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Bogus cops assaulted, tied to a tree

June 11 (LNP) Two persons, who posed off as plainclothesmen, had been attacked by villagers at Labuwewa, Mihintale on Friday. Villagers had confronted them when they were engaged in checking national identity cards and making inquiries about those who were engaged in the illicit kassippu trade. Police identified them as extortionists. A group of people had pounced on them soon when they failed to establish their identity as police officers. more..

We have vital info on Dummaladeniya bodies: Police

June 11 (LNP) The nine bodies found abandoned at Dummaladeniya last Friday were sent to the Ragama Hospital for DNA tests to determine their identities. Chilaw Division SSP Roshan Fernando said five police teams have been deployed to investigate into the incident that sent shock waves across the nation and that they had already received some vital information. `Villagers said they saw two Pajero vehicles in the area,` he said while requesting for public assistance to unravel the mystery. more..

Mysterious noise causes panic in several areas

June 11 (LNP) A mysterious noise similar to an explosion heard in several areas in the Gamapaha and Kurunagala districts caused panic among many people in the these areas last night. Police and the military confirmed there had been a loud sound of an explosion and a simultaneous glow in the sky but the cause of the noise was not known at the time this edition went to press. Police said the noise had been heard in Gampaha, Bingririya, Pannala and Kuliyapitiya police divisions more..

Protecting human rights: Why not go the whole hog?

June 11 (LNP) The Tamils living in the Colombo lodges must be heaving a sigh of relief. What they experienced on Thursday could be likened to a Dickensian paradox. On the one hand, they were forcibly removed from the city at the behest of some harum-scarum elements in the defence establishment. On the other, in the very city where they were subjected to barbaric ethnic violence and denied justice twenty seven years ago, their ordeal led to their rights being recognised and solidarity pledged with them. more..

Young mother, daughters in suicide bid

June 11 (SAMN) Kalutara (South) police recently reported a suicide bid by an entire family of five-mother and four daughters-due to abject poverty. The fatherless children and their 28-year-old mother, Pathima Iyesha, had taken sleeping tablets several days after they were evicted by their landlord, a police official said. The proprietor had ordered them out of the apartment as they were unable to pay the rent. more..

Stocks inch higher, rupee recedes from lows

June 11 (Reuters) Shares ended a shade high on Monday, but high interest rates and fighting between the military and the Tamil Tiger rebels sapped investor confidence and trading volume, traders said. The Colombo All Share index closed 0.06 percent firmer at 2,557.11 points, a rise of 1.60 points. The index has fallen nearly 15 percent since March amid escalating renewed civil war and high interest rates, which have encouraged some investors to turn to fixed deposits and bonds. more..

Sri Lanka targets EU designer ceramics market, as the mass end struggles

June 11 (LBO) Sri Lankan manufacturers are well placed to meet growing demand for high-priced handmade and designer ceramics in the European market, the head of the apex industry association said. Making designer and handmade ceramics in the medium to large scale for the European market is "achievable" by any industrialist who wants to invest in the island, more..

Hotels to be graded on their hygiene

June 11 (SAMN) All hotels including five star hotels in Colombo will be graded by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) on different criteria, mainly hygienic practices, a CMC official said. “We are hoping to present the grades at a ceremony to be held in August and the hotels will be able to display the grades. We will also make sure that the public are informed of the grades of these hotels,” more..

China-Lanka deals on slow gear

June 11 (SAMN) The People’s Republic of China, which has since its formation in 1949 has been a true ‘friend in need’ of Sri Lanka with ever generous assistance, has in recent months been distancing itself from us and withholding some vital credit lines. The reason: commission vultures are demanding kickbacks from these projects, according to knowledgeable sources. more..

PSC to solve citizenship issue

June 11 (SAMN) Last week a group of parliamentarians including members of the government, the UNP and the JVP proposed the setting up of a Parliamentary Select Committee to seek the possibility of giving citizenship to 28,500 Tamils of Indian origin via making amendments to existing law. According to the select committee proposal, members noted that there was a practical difficulty in giving citizenship to the people currently living in Tamil Nadu as refugees. more..

Crackdown on overstaying foreigners

June 11 (DN) The Investigations Unit of the Immigration and Emigration Department has launched islandwide raids to apprehend foreigners who had overstayed their visas. The Unit arrested 11 foreigners of South Asian origin with lapsed visas during last week alone. They will be deported and blacklisted from entering the country again. The arrested persons included South Asians who had been working mainly in shops and hotels in the Colombo city and suburbs. more..

Professor Samaranayake will fill a page in Lanka's history

June 11 (DN) Sri Lanka National Sciences Academy President Professor Arjuna Aluwihare issuing a condolence message on the death of Professor V.K. Samaranayake states: It is with sadness that I, on behalf of the National Academy of Sciences and in a personal capacity, have to add my comments to the many that will be made about Prof. Samaranayake - who was at the time of his untimely demise Chairman of the ICT agency (ICTA) in Sri Lanka-formerly known as CINTEC. more..

Abductions in East: Forces involved, says SLMM

June 11 (DM) The SLMM has, in its latest weekly situation report, accused the Army or police of being involved in some of the abductions in the east, apart from those carried out by the TMVP and the LTTE. According to the SLMM’s May 28 – June 3 situation report posted on its website, abductions are still taking place in the Batticaloa and Ampara districts while assassinations by “unknown armed men” have also been reported although it has seen a decline over the past few weeks. more..

Lanka to open Mission in Afghanistan

June 11 (DM) Sri Lanka is to establish a mission in war-torn Kabul in Afghanistan with a view to strengthen diplomatic relationship with the people of Afghanistan an informed source who did want to be identified said. “A top delegation led by Foreign Ministry’s Additional Secretary T.B. Madawegedara has already left for the Afghan capital Kabul to hold discussions with the government there,” a top foreign Ministry official told the Daily Mirror. more..

Sri Lanka battles Tigers at sea

June 11 (AJ) Loaded with weaponry and capable of speeds of up to 70km an hour, the navy's fight against the Sea Tigers - the Tamil Tigers' naval arm - is spearheaded by its fast-attack craft. Since last August, the Sri Lankan navy has claimed a number of successes, taking control of much of the area around Trincomalee, the site of its main naval base. more..

Sri Lankan security forces face visa denials for rights abuses

June 11 (AFP) Western diplomats here said Monday that Sri Lankan security force members may be denied visas if they have human rights abuse charges against them, after one senior police officer said a European country had rejected him. "The checking on any reports of abuses was something that was done even before, but now there is a new urgency to screen more thoroughly," an official at a Western embassy said. more..

Gov't in Serious Image Crisis

Jun 12 (IPS) "Somewhere in the jungles of Vanni (northern Sri Lanka), Velupillai Prabhakaran (Tamil Tiger rebel leader) is rubbing his hands in glee. The actions of the Sri Lankan government during the last week, however quickly reversed, best served his interests, and his alone," 'The Nation' commented in its Sunday editorial. more..

Sri Lanka deports over 400 foreigners

June 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka has deported over 400 foreign nationals so far this year for overstaying their visas and working in the island illegally, the island's immigration chief said Monday. Most of the deportees were of South Asian origin and had entered Sri Lanka on tourist visas, Controller of Immigration and Emigration, P.B. Abeykoon, said. The figure compares to a total of 600 foreigners who deported in 2006. more..

Britain asks Sri Lanka to end military campaign

June 12 (AFP) Britain Monday asked its former colony Sri Lanka to end its military campaign and resume peace talks with separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas. "The situation in Sri Lanka looks darker now than my last visit in February, where there were many hopes of an all-party political solution that would create a basis for future talks. That looks further away now," Howells told reporters. more..

'Karuna group' threatens TNA MP

June 12 (BBC) A Tamil parliamentarian has complaint to the police that he was threatened with death by a commander of Karuna fraction whilst he was with the police. The incident happened in Thirukkovil when TNA parliamentarian Chandra Nehru Chandrakantha visited the area with Urban Development Board officers. Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya Chandra Nehru, MP, criticised the way police handled the incident when members of Karuna faction threatened him. more..

Chamal Rajapaksa's convoy attacked

June 12 (BBC) Senior Minister Chamal Rajapaksa's convoy was attacked by angry people who lost the lands due to daduru oya reservoir project. The minister who is the eldest brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was visiting the construction site to assess the progress of the project. The incident took place near Wariapola in Kurunagala district. One policeman was injured and vehicles belong to ministerial security division and a police jeep was also damaged. more..

Indu-Lanka relations: Reluctant Hegemony

June 12 (ISL) With at lest 1,401 fatalities in 2007 (till June 3) in the undeclared war between Colombo and the LTTE, Sri Lanka is seething with tension. Rattled by the air attacks by a rudimentary LTTE ‘Air Force’ – the Air Tigers – and, at the same time, triumphal over its victories in the Eastern Province, the state has embarked on a buying spree, seeking to augment both its defensive and offensive capabilities with a range of military acquisitions. more..

Atoning for an uncivilised act

June 12 (Hindu) The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka must be commended for its prompt order of interim stay on an unconstitutional and anti-human act by the Sri Lankan state against hundreds of its Tamil citizens. This relief came in response to a fundamental rights application by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a Colombo based think-tank, challenging the virtual extradition from the capital of unemployed Tamils to their places of permanent residence in the north and east. more..

Bhagwati panel flays Sri Lanka rights violations probe

June 12 (Hindu) In a critical comment on the existing mechanisms for monitoring human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) constituted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa said: "In the current context of the apparent renewed systematic practice of enforced disappearance and the killings of Red Cross workers, it is more..

Sri Lankan Tamils protest

June 12 (AFP) THOUSANDS of Sri Lankan Tamils overnight demonstrated in Geneva to urge UN officials to press Colombo into giving independence to the island nation's Tamil-majority north. Police put the number of protesters at 8000 while the organisers said 15,000 people gathered before a building where the UN Human Rights Council was holding a meeting to voice their demand. more..

Al Jazeera meets six Tamil underage girls who escaped from a tiger camp at Thoppigala

June 12 (AT) An under aged girl told a reporter of Al Jazeera Television that she was kidnapped while going with her mother to visit her grandmother after cadres of the LTTE attacked her mother. "I was walking with my mother going to see my grandmother,” one of the girls told Al Jazeera. "Then the LTTE attacked my mother and took me away," said one of six girls more..

Aid Organizations Appeal for U.S. Leadership in Sri Lankan Crisis

June 12 (AT) In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a coalition of development and humanitarian organizations has expressed concern over the growing humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka. The Washington-based InterAction, the American Council for Voluntary International Action, is appealing for U.S. leadership to ensure an effective peace process and an immediate safeguarding of human rights for the population. more..

CCC, BOI Joint Economic Summit 2007

June 12 (AT) While making his address as the Chief Guest at the inaugural ceremony of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2007, Dr Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion, in passing blamed the media of attempting to disrupt India Sri Lanka relations When he said “Media has been very mischievous, but India and Sri Lanka are best of friends, and the history has vouched for it. more..

Collective suicide

June 12 (TW) The recent eviction of Tamil youth from lodgings in Colombo and their forced ‘repatriation’ to the north and east must have left the LTTE rubbing their hands with glee. Not only does this make for excellent propaganda against Sinhala racism but it gives back to the LTTE the very people who were escaping their clutches by fleeing south. Ever since the massacres of July 1983, the Sri Lankan army and police have been regularly recruiting Tamils for the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka bank warns against 'excessive' taxing of financial sector

June 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka should widen its tax base and practice fiscal discipline instead of heavily taxing a few sectors like the financial sector, and have a formal taxation commission to devise a medium-term tax policy, a top bank has said. DFCC Bank chairman J M S Brito said combating corruption and reducing losses in state enterprises was needed to free funds for infrastructure development. more..

Choices: Onymous or anonymous?; Perils of economic discourse in Sri Lanka

June 12 (LBO) The theme of this column has been public policy about infrastructure. This time, it will not be about infrastructure as such, but about the ability to engage in public discussion about public policy in this thrice blessed isle. I am responsible for a website called Over the past two and half years it has built up a significant international audience, on the basis of the over 550 posts more..

Hemas push into Sri Lanka hospital sector; Group earnings hit by taxes

June 12 (LBO) The Hemas group is pushing into the hospital sector with a 2.5 billion rupee investment though bottom line growth this year has been hit by a higher taxs, officials said. The group's 100 bed hospital in Wattala, off Colombo, is expected to be operational by August 2008, while a newly acquired hospital in Galle is being upgraded to 50 beds with operating theatres and intensive care facilities. more..

Small bomb explodes in Colombo, but no injuries reported; police suspect Tamil rebels

June 12 (AP) A small bomb planted by suspected Tamil rebels targeting electricity lines exploded at the edges of Sri Lanka's capital Tuesday morning, but no one was injured, a military spokesman said. The explosive device detonated in northern Colombo in Orugodawatta, said Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe. There was no significant damage to the power lines and there were no reported injuries, Samarasinghe said. more..

Canadian MP recommends "Decentralized Federal Model" for Sri Lanka

June 12 (TN) Mr.Pierre Polievre, Conservative MP for Nepean- Carleton, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, in a report released Monday, requested the Government of Canada to assist Sri Lanka to move into a decentralized Federal model similar to Canada with autonomy and rights to minorities. more..

Hundreds of Tamils forcibly expelled from Colombo

June 12 (wsws) In a blatantly illegal action on June 7, the Sri Lankan government ordered police to raid cheap boarding lodges in Colombo and forcibly evict Tamil residents from the capital. Police rounded up hundreds of ordinary Tamils at gunpoint, packed them into buses, drove them to the distant towns of Vavuniya in the North and Trincomalee in the East, and dumped them. more..

Presidential inaction against gross abuse of human rights contributes to continuation of violations

June 12 (AHRC) While the actions by the government to expel over three hundred Tamils from Colombo came under furious condemnation in the parliament, by political and civil society organisations in the country and also from the United States Embassy and other international groups, President Mahinda Rajapakse has done nothing to ensure that proper action is taken against the perpetrators of this expulsion. more..

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

June 12 (ALRC) The following is a statement delivered on behalf of the Asian Legal Resource Centre supported by the Law society and Trust, Sri Lanka at 5th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. June 11th 2007 – 5th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. Oral Intervention of the Asian Legal Resource Centre, Hong Kong supported by the Law and Society Trust, Sri Lanka. Speaker: Ms. Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena more..

Independent Tamil Eelam flag hoisted in Switzerland

June 12 (AT) An independent Tamil Eelam flag was hoisted in the soil of Switzerland yesterday. Expatriate Tamil expressed support for the armed struggle for Tamil independence, spearheaded by the Tamil Tigers. Observers are of the opinion that for the very first time Switzerland has become the platform to stage the war cry for separate Tamil land of Tamil Eelam. more..

'By not agreeing for joint patrol and supplying arms to Sri Lanka, india is harmiing its own interest'

June 12 (AT) A former Commander in Chief of India’s Eastern Naval Command Premvir Das has attacked India’s just agreed policy of coordinated sea patrolling opposed to the joint patrolling with the Sri Lanka Navy as an inadequate step to control the illegal navigation by the LTTE marine wing- Sea Tigers and has warned that the government’s present policy of the problem will seriously undermine India’s own national interests. more..

Sri Lanka’s investment opportunities showcased to Korean business delegation

June 12 (GDI) A leading business delegation from Korea called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday. They also discussed investment opportunities with Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake. The investment opportunities in Sri Lanka were showcased to the visiting Korean business delegation by the Board of Investment (BOI) yesterday. more..

US to support IDP resettlement

June 12 (GDI) Noting the improvements in the recent resettlement of IDPs implemented by the Government, a top official of U.S. Agency for international (USAID) emergency assistance programme, has expressed that the United States would be willing to provide support to newly resettled communities within the context of a safe and dignified return. more..

Japan to boost Sri Lankan agricultural sector

June 12 (GDI) Capacity building project for the integrated agriculture sector in Sri Lanka was officially inaugurated yesterday (11) at the Irrigation Training Institute in Galgamuwa of the Northwestern Province. This community development oriented project was declared open by the Minister of Irrigation and Water Management Chamal Rajapaksa with the participation of the Second Secretary of the Japanese Embassy Mr. Yasuhiro Watanabe, more..

Bribery Commission hands over the Annual Report

June 12 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Commission for Investigating Bribery and Corruption handed over its annual report to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday at the Temple Trees. After presenting to the report to the President, it is subsequently submit to the Parliament by the President. The report consists of the details of the raids, arrests and legal proceedings conducted by the Commission. more..

Rajapakse Regime Reinforces Concept of Tamil Homeland

June 12 (FI) Is there a Tamil Homeland in the Island now known as Sri Lanka? The Sri Lankan Tamils have been saying “YES ” since the times of SJV Chelvanayagam. The Northern and eastern provinces are the traditional Tamil homeland emphasised Chelvanayagam. This concept was faithfully endorsed by his deputies like Vanniyasingham, Naganathan, Amirthalingam and Navaratnam. In recent times the homeland concept has been one issue on which there is general agreement among Tamils. more..

India exports PPP model for road-building to Lanka

June 12 (FE) Having steadfastly pursued its privatisation programme in the road sector, India is now exporting the PPP model to its southern neighbour, Sri Lanka. Over the past year, officials from Sri Lanka's premier highway development and maintenance authority - the Road Development Agency (RDA) - have been in close collaboration with consultancy firm Feedback Ventures and agencies like the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). more..

Bogollagama`s security abuse Sethu project advisors

June 12 (LNP) Academics, scholars, readers and other users of the Lakshman Kadirgamer Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies are urging President Mahinda Rajapakse to take the institution under his control as its regular activities are disturbed as Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama is using the premises. The high minded security guards of Minister Bogollagama have the habit of closing the institute and chasing away those who are inside when the Minister arrives there frequently. more..

President`s efforts for peace will succeed - Swami Ravishankar

June 12 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has a commitment towards achieving peace and his efforts will bear fruit very soon, said His Holiness Swami Sri Ravishankar, a Hindu religious dignitary of the Kala Ashram in Chennai, India. The Swami was addressing the final session of the International Women`s Conference held a Bangalore, India. Swami Ravishankar said that Sri Lanka and India had very close cultural ties, with similar values on ethics and human aspirations. more..

The blame game and other matters

June 12 (LNP) The JVP, which is gifted with glibness, has dubbed the UNP Edawela Tours (a derisive term for a private bus, whose operations hinge on the daily income it generates). This epithet derives from the JVP argument that the UNP is shifting from issue to issue on a daily basis without a long term programme of action. Ironically, the JVP, which is calling others names, is also qualified for that sobriquet, given its penchant for populist campaigns without a specific goal in mainstream politics. more..

Irish peacemakers reject violence

June 12 (SAMN) The solution for Sri Lanka is with Sri Lanka, according to two Irish peace negotiators who are in the country to convey a message of hope by using the peace agreement reached between the British government and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) after more than 30 years of conflict. Dr. David Porter and Derek Poole emphasized that in the end it was the people who would suffer if the conflict was to continue and peace needed the support of all communities for the warring sides to realise that violence would only lead to more violence. more..

UNP tells coalition to talk in one voice

June 12 (SAMN) The UNPs Working Committee decision regarding the All Party Representative Committee and the present status of its meetings were handed over to the APRC recently. At the APRC meeting held last month, UNP representative to the Committee K.N. Choksy said there was no common stand on the core issues involved, between the parties in the ruling coalition. more..