Friday, September 25, 2009

Sri Lanka's crime- The Island Editorial

Sri Lanka's tormentors have laid bare their true faces. They may have condemned Prabhakaran and the LTTE for crimes such as drug smuggling, gun running, massacres, violent suppression of dissent, bombing civilian targets, child recruitment etc. But, we now know their opposition to the LTTE was only a facade, states The Island editorial today (Sep 25).

Critically questioning the reality of interests of some self-acclaimed 'democracies', INGO fronts and LTTE pressure groups, the editorial further deplores the use of 'displaced civilians' as an instrument of oppression against the island nation. "Threats and international pressure Sri Lanka has come under because of her successful war on terror are highly disproportionate to her size and influence. Perhaps, no other small democratic country has suffered so much of harassment at the hands of global powers", the editorial further stated.

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'Resurgence of LTTE must be prevented'- PM to Asia Society

Rebuilding Sri Lanka after 25 years of war will, among other things, require preventing a resurgence of the LTTE, said Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake addressing at the Asia Society in New York last night.

“Sri Lanka suffered for almost three decades of destruction from terrorism by the LTTE,” Prime Minister said. Despite victory, he said, “residual effects and related problems remain.”

Speaking at Asia Society, the prime minister said resettling internally displaced persons (IDPs) is the country’s largest post-war challenge. However, he made clear that a full resettlement will take time. “You cannot have a solution overnight,” he stressed. He said an estimated 280,000 still remain in welfare centers, as a result of the conflict.

“It is not an easy task to provide welfare to these people all at once... yet we accepted this challenge," he said. "Today, the displaced are being resettled systematically and efficiently.”

In an effort to expedite the recovery of the war-torn North and East, Mr. Wickremanayake called on the international community to boost investment in the country. “We need the support and cooperation from nations that can afford to,” he said. The prime minister stated that the government has already begun substantial reconstruction projects in the two regions.

The Prime Minister also called on nations to help Sri Lanka clear the large number of mines scattered throughout the country’s North. “Terrorists have planted landmines in playgrounds, holy sites, farm fields, and roads,” he said. “We are not ready to push our people onto these death traps.”

“Accept that we have a big problem,” the prime minister urged, “and helps us.”
In a question-and-answer session moderated by Asia Society’s Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl, Wickremanayake addressed allegations of human rights abuses by the military and criticism of the government’s treatment of displaced Tamils and he denied allegations of human rights abuses, saying “no crimes were committed by the army.”

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SL's economic developments stronger than expected - IMF

Recent economic developments have been stronger than expected. Economic growth is now projected at 3½ percent in 2009 relative to 3 percent at the time of program approval. Inflation remains subdued and is expected to remain in the single digits in 2009. Exports have showed signs of recovery in recent months. Import growth, which has thus far remained sluggish, is expected to pick up in the second half of this year as economic activity increases, said The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its First Review of the IMF Stand-By-Arrangement.
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'Never forget this is your motherland' - President to children

Never forget that this is your motherland. As such you should think what you have done for the country so far and what you could do in the future. You are flag bearers of the Nation and the ones who should protect this country tomorrow. Today's children are the ones who would become Kings tomorrow, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (Sep. 22) at the opening ceremony of the new Vakarai Maha Vidyalayam, built on the rubble of its former tsunami devastated structures.
"The era where people had used cyanide to commit suicide was over. Now you can go to your Hindu temples, schools, market, paddy fields and for fishing and bath in the sea freely and without fear. It was time to rebuild the Nation under one flag as terrorism had been defeated", he said.

The ethnic divisions would not exist in the future and there would be no minorities. We all should work together to propel the Nation towards sustainable development, the President noted.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tallest tower of 70 floors in Sri Lanka to come up soon

Construction on what will be the tallest twin tower in Sri Lanka will commence shortly. As first step of presenting the concept, design and drawings relating to the proposed structure for the Urban Development Authority a ceremony was held in Colombo.

The project will comprise of a 40 floor commercial complex and a 70 floor Residential Tower at Battaramulla, near the UDA building.

Under the dynamic and progressive leadership of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the challenging face of the Government is represented by this significant measure of creating and redefining in place the Government infrastructures as the proposed commercial complex is being buidt up to house entirely the UDA requirements.

Speaking at the occasion Dr. Y. Kiron Kumar, CEO of Suchirindia said ‘Working in close association with Sri Lanka, its various Government representative bodies and officials has been a pleasure in view of their unending willingness to support and help on all counts.

“We hope to foot print into Colombo, Sri Lanka with this project and hope to extend it further and further into new areas,” Mr. Kumar added.

Suchirindia, a Hyderabad based business group roots in real estate, has ventured into construction of this twin towers in collaboration with NEB Rapid Infrastructure and the Government of Sri Lanka is being developed at a cost of US$ 250 million.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Archbishop calls on EU to grant GSP plus to Lanka

By Gandhya Senanayake

The Catholic Archbishop Rev. Dr. Malcolm Ranjith today called upon the European Community to help Sri Lanka achieve true peace and justice by continuing to accord the GSP plus facility and by giving all other possible assistance to the country.

In a statement to the media, he further stated that Sri Lankan’s through their fervent practices of religious principles, which were the soul of the country, could heal wounds of the past years without being pushed into it by external forces.

He therefore fervently appealed the EC to be strongly proactive in its approach to Sri Lanka which has a proud history of close links with the EC.

Further, President Mahinda Rajapakse made a courtesy call on Archbishop Rev. Dr. Malcolm Ranjith at the Colombo Bishops house this evening.
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gota slams double standards of Western Powers

by Shamindra Ferdinando
Had the Opposition bothered to peruse the international press it would know the extraordinary counter-terrorism measures adopted by the US and its allies though they criticized Sri Lanka for being callous in her security strategy, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said on Friday.

He said that the international press had exposed glaring heavy handed actions on the part of international forces now battling terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11 but Sri Lanka was being harassed for defeating the LTTE.

Speaking to the Sunday Island after meeting the visiting UN Under Secretary General Lynn Pascoe at the Defence Ministry, he said that there should not be double standards in dealing with terrorism.
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