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Sri Lanka inflation eases in December

Dec 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka's consumer prices in the capital Colombo eased in December with the most widely watched index falling 0.4 percent in the month, lowering 12-month inflation to 16.4 percent from a peak of 19.6 percent a month before. The Colombo Consumer Price Index fell 21.3 points in the month to 5954.9. Meanwhile, a new index released last month showed that prices rose 1.0 percent and 12-month inflation fell to 18.8 percent from 19.3 percent a month before. more..

Sri Lanka media watchdog slams president over unruly minister

Dec 31 (LBO) A Sri Lankan media rights group Monday slammed President Mahinda Rajapakse for not taking action against a junior minister who allegedly rampaged through a state television station and assaulted its news director. The Free Media Movement said in a statement it was appalled by Rajapakse's attitude in trying to take revenge against employees of the TV station who revolted against the ministerial assault, in stark contrast to public revulsion over the latter's behaviour. more..

Underworld gangster injured in shooting at Homagama Police

Dec 31 (LD) An accomplice of underworld leader Ambika was critically injured in a shootout inside the Homagama Police Station this morning (Dec. 31st), police said. The man, identified as Vijitha Kumararatne of Wellampitiya, was arrested in the early hours of today. The suspect had told the police that a pistol he had used for several crimes was hidden in his motorcycle parked near the Crime Division of the police station, according to the police. more..

Child exploitation on the rise in Sri Lanka – SAARC report

Dec 31 (LD) A study has indicated that Sri Lanka has more than 30,000 children employed in various industries, in a revealing case of increasing child exploitation. A study by the Committee of SAARC Action Plan under the 'Social Charter' has found that the exploitation of children had increased in the past few years in the country. The report said the official figures reveal only a "tip of the iceberg and that most of the children suffer in silence due to stigmatization." more..

Commission report on CMC finalized

Dec 31 (GDI) The special commission appointed by the Western Province Chief Minister, Reginald Cooray to look into allegations against the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) will hand over the finalized report on the issue to the Chief Minister today (31). It is reported that the outcome of the commission findings appear to be unveiling a negative picture of the CMC management exposing several frauds that had taken place over the past several years. more..

274 Appointments for graduates under 'Tharuna Aruna' programme

Dec 31 (GDI) A batch of 274 graduates who were selected from the Southern Province under the third phase of the Tharuna Aruna Programme received government appointments. A ceremony to present appointment letters to selected graduates was held at the Galle Municipal Council hall recently. The graduates have been appointed as development assistants in the Southern Province public service. more..

Tamil Parties unite to contest in Batticoloa

Dec 31 (GDI) Several Tamil Political Parties in Batticoloa District have entered into an agreement to contest the upcoming local council election as a single alliance. The final decision on the party symbol and other details would be decided upon within the next few days, media sources inform. Sources said that the new alliance was formed between the EPDP, TMVP (Pillayan faction), PLOTE and EPRLF (Varathan faction) following an invitation extended by the EPDP, more..

Clark to visit Colombo to solve SriLankan row

Dec 31 (GT) Emirates airline President Tim Clark is scheduled to fly to Colombo on Jan.2, 2008, to thrash out row between the Emirates-appointed SriLankan CEO Peter Hill and the government of Sri Lanka, according to Sri Lankan media reports. Sri Lanka's The Nation newspaper said Emirates has already sent a missive to the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat through the law firm F.J. and G. De Saram, charging that Hill's sacking and more..

Police eat humble pie

Dec 31 (LNP) Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday intervened on behalf of Rupavahini News Director T. M. G. Chandrasekera after IGP Victor Perera declined to provide security to his residence situated at the Richard de Zoysa Housing Complex at Koswatte, Battaramulla. Chandrasekera thanked the minister for coming to his rescue. Police Headquarters declined to provide security to Chandrasekara, who was manhandled by Labour Minister Mervyn Silva and a group of thugs on Thursday at the Rupavahini Corporation. more..

The likes of Mervin Silva should be removed from seats of power - CPSL

Dec 31 (LNP) Pointing to SLFP National List MP Mervin Silva`s close relationship with the underworld, uncultured behaviour, volatile temperament, callous disregard for law and order, the Communist Party of Sri Lanka urged the government to remove him from Parliament. The following is the full text of the statement issued by the Political Bureau: The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka, which met on Friday the 28th of December 2007, viewed with serious concern and more..

On the way to anarchy?

Dec 31 (LNP) Chief Justice (CJ) Sarath N. Silva has, in a speech at the Kandy Court Complex, put his finger on something that is gnawing away at Sri Lanka`s social stability. However justified an aggrieved person may feel in taking the law into his hands, the CJ has said, he should desist from such a course of action as in so doing he only gets into deeper trouble. One couldn`t agree with him more! There is a high incidence of the people seeking to settle their scores on their own, in most cases through violence. more..

Tigers 'caught on' three fronts

Dec 31 (SAMN) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Sunday said that troops now engaged in operations on three major fronts in Mannar, Vavuniya and Jaffna (Muhamalai-Nagarkovil) have made significant progress despite fierce enemy resistance and inclement weather. Speaking to after visiting Vavuniya over the weekend to review the progress that had been made on the Vanni fronts, Rajapaksa said that ground forces have achieved their objectives this year. more..

MiG-27 deal initial probe over

Dec 31 (SAMN) The Bribery Commission has completed initial investigations into the ‘controversial MiG-27 deal’, a top official said Sunday. He also said that Commission officials were currently studying these initial findings of investigations conducted with regard to the deal, and would start further inquiries based upon them. "We will commence second and final inquiries soon after that,” the official said. more..

Weerawila report by January

Dec 31 (SAMN) The long awaited Environment Evaluation Report on the Weerawila International airport will be handed over to the Ports and Aviation Authority in January 2008. “We are ready to hand over the report by January but we have not yet decided whether we would approve the project or not. It will take more time,” the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Chairman, Udaya Gammanpila said. more..

Lankan team skips Bhutto funeral

Dec 31 (SAMN) Contrary to reports published Saturday no high powered government delegation represented Sri Lanka at the funeral of assassinated former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto at Ghari Khuda Baksh in the Sindh Province. It is reliably learnt that following security warnings from Sri Lanka High Commission in Islamabad and Consul General in Karachi, both Minister Ferial Ashraff and Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana cancelled their visit. more..

Rekawa among top 10 eco-friendly destinations

Dec 31 (DN) Rekawa where sea turtle watching is popular, is among the top 10 eco-friendly destinations named by online travel community IgoUgo, owned by Travelocity. “The reason we picked Tangalla in the first place was that a nearby beach, Rekawa, is Sri Lanka’s most popular beach for nesting sea turtles. At Rekawa, five of the seven species of sea turtle come to nest, with the most popular being the green turtle. more..

New graduateship programmes in Chemistry

Dec 31 (DN) The College of Chemical Sciences in a media release has announced the advanced commencement of two new Graduateship programmes in Chemistry in early 2008. Such programmes which have been conducted enabling successful students to obtain within four years, the status of Graduate Chemists, which is equivalent to that of a Special (Honours) Degree of a recognised University. more..

Police to question Lal

Dec 31 (Island) Police investigating last Thursday's attack on Rupavahini News Director T. M. G. Chandrasekera intend to question Lal Peiris, an influential member of the Colombo Municipal Council. Police said that the presence of the councillor was revealed by Sirasa. Had Sirisa missed him, investigators would have ignored the councillor's complicity in the incident. more..

Local surgical gauze industry crippled, 1,500 lose jobs

Dec 31 (Island) Around 1,500 workers in the surgical gauze manufacturing industry have lost their jobs as the Health Ministry has placed orders with Medi-Textile private company. The Ministry had pointed out that the purchasing price Rs. 18.33 per metre was too expensive and it had opted to purchase one metre at Rs.14.25 without VAT, Surgical Gauze Manufacturers Association (SGMA) President D. K. L. Heendeniya said. more..

Gas up by Rs.175

Dec 31 (DM) Shell Gas Lanka yesterday said it had got the approval of the Consumer Authority to increase the price of a 12.5 kg cylinder by Rs 175 with effect from Wednesday. The new price of a cylinder would be Rs 1488 from Wednesday. Shell Gas Lanka Finance Director Rimoe Saldin told Daily Mirror that the unprecedented increase of gas in the world market is the main reason for the hike. The price of gas had gone up by 30% during the past month according to him. more..

Racket compels detailed scrutiny of Dubai visa documents

Dec 31 (DM) With the Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE) unearthing a human smuggling racket to send Sri Lankans to Iraq by obtaining tourists visa, a decision was taken to issue visas for those who can prove their reason for visiting Dubai. A spokesperson of the SLBFE told the Daily Mirror they were able to discover a racket of human smuggling last week. "A group of 80 people who were to fly to Dubai was stopped and taken into custody as we were informed that they were to be sent for employment in Iraq. more..

Timeline on Sri Lanka 2007

Dec 31 (IANS) The following were the key dates in Sri Lanka in 2007: Jan 4: Army Chief Lt.Gen. Sarath Fonseka vows to take the north from the LTTE following capture of the east. Jan 10-14: Hundreds of Tamils arrested from Colombo and suburbs. Jan 12: Food supplies from India help bring down prices in Jaffna. Feb 4: More than 300 Tamils arrested in and around Colombo. Feb 9: Dissident ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Sripathy Sooriarachchy and Anura Bandaranaike sacked for charging that the Rajapaksa government is run by his brothers and more..

Dharmadasa reflects on job

Dec 31 (ECB) Jayantha Dharmadasa, the outgoing chairman of the interim committee of Sri Lanka Cricket, cited the country’s second-place finish in this year’s World Cup in the Caribbean as one of the proudest moments of his tenure. Dharmadasa steps down as of New Year’s Eve and will be replaced by former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga in the next week. “Looking back at my tenure I am leaving with a lot of happiness as we have seen great improvement in the game in the country,” Dharmadasa said. more..

Air force destroys rebel training camp, clashes in northern Sri Lanka kill 11

Dec 31 (AP) Air force jets attacked and destroyed a Tamil Tiger training camp Monday in war-torn northern Sri Lanka, following a spate of battles a day earlier that killed at least 11 combatants, the military said. Fighter jets bombarded the training camp in Oddusuddan village of the rebel-held Mullaithivu district early Monday, the defense ministry said in a statement. Pilots confirmed the camp's destruction, but reported no casualties. more..

Sri Lanka gained upper hand over LTTE in 2007

Dec 31 (IANS) Sri Lanka's failure to unveil a political package to end years of war and its military successes against the Tamil Tigers marked the highlights of one of the world's longest running conflicts in 2007. After decades of seesaw fighting, Colombo took a visible upper hand vis-a-vis the LTTE, driving it away from the country's eastern province and crippling its shipping network. more..

Sri Lanka vows victory against Tigers in 2008

Dec 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka's top military commanders have vowed to win the decades-old war against Tamil separatists in the new year, a state-run daily said. Army chief Sarath Fonseka said he hoped government forces would be able to dislodge the LTTE from the line of bunkers guarding their de facto mini-state in the north of the island. "We can bring the war against the LTTE to a turning point once we are able to destroy the LTTE capabilities to operate in bunkers and forward defence lines," more..