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Undiplomatic role by Rohitha’s son

June 15 (SAMN) A controversy has reportedly emerged within the Foreign Ministry as a result of some of the actions and decisions taken by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama including allowing his son to direct foreign policy decisions, well informed Ministry sources revealed. However when contacted, a top Foreign Ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity, while conceding that Bogollagama junior was very active in the ministry, dismissed claims of him throwing his weight around. more..

P.B. misleading public, claim unions

June 15 (SAMN) The Unity of Unions for Protecting Customs, Inland Revenue & Excise Departments (UPCIED) Thursday charged that Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B.Jayasundara is distorting facts with regard to the Auditor General’s Report for 2006. The UPCIED also charged that President Mahinda Rajapaksa should also take the responsibility as well for continuously protecting Dr. Jayasundara who they say repeatedly misleads the public. more..

Laws on reclaiming paddy lands to be revised

June 15 (DN) Agriculture Development and Agrarian Service Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said the Government will bring in amendments to the existing Act pertaining to the reclamation of paddy lands, with provisions to confiscate properties of those who have illegally reclaimed paddy lands. “I hope to bring amendments to the Act pertaining to the reclaiming of paddy lands in Parliament within the next two months,” the Minister said. more..

Foreign Buddhist films to be screened here

June 15 (DN) The Religious Affairs Ministry is making arrangements to screen international movies based in Buddhism for schoolchildren under the Government’s Buddha Jayanthi programmes this year. Deputy Secretary of the Religious Affairs Ministry’s Buddha Jayanthi Office, D.Thenuwara said the decision to have school shows was made following requests by school principals. “We are discussing it further with the Film Corporation,” he said. more..

Navy Arrests Cement Destined for Tigers

June 15 (NS) SRI LANKA NAVY'S INSHORE PATROL CRAFT (IPC) patrolling in the MANNAR seas arrested three (03) boats and five (05) crew members who were engaged in transporting cement for LTTE terrorists around 3.30 p.m. yesterday (13). When the IPCs were patrolling in the MANNAR seas they had observed three suspicious boats heading towards VEDITHALATHIVU area. more..

Yahoo Photos

June 15 (AP) Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Sri Lanka Archbishop Oswald Gomis, right, speaks as Buddhist monk Bellanwila Wimalarathana, center, and other monks look on during a press conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, June 15, 2007. more..

Abductions: UNP tells Muslim ministers to quit

June 15 (DM) UNP Muslim MPs yesterday came out hard on the government over the abduction of Muslim businessmen and vowed to take to the streets and also take the issue up with the diplomats of Muslim countries. They also called on the Muslim ministers to resign from their posts if they were scared to talk while being part of the government. UNP Kegalle MP Kabir Hashim told a media conference that Muslim ministers should resign from their posts if they couldn’t take up the issue with the President. more..

Commission to probe CMC malpractices

June 15 (DM) Colombo Mayor Mohamed U. Emtiyaz who is facing a probe by a one man commission said yesterday that he had not done any thing against his conscience. Sources close to the Mayor told the Daily Mirror that the answers he sent to the charge sheet issued by Western Province Chief Minister Reginald Cooray were made on the basis of information provided to him by his officials. Therefore he had done a thorough study on the alleged charges and what actually had taken place in the CMC. more..

Sri Lanka stocks hit choppy waters but gains seen for canny investors

June 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tiny stock market may have hit a rough patch with the conflict intensifying and economic fundamentals worsening, but discerning investors can still make money, analysts say. The stock market began to slide as the war escalated with Tamil Tiger rebel air strikes in late March, prompting stock brokers to advise investors to be more selective when choosing shares. more..

New coach say Sri Lanka can win World Cup

June 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new coach Trevor Bayliss Friday said he was hopeful that the island could win the next World Cup. Bayliss, 44, was picked Thursday night to replace another Australian, Tom Moody, who quit last month to work with Western Australia after having guided Sri Lanka to the World Cup final. "Sri Lankans are a pretty good side," he told reporters after signing a two-year contract. more..

Lanka's intelligence warns of impending LTTE attack: Media

June 15 (UNI) Sri Lanka's intelligence services have warned that the Tamil Tiger rebels, in the face of the recent setback in the eastern battlefront, were planning a major terror attack to create a bloodbath in the capital city of Colombo, a State-run media reported today. According to the intelligence reports, the Tiger outfit was awaiting a huge explosion using nearly 1000 Kg explosives to fully destabilise security in Colombo, the State-run Daily News said. more..

Ambitious resettlement programme underway in East Lanka

June 15 (HT) The Eastern Sri Lankan Tamil-speaking town of Batticaloa had undergone a sea change in the last three months. In late March, it was swarming with government troops and Tamil para militaries in full battle gear and fingers at the trigger. Only artillery and mortar barrages broke the silence of the dead town. People talked in whispers about extortions and child abductions by the pro-government Tamil militant group led by Karuna. more..

Sri Lanka rights probe on path to failure: Experts

June 15 (Reuters) A Sri Lankan probe into rights abuses blamed on security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels looks set to end in failure, international experts warned on Friday, as Amnesty International demanded an outside monitoring operation. Experts nominated by the international community to observe a presidential commission probing abuses -- including the massacre of 17 aid workers that Nordic truce monitors blame on the army -- are worried at involvement of the Attorney General's department. more..

Sri Lankan religious leaders condemn recent spate of violence

June 15 (AP) The president was expected to meet with a Norwegian peace broker in Geneva on Friday to discuss the worsening conflict as religious leaders in Colombo denounced recent human rights violations. President Mahinda Rajapakse was scheduled to meet Friday with Erik Solheim, the Norwegian who helped broker a 2002 cease-fire that halted nearly two decades of fighting, a Norwegian Embassy official in Colombo said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. more..

No credible evidence’s to prove abduction of Muslim Businessmen

June 16 (GDI) Several Muslim Ministers and leaders have stated that "Allegations on the abductions of the Muslim Businessmen is a mudslinging campaign of the UNP which is trying to recover from the negative mental syndromes they have over popularity of the present Government headed by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa among all citizens despite their ethnicity This was revealed to media at a press briefing held in Colombo today. more..

Rajapakse's to file cases against Ranil

June 16 (LeN) It is being reported that the Rajapakse's are planning on filing a case against Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe stating that he has disgraced them during speeches he made at UNP propaganda rallies. According to government sources President Mahinda Rajapakse, Defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse and President's advisor Basil Rajapakse are planning to file separate cases against Wickremesinghe. more..

To whose accounts did the Rs. 1.7 million of the Lake House go to?

June 16 (LeN) The Lake House Institute of the government has lost 1.7 million rupees by importing paper from a fraud company in Indonesia. The Lake House has lost this money when importing 30 metric tones of "Dupex Board" papers. The Lake House has ordered these papers from the P.T. Midikado Papers and Plastic Industries Limited and they have sent a Perform Invoice of around 1.7 million rupees to the company from the Lake House. more..

Dilemma in the Govt. Whom to believe?

June 16 (LeN) The government appears to becoming a part at its seams over the evictions issue. After first apologizing over the incident now there are indications that the government is severely divided over the issue and that some elements are now trying to justify the evictions. The recent fiasco over the forced evictions of Tamil citizens from lodges was roundly condemned by all. There was an outcry both locally and internationally. more..

Heavy protest against abductions and killing of Muslims

June 16 (LeN) The Muslim parliamentarians of the UNP say that they would launch a massive campaign both locally and internationally if the government does not take appropriate action to stop the increasing number of abductions and killings. The parliamentarians say they are planning on briefing the situation to the ambassadors of Muslim countries, including the Middle East countries and Major Muslim donor countries like Malaysia and Pakistan. more..

No middle way for Sri Lanka's militant monks

June 16 (Age) DRESSED in a saffron robe with bare feet and a beatific smile, the Venerable Athuraliye Rathana looks like an icon of peace. But when he talks about the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, known as the Tamil Tigers, the Sri Lankan Buddhist monk sounds more like an army general. "Day by day we are weakening the LTTE militarily," he said, sitting in the grounds of a Buddhist school in Colombo. "Talk can come later." more..

Sri Lankan President says own steps under way to probe killings

June 16 (AFP) President Mahinda Rajapakse of Sri Lanka and senior Sri Lankan officials said that they were taking their own steps to find the truth behind recent killings of humanitarian workers and alleged rights violations. However, Rajapakse stopped short of responding directly to an appeal Amnesty International made to him Thursday, to invite UN monitors to verify claims of human rights violations by both sides in the country's bitter ethnic civil war. more..

Peace meeting after ILO speech

June 16 (BBC) Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa discussed the current situation in the island nation with the Norwegian peace facilitators. Rajapaksa who is in Geneva to attend the annual conference of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) had a one-to-one meeting with Norwegian minister Erik Solheim. Both parties were tight lipped over the outcome of the meeting, BBC's Priyath Liyanage who is covering the President's visit told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

Call to cut aid to Lanka for rights abuses

June 16 (HT) The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) has asked Sri Lanka's donors to "reassess" their aid to the island in view of the gross violation of human rights by both the government and the LTTE. "Until that action is forthcoming, the victims of violence perpetrated by the state, the LTTE and other armed groups have nowhere to turn," the ICGs report dated June 14 said. more..

Heavy fighting continues in the North and East of Sri Lanka

June 16 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government still maintains the fiction that it is adhering the 2002 ceasefire agreement with the Liberation LTTE. But in the North and East of the island, the security forces are waging a ruthless war of aggression aimed at destroying the separatist guerrilla movement and capturing LTTE territory, with no regard for ceasefire lines. Fierce battles have taken place over the past fortnight. more..

Sri Lanka looking at options

June 16 (ECB) Sri Lanka’s cricket selectors have defended their decision to recall veterans Marvan Atapattu and Upul Chandana to the squad for the series against Bangladesh later this month. Former captain Atapattu has been named for the three-match Test series as a replacement for another long-standing star, Sanath Jayasuriya, who has been rested and will be turning out for English county side Lancashire. more..

'Sri Lanka is not isolated' says the Defence Secretary

June 16 (RW) Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa the Defence Secretary said Tamil tiger rebels had infiltrated the UN's offices in the capital, Colombo and were feeding it incorrect information, in an interview with Mr. Roland Buerk, BBC correspondent in Colombo. The Defence Secretary said Sri Lanka won't be isolated since he has the support of SAARC countries," He, further said the police had taken action against only a small proportion of ethnic Tamils living in cheap hotels in the city. more..

Weakening the LTTE

June 16 (TW) The government of Sri Lanka says that its plan is to weaken the LTTE so that it will be compelled to come to the negotiating table and accept what is offered. The futile attempt at weakening the LTTE in the first place means not only continuing to sacrifice the lives of thousands of innocent civilians and forces personnel, but also causing untold human suffering and irreparable destruction to the economy and the country. more..

In Honour of Kamban

June 16 (TW) A four day compendium of prose and poetry in Thamil language was held last week beginning May 31 to June 03, 2007 at the Ramakrishna Hall, Wellawatta organized by the exemplary institution that fosters and revitalizes love for ancient and medieval Thamil Literature. Kamban Kalagam is the name of the institution. It is in existence for many years functioning earlier in Yaalpaanam until such time when it was found impossible to function from the capital of the Thamilians in the northern peninsula. more..

Shorter World Cup means less money, says official

June 16 (CI) Officials from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will meet on June 18 in the Pakistani summer resort of Bhurban to discuss matters relating to the 2011 World Cup, according to Saleem Altaf, the CEO of the World Cup organising committee. Altaf said that the officials from all four countries jointly hosting the World Cup would work out a method to meet initial expenses in the setting up as well as the running of the various organising committees. more..

Man stabbed to death at Tooting takeaway

June 16 (WG) A murder investigation is underway after a man was stabbed at a Tooting takeaway. Police were called to Chicken Cottage in Upper Tooting Road at around 1.40am today following reports of a disturbance. On arrival officers found one man suffering from stab wounds and another man with head injuries. A knife and a cricket bat were recovered from the area. more..

Sri Lanka conglomerate sells off ships

June 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Aitken Spence conglomerate is exiting from its ship-owning business because of lower earnings from chartering and rising maintenance costs, the company has said. The group has begun selling its fleet of small cargo ships which until recently helped boost the group's bottom line. The group made a "strategic decision" during the year to shift its focus from ship owning due to the inherent costs associated with the business, more..

Sri Lanka ceramic exporters look to R&D to overtake cheap Chinese competition

June 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's ceramic industry has lost out in the recent years by neglecting to invest in research and development, a top ceramic exporter said. Dayasiri Warnakulasooriya, chairman of the Sri Lanka Ceramics Council, said that while the industry remained complacent, given the good image it had for its tableware and gift items, China overtook it with cheaper products. more..

EROS meets Mahinda in Geneva

June 16 (ISL) The Executive Committee of the Eelam Revolutionary Organisation (EROS) met up with the President yesterday afternoon in Geneva, Switzerland. Representing the Executive Committee of EROS and Politburo were Nesan Shankar Raji accompanied by Rajanathan Prabaharan. Nesan Shankar Raji flew from London on 13 April 2007 where a meeting was held with EROS members in Zurich prior to their meeting with the President the following day. more..

The speech made by Dr Vickramabahu Karunarathne at the press conference

June 16 (ISL) I am very thankful to the NAWF and Dr Kumar Rupasighe for convening this press conference at a critical moment. As he said the inflation of 24% has created an unbearable situation FOR THE POOR MASES. THIS INFLATION IS DUE TO on one hand the war and on the other hand due to the development programme dictated by the donors .Mahinda has no option but to agree to their conditions. This development has made the poor, destitute while the agents of the MNCs gain luxury. more..

CID questions Minister Pandu Bandaranaike

June 16 (LT) Pandu Bandaranaike, Acting Minister of Religious and Moral Development is to be questioned by the Criminal Investigation Department with regard to a case of broken employment pledges and deserting 15 youths at Japan. The minister from Gampaha is allegedly taken Rs. 15 million from 15 youths employment promises, taken them to Japan saying they are being taken for a youth exchange programme. more..

A long way to go on the international front

June 16 (ANN) It is not only bombs and guns that matter in war. Propaganda, too, plays a vital role in modern warfare. An efficiently executed propaganda blitz has the potential to be more devastating than a hundred cannon fired simultaneously. That was why during the World War II, Britain used geniuses of the calibre of George Orwell to counter the Nazi propaganda and Hitler was dependent on spin doctors like Goebbels. more..

President Discusses current situation in Sri Lanka with Norwegian peace facilitators

June 16 (GDI) Norwegian peace facilitator Erik Solheim called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday in Geneva for a discussion on the current situation of the island. President left Sri Lanka on last 13th June to attend the 96th ILO conference, where he delivered the keynote address yesterday (15). Ministers Mahinda Samarasinghe, Douglas Devananda and Keheliya Rambukwella and President's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga also participated in the discussion. more..

Sri Lanka Consulate office in Bonn shifted to Frankfurt

June 16 (GDI) The Consulate General Office of Sri Lanka in Bonn has been shifted to Frankfurt to accommodate the growing demands of expatriate Sri Lankans. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affaires this shifting from Bonn to Frankfurt will also effectively facilitate the process of networking among Sri Lankans and the local community living in Germany. more..

'New Education policy won’t harm national and religious percentage'

June 16 (GDI) "New Education policy will not harm national and religious percentage, when students are recruited to schools," sated the Ministry of Education. Accordingly the Ministry of Education stated that it has not taken any decision to remove the primary section from the National Schools. They added that no decision which would ruin the free education system of the country will be taken. more..

Sri Lanka to strictly adhere in to new health regulations

June 16 (GDI) Sri Lanka will be strictly adhering to the new International Health Regulations (IHR) introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) from yesterday onwards (15), which will control epidemic outbreaks. Sri Lanka will strictly follow newly introduced IHR and ensure steady supply of medicinal drugs, equipment and medical professionals to face any health threat and prevent probable re-emerge of diseases that had been already eradicated successfully. more..

President's speech at the ILO conference

June 16 (GDI) Mr. President,Your Excellencies,Distinguished delegates,Ladies and gentlemen, It gives me great pleasure to be in your presence today in this august assembly after a lapse of many years. I have been here earlier as Minister of Labour and I have enjoyed my interaction over the years with the Organisation – and with the different delegations, whether they were government or worker delegations or employer delegations. more..

Women given prominence in proposed reforms - Dinesh

June 16 (PISL) Speaking at a meeting held on 'Lakbima Mauwaru and Duwaru' (Lanka's Mothers and daughters), at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute recently, he said that political parties secretaries have been told that for every two members to be nominated to the national list one should be a woman. The select committee has also recommended that, in co-ordination with Sri Lankan embassies, migrant workers be given an opportunity to cast their votes and postal voting facilities will be provided. more..

Mahinda Rajapakse and human rights in Sri Lanka

June 16 (TW) …That illusion is now evaporating. It is becoming crystal clear that the Sri Lankan state has war on its agenda and not a just peace. Its score card in the deploying of disproportionate force, promoting state terror, disregard for civilian life and rights, large scale violation of human rights etc has demonstrated that the Rajapakse regime is becoming another Frankensteinian monster. more..

Yashodara`s wedding in London

June 16 (LNP) The wedding ceremony of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga`s daughter Yashodara took place in London yesterday according to Sinhala tradition, reports said. It is learnt that only five Sri Lankans were invited for the ceremony and among them were President`s brother and Minister Anura Bandaranaike, sister Sunethra, two businessmen Harry Jayawardene, Ranjan Eumo and former minister Mangala Samaraweera. more..

EU strongly condemned the eviction of Northern and Eastern Tamils from lodges

June 16 (LNP) The European Union yesterday, in a statement released to the media, strongly condemned the eviction of Northern and Eastern Tamils from lodges in the city and described the act as a blatant violation of internationally recognized human rights. The EU said it encourages a search for a peaceful solution to the ethnic conflict. more..

Eviction order came from the top: Nagadeepa Prelate

June 16 (LNP) The Chief Incumbent of the Nagadeepa Viharaya in Jaffna yesterday said he believed the order for the recent eviction of Tamils from Colombo might have come from `some one at the top` and could not have originated at police level. Ven Brahmanawatte Sivali Thera told journalists though religious leaders had been keeping quiet for the past 25 years allowing the war to escalate now it was time for them to act to prevent further destruction. more..

Akashi urged to help up-country Tamils

June 16 (LNP) `We consider your present visit is very critical in this moment of national crisis as the country is dangerously moving fast towards war which if not halted, will be a national disaster of unprecedented proportions in our long history, a memorandum submitted to Yashushi Akashi, Japanese special envoy for peace in Sri Lanka by the leader of Up-Country People`s Front and Minister for Community Development and Social Inequity Eradication P. Chandrasekaran MP said. more..

Lankan UN peace keepers not paid

June 16 (SAMN) The United Nations has not paid the wages of 950 Lankan soldiers who served in UN peacekeeping missions in Haiti last year. The soldiers of the Gajaba Regiment had served six months along with other nationalities, wearing blue helmets to bolster the US-installed regime of Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, and returned home six months ago and are yet to be paid for their blood and sweat, according to military and political party sources. more..

President regrets eviction

June 16 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Friday he regretted the inconvenience caused to innocent people in the eviction of some 300 lodgers in Colombo but said the government had to keep extra vigil over the lodges since almost all suicide bombers had operated from them. Addressing the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, the President said: “Recently, there was much concern when we cleared some lodging houses in Colombo. more..

New HSZ covering Sampur and Mutur East

June 16 (SAMN) Months after government troops cleared areas South of the Trincomalee Harbour, the government has declared a new High Security Zone covering Sampur and Mutur-East, to set up a Special Economic Zone - the government’s original plan. In an extraordinary Gazette notification, the government named the new zone, as ‘Mutur (East)/Sampur High Security Zone’. Thousands of families in the area coming under the HSZ are to be re-located. more..