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Conflict between UNP general secretary & party leadership intensifies

May 28 (LeN) As the internal conflict between UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Tissa general secretary Attanayake intensifies the Ranil group has pulled out from supporting Attanayake's political moves. Tissa Attanayake has organized a massive campaign to join in 10,000 party members from his electorate which is Kundasale and has invited several minister and provincial councilors but more..

'Learn from Rwanda' - Bishop

May 28 (BBC) A country should take every step to prevent minority groups feel isolated, a leading Rwandan peace activist said. Addressing refugees at Mylampavali refugee camp in Batticaloa, Bishop Alexis Billinda Bagobo said he himself was made to feel like a "second class citizen" for years. "Ethnic discrimination become like my cup of tea for 40 years," the Anglican Bishop said. more..

Mass Dalit conversions in Mumbai

May 28 (BBC) Several thousand tribal and Dalit Hindus in India have converted en masse to Buddhism at a ceremony in Mumbai. The ceremony was billed as the largest religious conversion in modern India, but far fewer converted than had been predicted by the organisers. The converts hope to escape the rigid caste system in which their status is the lowest. more..

Catastrophe facing Tamils in Jaffna

May 28 (ISL) Sources close to the LTTE hierarchy in Vanni confirms LTTE has finalised its plans to carryout a major operation to take control of the Jaffna peninsula. In a meeting held at the LTTE supremo Velupillai Pirabakaran’s hideout in Vanni recently, attended by his trusted Pottu and other commanders, plans were submitted to take forward the final war to wrest control of the Jaffna peninsula. more..

Sri Lanka in UN body on international trade law

May 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been re-elected to the United National Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) for a six year period, the foreign ministry said Sunday. Other countries elected to represent the Asian region were Bahrain, China, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, and Singapore. UNCITRAL was established in 1996 promote the harmonization and unification of international trade law as the core legal body of the United Nations system. more..

Tamil Tiger rebels recruit fighters in Indian refugee camps

May 28 (BN) The LTTE rebel group is recruiting fighters, including children, from among refugees living in camps in India's Tamil Nadu state, Sri Lanka's Defense Ministry said. "It is believed that the LTTE terrorist outfit has infiltrated the Tamil Nadu refugee camps in the guise of displaced and asylum seekers," the ministry said on its Web site. LTTE operatives are trying to persuade families to "get the youngsters to return" and boost recruitment. more..

Alavi Moulana still hopeful of Mangala returning to the fold

May 28 (AT) Alavi Moulana, the Governor of the Western Province told the Asian Tribune peace will prevail soon. He said that he had known President Mahinda Rajapakse for well over 37 years and he is not a communalist and he will restore peace and stability soon in this country. He said that he is very optimistic. Referring to the SLFP proposals he said the proposals were prepared by the Party Central Committee and they are open for discussions. more..

Amnesty’s Report on Human Rights Situation in Sri Lanka 2006

May 28 (AT) This refers to the Asian Tribune’s publication (25 May 2007) of the Amnesty International Report on Sri Lanka for the year 2006. The publication of the report by Asian Tribune itself is commendable whatever the criticisms that the editorial commentator has expressed on some of the alleged lacunae of the report. more..

Swiss Tamil lays down conditions to EU if it wants peace in Sri Lanka

May 28 (AT) The Tamil diaspora in Switzerland, claiming to represent 27 Tamil oganisations, has told the EU that it must lift the ban on Tamil Tigers if it wants peace in Sri Lanka. Written in ungrammatical and crude English the statement addressed to EU lays down the following conditions to the EU if it wants peace in Sri Lanka. more..

Pioneering Western Buddhist monks forgotten

May 28 (AT) Today (May 28) is the 50th death anniversary of the passing away of the pioneering German Theravada Buddhist monk, the Venerable Nyanatiloka Maha Thera (1878-1957). He was the first Continental European bhikku to take up residence in Sri Lanka. His example was soon followed by other European monks of the caliber of the Ven. Nyanaponika, Ven. Nyanawimala and Ven. Nyanamoli among others. more..

VHP threatens force against Sethusamudram project

May 28 (IANS) The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Sunday threatened to 'use force' to protect the mythological Ram Setu and stop the controversial Sethusamudram canal project off the Tamil Nadu coast. 'We can even think of all options, including the use of force, to stop the destruction of the Ram Setu, which is a symbol of our culture and faith,' VHP president Ashok Singhal told a rally at the Ramlila grounds here. more..

Rights monitoring need International presence, US Caucus told

May 28 (TN) Addressing the Congressional Human Rights Caucus briefing on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka held Thursday, at 2:00 p.m. in room 2247 Rayburn Building Washington DC, Hans Hogrefe, Senior Professional Staff Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said there was much hope after the 2002 cease-fire, but today this agreement was "practically meaningless." more..

Sloganeering Terror, Strategizing War

May 28 (TN) While US's “War on Terror” after the events of 9/11 has been criticized by leading US foreign policy advocates as having a "pernicious impact on American democracy, on America’s psyche and on U.S. standing in the world," autocratic leaders of some faltering states of the third world, including Sri Lanka, have been making concerted efforts to capitalize on this Bush doctrine by defining legitimate local nationalist struggles as phenomena of terrorism. more..

SriLankan Holidays sets up leisure marketing

May 28 (AB) SriLankan Holidays is introducing a comprehensive web-based holiday booking facility to its travel partners in Dubai, in a dynamic new strategy to market leisure travel. TradeNet is a one stop internet based portal that will give travel agents an easy to use module to book and confirm flight information, hotel reservations and city tours. more..

Storm water, natural or man made?

May 28 (Fri) Heavy rain that fell on the commercial capital Colombo during Vesak surprised many as storm water related accidents killed at least five and left thousands in the low lying areas displaced. A shocked nation listened to the unbelievable story of a lady worker in Colombo 7 who stepped into an unprotected drain only to be drowned in a pool of eight feet dirty water. more..

Kandy fifty years ago

May 28 (Fri) Visited my niece and nephew-in-law in Anniewatte in their elegant Minette de Silva designed home on top of a hill with a 270 degree panoramic view, on Sunday 20th. It struck me forcefully how built on Anniewatte is. It had struck me earlier too, this expansion of housing on both sides of the tunnel. Every once in awhile I used to spend a weekend in my sister’s near Santa Maria Road and while going for early morning walks, more..

Sri Lankan court case exposes police investigation into missing SEP member

May 28 (wsws) Two months have passed since the disappearance of Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member, Wimaleswaran Nadarajah and his friend, Sivanathan Mathivathanan. Despite the demands of the SEP and protest letters by WSWS readers in Sri Lanka and internationally, the police have failed to carry out any serious investigation to find and secure the release of the two men. more..

Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan enters Sri Lanka's power sector through acquisition

May 28 (LBO) The Malaysian firm Tanjong, controlled by billionaire Ananda Krishnan, has taken a foothold in Sri Lanka's power sector by acquiring an international energy firm with investments in the country, the company said Monday. In a filing at the Kuala Lampur stock exchange Tanjong said it had taken over Globeleq, a unit of the UK-based emerging market investor group CDC. more..

Sri Lanka money printing debate takes new turn as controversy erupts over inflation graph

May 28 (LBO) A controversy has erupted over a graph published in Lanka Business Online, which shows a co-relation between inflation and central bank credit, or money printed by the Central Bank to finance the budget deficit. The first shots were fired at an economic policy debate organized by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), when economist Harsha de Silva, a fierce critic of Central Bank money printing, drew attention to it. more..

Sri Lanka export industry threatened by tax refund delays

May 28 (LBO) Delays in making value added tax (VAT) refunds are forcing Sri Lankan exporters to borrow at high cost and threatening export growth, a senior industry official has warned. "The VAT refund is one of the major crises that Sri Lanka’s import-export industry is currently facing," says Rohan Masakorala, a former head of the Sri Lanka Shippers' Council. more..

Sri Lanka stocks slip: retail investors sell

May 28 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed down 0.9 percent on Monday, a fifth straight losing session, as retail investors sold amid increasing violence in a civil war between Tamil Tiger rebels and the military. The Colombo All Share index closed at a provisional 2,537.68 points, down 21.86 points. The index has dropped almost 10 percent in May and is down 6.7 percent so far this year. more..

Iran favourably considers SL infrastructure development proposals

May 28 (GDI) Finance Minister Davood Danesh Jafari confirmed that the Government of Iran is favourably considering the proposals made by the Government of Sri Lanka for the line of credit for four major projects in the filed of construction of bridges, highways and flyovers. He made this confirmation during his meeting with the Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama at the Ministry of Finance & Economy in Tehran. more..

Anti LTTE protest campaign in London

May 28 (GDI) Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim expatriates living in London are planning to hold a major protest campaign urging the Government of United Kingdom not to lift the ban imposed on LTTE in United Kingdom. The protest campaign is scheduled to be held in front of the Parliament building in London on the 8th of June. more..

‘Friday’ launches its website

May 28 (GDI) The recently released weekend tabloid ‘Friday’ of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. (ANCL) launched its website today (28). The launching ceremony took place at the Department of Government Information, with Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadarshana Yapa attending the occasion as the Chief Guest. more..

More vocational training schools for tsunami effected areas

May 28 (GDI) Eastern and the Southern tsunami affected areas are to get ten new vocational training schools. These will be constructed and rehabilitated, aiming a rewarding carrier development for the youth of the area through a job oriented vocational education. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will be assisting this project and the schools are part of the USAID’s Sri Lanka Tsunami Reconstruction Program (SLTRP). more..

Fully trained Lankan workers under special orientation programme

May 28 (GDI) The majority of Sri Lankan workers are happy and content with the working conditions in the Kingdom, observed Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Keheliya Rambukwella. He said that the Kingdom has the largest concentration of his country's labour force in the Middle East but the complaints from this workforce are minimal compared to its 550,000 Lankan worker population. more..

Iran to consider further collaboration in oil processing activities - Iranian FM

May 28 (GDI) Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama had bilateral talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Monouchehr Mottaki in Tehran last morning during his three day official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Foreign Minister briefed his counterpart on the initiatives taken by the Sri Lankan Government to solve the current conflict through peaceful means. more..

Escaped child soldiers reveal the atrocious nature of the LTTE

May 28 (GDI) Revealing the world of the LTTE terror scam in forcibly recruiting children, another incident of a chain reaction was exposed with the surrending of six female LTTE child soldiers to the Security forces on last Friday. These female surrenders who are between the age limits of 14 and 17 had been working in the LTTE military positions in the Narakamulla area, Thoppigala from where they escaped from LTTE custody. more..

Pillayan gives `final warning` to Karuna

May 28 (LNP) A new factional war is threatening to erupt in the East as former TMVP commander Pillayan issued a final warning to Karuna Amman to leave the outfit or face the ignominy of being removed by force. The warning comes as repeated attempts to reconcile the factional dispute between Pillayan and Karuna failed following allegations that Karuna continued to misuse TMVP funds and placed some of his enemies under house arrest as the support base for Pillayan continued to grow. more..

We won`t support Govt: Ranil

May 28 (LNP) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Saturday that he would not support the present government, which he said, was destroying the country. Addressing the party-backed trade union Jathika Adyapana Sevaka Sangamaya meeting at Sirikotha on Saturday, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the nation was being destroyed by the Rajapaksa brothers on one side and the LTTE on the other. `Why should we support the Rajapaksa brothers to ruin this country?` he asked. more..

‘Situation conducive for resettlement’

May 28 (SAMN) A consortium, of international humanitarian and relief agencies, recently acknowledged that the area where internally displaced persons (IDPs) are being currently resettled in the Batticaloa district is favourable for resettlement. The consortium - Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Country Team said that an inter-agency mission, that included the UN, UNICEF and UNHCR, toured Wellavelli on May 18 to assess the situation. more..

20% adolescents anaemic, 15% stunted

May 28 (SAMN) Malnutrition has risen to alarming proportions in the country with over 600,000 or 15% of the entire student population being stunted and 20% or 800,000 of adolescents aged between 10 – 19 years found to be anemic. This was revealed by Consultant Community Physician, Family Health Bureau, Dr. Sudharshini Fernanadopulle, who said this was in addition to 50% or two million school children out of four million who are said to be wasted. more..

Tiger intelligence leader killed: Army

May 28 (SAMN) Tiger intelligence leader for Trincomalee district, Bharathee and two other senior members were killed by the Navy’s elite Special Boat Squadron (SBS) Sunday during a clash in Illupukulam area in the Trincomalee district, the military said. “The Navy’s Special Boat Squadron launched an attack on a group of Tigers trapped in Illupukulam area last morning and gunned down the intelligence leader along with two others,” more..

Cashew industry to be revitalised

May 28 (SAMN) Sri Lankan cashew industry earns nearly Rs. 200 million in foreign exchange revenue per year by exporting cashew nuts to various countries. These however are small-scale exports, Manager-Marketing, Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation, Sumith Perera said. 8,000 metric tonnes of raw cashew nuts are cropped per year out of which 1,600 metric tonnes are cashew kernels. 25 per cent of them are exported and 75 per cent are locally consumed, he said. more..

Progress made to halt erosion of Kelani river bund

May 28 (DN) Following the Daily News expose on May 15 about the river bund near Udana Mawatha, Gonawala continuously getting washed away, speedy measures have been taken jointly by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights along with the Ceylinco group to safeguard residents living close to the Kelani river. The Daily News report highlighted the plight of the residents who were in the midst of danger owing to the continuous erosion of the river bund. more..

Irrigation for resettled villages, a boon to farmers

May 28 (DN) The government has taken necessary steps to improve the irrigational facilities for the benefit of the farmers at many resettled villages in the Batticaloa district on the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In order to expedite the programme, the Minister of Irrigation Anwar Ismail visited the resettled villages in Batticaloa and observed the situation there. more..

JVP too joins opposition to electoral reforms

May 28 (DM) Days after the UNP and other minority parties opposed the proposed electoral reforms, the JVP also criticized the government yesterday, saying the proposed reforms would not ensure justice and fair play in public representation for political parties. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said yesterday a country’s electoral system should ensure slots in Parliament for parties in accordance with the mandate given to each. more..

Dollar lotteries to fund Weerawila airport

May 28 (DM) National Lotteries Board has been given the task of gathering a whopping Rs.2 billion per annum to build the Weerawila Airport and is planning to launch two new dollar lotteries by the end of this month to reach this target. According to the National Lotteries Board General Manager M.S. Karunaratne two lotteries will be launched in June with the hope that they will strike it rich among the migrant workers. more..

Another LTTE suicide boat recovered

May 28 (ITN) The army has recovered another LTTE suicide boat. Military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said that this time it was found in the Komatalaamadu lagoon at Vakare in Batticaloa. A similar boat was found a week ago in the Panichchankerni lagoon.The Brigadier said four claymore mines were fitted on to the boat. The army made the detection on information provided by a civilian. more..

Murder trial adjourned

May 28 (GT) THE trial of a Sri Lankan man, who is accused of the premeditated killing of a compatriot some five months ago in Doha, has been adjourned to June 24 to hear the witnesses in the case. According to the charge-sheet, the accused hit the victim with a block of ceramic and a bottle many times while he was sleeping. Parts of the “weapons” used in the crime were found embedded in the victim’s skull. more..

‘Sri Lankan Workers in Kingdom Happy, Content’

May 28 (AN) A majority of the Sri Lankan workers are happy and content with the working conditions in the Kingdom, observed the island’s Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Keheliya Rambukwella. In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Rambukwella said that the Kingdom has the largest concentration of his country’s labor force in the Middle East but the complaints from this workforce are minimal compared to its 550,000 Lankan worker population. more..

Sri Lanka’s international umpires bowled out

May 28 (DM) In a shocking development of Sri Lanka’s quality of cricket umpiring, most of the country’s top umpires have failed to get through a written examination conducted for umpires to pick Sri Lanka’s representative at the International Cricket Council’s elite panel of international umpires, sources said. Sri Lanka’s most prominent umpires Asoka de Silva and Gamini Silva, the two officials who are in the ICC’s international panel, and more..

Sri Lanka keeps De Mel chief selector despite board

May 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's sports minister on Monday extended Asantha de Mel's term as chairman of cricket selectors despite a call from the governing board of the sport for his dismissal. "I have appointed the same committee for another two months with Asantha as the chief selector," Gamini Lokuge told AFP. De Mel, first appointed to the job in April 2006, was named chief selector for two more months until the end of Bangladesh's tour of Sri Lanka in July. more..

Doctors, patients plea to open Sri Lanka's check point

May 28 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's doctors and patients alike have called for urgent action from both Tamil Tiger rebels and the government to reopen a key entry-exit point between the rebel territory and areas of government control in the island's north, officials said Monday. The Omanthai entry-exit point was closed last Tuesday when International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) officials withdrew citing more..

Powerful blast near Sri Lanka military base

May 28 (AFP) A powerful bomb went off near an air force base just outside the capital Colombo during Monday's evening rush hour, residents and police said. The explosion was along the main Galle Road at Ratmalana where the air force maintains a base, police said. No further details were immediately available. The blast came four days after a mine attack against an army bus in the heart of the capital which killed one soldier and wounded six others. more..

SC declines PIL against Setusamudram Project

May 28 (PTI) The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a PIL opposing the ongoing Setusamudram project, proposed to be implemented by destroying 'Rama Setu', a mythical bridge said to be situated south east of Rameshwaram, connecting Talaimanar coast of Sri Lanka. It said that any objection regarding the project could be placed before the authorities dealing with it. more..

At least 19 people wounded in bomb blast near Sri Lankan capital, military says

May 28 (AP) Four police commandos and at least 15 civilians were hurt when a bomb exploded near Sri Lanka's capital Monday, the military said. Lt. Col. Upali Rajapakse of the Defense Ministry information center said a truck carrying police commandos to the capital was hit by the blast in Ratmalana, a suburb of the capital, Colombo. More details were not immediately available. more..

Death threats to SLA officer

May 29 (BBC) A Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officer who was arrested on suspicion of helping Tamil Tigers is threatened with death, his wife says. Chitra Gunawardene has lodged a complaint with National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and International Committee of Red Cross ( ICRC) against the detention of Captain Sarath Gunawardene. “Custody officers has threaten to shot him if he did not reveal the secrets” said his wife Chithra Gunwardhana. more..

Plan to sell off SLBC

May 29 (LeN) The employees of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation are doubtful whether authorities are planning to degrade the levels and standards of the institutions and thereby further the loses incurred by the institution and then sell it to some one close to the high seats of the government. The SLBC since 1996 has been incurring loses and the treasury grants a sum of 7 million rupees to settle the salaries of the employees. more..

Biasness and degrading work inside SLRC

May 29 (LeN) The senior programme producers of the Rupavahini Corporation question why the director general of the SLRC took Assistant director Leela Vithana for an Asian region media workshop in Malaysia. It is the practice for a senior producer to join the director general to this annual workshop. Those leveling the charges say the only reason for the assistant director to go on the trip, despite knowing the alphabet of media, is that she is a friend of the media minister. more..