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Nobody can create internal conflicts in SLFP says General Secretary

June 29 (GDI) Speaking on the latest political panorama, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Secretary General Maithripala Sirisena said that the unacceptable behavior of the United National Party (UNP) would not create any internal conflict among the party members of the SLFP or in the country. He proclaimed these conspiracies as an aspect of the UNP’s struggle to come in to power which he firmly said ‘impossible’. more..

Fishery Industry returns to normalcy after tsunami aftermath

June 29 (GDI) The fisheries Industry has returned to its normal growth level according to the statistics of the World Bank. Following the tsunami in the year 2004, the fishery sector faced a huge draw back. However, it is reported that the industry has returned to normalcy and is making more profits than in the year 2005. more..

Tiger explosions injure 11 people, including 4 school children

June 29 (GDI) During the morning hours of today (29) eleven civilians, including four school children, were injured due to LTTE triggered claymore mines in three separate incidents happened in the Northern, Vanni and Northeastern areas, military reports state. Around 7.35 in the morning, a claymore mine explosion in Mannar seriously wounded two children, two women and another passenger who were traveling in a passenger bus. more..

HR violations will not be allowed under any circumstances – President

June 29 (GDI) “As a politician having exposure and vast experience in human rights violations in 1989/90 era, I will not under any circumstances permit an iota of such violations not only in the South but also in the North East as well,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared yesterday (28) addressing the Maha Sangha at the Presidential Secreatriat. “There is a conspiracy in the country alleging that the Government is violating human rights,” more..

Govt. suspicious about rice from LTTE areas

June 29 (LNP) Though the Government Agents of Kilinochchi and Muliathivu had requested permission for the purchase of 15,000 bags of excess rice, roughly equivalent to 750 MT, from the Tiger controlled Vanni farmers, to be sold in the South, the government is reluctant to entertain that request as they suspect that the rice belonged to the looted cargo of the Farah 111. more..

Buffeted by the chill wind of political trouble

June 29 (LNP) The JVP has ruled out the possibility of any alliance with the UNP as a partner thus dashing the SLFP dissidents` hopes of turning the tables on President Mahinda Rajapakse in Parliament by forming a rainbow coalition. Only the politically naïve may have expected such an alliance to come into being. The JVP and the UNP can never get together except for a limited purpose like a move to defeat a bill more..

Who raped seven year girl? Father or outsider

June 29 (LNP) Balapitiya Magistrate, S. A. Perera remanded a prison guard and a young man in the Ahungalle police area allegedly for raping the seven-year-old daughter of the former. The Ahungalle police produced the duo in court. The suspect father had gone to the police station to lodge a complaint that a neighbour had raped his daughter. But the police, for some reason suspecting him too for the offence, more..

Major political changes soon

June 29 (SAMN) After talks with the SLFP (M) led by sacked minister Mangala Samaraweera Thursday, the opposition UNP said the next three months would be a decisive period for the country because of a series of politically significant events. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told a news conference the party was inviting all democratic parties to team up with them in the struggle against the government and more..

Mihintale Aloka Pooja begins today

June 29 (SAMN) The Mihintale Aloka Pooja pinkama will be held ceremonially for the 45th occasion for three days starting today. The event is organised by the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd, assisted by the Ceylon Electricity Board and Abans Ltd under the patronage of Venerable Namalwewa Sri Rathanasara Nayake Thera, the Chief Incumbent of Mihintale Raja Maha Viharaya and the Deputy Chief Adikarana Sanghanayake of Nuwaragam Palatha. more..

President’s Square project off

June 29 (SAMN) Property Development company Equity Two Ltd., is looking at other options since the President’s Square project has been put off. The recent Gazette No. 1498/15 dated May 25, 2007, states that the government has cancelled and notified the public that the said lands located at Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 1 were no longer be required by it for the purpose of the President’s Square Project. more..

Sri Lanka accused of curbing freedom of expression

June 29 (OW) Sri Lankan journalists are increasingly worried about their safety, and the government has done little to protect them - even further endangering their lives, the International Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression Mission to Sri Lanka has found on its return visit to the country. The delegation of the international mission, comprised of five international press freedom and media development organisations, more..

We protect media freedom and privacy of citizens- Justice Minister Dilan Perera

June 29 (GDI) Minister of Justice Dilan Perera said that the Government is fully committed to protect the private space and privacy of individual rights of the people. “Media has the fullest freedom to crticise the government or any individual. However it is the responsibility of the government as well as the media to ensure that the private space of a citizen is not violated,” he said at a media briefing held in Colombo today (29). more..

Youth policy draft: Shocking plagiarism

June 29 (SAMN) Shocking evidence of plagiarism has been found in the final draft of the National Youth Policy (NYP) which was released by the Ministry of Youth Affairs on May 23 for public comment. While the consideration of similar policy documents was deemed to be useful in the drafting process, the stark resemblance of the local NYP to that of the South African Youth Policy raises serious questions of ethics and contextual applicability, observers said. more..

JHU presents proposals to protect country

June 29 (DN) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has presented a set of proposals to the Government regarding an urgent scheme to be implemented to protect the country. The proposals were handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by the (JHU) political leadership during a meeting between JHU leaders and the President at Temple Trees on Monday. JHU sources said they had forwarded 20 proposals for the Government’s consideration to be implemented immediately to protect the country. more..

Western Union expands with currency remittance boom

June 29 (DN) The global money transferring service provider Western Union (WU) is planning to expand agent locations in Sri Lanka. This is because the country’s foreign remittances have shown tremendous growth during last few years, Western Union Director Marketing- South Asia, Suvodeep Das said. “Last year nearly Rs 241 billion worth of foreign currency remittances came into Sri Lanka and our aim is for Sri Lankans to remit money from anywhere in the world” Das said. more..

Dilan says he was not aware of bombshell memorandum

June 29 (DM) Non-cabinet Justice Minister Dilan Perera who presented a controversial cabinet memorandum Wednesday, for the reintroduction of criminal defamation laws, revealed yesterday he was ignorant of the contents of the memorandum till he read it at the cabinet meeting. The memorandum which was presented on behalf of Justice Minister Amarasiri Dodangoda was aimed at bringing back the draconian piece of legislation which had been scrapped from the law in 2004 more..

CID seeks Interpol help to trace suspects

June 29 (DM) The criminal Investigation Department who arrested three suspects in connection with the recent spree of extortion cases involving millionaire businessmen are on the trail of seven more wanted suspects. They are believed to be connected to the same gang. The CID has sought Interpol assistance to track down the suspects who are believed to have fled the country. more..

Croydon man accused of being 'Tamil Tiger' member

June 29 (CA) A Croydon man has been charged this week with receiving underwater warfare and naval weapons systems which he knew could be used for terrorism. Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, 50, is also accused of being a member of an outlawed terrorist organisation - the Tamil Tigers. He appeared in court yesterday (Thursday) along with another Croydon man, Goldan Lambert, 29, to face terror charges. more..

Co-chairs to tell Sri Lanka, LTTE to talk peace

June 29 (HT) The international community overseeing Sri Lanka's battered peace process will be asking Colombo and the Tamil Tigers to start talking again to end renewed bloodshed that has claimed thousands of lives. The decision of government and the LTTE to return to the negotiating table was the most important one the co-chairs to the peace initiative took at their June 25 meeting in Oslo. more..

Pro-rebel regional politician killed in eastern Sri Lanka; bomb blasts wound 8

June 29 (AP) Unidentified men hurled a hand grenade at a pro-Tamil Tiger rebel politician, killing him instantly, while two roadside bomb blasts wounded eight people in Sri Lanka's north on Friday, the military said. Selvanayagam Udayakumar, 34, was attacked with the grenade as he left his home on Thursday night, a Defense Ministry information center official said on customary condition of anonymity, in line with policy. more..

US voices concern over 350 people 'disappeared' in Sri Lanka

June 29 (AFP) The United States has voiced concern about the fate of 355 Sri Lankans who "disappeared" in recent months amid an escalation of the island's ethnic conflict, the government here said Friday. US ambassador Robert Blake gave a list of 355 names of people whose whereabouts were unknown, the foreign ministry said. more..

Sri Lankan apparel employees share blood in CSR effort

June 30 (F2F) Employees of Sri Lanka's top apparel exporter Brandix donated over 70 gallons of blood to Sri Lanka's Blood Bank on June 14, designated World Blood Donor Day, in recognition of their responsibility to the community. More than 720 employees, referred to as associates at Brandix, donated blood at six locations over the preceding three days in a massive campaign coordinated by more..

President’s reward to the Police officers involved in recovering the explosive

June 30 (GDI) The President Mahinda Rajapaksa complemented the team of Policemen who recovered the biggest explosives haul concealed in a Lorry at the Check point in Palugashandiya on the 1st of June this year. An official ceremony was organized to reward to the team who were on duty at the time of incident in the checkpoint. The ceremony was held at the Temple Trees this morning. more..

Low AIDS figures despite years of conflict

June 30 (PN) Asia's longest-running conflict has created the perfect environment for an AIDS epidemic to flourish in Sri Lanka, but surprisingly, decades of war have brought only a slow spread of the disease in vulnerable groups. AIDS activists said the fallout from the protracted ethnic conflict could be an explosion in the numbers contracting the disease, as more people were uprooted from their homes in war zones, more..

"Gotabhaya is plotting to kill me"- Sripathi complaints to police

June 30 (LeN) Former minister and now the coordinating secretary of the SLFP Mahajana wing Parliamentarian Sripathi Suriarachchi who has become a victim of government harassment yesterday lodged a complaint to the police that there was a conspiracy to kill him. He is indirectly pointing his finger at Deference Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse. more..

Mangala pulled the SLFP to Sinhalese extremism- Mahindananda

June 30 (LeN) Minister of power and energy Mahindananda Aluthgamage charges that it was former minister Mangala Samaraweera who brought Sinhalese extremism to the SLFP by influencing the former president to join hands with the JVP. The minister said that Samaraweera is now in the farthest of extremism. Minister Aluthgamage said Mangala should be held responsible for letting the JVP receive 40 seats in the parliament through the SLFP votes. more..

Sri Lanka risks losing transhipment hub status, expert warns

June 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Colombo port risks losing its status as south Asia's transshipment hub if it does not move fast to add more capacity and make trade more streamlined, a senior Asian Development Bank official said. Although Colombo has a good reputation for reliability the country has not done enough to exploit its geographical position, Anthony Bayley, ADB consultant on trade facilitation and international logistics, said. more..

Sri Lanka hikes fuel prices after ministerial committee fails to solve energy crisis

June 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka has raised fuel prices by around 5 percent almost two months after the last price increase, after allowing petroleum utilities to run huge losses and the national currency to come under pressure. Standard petrol 90-octane would increase by 5 rupees to 111 while standard auto Diesel would increase by 4 rupees from midnight Friday, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) said. more..

Sri Lanka to bring back tough law to curb media: reports

June 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka plans to bring back a tough criminal defamation law that was scrapped five years ago, reports said on Friday, drawing fire from media rights activists. The reports follow statements by international rights groups that Sri Lanka is the most dangerous place in the world for reporters after Iraq, due to a worsening climate of violence and censorship. more..

Explosive-packed truck found in eastern Sri Lanka

June 30 (AP) Sri Lanka's navy said it found about 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of explosives in a truck Friday and arrested a person nearby, in what may have been a planned attack by Tamil Tiger rebels. Sailors found the truck parked in a fishing village near the eastern port town of Trincomalee, a top navy official said on condition of anonymity, citing restrictions from his command. more..

More Sri Lankan scholars to United States

June 30 (AT) The United States – Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission has planned to host a an orientation course to Sri Lankan scholars scheduled to depart for the United States to embark on their studies regarding how to maintain the J-1 and F-1 visa status in the U.S.; understanding U.S. academic expectations; living and studying in the U.S. and opportunities available for employment in Sri Lanka for returning graduates. more..

Lavish spread from Lanka

June 30 (Hindu) I could have played a form of ‘Coconut Shy’ (a game where coconuts are targeted with rubber balls), because almost every preparation by chef Kariyawasam Majuwana Gamage Mahinda Lal Dias (from Taj Exotica, Bentota, Sri Lanka) used a bit of this tropical fruit. For anyone who knew what to expect from a Sri Lankan spread, this did not come as a surprise. And the surprise package at the Taj Fisherman’s Cove on the inaugural day of the Sri Lankan food festival ‘Pearl Of The Orient’ was the chef himself. more..

US high school girl donates books to establish school libraries in Sri Lanka

June 30 (IL) Sarasi Jayaratne (17), a junior in Potomac Falls High School and a student of the Academy of Science in Virginia, USA, and a Senior Girl Scout Cadet in the Washington D.C. area, has donated more than 2,000 children's books to schools in the tsunami-affected areas of Sri Lanka through her program Keep Reading. As the founder of Keep Reading, a nonprofit program that fosters educational development, Sarasi is promoting reading and the importance of English as a more..

Foreign Ministry too dismisses ICJ claim of tampering with evidence

June 30 (AT) The Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Palitha Kohona, has categorically dismissed the claim of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) that the evidence in the case where 17 aid workers were killed was tampered. Earlier the Sri Lankan Peace Secretariat in a detailed argument dismissed the statement of the ICJ that the evidence was tampered. The ICJ states that the bullet recovered from one of the bodies exhumed had been substituted. more..

Will Mangala Samaraweera disown his Sinhala Ideology?

June 30 (FI) How could one interpret or understand the effort taken by Mangala and his prop “Mahajana Wing” (MW) after they placed their policies for public scrutiny? Others may have their own interpretations, but this is mine. For Mangala was very insistent that their list of “dreams” is for discussion and debate by all and sundry. And quite honestly, my one line citation to it is, “good dreams they are, but even crutches wouldn’t make them walk”. more..

Hotels in Sri Lanka cut rates as tourism drops

June 30 (TG) Hoteliers in Sri Lanka are cutting prices in an attempt to win back tourists deterred from visiting the Indian Ocean island by continuing civil conflict. According to figures published this week, the number of British visitors to Sri Lanka fell from 38,420 during the first five months of last year to 34,021 in the same period this year. more..

Uncertain Future for Tissa Vitharana's Proposals to the A.P.R.C

June 30 (FI) Cabinet minister and All Party Representative Committee (APRC) chairman Prof. Tissa Vitharana participated at a forum held on June 18th at the Sri Lanka press institute. The gathering comprised journalists, media activists and publishers. The forum was intended to encourage more discussion in all three linguistic media about Prof. Vitharane’s working paper submitted to the APRC. more..

In Pictures: Symposium of Religious Leaders for Peace

June 30 (TW) The National Peace Council of Sri Lanka has organized a Symposium of Religious Leaders for Peace along with National Conference on Religions for Peace and Sri Lankan Movement for Justice, Peace and Reconciliation. It was held at the BMICH on June 28th 2007. Religious dignitaries belonging to Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity gathered to show their united support for sustainable peace in Sri Lanka. more..

Paradise lost: The endless war in Sri Lanka

June 30 (CC) Ask most decently informed Westerners the following questions: What country has for most of the past two plus decades been racked with ethnic and religious violence supported enthusiastically by fanatical clerics, has a constitution that states the duty of the state is to foster a religion, been manipulated by a large regional power, and was the true incubator for horrifyingly calculated suicide bombers? more..

Central banks keeps 7.5 percent growth forecast; halts release of GDP numbers

June 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economy would still grow by 7.5 percent this year despite first quarter growth sliding to 6.1 percent, the Central Bank has said, while a rising budget deficit pushed interest rates to new highs. The bank said Friday it has stopped releasing its own gross domestic product numbers and would now go by the numbers of the national statistics office to avoid confusion created by two sets of growth numbers. more..

A Lankan in Post-Maoist Beijing

June 30 (TW) Have you read the English translation of the Sinhala novel,”Nandhithaya”? If not, please read it. I shall tell why we should do that in a moment. But before that, we should know something about the novelist and the translator. They are both women and are extremely talented people. They are bilingual. The English title of the book is”Chameleon” and it is published by Sarasavi Publishers in Nugegoda. more..

Why the Tamils are hated?

June 30 (MJ) A friend of my son, who was a born in Canada, had an interesting question. He asked, ’Why the Singhalese majority do not wish to give the minimum amount of freedom to the Tamils though they had lived together more than two thousand years? In order t o get a reasonable answer I would like to recollect an ancient fable I have had read. Once upon a time there lived a farmer. He wanted to harness a horse. The horse was much stronger and faster. So he decided to use his wit to bring it under his control. more..

Sri Lanka reacts to United States allegations of disappearances

June 30 (AT) Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted to the United States allegations of disappearances by highlighting that the list that was given has many discrepancies and repetitions. ‘Asian Tribune’ was provided with the Foreign Ministry assessment and analysis of Sri Lanka’s American Embassy findings that were made available to the Presidential Secretariat when Stephen Mann, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, visited Colombo in March this year. more..

Sri Lanka enhances harbour defences to counter Tiger threat

June 30 (LBO) Sri Lankan security authorities plan to install underwater surveillance systems in Colombo harbour to enhance the defences of the port which handles most of the island's trade. The new measures are being taken to protect the port against Tamil Tiger attacks, senior defence and port officials said. The surveillance systems are designed to detect intrusions by both submersibles as well as Tiger scuba divers. more..

President's Poson Message

June 30 (GDI) "The arrival of Arahat Mahinda in Mihintale, Anuradhapura from India in 236 B.E. marked the advent of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is a historic occasion, which opened vistas of a new culture. "The spiritual development that accompanied the conversion of King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism is ingrained in the hearts and minds of the Buddhist people. more..

Torture chamber’ of LTTE terrorists detected

June 30 (GDI) Army progressing towards the center of Thoppigala jungles in the east has detected a camp with torture chambers where LTTE terrorists’ conscripts and abductees have suffered immense torture after confining them to cells. According to military sources ground forces are now reaching the centre of Thoppigala jungles across Narakamulla and Taravikulam. more..

LTTE kills child recruit deserter

June 30 (GDI) The LTTE pistol group shot dead a former child soldier in Siththandi. He was earlier forcefully recruited to the movement and trained as a fighter but dereted the movement later. The boy aged 16 years has been identified as Thiravaladan Nishanthan. The LTTE carders had shot him while he was attending a religious festival at the Murugan Kovil. more..

President says programme against terrorism, not to harass Tamils and Muslims

June 30 (ITN) President Mahinda Rajapakse has emphasised that the programme carried out against terrorism is not aimed at harassing the Tamil and Muslim civilians. The President said a wrong opinion was being built in the country. As such, he urged the members of the maha sangha, who had come from far away places to educate the people as he considered the civilians as his security. Mr. Rajapakse declared that this is a decisive stage to carry forward the country. more..

Electricity rates will not go up

June 30 (ITN) The government has no intention of increasing electricity rates. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake revealed this at a news conference to announce the decisions of the cabinet sub committee, which perused the impact on oil price fluctuations in the world market. The Prime Minister said they had to devise a programme so that the development carried out in the country on one hand and the operations, which are in progress in the North and East on the other hand are not interrupted. more..

A new digital identity card for Sri Lankans from next year

June 30 (LNP) Sri Lanka Department of Registration of Persons is to call for tenders to produce a new digital identity card which is to be introduced to Sri Lanka public from September next year. The new computerized identity card which is in accordance with the international standards will include details in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages. more..