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UNICEF staffs work with complete neutrality

Nov 15 (AT) UN staffs are recruited under the terms of employment in which they are responsible to the UN Secretary-General and the principles of the United Nations. They are also honour-bound to work with complete neutrality and to receive no instruction from any third party. A statement released by the UNICEF further emphasised “We firmly believe that UNICEF and its staff will continue to enjoy the confidence of the government, and a majority of the people of Sri Lanka.” more..

LRRP strike kills LTTE heavy weapons expert

Nov 15 (ISL) After a long silence, the army's Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) showed signs of activity when they ambushed and killed a heavy weapons expert of the LTTE yesterday. Pullawar Annan (also known as Thuiyawan Master and Seelan) and four others were killed in the attack when their convoy was attacked by LRRP units north of Palampiddi. According to Military Intelligence, Pullawar Annan was the best and most experienced heavy weapons expert the LTTE had. more..

How long will it take to tell the truth?

Nov 15 (LG) Once again Sri Lanka is extending its established strategy to prevent the public know who carried out the most inhuman act of publicly displaying the bodies of the naked dead Black Tigers killed in the LTTE attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force base. The newspapers reported ‘Sri Lanka's most sacred Anuradhapura city was made unsacred by the public display of naked bodies of the LTTE suicide cadres on 23 October 2007’. more..

Govt. agrees to JVP preconditions & also to ban LTTE

Nov 15 (LD) Government leaders including Rajapaksa brothers Basil and Gotabhaya, Ministers Keheliya Rambukwella and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Lakshman Hulugalla and the heads of state-owned media institutions discussed their future course of action in view of the present political scenario. However, Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, who was a familiar figure at this routine discussion, held every Wednesday, has been a notable absentee at the last couple of meetings, more..

Dilan criticizes President at Parliamentary Group meeting

Nov 15 (LD) Justice Minister Dilan Perera has strongly criticised President Mahinda Rajapaksa at yesterday’s Government Parliamentary Group meeting at Temple Trees, sources say. Everything began after Minister Susil Premajayantha and several MPs reproached Wijayadasa Rajapakse for crossing over to the opposition. However, Dilan Perera has vehemently objected to thiss criticism, saying that MP Rajapakse was an honest person who had never resorted to cheating. more..

“Do not use shoddy MPs to sling mud at me” - Wijayadasa Rajapakse

Nov 15 (LD) “I formulated the SLFP constitution and all its pacts. It was left for Minister Susil Premajayantha to place his signature. He does not have even the responsibility of a peon in the UPFA government today. As a responsible government MP, all I have to ask is not to sling mud at me by using shoddy parliamentarians, MP Wijayadasa Rajapakse says. In Parliament today, the MP replied to previous day’s comments by Susil Premajayantha and Rajitha Senaratne regarding his crossover. more..

Dilan Perera to resign from SLFP Central Committee

Nov 15 (LD) Justice Minister Dilan Perera it so tender his resignation as a member of the SLFP Central Committee. The resignation letter will be sent to the Presidential Secretariat, a Coordinating Secretary to Perera told ‘Lanka Dissent.” In a statement to the media, the Minister says, “It is the people of Badulla who have elected me a parliamentarian, not the President. more..

Nirupama Rajapakse to cross over?

Nov 15 (LT) Hambantota UPFA Parliamentarian Nirupama Rajapakse had been prepared to sit with the opposition in the Parliament today. However, stalwarts in the government have intervened and stopped her crossing over say reliable sources. When the information that Ms. Nirupama Rajapakse was about to cross over was leaked out Messrs. Basil Rajapakse, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and Susil Premajayanthe had met her and requested her to change her decision. more..

Minimum offer for a Parliamentarian is ministerial portfolio or Rs.50 million!

Nov 15 (LT) The lowest bid for a Member of Parliament at present is a ministerial portfolio or Rs.50 million say reports from the Parliament. Members who cross over from the government to the opposition would get Rs.5 to 10 million plus foreign tours while a member crossing over from the opposition to the government would get a ministerial portfolio say these sources. According to these sources these ‘prices’ may drastically go up during the next few days. more..

JHU Bhikkus’ cross over stopped by Jeyaraj

Nov 15 (LT) The attempt to cross over by 04 JHU Parliamentarian Bhikkus has been suppressed by Government Chief Whip, Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. Akmeemana Dayaratne, Udawatte Nanda, Allawwe Nandaloka and Kathaluwe Pragnnananda were the four Bhikkus who were prepared to cross over to the opposition. At a special meeting of the government MPs Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle has discussed the issue at length and more..

Horana named best town for business

Nov 15 (LBO) A town south-east of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo has emerged as the surprising choice of companies as the best place to do business. A study conducted by the international organization Asia Foundation in Sri Lanka on private sector business development and economic growth, found that Horana, had the best enabling environment for private enterprise. The Economic Governance Index (EGI) surveyed around 5,000 firms from 48 municipal councils from all over Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lanka port chases Indian car transhipments

Nov 15 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is planning a multi-storied car park and special tariffs at the Colombo port to encourage vehicle transshipment from India, an official said. Transshipment of vehicles from India, which is positioning itself as a small-car making hub, has been growing through Colombo. "The Port of Colombo is gearing itself to tap into the transshipment of the vastly growing Indian vehicle exports," more..

Sri Lanka opposition lawmaker joins government

Nov 15 (LBO) A Sri Lankan opposition party lawmaker Thursday joined the government, a day after a ruling party parliamentarian defected to the opposition. Mahinda Ratnathilake, a member of parliament for the Ratnapura district in the main opposition United National Party (UNP) crossed over to the government soon after meeting President Mahinda Rajapakse Thursday morning, presidential office sources said. more..

Mahinda Ratnatillake joins Govt.

Nov 15 (GDI) UNP Member of Parliament, Mahinda Ratnatillake crossed over to the Government this afternoon. Speaking at a Media Briefing, he said the decision was based on the need to defeat the LTTE decisively and in the larger national interest at a critical time in the history of the country. He also said: ‘I felt that the President and his Government is making an honest attempt to curb terrorism and more..

Judicial Services Commission strongly back implementation of law curbing sound emission law

Nov 15 (GDI) Steps are being taken to ensure that the recent court decision curbing sound emission at night time is fully implemented. The Judicial Services Commission has enlightened all the Magistrate Courts country wide on the Supreme Court injunction on sound emission during nighttime. This order was made in terms of Article 126 (4) of the Constitution. more..

JHU will not join Opposition – Ven. Ellawala Medananda

Nov 15 (GDI) Ven. Ellawala Medananda, the leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said today (15th) that contrary to wild rumours regarding some JHU MPs crossing over to the Opposition they are firmly committed to supporting President Rajapaksa’s efforts to eradicate terrorism and safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and the unitary character of the state. more..

Good propaganda boosted recruitment: Gotabhaya

Nov 15 (LNP) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that some 20,000 youths have been recruited to the armed forces during this year as the result of the effectiveness of the Government propaganda campaign. `Because of the major propaganda campaign launched specially at village level, we were able to recruit some 20,000 youth to the armed forces so far during this year,` the Defence Secretary said. more..

Sighting of Tiger aircraft denied

Nov 15 (LNP) Government Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday refuted reports published by a newswire of another sighting of two LTTE aircraft over the skies of Vavuniya early yesterday morning. He said there was an Air Force rehearsal early yesterday morning and if there was such a sighting it would have been indicated on the radar and also sighted by the SLAF craft in the skies. more..

What`s up Rathu Sahodarayas` sleeve?

Nov 15 (LNP) The crossover of UPFA Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe has come as a godsend for the JVP fishing in troubled waters. It has already laid down four conditions, withdrawal from the CFA, abolition of the APRC, proper prosecution of the war effort and prevention of UN intervention for extending its support to the government at the forthcoming budget vote. more..

UNP challenges govt to win budget vote

Nov 15 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP Wednesday threw an open challenge to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the government asking them to win the budget vote on November 19 if they could. UNP General Secretary and Parliamentarian Tissa Attanayaka told the Daily Mirror yesterday that they stood to the challenge thrown at them by President Rajapaksa at the Vap Magul ceremony in Nikaweratiya where he called on the opposition to take at least one member from the government fold to the opposition before the budget. more..

Wijeyadasa says will remain in SLFP

Nov 15 (SAMN) UPFA National list MP and COPE Chairman Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe yesterday crossed over to the Opposition and sat as a backbencher in the Opposition. Rajapakshe making a special statement in Parliament said he will continue to be in the SLFP. He said he took this decision not to topple the Government or conspire against it. Rajapakshe put forward seven proposals to vote in favour of the Budget. more..

Bodhi Pooja to bless president

Nov 15 (SAMN) A special ‘Bodhi Pooja Pinkama’ to commemorate President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second year anniversary of his assumption of office as President of the country and his 62nd birthday, will be held on November 16 at the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya under the guidance of the Chancellor of the Sri Jayawardenapura University and the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharadikhari Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathna Thera. more..

Excise fines top Rs. 236m

Nov 15 (DN) The Excise Department has netted a staggering Rs. 236.2 million as fines in the first 10 months of 2007 by taking a stringent approach towards the strict implementation of legislative provisions regarding the abuse of excise rules and regulations in line with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Mathata Thitha programme. According to Excise sources, the 46,191 raids this year showed a growth margin of 10.5 per cent in comparison to the previous year with Western Province topping the list of offenders. more..

Three UNP Western Provincial Councillors to support Govt

Nov 15 (DN) Three UNP Western Provincial Councillors have pledged to support the Government. Following meetings with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on Monday and Tuesday, the three UNP Provincial Councillors Duminda Silva, the son of former UNP Minister Weerasinghe Mallimarachchi Janaka Mallimarachchi and Anil Kumara Wijesinghe have decided to render their fullest support and co-operation to President Rajapaksa’s Government in all their future endeavours. more..

Cabinet, Govt. group to meet on eve of vote

Nov 15 (DM) The government, yesterday, decided to have a special Cabinet meeting and a Parliamentary Group meeting on November 18 -- the day before the vote on the second reading of the Budget in Parliament. This decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting held last evening amidst speculation about more planned crossovers from the government to the opposition. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, however, did not show much concern at the meeting about the crossover of SLFP National List MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe yesterday. more..

Duminda Silva case: Warrant on main witness

Nov 15 (DM) A warrant was issued on the main witness, the underaged, alleged victim girl in the sexual abuse case against Western Provincial Councillor Duminda Silva, by the Colombo High Court yesterday. High Court Judge Sunil Rajapaske issued warrant on the witness as she had failed to appear before court to give evidence. In this case Duminda Silva and two others were charged on four counts, including abduction of an underaged girl from her legal custody and sexually abusing her. more..

Military says 19 rebels, 1 soldier killed in northern Sri Lanka

Nov 15 (AP) Soldiers overran six Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers and attacked them in at least four other places in Sri Lanka's embattled north, in violence that killed 19 guerrillas and one soldier, the military said Thursday. Army troops infiltrated a rebel-held area in northern Jaffna peninsula and killed four insurgents Thursday morning, a defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, citing government policy. more..

Sri Lanka political crossovers shake government ahead of budget vote

Nov 15 (LBO) A Sri Lankan junior cabinet minister Thursday lashed out at an opposition party lawmaker who joined the government, revealing more cracks in the ruling coalition ahead of a crucial budget vote next week. Minister of Justice Dilan Perera, a so-called 'non-cabinet' minister in President Mahinda Rajapakse's jumbo cabinet said he was willing to risk being sacked from his ministerial portfolio for expressing his views. more..

Iran, Sri Lanka to Develop Tourism Interactions

Nov 16 (FARS) The MoU was signed in the presence of the president of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), Sri Lanka's minister of tourism, as well as deputies of tourism industry of both countries at Tehran's Laleh Hotel. Based on this agreement, the governments are in charge of developing the tourism policies for promoting tourism relations between the two countries, and the private sector should bring them into force. more..

Tamil domiciled in UK arrested for having LTTE links

Nov 16 (LD) A Sri Lankan Tamil domiciled in the United Kingdom has been arrested while on vacation in the island, on the charge of having connections with the LTTE. The CID produced the suspect, Vishvalingam Gobidas, before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s court today (Nov. 15th). He is charged with attempting to acquire high-powered communication equipment for the LTTE. more..

Summary of Cabinet decisions

Nov 16 (GDI) The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the Minister of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development, on the implementation of North East Housing Reconstruction Programme (NEHRP). This programme has been in operation since 15th March 2005 and the project duration is four years. more..

LTTE finally reveals crew of arms ship sunk by Navy months ago

Nov 16 (MoD) Unable to conceal its ignominious losses at high seas any longer, LTTE finally released the names of the crew of an arms carrying ship destroyed by Sri Lanka Navy eight months ago. A radio station operated by LTTE last week announced 13 names of the crew of the vessel "Kiyoyi" that had been sunk by SL Navy in February this year. The radio station IBC had announced the crew list comprising eight very senior level LTTE leaders on the 10th and 12th November 2007. more..

We need to handle pressure better

Nov 16 (CI) At the moment everything looks very promising for me to return for the second Test as we try to level the series. My hamstring has been healing well and I'm almost back to full fitness. There's no pain when I'm batting but I just have to make sure I can run at full pace. If I don't make it, I'll look to the next challenge - we face England a week after getting back - so the rehabilitation is an ongoing process. more..

Violence in Sri Lanka

Nov 16 (IHT) One of the world's most vicious and intractable conflicts has produced a spike in violence in recent days. After a bloody clash last week in the north of Sri Lanka between government forces and the rebel fighters known as the Tamil Tigers, the government boasted of killing 60 Tigers, while the Tigers claimed to have repulsed an attack by helicopter gunships, killing more than two dozen Sri Lankan troops. more..

Sri Lanka Economy at Risk of Losing EU concessions

Nov 16 (TW) The current state of law in Sri Lanka means that the people could lose European Union trade incentives, granted under the Generalised System of Preferences, said The National Peace Council (NPC) of Sri Lanka in a Press Release. The NPC has called upon the Government of Sri Lanka for the implementation of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which would provide for the greater protection of human rights within the country while also retaining valuable economic concessions from the EU. more..

When intelligentsia leaves, our party embraces murderers and rapists, says Dilan

Nov 16 (LeN) Minister of Justice Dilan Perera writing a letter to the President today (15) says that he does not believe a party should fall to this unethical low just to win a budget. He mentions this fact in a letter titled "I will take a decision on my conscience" written to announce that he will resign from the SLFP Central Committee to object the President's decision to take MP Mahinda Rathnathilaka to Government ranks. more..

Suicide bombers after Sri Lankan president: MP

Nov 16 (AFP) A group of 20 Tamil Tiger suicide bombers have infiltrated Sri Lanka's capital and are planning to murder the president and senior government officials, an MP warned Thursday. Mahinda Ratnatillake said the rebel LTTE were also plotting to strike ports and airports on the island just weeks after losing their number two in a government air raid. "We have information that 20 suicide bombers have arrived in Colombo to assassinate the president, his two brothers and 10 cabinet ministers," more..

Lanka may ban LTTE again

Nov 16 (AA) The Sri Lankan government has indicated that the LTTE may be banned once again, considering the stormy political developments in the Sinhala south and the stepped-up war against the Tamil Tigers in the north. Banning the LTTE may help the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, as some Sinhala hardliner parties may then be encouraged to support the annual Budget coming up for voting in Parliament on next Monday, sources said. more..

U.S. financially clamps down on Sri Lankan charity accused of bankrolling Tamil Tigers

Nov 16 (AP) The United States took action Thursday against a Sri Lankan charity with branches in the United States and in other countries for allegedly raising money to help bankroll terrorist activities. The Treasury Department moved against the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization, with the acronym TRO, with headquarters in Sri Lanka and offices in 17 countries worldwide. Any bank accounts or other financial assets found in the United States that belong to the charity must be frozen. Americans are forbidden from making donations or otherwise doing business with the group. more..

Victims of KTR

Nov 16 (ISL) The Sunday Leader newspaper published in Sri Lanka is playing a laudatory role to expose the shenanigan dealings of K T Rajasingam (KTR),the founder, owner and the editor of Asian Tribune. His underhand dealing with the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to discharge his hate towards Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna has been rightly exposed and even the GoSL too remain vulnerable on this sordid affair. more..

The pathetic politics of motherland

Nov 16 (ISL) Once again Sri Lanka is extending its established strategy to prevent the public know who carried out the most inhuman act of publicly displaying the bodies of the naked dead Black Tigers killed in the LTTE attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force base. The newspapers reported ‘Sri Lanka's most sacred Anuradhapura city was made unsacred by the public display of naked bodies of the LTTE suicide cadres on 23 October 2007’. more..

LTTE destroys Tamil culture -Ven. Dr. Walpola Piyananda

Nov 16 (MB) In Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese and Tamils lived in harmony for many centuries. They shared customs, cultures and traditions which helped to maintain a harmonious lifestyle in our country. In Buddhist temples there was always a place of worship for Hindu devotees. The Buddhists even believe that the God Vishnu is the protector of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. God Subramanium or Skandha who is supposed to have resided in Kataragama is respected by most Sri Lankan Buddhists. more..

CEA noise pollution laws on the way

Nov 16 (AT) Central Environmental Authority Chairman Udaya Gammanpila said today (Nov. 15) that the Supreme Court's interim order banning loudspeakers will be in force until the relevant CEA regulations are framed. Noting the criticism and complaints heard from certain quarters over the ban on the use of loudspeakers and electronic amplifiers between 10 p.m. and 6.00 a.m. without permission from the courts, he said that no body had the right to force on others what they did not want to listen regardless of whether it is music, religion or anything else. more..

Sri Lanka gem exporters plan to earn US$ One Billion annual target with in next two years

Nov 16 (AT) The Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association has planned to achieve a US$ one billion dollar foreign earning annual target within next two years through their value added gem and jewellery exports using this year's government budget concessions on the local Gem and the Jewellery industry. Chairman of the Association Shanaka Ellawala says this target is not an easy one to achieve but follows well planned business strategies to fulfill the mission. more..

Anandasangaree appeals to shun violence and to promote tolerance

Nov 16 (AT) V.Anandasangaree, scorned the comparison of V. Prabakaran with Late S.J.V.Chelvanayakam. He said that the great Tamil Leader committed to non-violence, should not be compared with a Leader of the most ruthless organization in the world. In a statement, Anandasangaree, President of the TULF pointed out with disdain that a politician had compared a leader of the same Terrorist outfit with the late Chelvanayagam who is affectionately called as Eelathu Gandhi and much loved by the Tamil people, because more..

Legitimate minority grievances can be attended to within present constitution

Nov 16 (FI) While the military marches forward regaining lost Sri Lanka, heart and mind operation must commence to satisfy the Tamil speaking people by attending to their prime grievances. It’s a shame that this has been neglected for so long when such aspirations can be assuaged instead of permitting them to remain unattended due to the apathetic attitude of the political leaders of the majority community, while more..

Plain Terrorism And Politically Committed Terrorism

Nov 16 (FI) Terrorism is easy meat these days. Very often with totally incompetent political leaderships who are also ethnically or religiously egoistic and therefore not prepared to meet the challenge of finding answers for political issues, “eradicating terrorism” turns out as a good pasttime. Such political leaderships gain their strength in society from nurturing an ideology to suit their incompetence in governing and for their chauvinism. more..

U.S. freezes TRO assets and designates it a front organizations of the LTTE

Nov 16 (SLE) The U.S. Department of Treasury today (November 15, 2007), froze the U.S.-held assets of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), an organization registered as a charity in the U.S. and many other countries and “acts as a front to facilitate fundraising and procurement for the LTTE.” The freezing follows clear evidence that “the TRO has raised funds on behalf of the LTTE through a network of individual representatives.” more..

Indian state leader in hot water over Thamilselvan poem

Nov 16 (AFP) The leader of a southern Indian state is facing allegations of treason after writing a poem mourning the killing in nearby Sri Lanka of a senior rebel and fellow ethnic Tamil. M. Karunanidhi, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu state, was last week so moved by the death of the Tamil Tiger's political chief in a Sri Lankan government air raid that he circulated a poem. more..

Sri Lanka banks threaten to dump customers who buy kiddie porn

Nov 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's banks said they would dump customers who paid for child pornography though their services and would also report them to the regulator. The banks said Friday they would have "heightened watchfulness" on credit cards and "other methods of transaction[s] relating to child pornography". The customers would be reported to Sri Lanka Central Bank and "actions will be taken to terminate the banking relationship with the offender," more..