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The terror of corruption

Mar 7 (SAMN) Some 68% of those in the government service appear to be involved in bribery and corruption, a top official said in a shocking disclosure. Piyasena Ranasinghe, Director General of the Commission probing bribery or corruption told a seminar that if the increasing trend of bribery and corruption continued, it might also spark more terrorism in the country. more..

SLMC rejects Anton Balasingham’s claims

Mar 7 (SAMN) The SLMC yesterday flatly denied a statement made by LTTE chief negotiator Anton Balasingham that an armed Muslim Organisation called Jihad was operating in the East. Party General Secretary Hasan Ali said his party wanted the Government to take up this matter at the next round of talks and reject such baseless accusations. more..

Patients shifted due to power failure

Mar 7 (SAMN) Due to interruptions in the power supply to the Negombo base hospital since Saturday midnight, hospital authorities have commenced transferring patients in surgical and medical wards to other hospitals in and around Negombo. The patients have been dispatched to Gampaha, Marawila, Ragama and Chilaw hospitals. more..

Two face murder charge for robbery during tsunami

Mar 7 (Gulf) Two youths who grabbed a gold chain from a young woman who was struggling for her life after being caught in the tsunami, are to face murder charges in Sri Lanka as investigators have found video evidence recorded by a journalist, police said. more..

Rs. 2.5 million per MP, PC to accelerate Maga Neguma

Mar 7 (DN) The Government has decided to allocate Rs.2.5 million for each Member of Parliament and the Members of Provincial Councils to expedite the Maga Neguma programme aiming to improve 2000 kilometers of rural roads within this year. Accordingly the Government has decided to inject Rs.1.8 billion for the programme more..

Sri Lanka to buy over 800 new buses from India

Mar 7 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will buy more than 880 buses from India in six months for its public transport sector, Daily News reported Tuesday. Agreements were signed between the Sri Lankan Transport Ministry and an Indian manufacturer to purchase the new buses for the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), a Ministry spokesman said. more..

Sri Lanka: Nationalisms at war

Mar 7 (HNM) Nationalism is a double-edged sword. It is a benign yet potent force when it is expressed as a sense of belonging to a community of people defined by a territory and the history that goes with it. But when it is expressed as a sense of community of a shared ethnicity, religion or imagined history it often becomes corrosive and divisive. more..

Lankan Tamils slam Vaiko for joining Jaya

Mar 7 (HT) The Sri Lankan Tamil press has slammed Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetera Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko for joining the "anti-LTTE" J Jayalalithaa-led alliance to fight the May 8 Tamil Nadu assembly elections. Tamil dailies have described Vaiko's action as rank opportunism and as a betrayal of the Sri Lankan Tamils. more..

Navy arrests eight men with explosives and detonators in northern Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (AP) Sri Lanka's navy on Tuesday arrested eight men who were transporting explosives and detonators off the northern coast, the military said. The men, along with explosives and diving equipment, were arrested near Kachchativu, an islet off Sri Lanka's troubled northern Jaffna peninsula, more..

Sri Lanka rebel peace team nabbed with gun catalogues

Mar 7 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels were delayed on their return from peace talks in Europe on Tuesday after airport customs officials in Sri Lanka found gun catalogues in their luggage and briefly confiscated them. The LTTE were also forced to pay $380 in duty on a range of new items including electric razors, head-mounted torches and digital cameras, officials said. more..

Sri Lanka to be free from land mines by 2008, says government official

Mar 7 (AP) Sri Lanka has cleared more than half of the country's estimated 1 million land mines, sown during two decades of civil war, and should be able to complete the task within two years, a government official said Tuesday. The mines were laid during fighting in Sri Lanka's northeast, more..

Pakistan and Sri Lanka drop Supersub for series

Mar 8 (CI) The Pakistan and Sri Lankan cricket boards have reached an agreement not to use the Supersub rule during their upcoming three-match one-day series from March 17. The bilateral decision has been made after a recommendation made by the ICC chief executives last month in Dubai that the trial of the Supersub playing condition should be discontinued. more..

Number one Muralitharan set for another big haul

Mar 8 (AFP) Muttiah Muralitharan hopes to celebrate his elevation as the world's top-ranked bowler with a bagful of wickets in the second Test against Bangladesh. The off-spinner replaced Australian Glenn McGrath in the International Cricket Council's latest rankings released on Monday after his nine-wicket haul in the first Test in Chittagong last week. more..

South Asia Change Makers Assembly inaugurated in Colombo

Mar 8 (AN) The Minister of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment, Mrs. Sumedha G. Jayasena said yesterday that the President and the Ministry will extend its fullest co-operation to the South Asia campaign to end violence against women. more..

LTTE has lost faith in Geneva talks

Mar 8 (HT) The LTTE has said that the talks with the Sri Lankan government, held in Geneva on February 22 and 23, offer no hope of peace. Asked by newsmen in Kilinochchi on Tuesday whether the Geneva parleys offered any hope for the people, LTTE's political leader SP Tamilsevlan shot back: " When we ourselves have no hope, how can the people have?" more..

Maithreepala says he is still to get Chandrika's letter

Mar 8 (LeN) SLFP General Secretary Maithreepala Sirisena says he is still to receive the letter sent by party Chairman Chandrika Kumaratunga informing of her decision to step down temporarily from the SLFP chairmanship. When 'Lanka e News' contacted Sirirsena, he said he had not received such a letter. more..

All party conference a tea party with no meaningful discussion - Attanayaka

Mar 8 (LeN) The All Party Conference has become an occasion for party leaders to pose for photographs over a cup of tea with no meaningful discussions, Assistant UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. Attanayake cast doubts whether the government had such a stance at all. more..

Decision to disarm Karuna similar to Premadasa's decision to give weapons to LTTE- JHU

Mar 8 (LeN) The government has undone all the good work at the Geneva talks by agreeing to disarm the Karuna faction, Jathika Hela Urumaya leader, Ven. Ellawala Medhananda thera said today participating at the 3rd All Party Conference held at the Presidential Secretariat. more..

"We Can Campaign" urge to end violence against women

Mar 8 (AT) The Minister of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment. Mrs. Sumedha G. Jayasena said Monday that the President and the Ministry will extend its fullest co-operation to the South Asia campaign to end violence against women. Inaugurating the first ever Change Makers Assembly of the South Asia Campaign to End violence Against Women or more..

Govt plans to manufacture sugar cane by products

Mar 8 (AT) The Sugarcane Research Institute of Sri Lanka [SRI] hopes to assist sugar producers to manufacture sugarcane by-products to enter local and foreign markets. At present Sri Lanka has two major sugar factories in Pelawatta and Sevanagala. These factories produce over 65,000 metric tons of sugar per annum, but Sri Lanka still imports over 500,000 metric tons of sugar per annum. more..

IMEXPO 2006 attracts over 200 overseas buyers from 24 countries

Mar 8 (AT) Sri Lanka's biggest trade exhibition -"IMEXPRO 2006" scheduled from March 16 – 18, 2006, at the BMICH is organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka Export Development Board and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka. more..

Colombo’s ready-made obstacle course

Mar 8 (ML) There is nothing down Duplication Road in Colombo that suits the common man — not the US$ 200 suits, not the continental cuisine, nor the lucky roulettes. But this does not mean that the common man has no reason to be down this road. The schools, and the House of Fashion, the visa offices and libraries are just a handful of reasons why more..

Govt. door shut for UNP MPs

Mar 8 (ML) President Mahinda Rajapakse has decided not to accommodate any more UNP MPs in the government ranks. This decision President Rajapakse communicated to UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya after Monday’s all party talks when they met for a private chat. more..

Sand mining: a multifaceted issue

Mar 8 (ML) Sri Lanka’s environmental issues are many and pressing. To name a few there is polythene and plastic being disposed of indiscriminately all around us, deforestation is resulting in landslides, salination of well water in the areas affected by the tsunami which affects the drinking water supply and now there is sand mining. more..

The fall out from Geneva

Mar 8 (ML) The fall out from Geneva, once the relief that there will be another round of talks in two months time has registered, indicates that the politics of the process still have the capacity to render that process tenuous and fragile. The statement released after the meeting notwithstanding, there appear to be the distinct versions of the two sides respectively as to the outcome of the talks. more..

Rural Volunteers Brigade passing out parade held in Eachchilampathu

Mar 8 (TN) "The Government of Sri Lanka led by President Mahinda Rajapakse is pushing us to the war front to win our rights," said Colonel Sornam, Special Commander of the LTTE participating as the chief guest after taking salute of a batch of rural volunteers brigade who passed out at the end of three months' training more..

Act upon Geneva commitment, NPC urges GoSL

Mar 8 (TN) The National Peace Council (NPC), a Colombo based peace group, on Tuesday urged the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to apprehend and deal with the armed groups that were responsible for continued attacks on Liberation Tigers. more..

Rajapakse to seek explanation from minister

Mar 8 (Gulf) President Mahinda Rajapakse will seek an explanation from a Cabinet minister who had failed to adhere to instructions given during their visit to Geneva for peace talks. An explanation is to be sought from Rohitha Bogollagama, Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion, as to why he disregarded his instructions and chose to stay at a suite in the Geneva Hilton more..

Measures will be taken to make local government bodies efficient - Minister Tennekone

Mar 8 (LT) Steps would be taken to make the work of the local government bodies more efficient says Mr. Janaka Bandara Tennekone, Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils. Speaking at a media briefing held in Colombo yesterday Minister Tennekone said the time has come to amend the outdated regulations relevant to local bodies. more..

Information for ‘Sunday Leader’ was given by tiger organization - Dayasiri Jayasekera

Mar 8 (LT) Information for the article published in ‘Sunday Leader’ jeopardizing National security had been given to that paper by wanni tiger organization says UNP Parliamentarian Mr. Dayasiri Jayasekera. Mr. Jayasekera revealed this speaking after Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Information Secretary of the JVP made a special statement in the Parliament protesting against the relevant article. more..

We’ll expose failure of Alliance Government - UNP

Mar 8 (LT) The UNP will ask people to give them power in local government bodies by exposing the failure of the Alliance Government said Mr. Tissa Attanayake, Deputy Secretary General of the UNP at a media briefing held in Colombo yesterday. The Alliance Government has been in power for 110 days and during this time nothing has been done to fulfill the promises made at the presidential election more..

Supreme Court rejects Election Commissioner’s plea

Mar 8 (LT) Supreme Court has rejected the appeal made by Commissioner of Elections requesting that the injunction issued by Appeal Court staying the election for Colombo Municipality be annulled. SC decided that there were not enough grounds to continue with the proceedings. The appeal was heard by a tribune headed by Dr. Shirani Bandaranaike. more..

Sri Lanka: no hope for enduring peace

Mar 8 (DT) Enduring peace requires renegotiating Sri Lanka’s political framework. The only option is to undo the state’s post-colonial character and replace it with a more representative polity. Unfortunately, some key players lack the capacity for imaginative thinking and will continue to insist on an unworkable political option until the country becomes completely ungovernable. more..

Shattered Dreams

Mar 8 (AT) Sri Lanka, here I come on Air Lanka.
Heart filled with dreams of a dream holiday in the Paradise Island.
Went through the Immigration and Customs.
Officials were nice and courteous but their eyes were Looking out for passengers.
Who they have to help pass the barrier without paying the fee.
Friends, friend’s friend, relative and so on.
And they did it so openly, it was astounding.
I realized, ok, this is Sri Lanka, part of the Paradise service, Only if you know the right person.

Women in decision making: Meeting challenges, creating change

Mar 8 (TW) The theme of this years’ International Women’s Day — Women in Decision-Making: Meeting Challenges, Creating Change is of particular interest to Sri Lanka, where remarkable social indicators reflecting a relatively high status of women coexist with poor gender equality and empowerment indicators that are not in consonance with national commitments and international norms. more..

Indian High Commissioner visits eastern province

Mar 8 (TN) Ms Nirupama Rao, Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Tuesday morning visited the South Eastern University, which is located in Oluvil in Amparai district and discussed with the Vice Chancellor and the academic staff regarding its needs and future development. more..

Alterations completed to the Dolphin Van commandeered by Venthan of LTTE Pistol Group

Mar 8 (AT) LTTE which commandeered the Dolphin van belonged to Nagoor Ahamed Jaffir of Eravur, has completed changing the paint and its appearance and it is being readied to use for special operations, source in Karadiyanaaru revealed. more..

Stabbings a 'statistical blip'

Mar 8 (TA) Yesterday, an elderly couple visiting from Sri Lanka, Sammy and Iranganie Perera, were stabbed to death as their daughter and a grandchild looked on, in a house at Hallam. Their son-in-law, Sarath Hettiarachchi, 46, of Hallam, was charged with the murders and appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court today. more..

Ranil goes to Norway!

Mar 8 (LT) Opposition Leader Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe is scheduled to visit Norway on a special invitation by the Royal Norwegian Government. Accordingly, he will leave to Norway on a four day visit during the weekend. However, political analysts are perturbed at the visit to Norway by the leader of the opposition at this point in time. more..

Balagalla makes hay while Mahinda Chintanaya shines

Mar 8 (LeN) Retired Army Commander General Lionel Balagalle has been offered a Rs 167,000 per month job by the present government despite not having basic qualifications required for the post. He has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Limited, a government affiliated company. more..

EOM wants foreign polls monitors in LTTE areas

Mar 8 (PIS) The European Union Election Observer Mission (EOM) has recommended the holding of future polls in LTTE-controlled areas under the supervision of an independent foreign observer mission. The EOM said this would ensure a rebel instigated boycott similar to the one experienced in the north at the last presidential election does not take place affecting the final results. more..

President orders Navy to review ban on fishing in north and east

Mar 8 (LNP) In a bid to find a solution to the ban on fishing in the north east coastal belt, President Rajapaksa has asked the Navy Commander Daya Sandagiri to submit a report to him on the matter. While security officials have steadfastly rejected a lifting of the ban, the people of the area maintain they are being deprived of their livelihood. more..

SLT to provide broadband Internet access for schools

Mar 8 (LNP) Sri Lanka Telecom signed an agreement with the Secondary Education Modernisation Project (SEMP), an ADB funded project of the Ministry of Education to provide broadband internet access to schools islandwide. The agreement was signed between CEO SLT Shuhei Anan, and Director SEMP/Ministry of Education Anura Dissanayake. more..

Sri Lanka guinea pig for foreign funded education projects

Mar 8 (LNP) The Education Ministry said yesterday that Sri Lanka had now become a guinea pig for some foreign organizations to carry out education-related researches. Ministry Secretary Ariyaratne Hewage told a news conference yesterday that he had observed several such organizations operating in the country, under the pretext of improving our education system, through various projects. more..

74-year-old woman jailed for forgery

Mar 8 (SAMN) A 74-year-old woman found guilty of possessing a forged passport was sentenced to one year in jail Tuesday. Colombo Chief Magistrate Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena also imposed a fine of Rs. 100,000 on the woman H. M. Gunawathi Peiris and in default three months jail. more..

North-east rated poorest province

Mar 8 (SAMN) The recent wave of violence in the north and east has pushed poverty figures higher than usual, the Department of Census and Statistics said. While the north-east has been rated the poorest province in the country, Director General, Department of Census and Statistics, A. G. W. Nanayakkara said. more..

$285m ADB funding for Lanka in 2006

Mar 8 (SAMN) Asian Development Bank said Tuesday that six of its Board members who completed a four-day visit to Sri Lanka and indicated that the funding for 2006 would be higher than the previous year. During their visit the members met with President Rajapakse, senior Government officials, private sector and NGO representatives and other key development partners. more..

President directs treasury to seek discount on Govt. phone calls

Mar 8 (DN) As a good governance measure to reduce State expenditure President Mahinda Rajapakse has directed Treasury to negotiate with telecommunication companies to give Government the benefit of bulk user discount in the same manner offered to private sector subscribers. more..

President seeks transparency in bribery, corruption complaints

Mar 8 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapakse insisted on more transparency and efficiency in the conduct of inquiries into complaints of bribery and corruption, Rajapakse pledges better facilities for the Bribery and Corruption Investigation Commission without any delay to upgrade it's conduct of inquiries into complaints of bribery and corruption, more..

Sri Lanka, LTTE peace talks falter in Geneva

Mar 8 (IPS) A flare-up of violence in Sri Lanka's volatile east and impatience with Norwegian mediation from pro-Sinhala political parties are threatening to derail peace negotiations between the government and Tamil Tiger representatives in Geneva. more..