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Suspension of Western aid will hit the poor: Lanka

July 3 (HT) Suspension of Western aid would not make Sri Lanka bankrupt, but it would certainly hit the poor in the rural areas, Foreign Secretary Dr Palitha Kohona told Hindustan Times on Monday. The UK has suspended the disbursement of 50% of its commitment; Germany has been talking tough, and the EU has been making some noises about suspending aid. "Aid commitments from these countries are not huge. Japan, China and India give much more. more..

Few can afford to buy at Jaffna's restocked markets

July 3 (IRIN) Jaffna's town market is once again stocked, with many of its small retail shops bursting with canned and packaged goods and large bags of dried fish, lentils, dhal and rice. However, increasing numbers of Jaffna residents and the 40,000 internally displaced people in the district cannot afford them. more..

Rajapaksa’s appeal to Bhagwati

July 3 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has urged Chairman of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) Justice P.N Bhagwati to ensure that at least one of the 11 eminent persons is present in the country to observe the investigations and inquiries of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) set up by him to investigate human rights violations. more..

Heartrending Appeals by V. Anandasangaree

July 3 (AT) Mr. V. Anandasangaree, the veteran Tamil politician and the President of the TULF has made two fervent appeals in recent times, one to Vellupillai Prabaharan, the leader of the LTTE, and the other to the ‘Patriotic Citizens of Sri Lanka,’ more or less with the same objective. The objective undoubtedly is to bring sustainable peace to our now bleeding and beleaguered country. more..

Sri Lanka elected to the Executive Council of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

July 3 (AT) Sri Lanka is again elected to a seat of the Executive Council of the IOC of UNESCO for another term of two years. The 24th Session of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Assembly was held from 19th -28th June 2007 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. During the session Sri Lanka was re-elected to a seat for another term of two years at the elections held on 25th June. more..

Lanka international airport resumes night flights, but no airlines

July 3 (AT) The Bandaranaike International Airport, the only international airport in Sri Lanka resumed night flight services Sunday July 1, the airport announced. But so far no airlines have scheduled night flights. The airport shares a runway with the close-by military airbase. Night flight services of the BIA have been shut since May 10 when the LTTE's Airforce bombed an air-base close to the BIA. more..

Mushfiqur replaces Mashud for second Test

July 3 (CI) The heavy defeat suffered in the first Test against Sri Lanka has prompted Bangladesh to make three changes for the second Test, starting on July 3 in Colombo's P Saravanamuttu Stadium. Sri Lanka are expected to reamin unchanged. Khaled Mashud, the Bangladesh wicketkeeper, Abdur Razzak, the left-arm spinner, and Shakib Al Hasan, the middle-order batsman, have been dropped from the side. Mushfiqur Rahim will take over as keeper. more..

SLFP proposals To APRC Must Be Considered Seriously

July 3 (FI) After the announcement of the SLFP proposals for devolution of power, the search for a solution to the NE problem appears to have reached its crescendo. It is reported that since most of the political parties have put forward their proposals, now with the Chairman’s report, reports of the experts (with the views of the dissenters), and the ruling party’s proposals in front of it, the APRC will soon be able to begin the long process of deliberating on the proposals more..

Khalifa City built for Lanka tsunami victims

July 3 (KT) Victims of tsunami who lost houses three years ago will now be re-housed in a new residential city, thanks to a generous housing programme sponsored by the UAE President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan. The new city which comprises 1, 024 housing units along with complete amenities was inaugurated here yesterday by the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA). more..

Why is Sri Lanka’s past hidden from its own people?

July 3 (KT) SRI Lanka’s Hindu king Devanampiyatissa (246 BCE), who ruled from Anuradhapura in the north-central province of Sri Lanka was on a hunting mission and chasing after a spotted deer. And suddenly, he heard a voice: Someone calling him by his first name. No one in his kingdom would dare to utter his name. Shocked, he stopped his chase and turned towards the direction from where the voice was heard. more..

Sri Lanka on alert for Tiger attack anniversary

July 3 (AFP) Sri Lankan security forces are on high alert as Tamil Tiger rebels this week mark the 20th anniversary of their first-ever suicide attack with the threat of unleashing more deadly strikes. The island's prime minister has underlined fears that the ethnic Tamil guerrillas could be planning to celebrate with a bang, following the discovery in recent weeks of two trucks, each crammed with around a tonne of explosives. more..

Sri Lankan government blocks Tamil website

July 3 (wsws) In another act of media censorship, the Sri Lankan government has blocked Internet access to since June 15. The website makes no secret of its sympathy for the separatist LTTE, but covers a range of topics, including reports on the escalating war and the Sri Lankan military abuse of democratic rights, including hundreds of “disappearances” and murders. more..

Sri Lanka achieves reserve money target for June

July 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank says its reserve money target for June has been achieved comfortably, even as emerging fiscal signals continued to unsettle market participants. So far this year inflation has declined from 20.5 percent to January to 13.0 percent in June 2007, the Central Bank said. In the first quarter economic growth was at 6.1 percent, though lower than the same period last year, analysts say it is a reasonable rate for a country mired in a crippling internal conflict. more..

HSBC Sri Lanka standing by to finance port and toll road

July 3 (LBO) HSBC Bank in Sri Lanka is looking to finance two large transport sector projects with private sector involvement which will spawn new opportunities for local and international banks, a top official said. Three of Sri Lanka's largest conglomerates, John Keells, Hayleys and Aitken Spence have put in bids to build a container terminal at the Colombo port with CMA CGM of France, Westport of Malaysia and the Port of Singapore Authority. more..

Norwegians safe in Sri Lanka but not in Norway – NAT

July 3 (AT) Rebutting the charges of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry that the lives of Norwegians are threatened in Sri Lanka the Norwegians Against Terrorism (NAT) has pointed out that the lives of Norwegians are threatened in Norway by the Tamil Tiger agents and not in Sri Lanka. In an open letter sent to the head of Norwegian Foreign Ministry, Torgeir Larsen, NAT says: "In Norway there have been many threats against Norwegians from the LTTE. more..

Govt. firm on implementing Private Medical Institutional Act

July 3 (GDI) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva announced that the unanimously approved Private Medical Institutional Act will be implemented and pointed out that proposals from any party are welcome. He emphasized that at the final step the decision of implementing the act is up to the citizens of this country to decide. Private Medical Institutional Act was approved in Parliament by both the Government and the Opposition Members of Parliament. more..

Rs.354 million worth building complex for Jaffna University

July 3 (GDI) The Government is to provide a new building complex worth Rs.354 million to the Jaffna University, Minister of Higher Education Prof. Wisva Warnapala said. "Rs. 200 million will be spent to provide hostel facilities for medical students in the Jaffna University while another Rs. 148 million will be spent to upgrade the Advanced Technological Institute (ATI) in Jaffna. Arrangements will be made to provide facilities to Labuduwa A.T.I. as well," more..

Tamil Nadu can play a pivotal role in finding peace for Sri Lankans – V. Anandasangaree

July 3 (GDI) The Leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front, V. Anandasangaree presents an open appeal to the leaders and the people of Tamil Nadu to solicit their sincere co-operation, irrespective of their political affiliations to help liberate the Tamil people of the North and East of Sri Lanka from the subjugation of the LTTE and to find a reasonable solution to the ethnic problem. more..

Govt ready for talks

July 3 (GDI) The Government said yesterday it was ready for peace talks anytime if the LTTE would agree for unconditional talks. A Presidential Secretariat spokesman said they had always been ready for unconditional talks, when asked if there had been a fresh request by the Government to the facilitator; Norway to revive the stalled peace process. He did not comment if the Norwegian special envoy has been invited to visit the country for a round of fresh discussions more..

BIA back to 24 hour operations

July 3 (GDI) The Bandaranaike International Airport returned to 24 hour operations from yesterday. Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda said he expected the airlines to take the cue and return to flying the schedules which were in place before the night closure. It is expected that all airlines flying in to Colombo will avail themselves of the resumed facility. more..

LTTE underground hospital discovered

July 3 (GDI) Troops discovered an underground LTTE mini hospital during a search operation in Thoppur on Sunday, the Media Centre for the National Security (MCNS) said. The abandoned hospital was located in the thick jungles of Pullikudiyiruppu in Thoppur during the Army-Police joint search operation, the MCNS said. Troops also seized two stretches, used mattresses, pillows, a stock of outdated drugs, and a bowser trailer. more..

Oil tenders within three months

July 3 (GDI) The Government will call for international tenders to explore oil resources along Sri Lanka's sea belt within the next three months. Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development Minister A.H.M. Fowzie told that tenders for the exploration will be called within the next two to three months after the preliminary work is completed. more..

'Price reduction of essential items barely effective'

July 3 (ANN) The government’s effort to reduce the cost of living by controlling retail prices of ten essential food items, whilst removing VAT on those goods, has become ineffective with last week’s increase in fuel prices. Consumers told The Island that the hike in fuel prices would directly and indirectly impact on other essential goods and services, and controlling of prices of some food items would be in vain. more..

Japan's aid not conducive to peace in Sri Lanka - Sampanthan

July 3 (TN) R. Sampanthan, parliamentary group leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), has said that the decision by Sri Lanka's major donor country Japan, to continue economic aid to Sri Lanka, will soften the International pressure on the SL government to seek a political solution and strengthen Colombo to pursue the military option. more..

Mistaken identity behind Mavil Aru killings

July 3 (LNP) The four persons allegedly killed by the Army at Mawil Aru on Thursday (June 28) were reportedly poaching at Mavil Aru and were mistaken by the forces of being Tiger cadres, the Daily Mirror learns. The group of Muslims was from Palliyagodella in Medirigiriya and had reached Mavil Aru on Thursday, the day President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Somawathiya Chaithya and when the Army was on red alert in the area fearing possible LTTE threats on the President. more..

Microsoft to introduce Software Asset Management to Sri Lanka

July 3 (LNP) As the digital age gathers pace, IT has become one of the key drivers of business ? the software employed by a company is one of its key assets, yet one that may often go unnoticed. Today, software is in place to power just about every aspect of business ?from communications, to accounting, to people management ? and businesses large and small are finding software is in fact an asset which is indispensable in running their operations. more..

The way forward!

July 3 (LNP) People are not usually well disposed towards banks. They are considered a necessary evil. This attitude is not of recent origin. It is as old as the hills: Aristotle had this to say about usury, the prototype of modern banking: The trade of the petty usurer is hated with most reason: it makes a profit from currency itself instead of making it from the process which currency was meant to serve. Their common characteristic is obviously their sordid avarice. more..

Those helping LTTE are traitors,Army Chief

July 3 (PISL) Those who are helping the LTTE terrorists to bring bomb laden vehicles and explosives to the south were betraying the members of the Armed Forces who are sacrificing their life and limb to protect the country Army Commander Lt. Gen Sarath Fonseka told The Island yesterday (2). He said the Police and the Armed Forces have the capability to seize such bombs and explosives of the terrorists before they could cause carnage and destruction to public property in the south. more..

Nimal challenges GMOA to nab quacks

July 3 (SAMN) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva threw an open challenge to the GMOA Monday to demonstrate its interest in the public’s well-being and its support to the Ministry’s effort to regularise the private healthcare system in the country by instructing Medical Officers of Health (MOH) who are the members of the GMOA to nab quacks numbering around 25,000 practicing across the country. more..

Another explosive haul by Navy

July 3 (SAMN) Days after the recovery of over 1000 kilos of explosives, the navy Monday detected more than 80 kilos of C-4 explosives from a jungle area in Karsal, Mannar. “The stock of explosives and steels balls (used as shrapnel) were packed in 10 boxes and concealed in a 2000 L water tank,” a Navy spokesman said. It was revealed that these explosives boxes were to be packed in a van and sent to some suburban area to carry out a major damage, he said. more..

Condominiums expanding to outstations

July 3 (SAMN) Condominium Management Authority (CMA) has recorded an increase in applying for (CMA) certifications for condominium housing projects. Acting General Manager of the CMA G.U Upawansa said they receive around 16 applications for CMA certifications per month. Earlier it was 10 applications. However the Authority has issued 60 certificates for completed projects so far this year. more..

Green light for opening pair

July 3 (SAMN) Sri Lankan cricket selectors Monday gave the nod to openers Michael Vandort and Malinda Warnapura to play in the second test against Bangladesh which begins today at the P. Sara stadium in Colombo. The pair opened the batting in the won first test with Vandort smacking a century and Warnapura failing to do justice to his ability, out for a first ball duck. “We have no doubt about Warnapura’s prowess and it’s only fair that we extend his opportunity”, said a selection committee source. more..

Japanese aid to upgrade Anuradhapura Hospital

July 3 (DN) The Government of Japan has extended their fullest cooperation through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to launch a massive development process at the Anuradhapura General Hospital. In response to a request by Healthcare and Nutrition Minister, Nimal Siripala de Silva JICA will provide Rs. 900 million for the project. more..

Sri Lanka hopeful of successful Nepal polls

July 3 (KO) Visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohita Bogollagama on Tuesday expressed hopes that all political parties will work together to successfully hold the Constituent Assembly (CA) elections. Speaking at a press meet before returning to his country, the Sri Lankan Minister said that his country was confident that all the agitating groups would come to an understanding before the CA elections scheduled for November 22. more..

Lankan FM Wraps Up 3-day Nepal Visit

July 3 (THT) Sri Lankan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rohitha Bogollagama today wrapped up his three- day visit promising to encourage Sri Lankan business tycoons for investing in various areas in Nepal. "I would encourage Sri Lankan investors for investment in hospitality industry in Lumbini, the hills of Nepal," said Bogollagama expressing that Sri Lanka was good in tourism development. more..

Lanka deserves to have peaceful environment - Malaysian HC

July 3 (DN) With its natural beauty, resources and intelligentsia Malaysians will not tolerate any Malaysian going abroad and criticising his own country. Malaysians are adepted to zealously safeguard the independence we have won, and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity and the democracy ideals, said Nazirah Hussain, High Commissioner for Malaysia in Sri Lanka at a farewell reception accorded to her by the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka. more..

Media condemns attack on Thinakkural journalist

July 3 (DM) In a suspicious turn of events, Thinakkural journalist K.P. Mohan who was undergoing treatment at the National Hospital in Colombo after being assaulted by a group of airmen was suddenly discharged last evening, even before fully recovering from his injuries. Mr. Mohan, who was admitted to Accident Services Unit on Thursday after being assaulted by a group of armed airmen in Fort, was treated for injuries to his neck area and right arm. more..

No need for criminal defamation laws: Dilan

July 3 (DM) Acting Justice Minister Dilan Perera said yesterday that there was no necessity to re-introduce the Criminal Defamation Law, when he met several media associations at his Ministry yesterday. Minister Perera said a Paper was not submitted to the Cabinet but the introduction of the defamation law had come up at the last sessions because the Secretary to Ministry of Justice had sent a note on it. more..

Bangladesh shot out for their lowest Test score

July 3 (CI) The opening day of the second Test at the P Saravanamuttu Stadium turned out to be hopelessly one-sided as Sri Lanka took firm control with a thorough allround performance. Lasith Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan shared the spoils in Bangladesh's capitulation of 62 and the situation went from bad to worse for the visitors, as Malinda Warnapura and Kumar Sangakkara piled on the runs and extended Sri Lanka's lead to 92 with nine wickets in hand and four full days remaining. more..

India has its own 'soft power' - Buddhism

July 3 (AT) As the Sino-Indian battle for influence in East and Southeast Asia intensifies, India is backing its political and economic diplomacy with soft-power diplomacy. To counter China's efforts to keep India out of the region on the grounds that it is an "outsider", India is drawing attention to its solid Buddhist credentials. Buddhism originated in India around the 5th century BC. But after flourishing here for many centuries, it declined in the land of its birth. more..

Sri Lanka fishermen reported missing off Southern coast

July 3 (Xinhua) A group of Sri Lankan fishermen who ventured into sea from the island's southern coast last week have been reported missing, officials said Tuesday. Officials from Fisheries Ministry said that the group on four multi-day fishing trawlers were from the southern coastal area of Gandara, Devinuwara and Dondra, adding that action had been taken to locate them. more..

More int'l truce monitors arrive in Sri Lanka

July 3 (Xinhua) The international truce monitoring group observing the fragile ceasefire in Sri Lanka said Tuesday that its team has been strengthened with additional personnel. Thorfinnur Omarsson, spokesman of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), said that 10 additional men are to join the group. "Five of them have already arrived with five more to arrive in the next few days," Omarsson said. more..

Seven people killed in fresh Sri Lanka violence

July 3 (AFP) Four suspected Tamil Tiger rebels and three soldiers were killed in fresh violence in Sri Lanka's embattled north, military officials said Tuesday. Tamil Tiger guerrillas set off a powerful roadside blast in the district of Vavuniya Tuesday, killing the three soldiers, military officials said. The attack came hours after security forces confronted a group of rebels further north in the Jaffna peninsula along a de facto front line at Muhamalai and killed four of them, more..

Lankan tourism sector pleads for help

July 3 (HT) Badly hit by the on-going war and the constant terrorist threat to the capital city of Colombo, the Sri Lankan tourism sector has pleaded with the government to immediately give it a number of facilities to enable it to tide over the crisis. The Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) and the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) have written to the Minister of Tourism seeking relief measures more..

Sri Lanka celcos in battle over breaking news

July 4 (LBO) Dialog Telecom is offering free breaking news for its customers days after competitor Mobitel launched trials for a text news alert. "We are launching this service with a view to providing information and creating a sense of security for customers," Nushad Perera, head of sales at Dialog Telekom said in a statement. more..

Tea with the Tigers becomes a turbulent brew

July 4 (Age) "HOW are the Richmond Tigers doing? How's Rex?" The man asking is a Sri Lankan septuagenarian standing in a white lab coat in a tea-tasting room in downtown Colombo, a long way from the MCG. The chaos of a South Asian metropolis swirls around us. A day later, the jerry-built air force of the Tamil Tigers will drop bombs on the city. But Merrill J. Fernando, the 77-years-young patriarch of Dilmah Teas, has a large soft spot for Australia. more..

No tangible progress in investigations into murdered aid workers

July 4 (IRIN) Members of the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA) could not believe the horrible scene when they arrived at the quiet bungalow only days after fierce fighting between government forces and Tamil Tigers in Muttur town, Trincomalee District. Fifteen bodies, shot at close range, lay sprawled on the front yard of the house which served as the office for Action contre la Faim (ACF), the French non-governmental organization. more..

"Appeal has to be done soon"

July 4 (BBC) The family of Rizana Nasik of Mutur­; the young girl facing death sentence by beheading in Saudi Arabia says they have no means to contribute to the appeal. They have sought legal assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for her appeal. She still has time for filing an appeal which has to be done soon, says Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). more..

From Malaysia to Malwana – the Rambutan route

July 4 (FP) Mini mountains of bright red and gold lining the streets of Colombo means one thing – the Rambutan season is here, once again. The much loved fruit makes its presence once a year and is a favourite among young and old. The Sunday Times FT decided to take a drive through Rambutan country last week to delve deeper into the life of the Rambutan. more..

First over the most important - Malinga

July 4 (CI) Lasith Malinga began Bangladesh's slide towards their lowest total in Test cricket in his first over and proceeded to blow away the top four batsmen to finish with 4 for 25 in nine overs on the first day at the P Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo. "For me the first over is the best. I put in a lot of effort in that over to capture as many wickets as possible," said Malinga after the day's play. more..