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“40 soldiers sacrifice lives to cover empty budget”- Sagala Ratnayake

Nov 10 (LD) UNP MP Sagala Ratnayake charged that President Mahinda Rajapksa attempted to cover the bare budget by breaking the news of a military victory in Muhamalai during his budget speech, by launching operation in the area at the same time. Speaking at a news briefing at the party headquarters yesterday (November 09th), Mr. Ratnayake said that the President had made a similar attempt by breaking the news of the Silawatura capture, while addressing the 56th SLFP convention. more..

Interim report on killings handed to President

Nov 10 (LD) Chairman of the Presidential Commission on abductions, disappearances and killings, Mahanama Tillakaratne handed an interim report to the President regarding incidents ranging from 13th September 2006 to 1st of June 2007. According to the report, 95 persons have been abducted in the Western Province alone out of which only 66 have returned. 33 killings have been reported in the area while the number of disappearances adds up to a staggering 799. more..

A Security Co-ordinating Centre for Tissamaharama

Nov 10 (LD) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said that he suspects the LTTE to be behind the murders of the five villagers in Tissmaharama. Speaking at Parliament yesterday (November 09th), the PM said that the government is to secure the area according to a apt plan and would open a security co-ordinating centre in Tissamaharama on November 10 to deal with issues in the area due to the present volatile security situation. more..

Karuna faction joins EPDP

Nov 10 (LD) The Karuna Faction, which started to function as an independent unit under Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman after its’ previously split from the LTTE, has decided to join hands with the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP). Following the internal rift in the faction and the financial scam alleges, Karuna secretly fled to England. He is currently detained by the English police under the charge of traveling to Britain under a forged passport. more..

Mahinda Amaraweera to SLFP organizer post in Matara

Nov 10 (LD) SLFP Hambantota district parliamentarian Mahinda Amaraweera has been appointed for the post of the SLFP organizer for Matara district, after the dismissal of former minister Mangala Samaraweera. With the ousting of Mangala Samaraweera, the post was temporarily filled by the mayor of the Matara Municipal Council, Mr. Upul Nishantha. The SLFP leader for the Matara district, Minister Dalas Alapperuma has reportedly sent a written request to the President after considering MP Amaraweera’s connections in the area as well as noting the mayor’s unsatisfactory standards of inefficiency. more..

JVP to boycott budget voting?

Nov 10 (LD) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is to evade the budget vote altogether and a lead role in the JVP has unofficially notified of this to the President’s brother Basil Rajapaksa, sources at the Presidential Secretariat say. A spokesman at the Presidential Secretariat told Lanka Dissent that the government will definitely win the vote at the second reading of the budget on the 19th of November by a large margin, despite the efforts of the group lead by Ranil and Mangala. more..

Are these bullet proof cars for Ministers to escape terrorist attacks or people`s brickbats?

Nov 10 (ISL) Traffic congestion and people being subject to inconvenience on regular road blocks has become a daily nuisance to the public in Sri Lanka. Every time a VIP gets on to the road, the whole Town is blocked with the public stranded for hours. It is also claimed by shopkeepers that their business too is impaired. It is well for the Ministers and the Govt. to realize that they have been elected to serve the people, and serve them well without hindering and obstructing business and the public who are maintaining them and their security. more..

90% of the budgetary allocations to the Rajapakse Company -Kiriella

Nov 10 (LeN) The United National Party (UNP) Kandy district MP Lakshman Kiriella questions the motive behind the setting up of a new Project Management Department to handle the projects so far handled by the Ministries with cabinet approval. Addressing a press conference at the Opposition Leader's office today (09), the MP said that handling projects by a Project Management Department is another project of Rajapakse Company. more..

Lankan Maid Gives a Pleasant Shock to Relatives

Nov 10 (AN) A Sri Lankan maid who was helped by Riyadh Gov. Prince Salman to return home after she claimed that she did not receive her salary for 13 years arrived in her village to be met by shocked relatives who presumed that she had died more than 11 years ago. When Girlie Malika Fernando, 53, reached home in Weragama Watte near Wadduwa, 40 kilometers from Colombo, her family could not believe she was alive. They had presumed she had died two years after arriving in the Kingdom to work as a housemaid. more..

Fatigue the cause for road accidents; costs Sri Lanka Rs.10 billion a year

Nov 10 (GDI) Fatigue and sleep deprivation is the cause of more than 30% of road accidents, which result in appoximately 2500 deaths a year, according to a joint study by the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization. Dr. Gamini Karunanayake, a former Director of Health Services and former Chairman of the National Transport Medical Institute (NTMI), said that studies indicate that the corresponding figure for advanced countries like the UK is only around 20%. more..

Female prisoners to help boost national productivity

Nov 10 (GDI) For the first time in the history of prisons, female inmates are to be deployed in economic activity. The Prison’s Commissioner General has approved the proposals by the superintendent of Mahara Prison to permit female prisoners to engage in agricultural activity. The Mahara Prison together with Mahara Provincial Council have decided to plough the barren fields in the and are readying the barren fields in the Kirillawala area, engaging 40 female prisoners in Mahara. more..

History repeats, only when lessons are not learned

Nov 10 (LR) People say that history repeats and by only knowing the history that one can challenge to prevent ill-fated incidents in the history being repeated. Unfortunate reality here is that bulk of Sri Lankans does not know their history and for some others it is just a tale than a lesson. We should learn and understand that history does not write every ruler as a hero. The rulers position in the history as hero, feeble, traitor or mere clown is based on their conduct and not mere birth or length of the rule. more..

Bold and beautiful Austrian Airlines arrives in Colombo

Nov 10 (BL) The first Boeing 767 Austrian Airlines non stop flight from Vienna to Colombo landed at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake last week after the airline resumed its operation after the short interruption of services to Colombo. Country Manager in Sri Lanka Rajitha Seneviratne along with the Station staff headed by Station Manager Samantha Gamage were at the airport. more..

Karuna victim’s family makes emotional appeal to Scotland Yard

Nov 10 (BL) The family of former Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University S. Raveendranath has in a letter addressed to the Scotland Yard in UK urged it to make inquiries about the whereabouts of the former VC from LTTE renegade leader Karuna Amman, now in its custody. The family is to date unaware of whether the former VC is still alive or whether he been killed. The letter, sent out on Sunday by Raveendranath’s son-in-law, wife, daughters and granddaughter addressed to the Commissioner of Police of the Scotland Yard, more..

Government plotting to sell oil reserves for petty sum, charges Weerawansa

Nov 10 (BL) The Sri Lankan government is plotting to sell oil reserves in Mannar Basin to several international companies for a petty sum, charged JVP Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa in a special statement in Parliament yesterday. “Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development Minister A.H.M. Fowzie has organised a series of exhibitions to attract foreign investors in London, Houston and Kuala Lumpur and we have learned that an American Company called FUCO has given US$ 400 million for these series of exhibitions. more..

International community is letting war decide Tamils` fate

Nov 10 (LNP) By allowing the Sri Lankan state free rein and supporting it to wage war, the international community has made any rights the Tamils secure depend entirely on the battlefield outcome, the Tamil Guardian newspaper said this week. `The military has for two years blasted villages, driven hundreds of thousands from their homes and continues to abduct, torture and murder? For all the noise about human rights (and much of that has dissipated now), the state actually wants for nothing. more..

New twist to probe on A’pura attack

Nov 10 (SAMN) The CID is to question a coordinating officer of a government VIP in connection with the recent LTTE attack on the Anuradhapura air base, over his alleged links with a group which sent vehicles to the Wanni, informed sources said. A high ranking police officer said a special CID team which is probing the attack had revealed that a Coordinating Secretary of a government VIP had allegedly given the contract to a suspect with LTTE connections to supply soil for the Anuradhapura Air Force airstrip expansion project. more..

'Defence budget not a pleasant task'

Nov 10 (SAMN) Commending President Mahinda Rajapaksa for allocating a record Rs. 117 billion for the war effort in 2008 in his budget proposals on Wednesday, UNP democratic group reiterated its unstinted and continuous support to the government and its military programe to weaken the LTTE. Investment Promotion Minister Navin Dissanayake said all previous attempts to get the LTTE enter a peaceful settlement failed as the militant outfit came to the negotiating table from a position of strength. more..

SL fire victims in Qatar identified

Nov 10 (SAMN) The three Sri Lankan expatriate workers of a private sector janitorial service in Qatar who died in a fire in their hostel were identified as Mohmed Naushad (23) of Pihilladeniya, Gampola, Aabdual Rahuman of Bandarawela and Mohamed Hiran Adam Bawa of Nindavur. It is reported that one of them was taken ill and the other two were having a chat with him when the fire broke out due to a gas leak in the building. more..

Power for Eastern Province

Nov 10 (SAMN) The Power and Energy Ministry has launched a programme to cater to electricity needs of people in the Eastern Province on the initiative of Minister C. P. J. Seneviratne. This is a sequel to the establishment of the civil administration in the region. The Minister has already implemented a programme to overcome the problem of low voltage in the electricity supply encountered by the people under an ADB and NORAD aid scheme. more..

Drastic rise in health, education budget

Nov 10 (DN) UPFA National List MP Basil Rajapaksa yesterday dismissed allegations that the Government has only increased the defence expenditure since the allocations for post development, transport, health and education sectors too have been increased. Starting the Budget Debate on behalf of the Government after UNP MP Kabir Hashim, Rajapaksa said the increase of defence expenditure by 19.3 per cent should not be taken in isolation. more..

‘Rural children should be introduced to modern languages, IT’

Nov 10 (DN) The Western Province has surpassed all other provinces in the field of development. This wide disparity between the Western Province and other provinces in the field of development is due to the shortcomings in the education system, said Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama. Dr. Amunugama was addressing a meeting after opening a Nenasala Information Technology (IT) Centre at Teldeniya in the Kandy District. more..

American Hip-Hop arrives in Sri Lanka via Broadway

Nov 10 (SLE) John Ferguson (Pianist/Executive Director), Michael Parks Masterson (vocalist/dancer/choreographer and director) and Quae Simpson (ballet and Hip-Hop dancer) from “American Voices” present “Rhythm Nation”, a dazzling performance of hip hop and contemporary Broadway music and dance. The mission of the American Voices is to further the accessibility and the understanding of American music and culture, especially in developing countries or those lacking opportunities for cultural exchange and dialogue with the United States. more..

The UNP and media freedom – Daily Mirror clarifies

Nov 10 (DM) The main opposition UNP yesterday issued a statement challenging the contents of the Daily Mirror page one comment titled “UNP and the Media Freedom” in which the Editor of the Daily Mirror said that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe reprimanded Daily Mirror journalist Kelum Bandara. The first statement sent by the UNP yesterday did not have a signature. However when contacted by the Daily Mirror Mr. Wickremesinghe’s Media Secretary Saman Athaudahetti confirmed that the statement was sent by the UNP. more..

Murali's action should be tested in a game, says Jenner

Nov 10 (SM) SHANE Warne's long-time mentor Terry Jenner has called for the ICC to scrutinise Muthiah Muralidaran like never before ¿ by forcing him to prove his action in a Test match. With Muralidaran just six wickets shy of equalling Warne's record 708 scalps, Jenner warned the Sri Lankan risked being branded a chucker for life unless the International Cricket Council tested him in cricket's most demanding cauldron. more..

England plan Murali response

Nov 10 (ECB) England coach Peter Moores reports his players are working hard to combat the threat of Muttiah Muralitharan on his home turf next month. The master Sri Lanka off-spinner, on the brink of supplanting Shane Warne as the world’s leading Test wicket-taker, boasts an impressive record against England. Muralitharan has faced England in just 13 Tests but taken 93 wickets at an average of 19.74. more..

Govt. in solidarity with Bali conference

Nov 10 (DM) Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Champika Ranawaka said yesterday that the government was looking forward to using the Bali Climate Change Conference as a platform to take a critical look at the achievements made so far to mitigate global warming and generate discussions aimed at setting new directions in tackling the global issue. He said that even Sri Lanka was a low Green House emitter and that today the country was facing extreme weather events such as droughts, flash floods and heavy rain falls. more..

Polished Australia compound Sri Lanka's misery

Nov 10 (CI) Australia's new era continued to look much like their old one as they dominated mercilessly at the Gabba for a third day, forcing Sri Lanka to follow-on a massive 340 runs behind. The visitors then lost both openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu to complete a miserable day. Ricky Ponting has been prone to batting again to give his bowlers a rest, so his decision to make Sri Lanka follow on may have raised a few eyebrows, but it was not entirely unexpected. more..

Amnesty for Lankan army deserters

Nov 10 (PTI) Amid heavy fighting with the LTTE, the Sri Lankan military has offered general amnesty to its army deserters. "This would apply not only to the army deserters but also to those personnel who remained absent without official leave," military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said. The amnesty period will start from November 12 and end on November 25, the spokesman said adding it will be applicable to soldiers who had left the Army on or after November 1, 2004. more..

India to look into charges of LTTE links in Tamil Nadu

Nov 10 (PTI) India has assured Sri Lanka that it will look into Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake's claim of increased LTTE activities along the Tamil Nadu coast. "We do not have any such information. We will however discuss the matter with the Government of Sri Lanka and take appropriate action based on the information provided by the government," an Indian High Commission Spokesman, Dinkar Asthana, told PTI in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka: Total ban on loudspeaker use from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Nov 10 (MG) The Supreme Court yesterday made several directions with regard to the sound amplification including a total ban on using amplifiers between 10 in the night until six in the morning and ordered the immediate cancellation of all the permits issued by the Police to use loudspeakers. However, permits could be issued for special religious functions or events after 10 p.m. ascertaining the views of the residents in the vicinity. more..

LIOC losing $6 mn per month on spiralling crude prices

Nov 10 (ET) The Sri Lankan subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation is incurring a loss of nearly USD 6 million a month due to the steep rise in global crude oil prices and has sought an increase in petroleum prices. The losses of the Lanka IOC (LIOC), as a result of the crude oil prices hovering around the 100-dollars-a-barrel mark, are likely to rise further due to the Sri Lankan government's reluctance to raise petroleum prices before the end of this year. more..

Tigers, government shed pretense of peace process

Nov 10 (TS) The Sri Lanka government and Tamil Tiger rebels may differ on many issues, but they've shown a striking similarity in their approach to the island nation's protracted ethnic crisis: talk peace and wage war. As the body count rises, however, both sides are dropping the pretense of "peacemaking" – despite an official ceasefire – and going for blatant conflict. Eight days ago, a carefully targeted air force bomb killed one of the most trusted aides of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the reclusive chief of the LTTE. more..

'Selectors are muppets headed by a joker' - Atapattu

Nov 10 (CI) Marvan Atapattu launched an astonishing attack on the Sri Lankan selectors, calling them a set of muppets headed by a joker. His statements came at the end of the third day of the first cricket Test against Australia at the Gabba, with Sri Lanka fighting to stave off a heavy defeat. "Sri Lanka cricket at this moment of time is not going in the direction it should be going, especially with a set of muppets headed by a joker. I don't give credit to the way they have handled selections," more..

Series of battles kill 23 rebels, 1 soldier in volatile northern Sri Lanka: military

Nov 10 (AP) A series of battles between soldiers and Tamil rebels in war-torn northern Sri Lanka left 23 guerrillas and one soldier dead, the military said Saturday. Troops attacked two rebel bunkers along the front line separating government-controlled areas from the rebels' mini-state in northern Vavuniya district Friday morning, killing six guerrillas, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara. more..

Mahela tosses away all hope

Nov 11 (ST) MEMO to all overseas Test teams - if you come to take on Australia in their own backyard, please have a real crack. For starters, should you win the toss - unless the pitch contains more demons than the murderer in Saw IV - you must bat. And secondly, select bowlers who can deliver extreme wicket-taking deliveries. A wow-factor is crucial to any attack. You won't attract Jennifer Hawkins wearing a lumberjack shirt and uggies. more..

Fishermen sell diesel to LTTE at sea; probe ordered

Nov 11 (NIP) In an apparent breach of coastal security, a group of fishermen from Rameswaram reportedly met up with LTTE cadres for a mid-sea sale of diesel to the rebel group. According to information, the group of about 60 fishermen, who had put out to sea along with 500 other boats early on Friday, had the mid-sea rendezvous with LTTE cadres, and transferred more than 1,000 litres of diesel. The diesel was reportedly sold at a premium of 200 per cent. more..

Budget has failed because there is no local growth – Somawansa Amarasinghe

Nov 11 (AT) “I think there is nothing to discuss about the Budget 2008. There are no policies. There is a big challenge before country economically. We have been pursuing the so called free market policy for the last 30 years without taking into consideration about the national economy. Successive governments have neglected agriculture, local production, and local industry. As a result we are now depending on foreign goods, services and capital also. more..

SriLankan Airlines a milestone in Lanka’s aviation

Nov 11 (AT) SriLankan Airlines through trials, travails, bouquets and brickbats reached the 10th anniversary milestone to emerged an award winning airline, rubbing its shoulders with the finest carriers anywhere in the world. Sri Lankan Airlines over the past decade has won more than 50 global and local awards competing with the finest globally reputed airlines. Some of the most prestigious accolades are: 2000 Merit Award as one of Three Best Aviation Security Organizations in the Asia Pacific Region, more..

50th Birthday of Douglas Devananda - Leader of the EPDP

Nov 11 (AT) Devananda was born in Jaffna on 10th November 1957, as the second of the four sons and one daughter of Subramaniam Kathiravelu. His mother Maheswary died when he was only six years old. Kathiravelu was a member of the Sri Lanka Communist Party, a leading member of the Government Clerical Service Union (GCSU), and the editor of the GCSU publication ‘Redtape’. Kathiravelu served in the Department of Inland Revenue and later joined the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, more..

Ground work on for IMEXPRO 2008

Nov 11 (AT) A much awaited event on the trade calendar, ‘IMEXPRO 2008’ is organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Ministries of Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services and the Export Development and International Trade, The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, The Export Development Board and the Srilankan Airlines. more..

“Col” Karuna Caught Up in Controversial London Arrest

Nov 11 (TC) Friday November 2nd was a day of excitement in Sri Lanka as details of a successful air strike in the North by the Sri Lankan air force became known. LTTE political commissar, “Brigadier” Suppiah Paramu Thamilchelvan along with five others had been killed at Thiruvaiaru, a Kilinochchi suburb. On the same day in the United Kingdom an unpublicised drama was being enacted. A team of 20 - 25 British officials swooped on an apartment building in the South Kensington area of London. more..

The giant bomb which killed the Peace Dove in Thiruvaiyaru

Nov 11 (TC) “Sinhala nation did not open its heart and send a peace message. On the contrary, it is sending war-vultures that are dropping giant bombs. It has cruelly killed our peace dove”. The above sentences are excerpted from Velupillai Prabakharan’s statement released after Thamilchelvan’s death. The LTTE leader’s statement was unusually emotional and had an agitated tone to it. more..

TNA is Insisting on The Rights for Self-Determination

Nov 11 (FI) Parliamentarian N. Srikantha said that Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is representing Tamil people as their authentic representatives in the Parliament of Sri Lanka and functioning within its frame work. And he emphasised that TNA will “continue to insist on the rights for self-determination of the people that includes their birth rights, separate and sovereign state on the sacred soil of their own homeland”. more..

Peace moves within TMVP as Karuna and Pillaiyan bury hatchet

Nov 11 (FI) The internecine warfare plaguing the TMVP in the east may have come to an end at last! An uneasy rapprochement seems to have been effected according to knowledgeable sources. TMVP supremo Karuna and military chief Pillaiyan have apparently buried the hatchet and reconciliatory moves are in progress. Karuna remains the leader of the TMVP and Pillaian designated as Deputy leader. Pillaiyan will be in overall charge of operations and administration. more..

Scowling Nadesan Succeeds Smiling Thamilchelvan as Commissar

Nov 11 (FI) “Brigadier” Thamilchelvan of the LTTE was known as the “smiling” face of the tigers. His successor Nadesan may very well become the “scowling” face of the LTTE. If Thamilchelvan could not wipe that perpetual, insincere grin off his face the new Political commissar is eternally seen with a grimace. Nadesan, the man in charge of the tiger police known as “Kaaval thurai” was also made Political wing chief by tiger supremo Prabakharan within 24 hours of Thamilchelvan’s death. more..

"ISI never Support to LTTE" says Pak Professor

Nov 11 (LG) “Things are not that bad in Pakistan. Musharraf is not that brutal a dictator like Saddam; Dr. Sohail Mahmood, Professor, International Islamic University, Department of Politics & International Relations, Islamabad , Pakistan spoke his mind clearly on Pakistan’s crisis nightmare in an exclusive interview with Sri Lanka Guardian. “Not at all. Obvious disinformation by India, or whoever,” he views on allegations to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been supported to LTTE. more..

International justice for Karuna? (Part 2)

Nov 11 (LG) Following the arrest of the leader of TMVP Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna by the British immigration authorities and police, various stories have been published in the media. Damning of these was published in the LTTE web-media, the media of former guardians of Karuna who have turned enemies now and some of the Sri Lankan media. The stories published claimed that: 01. Karuna had been arrested for violation of immigration rules and he will be deported to Sri Lanka. more..

Parishioners replace prisoners for all souls day cemetery cleanup

Nov 11 (UCAN) As All Souls Day neared, a problem arose for Madampitiya cemetery's stewards, who normally depended on prisoners to clean the overgrown and congested burial ground. About 25 prisoners from Colombo Prison usually clean the cemetery's Catholic area each year, but not enough prison officers were available this year to guard the prisoners, says Father Marius Fernando of nearby St. Joseph Church, in Colombo's poor and mostly Catholic Grandpass area. more..

Interfaith petition calls on President to stop the War

Nov 11 (UCAN) Catholic and Buddhist priests handed a petition to the office of the president calling for peace in Sri Lanka after more than two decades of war. A small group of clergy was allowed to enter the President's House in Colombo on Nov. 6 to hand in the petition addressed to the president. Initiated by a Catholic bishop in the war-torn north and signed by 85,000 people of various faiths from around the country, it calls for an end to the war between Tamil rebels and the government more..