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Sri Lanka Hambantota port extra loan for equipment, cost increases

Sri Lanka's Hambantota port needs extra loans of 147.9 million dollars to cover equipment including cranes, cost escalations in building the port, and digging the basin and entrance channel, the island's state-run ports agency said.
Responding to media reports and critics, Sri Lanka Ports Authority said the port in the island's South which has a basin 17 metres deep will be able to handle the largest container ship operating by now which needs a depth of only 15.5 metres.

Sri Lanka's Colombo port is 15 metres deep.

The ports authority said the cost of the basin and channel was decided on estimates of 'hard' and 'soft' material excavation volumes guided by 31 boreholes in the basin and 6 boreholes in channel.

However with more hard material (such as rock) being found in practice the costs had gone up 45 percent for the basin (13.56 million) and 53 percent for the channel (31.02 million dollars) and reduction in soft material causing a net increase of 40.66 million dollars.

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President proposes to lift Emergency

Democracy secured by holding elections:

  • Govt maintaining law and order
  • No terrorist activity reported


President Mahinda Rajapaksa proposed to Parliament yesterday that the state of Emergency needs to be repealed.

Making a special statement he said: “I am satisfied with the fact that there is no need of an Emergency law for the administrative activities of the country now. The country can function democratically under the ordinary law”.

President Rajapaksa added: “I inform Parliament that we will not extend the Emergency any more”.

The President also told Parliament that there have been no terrorist activities since the end of the conflict in May 2009.

“The fact has been accepted by the international community as well,” he added. “During this period through the conduct of several elections, the country moved further towards democracy. The society has accepted that these were peaceful and fair elections,” he said.

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Oil exploratory drilling commences off Mannar coast

The drillship ‘Chikyu’ has been mobilised

Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa announced over the weekend that Cairn Lanka (Private) Ltd, a fully owned subsidy of Cairn India which won Sri Lanka’s first offshore oil exploratory licence, has commenced operations to drill oil exploratory wells in the Mannar basin.

According to earlier analysis of the government, there is a 60 percent possibility that commercially viable hydrocarbon deposits would be found on Sri Lanka’s side of the Mannar basin. Rajapaksa has said if Sri Lanka was successful in locating oil, it would no longer have to depend on oil imports.

The exploration area is 3,000 square km with water depths ranging from 400 metres to 1,900 metres. Cairn Lanka had signed the Petroleum Resource Agreement with the Sri Lankan government in July 2008 to explore oil and natural gas in the Mannar Basin with an investment of US$ 110 million.

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Sampoor coal power project finally through

The long drawn out negotiations to clinch the joint venture between National Thermal Power Corporation of India (NTPC) and the Ceylon Electricity Board to build Sri Lanka’s second coal power plant at Sampoor, Trincomalee has finally come to fruition with Power and Energy Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando Friday initialing the all-important .Implementation Agreement in New Delhi last Friday with his counterparts there.

According to authoritative sources out of at least five different agreements pertaining to the 500 MW first phase of the project running to hundreds of pages had been held up since they were finalized more than an year ago over some terms in the implementation agreement.

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Oslo killer met LTTE activists in Norway?

Could there be a link between Norway-based LTTE operatives and Anders Behring Breivik, who bombed the Norwegian government headquarters in Oslo and wiped out a youth group on a nearby island on July 22 killing over 80 civilians?

Responding to a query by The Island, informed sources said that the Norwegian could have had a link with the LTTEactivists in Norway.

Breivik, in his 1,518 manifesto, which was released hours before he carried out the massacre, said had felt that Europe should follow the LTTE example of expelling the Muslims from Sri Lanka. He had interpreted the expulsion of Muslims from the North in October/November 1990, by the LTTE at gun point, as a move by the government of Sri Lanka to drive out the Muslim community.

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GoSL opposes move to de-list LTTE from EU terrorism list

Sri Lanka alleges that the LTTE is making a major effort to de-list from the EU terrorism list, while pursuing separatist agenda.

In the wake of LTTE bid, the Government of Sri Lanka on July 28, 2011 urged the European Union (EU) to list front organizations of the LTTE as terrorist entities, as the grouping had done the LTTE since 2006.

This call was made, as the EU through Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 687/2011 of 18 July 2011 published in the official journal of the European Union, on 19 July 2011, listed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist entity.

The EU terrorist re-listings made in terms of article 2 (3) of Council Regulation (EC)

No. 2580/2001 of 07 December 2001 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism, proscribes organizations listed operating in EU member countries and freezes the assets. The regulation noted that, "the Council has carried out a complete review of the list of persons, groups and entities to which Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 applies, as required by Article 2(3) of that Regulation", " has provided all the persons, groups and entities for which it was practically possible with statements of reasons explaining why they were listed in Implementing Regulation (EU) No 83/2011" and "took account of observations submitted to it by the persons, groups and entities concerned".

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Eelam buses run in UK; registered as ‘L77E’

Eelam BusIn the wake of UK based Channel 4 telecasting ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’, British Tamils are stepping up their propaganda campaign targeting Sri Lanka. The campaign goes parallel to the UK-headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF) exploiting its contacts with the British Conservative and Labour parties to push for international war crimes probe.

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