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East will e a showcase of democratic pluralism - FM

July 23 (GDI) Foreign Minister Bogollagama said the newly liberated Eastern Province would be made a showcase of democratic pluralism to the outside world. “Post conflict development is our major theme today and we will ensure peace for all the people of Sri Lanka”, he said. He described the capture of East as a major achievement in that it was able to explode the hitherto entertained notion of the LTTE’s invincibility. more..

Essay competition on “Cultural Heritage of Sri Lanka and Thailand”

July 23 (GDI) Sri Lanka-Thailand Society in association with the Royal Thai Embassy will be holding an all-island essay competition. The essay theme is ‘Cultural Heritage of Sri Lanka and Thailand’, and all the essays should be formed in the English medium. The essays should have a length of more than 1200 and not more than 1500 words. The competition is open for the students of 10-15 years and 15-20 years. more..

LTTE press producing false IDs found in Jaffna

July 23 (GDI) In Jaffna, Army located a LTTE printing press set up in a house, producing false identity cards, seals of government officials and establishments, Media Centre for National Security states. The press has been producing official documents such as identity cards issued to Police stations and to security personnel. Stationary and other raw material required to produce these items were also recovered. more..

Jetlite resumes flights to Sri Lanka

July 23 (ANN) Jetlite (India) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jet Airways, India, resumed flights to Sri Lanka after a lapse of almost three months with the first flight arriving from Chennai on Saturday (July 21). Jetlite flight, a Boeing 737, will operate seven days a week from Delhi via Chennai to Colombo. The airline has offered a low introductory price for the Chennai-Colombo sector with the resumption of flights more..

'Sea mines' recovered in Sri Lanka

July 23 (ANN) The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) had recovered 30 sea mines placed off Sea Tiger bases at Thalaiadi and Nayaru on the Mullaitivu coast. The Sea Tigers are the naval part of the LTTE. SLN divers had braved rough waters to secure the monster mines placed by Sea Tigers as part of the measures to discourage Fast Attack Craft (FAC) from moving too close to the coast. The recovery had been made during the final stages of the SLA’s ground campaign in the Eastern Province. more..

Rizana meets parents in prison

July 23 (BBC) The Sri Lankan girl sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia, Rizana Nafeek, has met her family members on Sunday in Riyadh. Sri Lankan ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Adam MJ Sadeeq, told BBC Sandeshaya that the meeting was arranged by visiting Sri Lankan deputy foreign minister. Minister Hussein Bahila who accompanied the parents to the prison also met deputy governor of the city and other officials in his attempt to save the young Muslim girl's life, ambassador Sadeeq said. more..

Democracy expensive, peace rare: President

July 23 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday called upon all patriotic forces to unite under one umbrella to find a lasting solution to the current national problem by setting aside all other agendas. Addressing the SLFP`s 17th national convention at Maharagama the President said, `The most expensive thing in this world is democracy and the rarest thing is peace. Today, we are in search of these two, and I invite all patriots to join us in order to ensure the accomplishment of this task. more..

The East is calling

July 23 (LNP) The re-establishment of the government`s writ in the entire Eastern Province has not only demolished many a myth about the LTTE? its invincibility etc.? but also ripped the international community`s mask of humanitarian concerns. A few moons ago, some foreign envoys in Colombo let rip, so to speak, about the humanitarian situation in the East. They were so concerned about the civilian plight that they even went there in defiance of government warnings to see for themselves how humanitarian work was being done. more..

Sri Lanka remains in Zone III

July 23 (LNP) It was a delayed start yesterday due to rain on the fifth and final day of the Asia/Oceania Zone III of the Davis Cup tennis tournament at Green Path. The front runners for the first and second teams to be promoted from Zone III to Zone II were Lebanon, Oman, Sri Lanka and UAE. Lebanon were way ahead and made themselves eligible for promotion by having won 4 ties. In contention for the second position and thereby for promotion, were Oman with having won 3 ties, Sri Lanka 3 and UAE 2. more..

Extortionist shot dead

July 23 (LNP) Welikada police Saturday night shot dead a person who was alleged to have demanded a Rs 2 million ransom from a wealthy businessman living at Rajagiriya. Police identified the slain person as K. Pradeep Prasanna, a resident of Homagama. A police squad had fired at the suspect as he tried to flee after meeting the businessman at an isolated point at Mattegoda. more..

Lankan Tamils on hunger strike in London

July 23 (SAMN) Twenty nine Sri Lankan Tamil nationals are on hunger strike at a controversial detention centre in London opposing moves by the British authorities to deport them back to Sri Lanka Tuesday, sources from London said. Earlier on July 9, two Tamil Jaffna residents, who had sought refugee status in Britain after fleeing the conflict in the North started a fast unto death as their applications had been turned down and they were subsequently placed at the Harmondsworth refugee detention centre in London. more..

Anti Govt. protests planned on all sides

July 23 (SAMN) The Mahinda Rajapaksa government will have to face a series of protests in the coming few weeks not only from the main opposition United National Party (UNP) but also the government’s main political ally, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) which is poised to stage a chain of picketing campaigns, token strikes, demonstrations and lectures countrywide, highlighting the government’s failure to provide solutions to various burning issues. more..

Govt. rallies to counter protest rallies

July 23 (SAMN) The government has planned to hold a series of public rallies throughout the country to counter political protest rallies organized by the UNP and SLFP (Mahajana) Wing, sources said. The SLFP held its first rally at Nawalapitiya on Saturday, and will hold another one in Kurunegala next month. Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said Sunday they plan to go before the people throughout the country. more..

BoI to boost ornamental fish sector

July 23 (SAMN) The Chairman/Director General of the Board of Investment Dhammika Perera held a meeting with exporters in the local ornamental fish sector to discuss ways to further enhance the local ornamental fish sector recently. Several leading exporters and representatives from various associations related to the sector were present. During the meeting, the BOI made a presentation to highlight features of the local sector’s current positioning in the global arena. more..

Co-chairs to sit tight till APRC finds solution

July 23 (DM) The Co-chairs have decided not to get actively involved in Sri Lanka’s conflict until the country finds a lasting solution through the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC), a diplomatic source revealed. The US, EU, Japan and Norway had taken this stance to enable Sri Lanka to decide by itself, a top Western diplomatic told the Daily Mirror. more..

Hostel facilities to be discussed to increase student intake: UGC

July 23 (DM) The University Grants Commission (UGC) is to initiate a dialogue with parents to seek the possibility of increasing the intake of students to the universities without providing hostel facilities to the additional number. The UGC has already set a target to increase the intake up to 20,000 next year as against 18,000 admitted this year. more..

Sri Lanka wrap series with five-wicket win

July 23 (CI) The three-match one-day series followed a predictable script as Sri Lanka wrapped up the second ODI and the series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo with a five-wicket win. The victory was fashioned by a ruthless bowling performance, starting with Lasith Malinga's incisive opening burst, followed by Sanath Jayasuriya's finishing touches, restricting Bangladesh to 137, a score few teams can realistically defend. more..

Danish aid group says staffer killed in Sri Lanka

July 23 (Reuters) A gunman shot dead a Sri Lankan staff member of the Danish Refugee Council in the island's army-held far northern Jaffna peninsula, the aid group said on Monday, the latest in a series of killings of humanitarian staff. "One of our national staff in Jaffna was murdered this morning," said Charles Macfadden, head of the group's Sri Lanka mission. more..

Sri Lanka minister hopeful over plea for maid's life in Saudi

July 23 (AFP) A Sri Lankan minister in Saudi Arabia to plead for the life of a teenage housemaid condemned to death for murdering a four-month-old baby said on Monday he was hopeful of a positive outcome. Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila arrived in the kingdom on Friday with the parents of Rizana Nafeek. The 19-year-old was convicted of strangling her employer's baby in 2005. more..

Tamil Tigers still getting arms from Cambodia: report

July 23 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels are still getting weapons smuggled from Cambodia, which are fuelling spiralling unrest in Sri Lanka, a security journal reported. "Cambodia is one of the most significant single sources of weapons for the insurgent group," Jane's Intelligence Review said in a report published online last week, without naming any sources. more..

Catholic, other religious leaders, laity try silence when peace talks fail

July 24 (UCAN) Silence filled the soundproof room as people sat on the floor, their eyes closed. This odd grouping of people in a strange setting seemed to be doing nothing. They had come together at Nuwarawewa Rest House, a well-known tourist hotel in Anuradhapura, 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) north of Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka calls for public vigil over rebel bomb lorries

July 24 (Xinhua) Sri lankan defense authorities warned public Monday to be vigilant of two bomb laden trucks sent by the Tamil Tigers to the capital Colombo to create destruction in the city. Police Inspector General Victor Perera told reporters that LTTE have dispatched a lorry with 1,000 kg of high explosives and a car also laden with bombs to Colombo from the island''s restive north and east. more..

'Protect' migrant workers' rights

July 24 (BBC) International human rights watchdogs have urged Sri Lanka President to review Sri Lanka’s policy regarding the legal protection that should be available to Sri Lankan migrant workers. In an open letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said Sri Lanka should sign agreements that secure workers' rights with Middle Eastern countries. more..

Don't shout from Nawalapitiya and prove innocence at a select committee, says Johnston

July 24 (LeN) UNP says that the corrupt Rajapakse regime will be defeated in the parliament in the right moment. UNP said that all forces and elements would be gathered in this purpose and the protest campaign and the rally held in Colombo on 26th would be the first step of it. UNP parliamentarian Johnston Fernando announced these facts at a special press conference held at the official residence of the Opposition Leader. more..

Sripathi files FR asking for an interim order against the sale of Hingurana Sugar Company

July 24 (LeN) Coordinator of the SLFP Mahajana wing Sripathi Suriarachchi filed a fundamental rights petition today (23) asking the courts to issue an interim order stopping the Hingurana sugar company being transferred to the Gal Oya cultivation company. 20 persons have been sited as the respondents including the secretary of the Ministry of Finance P. B. Jayasundara, former president of the PERC W.M. Bandusena, Basil Rajapakse and the Attorney General. more..

NGO work 'must be supervised'

July 24 (BBC) Sri Lanka military says that Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) should not be offered unrestricted access to engage in development projects in the east. Speaking to Sandeshaya military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said “since the liberation of eastern province it is the responsibility of military and police to provide security to the resettled people” more..

An island sinking under its burden

July 24 (Age) FLYING into Colombo's civil war on tourist-less Sri Lankan Airlines, my eye was caught by three plugs in the in-flight magazine from the country's investment board: "Generous Fiscal Incentives", "Transparent Legal System", and "One of the Most Liveable Countries in Asia". The 70,000 who have died since 1983 in the former Ceylon's intractable conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese would disagree with the last one. more..

Jayasuriya stays modest after his feat

July 24 (CI) Sri Lanka's champion allrounder Sanath Jayasuriya said that whoever tries to emulate his feat of scoring 12,000 runs and 300 wickets in ODIs will have to work really hard for it and also have luck on his side. "It's tough to get 300 wickets and score over 12,000 runs. Its hard work and a lot of sacrifice in your career. It's not easy. Somebody who wants achieve that feat will have to work really hard and be lucky," Jayasuriya said more..

The unsung allrounder

July 24 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya became the ninth bowler to take 300 ODI wickets after his haul of 4 for 31 in the second ODI against Bangladesh. Jayasuriya - more known for his powerful shot-making ability than his left-arm slingers - is only the third Sri Lankan bowler to do so, after Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas. To add to his 300 wickets, Jayasuriya has also scored over 12,000 runs in ODIs, a feat matched by no other player. more..

Bangladesh U-19s down Sri Lanka

July 24 (DS) All-round performances by Mahmudul Hasan and Tapash Ghosh enabled touring Bangladesh to beat Sri Lanka by 43 runs in the Under-19 tri-nation cricket tournament at the P Sara Stadium in Colombo yesterday. Bangladesh, who suffered a seven-wicket defeat to India on Sunday, were all out for 204 in 48.4 overs after elcting to bat. Skipper Hasan made second highest 32 off 47 balls with one boundary and more..

Sri Lanka's Black Tigers

July 24 (AJ) Her eyes are brown and piercing. Her moods change from a broad smile to anger in an instance. But one thing remained constant: her motivation for becoming a suicide bomber. Rajeswary is 27-years-old and she is a Black Tiger, the feared arm of the Tamil Tigers which has wreaked havoc throughout Sri Lanka. "Look at the injustice," she told me. "They bomb and shell the Tamils, innocent people are killed. That's why we do what we do." more..

Reports of LTTE threats to families and aid workers in North

July 24 (RW) The LTTE must immediately keep to its pledge to the UN and return all remaining child soldiers held by it to their families and engage in transparent procedures with UNICEF to reunite remaining child soldiers with their families, states Amnesty International (AI) in a Public Statement on Sri Lanka. AI says it had received reports in April 2007 that the LTTE were active in recruiting children in Madhu in Mannar District in preparation for future military battles in the North. more..

TN, Lanka varsities sign MoU for Siddha faculty

July 24 (ET) An MoU for exchange of faculty, researchers and students in Siddha medicine was signed between Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University and Eastern University of Sri Lanka on Monday. The MoU would facilitate joint research projects, development and sharing of laboratory and library facilities, developing and designing new courses, training and sharing of technical and administrative manpower, more..

Celebrating Tamil Month of Aadi

July 24 (TW) Aadi is the fourth month according to the Tamil Almanac. July 17th 2007 - the first day of the month of Aadi – July, according to the Tamil Almanac. Aadi Pirappu was celebrated (Birth of Aadi month) on this day, making Kozhukattai and Aadi Koozh and sharing with relatives and friends. The month of Aadi is considered inauspicious by the Hindus, which continues till August 17th 2007. But the month of Aadi is considered sacred for Shakthi worship. more..

LTTE is targeting south now: Colombo

July 24 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Government on Monday warned that the LTTE, following its ouster from the east, the LTTE is “attempting to cause destruction and panic” in south with the objective of disrupting “development works” in the east and urged people to be vigilant. The alert came amid continued fighting in the north and killings of a foreign NGO local worker in Jaffna and four Tiger cadres at the Muhamalai Forward Defence Lines (FDLs). more..

Eastern Victory Celebrations combative hurt Tamil feelings

July 24 (AT) Rauf Hakeem, Leader, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, addressing the 8th Forum of the Business for Peace initiative of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka held at the JAIC Hilton Hotel, lambasted the Thoppigala victory celebrations of the Government and the way President Mahinda Rajapakse spoke indicating that it was more combative than magnanimity in victory and compassionate. more..

Tigers run multi-million dollar empire-report

July 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels run a worldwide legal and illegal business empire generating revenue of $200 to $300 million a year to put towards guns, planes and attack boats, according to an analyst's report. The LTTE have been fighting for a separate homeland for minority ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka's north and east for more than two decades, building a reputation as one of the world's most fearsome guerrilla groups. more..

Mahavamsa Myths About Leonine Ancestry Of Sinhala People

July 24 (FI) Over the years, Sinhala Buddhist nationalistic politicians and closely linked Buddhist clergy have been successful in implanting the belief that the Sinhala Buddhists are the ‘chosen people’ and the real custodians of Sri Lanka and of Theravada Buddhism. This, many Sinhala Buddhists believe, is their ‘birth right’ by virtue of the origin of their ethnicity as depicted by the Mahavamsa. more..

Colombo Anglican Bishop Says War Can Never Be Right

July 24 (FI) The Anglican Bishop of Colombo Rt.Rev Duleep de Chickera has in a recent statement observed ” that war can never be right” and pointed out that “the responsibility of democratic leadership then, is to work earnestly and urgently to end war and achieve a just and stable socio-economic order through non-violent, negotiated means”. more..

Sri Lankan mutual funds say better fortunes should help revamp image

July 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's mutual funds, known locally as unit trusts, which have long struggled to attract investors, are enjoying higher returns with a rise in interest rates and a downturn in the stock market. The change in fortunes of the funds have made it an opportune time for fund managers to launch a campaign to draw more investors when stock market trading has dried up and returns from equities trading become low. more..

Eastern Referendum Necessary To Thwart Indian Intentions

July 24 (FI) The Supreme Court with the Chief Justice presiding has held with eminent Counsel Mr. H. L. De Silva that there has never been a valid merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces. It would be recalled that President JR Jayewardene on 7th September 1988 declared that the Eastern Province should be merged with the Northern province to form one administrative unit and continue to be administered as one unit conditional on the taking of a poll to enable the people of the East to decide as more..

Tight security at Sri Lanka port causes delays

July 24 (LBO) Tough security measures at Colombo harbour are causing delays both on the sea side as well as the land side, prompting port customers to take up the matter with the authorities. Shipping line executives and shippers say they do not mind the tough security measures put in place to thwart the possibility of a Tamil Tiger attack but hope adequate arrangements could be in place to ensure smooth flow of commerce. more..

President purchases a Rs. 260m worth luxury house for the Rajapaksha family

July 24 (LD) The chief Co-ordinator for the SLFP(M) Sripathy Sooriarachchi revealed in Colombo, today(24th) that President Mahinda Rajapaksha has bought the luxury ‘White house’ in Battharamulla using Rs.260m of the money given for the Presidential elections. Being a person who played a responsible role in the previous Presidential elections as a member of the organising committee, he openly challenged the President to a public debate regarding such factors, including the transaction with the LTTE. more..

Muslims in the East cry foul of Karuna group

July 24 (AT) Muslims in the east have begun to cry loudly of the persecutions, threats and intimidations they daily undergo in the hands of the uncontrollable and ruthless armed cadres of the Karuna Group. Reports reveal that the Muslims in the East are not yet allowed to walk independently, even after the liberation of the east. In its latest report, ‘Muslim Guardian’ a news portal claiming to be the ‘Voice of the Sri Lanka Muslims,’ was highly critical of the atrocities of the Karuna Group in one of its news report more..

'The Economist' retreats under fire from Peace Secretariat

July 24 (AT) James Astill, the South Asia Correspondent of "The Economist," is typical of the cocky Western journalists who parachute from nowhere into their former colonies and find that the natives running a democracy – or even a dictatorship -- are not living up to the standards expected by the superior Caucasians. Evelyn Waugh had caricatured this type in his hilarious comedy, "Scoop" – a book that should be compulsory reading for every Western journalist. Astill begins his feature, A war strange as fiction (June 7, 2007), more..

Govt ready to take the tough challenge – Minister Rambukwella

July 24 (GDI) To make the Liberation of East become more meaningful, the civil administration will have to established and provide the people with economic freedom and the Government is ready to take that tough challenge, Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. Minister Rambukwella further stated that the cold blooded murder of the Eastern Province Chief Secretary clearly gives the Prabhakaran’s and his terrorists’ message against the Government’s efforts in establishing civil administration in the area. more..

Former Sri Lanka minister fires legal salvo to prevent sell-down of state firm

July 24 (LBO) A former minister who oversaw Sri Lanka's privatization commission has gone to court seeking to block the sell down of a defunct sugar firm to a private firm. Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi, a rebel parliamentarian of Sri Lanka's ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party, went to Supreme Court asking for an order to stop the transfer of assets of state-owned Hingurana Sugar to a new investment vehicle. more..

What does freedom really mean?

July 24 (KT) THE Independence Square is one of the few places left in Colombo for people to spend the evening. Hundreds of people keen on staying fit or reducing their diabetic and cholesterol levels and teenagers with skating boards love this place. But when national celebrations are held, the area is closed for the public. Last Thursday’s victory celebrations at Independence Square amid tight security underscore the grim reality that the government may have won the east, but the people in Colombo are still not free to witness a “national” ceremony. more..

Two Sri Lankans arrested

July 24 (Hindu) The police on Monday arrested two Sri Lankans and seized a firbreglass boat, which was found abandoned at Manthoppu shore near Thankatchimadam in Rameswaram island. Sources said C. Chandra Yogu (29) and Saba Ratnam (21) of Silavathurai in Mannar district were charged under the Passport Act. They reportedly strayed into the Indian territorial waters, as the Sri Lankan Navy chased them. However, an interrogation is on to establish.

Chance for Bangladesh to save face

July 24 (CI) With the series decided 2-0 in Sri Lanka's favour, the third and final one-day international at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday may seem like a pointless exercise but it's a formality that needs to be completed. If only to give Bangladesh a shot at redemption. After the 3-0 rout in the Tests, the one thing Bangladesh had to keep them going was their improved standing as a one-day team, thanks largely to their best-ever World Cup performance. more..