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Security forces to control Eastern development

July 29 (ST) New political alignments and a noticeable shift in the public mood have not deterred the Government from focusing greater attention on the one time battle zones of the East and the impending theatre of battles in the North. In the East where the Government claims that the Tiger guerrillas "have been completely driven away," a string of ambitious development programmes are to get under way. This is whilst the Government is drawing plans to take its "military victory" celebrations in the East to other provincial towns. more..

Mistaken salute costs millions

July 29 (ST) In a sort of comedy of errors and terrors, a police constable saluted an armed robber who was dressed in police uniform — mistakenly thinking he was a senior officer carrying out a search operation in a jewellery cum money changer’s shop in Wellawatte. The constable did not know he was allowing this robber and his gang to escape with Rs. 20 million in local and foreign currency – one of the biggest robberies in recent times. more..

Customs raids Harry J firm in continuing saga

July 29 (ST) A week after Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka (DCSL) acquired the balance 50 percent of shares of its arm, Periceyl (Pvt) Ltd from Pernod Ricard, the Customs raided Stassen Exports Ltd (SEL) on Tuesday searching for evidence pertaining to an investigation of Periceyl. “We raided SEL and confiscated documents pertaining to Periceyl imports,” a senior Customs official told The Sunday Times FT. more..

Sri Lankan Navy says it sank 2 rebel boats; 6 killed

July 29 (AP) The Sri Lankan navy waged a short sea battle with Tamil Tiger militants Saturday evening, quickly sinking two rebel boats and killing six people on board, the military said. The fighting occurred about 20 kilometers (10 miles) off Sri Lanka's northwest coast, when naval vessels ordered two small boats they suspected of belonging to the rebels to stop and then fired warning shots, said naval spokesman Cmdr. D.K.P. Dassanayake. more..

'Why no memorial for the IPKF in India?'

July 29 (IANS) Indians may be upset that Sri Lanka has not set up a memorial to Indian soldiers who died fighting the Tamil Tigers two decades ago. But the man who led them asks: why is there no monument for them in India? Recalling the difficult period when the Indian troops fought the LTTE in Sri Lanka's northeast in 1987-90, Lt. Gen. (retired) A.S. Kalkat says Colombo's indifference pains the families of the dead soldiers. more..

Sri Lanka set for record growth despite conflict

July 29 (AFP) The recent escalation in fighting in Sri Lanka has not derailed the nation's economy, with the island on track to record its fastest growth in nearly three decades, according to the central bank. Conflict between government troops and Tamil rebels has claimed more than 5,200 lives since late 2005, with ministers raising annual defence spending 45 percent to 139 billion rupees (1.3 billion dollars) to battle the insurgents. more..

Sethusamudran chief told to go on leave

July 30 (IANS) The Indian government has asked the chairman of the Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd (SCL) N.K. Raghupathy to go on leave. Raghupathy was asked by the shipping ministry to go on two-months leave Saturday night within hours of him telling reporters about an email from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) regarding the Adams Bridge, through which the Rs.25 billion canal will be cut. more..

Fishermen protest cost of living

July 30 (BBC) Thousands of fishermen in Sri Lanka accused the government of disrupting their profession by continuously increasing the price of oil. Nearly two thousand fishermen in over one thousand boats protested in Chilaw bay, in front of the fishing market. All Ceylon Fisher Folk Trade Union (ACFFTU) said the government has increased the price of oil for seven times during this year. more..

Foreign Minister urged to explore reason for the breakdown of talks between Sri Lanka Government and LTTE since 1985

July 30 (AT) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Sunday (29 July) asked the International Crisis Group which works to prevent conflict worldwide, to undertake an in-depth study on the reason for the breakdown of a number of previous rounds of peace talks between the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE since 1985. more..

Sri Lanka trade unions redundant as privatization ends political victimization

July 30 (LBO) Less political victimization and better benefits have seen workers of privatized Sri Lankan companies opting out of trade unions, a recent survey showed. A study done by the Centre for Poverty Analysis found that trade union influence was significantly reduced in some privatized state enterprises because of the willingness of management to listen to worker issues directly. more..

Piecemeal progress

July 30 (HT) Former Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Laskhman Kadirgamar said not long before an assassin’s bullet killed him that relations between his country and neighbour, India, had reached a point of “irreversible excellence”. Twenty years after the India-Sri Lanka Accord was signed on this day, there is little doubt that Colombo is probably the only neighbouring capital with which New Delhi shares least discord, more..

Government taps the telephones of the SLFP MPs

July 30 (LeN) Lanka-e-News learns that the government is tapping the private telephones of the government MPs as a measure to suppress the direct and indirect resistance of the Ministers and MPs to the President and the government. SLFP-People's Wing Chief Convener Mangala Samaraweera said in an interview with the Lakbima newspaper that the government had commenced to tap telephones of each SLFP MP. more..

Sri Lanka says military destroyed Tamil rebel training base

July 30 (BN) Sri Lanka said its military destroyed a Tamil rebel naval base used to train terrorist units, in the latest defeat for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam who lost control of the eastern region this month. The base at Alampil in the northeastern district of Mullaittivu was destroyed in air raids, the Ministry of Defense said yesterday, citing intercepted radio communications by the LTTE. more..

Muslims Between Two Strategies of Accommodation and Positive Action

July 30 (FI) Since the preparation of my article about Abductions of Muslims and rise of neo-Nazism , there have been several important developments in the matter of the abductions of Muslim businessmen. There was notably the spectacular speech by the UNP Parliamentarian Lakshman Seneviratne, which led to the quick arrests of former Wing Commander Gajanayake and others. more..

Sri Lanka is Making Enemies of Friends Through Amateurish Diplomacy

July 30 (FI) At a time when the country needs the best of efforts to counter the huge propaganda campaign mounted against her, we appear to be going out of our way to make enemies of our friends, particularly the powerful countries, whose friendship we do most badly need in this war against the LTTE. We need the big powers of the modern world for the following reasons: more..

Citadel Colombo and Bunker Mullaithivu in Deadly Embrace of War

July 30 (FI) Sri Lanka today is a fractured polity and has been so for some time. This is a trite saying: everyone knows this. But in order to comprehend the process that brought about this tragic situation, one has to (a) understand the concept “nation,” (b) the power of nationalism, (c) the force of populism fostered by democratic institutions, (c) the deadly combination within the island of a specific demographic mix distributed in space in a peculiar manner and more..

Malwatte Mahanayake Thero snubs –storm is gathering for Ranil in his political horizon

July 30 (AT) Sri Lanka’s foremost Buddhist monk, the Head of the Malwatte Chapter of the Siamese Sect, regretted the recent statement made by Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the United National Party, calling Buddhist monks ‘a corrupt company or “Dussila Samagama” and said no service could be expected out of such leaders to the country, the religion and the Buddhist monks in the future.’ more..

Where is the Rs10 lakhs taken by Asian Tribune to register TMVP

July 30 (ISL) Starling facts are emerging that Asian Tribune editor K T Rajasingam operating from somewhere in Sweden has taken Rs10lakhs from the breakaway Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) lead by Karuna. TMVP sources say K T Rajasingam obtained the funds stating he will use his skills to register the TMVP as a political party in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka stocks sink further, state names sell dollars

July 30 (LBO) Sri Lankan share prices sank lower Monday with heavyweight telecom stocks and a big conglomerate dipping further. The market closed lower with the All Share losing 20.14 points (0.82 percent) at 3,441.40 points. The Milanka Index shed 36.28 points (1.07 percent) to close at 3,353.91 points. The market turnover was 55 million rupees. more..

Cricket star Malinga becomes Samsung brand ambassador

July 30 (LBO) Electrical and electronic appliance dealer Singer Sri Lanka said Monday it has hired sports and music personalities to represent its appliance brands throughout the island. Singer appointed cricketer Lasith Malinga as the brand ambassador for Samsung appliances. Malinga, a fast bowler in the Sri Lankan cricket team, scored a record of four wickets in a row in the 2007 cricket World Cup held in Barbados. more..

In-depth study of peace talks would prove LTTE’s deceit

July 30 (GDI) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said that in-depth study on the peace process would show that it was not a lack of commitment of successive Sri Lankan Governments, but the lack of interest and incapacity on the part of the LTTE to engage in a political dialogue with sincerity, that prolonged of the conflict in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka as a Vice President of the 62nd UN General Assembly

July 30 (GDI) Sri Lanka will present the 62nd Session of United Nations General Assembly as a Vice President, which will commence its work on 18th September 2007. Sri Lanka was elected to this position during UN’s 105th plenary meeting held during last week. Sri Lanka last held the post 15 years ago, in 1992 during the Forty-Seventh Session of the General Assembly. more..

Reconstruction of tsunami damaged bridges completed

July 30 (GDI) The reconstruction of tsunami damaged bridges and causeways in South and the East have been successfully completed under the grants of the Government of Japan, issuing a press release the Japanese Embassy states. Four Bridges and one Culvert in the South, namely Akurana Bridge, Seeinigama Bridge, Magalle Bridge, Ahangama Bridge and Weligama Culvert on the A2 highway in the Galle District and three causeways in the East, more..

Focus on uplifting storage facilities for big onions

July 30 (GDI) Government in collaboration with the SME Bank (Bank for Small and Medium Enterprises) will be launching an island wide massive project to uplift the big onion storage facility during the Yala season which falls from May to September. According to the press release issued by the SME Bank, selected big onion cultivators will receive a grant of Rs.50,000, the required technology and assistance from the State Agricultural Department. more..

LTTE facing a dramatic increase in desertion

July 30 (GDI) After the fall of LTTE’s last bastion in the east, Thoppigala, the number of LTTE carders deserting the movement has dramatically increased military officials state. According to intelligence reports the Army has received, the alarming rate of desertion has created a severe internal conflict in the leadership of the LTTE. According to defense sources, due to the inhuman and unbearable treatments from the LTTE upper ranks is the main cause for desertion. more..

Measures to avert Bird flu and Chikungunya

July 30 (GDI) As a precautionary measure preventing a possible outbreak of H5N1-strain bird flu in Sri Lanka the Government imposes a temporarily ban on importing live birds and Chicken from India. The decision was taken with the announcement of the out break of bird flu at a poultry farm in the northeastern state of Manipur in India few days back. This new condition will not affect the local chicken supplies as table birds are not generally imported from India and more..

"Cadet training; a gateway to a disciplined society," Media Minister

July 30 (GDI) The School cadets’ movement, orientated in building a disciplined and a competent society has held another impressive passing out ceremony at the Rantembe Army Camp on Saturday (28). The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense has launched the Sri Lanka’s Cadets’ movement which runs back to a history of 126 years. more..

President congratulates SL team at 17th Asian Athletics Championships

July 30 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa conveys his sincere and warm congratulations to the Sri Lankan athletes who obtained several medals at the 17th Asian Athletics Championships. President while appreciating the double gold medal won by Susanthika Jayasinghe and the gold medal by Prasanna Amerasekara in their respective events wished them for more strength to achieve victories in the upcoming events to bring pride to the nation. more..

Alleged Tissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha Vice chairman granted bail

July 30 (LD) The Tissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha Vice Chairman (JVP) Kusumsiri Rohanadheera (42) who was accused with the sexual harassment of 2 female students was granted bail. The suspect, who served as an assistant teacher, was charged for allegedly sexually harassing two 14 year old female students and was produced before the Tissamaharama additional Magistrate Mr. T. W. K. Premachandra, who released the suspect on a Rs. 10,000 cash bail and two surety bails worth Rs. 25,000. more..

Nadeeka becomes world's best model

July 30 (LD) Sri Lankan contestant Nadeeka Samanmalee Perera was pronounced as the world's best model at a modeling contest held in Spain. 23 year old Nadeeka was adjudged Miss Sri Lanka last year and represented the nation for the Miss World contest held in China. She also won the first places for the Best Photogenic, Best Glamour, Best Catwalk and Best national Costume events. more..

Teargas for Rajarata students

July 30 (LD) Today, (30) the students of the Rajarata University launched a massive protest at the Lipton roundabout against the sudden closure of the university and the current situational crisis. Their efforts to march to the front of the University Grants Commission (UGC) was met by water and tear gas hailed by the Police. 4 students are reported to be hospitalized while one has been arrested. more..

Mahmood haul overshadows Flintoff

July 30 (CI) Andrew Flintoff's return to competitive action was overshadowed by his England team-mate Sajid Mahmood, who claimed 5 for 16, as Lancashire defended 140 against Sri Lanka A at Liverpool. On a day where the top score was 42 from Gayan Wijekoon, the tourists subsided against Mahmood's pace. After seven weeks out following hernia surgery, Mahmood produced his best one-day figures as he blew away the top order. more..

Sea Tigers among TN fishing fleet,Senior cadre among six killed in SLN operation

July 30 (PISL) Despite a sizeable Indian naval presence near Indo-Lanka maritime boundary and increased security on land, the LTTE continues to operate from their South Indian hideouts. "The LTTE is operating alongside the large Tamil Nadu fishing fleet," an authoritative official said, asserting that the LTTE remains active there contrary to stepped-up action against the group. more..

Teenaged maid`s fate now in hands of 3-judge bench

July 30 (LNP) A top level Sri Lankan delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila, left the Saudi Kingdom yesterday after meeting with several Saudi officials to seek clemency for Rizana Nafeek, who was found guilty of murdering an infant child, opening the way for her to be publicly beheaded, agency reports said yesterday. An Arab Times story filed from Riyadh said that the question of whether Nafeek will be publicly beheaded for murder is now in the hands of a three-judge panel in Al-Dawadmi. more..

Forged 1,000 rupee note detection at colour lab leads to several arrests

July 30 (LNP) The Negombo police busted a major counterfeit currency racket. Initial investigations had revealed that a couple living at Marawila ran the operation with the help of a Tamil. Police had recovered 77 counterfeit Rs. 1,000 notes along with a computer and accessories used by the forgers. A senior police spokesman said that 10 persons including the chief suspect had been arrested in connection with the ongoing investigation. more..

UNP serves charge sheets on dissidents

July 30 (LNP) New charge sheets have been served by the UNP on its reformist MPs who joined the government. Party`s General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told the Daily Mirror yesterday the party had asked for explanation before August 4 as to why they voted with the Government on several supplementary estimates in Parliament last month ignoring the UNP stand. more..

Lanka warned of western protectionism

July 30 (LNP) The dynamics of world trade are drastically changing and global wealth is shifting from the traditional heavyweights of USA and Europe to emerging countries like Russia, China and India, a top economist said. Deustche Bank Chief Economist Prof. Norbert Walter said that shifting of trade and services to the East is causing concern among western labour, which could result in their politicians favouring greater protectionism to protect their voters. more..

'DNA evidence vital to solve crimes'

July 30 (SAMN) Technological Advancement in the extraction of DNA from ‘cold crime scenes’ has resulted in cases which had been closed for want of evidence being reopened and run at trials. But it has not always been ‘one way’ and numerous persons convicted of serious crimes have been exonerated by DNA evidence, said former Sri Lankan Attorney General Sunil de Silva PC at the 9th Indo-Pacific Congress on Legal - Medicine and Forensic Sciences of more..

Hotel training for 500 rural youth

July 30 (SAMN) The Institute of Sri Lanka Tourist Hotel Management would conduct three short term training courses aimed at training rural youth for foreign employment. As a first step 500 boys and girls would be given training during the current year. Courses would be held in theory and practical in food and beverages with regard to hotels. Along with the course a two weeks training in English will also be given. more..

LTTE calls for blood donations in Wanni

July 30 (SAMN) The Defence Ministry said Sunday the LTTE had ordered each family in the Wanni to donate two pints of blood to the outfit, following a recent air raid on their ‘Senkadeer’ Sea Tiger base in Alampil, Mullativu. The ministry in a statement said that the LTTE’s intercepted radio communications revealed that the Sea Tiger base had been almost destroyed due to the air raids and that it rarely ordered every family to give blood on a single occasion and that this indicated a large number of casualties due to the air raid. more..

CMC special session to pass resolution

July 30 (SAMN) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is to have a special session on August 2 to get a resolution passed to retain a lawyer to contest the charges levelled by the Provincial Council (PC). The CMC retained Kalinga Indratissa at the last session of the council but was advised to pass a resolution on it. CMC sources said the Mayor decided to call for a special session as the Provincial Council has advised him that he has to pass a resolution in order to retain a lawyer. more..

Sri Lanka struggles on road for carbon credits

July 30 (LBO) Global warming is increasingly being recognized as a threat around the world, but the business of carbon trading to reduce global warming could prove a blessing for developing countries. But it is by no means easy money. Developed countries are seen as the main culprits of global warming due to wide scale industrialization and burning of fossil fuels that spew greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. more..

Sri Lanka's inflation probably accelerated in July

July 30 (BN) Sri Lanka's inflation probably quickened in July for the first time in four months as higher oil and food prices offset slowing loan growth. Consumer prices in the capital Colombo rose 15.5 percent from a year ago, after gaining 13 percent in June, according to the median forecast of 12 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. more..

Sri Lanka NDB rating outlook downgraded on aborted merger

July 30 (LBO) Fitch Ratings has downgraded the rating outlook of National Development Bank from 'positive' to 'stable' after a proposed merger with the Commercial Bank was aborted. NDB has a national long-term rating of AA (lka) from Fitch. Commercial Bank has a AA+ (lka) rating from Fitch with a stable outlook, which was not changed. Fitch upgraded the outlook of NDB's rating to positive in January after an announcement of merger talks was made. more..

Malaysia, Lanka’s biggest investor - Envoy

July 30 (DN) Malaysia has been Sri Lanka’s biggest investor for two years in a row, ousting Japan and many other western nations since 2005 but is largely ignored by the Sri Lankan media, lamented departing Malaysian envoy here. Many more Malaysian investors are also eyeing Sri Lanka as an investor base but unfortunately the media doesn’t highlight the fact that Malaysia is the biggest investor in Sri Lanka. more..

Mega projects planned to develop Eastern Province - Karu Jayasuriya

July 30 (DN) The liberation of the Eastern Province from LTTE and restoring civil administration has created countless opportunities for both local and foreign entrepreneurs to commence business, said the Minister of Public Administration, Karu Jayasuriya. The Minister speaking to the Daily News at the second day of the Ruhunu Navodaya exhibition being held in Hambantota said that the Eastern Province could make world famous Ports, surfing destinations, beaches which would be mostly welcomed by investors. more..

Abducted engineer’s body found in Puwakpitiya

July 30 (DM) The body of a Tamil Communication Engineer, who was reportedly abducted by an unknown gang demanding a ransom of Rs.5 million, was found yesterday in the Awissawella area after police arrested two suspects over the weekend. The victim identified as Vigneswara Kadasaranath Mahodaral (27) was reported missing on July 15 when he was returning home from Wellawatta with his father. more..

Missing homeguard returns but police doubt his tale

July 30 (DM) One of the homeguards from Tantirimale who went missing after they went to pick herbs from the Wilapattu reserve forest on Thursday, returned home yesterday and had related a tale of how the two homeguards were captured by the LTTE from whom he escaped later. However Tantirimale police OIC Chief Inspector Dhammika Bandara Hapugoda said that the police had doubts about his statement and is further questioning him. more..

Ram Sethu protection movement gathers momentum

July 30 (BP) The streets of Madurai are eternal witness to fight for justice. Valiant Kannagi could bring the erring Pandiya king to book by her fearless struggle here. Nakkeeran, the chief of Tamil Sangham here, dared question Lord Shiva himself on matters of principle and faced the consequences bravely. On July 22, 2007, under an overcast sky threatening to cause a downpour, the junction of North and West Maasi Streets of Madurai (Tamil Nadu) was filled with more..

Sri Lanka police use tear gas to quell student demonstration

July 30 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan police in the capital Colombo on Monday used water cannon and tear gas to quell a demonstration by university students highlighting student grievances. Danushka Kumarasinghe, the spokesman for the students said that they were planning to hand over a communique outlining six grievances to the authorities. One of the demands was to restore drinking water supply to the university building. more..