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Certain politicians fulfill interests of foreign powers by exaggerating abductions, murders, disappearances! –JVP

Mar 7 (LT) By exaggerating incidents of abductions, murders, disappearances certain politicians including the Leader of the Opposition betray the country says Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Information Secretary of the JVP. These betrayals help the interests of those forces who are waiting to intervene in the internal affairs of the country pointed out Mr. Weerawsansa. more..

United States Releases its Global Human Rights Report: Sri Lanka gets a mixed reaction

Mar 7 (AT) The United States hopes that the State Department's annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices "will be a source of information for governments and societies everywhere and a source of inspiration for all who are still working for peaceful, democratic change around the globe," according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. more..

Surprising! but true.! -Murders carried out to make the govt uneasy

Mar 7 (LeN) Inspector General of Police Victor Perera says sources have revealed that officers in the military and the police and those who have deserted the forces are involved with under world gangs and are collecting ransom according to their private desires. The IGP said some of the suspects who have been arrested in this connection have revealed this information. more..

Chinese assistance for oil exploration

Mar 7 (GDI) Government will be entering in to a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of China on the oil exploration processes within the next two months. According to the Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources, A.H.M. Fawzie, the Government of China has expressed its willingness to give their fullest support in Sri Lanka’s oil exploration programme. more..

While acknowledging NGOs’ positive role, Govt reserves probe rights

Mar 7 (GDI) The Sri Lankan Government, with the consent of the Non Governmental Organisations, has come to a final conclusion reserving the right to probe in to suspicious NGOs, mainly identifying the massive contribution of these oraganisations to the national economy. Hence the Government reserves the right to carryout investigations, under the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, on any suspicious organization allegedly more..

A mega BOI - IT industry worth USD 300 millions

Mar 7 (GDI) A mega IT industry- Techno Park will be established in Katunayaka with a cost of USD 300 millions, facilitating the IT companies to maintain their offices in the building at the park. The Board of Investments of Sri Lanka (BOI) has allocated the estimated sum for the construction of the above park. more..

‘Sri Lanka’s economic Fundamentals are strong’- Foreign Minister

Mar 7 (GDI) “Sri Lanka though embroiled in a conflict associated with terrorism has achieved significant development by having the macro-economic fundamentals in place, and thereby being able to properly manage both internal and external shocks,” said Minister of Foreign Affaires, Rohitha Bogollagama. more..

Rs.70M worth tsunami research equipment from Japan

Mar 7 (GDI) Japanese government provides Rs.70 million worth research and testing equipment to the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) for reconstruction needs in the tsunami affected areas. Handing over the equipment took place at NBRO premises, Colombo 5. Government of Japan has recognizing the importance of such equipment to expedite the rehabilitation and reconstruction work in Tsunami affected areas has provided this donation. more..

Grade five Scholarship cut off marks released

Mar 7 (GDI) With the release of the cut off marks of the Grade five scholarship examination around 10,000 students have qualified for admission to popular schools. The Ministry of Education released the cut-off marks yesterday. According to the cut off marks Visakha Vidyalaya (175), Royal College (174) in Colombo and Bandarawela MMV, Bandarawela tops the list. more..

"Arrested female journalist had contacts with a LTTE Suicide bomber,"- SSP Ajith Wickramasekara

Mar 7 (GDI) The arrested female journalist Munnasami Parameshwari is reported to be having close contacts with the LTTE suicide bomber Susanthi Thambirasa, stated the Senior Superintend of Police Ajith Wickramasekara addressing the media today. Mr. Wickramasekara stated that the Special Task Force has been conducting investigations on the suspected LTTE suicide bomber Susanthi Thambirasa who more..

HR abuses: UN may intervene

Mar 7 (LNP) Leading rights groups including the New York based Human Rights Watch will discuss the setting up of an international human rights monitoring mission in Sri Lanka under UN auspices at the fourth UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session starting next week. Human Rights Watch Legal advisor James Ross, told the Daily Mirror the monitoring mission would deter and address ongoing human rights violations in both government and LTTE-controlled areas, more..

Minister prepared to face independent inquiry

Mar 7 (LNP) Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya yesterday said that he was prepared to face an independent inquiry into any corruption charges against him allegedly contained in the COPE report, submitted by Wijedasa Rajapaksa. Minister Jayasuriya said this when several opposition MPs raised questions from the speaker as to why Parliament is delaying the issue of the hansard report on the debate on the COPE report, more..

Ceylinco Insurance accorded rare honour to invest in Asian Re

Mar 7 (LNP) The Asian Re-insurance Corporation, better known as Asian Re, has accorded Ceylinco Insurance Co. Ltd. a very rare honour. Asian Re has invited Ceylinco Insurance to invest with them, reflecting their view of Ceylinco Insurance as a regional insurance giant. Established in 1979, owing to an initiative taken by the United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and presently operating as a regional re-insurance company, more..

Is this drug worse than the disease?

Mar 7 (LNP) The first annual Health Forum?a two day discussion among all stakeholders?was held by the Health Ministry almost one month ago but little or no follow up action seems to have been taken on vital proposals such as a comprehensive Patients` Charter, a constitutional amendment declaring health as a fundamental right and the implementation of a National Medicinal Drug Policy which was approved by the Cabinet in October 2004. more..

Govt. to use UNP rebels to boost image

Mar 7 (SAMN) Under pressure by the international community on the human rights situation in the country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to use the services of three UNP defectors to lobby the international community and project the government’s point of view. The three UNP defectors the President has decided to unleash on the international community are Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, International Trade Minister G. L. Peiris and Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda. more..

Armed groups in IDP camps: IASC

Mar 7 (SAMN) Humanitarian organisations operating in Sri Lanka have reiterated their concerns over the presence of armed groups at displacement sites in Batticaloa. The Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) country team, a UN umbrella organization of humanitarian agencies, said Tuesday the security situation in Batticaloa remains tense with continuing insecurity for affected population, humanitarian staff and ongoing operations. more..

Postal rates revised

Mar 7 (SAMN) A motion to revise international postal rates was approved in Parliament when it was presented by Posts and Telecommunication Minister, Rauff Hakeem Tuesday. The rates will be revised from October 2006, as published in the gazette No 1464/24 of September 2006. The ministry is compelled to revise postal rates as air fares, oil and expenses relating to wages have increased recently. more..

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (USDS) Sri Lanka is a constitutional, multiparty republic with a population of approximately 20 million. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, elected on November 17, 2005, and the 225 member parliament, elected in April 2004, both for six year terms, share constitutional power. The 2005 presidential election was generally conducted in a free and fair manner, except for the boycott enforced by the LTTE in the north and east, which intimidated most Tamil civilians from voting. more..

Awareness programme on snakes

Mar 7 (SAMN) Snake awareness programmes to educate the public on the importance of snakes have been held by naturalist Dilan Peiris. These programmes are most often held for villagers living close to jungle areas. The main aim of these programmes is to encourage people to refrain from killing snakes. Peiris said villagers living close to jungle areas have a habit of killing snakes. more..

Embryo Grafting Technology produces a baby goat

Mar 7 (LT) Veterinary medical unit of the University of Peradeniya headed by research officer Dr. Dhammika Perera successfully produced a baby goat using embryo grafting technology. The baby goat is in good health. The researchers say that this technology has been defeloped so that 10-25 animal babies can be produced at a time. They say this would be a leap forward in animal husbandry. more..

Kidney disease on the rise in Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (DN) Kidney disease is on the rise in Sri Lanka mainly due to diabetes and hypertension, the International Society of Nephrology and Transplantation said in a release yesterday. "These account for chronic kidney diseases increasing in alarming proportions in the country," the release added. The International Society of Nephrology and Transplantation has identified March 8 as the second World Kidney Day. more..

Vidatha Training Centres signal benevolent youth movements in future

Mar 7 (DN) It's an uphill struggle for any government to contain the issue of employment for the 10 million prospective job applicants, Minister of Science and Technology Professor Tissa Vitharana said. The Minister was speaking at a meeting following the opening of a new Vidatha Training Centre at Bingiriya Divisional Secretariat. more..

JVP to appeal against Court of Appeal judgement

Mar 7 (DM) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna said they will go to the Supreme Court shortly seeking its ruling to nullify the Ceasefire Agreement signed in 2002 as they were not satisfied with the Court of Appeal judgement delivered yesterday. The JVP politburo said the Appeal Court yesterday decided that it could not proceed with the petition filed by the JVP five years ago in March 2002 seeking a writ that the CFA is against the country’s law. more..

Navy denies claims of destroying fishing boats off harbour

Mar 7 (DM) Denying claims that they had destroyed fishing boats in the restricted zone off the Colombo Harbour, the Navy said that the LTTE has confirmed that the four of their top Black Sea Tigers were killed in their attempt to attack the Colombo Harbour on January 27.“The Navy Intelligence unit has intercepted LTTE communications and confirmed the names of the LTTE cadres killed during the attack,” more..

Rajiv Gandhi case: HC tells Centre to allow entry of Nalini's daughter

Mar 7 (PTI) The Madras High Court today directed the Centre to issue an entry permit to Megara, daughter of Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case, to enable her to come to India. Allowing an appeal, filed by Nalini, a Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice AP Shah and Justice K Chandru, directed the Centre to issue the entry permit within four weeks. more..

Tigers hijack Lankan boat off Thoothukudi

Mar 7 (NIP) In perhaps a typical example of the callousness with which the Indian security agencies respond to a LTTE threat, a group of heavily armed LTTE Sea Tigers hijacked a Sri Lankan mechanised fishing boat about 35 nautical miles north-east of Thoothukudi at 7.00 pm on March 4 and headed towards an Indian coast. more..

2 Sri Lankan policemen killed by Tamil rebels in northern town, military says

Mar 7 (AP) Two Sri Lankan policemen were killed and three others were wounded along with a civilian passer-by in two separate attacks Wednesday by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the northern garrison town of Vavuniya, the military said. Military spokesman Big. Prasad Samarasinghe blamed the rebels for both attacks. In the first incident, suspected rebels fatally shot a policeman. more..

US notes decline in human rights in Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (HT) There had been a decline in human rights in Sri Lanka during 2006, the US State Department said in its report for the year released in Washington on Tuesday. "The government's respect for the human rights of its citizens declined, due in part to the breakdown of the CFA," the report said. CFA refers to the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka mini-hydro operator Vidullanka in line to up power generation by 66%

Mar 8 (LBO) Mini hydro company Vidullanka has connected a new plant to the national grid the company said Wednesday, which can boost its energy production by more than 66 percent. Vidullanka which operates a 3.2 MegaWatt (MW) plant said it a 2MW plant in Batatota has now been connected to Ceylon Electricity Board boosting its annual power generation to 20 GigaWatthours (GWh) from the current 12 GWh, more..

CIMA - Janashakthi Pinnacle Awards celebrate business excellence

Mar 8 (AT) Chairman of Daya Group of Companies, Daya D. K. Gamage and Managing Director of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon Limited, Amitha Lal Gooneratne and were jointly honored with the ‘Business Leader of the Year’ (Large Scale Organization) Gold Award at the CIMA Janashakthi Pinnacle awards held at the Trans Asia Hotel last Tuesday night. more..

A Visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp - The first concentration camp in Germany

Mar 8 (AT) On the 01.11.06, I went with my Tamil friends to visit Dachau concentration camp near Munich, Germany. It was set up in 1933, by Heinrich Himmler, one of Hitler's henchmen. Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany on the 30th of January 1933. Barely 50 days later, Dachau was opened by Himmler, who was then Chief of Police for Munich. more..

CIMA - Janashakthi Pinnacle Awards celebrate business excellence

Mar 8 (AT) The majority Sinhalese have been accused of discrimination and oppression of the Tamils for many years. Year after year their noses have been rubbed in the dust, particularly during the CBK regime for the inexcusable and tragic events of 1983. Classified as racists and oppressors of the Tamils these same Sinhalese now live amicably in the south with half the Tamil population of Sri Lanka. more..

People's Rural Development Association aims to promote small-scale entrepreneurship

Mar 8 (AT) People's Rural Development Association (PRDA) which aims to promote micro and small scale entrepreneurship, Increase access to support services such as capital, technology, management, training and information, and strengthening social capital and institutional capacities of rural poor women says most of self employed women need to earn fast cash and do not care on quality of their products. more..

Visiting terror suspects 'disallowed'

Mar 8 (BBC) The three jounalists accused by government of allegedly helping Tamil tigers were produced before the magistrate courts on Wednesday after a month. Lalith Seneviratne, a journalist, Sisira Priyankara, a member of the United Railway Workers Union and the news editor of the union's journal, Akuna, and Nihal Senasinghe were arrested on February 5. more..

Govt. blamed for Saudi executions

Mar 8 (BBC) "If he is not alive… What is the point of having a dead body. Noone helped me to get him alive: why a decomposed body?" Dhammika Geethanjali weeps. She is left with her children who are still at school. "Children do not know what happened to their father". Helpless and hopeless, the widow of Sanath Pushpakumara says she couldn't imagine her future without him. more..

Govt. defends human rights record

Mar 8 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Government has said some security forces personnel may have been involved in kidnappings and killings. Twenty police officers and soldiers are among more than four hundred people detained since September under wide ranging public security laws. The statement comes as the Government is defending its human rights record. more..

Sri Lanka reduces travel fares to celebrate Chinese diplomatic relations

Mar 8 (CHN) To celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka, aviation and travel industries in both Sri Lanka and China have launched a series of activities to strengthen the communication among people of these two countries. During the activity period, Chinese tourists can get special flight tickets and travel products to Sri Lanka worth up to 50% off normal rates. more..

Five assassinated in Colombo marshland identified as Karuna faction Tamils

Mar 8 (AT) The five decomposing dead bodies shot in their heads and found in a marshland close to Colombo, have been identified as those of members of the Karuna group virulently opposed to the LTTE. Police sources said they now suspect the gruesome murders, probably done in execution style, would have been committed by the LTTE assassins after the five Batticaloa resident supporters of Karuna led TMVP were abducted by the LTTE operatives in Colombo. more..

Sixth Eagle Higher Education Scholarships

Mar 8 (AT) The sixth Eagle Insurance Higher Education Scholarship winners received their benefits at an awards ceremony held at the Trans Asia Hotel with Prof Tissa Kariyawasam as the Chief Guest. The selections for the award of these scholarships are from the best results in the Year Five Examination. The scheme was started in 1994 and so far 336 students have qualified so far. more..

Jaya- Karuna in spat on Tiger Company

Mar 8 (AT) Tamil Nadu chief minister Muthavel Karunanidhi and his betenoire Jayalalithaa Jayaram are locked in a new wordy duel with each accusing the other of being devil's advocate – the devil in reference being the LTTE. Jayalalithaa's AIADMK drew the first blood. It trained the guns on Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi, who is in the eye of a raging storm in the wake of a cultural programme that she had organised on the Marina with full official patronage. more..

4.5 tonne of metal balls seized; Lankan held

Mar 8 (NIP) The sleuths of the State Q Branch police arrested Rahul alias Antony, a Sri Lankan national, at K K Nagar, here on Tuesday and based on the information furnished by him, they seized 4.5 tonne of metal balls from a house at Venkatachalapathi Nagar in Perambalur. Following the arrest of Sri Lankan national Arulseelan (32), suspected to have links with the banned LTTE, at Dheeran Nagar in Tiruchy for possessing Rs 10 lakh cash in his house, more..

Colombo trashes "secret deal" charge

Mar 8 (Hindu) The Government on Tuesday asked a recently dismissed Minister to prove his charge that it had entered into a "secret deal" before the November 2005 presidential election. "It is upto the former Minister Sripathi Sooriyaarachi to prove it. In his statement about the so-called deal, he has referred to several dates. Now they have all lapsed. Further, he has moved some papers in Parliament. Let it be proved," more..

Search for Sri Lankan trawler called off

Mar 8 (Hindu) The Indian Coast Guard on Wednesday afternoon called off a search mission it had launched off Tuticorin to locate a Sri Lankan trawler that was on March 4 reported missing. "We have searched the entire region. We took up coordinated sea-air search from Monday. We have not found any trace of the trawler and hence we have called off the search," said Inspector-General Rajender Singh, Commander, Coast Guard Region (East). more..

UNICEF Humanitarian Action: Sri Lanka Donor Update 07 Mar 2006

Mar 8 (RW) Escalating conflict and open warfare in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka resulting in grave humanitarian consequences for over 200,000 internally displaced. Humanitarian access greatly impeded to assist the civilian population in conflict-affected areas due to the prevailing security situation. Recruitment of children by the LTTE and Karuna Faction continues to be a major violation to children's rights in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka media freedom under threat: rights group

Mar 8 (AFP) Nine media workers have been killed in Sri Lanka over the past 15 months, rights groups said Wednesday, voicing concerns over deteriorating conditions for journalists. No one has been charged over the deaths, leading to fears that media freedom is being deliberately and violently suppressed through threats, abductions and attacks, they said. more..

Sri Lanka plans first coal-fired power unit by 2010

Mar 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to set up its first coal-fired power plant by end-2010 at a cost of $450 million to reduce its reliance on oil-fired power plants, its Power and Energy Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said on Wednesday. The island nation generates 64 percent of its power needs from petroleum-fuelled plants and the rest from hydropower. more..

Britain alarmed at mounting conflict in Sri Lanka

Mar 8 (AFP) Britain said Wednesday it was deeply worried about the escalation in Sri Lanka’s long-running armed conflict with separatist ethnic Tamil rebels. Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett told her visiting Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama that Britain remained committed to finding a peaceful solution in its former colony. more..

Nestle's Sri Lanka unit spiced by coconut milk; controls sour dairy milk

Mar 8 (LBO) Nestle Lanka, which saw profits zoom 29 percent in 2006 says it is making good money out of coconut milk exports, while its dairy milk powder business is held back by tight regulations. In 2006 the firm earned 1.35 billion rupees (1.05 billion in 2005) on a turnover of 14.1 billion rupees, up 11 percent. more..

Sri Lanka to probe charities for alleged Tiger links

Mar 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka's military will probe charities for alleged links with Tamil Tiger rebels, defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said Wednesday. The government has accused foreign and local non-government organisations (NGOs) working in the embattled north and east provinces of helping the Tigers with logistics, a claim the charities deny. more..

Pragmatic Political Programme of the EPDP

Mar 8 (ISL) It is very unfortunate that over the past 60 years, the Sinhala and Tamil leadership have failed to arrive at a mechanism through which the different communities of the country could share power. As a result, Sri Lanka, which was a role model for other developing countries in terms of education, health and other qualities of life indicators, has now come to the brink of destruction. more..