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'Release' Tamil detainees

Dec 11 (BBC) The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka has ordered authorities to report on measures taken to release Tamil suspects on bail. A bench headed by the Chief Justice (CJ) ordered the Attorney General (AG) to take steps to release the suspects on bail as soon as possible if they are no longer required for questioning. The AG, in a report submitted to the court, said 361 Tamil suspects are being detained under Detention Orders in detention centres. more..

No human rights 'through weapons'

Dec 11 (BBC) A country could not safeguard human rights by using arms, Sri Lanka's Chief Justice said. Delivering a keynote address to mark International Human Rights Day, Sarath Nanda Silva said peace cannot be achieved through war. "Nothing called human rights that can be achieved through weapons," the Chief Justice said. Everybody should be regarded as equals in front of the law irrespective of race, religion or other differences. more..

Sri Lankan pineapple promotional drive in Karachi

Dec 11 (FP) The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Karachi organised a Sri Lankan pineapple promotional campaign in the super markets 'Park Towers' and the 'Forum' here on November 23rd and 24th, respectively. The objectives of this promotional campaign included an increase in pineapple imports from Sir Lanka by the current importers. (a) To make awareness of Sri Lankan pineapp1e among the Pakistani people. more..

Eeelam is Not Illegitimate, but LTTE Methods are Unacceptable-British High Commissioner

Dec 11 (TC) ‘Let me be clear. I am not saying that the political aspiration for Eelam is illegitimate, any more than I would argue that the Scottish National Party’s goal of an independent Scotland is illegitimate. Similarly, I see nothing illegitimate in some crackpot demanding that Yorkshire or some other English county should become an independent state. What is crucial, however, is what methods are used by the SNP or the LTTE to achieve their goals. And the LTTE’s methods are simply unacceptable.’ more..

New Axis of Democracy in Eastern Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (LG) Thousands of Tamils and Muslims are flocking to Feber Stadium in Batticaloa town today (December 10) with slogans and banners condemning alleged LTTE, TNA coalition's obstruction of resettlement and development work, in a demonstration organized by the Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). Latest reports said that an estimated crowd over 10,000 people participated in the event to stage their strong protest against the self-claimed Tamil representatives. more..

“Tamilchelvan killed by Prabhakaran”, Indian Congressman Confirms

Dec 11 (LG) Tamil Nadu Congress functionary SR Balasubramanian says, “According to the information I have, it was LTTE chief Prabhakaran who was responsible for the elimination of Tamilchelvan.” Tamilchelvan had led bilateral and multilateral peace talks that successive Sri Lanka governments have held with LTTE in 1985, 1987, 1989/90, 1994, 2002 and 2006. The talks, facilitated by Thailand, Germany and Japan and coordinated by Norway, can fructify anytime. more..

Iran doubles tea imports from Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (LG) Minister of Internal and International Commerce and Food, stated that Iran is expected to double its tea imports from Sri Lanka to an estimated 20,000 tonnes. There had been an agreement at the sixth Sri Lanka- Iran Joint Commission meeting, in Teheran earlier this month, where Minister Wickremaratne and Iranian Minister of Finance and Economy Hussain Namazi were the two signatories to the agreement on behalf of their countries. more..

Court permits to disperse protesting undrgrads. using ‘minimum power’

Dec 11 (LG) The judiciary issued a court order on Nov. 30th to disperse the protesting students of the Sabaragamu University, who were blocking the road in front of the University Grants Commission (UGC). Accordingly, the Police dispersed the students Dec. 08th using minimum power. Three protesting students were arrested and produced before the court, but were released later on a physical bond of Rs. 100,000 each. more..

“Everything from bandages to prescriptions are scarce in hospitals” – Renuka Herath

Dec 11 (LD) “There isn’t a single quality product today in the Health Ministry. It is a politicized ministry. Everything happens to the whim of the Minister. Massive frauds take place even during purchases of medicine and vaccinations,” said UNP MP Renuka Herath. Joining the debate on the Vote on the Health Ministry today (Dec. 10th), the UNP MP said that there is a great scarcity from a bandage to a prescription. more..

“Despite evidence, no investigations on Trinco. child massacre” - Lakshman Kiriella

Dec 11 (LD) “Certain commissions are appointed three or four years after the incident. The Commission regarding the assassination of deceased Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadiragamar is a similar case. No investigations regarding the child massacre in Trincomalee was held despite the existence of eyewitnesses”, charged UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella. Commenting at the debate on the delay of appointing Commission of Inquiry (COI), MP Kiriella said that only appointing COI’s would do no good. more..

“463 Tamils arrested from search cordons remain detained” – Attorney-General

Dec 11 (LD) The Attorney-General informed the Supreme Court today (Dec. 10th) that 361 Tamils who failed to prove their identity during massive search operations in the Colombo area on Dec. 02nd are being held under detention orders while a further 102 personnel are in remand custody. Permitting to hear a Fundamental Rights petition filed by the Ceylon Muslim Congress, the SC had earlier instructed the Attorney General to produce information as well as a list of the Tamils who are being detained. more..

Sri Lanka maintains good export growth-Prof.G.L.

Dec 11 (AT) Minister for Export Development & International Trade, Professor G.L.Peiris says that the country could maintain good export growth and achieve 14 percent increase, when comparing last year’s export performances. Addressing the two day Workshop on Good Standardization and Conformity Assessment Practice organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization [UNIDO] in Colombo on Monday the minister said the high quality and internationally accepted standards could increase the export volumes. more..

Tell me of a politician who has paid five cents as taxes? Wijedasa

Dec 11 (CP) The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Chairman and UPFA National List Parliamentarian who crossed the Well of the House at the inception of the 2008 Budget debate, Wijedasa Rajapakshe says that he is still a member of the government, but sitting in the opposition. Like in traditional Parliament, in this country there is no government or opposition, because this is a distorted system which cannot be found in any part of the world. more..

FM family boggles Delhi

Dec 11 (CP) Several senior staff members of the Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi were upset and angered since they were directed to carry out additional and unconventional duties during the recent visit of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and his family. There was a literally a mutiny at the High Commission when Rohitha Bogollagama landed, accompanied by his wife, son and daughter. Various members of the Mission were directed to escort duties to the family, more..

Mahinda comes of age on international stage

Dec 11 (CP) When he commenced his term as President they said that despite his enviable command of the domestic political scene, he would falter on the international stage. They waited for him to fail, to miss his cues, to not appear at all like some other heads of state. At the beginning, Rajapaksa did little to disabuse those who generated these convenient impressions, especially among the Colombo chattering circles. more..

Dialog TV introduces uninterrupted Sinhala movie and tele-drama channel

Dec 11 (CP) Introducing Sri Lanka’s first uninterrupted 24 hour Sinhala movie and tele-drama channel, Dialog TV, Sri Lanka’s premier satellite television service provider, today added City Hitz to their existing portfolio of channels. City Hitz will feature a unique blend of Sinhala movies and tele-dramas, including exclusive Director’s cut editions, the making of popular movies and interviews with artistes. more..

Cathedral parish brings isolated elderly for mass, hymns and hot soup

Dec 11 (UCAN) Youth and other parishioners of St. Joseph's Cathedral in Anuradhapura make sure that elderly people living in remote villages can come to the cathedral at least once a year for Mass. Parishioners in Anuradhapura diocese, most of them farmers, usually walk at least five and up to 20 kilometers for Mass because there are few churches in this Buddhist-majority area known as the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. more..

Britain puts Sri Lanka on notice over rights

Dec 11 (AFP) Britain's top envoy to Sri Lanka Monday asked the government to improve its human rights record and politically end the island's drawn out Tamil separatist conflict or risk international sanctions. British High Commissioner (ambassador) Dominick Chilcott said the UK had a direct interest in ending the conflict in its former colony, partly because of the law and order problems in London caused by rival Sri Lankan groups. more..

Sri Lanka’s Mano Ganesan Gives a Voice to the Voiceless

Dec 12 (USDS) In Sri Lanka, a person “disappears” every five hours, according to Mangala Samaraweera, the former foreign minister of Sri Lanka. Abductions and extrajudicial killings are commonplace. Mano Ganesan is working to change that. Ganesan is a leading human rights activist and an opposition member of the Sri Lankan Parliament. In 2006, Ganesan founded the Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC) and serves as its convener. more..

Lanka asking Pakistan for 60 Million Military Equipment: Jane’s

Dec 11 (ISL) Sri Lanka is looking to Pakistan for help to bolster its military capabilities as the ceasefire between the government and rebels appears increasingly fragile, specialist publication Jane’s Defence Weekly said on Thursday. Sri Lanka has asked Pakistan to facilitate the purchase of military equipment worth around 60 million dollars, according to high-level discussions detailed in documents seen by the defence magazine. more..

Mahinda Karadara has given the masses more karadara than any karadara ever known in Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (ISL) Gayantha Karunatilake, UNP Parliamentarian outlined the grave and perilous position this country has been driven into by this selfish self – nourishing corrupt tyrannical Rajapakse family rule. This is a Govt. which has created a record in Sri Lanka’s political history for not honouring a single promise. The Mahinda Chintana now termed the Mahinda Karadara has given the masses more karadara than any karadara ever known in Sri Lanka’s history, he said. more..

“Time to Tame Rajapakse’s Corrupt Government” - JVP

Dec 11 (LG) JVP Trade Union Leader and MP Lalkantha addressing the 10th annual convention of the Lanka Postal services Union (LPSU) severely castigated the Rajapakse Government. stating that it is the most corrupt, inefficient and tyrannical Govt. ever to come to power in Sri Lanka’s political history. The entire hierarchies from the very top to the very bottom are corrupt and guilty of mismanagement, he added. more..

Weli-Oya : Next front in Wanni battle

Dec 11 (LG) Several small attack teams of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) moved ahead of their defense lines in Weli-Oya (referred to as Manal-Aru by the tigers) to conduct a pre emptive strike on LTTE positions on the FDL, yesterday (11th) noon. This limited operation was aimed at dismantling LTTE defenses in Kokkuthiduwai region. At least 9 LTTE cadres have been killed during the operation and 4 SLA soldiers too have been wounded. more..

'We are certain that Hakeem – Thondaman will vote with the government whatever they say'

Dec 11 (LT) General Secretary of the SLFP, Mr. Maitreepala Sirisena says that he is certain that whatever statements made by Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Ceylon Workers Congress, they will vote in favour of the budget on next 14th. He said this at a special press briefing that had been called in Colombo yesterday to respond to the publicity campaign undertaken by the UNP that they would defeat the government on next 14th. more..

Muslim Congress and Ceylon Workers Congress to vote against the budget

Dec 11 (LT) Muslim Congress and Ceylon Workers Congress will most probably vote against the government at the third reading of the budget on next 14th if the government does not respond satisfactorily to their demands, these party sources said. According to these sources their voting with the government at the second reading of the budget on 19th November has given rise to several internal crises within those parties. more..

Sri Lanka fills vacancy in rate-setting monetary board

Dec 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka has appointed Manohari Ramanathan, an attorney at law to fill a vacancy in the governing body on the country's monetary authority which also sets interest rates. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said Ramanathan's appointment will take effect from December 06, 2007. She had joined the Legal Draftsman's Department in 1978 and retured as senior deputy legal draftsman in July 2006. more..

Division of JVP unavoidable if it opposes budget on Dec. 14th - Basil

Dec 11 (LD) Except for a handful including Anura Kumara Dissanayake, a majority of JVP MPs vehemently oppose a toppling of the present regime, says senior presidential advisor and parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa. A splitting up of the JVP cannot be avoided if the Central Committee gives into to the pressure by Tilvyn Silva and Anura Kumara Dissanayake and decides to vote against the third reading of the budget on December 14th, more..

N-E people took up arms to fight for denied rights - CJ

Dec 11 (LD) “People in the north and the east have taken up arms to fight for the human rights they failed to receive earlier. Human rights cannot be secured through arms. Peace is needed for that. Development takes place only if human rights are secured,” said Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. Delivering the keynote address at a function organized by the Human Rights Ministry on World Human Rights Day yesterday, the CJ said that development has taken place only during times when human rights were guaranteed. more..

Arbour’s SL report to be released

Dec 11 (LD) UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Louis Arbour is to release her report on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka after her fact-finding visit to the country in October. According to reports, Arbour’s report insists on opening a UN monitoring mission in Sri Lanka. The head of UNHCR traveled to Jaffna during her five-day visit that began on October 9th. However, the government declined her request to visit Kilinochchi and the east. more..

Govt. disapproves yesterday’s police crackdown

Dec 11 (LD) Stating that he does not approve of yesterday’s police crackdown on protesting undergraduates, Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle questioned the JVP as to whether a discussion could be initiated regarding the trouble at the University of Sabaragamuwa. Responding, JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa questioned Fernandopulle as to from where the police came if the government did not approve of the action. more..

“Is this how govt. protects in World HR Day?” – Wimal Weerawansa

Dec 11 (LD) A heated debate occurred in the House today (Dec. 11th) regarding yesterday’s police assault on protesting undergraduates and the subsequent arrest of 10 students. Criticizing the assault and arrests, JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa asked, “Yesterday, undergraduates were brutally assaulted and arrested. Is this how the government safeguarded human rights on International Human Rights Day?” more..

Night closure for Medawachchiya – Padaviya road

Dec 11 (LD) The Defence Ministry has decided to close the road from Medawachchiya to Padaviya, which runs through Kebithigollewa, from 6p.m. to 6 a.m. Defence sources say that the road will be kept open in the night as well after measures are taken to secure the road. The decision follows the recent claymore attack on a crowded bus in Abhimanapura. The blast on December 05th left 23 people dead while 19 were injured. more..

Call for fully fledged OHCHR presence in Sri Lanka misplaced

Dec 11 (PISL) The Sri Lankan delegation to the HRC 6th sessions in Geneva which began today 10th December 2007, met with groups of Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives at two working meetings at the Palais de Nations this morning and afternoon. The Sri Lankan delegation comprised Ms. Shirani Goonatilleke Director Legal of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process Mr. Shavindra Fernando, Deputy Solicitor General, and more..

Barmy Army enliven Colombo

Dec 11 (CI) Take one look at the grass embankment on the foot of the giant scoreboard at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo, you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching an Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval. The England flags dot the railing near the fence, the vocal cords are in full flow, the beer tent's a constant hub of activity and supporters brave the heat and humidity of Colombo with a sense of purpose. more..

Chinese Minister of Construction to visit Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (GDI) Chinese Minister of Construction Wang Guangtao will be visiting Sri Lanka from 12th to 15 th December 2007, on the invitation of the Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development, Dinesh Gunawardena. During his visit, the Chinese Minster of Construction will hold discussions with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Dinesh Gunawardena, on issues of mutual interest with emphasis on city development projects in Sri Lanka. more..

Joint Communiqué issued by Prime Minister of Japan and President of Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (GDI) The Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda extending his good wishes to Sri Lanka, stated that it was the wish of Japan that Sri Lanka establishes peace in the near future and along with it the development of the country. Peace and development should go hand in hand for a country to realize the full potential of its development and for this reason it was heartening that the rays of peace were descending on the country making it realize the essence of development, he said. more..

Prof. Munasinghe first Sri Lankan to win Nobel honours

Dec 11 (GDI) Every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace. The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. more..

Introduction of HIB vaccination for national immunization

Dec 11 (GDI) Epidemiological Unit of the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition has taken measures to introduce Haemophilus Influenzae B (HIB) vaccine from 2008 under National Immunization Program. Director of Epidemiological Unit, Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe has disclosed at the Media Conference held at the Auditorium of the Department of Information that HIB disease is infected by bacteria and it affects small children between the ages of 01 month and 05 years. more..

Japan pledges further development assistance to Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (GDI) The Government of Japan pledged to assist Sri Lanka with an economic and financial grant package worth Yen 1900 million. This was announced when President Mahinda Rajapaksa met top Japanese leaders in Tokyo yesterday (10). President Rajapaksa, in discussions with the Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura extended the country's gratitude to the Japanese Government for more..

When one charity is banned LTTE finds another to raise funds in the UK

Dec 11 (GT) How did the LTTE terrorist's front organization which operates under the disguise of "White Pigeon" charity succeed to continue the activities of the defunct UK charity TRO (Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation?). UK sources indicate that a major fund raising programme has been organised to take place on the 12 January 2008 under a pseudo name of 'Mega Musical Festival - 2008' and the venue, is going to be the Alexandra Palace in North of London, one place, more..

Lankan refugee dwellings to be refurbished

Dec 11 (Hindu) Damaged dwelling units in the camp for Sri Lankan refugees at Rayanur here will be refurbished at a cost of Rs. 3,000 each, according to Special Commissioner and Commissioner for Rehabilitation R. Karpoora Sundarapandian. The Rehabilitation Commissioner observed that a total of 468 families have been lodged at the Rayanur camp. Replying to the concerns expressed by the inmates during his interaction with them, more..

While Muralitharan gets feted in Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (KT) LAST week, Sri Lanka's world record breaking bowler Muttiah Muralitharan was everyone's property. The whole country was proud of him. The front page picture on the state-run newspapers showed President Mahinda Rajapaksa presenting him with a Peugeot 407 car. The car was not bought from state funds or Rajapaksa's personal wealth. The President simply hijacked a cricket board ceremony using or abusing his powers and held the ceremony at his residence. more..

Sri Lanka seeks access to top LTTE agent in Indian custody

Dec 11 (LNP) Although India has overlooked previous requests for access to LTTE operatives in her custody on, what a senior official called, domestic political reasons, Sri Lanka is confident that a chance to question Jayakumar (34) alias Gowrishankar, a senior Sea Tiger in Indian custody wouldn`t be denied. Jayakumar, believed to be one of the highest ranking LTTE operatives arrested in India after the Norwegian-arranged CFA came into operation in February, 2002, more..

Seven Pyramid scheme racketeers arrested

Dec 11 (LNP) The Southern Province Police Crime Division raided a hotel in Wellahengoda in Ahangama and arrested four women and three men while they were in the course of delivering lectures to an audience on how to make money through the pyramid system. Statements were recorded from 43 persons who were in the audience and they were released. The seven lecturers who are suspects were due to be produced in Court. more..

Pied Pipers in red calling the tune

Dec 11 (LNP) Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Prof. Gamini Samaranayake has lambasted the university student unions and sought to ridicule their leaders by saying those who couldn`t get through their first year university examinations are trying to teach the UGC and the university authorities how to run the seats of higher learning. He has also faulted ultra radical political forces for using students as a cat`s paw to further their sinister interests. more..

Controversy over Batti demo against LTTE

Dec 11 (SAMN) The TMVP strongly denied claims of having forced civilians to participate in a demonstration in Batticaloa Monday where thousands turned up to protest the atrocities committed by the LTTE and demand the withdrawal of the TNA from the east. More than 10,000 people, transported in more than 40 state buses from various places turned up for the protest march which concluded at the Weber Stadium amid heavy police and STF presence while TMVP provided security to media personnel from Colombo. more..

Get ready for polls, says JVP

Dec 11 (SAMN) The JVP Monday called on the people and the working class in particular, to be prepared for a general election by next April to replace the Mahinda Rajapaksa government which it claimed was one of the most corrupt and inefficient administrations in the country’s history. JVP trade union leader and Parliamentarian K.D. Lalkantha charged the Rajapaksa government was using the war to cover up its inefficiency, corruption, mismanagement and oppressive policies. more..

Vets successful in embryo transplant

Dec 11 (SAMN) A team of doctors attached to the Peradeniya University Veterinary Faculty have successfully produced a calf through embryo transplant technology for the first time in Sri Lanka. This calf born to a local cow through the transplant of an embryo of a high bred Australian cow has been named 'Apeksha'. Veterinary Faculty Senior Lecturer Dr. Basil Alexander said 200 cattle embryos have been imported for experimenting this technique on a more..

Huge salaries for top Mihin officials

Dec 11 (SAMN) The government Monday disclosed in Parliament that Mihin Lanka’s Chief Executive Officer Sajin de Vass Gunawardena was drawing a monthly salary of Rs 450,000. Responding to an oral question by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake regarding the salaries to Mihin Lanka employees, Chief Government whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle told the House that 157 employees worked at Mihin Lanka, the government’s budget airline. more..

Eternal vigilance, answer against bribery and corruption -PM

Dec 11 (DN) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka said any person accused of bribery or corruption should be dealt with under the law notwithstanding the status or personal standing of such individual. Issuing a postal stamp to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, the Premier said there is a general belief among the public that only small fry fall into the net of the Bribery Commission." The Commission should act to dispel such allegations". more..