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M R met MP Mano Ganeshan to make friend with LTTE

Aug 2 (LeN) The Minister of Highways and the Government Chief Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle today (01) revealed vital information that proved that the president Mahinda Rajapakse had a serious urgency to build up a connections with the LTTE. According to Fernandopulle, President's Adviser Basil Rajapakse met Mano Ganeshan, MP and the Leader of the Western People's Front to discuss the matter. more..

Court orders to shut down the office of the SLFP (M)

Aug 2 (LeN) The Colombo District Court today (01) issued an injunction to the headquarters of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) People's Wing situated at 175, Castel Street, Colombo-08. The district judge Aruna Sri Ranasinghe issued this injunction after considering a petition submitted by the owner of the property, Kosala Dharmadasa. more..

Govt to hold election in East soon

Aug 2 (GDI) Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said that the Government is planning to hold elections in the recently liberated Eastern Province as soon as possible. Addressing the weekly media briefing held at the Government information Department today (01), Minister Fernandopulle said that mixed participation of different representatives of all communities would greatly assist and create a smooth atmosphere in solving the problems of the people living in the East. more..

GMOA protests to IGP over teargas attack near CNH

Aug 2 (LD) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has written to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), lodging its strong protests over the recurring teargas attacks on undergraduates who stage protests in front of the University Grants Commission (UGC) which is located close to the Colombo National Hospital (CNH). more..

Mahinda 'lying' on disappearances

Aug 2 (BBC) Human rights activists in Sri Lanka have accused President Rajapaksa of trying to introduce peace meal solutions to rights violations. Chairman of the Civil Monitoring Committee (CMC), Siritunga Jayasuriya said the President has learnt a new tactic to solve burning problems in the country. "When an issue is raised, he call the affected and comfort them and send them back," Jayasuriya told a press gathering in Colombo. more..

Journalist shot dead in Jaffna

Aug 2 (BBC) Media watchdogs in Sri Lanka have demanded an impartial inquiry into the murder of a journalist student in Jaffna on Wednesday. Nilakshan Sahadevan, (22), was shot by assailants who came in motorbycles in Kokuvil, the Free Media Movement (FMM) said. He has succumbed to his injuries a few hours later. Sahadevan worked as a freelance journalist while studying at Jaffna's Media Resource Training Centre (MRTC), an affiliated higher education college to University of Jaffna. more..

Hundreds of relatives demand justice for missing people in Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (AP) Hundreds of Sri Lankans, many carrying photos of their abducted relatives, tearfully demanded Wednesday that the government investigate the fates of scores of minority Tamils who have "disappeared" across the country in recent months. Civil rights groups say more than 100 ethnic Tamils have been kidnapped amid the new wave of fighting between Tamil Tiger rebels and the government, which is controlled by the majority Sinhalese community. more..

Lost lessons of the failed Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord

Aug 2 (UPI) The present time of political flux and violence in Sri Lanka is an opportune one for reflecting on the past. The month of July in particular held two anniversaries of momentous significance. It marked the 24th anniversary of the July riots of 1983. Most commentators consider the war for Eelam to have commenced with that anti-Tamil pogrom. The second July event was the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord in July 1987. more..

LTTE enforcing conscription, says Defence Ministry

Aug 2 (Hindu) The Defence Ministry on Wednesday said the LTTE had ordered conscription of at least one child from every family in the territory under its control in preparation for war in the north and predicted that ranks of refugees from the north would swell in the coming days and weeks. The grim scenario painted by the Defence Ministry followed days after Sri Lanka officially intimated the Co-Chairs about the reported plans of the Tamil Tigers on forcible recruitment and the SLMM initiated an enquiry into the charge. more..

Malinga signs Kent deal

Aug 2 (IC) Kent have signed Sri Lanka World Cup star Lasith Malinga on a short-term deal. The 23-year-old paceman will join the county for three weeks as replacement for South Africa all-rounder Andrew Hall, who has international commitments. "I am delighted to get the opportunity and I consider the experience to be a great one," said Malinga, quoted in the Sri Lankan media. more..

Photo Journal: 2nd Public Meeting of “the Families and Friends of the Disappeared”

Aug 2 (TC) The second public meeting for “Expression of grief of the families and friends of the disappeared” was held on August 1st 2007 at Brighten Rest in Colombo 12. It was organized by the Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC). The lights in the hall were dim. The loved ones of the missing men and women looked worried. The atmosphere was sorrowful. They tearfully demanded the captors to release their loved ones unharmed. more..

Should the future of the East be decided at a referendum held in that province?

Aug 2 (FI) The view has been expressed from time to time in the news media, including an editorial supporting the proposal, that persons inhabiting the present Eastern Province should be given, as their democratic right, an opportunity of deciding the question whether this Province should amalgamate with the Northern Province to form one territorial unit. more..

Laws are like cobwebs: Catching small flies and letting wasps break out

Aug 2 (FI) It is a singular privilege for me to address so distinguished an audience on a topic so vital to human welfare as the strengthening of the institutional framework against bribery and corruption. Bribery and corruption are features that every government in history has had to take note of and treat with serious concern. World literature is therefore full of references to corruption ranging from the ancient clay tablets of Assyria four thousand years ago to the most recent literature. more..

Sri Lankan police stall on disappearance of SEP member

Aug 2 (wsws) Sri Lankan police again appeared before court last week with nothing to show in the case of missing Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member Nadarajah Wimaleswaran and his friend Sivanathan Mathivathanan, and asked for another extension of time. Both men disappeared on March 22. They were last seen entering a long causeway connecting the northern islands of Punguduthivu and Kayts. more..

"Sri Lanka Government has given ‘Free Reign to Sinhalese Nationalist’"

Aug 2 (AT) The majority party leading member of the United States House Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of its Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia Congressman Garry Ackerman, in his opening remarks at the hearing on ‘Situation in Sri Lanka’, declared that the Rajapaksa government has ‘given a free reign to Sinhalese nationalist’ that has ‘led to the acceleration of chaos and drift away from democracy’ in Sri Lanka. more..

Mystery surrounds the brutal killing of a Tamil journalist

Aug 2 (AT) A young Tamil Sahadevan Nilakshan (22) undergoing diploma in journalism at the Jaffna Media Resource Training Centre of the Jaffna University was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen around 5.30 am on August 01 in Kokuvil, Jaffna. It is reported that he was fatally shot at by unidentified gunmen, who spoke Tamil fluently and came on a motorbike. The suspected LTTE gunmen stormed into his house and shot him, in front of his family members, a close relative of Nilakshan. more..

To US Congressman Pallone, Sri Lanka Conflict is between Sinhalese and Tamils

Aug 2 (AT) “The military of the Government of Sri Lanka and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have resumed a two-decade ethnic conflict in which nearly 70,000 people have been killed since 1983. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and more continue to die in Sri Lanka as a result of the violence. Both sides have chosen a military approach, to the detriment of civilian distress. more..

'United States does not prescribe political solutions to Sri Lanka'

Aug 2 (AT) “Our top policy priorities for Sri Lanka remain restoration of good governance and respect for human rights leading to an eventual negotiated settlement. We believe that finalizing a credible devolution of power proposal, together with ending human rights violations and improving government accountability, are essential steps towards a lasting peace”, said Steven R. Mann, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of U.S. State Department. more..

Malaysia – highest foreign investor in Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (AT) At the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Malaysia Business Council was formed in 1994 with the objectives to promote trade, joint ventures, tourism and services between the two countries. The Council functions under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The SLMBC at Press Conference held at CCC announced that it will hold their third Annual Awards Presentation on 21 September at the Galadari Hotel. more..

Sri Lanka – Of Corruption and Anti Corruption

Aug 2 (AT) Recently, USAID’s Colombo office unveiled funding for an “Anti Corruption plan” for Sri Lanka, which is good and welcome. But what troubles me is that it does not target political corruption which has been the bane of good ole Lanka since independence. It’s targeting the young generation’s inclination towards corruption - which is a good thing in the long run. more..

Sri Lanka is not ready to fight a war according to the lines of international forces - Government

Aug 2 (LT) Sri Lankan government engage in military battles under the demands of national security as requested by govt forces, but not under the demands of Australia or any other foreign country, minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle responding to a statement by Gareth Evans, former Foreign minister of Australia said. more..

Country needs a fresh start, instead of reactionary economic system - MEP Leader

Aug 2 (LT) Leader of Mahajana Ekasath Peramuna, Minister Dinesh Gunawardane says that the country is in a need of a fresh start, instead of reactionary neoliberal economic system. He said this addressing the 19th Convention of the party held at New Town Hall Colombo. Mr. Gunawardana in his address said, "The reactionists always disrupted the attempts to renovate the economy of this country. more..

Complaint made against Minister Jagath Pushpakumara

Aug 2 (LT) JVP Monaragala district member of parliament, Padma Udaya Shantha Gunasekara is preparing to complain at the Parliamentary Accounts Committee against the minister Jagath Pushpakumara, undr the allegations of misusing funds provided. Commenting on his plans Mr. Gunasekara says, " Minister has allocated Rs.3,150,000 of his 2006 funds and Rs. 3,825,000 of his 2005 funds for a mobile shop project. more..

Take diplomatic action regarding the statement by former Australian minister - JVP

Aug 2 (LT) Government should take diplomatic action regarding the statement made by the former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, JVP parliamentarian Anura Dissanayake says. Protesting against a statement made by Gareth Evans, former Foreign minister of Australia, at Neelan Thiruchelvam commemoration function, Mr. Dissanayake says that the present govt has a people's mandate to defeat the terrorism and no foreign country or person can undermine that fact. more..

Fisher folk ends protests after president’s mediation

Aug 2 (LD) Yesterday (August 1st), President Mahinda Rajapaksa held discussions with leaders of the fisher-folk, following a series of protests by them that took place between the 23rd and 31st of July, with an immediate reduction in fuel prices as the main demand. 11 representatives of fisheries associations from Colombo, Gampaha, Negombo, Chilaw and Thalpitiya had their meeting with the President at Temple Trees, starting at 10.a.m. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Aug 2 (GDI) The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Hon. Nimal Sirpala De Silva on the establishment of a plant for the manufacture of saline. The health sector in the country has to totally depend on imports for supply of intravenous fluids like Normal Saline, Dextrose and other products in this range. The foreign exchange spent for this purpose is considerable and is on the increase. more..

Ministers to receive only 50 percent of their salaries

Aug 2 (GDI) All Ministers have decided to receive only 50 percent of their salaries for six months. Speaking at the press briefing held at the Government Information Department, Mass Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that the Cabinet has taken this decision yesterday to set an example. He expressed the hope that Members of Parliament also would follow suit. more..

Police focus enhancing awareness on HR protection

Aug 2 (GDI) Enhancing the knowledge of Human Rights among the police officers the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) conducted another successive programme in Polonnaruwa District, recently. The Event took place at the Ananda Jayasekara Conference Hall, Tourist Police, Polonnaruwa on July 26 and 27. The Commissioner, Justice D. Jayawickrama, retired judge of the Court of Appeal, was the chief guest. more..

Kerosene subsidy for fishermen

Aug 2 (GDI) Considering the consequences fishermen face due to kerosene price hike, the Government plans to grant a kerosene subsidy of eight rupees per liter. A sum of Rs.80 million has been allocated for this purpose. Accordingly a subsidy of Rs.4,000 will be granted per month for around 20,000 registered fishermen on a tentative basis. This subsidy will be granted until the Government prepares a ‘Rationing Scheme’ for fuel and more..

Sri Lanka attracts record Rs. 71.46 b in investments in 1st Quarter

Aug 2 (GDI) Sri Lanka has attracted Rs 71.46 billion worth investments to the country during the first six months of this year. It has generated 24,712 job opportunities in the country. Minister of Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development Dr. Sarath Amunugama said the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka has entered into 91 project agreements worth of Rs 71.46 billion during first half of this year. more..

Intelligence op. led to missile recovery - military

Aug 2 (LNP) Contrary to reports, Monday`s recovery of a heat seeking surface to air missile, believed to be of East European origin, was facilitated by an intelligence operation, an authoritative military official said. Acting on specific information, the SLA had found the 22.7 pound SAM-14 (aka Strela 3) buried in the Thoppigala area. `It had been buried separately,` the official said, asserting that a routine search operation would not have unearthed the weapon. more..

Sri Lanka rupee at new low, shares end weaker

Aug 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee slipped a shade to a new all-time closing low on Thursday, the latest in a string of new lows as importers sought dollars to pay trade bills and banks covered short dollar positions, dealers said, while shares ended weaker. The rupee ended at 111.78/111.83 per dollar, just surpassing the previous life low of 111.75/111.85 hit on July 23. The local currency has hit a series of new all time lows in recent months. more..

Thermobaric weapon among arms haul

Aug 2 (LNP) A deadly thermobaric weapon left behind by the fleeing Tigers was recovered from the Verugal area in Trincomalee a day after an anti-aircraft missile was recovered from the Thoppigala area, a top military expert told the Daily Mirror yesterday. `This particular weapon is banned by some countries, as it contains chemicals,` he said. The official also said that the intense heat generated by the thermobaric weapon can destroy anything within minutes after it hits a target. more..

Special Deal will allow Expatriates a break EN route

Aug 2 (LNP) SriLankan Airlines have announced a number of special promotions for travellers who use their service during the summer months. From 15th June to 15th July, any passenger purchasing a ticket to South India can enjoy a two night holiday in Sri Lanka staying in either the beach resort of Negombo or the capital of Colombo , for a discounted price of AED 250 and AED 270 respectively. more..

Two jumbos run over by goods train

Aug 2 (LNP) Two wild elephants were run over by a Trincomalee bound goods train between Agbopura and Aluthoya in the early hours of yesterday, Wild Life Conservation Department officials said. One elephant died at the scene while the other was in a critical condition and was under treatment by veterinary surgeons of the department. The officials said the injured elephant was lying on the ground and not able to move. more..

Sea tiger leader removed

Aug 2 (ITN) LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has removed Soosai as the sea tiger leader. Reports emanating from Kilinochchi bared that Charles Anthony, the son of Prabhakaran is to replace him. Soosai is receiving treatment at the ICU of the Ponnambalam Memorial Hospital in Kilinochchi. It is also revealed that Wigneshwaran Thurairaja, a surgeon who had come from England had not been permitted to reach Kilinochchi to attend to Soosai. more..

Eastern polls: Karuna faction welcome

Aug 2 (SAMN) The Government yesterday approved the idea of Karuna faction contesting the Eastern election which will further prove the country’s commitment for democracy and free and fair elections. Addressing reporters at the weekly situation briefing, Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said the Karuna faction should be allowed to contest the elections if they wish to do so. more..

BIA to resume night flights

Aug 2 (SAMN) Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport resumes its night operations after two months of limited operations since April 28. Minister of Ports and Aviation Chamal Rajapaksa had directed to resume night flights at the Airport sources said. Airport authorities told the Daily Mirror that flight times have not changed after they re-scheduled the time with the closure of night operations. more..

Abductions down, crime up in east: SLMM

Aug 2 (SAMN) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said the number of abductions in the east had shown a significant decrease since the third week of last month, while general violence including abductions was being reported at centres for the Internally Displaced People in the Cheddikulam area in Vavuniya. “The number of reports has been reduced since last month, when thirty four civilians were reported abducted in the Eastern region,” more..

Pensions in double quick time

Aug 2 (SAMN) Arrangements are being finalised to pay commuted pensions of all pensioners on the day of their retirement and pensions after one month of retirement, Public Administration and Home Affairs and Home Minister Karu Jayasuriya said. Jayasuriya disclosed this at a ceremony organised to officially launch the Citizens’ Charter and the opening of the refurbished building for the Department of Pensions on Tuesday. more..

Former SLBFE chairman acquitted

Aug 2 (DN) The Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena yesterday acquitted former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) Susantha Fernando on an application by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption. The officials of the Commission filing a report before court stated that they have concluded the investigations against the former Chairman and the dossier of the investigations had been forwarded to the Commission. more..

Public thanked for role in nabbing abductors

Aug 2 (DN) The Government yesterday thanked the media, Security Forces and the vigilant public whose collective effort helped apprehend the groups involved in abductions and disappearances in the past. At the weekly situation briefing yesterday Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said: “There were a lot of accusations that the State security forces were involved in abductions and disappearances and white vans without number plates were used for these.” more..

Up goes milk powder price

Aug 2 (DM) The price of a 400 gram packet of imported milk powder will increase by Rs.15 from today due to the price increase in the world market, Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardane said yesterday. “The price of imported milk powder will go up by Rs.15 for a 400 gram packet and the price of Highland milk powder of the same weight will increase by Rs.20,” he said. more..

Foreign help may be needed to preserve sovereignty of people, says Ranil

Aug 2 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that foreign help would have to be called in to preserve the sovereignty of the people if the government continued to suppress it through the violation of human rights. Addressing a special meeting of the Civil Monitoring Commission on Disappearances, yesterday, Mr. Wickremesinghe said: “All forces should unite in calling for foreign help if the violation of human rights continues in this country.” more..

Conflict disrupts ongoing demining effort

Aug 2 (IRIN) When a massive mine-clearing programme was launched in Sri Lanka in 2002, officials faced a problem: their wooden warning signs, with the distinctive skull and cross-bones, kept disappearing. “They were being stolen by the community for firewood,” Monty Ranathunga, project director at the Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development, overseeing the National Mine Action Programme, told IRIN. more..

India, Sri Lanka targets trade pact by October

Aug 2 (IANS) India and Sri Lanka have decided to sign a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) by October this year for augmenting mutual trade and investment, Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh said here Thursday. 'Both India and Sri Lanka can thrash out the differences and early conclusion of the CEPA would ensure the sustained interest of all the stake holders,' Ramesh said more..

Celebrating war

Aug 2 (FL) THE contrast between two major political events in Sri Lanka’s national capital on July 19 could not have been more striking. At around the same time that the country’s President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was presiding over a glittering ceremony at the Independence Square to mark the “liberation of the east” from the clutches of the LTTE, a new political alliance headed by two influential and charismatic leaders came to life. more..

Sri Lanka seeks Indian invest in oil search, SEZ

Aug 2 (PTI) Sri Lanka today sought investment from Indian private firms in oil exploration, refinery and the proposed Special Economic Zone in its eastern province of Trincomalee. This was indicated by visiting Sri Lankan Minister for Investment Promotion Navin Dissanayake when he met Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh here. The Sri Lankan Government proposes to set up a 1,000-acre SEZ in Trincomalee as more..

Suicide belts, cyanide, explosives recovered from rebel hideout in Sri Lanka, military says

Aug 2 (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers discovered five suicide bomb belts and several cyanide capsules among a haul of arms and explosives found in a Tamil Tiger rebel hide-out in northern Sri Lanka, the military said Thursday. Acting on tips from local residents, troops searched an abandoned house in the Jaffna peninsula Wednesday evening and uncovered the weapons cache, more..

Thondaman and five MPs resign from the government

Aug 2 (LeN) Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) leader and the Minister of Youth Youth Empowerment and Socio Economic Development Arumugam Thondaman and the four deputy ministers who represented his party decided to resign from the government, said the CWC media spokesman R. Yogarajan to 'LeN'. He further said that the resignation papers of all of them were handed over to the Presidential Secretary Lalith Weerathunga this evening. more..