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Jayawardene agrees, Test cricket is best

Aug 28 (BD) EMBATTLED wicketkeeper Mark Boucher found support — albeit a bit too late — from an unexpected quarter yesterday. Sri Lanka’s captain, Mahela Jayawardene, in an International Cricket Council conference call, said he too felt that success in Test cricket was the real prize for any international cricketer. “It is the ultimate goal,” he said, “but these other forms of the game are exciting as well.” more..

Marvan Atapattu to play in South Africa

Aug 28 (TN) Former Sri Lanka skipper Marvan Atapattu, who was hounded into submission by Sri Lankan selectors and later took drastic step of severing his contract with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), has chosen to continue his cricket career in South Africa. Earlier, Atapattu’s name was prominently tagged with Indian runaway group — Indian Cricket League (ICL). Now it seems that the stylish batsman has decided otherwise. more..

Court orders AG’s report on VAT suspects

Aug 28 (SAMN) Colombo Fort Magistrate Namal Bandara Balalle directed the CID to get the Attorney General’s advice and report to him regarding the third and fourth suspects’ bail application in the multi-billion VAT fraud case. The seven suspects are former Inland Revenue officer Gunasiri de Zoysa Jayatilake and an Assistant Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Department, Ananda Wickremesinghe Ambepitiya, businessmen S. Subramaniyam, Mohamed Junaid Mohamed Rizwan, more..

Probing postal service deficiencies

Aug 28 (SAMN) A full report on irregularities in the Postal Service is to be submitted to Minister of Posts and Tele-Communications, Rauff Hakeem on Friday by a special committee appointed by him. A spokesman for the Ministry said Minister Hakeem would take corrective measures on any irregularities on the part of top management of the postal service once the report reaches him. more..

President's move timely: CWC

Aug 28 (DN) The Ceylon Workers' Congress yesterday welcomed President Mahinda Rajapaksa's decision to extend his support to the Ceylon Workers' Congress' efforts to increase the plantation workers wages in the rubber and tea growing manufacturing trades to a monthly minium wage of Rs. 5,000. The CWC wrote to the Employers' Federation of Ceylon in July calling upon the Plantation Companies to match the minimum wage granted to workers in 31 Trades governed by the Wages Boards. more..

Thai-Lanka talks focus on International Buddhist Zone concept

Aug 28 (DN) Minister Khun Ying Dhipavadee Meksawan, attached to the Prime Minister's Office and the Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Thailand yesterday called on Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama at the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs. The Special Envoy was accompanied by the Advisor and Senior Officials of the Office of the Prime Minister and the Director of Buddhist Information Division and Officials of he Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand. more..

Dalada Perahera live worldwide

Aug 28 (DM) The historic Sri Dalada Perahera is being telecast live in more than 100 countries marking another milestone in the history of the pageant, Maligawa officials said. The live transmission has cost Rs 4.5 million according to the organizers. ‘Dansalas’ to provide free meals and refreshments to pilgrims and viewers was another new feature this year. More than 75,000 litres of safe drinking water were provided to visitors by a private company. more..

No info on Tiger ‘cub’ handover, says UNICEF

Aug 28 (DM) UNICEF said it had no knowledge of an alleged handover of LTTE child soldiers in Ampara today after the rebels claimed that a group of ‘Tiger’ cubs were attacked by the Special Task Force (STF) last night. The LTTE claimed that the child soldiers were being transported to Ampara last night in preparation for the handover today when they came under STF attack. more..

3 Sri Lankan soldiers killed in failed attempt to breach defense line, rebels say

Aug 28 (AP) Separatist Tamil Tiger insurgents claimed to have killed three Sri Lankan soldiers and foiled their attempt to advance into northern rebel-held areas.Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan said in a statement e-mailed late Monday that government soldiers tried to penetrate rebel defenses in Palamoddai village of northern Vavuniya district. He said both sides exchanged gun and artillery fire for more than two hours. more..

KANDY ESALA PERAHERA – 2007 Live web cast

Aug 28 (SDM) Live web cast of Esala Perahera 2007, live from Kandy - Sri Lanka will be online on 28th August 2007 At 21:05pm - 23:05pm (Sri Lanka Time) 15:05pm - 17:05pm (GMT) Your comments are welcome and much appreciated. Live web cast made possible by iMax via Windows Media Technology . more..

'Restore' Iqbal Athas' security

Aug 28 (BBC) Media watchdogs in Sri Lanka have called upon the authorities to restore the security of Sunday Times journalist Iqbal Athas. In a letter to the Defence Secretary, Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) has reminded him that the Defence columnists life is in danger as a result of authorities removing his security last week. more..

Not too late for Sri Lanka peace talks: Egeland

Aug 28 (AFP) There is still time for peace talks between Sri Lanka's government and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels despite the virtual collapse of a truce, a former Norwegian peace broker said Tuesday. "It's not too late. They can and should and must reopen real peace negotiations," Jan Egeland told AFP. But he added, "To the best of my knowledge there is very little movement." more..

Sri Lanka's Mahela, Muttiah among ICC award nominees

Aug 29 (AFP) Test captains Ricky Ponting of Australia and Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka were on Tuesday nominated in four categories for the 2007 International Cricket Council awards. The winners will be announced at the ICC awards night to be held in Johannesburg on September 10, a day before the inaugural World Twenty20 Championship opens in South Africa. more..

'Whenever LTTE is on the verge of defeat they get over adopting other tactics'

Aug 29 (AT) In a rare interview granted to the media Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defense Gotabhaya Rajapksa said every time the LTTE was on the verge of military defeat it sought a way to get out of it by using ways other than military means and avoid an annihilation and today its leader Prabhakaran is cunningly trying to use the shield of ‘human rights’ to avoid the onslaught of the security forces. more..

Internationalization (Privatization) of school education in comparison to the free public education

Aug 29 (AT) Access to educational opportunity often makes the difference between poverty and affluence and education is increasingly viewed as a means-indeed the primary means-of social and economic advancementŠ..In a plural society such a function easily leads to conflicts among the different groups which compose the society especially if there is an imbalance in the provision of educational opportunity. more..

LTTE alleges ambush

Aug 29 (Hindu) The Tamil Tigers on Tuesday alleged that nine boys and five girls being taken to be handed over to their parents in Amparai district by the LTTE political division and the Child Protection Authority (CPA) were “ambushed” by security forces in Amparai district on Monday. The Defence Ministry, however, merely acknowledged that the STF troops confronted a group of “tiger terrorists”. more..

"Deadly" Climate for Reporters and Aid Workers

Aug 29 (IPS) Sri Lanka, which is fighting a longstanding insurgency against Tamil separatists, is fast gaining notoriety as "one of the world's worst places" both for journalists and humanitarian aid workers -- due primarily to a rising death toll and veiled threats from government and paramilitary forces in the country. more..

Iqbal Athas threatened to be killed at Wijaya Newspapers

Aug 29 (LeN) An individual identified himself as a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) official came to the Lankadeepa editorial yesterday and threatened Sunday Times defense columnist Iqbal Athas and the Sinhala translator of the column W.G. Gunarathna would face the fate of uncaring Tamil National Alliance MP Nadaraja Raviraj faced. more..

JVP not prepared to dance to the tune of ‘Mongrel’ congress! – Wimal Weerawansa

Aug 29 (LT) The JVP will not act according to the wishes of Mangala Samaraweera says Information Secretary of the JVP. He said this addressing a seminar held in Matara under the theme “Solution for the crises is a genuine National Front – a Government that develops the country!” The seminar was organized to apprise the public in Matara regarding the broad National Front to be established under the leadership of the JVP. more..

What right does Britain have to warn us? - Keheliya Rambukwella

Aug 29 (LT) What right does Britain have to warn Sri Lanka asks Minister and spokesman for National Security Keheliya Rambukwella. He emphasized that Sri Lanka was a free, independent and sovereign state after 1948. Responding to a question asked by ‘Lankatruth’ regarding the report “Peace Building Strategy” (PBS) by Britain, Minister Rambukwella said, “The first day Gordon Brown was appointed Prime Minister there were bomb blasts in the UK. more..

Devolution of Power

Aug 29 (AT) I am amused by the role played by the (All Party Representative Committee)APRC today. The UNP and the JVP have left while the rest keep fighting and the leadership keeps chasing a mirage. It is sad that an attempt is being made to enforce federalism. In their myopic wisdom leaders fail to realize that this will inevitably lead to the splitting of Sri Lanka. As a last resort even the Buddhist concept of compassion is evoked to support federalism! more..

Probe into UK training for LTTE ‘police’

Aug 29 (GDI) The Government will investigate into reports that LTTE operatives received ‘police’ training in the UK after the CFA was signed, with the blessings of Norway and the knowledge of the then UNF Government. The top-level probe has been spurred as a result of revelations by an LTTE cadre who was arrested at a police roadblock in Trincomalee, the state owned said. more..

Sri Lanka petro firm to choose party for refinery feasibility

Aug 29 (LBO) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), Sri Lanka's state-owned oil refiner and distributor, is evaluating bids from two parties to conduct a feasibility study for its refinery expansion, a top official said. "We have now come down to two parties," CPC Chairman Ashantha de Mel said. "It will take roughly about four months for the feasibility [to finish]." CPC is hoping to advertise a contract to double production at its 50,000 barrels per day refinery around January 2008. more..

Let the All Party Representative Committee complete its Mission

Aug 29 (FI) “I don’t know how Colvin managed to put up with those SLFP fellows. I would have flung the whole draft of the constitution at them and walked out.” That was N.M. Perera giving a cavalier assessment on the making of the 1972 Constitution to LSSP insiders after the break-up of the United Front in 1975. “That was the difference”, Colvin R. de Silva, the chief architect of the First Republic, would later chuckle, in private. more..

Moothoor, Champoor IDPs being forcibly resettled­ - TNA MP

Aug 29 (TN) The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is taking hurried, ill co-ordinated steps to force Internally Displaced people (IDPs) from Moothoor and Champoor to resettle in other areas, K. Thurairatnasingham, TNA parliamentarian for Trincomalee district told media Tuesday. MR.Thurairatnasingham said that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) is taking steps to resettle these civilians displaced by military offensives in Iraalkuzhi village located north of Moothoor between Ki’n’niyaa region more..

Welikada police raid bogus “kachcheriya” in forged banknote scam

Aug 29 (LD) The Welikada police have raided an illegal ‘kachcheriya’ (Divisional Secretariat Office) in the Kotte area issuing fake documents, bank notes and stamps. Chamila Kudahetty, who is alleged of conducting the scam while posing as an Urban Council member has been arrested. False educational certificates, drivers’ licenses, vehicle licenses, and MP IDs have been found at the time of the raid. more..

Suspect in Panadura multiple murder killed

Aug 29 (LD) A youth arrested by the police in relation with the recent Panadura multiple murder, has died in the early hours of yesterday (28th August) after being shot by the police. The victim who died is identified as Gayan Menaka Silva of Galagedarawattha in Pinwattha, Panadura. According to the police, this youth has been arrested under suspicion of being involved in the multiple murder that took place in the Golukotuwawattha canal in Dibbadda Road, Panadura on the 26th of August. more..

Wasps attack yet again

Aug 29 (LD) Reoccurring wasp attacks on tourists visiting the historic rock fortress in Sigiriya are proving to be a grave problem as the 5th wasp attack within a month took place yesterday (28th August). Swarms of wasps attacked over 70 tourists, after being disturbed by the incessant noise of the visitors. Hospital sources reveal that 35 personnel were hospitalized. more..

Sri Lankan businesses focus on forex hedging amid rupee volatility

Aug 29 (LBO) Sri Lankan exporters, importers and freight forwarders are to discuss ways of managing foreign exchange risks at a time when the rupee has started weakening against the dollar. Standard Chartered Bank, which structured and completed Sri Lanka’s first rupee option, is to provide technical experts for a seminar on understanding foreign exchange risks and the tools and products available to manage and hedge foreign exchange exposure. more..

Sri Lanka Susanthika passes 200m heat

Aug 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe qualified for the 200 metres women's event at the IAAF World Championships in Osaka overcoming an earlier disappointment at the 100 metre heats. "It was really important for me to finish strong to draw a good lane in the next round," Jayasinghe said. "I was so upset to be disqualified in the 100m that I absolutely need to make up for it in the 200m." more..

Sri Lanka stocks close firmer

Aug 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's All Share Price Index closed up five points with active trading in Touchwood, Bukit Darah and hospital shares driving turnover to 140 million rupees. The ASPI ended up 5.29 points or 0.21 percent at 2,489.97 while the Milanka Price Index fell 9.25 points or 0.28 percent to 3,350.19. Brokers said the market is expected to move up next week mostly on retail investor interest and continuous buying by foreigners. more..

Sri Lanka to be an independent state

Aug 29 (ML) The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) was convened on the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapakse to come up with a solution to the ethnic issue. The APRC has so far met over 40 times and has finally arrived at a consensus and is to this week release a majority report. The report referred to as the ‘Main Proposals’ was to be released on August 15, but did not see the light of day after the SLFP and MEP moved for an indefinite adjournment of the APRC on a request by the President. more..

EU to move resolution on Lanka at Human Rights Council

Aug 29 (ML) The European Union is planning to reintroduce a resolution on Sri Lanka before the UN Human Rights Council sessions in September, The Morning Leader learns. Informed sources said a resolution is currently under discussion within the EU and will be discussed among member nations before it is placed before the council. The EU presidency is currently held by Portugal. more..

Executive President has to do much more than COPE

Aug 29 (ML) In January this year, the first report of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) on allegations of bribery and corruption in 21 state institutions was presented to parliament but apart from references being made to it, no action followed. Last week the second report of COPE regarding allegations made against 20 state institutions was presented. more..

Rupavahini chairman's attempt to steal a scholarship exposed: Revenge follows

Aug 29 (LeN) Lanka-e-News was informed of an attempt by the Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini sCorporation Ariyarathna Athugala to steal a scholarship of a feature producer of the SLRC and to scoff Rs. 300,000 funds that ended with exposiure and revenge of the Chairman. According to the story German radio and TV service Dutch Welles granted a scholarship to Premachandra Rupasinghe,a feature producer of the SLRC. more..

HRC conducts more guidance programmes on protecting Human Rights

Aug 29 (GDI) The role of a mediator is always attached to Human Rights protection, Justice D. Jayawickrama, the Commissioner for Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and the Chairman of Mediation Board said addressing a workshop conducted for Mediation Board officers recently. The Human Rights Commission regional office in Anuradhapura conducted a training programme recently, for 119 officers of Mediation Boards and 19 Police officers from Polonnaruwa district. more..

Committee to investigate children in armed conflict

Aug 29 (GDI) A committee has been appointed to inquire into allegations of abduction and recruitment of children for use in armed conflict. The Inter- Ministerial Committee on Human Rights (IMCHR) and the Ministry of Human Rights has taken this decision in consultation with the Secretary to the President. The necessity of appointing such a committee was highlighted by the United Nations Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict at their seventh meeting held on the 7th of February 2007. more..

Japan assists the Sigiriya Museum project

Aug 29 (GDI) The Government of Japan provides a grant of 153 million rupees to supply essential display equipment for the new Archaeological Heritage Museum at the World Heritage Site, Sigiriya. The grant is provided under the Japanese Cultural Grant Aid Programme and it will facilitate the dissemination of information to visitors and interpretation of the unique archaeological and cultural significance of 04th Century monuments. more..

726 million rupees to upgrade the Met Department

Aug 29 (GDI) Sri Lanka receives 726 million rupees worth grant from the Government of Japan for the improvement activities carried out by the Department of Meteorology. The grant scheme, provided under the Japanese Government’s General Grant Aid programme, will be utilized to develop a reliable communication network among institutions and to improve the meteorological observation system and thereby upgrade the meteorological and disaster information network. more..

Govt. omits race and religion for householders registration

Aug 29 (GDI) In future registrations with the Police, the householders are not required to provide the details of their race, ethnicity, religion or language. This decision is taken by the Minister of Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe as a positive response to representations made to him by civil society groups. Accordingly Minister Samarasinghe has directed the IGP to convey this new regulation to Police Stations island-wide and to follow the new guidelines with immediate effect. more..

More aryurvedic herbs to be grown in 4000 Villages

Aug 29 (GDI) Along with a new Aryurvedic herbal cultivation project, 4000 villages are selected to grow herbs with the aim of expanding availability of medicine required for traditional medical therapies. According to the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine, under this programme, the Samurdhi beneficiaries will be selected to cultivate the herbs. They will be guided by the Aryurvedic Department in creating awareness on cultivating the herbs successfully and profitably. more..

Fall victim dies in coma

Aug 29 (BT) Al Eman Government Hospital is seeking public assistance to identify a man, presumed to be Sri Lankan, who died in the hospital 10 days ago, Arab News reports. The man, who was identified only as Robert, was admitted to the hospital on August 8 with injuries he had sustained in a fall. He died on August 15 after having been in coma for several days. According to sources, the man was taken to the hospital by three Sri Lankans who disappeared immediately following his admission. more..

LTTE recruitment prevented Vanni students sitting AL exam

Aug 29 (PISL) EPDP Leader and Minister of social Services Douglas Devananda, who condemned the actions of the LTTE, said that as a result of LTTE’s forcible conscription of 60,000 children through the propaganda one child from a house only 7 to 8 per cent of the registered students in the Vanni were able to sit the Advanced Level exam this year. He said he has reliable reports that the LTTE leader was considering increasing the demand to two children from each household when makes his Matyrs Day speech on November 26, 2007. more..

Killed over land

Aug 29 (LNP) A long standing land dispute between two families led to the death of a 41-year-old businessman identified as M. A. Mohamed Hussain of Makuluwa in Galle. He was stabbed to death on Sunday (26). Police said that a man named Chandima alias Chuti Malli had surrendered to the police in connection with the killing. The knife used in the killing was found. Acting OIC Crimes, Galle Police J. S. Ariyaratne said the suspect was to be produced before the Galle Magistrate yesterday (28). more..

Lankan identity instead of race or religion

Aug 29 (LNP) Responding positively to representations made by civil society groups, the Human Rights Ministry announced yesterday, the government had decided not to obtain details of national or ethnic origin, religion or language when police compile householders lists for registration. Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has directed Police Chief Victor Perera to issue a new circular to OICs of all police stations in the country detailing the new procedures to be followed. more..

Musings on a railway strike

Aug 29 (LNP) Rathu Sahodarayas must be nursing their derriere after Monday`s pratfall. If they sought to flex muscles through a railway strike, they had egg on their face in the end. It came a cropper! That is the price a political party has to pay for being cocky. The UNP trade union arm, which could have helped cripple the railway if it had joined forces with the strikers, let the JVP union which called the strike, stew in its own juice. more..

Rizana petition to Saudi Embassy today

Aug 29 (SAMN) The signatures collected by Lakmawa Diyaniyo (Daughters of Mother Lanka) to safeguard Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek, in death row for allegedly killing the four month infant of her employer in Saudi Arabia, will be handed over to the Saudi Arabian Embassy this afternoon. The Lakmawa Diyaniyo have also arranged a march to draw the attention of the relevant authorities. more..

Health Ministry in five billion fraud?

Aug 29 (SAMN) The Health Ministry is alleged to have misappropriated a whopping Rs. Five billion during last year. These details were disclosed to the media by the All Ceylon Health Union (ACHU) during a news conference held at Hotel Nippon Tuesday. Deputy Secretary of the union Gamini Kumarasinghe has held Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition, Nimal Siripala De Silva and the officials in charge as responsible for this alleged fraud. more..

Moragoda in Israel to discuss tourism

Aug 29 (SAMN) Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda arrived in Tel Aviv on Sunday for a tour of the country and meetings with officials in the Tourism Ministry. Moragoda’s visit, the first by a Sri Lankan Tourism Minister, focused on the promotion of tourism to a country which, like his own, is regularly faced by terrorism and other crises. “Israel’s tourism industry serves as a model of successfully coping with and quickly recovering from crisis situations,” Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said last week, more..

CMC Commissioner fights fire with fire

Aug 29 (SAMN) More allegations were levelled against the Colombo Municipal Council at the inquiry of the Commission appointed to probe the CMC by Municipal Commissioner Dr. Jayantha Liyanage on Monday. These include discrepancies in the distribution of lunch packets to flood victims in Colombo, the appointing of a body which is not legally constituted, and the mismanagement of ‘Sathutu Uyana’. more..