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Sri Lanka rupee at new life low, stocks fall

June 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee fell to a new life low on Friday on importer demand for dollars while shares fell as retail investors sold select stocks citing high interest rates and uncertainty due to renewed civil war, traders said. The rupee closed at a new all-time low of 111.00/111.02 per dollar, compared to Thursday's close of 110.96/110.99. "There was some demand for dollars in the market because of importers -- importer related transactions," a currency dealer said. more..

Lanka media cool to SLFP split

June 22 (HT) Media reactions to the split in the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the formation of the SLFP (Mahajana Wing) by the sacked Minister Mangala Samaraweera have been cynical. In the media's view, the SLFP (MW) doesn't look as if it will make a difference to the political scene. But at the same time, it is acknowledged that President Mahinda Rajapaksa may be a worried man. more..

London LTTE chief arrested

June 22 (AT) The long standing chief of the LTTE in London A C Shanthan alias A Krishanthakumar was arrested by New Scotland Yard at approximately 3.45pm on Thursday evening under the British Terrorism Act 2000. His arrest under the Terrorism Act 2000 is significant in that he can be held for up to 28 days. He is spending the nights these days in a cell at the Paddington Green Police station in central London where all the high profile terrorists including the ones from the IRA were held. more..

Sri Lanka slammed over press rights

June 22 (AFP) International media rights activists on Friday described Sri Lanka as one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists due to a worsening climate of violence and censorship. Killings and attacks against journalists remained unsolved leading to fears that media freedom is being deliberately and violently suppressed through threats, abductions and attacks, a team of media freedom campaigners said. more..

Sri Lanka court delays hearing Tamil eviction complaint

June 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Friday delayed hearing a case challenging the eviction of minority ethnic Tamils from Colombo, which police said was undertaken to root out Tamil Tiger rebels. The court set the first formal hearing for July 26, without explaining the delay, but kept a ban on security forces repeating a recent operation in which nearly 400 Tamil men, women and children were taken out of the capital by bus. more..

Tamil rebel boat explodes in eastern sea, 3 killed; separate clashes kill 4

June 22 (AP) A suspected Tamil rebel boat exploded off Sri Lanka's east coast Friday, killing at least three insurgents, as clashes between rebels and soldiers in the north left four guerrillas dead, the military said. Separately, army troops found the bodies of 15 separatist Tamil Tigers killed in battles this week as the military launched a major push to flush rebels from the island's volatile east. more..

Sri Lanka call up Vandort for Bangladesh Test

June 23 (AFP) Sri Lankan opening batsman Michael Vandort will replace the injured Upul Tharanga for the first Test against Bangladesh next week, officials said. The lanky left-hander was drafted into the home side after Tharanga suffered a hairline fracture in his right toe when being hit by a ball from fast bowler Lasith Malinga during Thursday's practice. more..

The Muthur Massacre: ACF Questions the Facts

June 23 (TW) Ten months after the unprecedented massacre of 17 ACF humanitarian aid workers in Muthur Action Against Hunger (ACF) is questioning whether the investigation will lead to an indictment against those responsible: On the 6th of June, a hearing was held at the Magistrate Court of Kantale (East of Sri Lanka) regarding the unprecedented massacre of 17 ACF aid workers. more..

Corrupt politicians collude with the fraudster-mafia

June 23 (FSL) Corruption committed by President Chandrika is concerned; I can say that I have concrete proof to prove her dishonest character. In the customs administration alone there are many instances where she had abused her executive power to protect the interests of the revenue fraudsters. Sometimes she had the audacity to send her own handwriting illegal orders. Instances are many where proceeds of crimes were released on her illegal orders. more..

Match peters out to a rain-affected draw

June 23 (CI) Sri Lanka A raced to 170 for 4 in just 36.3 overs before rain caused play to be abandoned on the final day of their game against the Bangladeshis at the Colts Cricket Club ground in Colombo. After the Bangladeshis declared on their overnight score of 245 for 8, the Sri Lankan openers, Michael Vandort and Mahela Udawatte, put up a brisk 61-run partnership. more..

More Sri Lankan females drawn to construction industry by higher wages

June 23 (LBO) More women are joining the construction industry, attracted by the higher wages that have risen with the boom in building activity, a senior industry official said. Dakshitha Thalgodapitiya, Secretary General of the Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI), said new training centres being set up by the organisation were attracting female labour. more..

Sri Lanka tea trade wins demand on export tax usage

June 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea trade has won a greater say in how funds raised from a tax on tea exports are spent by the government, a senior industry official said. Colombo Tea Traders' Association (CTTA) chairman Tyeab Akbarally said the government had acceded to industry demands and agreed to give it representation in an official body in charge of the funds. more..

Sivaji takes Sri Lanka by storm

June 23 (HT) The Rajnikanth mania has gripped Sri Lanka too. His blockbuster Sivaji:The boss is on show 41 times a day in seven theatres across the island, with all shows running to full houses, Hindustan Times learns. "People forget the war and queue up for tickets at the Monohara theatre. It's booked for a week now," said K Nathan, a resident of Jaffna, in north Sri Lanka. more..

Reflections on the killing of colleagues in Colombo

June 23 (AN) I had originally sat down to write this blog to complement a piece by my fellow blogger, Glenda Cooper, last month on the perceptions of aid agencies in Sri Lanka as fat cats. While largely agreeing with Glenda's blog, I felt that I should also contribute some of the positives - as well as the challenges - of aid work in an attempt to give the "other side" of the picture. more..

P.E.I. Sri Lankan man helps search for workers

June 23 (CBC) An Island man from Sri Lanka is trying to help find 11 foreign workers from his country who disappeared from Stewart Mussel Farms earlier this month. foreign temporary workers had an eight-month contract to work at the North Shore operation, but left one month into it. Sarath Chandrasakere said while they were here, seven of the Sri Lankans played cricket with him on a couple of occasions. more..

Crucifixion of a bank for the sake of another bank

June 23 (LeN) An incident where a bank that was functioning well has been victimized to rescue a bank that was running down the drains after approving loans to build up a political image, is being reported to news. The scape-goat is the SME bank that was established to lend a hand to the small and medium scale businesses in the country and the bank that has mal functioned is the Lanka Puthra Bank. more..

Govt. expands the process of supplying of essential items to Jaffna

June 23 (GDI) In accordance with the Government’s plan to establish a buffer stock in Jaffna and supply essential items to the civilians in Jaffna, 8 ships ply from Colombo to Jaffna carrying 15,000 Metric Tons (MT) regularly. According to the figures issued by the Government Agent (G/A) of Jaffna, supplies sent by ships cater for a population of 600,000 in the area. more..

Karuna imposes taxes on Tamil civilians

June 23 (AT) Karuna group is now raising fund by imposing taxes on those fishermen living in the Government controlled areas in Batticaloa and Amparai. It is learnt that Karuna group is also collecting information about the individuals and family incomes in the two districts through the Grama Servaka officers. They are preparing a list of the shopkeepers and businesses in the Government controlled area with a view to impose taxes. more..

Shanthan – the key to Tiger operations in UK

June 23 (AT) The arrest of A. C. Shanthan, the No: 1 Tiger agent in UK, has been a big blow to the Tiger movement in Europe. His links to Anton Balasingham, the London-based ideologue, makes him one of the principal agents of the Tigers. Shanthan who is held in Paddington Green, Paddington is being continuously grilled by the Police in United Kingdom regarding the activities of the LTTE. more..

EROS on the ways to bring about peace in Sri Lanka

June 23 (AT) The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, is a different entity and the Tamil speaking people are different. The future of the Tamil speaking people must be decided by the people and not by the by the LTTE. Government of Sri Lanka must take into account is that the LTTE and Tamil speaking people are two different entities and should not be treated or looked upon as one group. more..

Evictions legal - Petition to Court

June 23 (BBC) An interim petition was filed in the Supreme Court requesting to uphold the decision taken by the Inspector General of Police and the Defence Secretary to evict Tamils from the Colombo lodges. Petitioner Mohammad Gauss Sulaiman, a Muslim businessman from Wallawatta argues that the lodgers fundamental human rights were not violated by this decision. more..

Sri Lanka dockyard wins more tug boat orders from India

June 23 (LBO) Colombo Dockyard Ltd. (CDL), Sri Lanka's sole listed ship builder, has got more orders from a new Indian customer to build anchor-handling tugs, a top official said. The total value of all four orders from the Indian firm, Greatship (India) Ltd. is 65.5 million dollars, Chief Executive Mangala Yapa told the launch ceremony of the first tug Friday. The orders would ensure a steady revenue stream in the next 2-3 years. more..

Sri Lanka - Australia cup final bunglers rapped

June 23 (AFP) All five officials involved in the bungled end to the World Cup final will not feature in September's inaugural World Twenty20 tournament in South Africa, the International Cricket Council announced Friday. Australia's victory against Sri Lanka in the showpiece match in Barbados on April 28 was overshadowed by a farcical climax brought about by a failure to apply a standard playing condition. more..

A ‘New Beginning for Vocational Education’ in Sri Lanka

June 23 (AT) For nearly twenty years, the burned-out police station in this southern coastal town has stood as a grim reminder of the devastating effect that widespread unemployment can have on youth. Today, yellow tape surrounds the crumbling edifice as workers prepare to demolish the building to make way for a new training center that will provide the young people in the region with access to training that creates avenues to in-demand jobs and promote economic security and communal harmony. more..

Sri Lanka and Andra Pradesh agreed to launch a dual destination tourist programme

June 23 (AT) Southern Indian State of Andhra Pradesh which had links with Sri Lanka for several centuries has in principle, agreed to a dual destination programme which would promote tourism to Sri Lanka and Andhra Pradesh simultaneously. Resulting from the recent visit to Andhra Pradesh by Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner to Southern India, P. M. Amza, the Government of Andhra Pradesh has agreed to consider a proposal by more..

Dozens of Sri Lankan journalists stop reporting amid attempts to stifle media: rights groups

June 23 (AP) Dozens of journalists have stopped reporting on fighting in Sri Lanka's north and east because it is too dangerous, a group of international media rights groups said. In the most recent violence, a suspected Tamil rebel boat exploded off Sri Lanka's east coast Friday, killing at least three insurgents, as clashes between rebels and soldiers in the north left four guerrillas dead, the military said. more..

Sri Lanka says tough stance needed to make peace

June 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka, which has suffered cuts in Western aid over alleged human-rights abuses in its fight against separatists, needs to show strength in order to forge a political solution to ethnic strife, Colombo's trade minister said. Minister of Export Development and International Trade G.L. Peiris said his Indian Ocean island country is taking the fight to the separatist Tamil Tigers to "create confidence in the people that the government is speaking from a position of strength" when it one day moves to make political compromises. more..

Sri Lanka top donors in new efforts for peace

June 23 (AFP) International donors will meet in Oslo next week to review Sri Lanka's worsening bloodshed and look for a way to revive a moribund peace process. A quartet of the island's main financial backers -- Japan, the US, the European Union and Norway -- will analyse the deteriorating situation for two days starting Monday, officials involved in the process said. more..

Agency's staff 'beat up maids'

June 23 (GDN) RIGHTS workers are demanding an urgent investigation into allegations that staff at a leading manpower agency regularly beat housemaids. A complaint has been lodged with the Labour Ministry and the Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS) has called for the organisation to be closed if the claims are found to be true. The move comes after the society rescued Sri Lankan housemaid Nirupa Ranasinghe, 40, from the street. more..

A broad based front from JVP

June 23 (LT) JVP sources say its political bureau has decided to forge a broad national front. These sources say that its political bureau that met recently discussed the matter a length and made an in depth study into the political and economic crises that have emerged in the country and the National Question and foreign interventions in particular. more..

Navy Commander visits Jaffna

June 23 (GDI) The Navy Commander Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda has conducted a inspection tour in Jaffna yesterday (22). The Navy Commander has visited to the Delft Island to inspect the security situation there and has instructed to take the necessary steps to enhance the security situation. The Navy Commander has also inspected on the clash raided at Point Pedro on last Tuesday (19), by the Sea Tigers. more..

Government to setup a firm agricultural development programme

June 23 (GDI) “The Government will step in to a firm agricultural development programme with the vision of encouraging the consumption of locally manufactured agricultural products starting from September this year,” said the Minister of Agriculture Maithripala Sirisena. This was revealed to media by him at a press conference held yesterday at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. more..

New Vocational Training Center at Koggala

June 23 (GDI) A New Vocational Training center will be built in Koggala with the US aids with the aim of providing the youth in the Southern region of the country with access to training that creates avenues to in-demand jobs and promote economic security and communal harmony. The center at Koggala is among nine state-of the-art facilities to be built or reconstructed and equipped on the South and East coasts by the USAID more..

The Post-Independence Quest for Greater Devolution in Lanka

June 23 (FI) The Banda - Chelva pact of 1957 was the first instance of Sinhala and Tamil leaders in post - independence Sri Lanka (or Ceylon then) attempting to resolve the Tamil national question through appropriate political arrangements. Three major grievances affecting Tamils in the spheres of language, land settlement and regional autonomy could have been redressed through the pact had it ever been allowed to work. more..

Shocking deportation of Tamil lodgers: Reality revealed

June 23 (TW) Like the July 1983 enjoined anti-Tamil pogrom, the forced expulsion of Tamils including the old and the ailing in a prearranged coordinated move from their lodgings in selected areas in Colombo on June 7 pre-dawn by the security forces for no valid reason other than the fact they were Tamil visitors from the North or East will remain a sordid saga in the post independence history of the island nation. more..

“Thamby, ingratitude is not part of our culture….”

June 23 (TW) The degradation of socio-economic and healthcare structure in the Northeast (NE) is devastating. At present thousands of our people in the NE are undergoing intolerable levels of hardship: no food, no drinking water, no healthcare, no basic sanitation, no shelter, no security, no economy, no transport, no education and our values and lives are brutalised everyday by the occupiers but our people are so scared to even make a complaint for the fear of reprisals. more..

Are We Destroying Ourselves?

June 23 (TW) I have a feeling that we are destroying ourselves without knowing it and the extinct is soon to arrive by our own foolish acts committed without any foresightedness and a frog in the well attitude governed by extremism in both sides of the divide. But I sincerely hope saner counsel prevails in double quick time and set things in order underscoring the human factor. more..

Edifice of Retrogression

June 23 (TW) “There will be a political vacuum in the ethnic relations of this country as long as devolution is a non-starter, a mere word in the south. Despite the balance of forces, the cease-fire cannot survive for long in this political vacuum.” - Dharmeratnam Sivaram, 25.8.2004, ISGA Bashing: Much Ado about Nothing. Almost three years later, all’s manifest. Optics vis-à-vis the humanitarian dimension, are nothing short of egregious. more..

Why ask us to negotiate while America is fighting terrorism ?

June 23 (LeN) The Secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party and the theoretician of the Vietnam revolution, Comrade Li Duwan, once said "socialism" and the "Vietnam nation" is one and the same. Yet, is it true ? Socialism is an economic system. A nation is different. A nation is a society of people with a distinct geographical presence and a political definition. more..

LTTE to lose revenue sources in Thoppigala

June 23 (LNP) The LTTE will lose one of its major income generating sources after they lose Thoppigala jungles where they conducted businesses including cannabis plantations, Security Forces personnel engaged in the Thoppigala battle said. Troops are now engaged in the humanitarian mission to liberate thousands of paddy acres which were forcibly taken by the LTTE after chasing the farmers away from their lands, General Officer Commanding the 23 Division of the Sri Lanka more..

Road traffic deaths last year hit 357

June 23 (LNP) The Accident Service of the National Hospital last year recorded 357 deaths, of this 238 were on arrival. The main cause of deaths were road traffic accidents involving motor cycles. The majority of victims were pedestrians. This was followed by falls, homicides and suicides Director Accident Service Dr. Anil Jasinghe said. He said a total of 97,373 accident victims were treated at the National Hospital Colombo last year. more..

Cornering the govt. on human rights front

June 23 (LNP) It is not only at the hands of ruling politicians and militaries that human rights suffer. They are also abused by power hungry politicians and other vested interests masquerading as human rights champions. In this country, we witness both kinds of human rights abuses. The government stands accused of having created a culture of impunity. more..

`White van` men visit Tamil Editor`s residence

June 23 (LNP) A group of unknown men in a White van at 11:30 a.m Wednesday entered the Hamdan Lane, Wellawatte apartment building of N. Vidyadaran, editor of Colombo-based Tamil daily Sudar Oli, and had harassed the security guard at the reception after being told that Mr Vidyadaran was not in his apartment. The men had inspected the editor`s car, threatened the guard, and left the building, Vidyadaran told TamilNet. more..

Dissolution if more MPs defect: MR

June 23 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa warned senior party members Friday night he would be forced to dissolve parliament if the present crisis created by the crossovers was aggravated and more dissidents joined the SLFP (Mahajana Wing). Addressing a special meeting of ministers and senior SLFP members at Temple Trees, the President said the crisis appeared to be worsening day by day as former ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyaratchchi were trying to form an alliance with other opposition parties. more..

UNP ponders Court action

June 23 (SAMN) The UNP leadership is seriously considering Court action against the 18-member dissident group in the backdrop of what sources term as, a decidedly favourably situation. The UNP was of the view that they could seriously undermine the government by resorting to Court action. Well informed sources said that the UNP leadership was confident of targeting the Karu Jayasuriya-led group. more..

Samurdhi Movement in utter chaos: JVP

June 23 (SAMN) The JVP charged in Parliament Friday that the ‘Samurdhi Movement’ was in utter chaos today for what they said was the failure on the part of the authorities concerned to disburse funds running into million of rupees to ensure benefits for the people. The party took up the issue as an adjournment motion which drew the support of the main Opposition UNP. more..

Ranil exhorts people to topple Govt.

June 23 (SAMN) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe addressing a UNP meeting at the Kegalle town recently, appealed to the people to topple the present government and install his UNP in power. Referring how Hitler toppled the government and became the dictator of Germany, Wickremasinghe said, likewise, the President too, was attempting to establish dictatorship. He exhorted the people to rally behind the UNP and to bring the party into power to overcome the present predicament and to allay their suffering. more..

Strong winds: Five killed

June 23 (DN) Five persons were killed, hundreds of civilians displaced and millions of rupees worth properties were damaged due to the heavy rain and strong winds in Nuwara-Eliya, Ratnapura, Matara and Colombo districts yesterday. The monsoon condition became more active due to a formation of depression in the West Central Bay of Bengal. Heavy rains and strong winds hit several parts of the island. more..

No room to destabilise Govt - SLFP General Secretary

June 23 (DN) There will be no room for the various elements to weaken the stability of the present Government and Parliament, SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday. “If there are any such efforts the SLFP will be strong enough to face any challenges with the collective support of other friendly political parties,” he told a media conference at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. more..

Ven. Amarawansa Thera passes away

June 23 (DM) Former Parivenadhipathi of the Maligakanda Vidyodaya Privena and Southern Province Chief Sanghanayaka Ven. Akuretiye Amarawansa Thera passed away on Thursday night at the age of 98 and the funeral will be held at the Independence Square on Monday. Ven. Amarawansa Thera who was a respected Buddhist scholar excelled in the study of Abhidharma philosophy and was instrumental in translating several Abhidharma texts from Pali and Sanskrit to Sinhala. more..