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Dr. Fernando is wrong again

Aug 24 (AT) With reference to Dr. Mithra Fernando's article, "An apology for mistaken identity but the measles remain a handicap" ("Asian Tribune," August 21) it appears that he is wrong again – this time on Anagarika Dharmapala. He says that Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933), was born in Colombo as a Christian named David Hewavitarane. He was mot born a Christian. He was born into a Buddhist family that hailed from the South. more..

Battle front in Sri Lanka shifting north

Aug 24 (Hindu) Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), mandated to oversee implementation of the virtually collapsed 2002 Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA) between the forces and the LTTE, has recorded continuous multi-barrel rocket launcher and artillery barrages in the Poonaryn area and the Jaffna Forward Defence Line (FDL) in the north in the past few days. The latest situation report of the SLMM on the north and east is a clear sign that slowly, but steadily, the fighting is shifting to north and more..

Relax emergency laws, media group tells Lanka

Aug 24 (AFP) A media rights group yesterday urged Sri Lanka to ease emergency laws that curtail freedom of expression and warned of worsening conditions in one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists. Working conditions have deteriorated in the Tamil-populated northern district of Jaffna since fighting erupted there between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, the Free Media Movement (FMM) said in a statement. more..

‘Mad hatters that joined national congress display their insanity by expecting JVP to be a part of the unholy alliance!

Aug 24 (LT) The letter ‘M’ of the splinter group from the SLFP that has joined the National Congress could very well stand for ‘Mad hatters’ as they have displayed their insanity by expecting the JVP to join the unholy alliance called National Congress said Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Information Secretary of the JVP. more..

Murali in no rush for record

Aug 24 (AAP) MUTTIAH Muralitharan insists he has no designs on breaking Shane Warne's Test record in the former Australia star's own backyard this summer. Murali needs nine more wickets to eclipse Warne's tally of 708 and become the leading Test wicket-taker, and the Sri-Lanka off spinner could well claim those in Australia during his country's two-Test tour in November. more..

Myanmar acting PM Thein Sein to visit Sri Lanka

Aug 24 (Xinhua) Myanmar Acting Prime Minister Lieutenant-General Thein Sein will pay a goodwill visit to Sri Lanka in the near future to enhance the two countries' bilateral ties, according to an official announcement from Nay Pyi Taw Friday which did not spell out the date of his visit. Expected on next Monday, the upcoming trip of Thein Sein, who is also First Secretary of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), comes eight months after Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka traveled to Myanmar in December last year. more..

UNP breakaway claims assassination plot

Aug 24 (ANN) The United National Party (Democratic Group) has informed President Mahinda Rajapaksa that there were attempts by interested parties to assassinate one of their 17 members who joined the government recently. UNP breakaway Group Galle District Member of Parliament and Agriculture Minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara told journalists yesterday that if any of them were to die the vacancy will be filled by an UNPer who polled the next highest number of preferential votes. more..

Britain publish conflict prevention proposal for Sri Lanka

Aug 24 (ISL) The British Foreign Office has published its proposal on conflict prevention in Sri Lanka. The proposal titled ‘The UK Peace Building Strategy (PBS)’ highlights four key areas to bring stability to decaying Sri Lanka. These are: A greater commitment to negotiated peace; Improved safety and security in communities and adherence to human rights; A governance reform agenda in key institutions, particularly the security services, to strengthen underlying conditions for a lasting peace; and more..

Mano Ganeshan and Suresh Premachandra meet Chandrika to discuss abductions

Aug 24 (LD) Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC) on Extra Judicial Killings and Abduction convener Mano Ganeshan and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Suresh Premachandra met with the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarathunga. MR. Mano Ganeshan told the media that the discussion was to enlighten the former president on the disappearances, abductions, and killing that took place in the recent past. more..

Will of fisher folk digs Chilaw river mouth

Aug 24 (LD) On the 21st of August, a clash erupted between the police and fishermen at the Chilaw river-mouth, where the fishermen protested against a massive scale racket by politicians to collect sand from the river-mouth and transport to Colombo. Earlier, the area fishermen had requested the Fisheries Minister to remove the sand piled up in the river-mouth as well as a lasting solution for the problem, stating that it disrupts their day-to-day fishing activities. more..

LTTE urges ICRC to restore opening days of Vavuniya entry point

Aug 24 (TN) Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the LTTE Thursday discussed the operation of the only entry/exit point between the LTTE controlled Vanni and GoSL controlled Vavuniya town. LTTE officials said they had asked the ICRC to keep the Oamanthai checkpoint open for seven days a week to enable the people of Vanni to get provisions and other commodities uninterrupted. more..

Sri Lanka tea trade charges cess fund delays jeopardizing industry

Aug 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea trade, the island's main export earner, has said funds raised from a tax on exports are still not being ploughed back adequately to develop the industry despite numerous complaints. Delays and inadequate disbursements are hindering factory modernization work and tea promotion in highly competitive global beverage markets, exporters and the regulator said. more..

Sri Lanka hosts global tea forum to discuss production, standards

Aug 24 (LBO) Experts from the world's top tea producing and consuming countries will meet in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo next week to discuss issues concerning sustainable production and food safety standards. More than 100 foreign and 300 Sri Lankan delegates are expected to attend the Colombo International Tea Convention on August 29-September 1. more..

Sri Lanka micro-finance based bank plans northeast expansion

Aug 24 (LBO) Sanasa Development Bank (SDB), a Sri Lankan bank that promotes micro finance hopes to expand its network to northern and eastern province an official said. The micro finance institution has increased its branches up to 30 throughout the island during the firm's first catering to an increasing number of account holders from low income families. The bank is planning to cover the north and east areas in the next two years. more..

Sri Lanka rupee floats to new level

Aug 24 (LBO) The Sri Lanka rupee closed Friday with bids at 112.70 against the greenback with the highest deal at 112.67 in spot trade in a day that it floated freely with no intervention from the authorities, dealers said. The week closed with bids for the spot dollar at 112.70 and offers at 112.75. Official intervention was relaxed on Thursday. The Sri Lanka rupee has largely held steady against the greenback in recent weeks while most regional currencies, including the Australian dollar, lost ground sharply. more..

Sri Lanka Tamil Tiger air raids, tea estate strike take toll on James Finlay

Aug 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's James Finlay & Company (Colombo) plc said net profits for the second quarter ending June 30, 2007 plunged 82 percent to 10.3 million rupees owing to Tamil Tiger air strikes and a strike by tea pluckers. Revenue for the quarter was flat at 881 million rupees, the company which is part of the UK's Swire group, said in interim financial results. Group profit for the first six months fell 89 percent year-on-year to 42.1 million rupees from 375 million rupees. more..

Come and see if Chandrika participates in the Nittambuwa rally tomorrow

Aug 24 (LeN) The best President Prabhakaran has received in the history is Mahinda Rajapakse and Gotabhaya - Mahinda duo are the worthiest gift obtained by him, says Mangala Samaraweera. Samaraweera expressed these views addressing a press briefing held today (23) at Colombo to announce the future strategies of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party - People's Wing (SLFP-PW). more..

Appeal for Meals to the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind

Aug 24 (LeN) This is a special appeal to you to consider giving a meal to the children of the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind situated in Ratmalana, Sri Lanka. This school has around 375 students at the moment and most of them are resident in the school hostel. Everything is provided free of charge to the students including all their meals. The managment do not get enough meal donations and find it very difficult to provide a proper balanced diet to the children. more..

I am Not planing to Visit Srilankan soon - Erik Solheim

Aug 24 (LeN) I am Not planing to Visit Srilankan soon - Erik Solheim, Srilankan Peace Envoy with world's media to North Pole. Nearly 100 journalists from all over the world visited to the Global Seed Vault, which is under construction on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. Construction work on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGS) started in April 2007 and the first bastings were performed in May. more..

Stick to one sexual partner- Minister of Health

Aug 24 (GDI) The 8th ICAAP, held in Colombo Sri Lanka came to a successful close Thursday afternoon. Over 2000 delegates from all over the globe participated in this congress, aptly titled ‘Waves of change, Waves of Hope’. As the delegates voiced their opinions, related their experiences spelled out their difficulties and pronounced their fervent hope on helping those destined to go through a difficult period in life, so much of goodness in the human being came out within these few days. more..

Presidential awards for top exporters

Aug 24 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa complemented the exporters who relentlessly fought under severe constraints of fierce global competition and economies of scale, to achieve commendable success. He said this while presenting Presidential Awards to the best exporters. He said this at the most prestigious event of the country's Exporter fraternity, the Presidential Export Awards 2005 at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo yesterday. more..

Former LTTE ‘Police Chief’ in Sampoor arrested

Aug 24 (GDI) A person identified to be the former LTTE ‘Police Chief’ in Sampoor has been arrested by the Trincomalee Harbour Police yesterday at a roadblock in Trincomalee. The suspect identified as Kalimutthu Vinodkumar aged 29 has revealed during interrogation that he was recruited to the terrorist outfit as a child soldier directly from the school. Vinodkumar has sated that LTTE recruiters had brainwashed many children like him by showing video footages at the school and forced them to join the outfit, Vinodhumar added. more..

Contributory pension scheme for migrant workers

Aug 24 (GDI) Steps will be taken to grant pension for the migrant workers who contribute enormously to the country's economic development. Accordingly the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau entered into an agreement with the Social Security Board to launch a pension scheme for the benefit of expatriate workers yesterday. The pension scheme will provide a monthly pension from the age of 60 until his or her death when the subjected migrant worker had contributed to the scheme regularly. more..

Bank loans for infrastructure development to boost economy: PM

Aug 24 (GDI) The government will utilise the funds raised from foreign banks to improve the infrastructure and thus expedite development of the country. Stating this in Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake criticised the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s assertion that a future UNP government would not repay the loans. Mr Wickremanayake said the bond will be a fillip for the local economy as it would stabilise the value of the rupee and help maintain a healthy interest rate. more..

Govt. cannot act like terrorists: CBK

Aug 24 (SAMN) During her first meeting with the media after her long sojourn abroad, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga condemned the present trend of abductions and disappearances and said the government cannot act like a terrorist organisation. “A government which is fighting a terrorist organisation has to work tactfully and with a clear vision and should not act like a terrorist organisation,” she said, more..

Debt blow to every citizen

Aug 24 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP yesterday warned that the debt burden on each citizen of this country would rise by Rs. 13,500 if the government went ahead with borrowing 500 million dollars from foreign commercial banks. Opposition UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament that the loan when paid back over ten years with interest, would cost the country some US$ 850 million. more..

DEW regrets standoff on APRC

Aug 24 (SAMN) Minister of Constitutional Affairs D. E. W. Gunasekera Thursday expressed regret over the current standoff at the APRC on the nature of the state, pointing out “It is unfortunate that a solution to the ethnic question is being delayed by the unnecessary imposition of tags.” Minister Gunasekera said Sri Lanka is already considered by many as a quasi-federal state because of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which was passed in Parliament in August 1987, in an attempt to devolve power through provincial councils. more..

Folklore Festival of Fribourg - Switzerland

Aug 24 (LMS) The annual Folklore festival of Fribourg is held from 21st to 26th August 2007 in the town of Fribourg. This year, traditional dancing troupes from several countries across the world are participating at the festival. Sri Lanka is represented by Lakranga dancing ensemble, consisting of traditional drummers and dancers. At the opening ceremony, Lakranga dancing ensemble performed a mix of Sri Lankan traditional udarata and pahatharata dances. more..

Sister City scheme progressing well

Aug 24 (SAMN) The Guangzhou city of China has tied up with the Hambantota district to promote people to people contact, student exchange programmes and cultural and economic links. This is also referred to as the sister city scheme. Guangzhou is the capital and the sub provincial city of Guangzhou province in the Southern part of the People's Republic of China. more..

Sri Lanka's Ceylon Tea Services reports slow down in tea bag exports

Aug 24 (LBO) Tea bag exporter Ceylon Tea Services Ltd., part of the Dilmah brand group, said net profit fell 7.1 percent to 152 million rupees for the quarter ended June 30, 2007. Revenue fell 1.2 percent to 738 million rupees in the same period, according to interim results. The company is one of the largest exporters of tea bags in Sri Lanka and promotes single origin Ceylon teas. more..

Corrective measures to rectify postal service shortcomings

Aug 24 (DN) Shortcomings at the top management level in the postal service has led to several irregularities. Corrective measures will be taken immediately after submission of the Committee Report, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Rauff Hakeem said yesterday. Hakeem revealed this to representatives of trade unions attached to the Postal Department during discussions to enlighten them on matters of the interim committee report which probed into the alleged corruption and irregularities at the Postal Department. more..

Home Guards - protecting the masses with renewed vigour

Aug 24 (DN) Protecting Sinhalese and Muslim villagers living adjacent to the uncleared areas in the North and East from terror activities and massacres was the main aim when the J.R. Jayewardene administration established the Home Guard Service in 1985. The service which commenced as a volunteer service in 1985 with the recruitment of villagers living in so-called 'border' villages in the districts adjacent to the North and Eastern provinces has now been transformed into a full force to protect threatened villages from terror activities. more..

Kurunegala emerging as Lanka’s abortion hub

Aug 24 (DM) Kurunegala is emerging as the city that provides easy access to abortions in Sri Lanka according to latest police statistics. Kurunegala is at the centre of an abortion nexus with key centres in Kegalle, Nikaweratiya, Galgamuwa and Mawanella.The Women’s and Children’s Bureau confirmed the largest number of abortion related raids took place in Kurunegala last year. more..

14 Sri Lankans arrested in capital among security alert

Aug 24 (Xinhua) A high security alert for possible Tamil Tiger rebel strikes in an immediate suburb of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo had led to the arrest of 14 people on suspicion, the police said Friday. A joint army and police search was launched between 4 p.m. local time (1030 GMT) to 6 p.m. local time (1230 GMT) Thursday at Nugegoda, a popular residential suburb east of here. more..

JVP helping Rajapaksa brothers’ ‘company’ to prosper: Mangala

Aug 24 (DM) While claiming all govt. parliamentarians barring 21 are willing to join the newly formed National Congress, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera yesterday charged the JVP of helping the Rajapaksa led government and his company of brothers to continue with their corrupt practices. “As a genuine political entity – the JVP should protest against the Rajapaksa ‘Company’ and not just put up posters,” more..

Sri Lankan court releases priest accused of helping rebels

Aug 24 (Xinhua) The Colombo Magistrate Thursday ordered the release of a Tamil Hindu priest accused by the authorities of helping Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. The priest and the trustee of the Hindu temple in the Kayts island of the northern Jaffna peninsula were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in May after explosives belonging to the LTTE were found hidden in the temple premises. more..

Civil Administration and Development are Priorities in the East

Aug 24 (NO) The recent retaking of control of areas of the east by the Sri Lankan security forces presents a challenging new context for development and humanitarian work in the east. The direct observations made by journalists from the national media and members of the National Peace Council after a five day visit to the east revealed that instead of security and democracy, and the liberation of the east as described by the government, more..

Red Cross to expand Sri Lanka border mission to five days a week

Aug 24 (AP) The International Red Cross will extend its mission at a crossing between government and rebel-held territory in northern Sri Lanka to five days a week, the group said Friday, a move that will help increase the flow of goods and people in the war-wracked area. The presence of Red Cross workers at the tense crossing at Omanthai is seen by both the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels as mandatory for keeping the crossing open. more..

Media watchdog: Jaffna one of world's most dangerous places for journalists

Aug 24 (AP) Sri Lanka's violence-wracked Jaffna peninsula is one of the world's most dangerous places for journalists to work, and the government must take steps to protect them from attacks, an international media watchdog group said Friday. In just over a year, seven media workers have been killed in the northern peninsula, which is held by the Sri Lankan military and is routinely hit by fighting between more..

British colonial masters getting ready to intervene in Sri Lanka with NGOs

Aug 25 (AT) After sowing the seeds of communal dissension in Sri Lanka under British occupation (1789-1948), after giving advantages to the Tamils of the north under the British divide and rule policy, after refusing to take any action initially to curb Tamil Tiger terrorism in UK soil under the pretext of these Tamil terrorists not having violated any UK laws, after giving a wink-and-a-nudge for the Tamil Tiger in UK to run their business as usual by more..

LTTE to acquire shortly chemical weapons

Aug 25 (AT) Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabakaran is in the process of acquiring chemical weapons in the near future, Lanka intelligence sources revealed. There is enough evidence available to prove that the LTTE already has built up stocks of Cyanide and Potassium during the ceasefire period. On 12th of August in Anuradhapura north - Medawachhiya, a Police roadblock was by passed by a tipper vehicle and it was stopped at a second roadblock. more..

Is the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna the only hope for Sri Lanka?

Aug 25 (AT) Sri Lanka is suffering an acute paucity of political credibility and discipline, with both major political parties, the UNP and the SLFP being guilty of acts of gross misconduct, mismanagement and rank political opportunism over the years. The one party that gave hope to sections of the Sinhala Buddhist constituency, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has lost their credibility by joining the government and more..

Buddhism rising in Europe, say Germans

Aug 25 (AT) Buddhism is definitely making headway in Germany and the rest of Europe. Expressing this view were prominent German invitees to a very significant event marking the 50th anniversary (1957-2007) of the first Sri Lankan Buddhist Mission to Germany, at the Savsiripaya Auditorium in Colombo 7, Sri Lanka on August 22. Sri Lanka honoured the mission - sponsored by the German Dharmadutha Society - with the issue of a commemorative postage stamp and a first day cover by the Government Philatelic Bureau. more..

It’s snack time with Sri Lanka’s Hyson Tea

Aug 25 (Hindu) Our island neighbour of Sri Lanka is known for its top quality tea and one of its best known brands, Hyson Tea, has come to Bangalore. Twelve different flavours of tea will be distributed by Lekkad Exports and Events Pvt. Ltd across the country. At the media launch of Hyson Tea here on Friday, Hyson Tea Marketing Manager Sahampathy Dissanayake said his brand has a wide range of value added products to every taste, culture, mood and moment. more..

Strong Sri Lankan side for MRF race

Aug 25 (EI) Indian car drivers in their local models can now look forward to experience the thrills of taking part in a race. Tyre makers MRF have initiated a new concept where any ordinary car, which is modified, can take part in the MRF international challenge, to be held this weekend at the Kari Motor Speed way here at Coimbatore. Such events have a huge following across the world and are sure to set pulses racing in India as well. more..

Sri Lanka property bubble on the bursting path

Aug 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s land and condominium price bubble which has now peaked may pop buildings now under construction expected to flood the market in the next two years and buyers turn cautious, analysts and developers have said. Speculators and foreign investors have been scared off by the flare up in fighting depressing sales for land and condominiums this year according to developers and sellers. more..

Sri Lankan powers Porche Club Singapore to pole position

Aug 25 (TS) Sri Lanka’s Dilantha Malagamuwa (pic) made full use of his knowledge of the Sepang Circuit to lead Porsche Club Singapore Racing Team to the pole position for today’s 12-hour Petronas Primax 3 Merdeka Millennium Endurance (MME) Race. Dilantha partnered Singaporeans Mok Weng Sun and Ringo Chong to top the timesheet with an aggregate time of 2:09.654 in their Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the qualifying session yesterday. more..

'Polonnaruwe and Jarapulle commenced new companies'

Aug 25 (LeN) A government that involved in extorting public money so shamelessly did not exist after 1977, says Mangala Samaraweera. While the King's family is engaged in mass scale frauds, another company has been opened in Polonnaruwa while Jarapulle has begun one more, says Samaraweera. Addressing a mass rally held in Nittambuwa today, he said that the platform of the UNP and SLFP-PW should be broadened and Bandaranaikes should be included in it. more..

COPE second report released. Rs. six billion corruption in 20 public enterprises

Aug 25 (LeN) Presenting the second report of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) to the parliament yesterday (24), the Chairman of the committee MP Wijedasa Rajapakse said that corruption amounted to Rs. six billion had taken place in 20 public enterprises investigated. The first report of COPE revealed corruption in 26 public enterprises that amounted to Rs. 150 billion. more..

Construction industry demands protection from foreign competition

Aug 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's construction industry has called for measures to control competition from foreign contactors in the business which has been expanding rapidly in recent years. The Chamber of Construction Industries (CCI) has proposed the setting up of a regulatory body with wide-ranging powers to regulate the sector. CCI Secretary General Dakshitha Thalgodapitiya said the regulator should have powers to screen foreign contractors and deter the entry of what he calls 'fly-by-night' operators. more..