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Army refutes STF’s alleged ambush

Aug 29 (BL) Three police officers had to be rushed to the Batticaloa Hospital after their jeep was caught in a pressure mine explosion in the Manipuram-Karadiyannaru area in Batticaloa yesterday evening. A Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) spokesman said that three out of the four police personnel were in critical condition following the incident. more..

The political option might be lost

Aug 29 (BL) The Government Chief Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle’s announcement in Parliament last week that the president would not compromise on the unitary status of the state interrupted the latest search for a political solution to the ethnic problem. I was covering parliament on April 25, 1957 when the search started. That evening, Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike announced his intention to appoint a Select Committee to review the constitution. more..

New Delhi concerned over JVP’s hold on govt.

Aug 29 (BL) Indian High Commissioner Aloka Prasad told former President Chandrika Kumaratunga last week that New Delhi was concerned over the JVP’s make or break role in the government would hamper Sri Lanka’s chances of reaching a permanent negotiated settlement to the north-east conflict. The former President who appears to have made a re-entry into public and political life, met with the Indian High Commissioner, the German Ambassador and several other diplomats at a dinner hosted by her brother more..

TISL slams Govt., public for corruption

Aug 29 (BL) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) yesterday blamed successive governments and politicians, including those holding top posts in the Executive Legislature, for turning a blind eye on corruption, one of the top three most critical issues facing the country today. TISL Executive Director, J.C Weliamuna told The Bottom Line that “The ethnic conflict, governance and corruption and human rights are the three most critical issues in the country at the moment. more..

Funding for Katunayake expressway

Aug 29 (DN) ERM International, an international environment certificate awarding body working for international banks last Friday granted environmental approval for the proposed Colombo Katunayake expressway. In an exclusive interview to the Daily News Business Vinci Corporation France, Director for India and Sri Lanka, Michel Olivers, said this would enable them to raise finances from international export credit agencies for the project. more..

Govt. ready for any election

Aug 29 (DN) The Government is ready to face a general election at any time and it was confident of re-election with a sweeping majority, said Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. The Minister was speaking after opening the Meegahakivula and Nelumgama water supply projects constructed at a cost of Rs. 60 million to supply drinking water to 2000 people in the area last Sunday. more..

Explosives haul raise concerns in East

Aug 29 (DM) Controversy surrounds the arrest of two Tamils and a Sinhalese with a haul of explosives in the East on Monday, with intelligence sources telling the Daily Mirror the explosive material may have been supplied by a TMVP operative. Kalkudha Police said the Army arrested the three men with the explosives found hidden in a fishing boat as the suspects prepared to set sail on Monday morning. more..

Internship appointments should be on merit: GMOA

Aug 29 (DM) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) vehemently protesting the alleged new procedure adopted by the ministry of health in respect of internship appointments requests appointments be made on common order of merit alone or face the consequences. Dr. Kremlin Wickramasingha said the health minister had taken an arbitrary decision to do away with the time tested system of appointing medical interns for their one year internship and more..

Sri Lanka arrests Indians in illegal currency racket

Aug 29 (Xinhua) Two Indian nationals were arrested at Colombo International Airport for attempting to traffic a large amount of foreign currency through illegal means, officials said Wednesday. Custom officials at the airport said that the two had swallowed Euro currency to the value of 10 million Sri Lankan rupees (about 100,000 U.S. dollars). They were admitted to the nearby Negombo hospital where doctors found eight lumps of Euro notes in their stomachs. more..

Calls for Int'l Intervention Met With Chauvinism

Aug 29 (IPS) When Sri Lankan health minister Nimal Siripala de Silva shocked delegates to the 8th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) by telling them that "when the western world was living in jungles, we were leading a civilised life," it marked the chauvinism of President Mahinda Rajapakse’s nationalist government. Participants with a charitable disposition felt that de Silva’s outburst, made at the Colombo ICAAP's closing ceremony on Aug 23, may have been provoked by more..

Four killed in Sri Lanka fighting

Aug 29 (AFP) Four people have been killed in new violence across Sri Lanka's restive northern and eastern regions, the defence ministry said. The military said troops shot dead a suspected Tamil Tiger rebel in the northern district of Jaffna on Wednesday as he tried to throw a hand grenade at troops manning a checkpoint. The military suffered no casualties, the ministry said. more..

Opposition warns on Sri Lanka plans to raise 500 mln dlrs in debt

Aug 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main opposition has warned banking giant HSBC that government plans to raise 500 million dollars in debt may be illegal and jeopardise future repayment, a letter released Wednesday said. Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in a letter to the HSBC Holdings Plc, which is mandated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to raise the money, said the government may not be able to sustain repayments. more..

Sri Lanka to probe if troops helped abduct children

Aug 29 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is to probe allegations that members of the state security forces helped abduct children as fighters for a band of renegade rebels seen allied to the government, the island's human rights ministry said on Wednesday. The move comes as President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government faces international pressure to halt rights abuses blamed on elements of the military, paramilitaries and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels -- and just weeks before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights meets in Geneva. more..

JVP's Anura Kumara Disanayaka meets Ranil

Aug 30 (LeN) JVP parliamentarian Anura Kumara Disanayaka met with the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe recently and had a intimate discussion extended for half an hour. The themes of the discussion on last Thursday (23) were the current political situation and the harm caused to the county due to the activities of the government. The meeting seems not a random incident amidst talks by the SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena and other leaders about a conspiracy to topple the government. more..

Chandrika meets SLFP-PW officially

Aug 30 (LeN) A discussion between the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarathunga and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party - People's Wing (SLFP-PW) will be held on August 31. The conveners of SLFP-PW Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Suriyaarachchi, Tiran Alles, SlFP-PW Administrative Secretary Sisil Bandara Senarathna and Upulangani Malagamuwa will participate in the discussion. more..

Nobody threaten me, says the Lankadeepa journalist

Aug 30 (LeN) United National Party (UNP) says that the shameful threatening to Sunday Times defense columnist Iqbal Athas who exposed the hidden facts behind the Mig-27 and other arms deals will be an international issue. The head of the UNP media unit Lakshman Kiriella says that the UNP denies the protest held by a group in front of Mr. Athas's house, threatening to kill him within three months and terrorizing the translator of the column, Mr. W.G. Gunarathna. more..

Rs. 30 billion to purchase Mig-29 amidst corruption charges on Mig-27 deal

Aug 30 (LeN) Details of another dubious deal to procure more aircrafts to Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) at the cost of Rs. 30 billion is being exposed amidst the charges against the government on corruption in purchasing four Mig-27 aircrafts. The government has planned to purchase F-7 GS, Mig-29, Mig-29 UB and PT 6 fighter crafts for the SLAF. UNP media unit chief Lakshman Kiriella said that the Jane's Defense Weekly has revealed the details of this dubious deal. more..

5 Unions including Principal Unions urge govt. to grant teachers’ demands

Aug 30 (LeN) 05 Teacher and Principal Unions held a press conference calling to resolve the crisis regarding the ongoing action of 5 Teachers Trade Unions to boycott the evaluation of A/L answer scripts. At a press conference held at the CSR, they emphasized that the government should act to resolve the salary anomalies while urging to activate the temporary proposals handed by the Salaries Commission immediately. more..

Foreign Minister leaves to Malaysia

Aug 30 (GDI) Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama left to Malaysia today (29) to attend the 50th Anniversary celebrations of Malaysia’s Independence on the invitation of the Government of Malaysia, Foreign Ministry informs. Minister Bogollagama is expected to meet Prime Minister of Malaysia, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and group of Malaysian entrepreneurs invested in Sri Lanka. more..

CPJ writes to President

Aug 30 (BBC) The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called upon the Sri Lankan government to act immediately to provide adequate security to ensure the safety of Sunday Times journalist Iqbal Athas. In a letter to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the CPJ has called on Sri Lanka government to provide adequate security to the veteran journalist Iqbal Athas, whose life is under threat. Athas is also a frequent contributor to international media outlets such as CNN, Jane's Defense Weekly, and The Times of London. more..

Life of journalist Iqbal Athas in danger after his revelations about purchase of Ukrainian Migs

Aug 30 (RSF) The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called upon the Sri Lankan government to act immediately to provide adequate security to ensure the safety of Sunday Times journalist Iqbal Athas. In a letter to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the CPJ has called on Sri Lanka government to provide adequate security to the veteran journalist Iqbal Athas, whose life is under threat. more..

The Rajapaksas and Ruhuna

Aug 30 (AT) In point form Sunimal Fernando, a sociologist, has outlined the “ying and the yang” of the SLFP – the democratic alternative to the pro-Western, de-nationalised right-wing UNP. It also traces the rise of the Rajapakses as a political force from the deep south. Here is the 11-point outline: 1. Ruhuna, comprising by and large the present day districts of Hambantota, Galle, Matara and Moneragala, has been a mainspring of Sri Lankan civilization for over 2300 years. more..

Hundred days of terror under British

Aug 30 (AT) August 30 marks (today) exactly 92 years after the end of a 100-day rule by the monstrous Martial Law which the British Colonial Government enforced to quell the communal riots of 1915. It was like using a sledge hammer to kill an insect. The violent incidents were a glaring example of divide-and-rule colonial policy - the tragic consequences of which Sri Lankans are suffering to this day. more..

12th century Buddhist sculptures found in Indonesian cave

Aug 30 (AP) An Indonesian cave used for meditation by Buddhist priests in the 12th century contains previously undiscovered sculptures depicting the spiritual journey of Buddha, a religious leader said Wednesday. The sprawling cave — a reminder of the rich Buddhist past in the world's most populous Muslim nation — was discovered more than two decades ago near Jireg village in East Java province. more..

Sri Lanka Hilton says multiple revenue streams cushions tourism hit

Aug 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Hilton Hotel is less affected than resort hotels by the drop in tourist numbers since it has multiple revenue streams, officials said. Hilton, which had 100 percent occupancy during the last three weeks, says the hotel's focus on different revenue channels cushions the impact of the drop in tourist arrivals. more..

'No fear of Tigers in the east but the people’s future and livelihood questionable'

Aug 30 (AT) Rt. Rev. Dr. Kingsley Swampillai, the Bishop of Batticaloa- Trincomalee Diocese, told the Asian Tribune, “I have already told the Sri Lanka Government when participating in the discussions with the Government Ministers whenever they came to Batticaloa, that the so called developments programs cannot be considered as priorities until unless hundred thousands of people who have been displaced in the process of the war are resettled. more..

Nauru police charge Sri Lankan asylum seeker with rape

Aug 30 (RNZ) Six Sri Lankan asylum-seekers are in custody in Nauru on rape and assault charges. Nauru police have charged one of the asylum seekers with rape and the other five with indecent assaulting a 20-year-old local woman. Canberra has been running a detention centre on Nauru processing asylum seekers trying to get into Australia since 2001. more..

Britain Favours 'regime Change' In Sri Lanka: Top Official

Aug 30 (IANS) Britain is looking for a 'regime change' in Sri Lanka because it favours the opposition United National Party (UNP) over the present ruling party, the head of the island's peace secretariat has said. 'They would be delighted if there was a regime change,' Rajiva Wijesinha, secretary general of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP), said while hitting out at sections of Western human rights groups and other interest groups. more..

Sri Lanka power engineers call off work to rule

Aug 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka power engineers have called off all industrial action including a non co-operation campaign following a second meeting with senior government officials. The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) met senior government officials at Temple Trees on Tuesday following an initial meeting on Sunday. Union officials said most of the outstanding issues have been cleared and a work-to-rule campaign which was temporarily suspended on Sunday has now been permanently called off. more..

Sri Lanka trailer maker to expand, mulls listing

Aug 30 (LBO) Dutch Lanka Trailer Manufacturers (DLT), which makes and exports various types of trailers, is ramping up production both in Sri Lanka and India and is also planning a stock market listing. It has two trailer manufacturing facilities – one in Kelaniya north of Colombo, and the other in the western Indian city of Pune, an equal joint venture with Tata International, a Tata Group company. more..

Champika to throw Muslims out of Deegavapiya

Aug 30 (BL) Environment and Natural Resources Minister Champika Ranawake has decided to evict hundred of Muslims illegally residing in Deegavapiya, where the symbolic Buddhist shrine is situated in Ampara. “We are going to take firm action against these Muslims who have forcefully acquired land and have begun to cultivate in these areas,” the Minister told The Bottom Line. more..

Attempts to rent the Pettah Central Bus Stand premises unveiled

Aug 30 (LD) Attempts to rent the Pettah Central Bus Stand premises to a private company under the pretense of renting its bill-boards have been prevented by top level parliament interference. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna MP of the Kalutara District, Piyasiri Wijenayake has revealed this scam to the media. According to him, this private company belongs to a close relation of a Minister. more..

SC approves new circular for first year admissions

Aug 30 (LT) Supreme Court has given the authority to the Ministry of Education to implement the amended circular for admission to the first year in schools. The decision was issued by a tribunal presided by Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva after considering a fundamental rights petition filed by several old students’ unions. When the petition was taken up last Monday the Secretary of the Ministry of Education had been directed to amend the circular and present it today. more..

Mangala and Sripathi discharged gas of our thrill - Athauda Senavirathna

Aug 30 (LT) Minister Athauda Senavirathna says that Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriarachchi discharged gas of the thrill of the government. He said so at a ceremony held recently. Mr. Senevirathna in his comments said "We had only 88 heads before the UNP breakaway group came. Then came a good time when the numbers rose to 120 after their influx. This paved the way for the president to make a formidable government. more..

Vakarai is fast reaching normalcy – Peace Secretariat

Aug 30 (GDI) Recently liberated Vakarai area in the east is rapidly reaching towards full normalcy. Stating this, the latest report of the SCOPP said that with the resettlement process completed successfully and key areas such as housing, health, education, transport and livelihood development receiving priority attention of the government agencies, the situation in the recently liberated Vakarai area has returned to as close to normalcy as it has in many years. more..

APRC to continue deliberations to finalise proposals

Aug 30 (GDI) The final set of proposals for a comprehensive power devolution approach by the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) is expected top be submitted in two weeks time. The APRC will continue its deliberations to finalise the devolution proposals. This decision was taken during the discussion of the party leaders yesterday chaired by the Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake. more..

LTTE’s child recruitment exposed

Aug 30 (GDI) Another blatant lie of the LTTE to cover up its child recruitments became exposed when UNICEF denied the terrorists claim that they were planning to handover some child soldiers. The report published on a Pro- LTTE website stating that the LTTE child soldiers who were arrested with weapons by the security forces were being transported to be handed over to UNICEF is yet another instance of the LTTE to mislead the international community and the human right activists. more..

No delay in ‘Grade One’ admissions – Education Secretary

Aug 30 (GDI) The Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Ariyaratne Hewage said that the Ministry would take steps to ensure that Grade 1 admissions to schools would be completed by January 2008 on schedule. The Ministry draft circular for Grade one admission has been sort out with the Supreme Court approval for the draft policy framework for grade one admission for the year 2008. Accordingly it will be presented to the Cabinet for approval immediately. more..

‘Ayurveda 2007’- Exhibition on Ayurvedic Products

Aug 30 (GDI) ‘Ayurveda 2007’ an exhibition on Ayurvedic products will be held from September 7 to 9 at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre Colombo 10. The exhibition is organized by the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) in collaboration with the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine, under the theme of ‘Nature’s Heritage for Good Health’. more..

Murali ruled out of Twenty20 Championship

Aug 30 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan has sustained an elbow injury that will rule him out of next month's Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa. No replacement has been announced as yet but it is believed that Dilruwan Perera, the offspinning allrounder who was on standby when the original squad was announced, is the front-runner. "Murali is affected by an elbow injury and he will be out for four to six weeks," more..

Resumption of civilian life in the East progresses

Aug 30 (PISL) Resumption of normal civilian life in the Eastern Province is progressing satisfactorily with mine clearing in areas once held by the LTTE, progressing. Nearly 40,000 civilians in the Kiran Divisional Secretariat area are to be settled in early September, Disaster Relief Services Minister Amir Ali told The Island yesterday (29). more..

UN invites Lankan police to join Haiti force

Aug 30 (ANN) Sri Lanka will contribute a police contingent to the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The 19-man contingent led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police is scheduled to leave for Haiti today. MINUSTAH which replaced the US-led Multinational Interim Force (MIF) in June 2004, is responsible for security in the Caribbean island. more..

Virginia Teen Delivers 2,000 Titles to Tsunami Survivors in Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (WP) Sarasi Jayaratne, 17, vividly remembers waking up during the December holidays in 2004 at her cousin's house. Her large family was in a panic, and the adults were frantically making phone calls. Sarasi was born in the Washington area and grew up in Sterling. Her parents, though, are from Sri Lanka, a small island country in the Indian Ocean. more..

Lankan Women Call for Rizana Pardon

Aug 30 (AN) Sri Lankans submitted a petition yesterday to the Saudi Embassy in Colombo with over 100,000 signatures asking for a royal pardon for a Lankan housemaid on death row. On instructions from Saudi Ambassador Muhammad Mahmud Al-Ali, three key officials from a procession demanding the release of Rizana Nafeek on humanitarian grounds were asked to come inside the mission premises to hand over the petition. more..

'TMVP leader' shot dead

Aug 30 (BBC) A regional political leader of Karuna faction has been shot dead in eastern Sri Lanka, police said. Officer in Charge (OIC) of Uppuveli police, Ranjith Maligaspe told BBC Sandehaya that the body of the Karuna faction leader was found in a house near Ambalipuram. Thambalagamuva leader of Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP), Nadaraja Kumaran alias Murali, 24, was found shot dead on Wednesday. more..

British visa section may move out

Aug 30 (LNP) The British High Commission in Colombo has decided to close down its visa section soon and applications for visas will be diverted to its mission in Chennai, the Daily Mirror learns. However, the High Commission in Colombo would only say there was an ongoing review in this regard. `Once the review is finished and agreed the High Commission will announce the development,` more..

School admissions: Time for grasping the nettle

Aug 30 (LNP) The entire education system is in crisis. Universities are on the boil they remain more closed than open. Their products are not fit for the job market and have to be employed virtually on charity basis in the state sector which is bursting at the seams. GCE (A/L) paper marking has come to a standstill with teachers holding students to ransom in a bid to win their demands. more..

Susanthika's dazzleing entry to semis

Aug 30 (SAMN) Dazzling Susanthika Jayasinghe twice clocked a season’s best timing of 22.55 seconds to storm into the semi-finals of women’s 200m event on day five of the 11th IAAF World Championship continued at the Nagai Stadium here in Osaka on Wednesday. Running in the first women’s 200m quarter-final under lights before a packed stadium, the 31-year-old former Olympic gold medallist had a blistering final dash to finish second, behind American Sanya Richards. more..

HR body to probe high profile cases

Aug 30 (SAMN) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights violations has commenced investigations into the killing of five youth in Trincomalee in early January 2006, the fifth incident listed in the Commission’s mandate of 16 high-profile cases. Meanwhile, 13 witnesses to the ACF massacre of 17 aid workers in Mutur have been questioned by the Commission in-camera. more..

Listen or perish, union tells government

Aug 30 (SAMN) The Inter-University Students' Union on Tuesday warned that turning a deaf ear to students' demands would be the end of the government. Convener of the Inter-University Students' Union, Dumnida Nagamuwa, told a press conference that they would launch a massive struggle against the government's move to do away with the free education system of the country. more..