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Naxals-LTTE nexus is growing in Tamil Nadu

Aug 27 (IP) The Naxalite presence in Tamil Nadu has been discovered with a training camp conducted by former People's War Group Naxals in the Periyakulum forests, Theni district, on June 25. Three persons were arrested by the police from the site while the hunt for seven other Naxals continues. Traditionally, the Naxalite presence has been confined to Dharmapuri, Vellore, and the northern districts of Tamil Nadu bordering Andhra Pradesh. more..

Susanthika disqualified in 100m

Aug 27 (SAMN) Sri Lanka’s Susanthika Jayasinghe made an unceremonious exit from the women’s 100m semi-finals while American Tyson Gay emerged the fastest man on the second day of the 11th IAAF World Championship at the Nagai Stadium here today. Running under lights in the second quarter-final heat of women’s 100m, Jayasinghe jumped out of the block early, making it the second false start of the heat. more..

Benegal To Direct Epic On Buddha

Aug 27 (NP) Dadasaheb Phalke Award winning director Shyam Benegal is all set to direct a historic epic on Gautam Buddha. Atul Tiwari, who scripted films like 'Bose, the Forgotten Hero' and 'Mission Kashmir', has been roped in to write the script and dialogues. The film is expected to go on floors around mid-2008 and released a year later. It will be produced by Light of Asia Foundation and Beyond Dreams Entertainment Limited. more..

Govt. to import four stroke trishaws

Aug 27 (SAMN) The Government will import four stroke three wheelers replacing two stroke three wheelers from next year to reduce environmental pollution. The four stroke three wheeler is efficient and its impact to the environment is less, a Government Information Media release said. The import of two stroke three wheelers will be completely stopped from January 1, 2008 and more..

SriLankan Airlines takes Etihad passengers in codeshare deal

Aug 27 (LBO) Despite canceling flights to Sri Lanka, Abu Dhabi based carrier Etihad plans to stay back through a services agreement with SriLankan Airlines, officials said Monday. The open-ended 'codeshare' agreement between the two airlines will let Etihad passengers fly SriLankan airlines to or from Abu Dhabi with both airlines marketing the destination. more..

Praying at Our Lady of Tewatte to heal sick people and a sick nation

Aug 27 (AN) May the “Lord heal us and Our Motherland” was the theme of the National Day for the Sick celebrations held at Our Lady of Lanka Basilica in Tewatte. Some 500,000 Christians from around the country as well as people from other faiths were present at the event, all keen on praying for peace in the country. About 300 priests and religious from various dioceses attended the bilingual (Sinhalese and Tamil) blessing of the sick. more..

Sri Lankan delegation to Kuwait

Aug 27 (SAMN) Court of Appeal Judge, Justice S.I. Imam led the Sri Lankan delegation to Kuwait with regard to a comparative study of the Quazi Court System in Sri Lanka together with the Court System and the administration of Justice in Kuwait recently. The Sri Lankan delegation was welcomed by the Judicial Authorities in Kuwait and were shown around the Courts and related Ministers. more..

Sri Lanka rupee at 13th straight low as importers buy dollars

Aug 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee weakened to a 13th consecutive life closing low on Monday as importers bought dollars to settle trade bills and amid a lack of dollar liquidity in the market, dealers said. The rupee closed at 112.82/112.90 per dollar, surpassing the previous life low of 112.68/112.75 hit on Friday. The local currency has hit a series of new all-time lows in recent months. more..

Myanmar tuskers for Sri Dalada Maligawa

Aug 27 (DN) The official handing over of the two tuskers donated by Myanmar to the Sri Dalada Maligawa will be held tomorrow at 10.45 a.m. at the historic Audience Hall of the Dalada Maligawa. A 48-member delegation including six Ministers from Myanmar will participate in this event to be held under the patronage of Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and Acting Prime Minister of Myanmar Lt. General Thein Sein. more..

Public warned against unhygienic Kotthu

Aug 27 (DN) A survey conducted by the Public Health Department of the CMC revealed that most of the “Kotthu Roti” outlets in the city are run under unhygienic conditions posing a health hazard to the public. The “Kotthu” frying plates were also not kept clean resulting in these being invaded by rats and cockroaches, CMC public Health Department Head Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said. more..

Flowery Royalty on wheels

Aug 27 (DM) A VIP-son living the high life has brought down the latest Aston Martin DB9 sports car and is the talk of the town. This ultra luxury vehicle is said to cost over a staggering rupees forty five million and has raised eyebrows of many. It is said that this beauty of a car with a number plate bearing the same flowery name of its owner comes out in the night and does a few rounds around the city. more..

Civilian casualties in air strikes, says SLMM: No, claims SLAF

Aug 27 (DM) The SLMM, in its weekly assessment report for August 13-19, has noted civilian casualties in Air Force aerial bombings carried out in the Vanni during that week despite the Defence Ministry saying the target was a rebel mortar position. According to the SLMM, one child was killed and two civilians injured as a result of the aerial attacks on August 13 and 15 in Nedunkerni and surrounding villages in the Vanni, and more..

Sri Lanka says kills 9 rebels in northwest clashes

Aug 27 (Reuters) Fresh fighting between troops and separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas has killed nine insurgents and wounded five soldiers in the island's northwest, the military said on Monday. Troops fought two separate battles with rebels on Sunday in the northwestern district of Mannar and on the border of neighbouring Vavuniya, where fighting is now focused after the fall of the rebels' last bastion in the east. more..

'Govt. facilitate journalist in every possible way'

Aug 28 (GDI) With the view of mounting the carrier opportunities available for journalists and to wide open the doors to gain advanced knowledge in the relevant field they work in, the Government has introduced a soft loan scheme for the regional correspondents of media. This was announced by the Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadarshana Yapa while addressing a group of media personals at a workshop held in Polonnaruwa recently. more..

Sri Lankan singer rises from displaced person to superstar

Aug 28 (UNHCR) The face of Sasiskaran, a newly popular singer from Trincomalee district in eastern Sri Lanka, shines with happiness. The most extraordinary thing about this raw talent is not that he beat 5,000 others to win a nationwide talent show, but that he was an internally displaced person (IDP) when he became a music idol. Sasiskaran, 27, won the "Shakti TV Superstar" competition broadcast by a Tamil-language television station last month more..

Chandrika has no task in the National Congress, says Mangala

Aug 28 (LeN) The Convener of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party - People's Wing (SLFP-PW) Mangala Samaraweera said that former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarathunga had no task in the National Congress. Participating in a discussion telecasted by a private TV channel, Mr. Samaraweera made the above observation as a response to a question posed by the moderator. more..

Prof. Vitharana nearly resigns from APRC

Aug 28 (LeN) The Chairman of All Party Representative Committee (APRC) Minister of Science and Technology Prof. Thissa Vitharana expresses hopes that the committee of leaders of parties representing the APRC, that meets under the patronage of Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka will be able to submit a set of proposals to solve the ethnic problem. more..

Submissions made in Ganeshan vs. Maheshwaran case

Aug 28 (LD) The Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court today (August 27th) took up a case filed by Western People's Front leader and Parliamentarian Mano Ganeshan accusing Colombo district Parliamentarian T. Maheshwaran of having levelled falsehoods against him during the 'Minnel' live talk show telecast over Shakthi TV on 15th and 22nd of April this year. more..

Rizana's parents 'hopeful'

Aug 28 (BBC) Parents of the Sri Lankan teenage housemaid in Saudi death row have appealed to authorities in both countries to do more to help release her daughter. Mohamed Sultan Nafeek, Rizana's father, assured journalist RG Dharmadasa that his daughter was a 17-year old at the time of the 'murder' she was accused of committing. "I got married in 1987. Rizana is the eldest among my four children, who just turned to 19," he told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

Minister 'violating' Doctors' FR

Aug 28 (BBC) Medical Interns in Sri Lanka have accused health minister of violating their Fundamental Rights (FR). Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva is trying to get the cabinet approval to offer placements only in the north and east for the graduates from Jaffna university, Interns said. They say the proposal is against the decades-long practise of offering placements based upon merit. more..

GDP growth vs: National development

Aug 28 (FP) The current ‘top of the pops’, with the Governor of the Bank that is central to most socio- economic controversies of the current regime, is none other than the GDP growth rate. It is most unfortunate that the highly professional Assistants of the Bank, for whom the private sector had much respect, not only endorse this song repeatedly, but extends the argument to degrees of absurdity that makes more..

Mr. Ten Percent becomes Mr. Five Percent; Kick back Rs. 2.5 Billion

Aug 28 (LeN) Information are pouring on a huge kick back of Rs. 2.5 billion a relative of a top level government leader is to obtain as commission from a loan of Rs. 55 billion the state is to obtain from international financial market. Lanka-e-News learns that a former CEO of People's bank, Derrick Kelly, whose contract was not extended by the government, is the intermediary in this deal. more..

Rajapaksa condemns blasts

Aug 28 (Hindu) Condemning the latest Hyderabad blasts, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has offered assistance in combating terrorism in South Asia. In a message to President Pratibha Patil, the Mr. Rajapaksa said, “Sri Lanka being a victim of terrorism, largely funded and armed by external sources, understands well the pain and grief of the victims of this senseless violence, and the threat to social cohesion and democracy caused by such acts of terrorism.” more..

Militant Wahabism beats other Islamic fundamentalists in Sri Lanka

Aug 28 (AT) Wahhabism is a new politico-religious movement that is sweeping the Eastern province of Sri Lanka with more than 50 Muslim fundamentalist organizations supporting it and helping in propagating the movement throughout the Island. Latest report reveals that Wahhabism, headquartered in Kattankudy, has raced ahead and taken control of the Jihadist and Al Fatah groups in Sri Lanka under their wings. more..

Wasps attack tourists in Sri Lanka fortress

Aug 28 (AFP) A colony of wasps has attacked over 250 tourists at a fifth-century rock fortress in Sri Lanka causing a stampede, police say. At least 85 people were hospitalised while others were given first aid following the incident at the foot of the 180m fortress of Sigiriya. The Sigiriya rock, 160km north of Colombo, is a World Heritage site known for frescoes of bare-chested women. more..

Dimi's Sri Lanka connection

Aug 28 (CI) The second game of the England-India one-day series was of special significance to a certain middle-aged Sri Lankan couple, who had flown in from Australia to watch. The name Dimitri Mascarenhas may not ring a bell for any Sri Lankans following the English team. With good reason, for Mascarenhas - who lashed five sixes in his fifty from No. 8 in that game, keeping England in the hunt till late - was born in Middlesex, grew up in Perth, and more..

Born of political skullduggery, lived a rulers’ tool...another sham

Aug 28 (KT) WARS can be won militarily, but winning the war for people’s hearts and minds is the ultimate victory. The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa strongly believes that its war on terror against the LTTE will end in a resounding victory. But it has miserably failed to win the hearts and minds of the people through a political solution that will assure the minority Tamil community that their socio-economic and political grievances will be addressed meaningfully. more..

Measures by Minister Devananada to fulfil the requirements of Palmyrah and Coconut Development Societies

Aug 28 (ISL) Minister Douglas Devananda who held extensive discussions with the representatives of the Federation of the Palmyrah and Coconut Development Societies, has initiated measures to fulfil the requirements already submitted by the Federation. During the course of discussion the Minister said, the matter regarding exemption of excise tax on palmyrah arrack would have to be presented on a cabinet paper and approval of Finance Ministry must be obtained. more..

Kenya to emulate Sri Lanka for tea value addition

Aug 28 (LBO) Kenya is hoping to learn from Sri Lanka to add value to tea and earn more revenue in the face of sharp falls in prices for her tea, reports from the East African nation said. In July 2007 Kenyan tea prices had fallen by 22 percent with producers rushing to clear a backlog of stocks, Kenya's Business Daily newspaper said. The average auction price of Kenyan tea had dropped from 2.25 dollars to 1.74 dollars. more..

Sri Lanka to re-open Colombo harbour second entrance

Aug 28 (LBO) Sri Lankan security authorities plan to re-open Colombo port's northern entrance for navigation once underwater defence systems being tested are installed and activated. The planned re-opening will remove a key constraint that has caused lengthy delays for cargo ships and raised costs for both shipping lines and port terminals. The delays were seen as endangering Colombo's competitiveness as south Asia's transshipment hub. more..

Man claiming to be Air Force personnel threatens Lankadeepa journalist

Aug 28 (LD) A personal claiming to be an Air Force personnel had come to the office of Vijaya Newspapers Limited and threatened Provincial News Editor W. G. Gunaratne yesterday afternoon (August 27). The man had told the journalist not to translate and publish Sinhala versions of ‘The Situation Report’, written by Iqbal Athas and carried by sister newspaper ‘Sunday Times’, or suffer serious consequences, reports said. more..

SLT tariffs slashed from Nov.1st

Aug 28 (LD) The Supreme Court yesterday (August 27th) ordered Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to reduce current telephone tariffs by 9.03% effective from November this year. The Supreme Court also ruled the overcharges from 1st January to 31st October 2007 should be reduced by 8.72% and consumers be given the credit from the bills issued after November. more..

Aptitude Test back for Grade One admissions

Aug 28 (LD) The Secretary to the Ministry of Education yesterday (August 27th) submitted to the Supreme Court (SC) an amended new draft guideline for Grade One admissions to government schools next year. Following objections by Past Pupils Associations to some of these revisions, the SC proposed its own amendments, to which both parties gave their consent. Accordingly, 20 marks will be awarded for the Aptitude Test. more..

SLMM concerned over Gotabhaya remark

Aug 28 (LD) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has expressed serious concern over a recent statement by the government, saying that the comment undermine the good intentions or violate the spirit of the Ceasefire Agreement. The SLMM said that it would comment on this sentiment in its regular report. Its concerns follow a statement by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that the security forces would make a push for the Wanni. more..

Jayawardene confident of Sri Lanka's chances

Aug 28 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, has expressed confidence over his team's chances at the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa, commencing on September 11. "If we play to our strengths and work hard, there is no reason why we should not succeed in a game which is largely a new one to us," Jayawardene said at an ICC conference call. Jayawardene had led Sri Lanka to the final of the World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year. more..

Group protests in front of Iqbal Athas’ house

Aug 28 (LD) A group staged a demonstration in front of the house of ‘Sunday Times’ Defence Correspondent Iqbal Athas this evening (August 27th). The protestors have accused the senior journalist of being a traitor to the country. It is reported that the protest had been led by Western Provincial Councilor Upali Kodikara, a close associate of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. His wife is the Chairperson of the Maharagama Urban Council, Kanthi Kodikara. more..

Jaffna, a “nightmare” for journalists

Aug 28 (Hindu) Characterising Jaffna as one of the “most dangerous places on the earth” for journalists, a report of an international fact-finding mission to the town has claimed that in the last one year newspapers in the town have “lost” 90 per cent of their journalist and non-journalistic staff. The report has said since fighting resumed in 2006, the peninsula has become a “nightmare” for journalists, human rights activists and the civilian population. more..

Railway strike failed - Railways GM: It didn't - OPPRRE

Aug 28 (LD) The General Manager for Railways Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan says that yesterday’s token strike by one railway trade union has been a complete failure. The strike was not supported by other unions in the railway service, and all trains operated as scheduled throughout yesterday, he said. After realizing its failure, this trade union has even resorted to sabotage train services, according to Gunaruwan, including an assault of a locomotive driver in Maradana. more..

Ponting wants to stop Murali's surge

Aug 28 (NDTV) One of Ricky Ponting's cricket highlights from last year - watching Shane Warne set the world record for Test wickets - will be foremost in his mind when Australia opens its 2007-08 season against Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan will be the star attraction when Australia begins a two-Test series in Brisbane Nov 8 and later in Hobart, Tasmania on Nov 16. more..

Let’s build society that doesn’t create more ‘Rizanas’! - Lakmawa Diyaniyo

Aug 28 (LT) This society, that has deteriorated culturally and economically, should be changed if more and more young women are to be safeguarded from the tragedy Rizana Naffeek has been subjected to said Ms. Madurangika Koswatte, Secretary of ‘Lakmawa Diyaniyo’. She said this at a media briefing held at Hotel Nippon in Colombo today (27th) to apprise the measures Lakmawa Diyaniyo (Daughters of Mother Lanka) has taken to save Rizana Naffeek from the death sentence to more..

This govt. exists on taxes! - Luxman Kiriella

Aug 28 (LT) The present government depends on taxes and as a result they cannot bring down the prices of commodities said UNP Parliamentarian Luxman Kiriella. As the former UNP government did not depend on taxes when ever there were increases in prices in the world market the UNP government was able to bring down the prices and give relief to the people said Mr. Kiriella. more..

Boycott of A/L evaluation continues!

Aug 28 (LT) The boycott of evaluation of A/L answer papers has reached its seventh day. Evaluation process was a complete failure during these seven days. Mr. Mahinda Jayasinghe, General Secretary of All Ceylon Teachers’ Services Union talking to ‘Lankatruth’ said the authorities have not taken any interest in solving the question. Mr. Lalith Weeratungs had a discussion with the leaders of the trade unions stating that the discussion was to recognize the issue. more..

Circular on first year admissions to SC on Wednesday

Aug 28 (LT) Secretary to the Ministry of Education Ariyaratne Hewage was directed to present the final draft of the circular regarding admissions of first year students on Wednesday. The directive was given by the Supreme Court considering a fundamental rights petition filed by several old students’ unions. When the petitions were taken up for consideration on the 21st the Secretary to the Ministry of Education was directed to present the circular prepared by the ministry after certain amendments. more..

Police keep private media in the dark

Aug 28 (LNP) Mystery surrounds the exclusion of the independent media from yesterday`s Police headquarters news conference on police promotions. Only the State-run media was represented at the conference chaired by Senior DIG Bodhi Liyanage. A senior police spokesman said the news conference contravened the accepted norms of government departments/ministries where all media institutions are invited for any news conference. more..

Aussie embassy alert exposes major racket in false financial statements

Aug 28 (LNP) The Bank of Ceylon has cracked a lucrative racket in providing false financial statements to embassies to facilitate foreign travel. An executive officer attached to the bank`s Supra Grade branch in Kandy has been interdicted pending further investigations. This was in the backdrop of IDP Education Sri Lanka which represents the interests of the Australian High Commission wanting the Kandy branch to verify a financial statement submitted by a person planning to send her daughter to Australia for higher studies. more..

Lanka can reach 80% connectivity before 5-10 year timeframe - expert

Aug 28 (LNP) Sri Lanka has the potential to reach 80% connectivity well before the required time frame with the right broadband access in place. `The United States has an 80% connectivity percentage while Sri Lanka only has 10% but given the right solutions and infrastructure Sri Lanka is able to achieve high percentage of connectivity in a time frame of 5 to 10 years,` said the President of Technology Networking International, Dr. Zoran Miljanic. more..

Over 5,000 nabbed tapping water

Aug 28 (LNP) A reputed private medical institution in Colombo South and around 5,000 households in the city were detected by Water Board officials tapping water illegally. The medical institution has been fined Rs 1.2 million and the households Rs 20,000 each. The private medical institution paid the fine while water supply was disconnected to the households that failed to pay the fine. more..

JVP unhappy with estate salary increase

Aug 28 (SAMN) The JVP led All Ceylon Estate Workers Union said Monday that it is not satisfied with the wage increase suggested by President Mahinda Rajapaksa for estate workers recently. The All Ceylon Estate Workers Union General Secretary J. M. Premaratne said they are not satisfied with the Rs 100 salary hike proposed by the President as it is not sufficient to meet the sky rocketing cost of living. more..

Solve teachers’ grievances: JVP to Govt.

Aug 28 (SAMN) While condemning the government for giving a ‘sluggish’ response to the ongoing teachers’ trade union action, the JVP Politburo Monday urged the government to resolve the issue before the entire education system plunges into chaos. “The failure to address the reasons for the ongoing boycott by teachers in the marking of A’ level exam papers would later lead to other issues as well, delaying not only the announcing of Advanced Level results but also delay the re-opening of schools for the third term. more..

Dances with Tigers

Aug 28 (MoD) This country is perennially under pressure to respect the rule of law. The international community never misses an opportunity to remind Sri Lankan governments of this democratic obligation on their part. Whenever a breach of law occurs here, alarms go off in London, New York and Paris. The government gets inundated with warnings. This kind of reaction from the democratic world may be anathema to those at the levers of power here but it is, no doubt, salutary. more..