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In wake of LTTE air attacks - SL wanted US help as Indian radars ‘not sufficient’

Sri Lanka approached the US in 2007 to have its airdefence systems improved as the radars provided by India had been tried and found wanting, The Hindu reports. The report filed by Nirupama Subramanian reveals that ‘Sri Lanka quietly asked the United States for assistance to improve its air defence systems as India-supplied radars had proved insufficient to prevent an attack by LTTE aircraft on the Katunayake air base in March 2007, but it agreed with the Americans that New Delhi must be kept in the loop’.

According to The Hindu, Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse went so far as to summong US Ambassador Robert O’ Blake and the Defence Attache at the US Embassy on March 30, 2007 and seek a visit by a US military team to assess how Sri Lanka could improve its air defence systems against future LTTE air attacks.

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Japan crisis 'worst since WWII'

Japan Quake it areaPrime Minister Naoto Kan has said Japan is experiencing its greatest hardships since World War II as it tackles the aftermath of an earthquake, tsunami and a growing nuclear crisis.

He said the situation at the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant remained grave, a day after an explosion at a reactor.

Japanese broadcaster NHK says the total number of confirmed deaths caused by the disaster now stands at 1,596.

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Govt. wonders how three NGOs spent half a billion rupees in 3 yrs

Now that the US has strongly defended international funds received by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Transparency International (TI) and National Peace Council (NPC) in the post-war era, it would be pertinent for major recipients to explain how the funds had been spent, government sources told The Island.

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Role of civil society in a democracy deserves appreciation

On March 5, 2011, the Island carried an article entitled "Foreign funds galore for three NGOs." The author argued that despite the end of the war, several Sri Lankan NGOs still receive foreign funding. The articles lists a number of public institutions and private foundations that support the three NGOs named in the article.

Since my arrival in Sri Lanka in September 2009, I have read numerous articles critical of NGOs. Some contend that NGOs are working to undermine the government; others claim that NGOs are misallocating resources; and still other articles argue that the government should closely monitor and regulate the work of NGOs.

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Foreign funds galore for three NGOs : Over Rs. 600 mn. received in 3 yrs; Norway leading donor

A government investigation has found that in spite of the conclusion of the war in May, 2009, a section of the international community is still pouring money into Sri Lankan NGOs like the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and National Peace Council (NPC). Transparency International Sri Lanka is another major recipient of foreign grants during the 2008 to 2010 period. According to banking sources, the CPA has received Rs. 272.31 million during the three-year period. The NPC and TI have received Rs. 171.23 million and 174.79 million, respectively.

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On the eve of 60th anniversary : SLAF loses two Kfirs, pilot in mid-air collision

The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) yesterday morning lost two of its precious Israeli-built Kfir (Hebrew term for lion cub) fighter jets and a pilot in a mid-air collision over Weeragula, Gampaha. The crash occurred during a rehearsal for an aerobatics display at the Ratmalana airbase today (2) to mark the force’s 60th anniversary. Although first reports said both pilots had ejected safely, SLAF headquarters later reported that Flight Lieutenant Monath Perera had died of injuries sustained in the crash while Squadron Leader Vajira Jayakody survived. Both Perera and Jayakody had been experienced flyers involved in scores of operations against the LTTE over the years.

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COPE Chief DEW admits parliament ignored public sector corruption

Chairman of Parliamentary watchdog Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Senior Minister D. E. W. Gunasekera blames parliament for its failure to tackle public sector corruption, waste and irregularities.

Parliament should be held responsible for the pathetic state in many public enterprises, Minister Gunasekera said in a brief interview with The Island on Friday adding that the country would have been better off had governments followed basic principles in good governance and accountability.

Minister Gunasekera that the Auditor General as well as the two watchdog bodies, COPE and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), too, had failed in their responsibilities. "All of us should be ashamed. There is an urgent need to take remedial action to restore confidence in the public sector."

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