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TN politician wants Indian defence delegation to Colombo withdrawn

Dec 20 (LD) A Tamil Nadu-based politician has urged the Indian government to mediate in reviving the stalled peace talks in Sri Lanka instead of extending defence cooperation. Speaking to the media in Chennai on December 17th, T. Thirumavalavan, General Secretary of the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Kadchi (Liberation Panthers Party), also demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Indian delegation now in Colombo to discuss defence cooperation. more..

IIEGP & CoI trade accusations

Dec 20 (LD) In a public report, the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIEGP) says that Sri Lanka's Commission of Inquiries (CoI) investigation into the killing of the 17 Action Contre La Faim aid workers in Muttur "lacks transparency". The IIGEP, which consists of scholars from several countries such as India and France, adds that the process "falls short of international norms and standards." more..

More landslips & floods predicted

Dec 20 (LD) Prevailing inclement weather has left many areas experiencing landslips and the threat of flooding lingering around many of the country’s main reservoirs. A 52-year-old woman was killed and several others injured in a landslip at Mahawalawatte in Ratnapura. Another major landslip reported from Badulla claimed no lives, while Udaveriyawatte in Haldummulla and the roads between Haliela, Hapuwala, Kumbura and Uduwara are in danger of being washed away. more..

Fingerprinting attendance for MPs as well

Dec 20 (LD) The government has decided to introduce fingerprinting technology to mark attendance in the entire government sector including that of Parliament, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. This system recently created much controversy in the heath sector. The president was speaking at a function to felicitate the Ampara Base Hospital that was named the best hospital in the Asia Pacific Region by the Asia Pacific Quality Organization for 2007. more..

Sri Lanka to start oil exploration in volatile north

Dec 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to invite oil companies to explore for petroleum deposits in new areas in the north of the island, a senior minister said, where Tamil Tiger rebels are active. The petroleum ministry has been given the government nod to kick off exploration in the Sri Lankan side of Cauvery Basin, media minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said Thursday. The petroleum resource-bearing Cauvery Basin straddle parts of southern India and northern Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankan banking risks rising, IMF warns

Dec 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's financial sector has so far been resilient in the face of shocks but risks are increasing as the economy heads for tough times, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned. Rising interest rates likely to affect profitability of banks while credit quality is weakening as a result of fast loan growth, the IMF said. The international monetary watchdog called for improved bank supervision and more involvement in risk management by top commercial bank management. more..

Sri Lankan confirms cancellation of airline chief's visa

Dec 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's immigration authorities have informed Sri Lankan airlines Thursday, that its chief executive Peter Hill's resident visa has been cancelled, an official said. Hill, a Briton, was appointed by Emirates airlines, the flag carrier's second largest shareholder and management partner following a privatization exercise. Emirates is expected to continue managing the airline until March 2008 when it's current 10-year agreement lapses. more..

“Terrorism is Terrorism be it where ever it happens to be” - Prof. Peter Leitner

Dec 20 (GDI) Dr. Peter Leitner, President Counter Terrorism Research Center and Professor National Center for Bio Defense of the George Mason University while delivering the key note address at the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium in Los Angeles, California organized by the Sri Lanka Patriots stated that amount of explosives and mortars transported by the LTTE is the largest quantity of Armaments ever transported by a non-state armed group. more..

“Land cleared of LTTE back in the hands of genuine owners” - Minister Ranawaka

Dec 20 (GDI) Minister of Environmental and Natural Disaster Patali Champika Ranawaka disclosed to media recently that the Sinhala population of the Trincomalee District was 85,503, according to the statistics of 1981, which comprised about 33.4% of the total population of the district. But due to the conditions prevailing there they had left the areas and the Sinhala population had decreased to about 25.4% of the total in 2007. more..

Doctors serving in North and East to be given preference when awarding scholarships

Dec 20 (GDI) Minister of Health Care and Nutrition, Nimal Siripala de Silva has directed that doctors who serve in the North and East would be given preference in selections for foreign scholarships from next year. Female doctors would be given prominence under this scheme. The scholarships, handled by the Planning Division of the Ministry so far now require the signatures of the Minister and the Secretary to the Ministry. more..

"Conspiracy to overthrow Government" – D.M. jayaratne

Dec 20 (GDI) Minister of Plantation Industries, D.M. Jayarathe stated that those who conspired to overthrow Sirimavo Bandaranaike Government over 30 years ago was now again raising their heads and spending millions of rupees to purchase Members of Parliament shamelessly. The minister made this disclosure addressing the gathering in Nuwara Eliya on the occasion of propagating coconut plantation in the district. The first palm was ceremonially planted in the Haggala Botanical Gardens. more..

H.E. President's Hajj massage

Dec 20 (GDI) On the occasion of celebrating Hajj I wish to extend my best wishes to the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. Hajj is celebrated as the most important religious festival of the Muslims all over the world and it is an occasion when around 4,000,000 made the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Muslims through prayer and sacrifice make this pilgrimage to Mecca as a sacred mission in their lives. more..

Presidential Commission takes issue with IIGEP allegations

Dec 20 (GDI) The Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Serious Violations of Human Rights, yesterday objected strongly to a statement issued by the IIGEP claiming that 'the current inquiry does not meet international standards'. Justice Nissanka Udalagama, Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry said that he could not comprehend how the IIGEP concluded that the COI's investigations were not transparent when the IIGEP itself has been given the opportunity and have in fact questioned witnesses in detail during the sessions. more..

Implement Panditharatne Report, UNP (Democratic Group) tells Ranil

Dec 20 (GDI) The UNP (Democratic Group) called upon Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, to immediately implement the Panditharatne Report in order to establish good governance and democracy within the party. This was expressed in a media briefing held yesterday at 'Seth Sevana', Colombo, by UNP parliamentarians who crossed over to the Government and voted for the budget recently. more..

'Govt to liberate North soon'

Dec 20 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa asserts that his Government which liberated the East, would likewise liberate the North as well by next year and provide equal health facilities to all by the provision of a fully-equipped hospital in every district. President Rajapaksa made this assertion last Tuesday at Temple Trees where he felicitated the Ampara Hospital staff on their being awarded an internationally renowned Asia-Pacific Region 'Quality' Award in recognition of the qualitative service. more..

Sinhalisation of East, myth: JHU

Dec 20 (SAMN) The JHU, a party within the ruling coalition, yesterday, scoffed at the allegation regarding the Sinhalisation of the East by some minority politicians. It said that the Sinhala population of the province had declined in number, while the other communities had increased during the last two decades. The party’s policy-maker Champika Ranawaka told the Daily Mirror that, according to the census of 1981, the Sinhala population of the Trincomalee district was 85,503 which comprised 33.4 per cent of the total. more..

New grading system for O/L

Dec 20 (SAMN) The Department of Examinations will introduce a new grading system for students who fail at the G.C.E. (Ordinary Level) Examination. Accordingly, candidates who obtain between 25 and 34 marks in any subject will be placed in the ‘N’ category, and be considered as having nearly passed. At present, those having marks between 0 and 34 are given the ‘W’ grading. The category between 35 and 49 will be given an ‘S’ pass. more..

Reach for less Saha Piyasa privileged

Dec 20 (SAMN) “REACH” comprises a group of students currently pursuing their higher education both in Sri Lanka and abroad who believe that it is time that they contributed their effort to help the less privileged in our society. Hence they in association with “Alfac International” have decided to lend a helping hand to the mentally disabled children of “Sahana Piyasa” home in Dankotuwa. more..

Medical student found dead in hostel room

Dec 20 (DN) A final year Medical student was found dead at the Medical Faculty campus in Colombo last morning, Police Media spokesman Senior DIG Jayantha Wickramaratne said. According to DIG Wickramaratne final year medical faculty student D.N.Chandrasena (30) of Colombo University found dead at his hostel room yesterday morning. "According to the deceased's father's statement Chandrasena was suffering from a heart disease since he was a kid and he had been under daily medication. more..

BoI approves cluster of projects

Dec 20 (DN) Sri Lanka Board of Investment has approved a cluster of nine investment projects worth Rs.13,844 million. India, US, Italy and Bahrain are among the investors, the BOI sources said. The projects are expected to generate 900 direct jobs, the sources said. The largest of them is the Kalpitiya Tourist Hotel project with an investment of Rs.13,000 million. This project alone is expected to create 400 jobs, the sources said. more..

Peter Hill gone or not gone?

Dec 20 (Island) The government yesterday cancelled the work permit of Sri Lankan Airlines Chief Executive officer Peter Hill. BoI Chairman Dhammika Pererea confirmed that he had withdrawn Mr. Hill’s permit as he had not complied with the request from the main shareholder of the airline, the Government of Sri Lanka. However, contacted for comment, Mr. Hill said his work permit had not been withdrawn until yesterday afternoon. Hill said he had not received any official notification from the authorities to that effect. more..

Sri Lanka not responsible for global warming - Gammanpila

Dec 20 (Island) Sri Lanka is ranked 99th in the latest Human Development Index published by the United Nations Development Programme, "which means we have emitted lesser quantum of carbon and we are not responsible for global warming," Central Environment Authority (CEA) Chairman Udaya Gammanpila said yesterday. He highlighted Sri Lanka's per capita carbon emission as just 0.6 metric tons while the world average is 4.5 Mt. more..

MPs security withdrawn

Dec 20 (DM) The security provided to TNA MP S. Srikantha and UNP MP T. Maheswaran had been slashed by the government with immediate effect despite these members calling for additional protection under the present volatile situation in the country. As for MP Srikantha, the government had withdrawn four out of nine security personnel attached to his personal security from the Ministerial Security Division (MSD) since Sunday. However, three police personnel attached to his security still remain intact. more..

Magistrate refuses to remand suspect

Dec 20 (DM) Colombo’s Chief Magistrate, yesterday, observed that every citizen had the right to live and work anywhere in Sri Lanka and overruled the pleadings of the Cinnamon Gardens Police to remand a suspect who was arrested on suspicion, by the Army, near the Rupavahini Corporation. An Army mobile patrol unit had arrested the suspect, Meera Mohamed Abdul of Sammanturai, near the Rupavahini Corporation at Bauddhaloka Mawatha on suspicion, and later handed him over to the Cinnamon Gardens Police for further investigation. more..

Sri Lanka faces 400MW energy shortfall in 2008: ADB

Dec 20 (LR) Sri Lanka faces a 400 megawatt (MW) energy shortfall in 2008, and an “energy crisis” looms large, unless immediate steps were taken to address problems in the energy sector, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has warned. The country produced 99.7 percent of its energy needs with hydropower in 1986, but its contribution to generation has dropped “dramatically” to 37.7 percent in 2006 as demand outpaced the development of alternative indigenous resources, the ADB said. more..

Sri Lankan military says 24 rebels killed in fighting

Dec 20 (AP) Soldiers fought a series of gunbattles with separatist rebels in Sri Lanka's embattled north, killing at least 24 insurgents, the military said Thursday. The fighting Wednesday coincided with claims by the military that the Tamil Tiger rebels' reclusive leader was wounded in an attack by Sri Lankan air force bombers last month. There has been a major escalation in fighting in recent weeks along the front lines surrounding the Tamil Tiger rebels' de facto state more..

Sri Lanka strips British airline chief of work permit

Dec 20 (Times) The British head of Sri Lankan Airlines faces dismissal after the national carrier refused to bump passengers off a flight from London to make way for the President of Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Government, which owns 51 per cent of the airline, said today that it was cancelling a work permit for Peter Hill, who has been the carrier's chief executive, based in Colombo, for eight years. more..

Sri Lanka confirms Prabhakaran was hurt in air raid

Dec 20 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government has confirmed a media report that the Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran was injured in an air raid late last month. The Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) website said late Wednesday that Prabhakaran was injured when the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) hit a bunker complex at Jayanthinagar in Kilinochchi district at 5.25 p.m. Nov 26. more..

Hopeless England routed for 81

Dec 20 (CI) A mentally shattered England folded for 81, their lowest total for five years, on the third day at Galle as Chaminda Vaas led a bowling display which put Sri Lanka within sight of the 2-0 win that will lift them to second place in the world rankings. Vaas ripped out four as England crashed to 33 for 6 before rain brought some relief. However, on resumption the tail folded meekly and the follow-on was unsurprisingly enforced by Mahela Jayawardene, who had earlier reached a majestic double century against a forlorn attack. more..

Peter Hill’s work visa was revoked “in the public interest”: BOI chief

Dec 20 (LR) SriLankan Airlines’ chief executive Peter Hill’s work visa has been revoked in the “public interest” after the company refused to accede to several government requests, Board of Investment chief Dhammika Perera said Thursday. “There are many reasons for revoking his visa. The airline can’t do whatever it wants without government approval,” Perera told Lanka Rates in a telephone interview. more..

Sri Lanka – ICRC Bulletin No. 18 / 2007

Dec 21 (ICRC) General situation The murder of yet another staff member of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society has shocked the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the wider humanitarian community in Sri Lanka. Sooriyakanthy Thavarajah (43) was abducted on 14 December by unidentified gunmen from his home in Kalviwan Kadu, Jaffna, in the presence of his family. His body was found two days later in Kaithady. more..

England's goose is cooked

Dec 21 (CI) As and when England are finally put out of their misery in this series, the world rankings will reveal that their golden era is officially over. In one fell swoop, they will have slipped from No. 2 to No. 5, the result of two indifferent years since the 2005 Ashes in which they have lost 11 out of 27 Tests and won just eight. None of those defeats, however, will have been as spineless and pathetic as this, the twelfth, threatens to be. more..

How Vulnerable Is Prabhakaran To A Decapitation Air Strikes?

Dec 21 (LG) The Defence Ministry has been quoted by the media as saying: "Intelligence sources confirmed that the LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran had sustained injuries in the air strikes carried out by four fighter aircraft of the Sri Lanka Air Force on a bunker complex in Jayanthinagar, Kilinochchi around 5.25 pm on November 26.Intelligence had confirmed that the bunker complex was frequented by Prabhakaran. more..

Poor me among those silly people who talk war

Dec 21 (ISL) It’s no fiction. The JVP maintained their stand would not change. They kept saying the Rajapaksa regime was corrupt and is corrupt. Is inefficient and would be inefficient. Nepotism is high and goes up higher. The government, claimed the JVP, is one big mess and is repressive too. This government has no right to tear gas and beat up university students when the undergrads come on protest, charged the JVP. more..

Is the Eastern Province under military rule?

Dec 21 (LeN) 250,000 civil defense personnel have been recruited for the security of the Eastern Province in addition to the three armed forces, police and home guards, said Media Minister Lakshman Yapa at the cabinet press briefing today (20). The Government provides salaries, firearms and ammunition to these personnel who work attached to temples and village offices etc. As Lanka-e-News learns, almost all the Buddhist temples of the Eastern Province have been used for military purposes. more..

Auditor General manipulated to cover Ministers' corruption

Dec 21 (LeN) Audit Inspectors' Union accuses the Government that it is manipulating the Auditor General to cover the corruption of hundreds of Ministers. The union expresses these views issuing a statement on reappointing the former Auditor General P.A. Premathilaka as the acting Auditor General after he retired when he completed sixty years of age. The maximum service period of an acting Auditor General is 14 days and the Government is extending Premathilaka's appointment fortnightly keeping him under control. more..

Suicide Boats: A Force Multiplier in Unconventional Warfare

Dec 21 (ISL) The LTTE are the only guerilla cum insurgent cum terrorist organization with a naval capability in the world today. The Palestinians during their heyday in Lebanon had a small naval contingent mostly for infiltration and they too carried out a couple of suicide attacks using boats, with little success. Al-Qaeda executed a successful suicide mission on USS Cole in Yemen. The Sea Tigers evolved from the time honored tradition that existed of smuggling contraband from Sri Lanka to India and illegal immigrants. more..

Explaining Prabakaran’s persistent defiance

Dec 21 (Hindu) Thousands of Tamil guerrillas were “standing ready to fight” and “we will overcome the hurdles before us” and “liberate our motherland,” thundered Velupillai Prabakaran, concluding his Heroes Day speech on November 27. A few minutes before the LTTE supremo began his speech, the Sri Lankan Air Force demolished the building that housed the Voice of the Tigers. Three weeks earlier, in a similar operation, Tamil Selvam, the leader of the political wing of the Tigers, was killed. more..

Desperate relatives search for missing kin

Dec 21 (AN) Quite a large number of pilgrims of various nationalities have not returned to their base camps. Their anxious and harried relatives were yesterday seen to be scouring hospitals, centers for missing persons and headquarters of various pilgrim establishments. The Saudi Boy Scouts were trying to comfort those elderly pilgrims who had lost their way. “My name is Amina. I am from Sri Lanka. I was with my son while coming back from Muzdalifah to Mina when we got separated. Where is he?” more..

Sri Lanka – A comprehensive view of the current situation

Dec 21 (MB) Sri Lankans must learn from history. For over 2000 years, Tamil Chieftains from South India have invaded Sri Lanka several times, and indeed temporarily occupied parts of the country. They were always beaten back. However, their remnants settled peacefully in the country. The LTTE terrorist group, which has close links to organizations in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu (meaning "the Land of the Tamils"), even uses the tiger emblem of those ancient Chola invaders of Lanka. more..

Noble Dukkha: How On Earth Suffering Is Noble?

Dec 21 (LG) This word was used by the Buddha in order to explain the nature of human kind. Although this word is simply translated by “suffering”, it does not express the philosophical meaning of the word dukkha. It is the human nature of Unsatisfactoriness. Man keeps desires in front of him and runs after them. He will never get satisfaction. Like the horse who gallops after the carrot fixed three inches ahead of him on the horse cart. more..

JVP assists the Sri Lankan government to pass its war budget

Dec 21 (LG) The Sri Lankan government managed to pass its war budget in the third and final parliamentary vote last Friday. To do so, it depended on the support of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which came to the rescue of the shaky ruling coalition by abstaining rather than voting against the budget, as it had done in the second round. The final vote was 114 in favour and 67 against, with the 37 JVP MPs abstaining. more..

University for Dhamma School Teachers

Dec 21 (AT) A University is to be set up shortly to provide higher education to Daham Pasal Teachers, disclosed Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, at a meeting held at the Hataraliyadda T.B. Ilangaratne National School on Sunday. The meeting was held to mark the distribution of sewing machines among a group of women for self employment under the Jathika Saviya Programme and more..

Bio Force Sri Lanka plans to upgrade Maharagama hospital

Dec 21 (AT) Bio Force Lanka began it's operations in Sri Lanka by assisting the Maharagama Cancer Hospital to upgrade the children ward. This project will continue for another 12 months and BioForce Lanka hopes to donate medicine and disposable medical equipment for the hospital. The Bio Force's Country Co-coordinator Fabien Audoin, accompanied by Ms.Shriani Ramukwella and Amy Fernando, donated the first batch of the equipment and medicines on Thursday at a simple ceremony. more..

We wish our readers Allah’s blessings for Id-Ul-Alha

Dec 21 (Fri) The religion of Islam is the acceptance of and obedience to the teachings of God which He revealed to His last prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe in one, unique incomparable God, who has neither son nor partner, and that none has the right to be worshipped but Him alone. He is true God and every other deity is false. He has the most magnificent names and sublime perfect attributes. No one shares His divinity or His attributes. In the Qur’an, God describes Himself. more..

Budget: Born losers expose their ‘impotency’

Dec 21 (Fri) Last week’s voting at the third budget of the Rajapaksa Government exposed to the full glare of the world two born losers in Sri Lankan politics - Ranil Wickremesinghe and Anura Bandaranaike. The event also showed the pathetic idiocy of Colombo’s Westernised urban elite and sections of the business community who continue to look up to Wickremesinghe as ‘a national leader’ who would protect their class interests if not anyone else’s. more..

Goodbye Master Blaster!

Dec 21 (Fri) Like ‘Old Father Time’ itself one never thought that the ‘Old Man’ of Cricket, Sanath Teran Jayasuriya otherwise known as ‘Sonna Boy’ would ever retire from cricket. Well, come to think of it he had one stint and retiring and thought it fit to make a comeback of sorts and did somewhat make a contribution to cricket. But when one looks back at his career two things stand out. more..

The great H.R.Jothipala

Dec 21 (Fri) Hettiarachchige Reginald Jothipala (February 12, 1936 - July 7, 1987) was a prolific playback singer in the Sinhala cinema. Jothipala rendered his voice to all classes of actors ranging from Eddie Jayamanne, Ananda Jayaratne, Gamini Fonseka, Vijaya Kumaratunga, Sanath Gunathilaka, Ravindra Randeniya and several others of young generation stars like Damith Fonseka, Lal Weerasinghe and other newcomers. more..

Sri Lanka aim to promote cricket in northern areas

Dec 21 (CI) Former Sri Lankan legspinner Somachandra de Silva has been appointed cricket advisor to the president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse, to develop and spread the game in the country's war-hit north and north-eastern regions. The move was part of the president's initiative to try and increase the representation of players of Tamil-speaking origin in the national team. more..