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135 SL scouts to London to celebrate the centenary

July 18 (GDI) A contingent of 135 Sri Lankan scouts will represent the country at the 21st international scout jamboree in England, which falls in line with the centenary of the Worldwide Scouts’ Movement, this year. This highly valuable occasion will be held at Highland Park in England from 27 July to 07 August, hosted by the Queen of England. This is the first ever opportunity in the history of Sri Lankan Scouts where a large number participate a single event, representing the nation at international level. more..

Police arrest 8 suspects on Eastern Chief Secretary’s assassination

July 18 (GDI) The Trincomalee Police have arrested eight people, suspected to be in connection with the assassination of Mr. Herath Abeyweera, the Eastern Province Chief Secretary. Mr. Abeyweera, 59, was shot dead just in front of his office in Trincomalee inner habour road, on Monday (16). He has been shot five times with a pistol with in the range of two to ten meters, Police investigations have revealed. more..

Passengers to pay more on 59 routes in Western Province

July 18 (PISL) Bus fares on 44 routes in the Western Province will go up sharply shortly. The proposed hike is outside the upward fare revision implemented by the National Transport Commission (NTC) with effect from July 4. The Western Province Transport Authority has finalized the new fares structure for 44 routes in consultation with the National Transport Commission. more..

Army repair Thondamannaru Bridge in a fortnight

July 18 (LNP) Sri Lanka Army engineers who completed repairs to the famed Thondamannaru Bridge in the Jaffna peninsula declared it open for traffic on Monday. The bridge which was blasted by the LTTE way back in 1987 remained closed for traffic since then and motorists were compelled to make several detours. The new bridge has a span of 330 feet, in length is 40 feet wide and can bear a load of 35 tons. more..

Ranil insulted Theravada Buddhism - Sirisena

July 18 (LNP) Opposiion leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has discredited Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka since he has criticised the Ven. Ellawala Madananda Thera for purchasing a Mercedes Benz. The Opposition leader has also made derogatory remarks on the Buddhist Order, Secretary of the UNP Democratic Group, Parliamentarian R. A. D. Sirisena told the media at Sethsewana yesterday. more..

Private sector needs master plan for Eastern Province revival

July 18 (LNP) Sri Lanka`s private sector which has shown interest in supporting the Government`s effort to develop the Eastern Province has highlighted the need to formulate a master plan to improve infrastructure and human resource in the area. Several local companies have expressed their keenness to join the government`s effort and they are of the view that there is vast potential to develop the province by investing especially in agriculture-related businesses, more..

Kuwait gives US$7 m for Southeastern University

July 18 (LNP) The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development will provide a loan of Kuwaiti Dinars 2 million (Rs. 770 million) to improve academic infrastructure through the implementation of the SouthEastern University of Sri Lanka Development Project. This loan is provided on highly concessional terms at an interest rate of one per cent per annum and repayable in 24 years including a grace period of four years, the Finance and Planning Ministry said. more..

House to debate Eastern LG polls

July 18 (SAMN) An Urgent Bill calling for fresh Local Government elections in the Eastern Province will be presented to Parliament Thursday as the government prepares to hold local polls in the region before the end of the year. The ‘Local Government Elections (Special Provisions)’ Bill to be presented by Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Janaka Bandara Tennekoon will be subject to a half day debate the same day. more..

Cancel the big show: UNP

July 18 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP Tuesday called on the government to focus on religious ceremonies to mark the liberation of the East rather than wasting a vast amount of public funds to put up a show. The party’s Anuradhapura District MP P. Harrison told a news conference that the government should hold religious ceremonies in places like Jaya Srimaha Bodhi and the Dalada Maligawa to invoke blessings on the security forces personnel. more..

UPF to discuss fuel price hike with MR

July 18 (SAMN) The Upcountry People’s Front (UPF) hopes to hold discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the issues faced by the estate community following the fuel price increase. UPF Media Coordinator S. Vijesandiran said the UPF would urge the government to come up with a solution so that the community would not be affected when the prices of these items are increased in the future.He added that more than 75% of the community depended on kerosene for their daily need. more..

Police take steps for emergency response

July 18 (SAMN) The Police Department has taken new steps in increase the public’s knowledge of the emergency response units established by the police force. With the assistance of Union Assurance, the police department was able to put up boards at the boundary of each and every police station around the island, police sources said. These informative boards have information in English, Sinhala and Tamil depending of the police area. more..

Biggest salary increase under Present Govt.

July 18 (DN) The Government has already provided one lakh of jobs during its one and a half year tenure. The biggest ever salary increase so far had been given by the present Government, Construction and Engineering Service Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. “During the two and half years I was Minister in the UNP Government, I was able to grant only 74 jobs and I had to do it without the knowledge of the then Prime Minister,” he said. more..

Chandrasena claims Rs. 50m from Anura Kumara

July 18 (DN) Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development Minister S.M. Chandrasena has sent a letter of demand to JVP Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake claiming Rs. 50 million as compensation over a corruption accusation made against him (the Minister) relating to Mavil Aru compensation. Addressing the media yesterday, Chandrasena stuck to his earlier position on the Mavil Aru issue against the allegation by the JVP MP. more..

Vasu gets leave to proceed

July 18 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation petition filed by President’s Advisor Vasudeva Nanayakkara against the selling of 90% shares of Lanka Marine Services (Pvt) Ltd. to John Keells Holdings Private Ltd. and selling of valuable land at Bloemendhal without a valuation and Cabinet approval. The Bench granted leave for the alleged infringement of fundamental right to equality and equal protection by the law. more..

Inside help in EP Secy.’s killing?

July 18 (DM) A special investigation team from the Trincomalee Police yesterday arrested nine persons, including four employees of the Eastern Provincial Council, on suspicion for the killing of its Chief Secretary H.M. Herath Abeyweera on Monday. The investigators have begun questioning the suspects including the four employees who were reportedly on duty at the time of the assassination. more..

Judge lashes pollies as Tamils bailed

July 18 (TA) THREE terror suspects have been freed on bail after a Supreme Court judge warned against "political expediency" interfering in the criminal justice system. And in a further blow to federal authorities, judge Bernard Bongiorno cast doubt on prosecutors being able to convince a jury that the Tamil Tigers was a terrorist organisation. In what was interpreted by many in the Melbourne courtroom as a thinly veiled attack on the federal Government's decision to use immigration laws to more..

More than 120 Sri Lankans held in the immigration detention centre in Bangkok

July 18 (AT) Unconfirmed reports emerging from Bangkok, Thailand, reveals that more than 120 Sri Lankans are arrested and detained in the immigration detention centre in Bangkok, for overstaying their visas to that country. “Asian Tribune” learnt that majority of those held in the detention centre located at Soi Suan Plu, Sathorn, Bangkok, within the Immigration Bureau Head Office compound, are Sri Lankan Tamils. more..

Yahoo Photos

July 18 (Reuters) Thamalin Thirvakumar and her baby son (R) live in a camp for war-displaced in Kalmadunagar village, in rebel-held north Sri Lanka in this July 14, 2007 picture. Her husband is stuck across an impassable frontier in territory held by the Sri Lankan army. Picture taken July 14, 2007. more..

Sri Lankan parliament held up over deal with U.S.

July 18 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan parliamentary sessions were interrupted on Wednesday as the main left party protested against a government deal with the government of the United States. The JVP or the People's Liberation Front protested against the failure by a senior minister to table the documents of the Acquisition and Cross Service Agreement (ACSA) signed in March between the two governments. more..

Commentary: Costly war still ahead in Sri Lanka

July 18 (UPI) The Sri Lankan government has made plans to celebrate the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elaam, and the liberation of the eastern region of Thoppigala by the security forces, on a grand scale later this week. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to be presented with a scroll by the heads of the Sri Lankan military informing him of the great victory, in keeping with ancient kingly tradition. more..

Sri Lankan troops recover rocket launcher from Tamil rebels

July 18 (DPA) A multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL) left behind by Tamil rebels in eastern Sri Lanka, where government troops last week regained control, was recovered Wednesday by government troops as they continue their clearing operations in the region, a defense ministry spokesman said Wednesday. The MBRL and five rockets were found buried in Omunagala, 320 kilometres east of the capital, he said. more..

Sri Lanka war, humanitarian crisis to grind on

July 18 (Reuters) As Sri Lanka's government fetes the capture of vast swathes of rebel territory in the island's east, observers warn a two-decade civil war -- and the humanitarian crisis it creates -- will grind on. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government has vowed to hold local government elections in the east by the year-end and officials say they will then try to win hearts and minds by rapidly developing the impoverished region. more..

Lasith Malinga to bowl for Brandix

July 19 (F2F) Virtually on the follow through to his World Cup heroics in the Caribbean, Sri Lanka’s newest cricketing sensation Lasith Malinga has taken another milestone step, joining Sri Lanka’s largest apparel exporter Brandix as a champion of the group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Human Resources Development (HRD) initiatives. more..

Malnutrition rising in Jaffna, aid deliveries struggling

July 19 (IRIN) Nutrition surveys by the Sri Lankan government and international agencies show rising levels of acute malnutrition in the northern Jaffna district. Livelihoods and markets have been disrupted by conflict and displacement, the closure of a major highway, and security-related restrictions on farming and fishing. Food assistance for the internally displaced and other vulnerable groups has been in short supply for months. more..

'Do not transfer' Tamil suspects

July 19 (BBC) The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka have ordered police to produce Tamil Tiger suspects before local courts than transferring them to the capital. The Chief Justice (CJ) made the order after considering a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by six LTTE suspects arrested in Muttur, Trincomalee. The suspects, arrested under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), have argued that they faced hardships as a result of transferring them to Colombo. more..

UNP to take legal action on JHU’s duty free vehicle transaction

July 19 (LD) The UNP stated on the 18th that they will take legal action against the monk MPs of the JHU regarding the selling of duty free vehicles which has caused much turmoil in the political circles. The UNP state that the selling of the duty-free vehicles purchased is a breach of the conditions on duty free importation. Thus, they will take steps and demand for a Court order for the tax commissioner to confiscate the relevant vehicles. more..

Farbrace named as Sri Lanka's assistant coach

July 19 (CI) Sri Lanka have named Paul Farbrace, a coaching director at Kent, as their new assistant coach. "We have picked Paul as the assistant coach and his appointment will be ratified this Friday," Kangadaran Mathivanan, the secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket, told AFP. Farbrace had a brief first-class career as a wicketkeeper with Middlesex and Kent before moving into coaching, initially with the England women's team and then the Under-19s before moving to Kent. more..

Saba Ilangaratnam dies aged 59

July 19 (CI) Saba Ilangaratnam, a fast bowler from Sri Lanka, died of cardiac arrest in Colombo on Monday. He was 59. Sri Lanka's first Test captain Bandula Warnapura under whom Ilangaratnam played most of his cricket for Bloomfield described him as a person who loved to make others happy. "Ilange never thought about himself. He always made it a point to ensure that others were first made comfortable before he saw to himself," Warnapura said. more..

Double feature

July 19 (CI) By the time the Sri Lanka v Bangladesh bandwagon rolled around to Kandy, the hosts had wrapped up the three-Test series 2-0, and much, if not all, of the focus was on whether or not Muttiah Muralitharan could take the 12 wickets he needed to get to 700. "Chasing Warne", could easily have been the tagline of the final Test. But before Murali could hog the headlines, Kumar Sangakkara did an encore with yet another double-hundred. more..

The story of sleuths after the judges, one fabricated to to create conflict between the governments, says Jeyaraj

July 19 (LeN) The Chief Organizer of the government parliamentary group and the Minister of Highways and Highways Development Jeyaraj Fernandopulle says that the story posted in a website on a special Police intelligence investigation on the Chief Justice and Supreme Court judges was a fabrication aimed at creating conflict between the government and the judiciary. more..

Humanitarian Crisis in Sri Lanka as War Set to Continue

July 19 (CT) As Sri Lanka's government fetes the capture of vast swathes of rebel territory in the island's east, observers warn a two-decade civil war -- and the humanitarian crisis it creates -- will grind on. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government has vowed to hold local government elections in the east by the year-end and officials say they will then try to win hearts and minds by rapidly developing the impoverished region. more..

Another 'Black July' warned

July 19 (BBC) Human rights activists in Sri Lanka have warned of another 'Black July' as trust between communities increasingly eroding. Forum for Life (FFL) described incident in July 1983 as the worst incident in Sri Lanka's history. Hundreds of Tamils were killed and thousands made homeless as the United National party (UNP) led government did not take action against the violent mobs. more..

Sri Lankan foreign minister calls on Khurshid Kasuri

July 19 (APP) Foreign Minister Khurshid M. Kasuri on Wednesday expressed his satisfaction over the existing friendly relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, which share similar interests in regional peace, security and stability. He was talking to Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka Dr. Palitha T. B. Kohona, who called on him here in the Foreign Office today. more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka agree to strengthen existing friendly relations

July 19 (APP) Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Wednesday agreed on the need to further strengthen the existing friendly relations between the two countries, with the commitment to work closely to strengthen multi-faceted and multi-sectoral cooperation in the fields of trade, education, culture, tourism and defence. The two sides reached this understanding during the second Foreign Secretary Level Bilateral Consultations held here today. more..

LTTE has huge profits: report

July 19 (Hindu) The London-based Jane’s Intelligence Review says the LTTE has not only created one of the “most sophisticated insurgencies in the world” but also has an annual “profit margin” of $200 to $300 m illion. A report released on Wednesday says the Tigers have succeeded in establishing one of the sophisticated insurgency networks, largely due to a complex global network of financial resources and weapons that are integral to prolonging its campaign for a separate Tamil state. more..

Did Colombo's sudden deportation of 20 Thai ladies led to detention of Sri Lankans in Bangkok?

July 19 (AT) Travel industry circles in Colombo are now abuzz as to the real reason for the sudden detention of 120 Sri Lankans in Bangkok detention compound for "overstaying their visas." More than 120 Sri Lankans are arrested and detained in the Immigration Bureau Head Office compound located at Soi Suan Plu, Sathorn, Bangkok, on July 18. more..

Lawyer representation not required under Shariah law for minor condemned to die, says Saudi daily

July 19 (AT) Under a Shariah Court constituted under Islamic Quranic canons, attorney representation is not necessary points out Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s English language newspaper, referring to a verdict delivered by three judges of such a court to behead a minor Muslim girl Rizana Nafeek from Sri Lanka accused of murder. more..

Let’s make Thoppigala victory a part of freedom struggle! – Wimal Weerawansa

July 19 (LT) The victory achieved by the Security Forces at Thoppigala should be made a part of the independence struggle said Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Member of the National Council of the Manel Mal Movement (MMM). He further said the tiger organization is being manipulated according to the wishes of imperialist forces. Hence, the Security Forces, in defeating tiger terrorists, carry out a part of the struggle against imperialism said Mr. Weerawansa. more..

Strategic Importance of Eastern Province

July 19 (FI) Various theories, views and opinions have been expressed and published both by the Eelamists as well as those who oppose Eelam on the above subject over the past two decades of the Eelam War. I am, yet to see a proper analysis of the importance of the Eastern Province. Geographically the Eastern province has the longest coast line than any other province in Sri Lanka. This is naturally, connected to the unlimited oceanic, resources” minerals and the marine. more..

Nation-building and Cricket

July 19 (FI) In an earlier article, “Nations at Cricket” , I commented on the relation between international cricket and nationalism in the context of the revolutionary changes implied by the term “modernity. Here I will comment on the significance that international cricket could have for the process of nation-building, beginning with the case of Sri Lanka. more..

Ahmed leads Bangladeshis to warm-up win

July 19 (CI) Aftab Ahmed warmed up for Bangladesh's one-day series against Sri Lanka with a match-winning 92 in a three-wicket win against a Sri Lankan XI in Colombo. Ahmed led a recovery from 96 for 5 as the Bangladeshis chased down 242 with four balls remaining. After the Test series where the top order struggled a similar pattern was forming in coloured clothes. more..

Speech by Robert Gabor at the ANC University College, Sri Lanka

July 19 (TW) It is an honor to be here today to launch the Northwood and University of Missouri degree programs at American National College. I am proud to represent the U.S. Embassy to applaud ANC University College and its partners for providing these valuable new management, psychology, and information-technology programs. These programs will enhance career prospects for Sri Lankan students. more..

Sri Lanka construction industry seeks solution in machinery leasing

July 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's construction industry is looking for foreign partners to set up a machinery leasing company that would be especially useful for the large number of small and medium firms that dominate the sector. A machinery leasing company, such as those available in other countries experiencing a construction boom, would help contractors, especially smaller players, meet their requirements without heavy capital expenditure. more..

Sri Lanka: bloody mindsets

July 19 (ISL) As Sri Lankan government forces win a victory, though incomplete, against LTTE rebels in the east, and the Tigers themselves pledge to retake lost territory, the decades-old civil war moves to the north and peace seems out of the question, with both sides hoping to resolve the conflict militarily. While the Sri Lankan government holds that it has reclaimed, even "liberated," the country's east from rebels of the LTTE, the Tigers, who have kept their stronghold in the north, insist they have not lost the war. more..

Rizana's case – Letter to Minister Keheliya Rambukwella

July 19 (ISL) Victor Karunairajan a former Sun/Weekend journalist, in a letter to the Government of Sri Lanka through Minister Rambukwella appeals not only to do everything possible to save the life of Rizana Naffeek from a poverty-ridden hamlet in the Eastern Province but also that the Government of Sri Lanka takes steps to ensure no youngster or single mother has to seek slave employment overseas especially in the Middle East. more..

Sri Lanka shares close higher on last minute action

July 19 (LBO) Colombo stocks closed higher Thursday on a last-minute buying spurt on index heavyweights that reversed a three-day losing streak, dealers said. The benchmark All Share index closed up 10 points (0.46 percent) and the liquid Milanka up 7.53 (0.23 percent), according to Colombo Stock Exchange provisional data. The spike, which came amidst wafer-thin trading, started around an hour before the closing time of 14.30 hours. more..

Sri Lanka promises eastern economic revival

July 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse Thursday promised to wage an economic war to revive eastern areas of the country recently re-taken from the Tamil Tigers. "Economic freedom is as important as freeing territory," the President said as the government held a televised ceremony to mark the fall of the last Tamil Tiger (LTTE) base in the Thoppigala area of the Eastern Province. more..

“A new, better era dawns with the new agreement” -Ranil

July 19 (LD) At the signing of the MoU between the SLFP (M) and the UNP, which took place at the parliament on 19th July, the opposition leader -Ranil Wickramasingha said that the signing of the MoU marked the initial step towards the dawning of a new, better era which confirms democracy while eradicating corruption, terror and the “Rajapaksha Poshanaya”. The MoU was signed with the aim of a National plan to develop and preserve Sri Lanka. more..

MIG alarm drives Josephians to dive under chairs

July 19 (LD) Due to the official function to be held on the 19th to celebrate the Thoppigala victory, security has been tightened in Colombo. At around 11a.m. on the 17th, it was reported that an Air force MIG attacker noisily flying around the Colombo area had caused a wave of apprehension to spread among the people as well as among the students and teachers of Colombo schools. more..

Steps to amend the existing motor traffic act

July 19 (GDI) Government will be taking steps to amend the existing motor traffic act, which would be more effective at acting against the drivers without license. Minister of Transport Dallas Alahaperuma will present a paper to the Cabinet with the aim of introducing amendments to the existing Motor Traffic Act which is 15 years old. The Commission has already conducted discussions with the stakeholders on the legal amendments which are underway. more..