes again and violate their parole ... sentence them to HARD LABOR in PRISON breaking ROCKS forever!

At least that way, they will contribute to Nation Building and EARN THEIR KEEP!


...............
Released Tamil Tigers 're-arrested'

By Charles Haviland
BBC News, Colombo
January 03, 2010

Some former Tamil Tigers being released in Vavuniya after being rehabilitated (file photo by Dinasena Rathugamage)
Authorities say nearly 6000 former Tamil Tigers are yet to be released

The Sri Lankan authorities have admitted that there have been some problems rehabilitating former Tamil Tiger fighters into society.

They say some have been taken back in for police questioning after being released.

But they say the numbers are not great and that the process of releases is continuing.

The army says more than 11,000 Tamil Tigers surrendered and were taken into military custody in the war’s final stages.

The circumstances are controversial. The International Committee of the Red Cross has had no access to those who surrendered.

The army has been putting them through a process it calls rehabilitation.

'Arbitrary questioning'

And the officer in charge of this, Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe, has now told the BBC that half of them – about five thousand six hundred – have been released in batches since early last year, returning to their home areas.


International Crisis Group
ICG had received reports that some of those freed have been subject to arbitrary questioning

Yet there have been rumours that the release process has not always gone smoothly.

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group says it has had worrying reports that some of those freed have been subject to “frequent and arbitrary questioning” by the security forces.

Brigadier Ranasinghe says that in some places they have indeed been taken in for questioning, but says it is not because of their past but because of complaints from villagers that released former Tigers have been committing crimes such as stealing or brewing illicit liquor.

He was not able to give details but said they were not being held for long.

Sources in eastern and north-western Sri Lanka confirmed to the BBC that some ex-combatants have been questioned in this way.

In 2009 a former LTTE member in a rehabilitation camp told the BBC that he feared his home community in central Sri Lanka would not accept him once he left detention.

'De-radicalisation'

The Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration is the only big international agency working to help reintegrate the ex-fighters. It said last month that the former Tigers were being treated quite well.

Brigadier Ranasinghe said the ongoing rehabilitation programme included what he called “de-radicalisation” and “mentorship” as well as skills training.

He said clinical psychologists were involved in the work in the rehabilitation camps.

The government says 700 of the original surrendees are detained in a special facility and will face legal action rather than being rehabilitated.

It says about 4,600 are still undergoing “rehabilitation”. Brig Ranasinghe was unable to give a timetable for their eventual release but he said they would contine being freed in batches.

Rights groups based overseas allege that their detention violates international legal standards.

Ananda-USA said...

INDIA is WISE not to withdraw forces from Kashmir, and to maintain OMNIPRESENT bases and checkpoints to preserve peace and security.

INDIA should not accomodate "pleas" from supporters of terrorism who would like unfettered freedom to pursue their separatist terrorism.

Likewise, it is essential SRI LANKA NOT WITHDRAW security forces from the NORTH & EAST, and maintains bases and checkpoints everywhere to preserve peace and security.

SRI LANKA should not accommodate "pleas" from supporters of Tamil terrorism who would like unfettered freedom to pursue their separatist goals.

We ALREADY SEE violent threats to law and order from terrorists and other criminals re-emerging in Jaffna and the North & East.

While Sri Lanka reserves the right to determine its own policies INDEPENDENTLY, what is GOOD FOR THE GOOSE, SHOULD BE GOOD FOR THE GANDER AS WELL.

Let us not have DOUBLE STANDARDS on National Security!


.................
India not to withdraw forces from Kashmir

By INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE
January 02, 2010

JAMMU: Despite strong pleas by the political groups in Jammu and Kashmir, there is little likelihood of the thinning of security forces in the state, government sources said.

The highly-placed sources said that the state cannot risk withdrawing troops at this stage when the chances of militancy reviving are beaming on the radar.

Also, there are reports that the separatists and their sympathizers were preparing for another bout of street protests in the summer of 2011, they said.

“There is no question of taking any chances at this stage; we will have to go by security considerations and not by the political thinking of the groups,” a senior officer who attended a meeting of the Home Ministry in New Delhi, said. “This year is going to be very crucial. The summer of 2010 and the attacks by militants on the security forces have reinforced our perception that Pakistan and its protégés in Jammu and Kashmir are bent upon continuing with creating trouble across the state,” the officer said.

He explained that there are more than 500 active militants across the state and fresh batches of militants are coming from across the border, as indicated by the fresh intrusion bids both at the Line of Control and the international border. This has made the security forces wary of thinning their presence.

“We don't want a reversal of the situation,” the officer said.

A two-pronged strategy is being adopted. In the first place, the security forces are strengthening their vigil along the borders to check infiltration. This would help in curbing the reinforcement of the militants operating in the state.

Secondly, the state is preparing for a crowd control system. The state police are procuring non-lethal weapons to control the crowds. The summer of 2010 in Kashmir was particularly crucial as more than 110 people, mostly youngsters, died in police firing, the sources pointed out.

“We are going to shift to non-lethal means,” Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda told police officers at a meeting in Jammu last week. “The non-lethal weapons would be an asset.”

The police and paramilitary forces will be dealing with possible street protests, while the army will be taking on militants in the hinterland.

According to a government official, “In the given situation, security forces are required in substantive numbers and any reduction will have serious repercussions.”

All the Kashmir-centric political groups, including the National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party, have been asking for reducing the presence of the security forces. They claim that the situation has improved over the years and the strength of the deployed troops needed to be cut down.

Ananda-USA said...

India not to withdraw forces from Kashmir

....continued...

People's Democratic Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said here Sunday that the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue cannot be put into cold storage anymore without risking the future of the region.

Addressing political workers, Sayeed said: “The overwhelming opinion of the people in South Asia is in favor of a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue in order to realize the full development potential of the region.”

“It was heartening that the latest opinion polls conducted by two major media groups of India (The Times of India) and Pakistan (Jang) reflected an overwhelming sentiment for the resolution of the Kashmir problem,” he said. “It was for the governments of India and Pakistan to rise up to the expectations of the people,” he said.

“The opinion poll only endorsed what had emerged as part of the changed discourse since the inception of peace process between the two estranged neighbors,” he said.

Calling for resumption of the stalled dialogue at the level of foreign ministers, Sayeed said the visit of Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to New Delhi and his meeting with his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna should be facilitated by the two governments.

He said the interests and stakes of one-and-a-half billion people cannot be held hostage to the routine political developments within the democratic structures of the two countries.

Ananda-USA said...

Never in my life have I heard a more preposterous shameless demand by politicians elected to serve the people!

They violate the very foundation of EQUAL RIGHTS and DEMOCRACY by undermining the merit-based society free of corruption and graft we want to build in Sri Lanka.

Whoever they are, these Govt MPs should be tarred, feathered and drummed out of office .. for they have no clue whatsoever why they were elected to parliament by the thousands of people who depend on them to assure equity!

SHAME! SHAME! SHAME

................
Govt. MPs seek quota for school admissions

By KelumRatnasiri
Wickramanayake Bandara
DailyMirror.lk
January 04, 2010

Some government members yesterday demanded of Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane that they be given quotas with regards to the admission of children to Grade I classes at popular schools.

At the ruling party’s parliamentary group meeting, these MPs had reportedly raised concern that they would otherwise become helpless when their supporters asked for such favours.

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane had reportedly told the meeting that Grade I admission was a major issue with around 73,000 applicants seeking admission to 54 popular schools in the country. The Minister said only 10,000 of them could be accommodated to these schools, disappointing the parents of the other children.

Mr. Gunawardane also said the development of 1,000 model secondary schools would resolve this problem anyway in the long run.

However, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa had reportedly asked the Minister not to take rigid stands with regard to Grade I admissions at this stage.

Along with him, some other senior ministers were of the view that the Ministry should be flexible enough admit children on recommendations by the government MPs.

Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said even the child of a ruling party MP had also been refused admission this time.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka to hold full nationwide census this year

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka will conduct its 14th comprehensive census on population this year covering the entire country after achieving peace in 2009, the Department of Census and Statistics said.

The census in the North and East is to be conducted after a lapse of 30 years. The mapping of the North and East is to be completed before March.

The census is conducted every ten years since 1871 with some exceptions. The last census was carried out only in 18 out of 25 districts due to the conflict in the Northern and Eastern provinces. The 13th census of the series was conducted on the 17th of July 2001.

The 1991 and 2001 census were not held in the parts of the Northern Province that were under heavy influence of Tamil Tiger rebels that were fighting for a separate state until they were crushed last year.

According to the Department of Census and Statistics, census, to be carried out in the third-quarter of this year will be conducted in three parts of demarcating the district and divisional boundaries followed by buildings survey.

The Director General of the Census and Statistics Department says that around 1.4 billion rupees are expected to be spent on the census, which is to be conducted using latest technology.

Sri Lanka expects its population to grow by about 222,000 every year to an optimum of about 24 million by 2041. Sri Lanka's current population is 20.6 million.

Ananda-USA said...

Give NO SCHOOL ADMISSIONS QUOTAS to politicians!

It seems to me that politicians should have no role in school admissions which should only be based on MERIT and LOCAL RESIDENCE.

MPs are completely out-of-line making demands in order to do "favors" for their "important" supporters.

................
Govt. MPs seek quota for school admissions

By KelumRatnasiri
Wickramanayake Bandara
DailyMirror.lk
January 04, 2010

Some government members yesterday demanded of Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane that they be given quotas with regards to the admission of children to Grade I classes at popular schools.

At the ruling party’s parliamentary group meeting, these MPs had reportedly raised concern that they would otherwise become helpless when their supporters asked for such favours.

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane had reportedly told the meeting that Grade I admission was a major issue with around 73,000 applicants seeking admission to 54 popular schools in the country. The Minister said only 10,000 of them could be accommodated to these schools, disappointing the parents of the other children.

Mr. Gunawardane also said the development of 1,000 model secondary schools would resolve this problem anyway in the long run.

However, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa had reportedly asked the Minister not to take rigid stands with regard to Grade I admissions at this stage.

Along with him, some other senior ministers were of the view that the Ministry should be flexible enough admit children on recommendations by the government MPs.

Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said even the child of a ruling party MP had also been refused admission this time.

Ananda-USA said...

Years of seeking leads St. Petersburg woman to life as Buddhist nun

By Waveney Ann Moore
TampaBay.com
January 5, 2011

Steers prays and chants while Bhikkhuni Sudarshana, a Buddhist nun from Sri Lanka who leads a temple in Pinellas Park, shaves her head.

Steers prays and chants while Bhikkhuni Sudarshana, a Buddhist nun from Sri Lanka who leads a temple in Pinellas Park, shaves her head.

Bhikkhuni Sudarshana helps Steers put on her new robe during the robe offering.The sacrifice of her hair is only one life change Sandra Steers makes. She also leaves behind all secular belongings, including clothes, said Bhante Muditha of Ottawa. Her new name is Ayya Suseela.Steers peeks into the main room before her robe offering ceremony.Steers prays and chants while Bhikkhuni Sudarshana, a Buddhist nun from Sri Lanka who leads a temple in Pinellas Park, shaves her head.Sandra Steers, 68, walks through a roomful of supporters as she begins the ceremony to become a novice Buddhist nun at the Dhamma Wheel Meditation Society in Clearwater.

Bhikkhuni Sudarshana helps Steers put on her new robe during the robe offering.

Sandra Steers dressed in white one recent Saturday morning and drove to Clearwater for one of the most significant moments of her life.

Hours later, the 68-year-old grandmother of five returned to her St. Petersburg home to begin a new life. If neighbors had been peeking through their windows, they would have seen a petite woman with a shaven head wearing saffron robes. Sandy, as she was known to friends, had taken the vows of a Buddhist nun and a new name — Ayya Suseela.

"This step, it kind of evolved over the last 10 years,'' the former Methodist said.

"I kind of thought about it on and off" but postponed making the decision, she said. "Maybe it was fear. I used excuses. I suppose one thing that influenced me was I went on a Buddhist pilgrimage last year to India, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Just seeing those places where the Buddha walked and talked, it brought a greater awareness to me of Buddhism. Just being there was very emotional,'' she said, her voice catching.

"After that trip, I started thinking more about my life. There's a saying, 'In order to move forward, sometimes we have to step into that scary place. I think this is it.' "

In her simple two-bedroom home, where a small altar occupies a corner of her bedroom, books about Buddhism fill a bookshelf and a Buddhist flag hangs at her door, she spoke of her spiritual journey.

She was born in Orlando but grew up in northern Virginia.

"I was brought up as a Methodist. My mother was a very religious woman,'' she said. "I was involved in the youth groups until I was about 16. In my early 20s, I got involved with the Baptist church.''

Her connection to Christianity continued with jobs as a church secretary, but "something happened" and she left the faith. "I became a little disillusioned,'' she said, declining to give details.

She began the spiritual quest that would lead to Buddhism while living in Oregon.

"Buddhism seemed to fit with my feelings,'' she said. "One of the things about Buddhism is that we are responsible for our own actions and we don't look to the outside to solve our problems. It's an individual quest, so to speak.''

At the time, she didn't explore it further. "I was busy with family and working full time,'' said the divorced mother of two adult daughters and a son.

The search with her then-husband resumed after a move to St. Petersburg in 1996. It led to Bhante Dhammawansha, a newly arrived monk from Sri Lanka who spoke little English. He gave them books to study and invited them to meditation classes. "And I've been with him ever since," she said.

Ananda-USA said...

Years of seeking leads St. Petersburg woman to life as Buddhist nun

.....continued 1....

At her December ordination, which was held at the Dhamma Wheel Meditation Society in Clearwater, Dhammawansha, 51, spoke highly of the woman who had invited him to live with her and her husband for several months.

"In 14 years, I didn't see any fault in her life. I never see Sandy criticize anybody in the temple," he said.

After her recent pilgrimage, he said, she wrote asking whether she was qualified or worthy to be ordained. "I know in her mind, she's already a nun.''

That morning, an hour before the ceremony that drew about 100 people to the small house where the Buddhist community meets, monks hung bunting of Buddhist flags across the property. The ordination had been scheduled during the annual Buddhist robe offering ceremony that marks the end of the rainy season in traditional Buddhist countries. It's when laypeople offer monks and nuns gifts of robes, toiletries and other necessities. Close to 20 monks and nuns from Canada, Michigan, California, Illinois, New York and Florida were present.

Holding cue cards, the nervous nun-to-be threaded through the crowd squatting on the floor to the semicircle of monks and nuns near the altar. During the ceremony, she made presentations of baskets of flowers, recited the 10 precepts of Buddhism, bowed — hands clasped together, head on the carpeted floor — and disappeared to have her head shaved.

Steers, said Bhante Muditha of Ottawa, was leaving behind all her secular belongings, her clothing, her hair. "Sandy, she is changing her lifestyle. It's not going to be an easy thing. Gradually, the person who becomes a monk or nun has to change how he acts and talks, everything.''

Away from the gathering, Bhikkhuni Sudarshana of Pinellas Park and Bhikkhuni Wimala of Chicago helped her into her new robes and the traditional begging bowl carried by monks and nuns. As the sarong-style skirt was wrapped and secured with two diaper pins, daughter Pamela Wagner quipped: "You have to remember how to do that. We can't help you with that.''

Her family is supportive. "I think that every person has the right to believe and practice as they choose,'' said her sister Pat Brisley, who flew in from North Carolina. "I don't believe that any way is the only way.'' Wagner, who traveled from Virginia, said she wasn't surprised by her mother's new vocation. "As a practicing Christian, I have lots of questions,'' the Episcopalian said. "I see that she has a calm heart and inner peace and the joy that she has been searching for so long. So, for that reason, I can totally support what she's doing.''

"I'm so proud of her,'' added daughter Susanne Wooden, who had come from Michigan.

Afterward, a vegetarian lunch was served at Unity Church of Clearwater next door. Lining the route to the church, people placed offerings of flowers, chocolate, fruit, crackers and even water into the begging bowls of the monks and nuns walking to the celebratory meal. Commenting to no one in particular, Rose Lettiere, who had come from Sarasota, noted that shaving her head would be "a deal breaker" to any personal pursuit of monastic vows.

Suseela's new life includes rising before dawn to chant and meditate. She is supposed to eat her last meal of the day before noon. "There's a lot as a novice nun that I need to learn,'' she said. "I know that there will be greater expectations. Once you put the robe on, people tend to look at you a little differently."

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at wmoore@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2283.

Ananda-USA said...

Foreign supported Evangelical Christian Missionaries are gearing up to PROSLEYTIZE and CONVERT Sri Lankan citizens to their faiths.

These are the VERY SAME PEOPLE who aided the LTTE hoping to gain a foothold in Buddhist majority Sri Lanka through the TAMIL Separatists because Buddhists were RESISTANT to CONVERSION.

They exploit & exacerbate poverty and social ills to bribe and convert people of other religions to their faith .. as they do in India converting Hindus.

WE DON'T NEED THESE TROUBLE-MAKERS in SRI LANKA!

We have ENOUGH of our own monks and priests of every religion to tend to the religious needs of Sri Lankans.

DENY ENTRY TO THEM NOW & NIP THEIR PLANS IN THE BUD!

Their agendas will only bring further grief to Sri Lanka.

GOSL, Are you LISTENING?


................
Trainers go to challenging areas of Sri Lanka

OneNewsNow.com
January 05, 2011

Sri Lanka (MNN) ― For the first time since the 26-year civil war ended in Sri Lanka, Christians are receiving the training they need to lead their churches.

President and founder of Global Action Lars Dunberg says they just celebrated the graduation of 157 students in their pastoral training program. The new pastors will have an impact on Sri Lanka, just like the 450 previous students have had. "Those 450 students have now founded 460 churches, and those 460 churches minister to about 65,000 people every week."

While this is great news, it's just the tip of the iceberg, says Dunberg. "There are 32,000 villages in Sri Lanka. Our goal, down the road, is to train at least one pastor in each one of those villages."

These pastoral students aren't your typical pastors. These are men who came to Christ with no Christian background whatsoever. "And they began sharing with people what had happened to them. Suddenly, 50 people every week started listening to them. And 'Voila!' They are the pastor. But they know zilch. And so we take these pastors and we train them in the basics."

Global Action teaches the pastors Bible, doctrine, church history, how to run a church, what a church is, leadership, and evangelism. "They get a little diploma and a library of 12 books because they have nothing," says Dunberg.

He says these men receive training three days a month for 10 months before graduating.

This recent training was a first for one reason, says Dunbers. "This is the first time that we have taken this training into the areas of the civil war. We've had about 40 students in each one of these training centers. And we've been able to kind of infiltrate an area where we haven't been able to do anything because of the civil war."

Christians are urged to pray for these men because it's not easy to work in Sri Lanka. "A lot of churches are burned, [and] a lot of pastors are beaten up," says Dunberg. "That's just part of what's happening. There is a lot of persecution."

Help is needed to train even more pastors. "To train one of these pastors for a year--including the books--costs about $940. That includes everything: lecturing, training materials, and the libraries. Compare that to $80,000 it takes to train a pastor in North America today."

Ananda-USA said...

Yes Indeed, we must uphold religious freedom of all Sri Lankans.

However, allowing Foreign Missionaries of ANY FAITH including Evangelical Christians and Wahabi Moslems, to target Sri Lanka for proselytizing and religious conversion through heavily funded foreign programs SHOULD BE PROHIBITED & STOPPED NOW AT ALL COST!

Such people are dedicated to converting people to their faith by FAIR MEANS or FOUL as a matter of RELIGIOUS DOGMA ... exploiting and bribing poor people with a POLITICAL AGENDA of converting the country.

LET US NOT FORGET that Foreign Missionary & iNGO support for the LTTE separatist terrorists was a PRINCIPAL CAUSE of 30 years of Separatist Terrorism in Sri Lanka.

Christian Evangelists have successfully converted South Korea into a majority Christian country, but two decades ago it was a majority Buddhist nation. Today South Korean Buddhists are a harrasssed Minority in their own homeland.

There are also many instances of Wahabi Moslems transforming other nations to their brand of Islam; they are very active in now in Sri Lanka.

Guaranteeing Sri Lankan citizens the right to freely practice their faiths is NOT EQUIVALENT TO allowing FOREIGN missionaries to freely pursue their Global Agendas of conversion in Sri Lanka.

The Soft Soothing THEORETICAL words of the Pope and Fr. Reid Shelton Fernando notwithstanding, the GOSL should look at what they are ACTUALLY DOING IN PRACTICE in Sri Lanka.

The GOSL should PROHIBIT Foreign Missionary Organizations from sending missionary workers to Sri Lanka, and from channeling funds and carrying out their programs of proselytizing in Sr Lanka through local operatives.

Failure to do so, will inevitably result in a FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT in the religious demographics of Sri Lanka, and the loss of its ancient heritage as the PRINCIPAL REFUGE on EARTH for Theravada Buddhism.

All other foreign faiths have their own principal religious centers abroad; let them broadcast their faiths in their OWN COUNTRIES. If their own citizens abroad are resistant to, and disillusioned by, their message and are leaving their churches in droves, that is not Sri Lanka's fault. Let them tend to their OWN FLOCK.

Do not let them DEMOLISH Sri Lanka as the leading center of Theravada Buddhism on Earth .. SOOTHING WORDS NOTWITHSTANDING!

Religious Activity in Sri Lanka should be the SOLE PRESERVE of Sri Lankan citizens; not of Foreign Evangelical Missionaries.

DENY ENTRY TO Sri Lanka to Foreign Missionaries ... before it is too late! ACT NOW!

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM .. YES!
FOREIGN MISSIONARY CONVERSIONS .. NO!


................
"The Pope's message on religious freedom crucial for Sri Lanka"

By Melani Manel Perera

Fr. Reid Shelton Fernando, a political analyst and human rights activist, speaks to AsiaNews about the message launched by Benedict XVI for World Day of Peace, "Religious Freedom, the path to peace." Stressing that the faithful of every religion must root their beliefs in mutual respect.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - "The Pope's message is very important to highlight the situation in Sri Lanka. If mistakes were made in the past, then Christians should be humble and ask for forgiveness, just as Pope John Paul II did on March 12, 2000, the first Sunday of Lent. " Fr. Reid Shelton Fernando, coordinator of the Young Christian Workers Movement in Sri Lanka, a political analyst and human rights activist, spoke to AsiaNews about how the Pope’s message for the World Day of Peace reflects the situation in his country.

Ananda-USA said...

"The Pope's message on religious freedom crucial for Sri Lanka"

.....continued....
In Sri Lanka we speak of the presence of 4 major religious traditions in the country. We publicly acknowledge it. At the same time there is no religious persecutions meted out directly to minority religious. The Constitution adopted in 1978 there is a special chapter on the place given to the religion of the majority. I do not think that people from the minority race or minority religions could aspire to the leadership of the country. Even though that fact is not stated so in the rules. Who so ever aspire to lead the country must be from the majority race or religion. Indirectly there is no sense of equality in the strict sense of the word. However the religious leaders from the four traditions do occasionally come together for joint projects.

In the last decade or two there were attempts to stifle conversions of restrict even genuine change of religion accusing the Christians for forced conversions. The accusing finger was directed towards the extreme groups. Probably saner council prevailed and the legislation was not enacted in the Assembly of the elected members.

So the message of the Pope is very relevant to assert the existing situation of Sri Lanka. “Religious Freedom, the Path of Peace”. This fact must be hailed in Sri Lanka and there is the need to uphold this contention of the Pope and it had to be presented to all in a convincing manner. It is a fact that there is no planned violence or persecution but there can be elements of discrimination and suspicion against Christians.

The Religious freedom is a fundamental right as well as an aspiration of every one emanating from the very dignity of the human being as asserted by Holiness the Pope. It has to be respected by everyone without any restrictions. As pointed out by the Pope this right is basic to other rights because this right provides the basis for political, juridical and social rights of the human person. The Pope reiterates that religious right is not limited to one or other group but the patrimony of the whole human family. It provides the openness to serve the society at large. If this right is violated then the humanness of the individual will not be asserted. In this respect the Christians as well as other peoples of living faiths must ingrained in their codes of beliefs to respect one another in a mutual manner. In Sri Lanka the majority is fearful of the power of the minority and their universal organization while the minorities are afraid that their rights are not given the full freedom to assert their freedom for fear of misunderstanding.

The Christians in Sri Lanka have a specific role to play in clearing their misunderstandings and create situations of justice and truth. Historically there is an accusation that Christians were favoured by the Colonial masters whether it is true or false difficult to gauge. If mistakes have been done in the past, then Christians must be humble to seek forgiveness, just as Pope John Paul II asked pardon in the year 2000 on the 12th of March – First Sunday of Lent.

Further that Christians must seek in a very humble manner uphold and respect the beliefs of the majority religion the Buddhism. It does not mean that they have to follow the ritualistic practices but for ethical and moral values, We Christians can be inspired by their tolerance, peace which can be achieved in a human. We also need to accept the differences of their religions. We should avoid competition in the realm of religion but work for freedom of every one. I do feel that we need to resolve these suspicions and misgivings among us by working this out in various levels. I do pray and feel that local Catholic Commissions do take this message of the pope seriously and take to the grass roots level.

Ananda-USA said...

LTTE still running illegal operations overseas, Sri Lankan minister says

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's vanquished Tamil Tiger terrorist group still owns some ships and are using them in running illegal operations overseas, a senior Sri Lankan minister said Thursday.

The Chief Government Whip and Water Supply and Drainage Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena told the parliament today that the LTTE still has at least eight vessels and these ships are now being used for illegal activities, including human trafficking.

The Minister revealed that these ships that escaped the government offensive are berthed in a port of a South East Asian country and reportedly some of them are beyond repairs.

Although the government eliminated the whole senior leadership of LTTE and defeated the terrorist group in May 2009, its overseas network remains active, Minister Gunawardena said in the parliament.

He said this in response to a question raised by the opposition on LTTE's overseas assets asking what the government is doing to recover them.

The Minister told the parliament that intelligence authorities are taking necessary measures to recover the remaining ships.

Ananda-USA said...

Vaiko, hiding out in Tamil Nadu is another Indian who has violated Sri Lanka's Immigration & POTA Rules.

EXTRADITE him to Sri Lanka to face Charges of Immigration Violations and Training Terrorists in Sri Lanka.

PROSECUTE HIM and give him an Extended Vacation in Prison.

His Calloused Hands, earned by Breaking Rocks for building our Highways, should teach him the error of his ways!


................
10 Indians arrested in Sri Lanka

HindustanTimes.com
January 06, 2011

At least ten Indian nationals have been arrested by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly violating immigration regulations. The immigration and emigration controller Chulananda Perera confirmed to the PTI the arrest of the Indians but refused to give further details as the investigations are still
underway. "Investigations are going on.

I cannot say anything until they are over" he said. The ten Indians were residing in Matale, central hill country and selling sarees which are believed to be imported illegally.

Suspects were taken in to custody on the charge of violating immigration regulations officials said.

Ananda-USA said...

I predict that these 8 LTTE ships will soon mysteriously vanish in vast expanse of the world's oceans .. as many ships have done in the past.

Neptune & Hades are at work on this project .. even as we speak.

Presumably, LTTE-ers can run .. but can they hide?

..............
8 LTTE ships being used by ex-rebels' international network: Sri Lanka

DNAIndia.com
January 6, 2011

Ships belonging to the LTTE are still being used for illegal activities by its remaining international network, the Sri Lankan government said on Thursday.

Dinesh Gunawardena, the chief government whip minister, informed Parliament today that 11 ships have been destroyed by the armed forces during the past.

At least 8 LTTE ships were still being used for illegal activities by its remaining international network, the government said.

The ships are registered under different names of international orgnisations and are being used for illegal activities such as human smuggling, the minister said.

"A ship named Eeshswari, which was used to smuggle some Sri Lankans to Canada recently, is one of them, can be stated as an example," he said.

Lankan authorities have already taken steps to curb the LTTE activities overseas where remaining elements are still active.

Amid fears that LTTE cadres may try to reunite after the Sri Lankan forces crushed the rebels in May 2009, the government continues to screen hundreds of former Tamil Tiger fighters who are still in custody.

The LTTE waged a three-decade civil war for a separate state for the Tamils of Sri Lanka, alleging discrimination against the minority community at the hands of the majority Sinhalas.

The Lankan military crushed the rebels and ended one of the bloodiest ethnic conflict in Asia that killed between 80,000 and 100,000 people.

Ananda-USA said...

Two fish canning plants for Sri Lanka

Agra-Net.com
January 06, 2011

TWO fish canning plants are to be built in Sri Lanka next year to supply both the export and domestic markets, the country's fisheries minister has announced.

"By the end of next year, we aim to have a local canned fish industry" Rajitha Senaratne told a local news conference. "Two exporters are ready to open two canning factories. They will export part of their production and sell the rest in the local market." He did not confirm that the plants would produce canned tuna, but it seems the most likely option, Lanka News said in a report.

Ananda-USA said...

Why was this operation not detected within days of startup and the people arrested?

This indicates the presence HUGE HOLE IN NATIONAL SECURITY.

Scanning and Monitoring of all wireless and cable-based communications for illegal activities and terrorist communications SHOULD BE A PRIORITY.

Let us set up a NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS SECURITY without DELAY!

Sri Lanka's Hatarawaran Deviyo .. PLEASE TAKE NOTE!

.............
Police find rogue TV station

By S N Godamunna
DailyNews.lk
January 06, 2011

*Main suspect, equipment in custody

*Station operating from estate

Nawalapitiya Police yesterday raided an illegal cable television station which had been operating from an estate for several years.

The main suspect along with the technical equipment were taken into custody by the Police.

The illegal television station had been operating from Ketabulawatte Estate near Nawalapitiya town. According to Police sources, the technical equipment used to transmit programs were fixed inside the ceiling of an abandoned house.

The raid was carried out by the Nawalapitiya police after monitoring the activities of the station through informants.

The subscribers and technical staff of the station had kept it a secret though it had been operating for several years.

Investigations are on to check if the television station has had links with the LTTE, Nawalapitiya police sources said.

Police took into custody remote controllers, a dish antenna, modulators, amplifiers and several other technical items found at the television station.

Nawalapitiya Police believe that this station was able to provide information to illegal organizations. Police also found several CDs in which final fights between the Security Forces and the LTTE are included. The suspects were to be produced before Nawalapitiya Magistrate Purnima Poornagamage.

Investigations are being carried out by the Nawalapitiya police led by OIC Udaya Wickramaratne on the directive of Central Province Senior DIG Gamini Nawaratne.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka Law Enforcement and Rehabilitation Authorities should monitor whether "refugees" returning to Sri Lanka, "reclaiming land" and collecting Government "resettlement benefits" REMAIN IN THE COUNTRY or turn around and depart abroad after cashing in their "recovered" assets.

In other words, are these BONA FIDE' REFUGEES RETURNING TO RESETTLE in Sri Lanka, or are they just RIPPING-OFF whatever FUNDS they can extract from Sri Lanka to fatten their bank accounts abroad, with NO INTENTION OF STAYING IN Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka needs a Comprehensive Law Enforcement Database that combines and cross-references immigration-emigration, refugee rehabilitation, land ownership, internal revenue, bank withdrawals and deposits (above a preset limit), international money transfer and terrorism data bases that is instantly available to the Law Enforcement authorities.

Analysis & Scanning of this combined database should be AUTOMATED with Intelligent Software to MONITOR & FLAG suspicious anti-national activities.

The Patriot Act .. enacted into law in the United States after the 9/11 Attack on the World Trade Center .. has led to such screening of combined databases to protect the United States.

Can Sri Lanka AFFORD TO DO LESS in protecting its own citizens?


...............
SRI LANKA: Refugees want to return, says UNHCR

IRINNews.org
January 05, 2011

COLOMBO, 5 January 2011 (IRIN) - The number of Sri Lankan refugees wanting to return home since the end of the conflict in 2009 is increasing significantly, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says.

Thousands fled abroad because of the decades-long conflict between government forces and the now defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which had been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland.

"Many of these refugees have been away from Sri Lanka for years and want to come back, be reunited with their families and pick up the threads of their lives," Jennifer Pagonis, deputy country representative for UNHCR, told IRIN in Colombo on 5 January.

In 2010, the number of refugees helped to return to Sri Lanka jumped to 2,054 against 843 in 2009. Most of the returnees came from refugee camps in Tamil Nadu in India, with several from countries such as Malaysia, the agency said.

Another 2,742 refugees, who returned to Sri Lanka of their own accord, approached the agency's offices in the north for assistance.

UNHCR expects more refugees to voluntarily return in 2011 and is working to making the return process quicker and easier.

"One of the main concerns is reclaiming their land. They also need help with restarting their livelihoods with basic household items and assistance," Pagonis said.

According to the latest Indian government figures, as of 1 November 2010 there were more than 70,000 Sri Lankan refugees living in some 112 camps in Tamil Nadu and 32,467 living outside the camps.

A total of 146,098 Sri Lankan registered refugees are in 64 countries, including India, France, Canada, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Malaysia, Australia, the United States and Italy.

Ananda-USA said...

Let us HOIST the so called "Tamil MPs" (aka Tiger Nominated Agent MPs) ON THEIR OWN PETARDS by FURTHER INCREASING Army & Police Force Levels in the North & East, and making them PERMANENT SECURITY FEATURES.

Just tell them: WE TOLD YOU SO!

TELL THEM!
TELL THEM WHY YOU TOLD THEM!
TELL THEM WHAT YOU TOLD THEM!

AND THEN, TELL THEM AGAIN!


...............
Sri Lankan government will ensure security of Jaffna

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 06, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government will take all necessary measures to inquire into the allegations regarding the security situation in the Jaffna Peninsula and ensure its security, a senior minister said today.

The Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella gave this assurance during the Cabinet press briefing at the Department of Information Thursday in response to media inquiries on the security situation of the peninsula.

The Minister informed that the government will take the responsibility in ensuring the safety and well-being of the civilians in Jaffna.

Tamil parliamentarians have said that the mysterious killings, abductions, robberies, and rapes that happened in the past have returned to the region despite the high security maintained by the Sri Lanka Army.

The Tamil lawmakers have submitted a list of crimes that had taken place in the last two months and asked the government how the crimes take place when the area is under high military supervision.

Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe has said that the crimes are due to personal disputes as the people are returning to their original lands.

However, the Army had begun routine night patrols while assisting the police in maintaining law and order in Jaffna, he has said.

Police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody has told the Associated Press that the situation was not as bad as the lawmakers depicted.

"We have received just two complaints of killings and we have arrested the suspects in one of those cases. There is no major problem," he has told AP.

Ananda-USA said...

Who the HELL are these "Sri Lankans"?

Must be Tamil Diapora LTTE-ers ... no other Sri Lankans behave like this in foreign lands.


................
Nine Sri Lankans arrested over violent clashes

Cyprus-Mail.com
January 09, 2011

POLICE arrested have arrested nine Sri Lankans in connection with the violent clashes that took place on Thursday night in Nicosia.

Six were arrested on Friday afternoon, with a further three later on Friday night. All nine went to Nicosia district court and have been remanded in custody for six days. Three people were hospitalised after the clashes, with two head injuries and one hand injury.

A police spokesperson said yesterday afternoon that did not plan to make any further arrests over the violence, which reportedly involved around 20 individuals. However the causes of the incident are still under investigation.

Thursday’s clash in Ayios Dhometios involved 20 people, believed to be foreigners, wielding swords, bats and Molotov bombs, one of which was thrown into a house, causing it to erupt in flames. A car windshield was also smashed.

Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said: "Such behaviour will not be tolerated... Those who are being hosted on the soil of the Republic of Cyprus have a legal obligation to comply with the rules and the laws of the state that hosts them."

Ananda-USA said...

We asked for action .. and we got it IMMEDIATELY!

22 ILLEGAL TV stations shut down.
19 in Jaffna alone!

Bravo, Sri Lanka Defence Ministry!

Ratna Deepa, Janma Bhumi,
Lanka Deepa, Vijaya Bhumi,
Mey Apey Udara Wu
Mathru Bhyumi-yayi!
Mathru Bhumi-yay!

...............
22 illegal TV stations raided in Sri Lanka

ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka's telecommunication authority, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), with the assistance of police has raided 22 illegally operating TV stations in the country within the past few months, a Defence Ministry report said.

The report quoting the Director General of TRC Anusha Pelpita said 19 of those illegal operations were found in Jaffna and the others were in the southern part of the country.

Pelpita has said that when the authorities raided the establishments the operators have immediately claimed that they are substations of registered TV companies in the country.

Some of the operations have been given time to prove their claims and provide documentation of the ownership by the leading companies, Director General has said.

"When the officials stormed these illegal entities they immediately claimed that these are sub stations owned by leading companies in the country and that prevents us from taking further action," Pelpita was quoted.

"But now we have decided to call for documentary proof to substantiate their claims. If these stations have actually been acquired by these companies, there has to be some form of documentation," he has said.

The TRC will take legal action against those stations if they cannot prove their claims, the official has said.

According to the Director General, the CID is also conducting investigations on these illegal stations.

Ananda-USA said...

Tamils have learned NOTHING .. and continue COMMUNAL POLITICS by banding together as Tamils Only.

Birds of Feather Flock Together in Perpetuating Racism!

No other group in Sri Lanka so shamelessly trumpets their ETHNICITY!

When Communalism is Finally Dismantled & Outlawed in Sri Lanka .. and I have no doubt it will be in the coming decade .. they will be left HIGH & DRY without any links to other Sri Lankans.

Then, they will have to lie in the solitary grave they have dug for themselves .. in magnificent isolation .. with the Tiger Nominated Agents of the TNA continuing to PRESIDE over the self-destruction of the Tamil community.

There are NONE SO BLIND as those who REFUSE TO SEE!

.................
Grand Tamil alliance for local elections

By Arthur Wamanan
Nation.lk
January 09, 2011

Tamil political parties have taken steps to form a grand alliance to contest the upcoming local government elections.
The Tamil National Liberation Alliance (TNLA), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Eelam People Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF/Nabha faction) and PLOTE had had met earlier this month to discuss the possibilities on forming a broad alliance that would also include Tamil parties that are with the government.
TNLA leader M K Shivajilingam told The Nation that the four parties had already spoken to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) on this matter.
“We met the EPDP leader, Douglas Devananda and TNA’s Mavai Senathirajah. They have asked for some time to come to a decision. At the same time, we are also planning to talk to the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP),” he said.
Shivajilingam, however, said an alliance would be formed even if these parties do not agree to form an alliance.
TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah, when contacted by The Nation, said the party would take a decision once they discuss the matter among themselves.
“We have been told that there is a move to form a broad alliance. However, we would take a decision after we discuss this matter at our next meeting,” he said.
The Democratic People’s Front (DPF), meanwhile, said it had its reservations with regard to joining the government or parties affiliated to the government.
Party secretary Dr Nalliah Kumaraguruparan said the party was holding talks with several parties in forming an alliance to contest the upcoming local government polls.
“We have spoken to the UNP, TNLA and some leftist parties to for an alliance,” he said.
Speaking on the possibilities of a broader Tamil alliance, Dr Kumaraguruparan noted it would be difficult, as some of the parties were with the government.

Ananda-USA said...

I beg to DISAGREE with the ASSESSMENT that these are ISOLATED UNORGANIZED events.

I see a NEXUS between formerly disparate groups coming together to destabilize Sri Lanka, and collect funds for that purpose.

The recently discovered ILLEGAL TV Stations are related to this destabilization effort.

The GOSL should FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL in particular to discover WHO IS BEHIND these ANTI-NATIONAL activities.


.................
Security tightened in north

By Arthur Wamanan
Nation.lk
Janoary 09, 2011

The recent violence in the Jaffna peninsula has seen a decrease during the past week, the military said.

Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said the security forces and the Police had taken stern steps to curb the violence in the peninsula.

“A few attacks took place in the peninsula. The security forces have put up snap checkpoints at random places in order to ensure that these incidents do not happen,” he said.

In addition, the security forces have also commenced patrols in several places in order to reduce these isolated incidents. Maj Gen Hathurusinghe said that four persons who were arrested in connection with the killing of a Hindu priest were produced before courts.

Unknown gunmen who had attempted to rob Murugamurthi Kovil in Changaanai, Valikaamam, shot the chief priest, Niththiyantha Sharma (56) and his two sons who had rushed to help him.

“One person has been identified as an ex-army person. Two have been identified as ex-LTTE cadres,” Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe said.
He said the Police were investigating the killing of the Jaffna Deputy Zonal Education Director Markandu Sivalingam.

“All these incidents were isolated attacks. These were carried out either for robbery or personal disputes. However, we have taken steps to ensure that culprits do not get away with this,” he added.
In addition, Maj Gen Hathurusinghe also said there were LTTE elements remaining in the north. “We have fought for three years and we cannot expect everything to be clear. There will be some remnants. However, thee attacks were not carried out in an organised manner.”

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Jaffna District Organiser, Ankajan Ramanathan said the Police and the security forces had stepped up security measures to reduce the number of incidents.
“I would also like to urge the people to cooperate with the police and the security forces in bringing down these incidents,” he said.

Ananda-USA said...

ATM Fraud and Credit Card Scams are the Forte' of the Eelamist Diaspora .. as WIDELY REPORTED in other countries in the past.

They are now bringing their "expertise" to Sri Lanka, to fund the destabilization of Sri Lanka.

As Sri Lanka moves ahead to develop its economy, the Law Enforcement Authorities must create the necessary safeguards against electronically mediated criminal scams such as these.

...............
Banks warned on ‘e-thieves’

By Gagani Weerakoon and Arthur Wamanan
Nation.lk
January 09, 2011

Banks offering electronic banking facilities are being urged to focus more on upgrading their security systems to ensure the safety of account holders in future.

Payment devices fraud experts made the call in the wake of the recent ATM scam, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.

It was revealed that some banks do not even have the basic security measures such as CCTV cameras that help identify the withdrawer at a later occasion, if needed.

A senior CID official, meanwhile, said they had sought the assistance of Interpol in tracking down the two foreigners who fled the country on December 20.

“They believed to be Romanians and the immigration and airport authorities are also cooperating with us in identifying them,” he said.

The CID’s remarks came as Sri Lanka Bankers’ Association director-general Upali Silva told The Nation that the technical teams of the banks had met the police and had obtained the details of the ATM scam.

He said the banks were being pushed to take more precautions following the recent ATM scam in which, new equipment and methods were used.

“Pinhole cameras were used to detect the pin numbers and another plastic gadget was used to obtain the details of the cards when they are inserted,” Silva said.

“These equipment were fit to the machine, a little above the place where the cards are inserted. Our technical teams have got the details of the equipment used and how the operation was carried out.”
He said the banks would take measures after studying the details obtained from the police.
“We have requested the banks to Fraud Preventing Inhibitors to ensure that this type of incidents do not happen in future.

“This equipment will ensure that no other gadgets are fitted onto the ATM machines. However, the banks have the responsibility to look after their ATM machines. Having cameras alone is not sufficient,” Silva added.

Payment Cards Industry Association chairman Roshantha Jayathunga, meanwhile, said all the banks were working closely with the CID to ensure that the ATM machines are not compromised in future.

He said there were 1,876 ATM machines around the country as at 2009 and the number has increased beyond 2,000 now.

“The banks have now expanded their ATM services and the number is increasing at a rapid pace,” he said.

“The CID has given us some details and it will be shared among the banks to ensure that such incidents do not happen,” he said.
He commended the CID for its efforts in tracing the culprits in a rapid operation.

“The banks will have to work more closely and keep tabs on the ATM machines and have random checks.”

Thusitha said...

Ananda-USA said...
Yes Indeed, we must uphold religious freedom of all Sri Lankans.

However, allowing Foreign Missionaries of ANY FAITH including Evangelical Christians and Wahabi Moslems, to target Sri Lanka for proselytizing and religious conversion through heavily funded foreign programs SHOULD BE PROHIBITED & STOPPED NOW AT ALL COST!


------------------------------
Totally aggree. If a country is underdeveloped and if there is unchecked religious conversions, what would end up happening is something similar to whats happening in Southern Sudan.
Thousands years of Muslim religion and few years of Chritian religion have already divided the nation and now will be broken down to pieces.
In my opinion, this is the fate of any undeveloped nations where Chritianity get a foothold as it is too easy to divide a poor nation than a developed nation.

Also we must make sure we have any referendem till the north and the south in properly integrated.

Ananda-USA said...

So, WHAT IS NEW?

The LTTE ... driven by Racist Dreams of Tamil Supremacy .. aided and abetted by Tamil Nadu in India ... could NEVER BE SATISFIED with mere co-existence with other Sri Lankan communities.

It was ALWAYS ... GIMME MORE, GIMME MORE .. GIMME!

Verily, it seems they GOT MUCH MORE THAN THEY ASKED FOR along the banks of the Nanthikandal Lagoon.

Their flesh and blood has joined those of other enemies of Sri Lanka ... sprinkled through the annals of Sri Lankan history ... to fertilize and enrich the soil of our hallowed Motherland.

That same fate awaits all those who do not understand the deep love and attachment of the Patriots of Lanka to this Resplendent Isle, this Ratna Deepa Janma Bhumi of Ours.


....................
LTTE wanted more concessions

January 11, 2011

A top secret diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks reveals that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) left peace talks with Sri Lankan government in a tactical move to “get more concessions”.

Although the then United National Party (UNP) government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, had given more than enough concessions to the terror outfit, the Tigers had confessed to Japan that the terror group suspended peace talks with the motive of getting more concessions
This remark was made by none other than Tiger’s Chief Ideologue Anton Balasingham himself, who along with Tiger Supremo Vellupillai Prabhakaran met Japanese envoy Akashi and Japanese Ambassador Seiichiro Otsuka on May 7. Ambassador Otsuka provided US Ambassador Wills a readout of the Kilinochchi talks early May 8.

“GoJ (Government of Japan) interpreter told Ambassador Otsuka that at one point Balasingham had said, ‘we suspended the peace talks to get concessions.”

Although Balasingham had not elaborated on what he meant, the cable notes that this statement tends to highlight the tactical nature of the LTTE´s recent moves. During the meeting held in the LTTE-controlled town of Kilinochchi, Japanese envoy Akashi pressed the LTTE to return to the peace talks and gave the Tigers one week to make a final decision on whether they will attend the June donors’ conference in Tokyo.

Prabhakaran noncommittal “Prabhakaran was noncommittal, although he indicated the Tigers would be cooperative if the GSL met their long-standing demands re assistance and security,”

Otsuka said noted that while it was "good", it was not "conclusive" in that the LTTE had not agreed to return to peace talks and to attend the June donors’ conference in Tokyo. Otsuka noted that Akashi had pressed these issues twice and received essentially noncommittal responses both times.

Akashi had also pressed Prabhakaran on other issues, such as human rights. In addition, he had urged the Tigers to return to the Sub-Committee for Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs in the North and East (SIHRN), from which the Tigers pulled out late April. At the close of the meeting Prabhakaran had given Akashi a "Tamil Eelam" map and insignia.

The cable adds that Norwegian Special Envoy Erik Solheim was slated to meet Balasingham in the Wanni on May 8, in a bid to convince the Tigers to come back to the talks and attend the June donors conference.

Wills also says that in fact, "the U.S. can take some credit for this shift, as the Tigers´ move toward a more moderate posture dates from their response to the U.S. statement on their pullout from the talks". He also notes that FCO (Foreign Consular Office) officials had a good give-and-take with Balasingham on May 4 just before he came to Sri Lanka. “All that said, it´s still not clear what the Tigers plan to do and whether they will be back in the ballgame soon”

DownFall said...

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/920062--10-sri-lankan-tamil-tigers-arrested-in-switzerland

Ananda-USA said...

"Bishop" Rayappu Joseph & his two priestly sidekicks are among the well known Tiger-Loving Priests who collaborated with the LTTE in the past 30 years to divide Sri Lanka in two and create a Racist Tamil Eelam.

These priests only sought to advance their "religion" in Sri Lanka through the LTTE .. by MEANS FAIR or FOUL .. violating the teachings of Christ. They should be DEFROCKED and DRUMMED out of the Church for aiding and protecting terrorists, and dumped TARRED & FEATHERED onto the streets.

Here they are AGAIN turning up like bad pennies .. reviving the "original sin" concept to divert blame and absolve the LTTE of the MONSTROUS SINS they committed against ALL PEOPLE of Sri Lanka.

The LTTE thrived for so long in Sri Lanka because people like these three priests gave them cover, batted for them among the so-called "human rights" organizations abroad, while turning a "blind-eye" to their terrorist murders, their enslavement of the Tamil People, their deployment of child soldiers, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

These priests are just as bad as those High Ranking Priests of the Catholic Church who condone child abuse by priests by protecting and inflicting the offenders again again on the unsuspecting public.

Today, tens of thousands of such cases filed in courts of law in the United States, are bringing the Church to its knees. Disillusioned Catholics are abandoning their faith in droves. It is not the Word of Christ that is at fault, but the Activities of Priests who violate his teachings and the rules of the Church of Christ.

Likewise in Sri Lanka, these Priests hide behind their robes, under the eaves of the House of God, and continue their treason against the country that gives them refuge.

Shame on You!

When such priests come offering "proposals" for "reconciliation" they should be taken to task and and be asked to justify their past support for terrorists in Sri Lanka.

BLOODY HYPOCRITES!


...............
Sri Lanka: Mannar diocese offers proposal for genuine and lasting Tamil Sinhalese reconciliation

By Asia News
January 11, 2011


Bishop Rayappu Joseph and two priests from his diocese submit a report to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), calling for complete transparency on what happened between 2002 and 2009 as a step towards finding an effective and lasting solution to the ethnic conflict.


Colombo – The report that Mgr Rayappu Joseph, bishop of Mannar, Fr Victor Sosai, vicar general, and Fr Xavier Croos submitted last Saturday to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) begins by recognising “the importance of learning lessons from our history in order to move forward as well as prevent further conflict and violence”. In their submission, the representatives of the diocese speak on behalf of the Tamil community of Mannar, one of the most affected by the war that ended in 2009.

Ananda-USA said...

Sri Lanka: Mannar diocese offers proposal for genuine and lasting Tamil Sinhalese reconciliation

....continue....

In their report to the LLRC, a commission set up by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate events that occurred between 2002 and 2009, the three religious leaders said that the commission provided an opportunity for all Sri Lankans to take a step towards reconciliation.

For genuine and lasting reconciliation, “it is crucial to address roots of the conflict and war, primarily issues affecting Tamils such as recognition of their political reality, language, land, education and political power sharing,” the report said.

“We also believe that it is crucial for any serious effort towards reconciliation to go back into our history beyond February 2002, as roots of the conflict and reasons for the war that caused so much pain, destruction and polarization dates much further. In fact, the LTTE, other armed Tamil groups and the war are not the cause, but only results of the conflict. Although LTTE and other Tamil armed groups have caused much suffering, their actions were prompted by the failure of successive governments to respond favourably to Tamil’s efforts to resolve their problems through peaceful and political means. While acknowledging the part played by LTTE and other armed groups in the suffering of the people, we wish to point out that the state military and their secret agents are feared more by the people and are held responsible for much of their woes,” the clergymen said.

The bishop reiterated that Tamils are part of Sri Lanka, even though they have their own distinct cultural, linguistic and religious identity. The government must acknowledge this reality, and recognise that the bases for power-sharing and minority rights must be enshrined in the constitution.

The report notes that no one has been “convicted for numerous crimes such as extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture, arbitrary detention, rape and sexual abuse. It is our belief that this culture of impunity, over the years, [has] led to more and more crimes against Tamil civilians during the course of the conflict. Measures such as forgiveness, amnesty are only possible when there is genuine acceptance and repentance of wrongs done and the truth is acknowledged.”

The report ends by reiterating that reconciliation is possible if three key elements are met. First, there must be the acknowledgement of what actually occurred during the conflict, particularly in the closing stages of the war. Secondly, a political solution to the ethnic conflict must be obtained in a participatory manner and within a specified timeframe to ensure good governance and the rule of law. Thirdly, the immediate concerns of the people who were affected and suffered because of the war must be addressed.

Ananda-USA said...

Bloggers,

There is a new article posted. Please shift over to it.

Miss Information said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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