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Navy thwarts LTTE attempt to take cadres to safety

July 9 (PISL) The Navy on Saturday night thwarted an LTTE attempt to retrieve a large group of cadres stranded in the Kuchchaveli area. Fast Attack Craft (FACs) had confronted a large flotilla of Sea Tiger craft moving south of Nayaru and forced the flotilla to turn back. "The engagement lasted for about one hour," an SLN spokesman said. The first naval engagement since the recent capture of an LTTE attack craft off Thalaiady by the SLN took place in the seas off Kallarawa. more..

New project to manage Plastic waste

July 9 (GDI) The Ministry of Environemnt and Natural Resources had launched a new project to manage the plastic waste with the colloberation of the Central Environmental Authority (CEA). The official launching of the project was held today at the Malabe Rahula Girls School with the patronage of the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Patali Champika Ranawaka. more..

Foreign Minister leaves for Myanmar

July 9 (GDI) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has left for Myanmar to attend the first Joint Commission meeting between the Union of Myanmar and Sri Lanka. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affaires the Foreign Minister is scheduled to co-chair the meeting with his counterpart from Myanmar. The Joint Commission starts today and will conclude on July 11. more..

ICJ commends Government’s commitment to safeguard Human rights

July 9 (GDI) Government’s dedication in resolving the mystery of the 17 aid worker massacre in Mutur was commanded by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). Minister of Human rights and Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe’s proposal to further seek Australia’s assistance in investigations into the massacre of the 17 aid workers in Mutur last August was welcomed by the ICJ. more..

Sri Lanka Police to set up stations in East

July 9 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Police Department will take steps to establish additional police stations in east, upon the successful clearing of the Thoppigala. According to the Police Department the police have already taken measures to set up three police stations in Vakarai, Vayunativu and Kokkatticholai. Accordingly the police will give priority in setting up new police stations in newly cleared and populated areas in Batticoloa district. more..

Sri Lanka invited to ASEAN Forum

July 9 (GDI) Sri Lanka has received its first ever opportunity to be presented at the 14th ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Regional Forum (ARF). According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama this is a great honor to the island nation and Sri Lanka will accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia at the Forum. more..

Sri Lanka expands committee

July 9 (CI) Gamini Lokuge, the sports minister, has expanded the interim committee of Sri Lanka Cricket from its present size of five members to seven. Sidath Wettimuny, the former Test opener, Premasara Epasinghe, a commentator, and Dion Gomes, president of the boxing association, have been added to the committee along with Lalith Wickremasinghe, a representative of the ministry. more..

Karuna listed in new report to UN Sec. Gen

July 9 (LNP) The Karuna faction has been listed in a new report on child recruitment, to be handed over to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon next month even as UNICEF and the Karuna faction traded charges over allegations of continued child recruitment. Chief of Protection for UNICEF in Colombo, Andy Brooks revealed to the Daily Mirror the UN Security Council working group would once again assess grave violations against the rights of children in Sri Lanka in October more..

`We are eating,drinking people` -Yapa

July 9 (LNP) `We are eating drinking people and it is improper to criticise us on this score`, Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said. Addressing the weekly cabinet press briefing in Colombo, he said some people talk as if it was wrong to enjoy the good things in life. `Thankfully we are healthy but those with diseases may not be able to enjoy such pleasures.` more..

JHU for a bigger parliament with more national list seats

July 9 (LNP) The JHU which is a constituent of the government with one cabinet seat has proposed an expanded 270-member parliament, up from the present 225-member legislature the retention of which the mainstream parties favour, with national list places too increased to 40 from 29 at present. The controversial proposal to the All Party Representative Committee was defended by Mr. Udaya Gammanpila, a senior lay member of what is largely a party of Buddhist monks who said that . more..

Mangala off to India

July 9 (LNP) The SLFP Mahajana Wing, spearheaded by former Minister Mangala Samaraweera, will hold talks with India`s ruling party politicians on July 11 and 12 regarding the current Lankan political situation and their future course of action. Mr. Samaraweera, accompanied by his colleague MP Sripathi Sooriyarachchi will leave for India shortly. Besides, the duo will meet the SLMC which is a party of the ruling coalition, tomorrow to discuss their policy statement titled `Dare to Dream towards a New Sri Lankan Order.` more..

658 illegal abortions every day

July 9 (SAMN) In a country where abortions are illegal, an average of 658 abortions are performed daily, Obstetrician, Gynaecologist L.A.W. Sirisena said, adding that more than 240,000 abortions are done annually in Sri Lanka in contrast to 360,000 births. Dr. Sirisena, making a presentation at the Health Education Bureau said that majority of women who seek to terminate their pregnancies through illegal abortions came from semi urban and rural areas. more..

RCA projects commissioned in Sri Lanka

July 9 (RW) The UAE Red Crescent Society (RCA) has commissioned a number of projects in Sri Lanka as part of its efforts to provide support to the people affected by Tsunami. An RCA delegation, led by Mohammed Habroush Al Rumaithi, Deputy Secretary General for Local Affairs, opened a new housing project in the Khalifa bin Zayed City in Ambara town, east Sri Lanka. more..

MTNL likely to bag Sri Lanka's Suntel

July 9 (DB) MTNL is close to buying Sri Lankan fixed-line operator Suntel and has sent a high-level delegation to start technical assessment of the company, a prerequisite to formalising the deal. If the acquisition materialises, Suntel would become the NYSE-listed MTNL's first acquisition. It will also give MTNL a foothold in Sri Lanka's fast-growing telecom market. It has a licence to offer fixed-line, cellular and ILD services in Mauritius. more..

Avoid Whatmore for coach job, says Ranatunga

July 9 (PTI) Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga has advised Pakistani players and team management not to have Australian Dav Whatmore as their new coach, sources said. Ranatunga, who captained Sri Lanka to 1996 World Cup glory with Whatmore as the coach, is learnt to have given a "run-down" on the Australian when he had a chance meeting with manager-cum-coach Talat Ali in Scotland where the team had recently gone to play two one-day games, more..

Govt. extorted votes, paid LTTE: UNP

July 9 (SAMN) General Secretary UNP Tissa Attanayake addressing the gathering at a protest rally held by the UNP in Negombo said that this government which extorted votes at the general election gave the tax payers money to the LTTE. A large crowd gathered at the clock tower round about and earlier they demonstrated in the town. They carried three coffins in the demonstration and later set fire to them at the clock tower. more..

‘No faith motion won’t be withdrawn’

July 9 (SAMN) Colombo Municipal Council Member Milton Liyanage who moved a no confidence motion against the Colombo Mayor Mohamed U. Emitiyaz said Sunday he will not withdraw the motion for any reason. He said he will continue the struggle against the administration of the Colombo Municipal Council until it is defeated. “I will not withdraw the motion despite any influence that might come in. more..

JVP wants to replace present admin

July 9 (SAMN) JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said Sunday the country’s economy and administration was deteriorating and the only solution was to replace the present administration. The party took its first step towards mobilising what it called a ‘True National Front,’ Sunday, with the main objective of replacing the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, incorporating all like minded sections in the country. more..

Current age limit for school admissions to stay

July 9 (DN) The current age limit for Year One school admissions will not be amended, the Education Ministry said. According to Ministry sources, the present age limit of five years will apply for enrolment of Year One students for 2008 as well. The Education Ministry appealed to parents and the public to ignore rumours that the age limit for school admission had been brought down to four years. more..

Moves to eradicate child prostitution in coastal belt

July 9 (DN) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) will educate children and their parents on eradicating child prostitution in the coastal belt, Government Information Department sources said. The sources said the NCPA will raise awareness among children and parents through documentaries, lectures and posters. They will be educated on the negative impacts of child prostitution. more..

No one can act outside the law: CJ

July 9 (DM) Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva said yesterday that he had not given any order or judgement outside the law and had rejected requests from others to do so. Addressing a seminar on crime held at Al Mubarak College in Malwana, he said the Chief Justice’s (CJ) duty was to uphold the rule of law in the country. “We cannot go against the rule of law,” he said, adding that even though some people wanted them to do so, no one could work outside the law, not even the CJ. more..

University intake to be increased by 2000 next year

July 9 (DM) The University Grants Commission (UGC) is planning to increase the university intake by 2000 next year while introducing several new degree programmes. Accordingly, 20,000 students will be admitted next year as against 18 000 students admitted this year. UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake told the Daily Mirror yesterday that they are presently holding talks with the authorities of each university in this regard. more..

Help on way for needy children

July 9 (GDN) TWO children in Bahrain will be able to continue their education in Sri Lanka thanks to a donation by the Sri Lankan Muslims Welfare (SLKMW) organisation. Sri Lankans - Tariq and Raed Rasool - aged 15 and nine, lost their father Tuan Faris Rasool last December when he suffered a severe brain haemorrhage. The Asian School students had been unable to continue their education due to the loss of income. more..

Rights body launches fresh appeal to save Sri Lankan teenager

July 9 (LBO) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is calling on Muslim scholars to appeal a death sentence facing an under-aged Sri Lankan girl who is accused of killing a child in Saudi Arabia. AHRC says the girl, Rizana Naffeek, is facing death for a mistake made while feeding a four month old baby which resulted in the death of the child, which has been misunderstood as a crime. more..

Sri Lankan military captures rocky plateau nicknamed 'Tora Bora'

July 9 (AP) Sri Lankan army commandoes seized a massive rocky plateau nicknamed "Tora Bora" and searched through grassy fields and brush looking for as many as 200 Tamil Tiger rebels, the military said Monday. The operation could result in eastern Sri Lanka coming under government control by the end of the month — the first time since 1994 — a military commander said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. more..

Sri Lanka says eastern rebel redoubt to fall 'in days'

July 9 (Reuters) Tamil Tigers will lose their last foothold in the island's restive east within days after troops captured a strategic plateau overnight, the ground commander in the area said on Monday. The military has captured vast swathes of territory from the Tigers in the east in recent months and has killed hundreds of rebel fighters since the operation to capture the landlocked area called Thoppigala in early February, more..

The government is lying on the reasons for the oil price hike

July 9 (LeN) The trade unions of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) say that the statements made by the CPC that the petroleum price has been increased due to the price hikes in the world market and due to the losses of the CPC are not entirely correct. They point out that one main reason for the price increase is the heavy surcharge the CPC has to pay for the letters of credit issued sent through the People's Bank. more..

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress not interested to talks with Mangala

July 9 (LeN) Hassan Ali, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said to 'LeN' that the SLMC would talk with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party - Mangala Samaraweera Faction, if only the Supreme Command of the party would consent it. Mr. Hassan Ali stated so when Lanka-e-News questioned why the SLMC was not giving a time to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party - People's Wing to discuss its political draft as requested by it. more..

UNP blessings for the war to capture Mullaithivu and Kilinochchi - Kiriella

July 9 (LeN) UNP accused the government that the war to capture Thoppigala was a carnival held after putting the lives of the children in auction. UNP Media Unit chief Lakshman Kiriella made this expression at a press briefing held at the official residence of the Opposition Leader this morning. Mr. Kiriella launched a scathing attack at the government's effort to highlight the battle for Thoppigala in a media carnival and stated that the area was captured by the government troops on 28 April 1992. more..

President order to stop killing of dogs

July 9 (LeN) Presidential Secretariat said today President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed that his order to stop killing the killing of dogs for the control of dog population and rabies eradication should be continued further. The Minister for Local Government and Provincial Councils was informed by the President shortly before Poson Full Moon last month that the "No-Kill" policy introduced by him to mark the 2550th Buddha Jayanthi celebrations last year should be continued, more..

Sri Lanka Sliding Rapidly Towards Fascist neo-Nazism

July 10 (FI) For many years I have been convinced that our so-called ethnic problem can best be understood in terms of a paradigm of racism. I will not here spell out all the arguments in favour of that view. I will here set out just one argument, as the point I am making about racism is only a preliminary in an article intended to point to the terrible dangers posed by the possible growth of neo-Nazism in Sri Lanka. more..

Paranoia and prejudice exacerbating ethnic discrimination in employment

July 10 (FI) An employment vacancy in a Sri Lankan university required certain qualifications and experience. During the final stages of selection, the running was between a Tamil who spoke all three languages and a Sinhalese who did not. The Tamil candidate had the relevant experience as set out in the requirements for the position and was the more suitable candidate for the advertised position meeting the requirements. more..

Sri Lanka court to slash fixed access tariffs

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's telecom regulator has proposed slashing home rentals by 24 percent and call charges by over 8 percent, in a consumer interest case against the island's largest fixed access provider, a court official said. The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka has suggested in court Monday that monthly domestic subscriptions of Sri Lanka Telecom be reduced to 350 from 465 rupees and business rentals be reduced to 950 from 1200 rupees. more..

Sri Lanka set to make changes for third cricket test

July 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka are set to make changes in the third and final test against Bangladesh starting on Wednesday, having already secured the series. Sri Lanka won both the first two matches by an innings and now have the chance to give reserve players an outing. Veteran fast bowler Chaminda Vaas has been granted leave to return to England to play county cricket with Middlesex. more..

Sri Lanka peace monitors want to double staff as war escalates

July 10 (AFP) International peace monitors in Sri Lanka want to double their numbers as fighting between security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels intensifies, the chief monitor said Monday. The Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), which is tasked with observing a now-tattered truce, aims to increase its strength from 30 to 60, retired Norwegian army general Lars Solvberg said. more..

Broad National Front to salvage country from anarchy – Somawansa Amarasinghe

July 10 (LT) JVP will give the leadership to establish a broad national front in order to take the country in correct path and stop it’s present destiny to anarchy, JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said today at the seminar to establish Provincial Councilors’ Forum of the party. He said this at the National Library delivering the main lecture to the Forum. more..

Mihin Lanka 'will pay fuel debt'

July 10 (BBC) Mihin Air officials say there was no attempt to avoid paying debts owed to Ceylon Petroleum Co-operation (CPC). The debt is "part and parcel of commercial activity," CEO of Mihin Lanka, Sajin De Vaas Gunawardena told BBC Sandeshaya. When questioned over the delay in payment to the CPC, Mr. Gunawardena explained that since the airline’s initiation, there has been an increase in flight frequency. more..

Deadline closes on Rizana's appeal

July 10 (BBC) International rights watchdogs have urged Saudi king to help safeguard a Sri Lankan girl sentenced to death for the murder of a four-month-old Saudi baby. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and Amnesty International (AI) also requested Sri Lankan authorities to lodge an appeal on Rizana Nafeek’s behalf before the deadline of the sixteenth of July. more..

It will take more than weather to end Murali reign

July 10 (TI) Muttiah Muralitharan may be 5,500 miles and five-and-a-half time zones away from Old Trafford, but he will be keeping an eye on the Mancunian weather, which has wiped out the first two days of Yorkshire's visit in the LV County Championship. Murali, as the Sri Lankan is known the world over, is between the second and third Tests of the home series with Bangladesh, and his prime focus on gaining another clutch of wickets to close in on Shane Warne's record, more..

After two years, Lankan officials move in Rizana case

July 10 (AN) A high-level Sri Lankan delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila will arrive here soon to make a personal appeal for clemency to the parents of an infant that died under the care of a Sri Lankan woman who came to Saudi Arabia after turning 17, allegedly with documents forged by the employment recruiter that gave a false date of birth. more..

42% growth in tax collection

July 10 (GDI) Marking a record 42 percent increase in tax collection, the Department of Inland Revenue has earned Rs. 136.5 billion during the first six months of this year. Commissioner General of Department of Inland Revenue A.A Wijepala said last year they collected Rs 104 billion in the first six months. The Department collected Rs 44,020 million as income tax during this period and this is a 42 per cent growth compared to the same period last year. more..

Sri Lanka tea firms lose on wage hikes and srikes

July 10 (LBO) A pay hike wrested by workers with a strike on Sri Lanka's tea estates last year has taken its toll on two more plantations companies, Kahawatte Plantations and Madulsima Plantations, with both firms reporting losses. The go-slow and strike by workers brought work on estates to a standstill in November and December, and plantations firms suffered even longer because tea bushes took time before they started yielding again. more..

Rights body offers part of condemned Sri Lankan girl's legal fees, urges action

July 10 (LBO) A Hong Kong based rights body has offered to foot a part of the legal fees to appeal the case of a young Sri Lankan girl condemned to death in Saudi Arabia with time rapidly running out to appeal her case. The Asian Human Rights Commission is urging the Sri Lanka government to appeal the case of Rizana Naffeek, who was accused of killing a baby that died while it was being bottle fed. The deadline for the appeal is July 16. more..

Australian faces terror charges for Tamil Tiger fundraising

July 10 (AP) Australian police charged a man with multiple terrorism offenses Tuesday for his alleged role in raising money for Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels by telling donors it was for victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami. Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said the 41-year-old man, whose identity was not immediately released, was connected to two men arrested in May for allegedly fundraising on behalf of the Tamil Tigers — listed by Australia's government as a terrorist group. more..

Shanthan’s arrest opens the eyes of the LTTE

July 10 (ISL) The LTTE head in London Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar alias Shanthan has been detained under the provisions of the United Kingdom Terrorism Act. With the failed terror campaign of the Islamic terror groups in London and Glasgow this week, the latest hearing at the Magistrate Court for an order for Shanthan’s bail application did not receive much media attention. more..

Sri Lankan exporters burned by tax refund delay

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exporters have warned that delays in tax refunds and disbursements of export cess were hurting overseas marketing efforts and driving some businesses near bankruptcy. Delays experienced by exporters in getting value added tax (VAT) refunds is a "burning question," said Mohan Mendis, the outgoing chairman of the Exporters' Association of Sri Lanka (EASL). more..

Sri Lanka's DSI Samson group in talks to make Reebok shoes

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's DSI Samson footwear manufacturer is in talks with Reebok on making the brand's shoes locally, an official said. The Reebok brand is catching the consumer base in Sri Lanka and is moving among the people. DSI is already Reebok's sole partner in Sri Lanka and says they plan to move a step further into producing Reebok branded goods locally. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom to switch to time-based tariff plan

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom has said it plans to switch to a time-based tariff structure from a unit-based one as part of a court settlement in which it will cut call charges. SLT, the island's largest fixed access provider, said in a statement the supreme court has directed the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) to facilitate further negotiations between SLT and the Consumer Association of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka's rubber industry expands training

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's rubber industry last week launched a new initiative to get more trained people into the rapidly developing sector, one of the island's main export income earners. The Plastic and Rubber Institute (PRI) on Saturday started a "graduateship" course for those in the industry to enhance their skills and plans to get foreign university affiliation to be able to award degrees later. more..

Douglas and Karuna to avoid confrontation

July 10 (AT) Leaders of EPDP and the Karuna Group have agreed to work avoiding confrontation in future in the field. “Asian Tribune” learnt that Minister Douglas Devananda who is the Secretary General of the EPDP and Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna, leader of the Karunna Group has agreed to put their past behind and hereafter avoid confrontation in the field. more..