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Sripathi's lawyers to complain the commission on insulting the court

Mar 20 (LeN) Lawyers of Former Minister Sripathi Suriarachchi are planning to complain to the Judicial services commission for arresting and remanding him when the Kaduwela magistrate had ordered on the 16th to the CID to record a statement and present the former minister before him later. He was asked to appear in Kaduwela courts with regards to the alleged use of a vehicle belonging to the ministry of Posts and Telecommunication by the Former Minister of Ports Development. more..

Thunder strike on "Sarisara"

Mar 20 (LeN) A The Sarisara special programme aired on National Rupavahini was stopped 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time, spontaneously. But the authorities of the Rupavahini Co-operation has not told its viewers regarding a reason behind this. When 'LeN' investigated it was revealed that Minister of Media Technology Anura Priyadharshana Yapa had called a high ranking officer of the Rupavahini while programe was aired and asked to stop the programme. more..

Sri Lanka reopens troubled university in east

Mar 20 (Xinhua) A university in Sri Lanka's restive eastern town of Batticaloa reopened on Monday after a closure of about three months, officials said Monday. The Eastern University's reopening was marked by a low student turnout, M. Pathmanathan, the acting head of the university said. The university was closed when its Vice Chancellor Professor S. Ravindranath was abducted by an unknown group in the capital Colombo on Dec. 15 last year. more..

SriLankan Airlines increases flights between Goa and Colombo

Mar 20 (IL) SriLankan Airlines is adding a third weekly flight to the popular coastal resort of Goa, moving closer to becoming the first scheduled foreign airline to have a hundred flights per week to India. Already the foreign carrier with the most frequencies, SriLankan will have 95 flights to 10 cities in India with the addition of 7 more flights to Mumbai last month and the new Goa flight scheduled for 30th March. more..

Sri Lanka A in driving seat

Mar 20 (DS) Bangladesh A bowlers toiled on the first day of the first four-day Test against their Sri Lankan counterparts as Thilan Samaraweera and Malinda Warnapura slammed hundreds at the Colts Cricket Club Ground in Colombo yesterday. The home team finished the day on 335-2 with Test cricketer Samaraweera batting on 129, accompanied by Warnapura on 177. more..

India, Lanka discuss ways to patrol common maritime border

Mar 20 (ZN) India and Sri Lanka Monday discussed ways for more effective patrolling of the common maritime border, including a proposal for coordinated surveillance. The issue was discussed when visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama met External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee here. Sri Lanka has been concerned over LTTE rebels getting continued supply of arms equipping them to carry out more and more attacks. more..

Sehwag stars in thumping win

Mar 20 (CI) India played virtually perfect cricket - the exact opposite of what they did against Bangladesh the other day - and blasted Bermuda out of the water at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad. A display of creative and powerful batting, where four of the big six fired India to 413, a record total in World Cups and the bowlers then did their job, bundling Bermuda out for 156, winning the game by 257 runs, the largest margin in terms of runs in all ODI cricket. more..

West Indies through without impressing

Mar 20 (CI) West Indies overcame a determined challenge from Zimbabwe to book their place in the Super Eights, and although the Zimbabweans are still in the competition, they are holding on by their fingernails. They need to beat Pakistan on Wednesday and then rely on having a better run-rate than Ireland. The result here was never really in doubt, but it was a lacklustre performance from the hosts with both bat and ball, more..

Sri Lanka anti-war group calls for negotiations

Mar 20 (Xinhua) A civil society group on Monday urged both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers to end the present cycle of hostilities and to re-enter the process of negotiations. The National Anti-War Front (NAWF) stressed in a forum the need for dialogue between the LTTE and the government. Kumar Rupasinghe, the convener of the NAWF said "it is everyone 's responsibility to start talks." more..

Sethu project will lead to industrial growth: Centre tells Supreme Court

Mar 20 (Hindu) The Centre has justified in the Supreme Court the implementation of the ongoing Rs. 2,400-crore Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP) through the Gulf of Mannar, the Palk Straits and the Palk Bay to facilitate passage of ships between India and Sri Lanka. "The total length of the proposed channel is about 167 km, out of which 89 km has to be dredged, involving 82.5 million cubic metres (CUM) of dredged material. more..

'Defeat the LTTE, Liberate the Tamils and simultaneously address their grievances'

Mar 20 (AT) Adopt a two pronged strategy to solve the problems confronting the country and defeat the LTTE, Liberate the Tamils and simultaneously address their grievances, urged JVP. Somawansa Amarasinghe, leader of the JVP speaking to “Asian Tribune” told, “The Government should defeat the LTTE, the Separatist Tamil terrorists’ outfit, Liberate the Tamils and simultaneously address the grievances of the people living in the North and East of Sri Lanka.” more..

Sri Lanka: Cultivators in search of organic fertilizer

Mar 20 (AT) Agricultural crops, including the three main cash crops - Tea Rubber and Coconut using petroleum based chemical fertilizer are going through a critical phase, due to the escalating petroleum prices, as cultivators find it difficult to manage their costs which deprives them a reasonable return and therefore appropriate remedial action is called for to prevent a crisis situation. more..

A Coalition of strange bedfellows - Ranil, Mangla and Chandrika being contemplated - Analysts

Mar 20 (AT) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera have simultaneously called for unity among those who want to protect democracy to counter what they have called “an emerging government tyranny.” This has led to some political speculation that both groups and former President Chandrika Bandaranaika are attempting to come together in an alliance to launch an attack on the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

British High Commission launches consular road show

Mar 20 (AT) Acting British High Commissioner Lesley Craig yesterday launched the British High Commission Consular Road Show. According to the British High Commission press release, “It is a chance for Consular staff and those working in the tourism and hospitality industries in Sri Lanka to discuss the role of the British High Commission in assisting British nationals.” more..

‘Someone cares after all…’

Mar 20 (AT) On a humid October evening in 1987 a group of soldiers walked into the Thambanaikulam village in Mannar and announced that the village must be evacuated because it is too close to a military facility. Vinayagamoorthy rememebrs vividly the events that followed. That very evening they were loaded onto army tractors and moved to a welfare center in Poonthoddam. more..

Sri Lankan teas branded with UN Global Compact to promote corporate responsibility

Mar 20 (UN) A Sri Lankan company introduced two new “ethical” teas of the Ceylon variety today, the first products ever to be jointly branded with the United Nations Global Compact to promote responsible corporate citizenship around the world by including information on the initiative’s 10 principles in packs sold to millions of consumers each year. more..

The first shot fired against the government from the Southern Provincial Council

Mar 20 (LeN) A proposal requesting the government which comprises 106 ministers to take measures to drop the steep rise of prices of essential commodities, by the southern provincial council of which the ruling SLFP posses power, was established in the council with a majority of 12 votes. During the debate that was organized in this regard the Ruling party was allocated 40 minutes but Chief Minister Shan Jayalal and councilor Nishantha Muthuhetti had spoken only for 10 minutes. more..

Jaffna farmers shift to alternative cultivation as A-9 remains closed

Mar 20 (ISL) Jaffna farmers are showing interest in the cultivation of alternative items. The farmers find it difficult to market their traditional agricultural produce such as onions, tobacco, grapes, plantains etc. as the A-9 land route remains closed. They suffer loss as the demand for these items dropped heavily. Hence they have shifted their interest. more..

I can play in the next Cup: Murali

Mar 20 (IT) Sri Lanka's magical off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan doesn't think there would ever come a day when he would pick up 1000 wickets in Tests. "It's very difficult because you need another 300 wickets. It will take another 4-5 years or 40-45 Tests. I can only take it match by match," remarked Murali as he knuckled down to face Bangladesh and India in Group B this week. more..

Sri Lanka short on industrial data as cagey industrialists keep mum

Mar 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka lacks data on local industries despite national surveys, with local firms displaying a marked reluctance to part with information, officials said. The island's Department of Census and Statistics say the response rate of surveys they conduct on local industries has been too low to be reliable. more..

The Race for Infamy in North-East

Mar 20 (UTHR) The banning of the LTTE by many countries early last year was brought on by its abuse of the peace process and its persistent warlike provocations of the Sri Lankan security forces. Isolated but determined democratic voices among the Tamil community played a crucial role in educating the international community about the true nature of the LTTE as a violently undemocratic force, explaining how it achieved its sole representative status and why its politics should not be legitimised. more..

Sooriyarachchi remand extended, attends parliament under escort

Mar 20 (TN) Kaduwela Magistrate Tuesday ordered further remand for Sripathi Sooriyarachchi, parliamentarian of the SLFP, main constituent of the UPFA government till March 27. The court further said it could consider application by Mr. Sooriyarachchi to attend parliamentary sittings during remand period, legal sources said. more..

Presence of alternative group warms up UNP Parliamentary group meeting!

Mar 20 (LT) 15 members of the alternative group of the UNP including Mr. Karu Jayasuriya were present at the UNP Parliamentarians' group meeting held in Parliamentary complex yesterday. The main topic of discussion at the meeting was COPE report. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe said a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) should be appointed to punish those offenders as mentioned in COPE report. more..

Sri Lanka and France strengthen health ties

Mar 20 (GDI) As a mean of enhancing the health ties between Sri Lanka and France, the Ministry of Health and the Medical Research Institute in association with four leading French health Institutions - Pasteur Institute, French Institute of Public Health Surveillance (INVS), Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital and World Health Organization are holding a two-week training workshop more..

Updated Industrial Registry

Mar 20 (GDI) The Department of Census & Statistics (DCS) has updated an Industrial Registry with the assistance of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The Registry has been comprehensively updated with UNIDO assistance, replacing the hitherto system of the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) based on frame of 1983 Census Industries. more..

Defence Secretary briefs Government MP’s on US- Sri Lanka defence agreement

Mar 20 (GDI) Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday, briefed the Government parliamentary members group on the recently signed US-Sri Lanka defence agreement. The Government parliamentary members’ group meeting was held yesterday at the Temple Trees, chaired by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

File cases against other ministers as well- Lawyers to file a petition

Mar 20 (LeN) A group of lawyers are preparing to furnish a petition to the courts asking the Attorney General to make a Mandamus writ order to file cases against all public servants who misuse public property especially Ministers who use around 10 to 12 vehicles minimum. According to the Public Property law misuse of state property is an offense which cannot be even granted bail. more..

Lt. Commander Gamage was directed by Government reveals his wife

Mar 20 (LeN) The wife of the arrested naval officer Lt. Commander Rohana Gamage explained that her husband had no links with the LTTE and he was only an Intelligence officer of the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), and further requested the authorities to release the officer without accusing of having links with LTTE, speaking at a press conference held at the Darmavijaya Foundation in Colombo. more..

Misuse of public property

Mar 20 (ANN) Former Minister Sripathy Sooriaarachchi, taken in for questioning over an alleged misuse of public property, has been remanded. A matter which is before Court of law, as we know, had better be left to the learned judges for adjudication. But, the government’s high octane performance in this particular case has led to a number of questions which warrant a public discussion. more..

Kattankudi Muslims help Tamil IDP’s in Aaraiyampathy

Mar 20 (TW) Man’s inhumanity to man is transforming Mattakkalappu (Batticaloa) into a district of the displaced. People like Keheliya Rambukwella try to downplay the human suffering by downsizing the actual number of displaced persons. Despite these puerile yet callously insensitive efforts there is no denying that a terrible humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in the district. more..

Batticaloa Becoming a District of Displaced Tamils

Mar 20 (TW) There is a deliberate effort going on to minimise the internally displaced person figures in the Eastern district of Batticaloa. The clumsy attempt to juggle with numbers by the media center for national security is a pointer. Another indicator is the callously insensitive claim by Keheliya Rambukwella that only 52, 000 are displaced in Batticaloa. more..

Kiran IDPs fear for their safety

Mar 20 (TW) The fierce fighting in the East forced the civilians to flee. They started to flee from Vakarai since December 2006. Some of them took the jungle route by foot, after crossing the Thattimunai river. A few of them crossed the border by sea. There are 134 families-591 persons sought shelter in Kiran Grounds Welfare camp according to the camp official. more..

Sri Lankans beaten in Jordan

Mar 20 (BBC) More than a thousand Sri lankans had gone on strike in the Medittaranian Garments factory in Al Julel in Jordan. Workers are protesting against poor working conditions and low wages. “They promised us $107 a month but now make deductions for food and accommodation. That was not what was promised in our contracts. It said that we would get free food and lodging," more..

Conspirators removed to prevent crisis: SLFP General Secretary

Mar 20 (LNP) SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said if those who recently conspired within the party were not removed, there would have been a political crisis affecting the masses. Sirisena delivering the keynote address at the SLFP`s annual convention in Ambalangoda during the weekend, said the recent political conspiracy against President Mahinda Rajapaksa was similar to the conspiracy against the late Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike. more..

More free medical tests for Colombo residents

Mar 20 (LNP) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has upgraded its medical testing services to allow residents in the city to avail themselves of 25 types of medical tests free of charge, the Chief Medical Officer said. Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said previously it was possible to do only four tests but the new equipment available to them made it possible to do at least 25 types of tests. more..

Mervin cares not for opposition

Mar 20 (SAMN) "I don’t care about anyone opposing my new appointment, but I will do my best, as the SLFP organizer of the Kelaniya Electorate," Minister of Labour Mervin Silva, said Monday. Silva replaced Sripathy Sooriayarachchi as the organiser. Political sources said a number of parties in the electorate, including the Chief Incumbents of some Buddhist temples, were going to protest to the SLFP about the appointment of Mervin Silva. more..

Mobile phones for village headmen

Mar 20 (SAMN) Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya has decided to provide mobile phones, with special packages, to 14,000 Grama Niladaris to enable them to work more efficiently. Minister Jayasuriya said Grama Niladaris would be provided with mobile phones with free incoming and outgoing packages. more..

Tigers’ international paw grabbed

Mar 20 (SAMN) One of the main rebel leaders engaged in LTTE international propaganda activities was taken into custody by a special police team in Kaduwela on Sunday. The team from the Gampaha Police Division on a tip-off raided a house and arrested the suspect along with six laptop computers, eight digital cameras and a satellite telephone. more..

Tigers sold Norwegian passports to al-Qaeda

Mar 20 (DN) The LTTE have stolen Norwegian passports and sold them to the al-Qaeda organisation to earn money, Norwegians Against Terrorism Organisation chief spokesman Falk Rovik said. Addressing as the main guest speaker at the Sri Lanka United National Association's special general meeting at the North York Civic Centre Auditorium in Toronto recently, more..

New internet radio service for youth

Mar 20 (DN) The Youth Affairs Ministry yesterday opened a new internet radio service with the intention of bringing various youth programmes conducted by the National Youth Services Council (NYSC) to the international arena. Youth Affairs Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi yesterday officially launched this internet radio service at the NYSC's training centre at Dehiwela. more..

Reformists defeated: UNP for Select Committee

Mar 20 (DM) An attempt by the UNP reformists to block a resolution supporting the proposed Select Committee to probe corruption at state institutions, was defeated at the party’s parliamentary group meeting yesterday. The meeting was presided over by party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe while 15 reformists made their first appearance at the meeting since accepting ministerial portfolios. more..

LTTE threat resurfaces

Mar 20 (Times) The LTTE threat resurfaces yet again in Tamil Nadu putting Security forces on a high alert. In the past ten days there has been a substantial rise in the number of Sri Lankan refugees who are crossing over to India increasing the threat perception that the LTTE-Indian broker nexus is getting stronger in our country. more..

Sri Lanka: fleeing for their lives

Mar 20 (ICRC) The ICRC has stepped up its relief operation in Batticaloa district in order to assist several thousand civilians who have been displaced over the past four days by fighting between the Sri Lankan security forces and the LTTE. These newly displaced people fled their homes in the Vavunatheevu and Karadiyanaru areas and headed for the town of Batticaloa, more..

Sri Lanka not worried about other Group B teams

Mar 20 (IANS) Sri Lanka's star batsman Sanath Jayasuriya said Monday his side was not worried about the others teams in Group B and was concentrating on making it into the second round of the cricket World Cup. 'We are not worried about other teams. Our next match is the Bangladesh match, we are concentrating on that match and after that we are concentrating on the India match,' he told reporters. more..

MEP lashes out at Science and Technology Minister

Mar 20 (DM) MEP yesterday lashed out at Minister of Science and Technology and APRC Chairman Tissa Vitarana for stating that there is an LTTE controlled area in the country. Reacting to the MEP statement Prof Vitharana challenged MEP to go to Killinochcchi. Professor Vitarana had reportedly told a weekly publication that there is an area within the country which is governed by the LTTE. more..

India assured fishermen's safety

Mar 20 (BBC) Sri Lanka and India had a high level discussion on the safety of the Indian fishermen, visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, told journalists in New Delhi. Bogollagama met his Indian counterpart in the Indian capital on Monday. He said: “We always proposed that there must be a co-ordinated patrolling between both the countries to have greater safety in the waters for fishermen on both sides of Palk Strait". more..

Minorities' woes shoot up in Pakistan, Sri Lanka: report

Mar 20 (IANS) Pakistan and Sri Lanka lead a global ranking of countries where the situation for minorities has significantly deteriorated in the last year, says a new global survey. The Minority Rights Group International (MRG) said both countries had shown the biggest rise in this year's ranking of 'peoples under threat', a major highlight of the international rights group's annual 'State of the World's Minorities' report. more..

Sri Lanka seeks 'coordinated' sea patrolling with India

Mar 20 (IANS) Sri Lanka has sought 'coordinated patrolling' with India of the sea dividing the two countries to keep away 'terrorists' and 'other intruders', Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said Tuesday. He told a handful of journalists here that he submitted the proposal to his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee Monday evening. An informed source here told IANS Tuesday that the proposal would be considered. more..

ADB to lend Sri Lanka $300 mln to expand Colombo port

Mar 20 (Reuters) The Asian Development Bank said on Tuesday it would help fund the expansion of the island's main port in Colombo with a $300 million loan, one of a raft of government infrastructure projects. President Mahinda Rajapakse's government wants Sri Lanka to become a major trans-shipment hub, and is also set to start building a new Chinese-funded $450 million harbour on the island's south coast in June. more..

Sri Lankan fruit fly could devastate African crops

Mar 20 (FI) A fruit fly native to Sri Lanka is invading Africa at an alarming speed, according to the EU-funded scheme Pesticides Initiative Programme (PIP), attacking various fruit species and market garden produce. The new pest, Bactrocera invadens, is adding to the damage already caused by the presence of other flies, essentially Ceratitis. more..