Aug 212013

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[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 August 2013 07:41 No Comment]

At least 23 resettled Tamils have been killed in Batticaloa district by wild elephants that have been brought into the jungles close to Tamil villages by genocidal Colombo’s Forest Department after 2009. Disregarding the repeated objections of the people, the SL Forest Department has brought in more wild elephants from Hambantota where Rajapaksa government recently launched ‘Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport’. The resettled people have been complaining to the SL Police and civil officials each time a person is slain by the wild elephants brought in from the South.

Three more wild elephants, brought in on 05th August, have gone amok on the huts and properties of the resettled Tamils at 5th Mile Post area, the villagers say.

Wild elephant attacks have been reported in Eaa’raavoor-pattu (Chengkaladi) and Koa’ralaip-pattu South divisions. Kudumpi-malai, 5th Mile Post, Eera’lak-ku’lam, Chiththaa’ndi, Chinna-ve’li and Chinnaa’lan-ve’li.

The wild elephants often visit the agricultural sites seeking water in ponds and tanks. The elephants also destroy paddy and stores where harvested rice and harvested crops are stored.

The resettled people depend on agriculture and freshwater fishing are severely affected by the wild elephants.

The resettled Tamils also complain that wild elephants are deployed to force them away from their villages.

The people of Paduvaankarai complain that the SL authorities have systematically failed to act on their complaints.

In the meantime, Colombo is transferring 12 Divisional Secretaries in the Batticaloa district next month.

Divisional Secretaries in Paduvaan-karai region of the Batticaloa district, who have only completed one-year service in their divisions, are also being subjected to the internal transfer scheme. Civil sources said the transfer scheme is planned to appoint Divisional Secretaries whom Colombo considers as “loyal” to its genocidal land appropriation policy.

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Jul 312013
Ceylon Chamber lauds govt’s ‘free ports’ initiative
Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has welcomed the initiative by the government to declare Sri Lanka’s four main ports, Colombo, Hambantota, Trincomalee and Galle as ‘free ports’.

“The Chamber welcomes this initiative to declare Colombo and Hambantota as free ports and Katunayake, Koggala and Mirijjawila Export Processing Zones and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport as bonded warehouses with significant tax concessions being offered for stipulated investments, subject to achieving defined export targets,” a CCC statement said.

It further stated that the CCC has always stood for the need to increase Sri Lanka’s exports and make Sri Lanka an export-centric nation to sustain a high growth momentum.

The statement also noted that time and again the chamber has highlighted the facilitation support required from the government to encourage exports.

 “We believe that this initiative lays the foundation for a paradigm shift in our economy to boost investments and exports, at a time when the Asian giants China, India and Japan are actively exploring opportunities to invest in Sri Lanka for varying reasons,” it said.

The declaration entitles enterprises which are 65 percent foreign-owned and operating through the specified areas for wide tax exemptions, including provisions under the Customs Ordinance and Exchange Control Act.

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