Friday, October 9, 2009

We can't allow Prabhakaran's ghost to rule: Rajapaksa

Acknowledging that there was international pressure on it, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that the country cannot allow LTTE chief Prabhakaran's "ghost" to rule Sri Lanka even after his death.

"There is international pressure on us. There is pressure from outside the country and from within to reverse the victories we achieved. However, we cannot let that happen. We cannot let the country be taken backwards," he said on Wednesday while addressing a gathering in the South-Eastern Hambantota town.
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SL subject to maritime terrorism - Kohona

"Sri Lanka had fallen victim to dangerous forms of maritime terrorism. Following the recent defeat of a terrorist group [LTTE], it had been discovered that their networks were being transferred to arms smuggling and drug trafficking on the international arena", said the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Dr. Palitha Kohona speaking at the UN general debate of the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) on crime prevention, criminal justice and international drug control.
He noted that terrorist groups with their transnational linkages and multifaceted criminal networks generated a vast and complex mix of criminal activities, ranging from fund-raising, using overseas bases, terrorist financing, money laundering, arms procurement and other organized criminal activities, all of which were interrelated. The transportation of large consignments of sophisticated equipment and lethal cargo to provide logistical support to terrorist groups continued to pose a threat to maritime security. Weapons transported by sea were reaching more than one group.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

UN official admits Sri Lanka has legitimate security concerns

UN Under Secretary-General on Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kaelin says the Sri Lankan government has legitimate security concerns about the displaced people in the Vavuniya camps as there are former LTTE cadres among the refugees.

In an interview with BBC World service today the UN official, while accepting that these security concerns were legitimate, said his worry was how the screening process was carried out to divide the LTTE cadres from the civilians.
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Maldives to hold cabinet meeting underwater

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Government ministers in the Maldives are going through some special preparations for their upcoming Cabinet meeting, practicing hand signals and learning to breathe properly.

That's because President Mohammed Nasheed is holding the meeting underwater, about 20 feet deep on the floor of the Indian Ocean. Those Cabinet members who do not already know how to scuba dive are taking lessons.

The meeting is intended to highlight the threat global warming poses to the nearly 1,200 island archipelago. It's the low-lying nation on Earth, and some fear that rising ocean levels could swamp it within a century.
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Hillary's claim withdrawn

The United State says it has no recent evidence of women being raped while in Sri Lankan government custody.

Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the US State Department has issued a clarification on this issue.

The State Department said in a letter that there were no sexual abuse by the Sri Lanka Army during 2006 and 2009 as had happened in other conflict areas, he said.

"The State Department has clarified its position and it is over", Minister Mahinda Samasinghe added.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

SL ranks in the lead in human development

Sri Lanka has ranked above all neighbours in South Asia except Maldives on the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Index report released Monday (Oct. 5).

Human Development Report 2009 placed Sri Lanka at the 102nd position in the medium human development category for the quality of life of its citizens. In the South Asian region only Maldives fared better than Sri Lanka at the 95th position.
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CSE - best performing market

The All Share Price Index (ASPI) broke records yesterday when the index closed at 3,098.2, the highest point reached by the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) index. The growth of the index for the year to date reached 106.1 percent at market closed yesterday.

Reuters yesterday said that the CSE is the best performing stock market in the world for the year to date CSE official said.

The Milanka Price Index (MPI) closed at 3,508.7 yesterday recording a year to date growth of 115.1 percent. The market capitalization of the CSE as at the end of trading yesterday was Rs. 994.5 billion.

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President welcomes US clarification

President Mahinda Rajapaksa welcomed the clarification made by the US State Department yesterday which exonerated the Security Forces from an accusation of using rape as a weapon during the recent conflict. President Rajapaksa described the US clarification as one which upheld the respect and dignity of our war heroes.

The US State Department reacting to the disputed statement said yesterday that during the most recent phase of the conflict, from 2006 to 2009 they had not received reports that rape and sexual abuse were used as tools of war, as they clearly have in other conflict areas around the world.”

Earlier, the President addressing a UPFA political meeting on Sunday urged such accusers to come up with substantial proof, if there were any.

Addressing a massive gathering at the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Southern PC election rally in Galle yesterday the President noted that errors could be made by anybody.
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Sri Lanka draws American big business after war

Oct 05, 2009 (LBO) - An American business delegation with executives from top multinationals, including Fortune 500 firms, will visit Sri Lanka this month looking for investments with the end of the ethnic war.
"This is perhaps the first large US Government business initiative since the end of the internal conflict in Sri Lanka," the American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham) in Colombo said in a statement.
"As the economic and political environment becomes more conducive for foreign investment and growth, American companies have shown renewed interest in examining the emerging investment and business opportunities in Sri Lanka."
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'US clarification is welcome' – Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe

Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe welcomed the clarification made with regard to U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton's statement accusing Sri Lanka of using rape as a weapon of war.

In a letter addressed to the Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama by Melanne Verveer, Ambassador- at- Large for Global Women's Issues at the State Department says, "in the most recent phase of the conflict, from 2006 to 2009 ... we have not received reports that rape and sexual abuse were used as tools of war, as they clearly have in other conflict area around the world."

Minister Samarasinghe welcomed this clarification stating that Sri Lanka always had a good relationship with the United States politically and culturally which strengthened over the years and hopes this relationship will further strengthen in the future.

He further noted that Sri Lanka is trying to build a bridge between ethnicities through being inclusive while upholding justice and equality. Thus Sri Lanka has achieved certain stability with the massive development projects taking place in the North.
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US responds to Sri Lanka protest over Clinton remark

WASHINGTON — The United States, responding to protests from Sri Lanka over remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said it had no recent evidence of women being raped while in Sri Lankan government custody.

In a letter addressed to Sri Lanka's Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama, the State Department noted that the US government and international human rights groups over the years had detailed "numerous cases of rape and sexual violence in Sri Lanka, particularly acts committed against women held in detention by the government."
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Summer Cox sings Sri Lankan National Anthem

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