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Despite Thoppigala capture, Eastern region may still not be under full military control

July 11 (AT) Despite the capture of Eastern LTTE headquarters and the Thoppigala jungles, Sri Lanka Military does not want to directly say that the East is now under their full control. Asked by the press whether this capture now leads to full control of East by Lanka military, Defence Spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe refused to give a definite answer. more..

Rizana caught between two compassionless countries

July 11 (ISL) Over eight million foreign workers, almost all of them from countries that have failed to find for them suitable employment in their own lands, are employed in Saudi Arabia. This is the land to which millions of Moslem pilgrims go year after year to pray at the holiest shrine of Islam in Mecca. Saudi Arabia probably is the most pilgrim-visited country in the world where one in five is a Moslem and it is required by the faith that each adherent to this religion visits Mecca at least once in his lifetime. more..

Cleaning Sri Lanka’s Augean stables

July 11 (ANN) Our penchant for papering over the cracks is monumental. Problem solving has never been our forte. We are adept at sweeping problems under the carpet. When they resurface and stare us in the face, we repeat the same process and try to wish them away. Minister of Pubic Administration Karu Jayasuriya has come up with a plan to render the public service more efficient and people friendly. He wants public officials to sign a pledge and have their performance assessed continuously. more..

Sri Lanka A take control of tour opener

July 11 (CI) Sri Lanka A enjoyed a productive first day to their tour, running through MCC for 167 at Arundel before building a steady first innings around Mahela Udawatte's 57. The wickets were shared around by the Sri Lankans with Ishara Amerasinghe and Rangana Herath taking three apiece. MCC consists of university players and a few, more established first-class cricketers. more..

Communication sets destined for Kilinochchi - Police

July 11 (GDI) One of the suspects arrested in connection to the baggage with a high tech communication sets detected in the Pettah main bus stop recently, revealed to be a resident of Kilinochchi. He has been staying in Colombo lodges for several days. He has attempted to take these nine walkie talkies and the base set to Kilinochchi by bus traveling to Vavuniya. more..

Immigration and Emigration Dept under 5S

July 11 (LNP) On the initiative of Prime Minister and Internal Administration Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and the guidance of Internal Administration Ministry Secretary Dr. U. Vidanapathirana the Immigration and Emigration Department has taken steps to transform itself to an exemplary state institution providing a streamlined and productive service to the people. more..

Prelate urges Govt. to open A9 highway soon

July 11 (LNP) Sri Naga Vihara Development Foundation Chief and Northern province Chief Sangha Nayake Ven Meegahajandure Gunaratana Thera, yesterday called for the opening of the A9 highway, to provide an opportunity for devotees in the South to worship Buddhist Temples in the North. The Ven. Thera said it had become difficult to maintain temples including the Sri Naga Vihara, which is so dear to the Buddhists of this country. more..

SriLankan plans to resume night flights from Sep. 15

July 11 (LNP) SriLankan Airlines is currently reviewing its operations and expects to revert to its original schedule, which includes night time operations, by 15th September 2007. While stating that it was keen on reverting to its normal operating pattern, the Airline went on to explain that being the home based carrier operating 181 flights per week from its hub at the BIA, Katunayake, there were several practical as well as operational issues to be addressed in the first instance which would take awhile and hence the anticipated date of 15th September 2007. more..

Milinda at high powered global forum on empowerment of poor

July 11 (LNP) The High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor which includes Sri Lanka`s Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda will hold its fourth full meeting in New York from July 11 to 14. Minister Milinda Moragoda left Saturday July 2 for the United States to participate in the committee meeting and while in New York he will make attempts to meet new World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick and USAID acting head Henrietta H. Fore to See how he could present Sri Lanka`s update to them. more..

Programme to conserve 10,000 artifacts

July 11 (SAMN) The Archaeological Department will initiate a project on “Uruma Aruna” to conserve 10,000 monuments of archaeological interest. This project will be launched under five stages within five years on the instruction of National heritage Ministry. The priority list for the conservation will be prepared under the project and it has already implemented at regional level. more..

8 underworld leaders arrested

July 11 (SAMN) A special squad attached to the Mount Lavinia Police uncovered a massive extortion and robbery racket following the arrest of eight most wanted underworld gang leaders on Monday night. Mount Lavinia SSP Eddison Gunatilleke said that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had directed the Mount Lavinia Police Division to set-up special squads to eradicate the drug menace in the area and to arrest all the underworld gang leaders irrespective of their positions. more..

VC’s family still living in hope

July 11 (SAMN) The family of the missing Vice- Chancellor of the Eastern University, Prof. S. Raveendranath is yet to know his fate since he went missing nearly seven months ago.The son-in-Law of the VC, Dr. M. Malaravan said his family was still hoping that he would return but also added that they were losing hope by the day. "We just want to know whether he is alive or dead. No one has come to us and said anything. We would not go against anyone," he said. more..

Yahoo Photos

July 11 (AP) Army soldiers walk back to an army camp as the sun sets near Thoppigala. Military commanders said they seized a key plateau from the Tamil Tigers and will have control of the whole area by the end of the month, giving the government control over eastern Sri Lanka for the first time since 1994. more..

Navy denies Pillayan link

July 11 (SAMN) The Navy Tuesday denied reports that intelligence from former Karuna associate Pillayan had led to the capture of an explosives laden truck in Trincomalee last month and challenged anyone who could substantiate such claims. A highly charged Navy spokesman D.K.P. Dassanayake claimed some elements with vested interests were attempting to sideline the achievements of the Navy by passing the credit on the capture of the explosive laden truck to other groups. more..

APRC parties reach consensus on three vital issues

July 11 (DN) All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) Chairman Prof.Tissa Vitharana said the political parties have reached consensus on the three main co-issues of a future power-sharing structure, leaving half of its workload finished. “We have reached consensus on three of the most controversial co-issues,” Prof.Vitharana said adding that he was hopeful of delivering a final document within a months time. more..

APC must broaden devolution - LSSP

July 11 (DN) The L.S.S.P. welcomed the convening of the all party conference as a forward step to a political solution to the crisis that has seized the Sri Lankan State for the last 30 years. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s publicised policy positions made known to the country at the time of his elections expressed his commitment to take the country forward to a political solution acceptable to the majority of the people. more..

Policy framework on the National plantation industry

July 11 (LMG) For the first time in the history of plantation industry in Sri Lanka, the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksha has introduced a National Plantation Industry Policy (NPIP) Framework. The plantation industry in Sri Lanka mainly consists of tea, rubber and coconut. In addition to that sugar, oil palm, cashew and palmyrah also play vital role in the sector. more..

Govt. team, parents on mission to Saudi

July 11 (DM) A government team led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila and the parents of the young Sri Lankan girl on death row in Saudi Arabia were due to leave for Riyadh late yesterday or today on a mission to appeal for the life of the girl accused of killing her employer’s child, Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said yesterday. Young Rizana Nafeek faces a deadline of July 16 for any chance of having her death sentence revoked but more..

Commission begins hearings on CMC corruption charges

July 11 (DM) Colombo Mayor U. Emitiyaz Mohammed, appearing before the one-man commission to investigate into allegations of misconduct and corruption levelled against the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) and the mayor, pleaded not guilty to the charges yesterday. Some of the other councillors including Opposition Leader of the CMC, Vasudeva Nanayakara, a few UPFA councillors and members of the JVP, pleaded not guilty to charges brought against them. more..

Tigers engaged in 'war crime' - Amnesty

July 11 (BBC) Amnesty International is appealing to the Tamil Tigers to release hundreds of child soldiers from its ranks. Their latest statement say the Tigers had more than five hundred under aged combatants in May this year. Human rights organisation say that the tigers had released some of the children. "On 18 June 2007 the LTTE released 135 child soldiers and pledged to rid its ranks of all children under 18 by the end of the year. Amnesty International welcomes the release of these soldiers as well as the commitment by the LTTE to stop child recruitment". more..

Sri Lankan exporters urged to make trickle down work

July 11 (LBO) A senior Sri Lankan government minister has exhorted the island's exporters to do more to make economic benefits trickle down to the rural masses, even as critics warn that some policies tilted the country in the opposite direction. "The government is eager to ensure the trickle down effect of exports to the grassroots level so that the benefits from exports are available to the vast masses," Minister of Export Development and International Trade G L Peiris said Monday. more..

Immediate compensation and land to the displaced by the Deduru Oya Scheme

July 11 (ITN) President Mahinda Rajapakse has urged the public not to think only of themselves in the process of developing the country. He made this appeal expressing views on the situation that has arisen with regard to the Deduru-Oya Reservoir Project. The meeting to review progress on the scheme was held at Temple Trees today. The President said as human beings, problems should be sorted out through discussions. more..

Australian terror suspect met with Sri Lanka's Tamil rebel leader in 2003

July 11 (AP) A man charged with multiple terrorism offenses for allegedly funneling money to Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger separatists met with the rebel group's reclusive leader in 2003, a court heard Wednesday. Arumugam Rajeevan, 40, was arrested Tuesday for his alleged role in fundraising for the Tamil Tigers by telling donors the money was for victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. more..

Bangladesh struggle on rain-hit day

July 11 (CI) Only 29 overs were possible on a rain-marred first day's play at Kandy's Asgiriya International Stadium but those 110 minutes of play were enough for Sri Lanka to continue their domination over Bangladesh. Mahela Jayawardene won his third consecutive toss and given the moist conditions ahead of the start, put Bangladesh in to bat in the dead rubber. more..

Military: troops complete takeover of eastern Sri Lanka

July 11 (AP) Sri Lankan troops captured the last Tamil Tiger rebel base in the volatile east Wednesday, a triumph that gave the government control of the region for the first time in 13 years, the army chief said. The fall of the Eastern Province dealt a significant blow to the Tamil dream of establishing an independent homeland in the nation's north and east, but the rebels said they had not abandoned the fight in the east, switching instead to guerrilla tactics. more..

Sri Lanka claims capture of last Tamil Tiger base in east

July 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka's military claimed Wednesday it had captured the last Tamil Tiger stronghold in the island's east following months of fighting, as peace broker Norway tried to revive a tattered truce. The military took control of the Thoppigala jungle base used by the LTTE following intense air and ground attacks, the defence ministry said. It gave no details of casualties. more..

'No war impact' on AIDS

July 12 (BBC) Sri Lanka’s civil war has surprisingly not increased the spread of the HIV/AIDS, activists say. They say the conflict environment, where people have been uprooted from their homes, military camps built up amidst civilians and refugees travelling to and from India, would have increased AIDS figures. However, no increase has been reported as the island still has a low HIV prevalence rate twenty years on from the first case of the disease, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. more..

Rizana: Have your say

July 12 (BBC) Rizana Nafeek, a nineteen year old Sri Lankan house maid, was convicted of strangling a four month old infant in Saudi Arabia. She was then sentenced a death penalty of beheading according to the Saudi Arabian High Court. The Sri Lankan girl, then seventeen years old, went to Saudi Arabia on the 1st of May with high hopes of earning a living in order to help her family who were living in poverty. She was still a schoolgirl studying at Sapi Nagar School. more..

Sri Lanka plans to get Indian support in bio-diesel venture

July 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka is seeking Indian support to develop bio-diesel plants in the island's Puttalam region, north of the capital Colombo, a senior public estate management ministry official says. The bio-diesel project, which is to be launched in mid-July, will use the Jatropha plant (endaru), Merinus Fernando, advisor to the ministry says. "We will get Jatropha seeds from India and we have ear-marked a 5,000 acre area in Puttalam to grow the plant." more..

Silva leads Sri Lanka charge

July 12 (CI) Sri Lanka A are well on course for a convincing win against MCC at Arundel after their middle order feasted on a friendly attack. Wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva struck an unbeaten 118 while Test batsman Jehan Mubarak and allrounder Gayan Wijekoon contributed useful innings. Ishara Amerasinghe, the seam bowler, then took out three of MCC's top order as they again struggled with the bat. more..

Police takes abductors to book

July 12 (GDI) "Suspects of the alleged abduction cases have bee taken arrested by the Police and the Police had received no complaint after the 18th June on any such abduction," stated the media spokesperson of Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Jayantha Wickramarathna. DIG Wickramarathna said that a former Air Force officer and an airman are already in custody and the police are looking for 3 more suspects who had fled the country. more..

'In few days whole of East under govt control'

July 12 (GDI) “Following the capture of the whole of Thoppigala, Government will issue a clear statement to mark the entire Eastern Province being taken under the State control,” the Director General of the Media Center for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle said. “Security troops have entered the area Baron's Cap (Thoppigala); however it is not the only camp in whole of Thoppigala. There are few remaining areas left to be cleared which will lead to the full control of the Eastern Province,” more..

Rajapaksa hails fall of Tiger base

July 12 (PTI) President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, today welcomed the fall of what he described the "last stronghold" of Tamil Tiger rebels in the island's east. Rajapaksa also paid tribute to his securitry forces for the capture of the Thoppigala base of the LTTE. "I join the people in offering tribute and all good wishes to the members of the armed forces, police and the Special Task Force who... captured the last stronghold of the terrorists located at Thoppigala," he said in a statement. more..

Sri Lanka rebels bury 'martyrs', vow to fight on

July 12 (Reuters) Tugging at a cyanide capsule hanging around his neck, Tamil Tiger fighter and doctor Vaman watches yet another slain comrade buried to the wails of relatives and the chorus of a rebel anthem. He says the deaths only make him stronger. Standing in characteristic Tiger-striped fatigues which conceal a prosthetic leg -- his own was blown off by a landmine during fighting in the early 1990s -- Vaman says he is ready to die to further the rebel cause for an independent state. more..

Sri Lanka: Thoppigala and after

July 12 (AT) The Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence in a terse announcement said that the security forces had captured Baron's Cap (Thoppigala), the last stronghold of the LTTE in the east. This success was awaited for the last three months. The fall of Kokkadicholai, approximately 14 km south of Batticaloa, on March 28, 2007 had kindled high public expectations of Thoppigala's capture any time soon. more..

The East we de-merged legally was liberated by Security Forces! – Somawansa Amarasinghe

July 12 (LT) The East separated legally by the JVP has been liberated from the Elam by Security Forces says JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. He said this at an intellectual gathering held under the theme “A Genuine National Front – a Government to develop Motherland” at Foundation Institute in Colombo. Speaking further Mr. Amarasinghe said, “The Security Forces have achieved a deserving victory. We express our admiration to the Security forces for the victory they have achieved. more..

Sri Lanka petro chief calls for national hedging policy

July 12 (LBO) The head of Sri Lanka's state petroleum utility has called for a national policy on oil hedging for the longer term as international bankers were due to present a fresh proposal on short-term hedging. Earlier this year Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) dipped its fingers into gas-oil (diesel) options engaging in an options strategy called 'zero-cost collar' which gave a limited two-dollar upside protection for 300,000 barrels. more..

Sri Lanka finance firms to merge

July 12 (LBO) Asian Finance is planning a merger with its parent company, Lanka Ratings (LRA) said, while confirming a negative outlook on the firm's rating due to its high exposure to the share market. Lanka Ratings Agency confirmed BBB3 investment grade rating of Asian Finance. "The negative outlook is premised on the changing risk profile of the Company, as reflected by its substantial investments in shares and subsequent provisions for losses, more..

Sri Lanka monetary board gets new member

July 12 (LBO) The governing board of Sri Lanka's central bank is filling a vacancy with President's Counsel K C Kamalasabayson, the monetary authority said Thursday. He replaces Chandi Chanmugam who completes his second 6-year term as member of the Monetary Board on July 17, 2007, a central bank statement said. The Monetary Board runs the institution that is commonly referred to as the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and more..

Sri Lanka auto firm delays property development plans

July 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's United Motors Lanka Limited has put off plans to diversify into big property developments as the market for high-rise space seems to be slowing, officials said. The company, the agent for several motor vehicles including Mitsubishi, wanted to develop some of its prime properties because of limited growth potential in the motor vehicle market. more..

Sri Lankan military intensifies offensive in the East

July 12 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government has ignored concerns expressed by the recent meeting of the Co-Chairs of the Sri Lankan Donors Conference—the US, EU, Japan and Norway—and is continuing offensive operations to destroy the last eastern major base of the LTTE. President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government is planning a major “national celebration” to coincide with the anniversary of the first military offensive against the LTTE in the Mavilaru area last July 26 more..

This land belongs to all of us to live in harmony

July 12 (FI) A woman has the physical and spiritual capacity to be a mother. She has the ability to beget, form, bring forth and nourish life. And this role is corporal as well as spiritual. With the process of begetting, forming and bringing forth she begins the process of being a mother. And the motherhood of such a woman begins from the time she absorbs into her spirit, the joy of being a mother. It is that woman who enters the motherhood thus recognized and respected as mother by the offspring. more..

Sri Lanka treasury auctions resume

July 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka has accepted a small amount of bids from this week's treasury bills after rejecting bids outright for two weeks in a row, data released by the public debt office showed. The government accepted 1.1 billion out of an auction of 11.3 billion rupees of maturing treasury bills. The bills, all in 3-month maturity were accepted to at 17.40 percent, the benchmark rate established at the last auction. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

July 12 (GDI) The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the Minister of Religious Affairs and Moral Upliftment, on the allocations for the Christian Churches damaged by Tsunami and to reconstruct and rehabilitate Churches over 100 years of existence. The government has up to now not given any assistance for the reconstruction of Christian Churches damaged by Tsunami. more..

'Liberation of East is a historical milestone'

July 12 (GDI) Cabinet spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that the capture of Thoppigala which marked the complete liberation of the Eastern province is a historical achievement and nobody should belittle this great victory achieved by the forces under the correct leadership from the Commander-in Chief and President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the last soldier. He said this at the weekly cabinet media briefing in Colombo. more..

Agriculture Ministry promotes indigenous food crops Island-wide

July 12 (GDI) The Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Ministry is to launch a new programme promoting the cultivation of indigenous food crops, island-wide. The new drive will commence under the auspices of President Mahinda Rajapaksa from the first week of August this year. Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena announced this at a media briefing held recently. more..

Govt. seeks coal and renewable energy sources to generate low cost electricity

July 12 (GDI) “The reason for high tariff rates of electricity is due to the usage of high cost petroleum as the main source of generating electricity in Sri Lanka,” said Minister of Power and Energy W.D.J. Senevirathne today (12). According to the Minister Sri Lanka could generate only 35% of the energy from hydropower and the balance 65% is obtained through utilizing diesel as energy source. more..

Solid waste disposal projects in major cities

July 12 (GDI) A new solid waste disposal project is implemented in Colombo city and soon will be expanded to several other major cities of the country, Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Ministry informs. This projects implements as a plan forwarded by Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Dr. Sarath Amunugama, ministerial sources said. more..

US Congressman told of an Iraq like blood bath averted due to tough action by Sri Lankan forces

July 12 (AT) Sri Lankan envoy in Washington DC Bernard Gooonetilleke told the New Jersey Congressman Rush Holt that Sri Lankan security forces were able to halt an Iraq like devastating truck bomb explosions because they took tough action to avert such insensate violence when they discovered two trucks packed with two tonnes each of plastic explosives recently. more..

Karuna group now targets their rivals in the Pillaiyan’s breakaway group

July 12 (AT) One Muslim was shot and killed and another suffered gunshot injuries yesterday afternoon around 12.30 midday at Oddamavadi, located 30 kilometers north of the Batticaloa town. According to police sources yesterday afternoon four cadres belonging to Karuna group went in two motor cycles and shot and killed Meera Sahib Mohammed Nazurdin (26) of the Boundary Road, Valaichchenai and shot at Abubucker Mohamed Illiyas 28) of College Road, Valaichchenai at Oddamavadi. more..