Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fishing restrictions lifted from Mullaitivu to Mannar

The Government has decided to ease restrictions previously imposed on fishing activities off the Northern coast from Mullaitivu to Narchchikudah, Mannar with immediate effect, Senior Advisor to the President and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province, Basil Rajapaksa announced at a meeting with the fishing community at the Karainagar Naval Camp today (19).

Accordingly, the fishermen will enjoy the privilege of engaging in fishing round the clock.

In the move to provide immediate incentives to help boost production, the State has allocated Rs.303 million in addition to cold storage facilities, fishing floats, rest rooms and anchorages would be constructed. Fishing Societies will be afforded loan facilities while the two cool rooms sent to the East would be installed in Jaffna.

Facilities at fishing villages will be upgraded under the 'Uthuru Wasanthaya' concept and a boat valued at Rs. 150 million will be made available for travel to the Delft Island.

The Special Presidential Adviser Basil Rajapaksa conveyed the gratitude of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Northern people for the unstinted cooperation given to defeat terrorism while losing their avenues of income due to terrorism.

He however noted that there were elements both here and abroad trying to disrupt the welfare of the Tamil people. He appealed to all sections not to create hatred again among communities but to help promote the concept 'Uthuru Wasanthaya' for the benefit of the Tamil people.

Accordingly, relevant fishing communities will have the freedom to engage in their chosen livelihood. Furthermore, they will be allowed to use 'ma-del' fishing nets and boats up to 15-25 horsepower. Also, apart from a small area close to the Palaly Airport, restrictions on other areas have been lifted to enable those who wish to engage in fisheries activities.

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Canada to evict Sri Lankan Tamils staying illegally

There is information that Canadian government has taken a decision to evict all groups including Sri Lankan Tamils who stay in Canada illegally and without visas. The move to get rid of illegal immigrants would be expedited soon and according to information Canadian government has decided to take up this matter in its Parliament immediately.

According to information reaching from Canada its government has taken the decision to evict Sri Lankan Tamils staying illegally from its soil taking into consideration the peaceful atmosphere present in Sri Lanka with the defeat of tiger terrorism.

A large number of Sri Lankan Tamils who have illegally entered Canada during the last 25 years when tiger terrorist organization was controlling certain areas in the Northern and Eastern provinces are staying there illegally.

Many of these people who entered Canada claiming there was threat to their lives were involved in fund raising for tiger terrorists and human trafficking. The decision to evict Sri Lankans staying in Canada illegally was published in Canadian media yesterday.

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Sri Lanka war risk insurance rating lowered

June 19, 2009 (LBO) - International underwriters in London have lowered the war risk rating for Sri Lanka following the defeat by government forces of Tamil Tigers, paving the way for reducing insurance premiums on sea and air cargo.
The London market's Joint Cargo Committee (JCC) has lowered the risk rating from 3.4 to 3.0, in effect changing the status from ‘severe’ to ‘high’, the government information department said.

The move follows negotiations initiated by the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka after government forces crushed Tamil Tiger remnants and wiped out its top leadership in an offensive that ended in mid-May.

Shipping industry officials said the reduced risk rating means war risk insurance premiums could be lowered, reducing costs for shippers.

The government information department statement said the change of risk status was determined after the JCC reassessed the war risk level pertaining to Sri Lanka this month.

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Stuffed Tigers, conmen, ectopic pregnancy etc - Island Editorial

Close on the heels of the miscarriage of Eelam in Sri Lanka, there has come the news of an ectopic pregnancy overseas. The LTTE rump has declared the formation of a 'government in exile' as a prelude to Eelam. Much hullabaloo is being made in some quarters about this pronouncement but it is nothing but a big ruse to prevent funds to the LTTE war-chest from drying up. Anyway, who is the lucky head of the 'government in exile'?

Anton Balasingham addressing the media in Kilinochchi in 2002 had the temerity to call Prabhakaran both the President and Prime Minister in the areas under LTTE control at that time. The reaction of Prabhakaran to that comment was an approving grin from ear to ear. It was because the LTTE already had 'a president and prime minister' that it prevented people under its jackboot from exercising their franchise at the 2005 presidential election. Prabhakaran knew allowing that election to be held in his territory would be tantamount to an indirect acceptance of the government's writ.

Last month the President and Prime Minister of Eelam lay dead in a mangrove swamp, having destroyed thousands of precious lives and his Eelam project.

However, Prabhakaran, in spite of his terrorism, was a capable man who became a cult figure and unifying factor for the advocates of separatism. He had intestinal fortitude to ask and fight for what he wanted. Never did he compromise his goal. He fought tooth and nail for Eelam for thirty years with strict orders for his cadres to kill him if he gave up Eelam. That was real leadership albeit for the wrong cause. Prabhakaran succeeded in setting up something that his allies chose to dub a de facto state. He claimed to have a government, an army, an air force, a navy, a police force, a public service, a judiciary and a landmass with a population under his control . But, his 'state' stood on a foundation of sand without legitimacy and sovereignty.

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Free Trade Zones for Trinco, Kilinochchi

Mass Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, yesterday said that Free Trade Zones will be inaugurated in the Trincomalee and Kilinochchi districts under the ‘Negenahira Navodaya’ and ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ programmes.

He was speaking at the ceremony where an agreement was signed between the Board of Investment and APS Knitters (PVT) Ltd., to establish a fully fledged T-shirt factory here.

Entrepreneurs in the UAE had already expressed willingness to construct agri based factories in the North and the East, he said.

The Chairperson APS Knitters Ltd., Deepani Amarasinghe said "Our company commenced operations in 1983 as a BoI approved project and was engaged in importing thread from other countries to manufacture clothing and for export."

The company provided employment to 50 persons at the beginning and now there are 250, she said.

APS Knitters export finished products to five countries including Australia. It supplies the local market as well, Amarasinghe said.

"We have launched two factories in Mattakkuliya and Maharagama with an investment of US$ 3 million producing high quality products obtaining ISO certification," she said.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pro Surfers off to Sri Lanka - Arugam Bay

The UK Pro Surf Tour has announced it will be returning to Sri Lanka in July this year for the “Sri Lanka Champion of Champions Surf Contest” at Arugam Bay. Renowned as one of the best ‘point breaks’ in the world, Arugam Bay on the East coast of Sri Lanka is now a surfing hotspot and is accessible as a result of the recent end to the civil unrest in the country.

The 2009 Championships, which take place on July 1-6, will see 48 surfers fighting it out to become the ultimate champion including some of UK’s top professional surfers, international stars and local Sri Lankan surfers.

Dave Reed, UK Pro Surf Tour director, stated: "It’s good to be going back to Sri Lanka again we are looking forward to some great waves where will see world class surfers competing at Arugam Bay. The competition is a fantastic opportunity for competitors from around the world to discover what I believe to be one of Sri Lanka’s greatest assets - the excellent surf and spectacular beaches."

Commenting on the return of the event, Sanjika Perera, UK & Ireland Director of Tourism - Sri Lanka Tourist Promotion Bureau said: "The last time the championships were held were just after the Tsunami in 2005 and they played a crucial role in reviving the area. We are very happy that the UK Pro Surf Tour is returning as this will help to raise awareness of the tourism opportunities that are now available on the east coast of the island which is waiting to be discovered

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Sri Lanka Rebuild Its Economy - Bloomberg


Sri Lanka May Become ‘Hong Kong of India’ After War, HSBC Says

By Cherian Thomas

June 18 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka’s economy can bounce back from its weakest growth in six years and become the “Hong Kong of India” as the end of almost three decades of civil war boosts business opportunities, HSBC Private Bank said.

Decades of fighting on the Indian Ocean island shackled its $32 billion economy, which according to figures released yesterday expanded 1.5 percent last quarter from a year earlier as the global recession intensified the slowdown. Ports, retailers, apparel and tea exporters could lead a recovery after the Tamil Tiger rebels were defeated last month.

“The rebound will be spectacular,” said Arjuna Mahendran, the Singapore-based chief investment strategist for Asia at HSBC Private Bank, which oversees $494 billion in assets. “To start with, Sri Lanka’s location gives its port a natural advantage.”

Sri Lanka could benefit from its proximity to India, just as Hong Kong profits from being a trade hub to China. Sri Lanka lies just 31 kilometers (19 miles) south east of India, the world’s second-fastest-growing major economy.

Seventy percent of the volume handled by the Colombo port is trans-shipment of goods imported by India and this could be increased because Indian ports don’t have adequate depth, Mahendran said. Sri Lanka has embarked upon a plan to quadruple capacity at the Colombo port in three years.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were defeated on May 16, ending their 26-year struggle for a separate homeland in Sri Lanka. The Tigers, who controlled a third of the country at one point, fell swiftly since January as the Sri Lankan military launched an unprecedented offensive to wipe them out.

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Sri Lanka scoffs at new Tamil exiled government

Col. R. Hariharan, a security analyst who was head of military intelligence for India's 1987-1990 peacekeeping mission to Sri Lanka, said the plan was more likely an effort to harness the financial resources the LTTE left all over the world.

"It is more connected with recouping the Tigers assets," he said. "Nobody will recognise it in any case, but some countries might tolerate this kind of thing. There are kinds of ghost governments in existence."

COLOMBO (Reuters) – The remnants of the Tamil Tigers have vowed to form a government in exile to push their separatist cause, which Sri Lanka on Wednesday called an "hallucination" and another illegal attempt to violate its unitary status.

The decision came less than a month after the Sri Lankan military finally crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a 25-year civil war, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared Sri Lanka reunified.

Selvarajah Pathmanathan, the top remaining LTTE leader, in a voice clip e-mailed on Tuesday signed off on the formation of a committee to create a "provisional transnational government of Tamil Eelam to take forward the next phase of the struggle".

Tamil Eelam was the name for the separate state the LTTE fought to create for Sri Lanka's Tamils, and what it had called the areas of northern and eastern Sri Lanka it had ruled until the end of the war.

Reacting to the announcement, Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said "imagination will lead to hallucinations" and said the country had stepped up efforts to have Pathmanathan, known as KP, arrested.

"I have carried personally the arrest warrants for KP and handed them over to my counterparts in several countries and I expect the earliest arrest of KP. He will stand trial in the judicial system in our country," Bogollagama told reporters.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sri Lanka's east returns to normalcy: commission report

COLOMBO, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's once troubled Eastern Province has reached near normalcy with a drastic drop of disappearances of people and fewer security road blocks, a one-man commission reported here Tuesday

The retired judge Mahanama Thilakaratna, who heads a one-man commission of Inquiry to look into disappearances, abductions and murders, told reporters that rights violations in the Eastern Province had recorded a drop of around 90 to 95 percent this year compared with Jan-May period of 2008.

"Armed groups joining democracy, closer co-operation between such groups have contributed to this situation," Thilakaratna said. There is general public view that law stands above all things else, Thilakaratna said.

He said in Trincomalee district except for two road blocks, all others had been removed leading to near normalization.But in the Batticaloa district it had been difficult to remove the road blocks yet, Thilakaratna said.He said the general situation in the east had drastically improved since the provincial election of May last year.

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The anti-Ahmadinejad conspiracy failed just like the Tianamen Square affair

The failed plot to oust the democratically elected Iranian President Mohamed Ahmadinejad provides features of an extremely interesting ‘experiment’ being tried out by the US agents and neocons. Its analysis may be useful due to the potential for future deployment of similar conspiracies in Sri Lanka by the unhappy imperialists.

The attempted plot by the West to topple the democratically elected government of Iran showed signs of significant differences from the other campaigns in Georgia and Ukraine in that it was pre-planned, technology-based and was remotely controlled to an unprecedented degree. The operatives behind the plot include a collective of the Iranian Diaspora in California (who were forced out of Iran together with the Shah during the 1979 revolution), the CIA, NGO fronts of the CIA, and American wires Associated Press (AP) and Agency France Press (AFP). The BBC of course was at its usual, disgraceful worst.

An analysis of the sequence of events, its media coverage and the sense of cautious anticipation of ‘results’ from the White House, the State Department and other Western capitals clearly showed the level of preparation that had gone in to this sinister attempt to undermine democracy. The experimental nature of the plot dictated that they quietly monitor developments and act gradually, rather than expressing open, aggressive support to their agents due to the fear that the mainstream Iranians would be turned away by US support.

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Lanka , Windies semi final showdown

The West Indies will face Sri Lanka on Friday while Pakistanwill take on South Africaon Thursday in the semi finals of the ICC’s World Twenty20 Championship.

The semi final pairing was finalized with the playing of the last set of super eight matches on Tuesday.

In the first game of the day, Sri Lankabeat New Zealandby 48 runs at the Trent Bridge Cricket Grounds to top Group F with six points.

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Sri Lanka to get $ 2.5 B IMF loan

Sri Lanka is expected to receive a US $ 2.5 billion loan from the International Monitory Fund (IMF) this month, a top Central Bank official told Daily Mirror on condition of anonymity.

The loan is more than the US $ 1.9 B that Sri Lanka had sought from the IMF, the official added, although there was no official confirmation from the IMF yet.

A Reuters report, meanwhile, said Sri Lankan shares rose on Monday to a new nine-month high, led by foreign buying of blue chips on an expected IMF loan approval and continued local purchases of plantation and hotel shares.

The rupee closed flat as a state bank bought dollars. The Colombo All-Share Price Index rose 1.4 per cent or 31.50 points to 2286.12, its highest close since Sept 16.

“It was a very active market,” said Shivantha Meepage, a research analyst at Acuity Stockbrokers. “There is high hope of Sri Lanka getting the IMF loan soon. Foreigners bought blue chips, while retail investors bought plantation and hotel shares.”

Analysts say foreign funds have been slow to come to the market, which has been driven higher by retail buyers on positive sentiments since the war ended on May 18.

High oil prices, which go along with synthetic rubber prices, and high tea prices had pushed up plantation shares, analysts said. Oil eased to around $71 a barrel on Monday, retreating from a near eight-month high last week.

Sri Lanka’s average total tea price has jumped around 22 per cent to 342 rupees in May, from January on high global demand. The bourse has risen around 20 per cent since the government declared victory in the 25-year war and is up 52.1 per cent so far this year on post-war optimism.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Unbeaten Sri Lankan Lions march on - ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2009


First ever operational LTTE submarine…

The First ever fully-geared LTTE submarine that had been submerged in the sea water a few metres off the coast of Vellamullivaikkal was found by the Task Forces 8 troops Sunday (14) afternoon following a piece of information given by a terrorist in custody. The complete submarine with one seat is about 24 ft in length and 4 ft in height.

It had reportedly been used by the LTTE, most probably their senior cadres, for clandestine sea movements before the LTTE was wiped out from the soil. It is further believed that the submarine found closer to the former location of the FARAH-3 ship had been made ready for LTTE leadership to escape via sea however speedy advance of the troops did not permit the terrorists to put the plan into action.

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