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Parliament Committee here at State invitation

Nov 22 (DN) On an invitation extended by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan delegation at the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva, members of a Parliament Committee on Human Rights will visit Sri Lanka from November 22 to 24, General Secretary to the Sri Lankan Peace Secretariat Dr. Rajiva Wijesinghe said. He flatly rejected the assertion by UNP Parliamentarian Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena that the Committee members are to visit Sri Lanka on their own accord to inquire into the Human Rights violations of parliamentarians. more..

All who voted against Budget are traitors - JHU

Nov 22 (DN) Jathika Hela Urumaya Leader Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera said that all who voted against the Budget acted for the salvation of the LTTE. Prabhakaran needs to topple this Government as they are suffering due to many military defeats and the death of Thamilselvan. The Opposition made many attempts to defeat the Budget based on the needs of Prabhakaran. We vote for the Budget to strengthen the hands of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his attempt to eradicate terrorism. more..

Lanka in top 10 seeking asylum

Nov 22 (DM) Sri Lanka was among the top 10 countries from where applications were received for asylum status in Britain during the third quarter of this year, the British Government said. According to statistics of the Home Office, 245 Sri Lankans had sought asylum in Britain this year - a one percent increase from the first quarter. Sri Lanka was also among the top 10 countries from where applications for asylum were rejected during the same period and the applicants deported. more..

MSD sergeant’s body in Beira Lake

Nov 22 (DM) A body of a Police Sergeant attached to the Ministerial Security Division of National Heritage Minister Anura Bandaranaike was found dumped in the Beira Lake last morning. The body of the 40-year-old man, identified as Wasantha, a father of two, had been noticed by a resident of the area who had informed the Slave Island police. The corpse was found trapped under a bridge on Nawam Mawatha. more..

Gov't accuses gang for newspaper attack

Nov 22 (Xinhua) The government said Thursday that the attack on a pro-opposition newspaper was the work of a gang, which is out to tarnish the name of President Mahinda Rajapakse and his government. The printing press of the Sunday Leader and Morning Leader was set on fire by an unknown armed group in the early hours of Wednesday. Main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe blamed the government for the attack, as the facilities were located within the military's high security zone. more..

Clashes in north and east Sri Lanka kill 16 Tamil Tigers, military says

Nov 22 (AP) Soldiers killed 16 separatist Tamil Tigers in separate gunbattles in Sri Lanka's north and east on Thursday, the military said, as the government banned a charity that allegedly helped finance the rebels. Army troops and rebels exchanged fire in a pre-dawn clash across the de facto border that separates government- and rebel-held territories in Muhamalai on the northern Jaffna peninsula, leaving six guerrillas dead, more..

A Drive To Help Homeland

Nov 23 (AP) Sarasi Jayaratne was a high school freshman in 2004 when a tsunami devastated her parents' home country of Sri Lanka. Like many, she watched the destruction on television. "Watching CNN and seeing what the devastation was like was surreal," said Jayaratne, 17, who lives in Sterling and has relatives in Sri Lanka. One consequence of the tsunami was that 168 schools in Sri Lanka were damaged or destroyed, she said. So she started a book drive to help them. more..

Attack on newspaper condemned

Nov 23 (BBC) International media watchdogs have condemned the arson attack on Leader publishing house on Tuesday night. The armed men who staged the attack "must have had support within the security forces," Paris based press freedom watchdog Reporters Without borders (RSF) said. "By attacking the Leader Publications group, this gang wanted to silence one of the main sources of incisive criticism of the current government. more..

Wimal Weerawansa reveals ‘yet another dangerous UNICEF activity'

Nov 23 (LD) JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa claimed the exposure of yet another dangerous activity of UNICEF, in a special speech to Parliament today (Nov. 22nd). Weerawansa alleged that a staff member of the UN body in Sri Lanka, Jennifer Taylor, had imported a container-load of 5,640 combat ration packs worth 54,800 dollars this month. The 40-feet long container was transported from Global Park in Seeduwa to a UNICEF warehouse, according to him. more..

Sri Lanka sovereign bonds plummet as govt. seeks new cash

Nov 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's maiden sovereign bond has plunged in the secondary market just a month after its issue, as authorities indicated that the country may go to international markets again for new dollars. The 500 million dollar sovereign bond which was issued in late on October 23, was oversubscribed. But now its value is plummeting, causing heavy losses to buyers. more..

Thuglak - a Tamil weekly burnt and banned in Europe by the LTTE

Nov 23 (AT) Copies of Tamil weekly Thuglak was burnt in Paris, France for carrying editorial criticizing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for his elegy on the death of S.P.Tamilselvan, a former head of the political division of the LTTE. Tamil Tiger supporters alleged that the editorial criticizing Karunanidhi in its latest issue (21 November) of Thuglak amounts to an anti-LTTE campaign. more..

Sri Lanka President arrives in Kampala

Nov 23 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse and Shiranthi Rajapakse arrived in Entabbe International Airport in Uganda by a special flight on 22nd evening to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that opens today.Arrival in Kampala President Rajapakse and his entourage were received at the Entebbe airport on arrival by the Ugandan Minister of State for Trade Nelson Gagawal and the Sri Lankan High Commissioner for Kenya and Uganda M.K. Kieran. more..

Historical places in the North Central Province lack tourists

Nov 23 (AT) Historical and religious sites of the Sigiriya and the Polonnaruwa areas has come to a standstill due to non arrival of local or foreign tourists and most of the small scale traders who run their businesses in the Cultural Triangle , Polonnaruwa say that they cannot manage their day to day expenses. At present number of foreign countries have imposed travel warnings to their citizens on Sri Lankan security situation. more..

Poisonous Concoctions

Nov 23 (ISL) The article’ Karuna’s men-their travails’ published in the Asian Tribune and has been subsequently reproduced in ‘, a pro-LTTE website, has leveled some serious and scurrilous allegations against me. The Asian Tribune withdrew this article from its web site following the intervention by a concerned third party. However, additional accusations of the same nature have been leveled against me in,’’, purported to be either run or controlled by Nagaratnam Seevaratnam. more..

Envoy blames middlemen for workers’ rights abuse

Nov 23 (TP) The Qatari government is doing its best to ensure foreign workers are treated well by their employers but it's the middlemen and company managements who are to blame for the rights abuse cases, says Sri Lanka's ambassador to Qatar. The situation calls for waging an awareness campaign by local media with the government's backing to convince companies to provide better wages and safe and hygienic living and working conditions to low-income workers, S B Atugoda said yesterday. more..

Sri Lankan government rams war budget through parliament

Nov 23 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government pushed its war budget through the parliament on Monday with a majority of just 16 votes—118 to 102. Although the opposition parties formally voted against, the right-wing United National Party (UNP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) both made clear their support for the intensifying war against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more..

Report of Field visit to Trincomalee and Mutur

Nov 23 (TC) This visit was undertaken in order to gain a better understanding of the human rights and humanitarian situation in and around Trincomalee district, on the invitation of a local human rights defender. It aims to highlight key issues of concern faced by residents of Trincomalee, people still living in IDP camps and people who have returned after being displaced. more..

Cabinet resolves that Sri Lanka should oppose Pakistan suspension from commonwealth

Nov 23 (GDI) The Cabinet of Ministers, at a Special Cabinet Meeting today (23) discussed on the decisions arrived at the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group in London regarding the Membership of the Republic of Pakistan in the Commonwealth of Nations and having considered the fact that the internal problems faced by that country are now being resolved through more..

The second embryo transfer goat kid “Peradeniya Kumari -2” born

Nov 23 (GDI) The Embryo Biotechnology research team of the University of Peradeniya yesterday (22) announced that they have produced the second goat kid through Embryo Transfer technology. The research team leader Dr. Basil Alexander said “the initial experiments on embryo production and transfer in Sri Lanka have resulted in great success”. He further said that the new born goat kid is in good health and fully active. more..

Suicide Jacket found in a bus defused

Nov 23 (GDI) A suicide jacket weighing 3kgs was diffused by the Army bomb disposal unit yesterday morning (22) which was found inside a passenger bus plying from Mt. Lavina to Kiribithgoda. The vigilant driver of the bus upon detecting a suspicious parcel inside the bus had handed it over to the Bambalapitya police, Media Center for National Security informs. The Sources said that the quantity of explosives used in the device is around 1.5kilos. more..

Foreign Minister stresses the need to nail terrorism globally

Nov 23 (GDI) At the opening session of the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting in Uganda yesterday (22), Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama proposed for enhanced action on terrorism. He stressed the impact of terrorism on the political and economic stability of member states. Minister Bogollagama emphasized that terrorism is a major global challenge and should be defeated. more..

Sangaree condemns attacks on Leader press and the residence of Sooriyarachchi

Nov 23 (GDI) V. Anandasangaree, President of the TULF has condemned the burning down of the Leader newspaper press and a petrol bomb thrown at the residence of Sripathi Sooriyarachchi, Member of Parliament. In a press statement Anandasangaree pointed out that those were inhuman and cowardly acts and should not be encouraged by any body under any circumstances. He further said, “Writing should be met by writing and not by thuggery or by any other undemocratic means. more..

The fear of the forgotten people in Jaffna

Nov 23 (LeN) Two years ago, when I last made the journey to Jaffna by air, the passengers on board the aircraft were predominantly cheerful and prosperous looking expatriate Tamils, returning to Jaffna to renew their family ties. Most of the passengers this time around looked anything but prosperous. They were making the journey by air because they had no other realistic alternative, as the A9 land route that connects Jaffna to the rest of the country now lies closed for over a year and a half. more..

Govt. perturbed after Bogollagama's support to Pakistan's suspension

Nov 23 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his entire regime are left perturbed after Foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama had supported the Commonwealth in its decision to suspend Pakistan from the grouping. To discuss the matter, an emergency meeting of the cabinet was called at the Parliamentary Complex today (Nov. 23rd). UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella raised the issued in the House, and said, more..

President wants us to convince or overthrow UNP - Mahinda Wijesekara

Nov 23 (LD) Special projects Minister Mahinda Wijesekera says that the President wants the UNP Democratic Group to convince the UNP on the necessity for a national government, or else to take the party’s power into their hands. The President has consented to offer the Opposition Leader the post of prime minister in a national government, Wijesekera told the media in Kirulapone yesterday (Nov. 23rd). more..

SLFP (M) urges govt. to stop shameful hunting of dissenting views

Nov 23 (LD) The Sri Lanka Freedom Party Mahajana Wing has condemned the dastardly arson attack on Sunday Leader newspaper group that occurred on Wednesday early morning. SLFP (M) Leader Mangala Samaraweera says in a statement, “We consider this as an attack aimed at the very core of freedom of expression and against the right of the people for information.” more..

‘Sunday Leader’ journalist seeks Rs. 10 M in compensation

Nov 23 (LD) ‘The Sunday Leader’ journalist Arthur Wamanan filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court today (Nov. 22nd) against his unlawful arrest and detention for publishing an article pertaining to the payment of a roaming telephone bill by the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Turkey Bharathi Wijayaratne, who is the wife of Minister Mano Wijayaratne. more..

1 year term to Wennappuwa PS member for contempt of court

Nov 23 (LD) The Supreme Court today (Nov. 22nd) sentenced a member of the Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Sabha, Kithsiri Sanjeewa, to one year imprisonment and forfeited his Rs. 250,000 cash bail deposit after finding him in contempt of court. The case relates to the illegal mining of a cemetery that is more than 117 years old for clay and sand. Another suspect, R.M. Pushpakumara, got a six-month prison term and had his Rs. 250,000 cash bail deposit forfeited. more..

CJ says Treasury Secretary’s procedures not important

Nov 23 (LD) CJ says Treasury Secretary’s procedures not important The Supreme Court today (Nov. 22nd) heard a petition filed by parliamentarian Sripathi Sooriyarachchi, challenging the sale of Sri Lanka Telecom shares owned by NTT of Japan. Taking up the petition, Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva said that the procedure of the sale undertaken by Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara could be hailed by some, but that he was not that important to the country. more..

Sri Lankan demands withdrawal of UNICEF staff

Nov 23 (LBO) Sri Lankan has demanded the withdrawal of members of the international staff of the UNICEF in Colombo who had taken part in a public demonstration. A Foreign Ministry statement said Friday the demand was made at a meeting with UNICEF's Country Representative at which it expressed "serious concern" over the participation of several members of its staff, including the international staff, at a recent public demonstration in Colombo. more..

Sri Lankan spice trade seeks to entice corporate sector

Nov 23 (LBO) Sri Lankan spice producers are urging the government to get big corporate plantations companies to grow more spice crops to meet growing global demand. "There is a need to grow more spices for export to the global markets," the Spices and Allied Products Producers and Traders' Association (SAPPTA) said in a statement. "This can only be achieved by getting the plantation sector involved in producing spices." more..

Tharanga named in Sri Lanka squad

Nov 23 (CI) Upul Tharanga has been rewarded for his 112 in the Board President's XI match against England this week with a place in Sri Lanka's 14-man squad for the first Test at Kandy starting on December 1. Tharanga is favourite to replace Marvan Atapattu who retired from international cricket after the second Test against Australia at Hobart. Tharanga returned home early from the tour in order to gain some match practice and more..

Controversy over UNICEF container

Nov 23 (SAMN) In a controversial move, the Sri Lanka Customs Thursday detained a container load of ‘Meals Ready to Eat’ (MRE) brought down by UNICEF for use in emergency situations. Customs director general, Sarath Jayatilake, confirmed they had detained a container belonging to UNICEF last evening, but said he was unable to divulge more details as the investigations were continuing. more..

Allocate land to farmers: UNP to Govt.

Nov 23 (SAMN) Politicians representing the Hambanatota district demanded in Parliament Thursday that lands within the Lunugamvehera National Park, used by 204 families for Chena cultivation, be allocated to them legally and permanently. The House took up the issue as an adjournment motion by UNP MP for the district, Sajith Premadasa, who urged the Ministry to assign this landmass for farmer families in the Lunugamvehera Divisional Secretariat to carry out their cultivation. more..

Govt. stability ensured: Media Minister

Nov 23 (SAMN) Information and Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said the Government would maintain its stability and strength as it has a clear majority in Parliament and the support of many political parties. “The Government is never excited by these developments and had waited patiently in the past. It had a very clear majority in the Parliament from the beginning and it will remain the same,” he told the Cabinet news briefing. more..

UNP invited to form National Govt.

Nov 23 (SAMN) The UNP democratic group Thursday extended an open invitation to the main UNP to form a national government offering to get opposition leader Ranil Wickmesinhge the premiership. Addressing the media in Colombo, Minister Mahinda Wijesekara said the group members were willing to resign from their 17 ministerial portfolios to make way for UNP members to take up cabinet posts in the proposed new national government. more..

Sri Lanka rebel lawmaker's residence bombed

Nov 23 (LBO) The residence of a rebel Sri Lanka lawmaker had been bombed by unidentified persons Thursday, but the attackers had fled after a security guard fired back, the parliamentarian said. Former Minister Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi told LBO only his wife and children were at his home in the Colombo suburb of Borella, when it was attacked. Sooriyaarachchi was a government minister representing the ruling SLFP until February 2007, more..

Fresh poll imprudent - Malwatte Chief Prelate

Nov 23 (DN) If Parliament is dissolved and a new election held at this juncture, the process of finding a solution to the North-East conflict will have to be started form scratch, Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter said yesterday. He said political stability was essential as the Government was on course to defeat terrorism and find a lasting solution to the North-East conflict. more..

Lankan-born writer shortlisted for Costa prize

Nov 23 (DN) Young women writers dominate this year’s Costa first novel shortlist, three of them drawing on a personal history of immigration. The immigrant experience also bubbles through in the main novel and poetry categories, via Rose Tremain’s book about an eastern European migrant to Britain, and Daljit Nagra’s collection of poems, Look We Have Coming To Dover! more..

Ministers’ fuel allowance up by Rs.100,000 -UNP

Nov 23 (DM) The main opposition UNP said in Parliament yesterday that the monthly fuel allowance for Ministers and Deputy Ministers had been increased before the vote on the second reading of the budget in order to prevent crossovers from the government to the opposition. The Ministers’ monthly fuel allowance was increased from Rs. 200,000/= to Rs. 300,000/= while that of Deputy Ministers was increased to Rs.280,000/=. more..

No funds for ‘Eastern Rising’: JVP slams govt.

Nov 23 (DM) JVP charged in Parliament yesterday that the government had failed to allocate any funds for the large scale projects that come under the ‘Negena Hira Navodaya’ (Eastern Rising) programme while allowing the NGOs to intervene in the development in the region. JVP National List MP, Mohamed Mussammil who participated in the committee stage debate of the budget in the House yesterday said the government had talked high on the development of the East but more..

Sri Lanka seeks expulsion of UNICEF staff: officials

Nov 23 (AFP) The Sri Lankan government on Friday called for the expulsion of staff of the United Nations children's fund, accusing them of overstepping their legitimate functions, the foreign ministry said. UNICEF country chief Phillipe Duamelle was called to the foreign ministry on Thursday, where officials "expressed serious concern" over the agency's participation at a public protest in June, the ministry said in a statement. more..

Sri Lanka omit Dilshan for England Test

Nov 23 (AFP) Tillekeratne Dilshan was once again ignored by Sri Lanka's selectors when they named a 14-man squad on Friday for the first cricket Test against England. Dilshan, a seasoned middle-order batsman, was left out of the recent tour of Australia, but was expected to take the spot left vacant by the retiring former captain Marvan Atapattu. The selectors instead picked left-handed Upul Tharanga and Jehan Mubarak as more..

Sea battle off Sri Lanka's northwest coast kills 17 Tamil rebels, says military

Nov 23 (AP) Sri Lanka's navy fought a sea battle with Tamil rebels off the northwestern coast Friday, killing 17 guerrillas who attempted to ambush a coastal police post, said the military. Elsewhere, a roadside bomb blast blamed on rebels killed one soldier. Insurgents in a fleet of small boats attacked the police post in the coastal village of Pesalai in northern Mannar district, but more..

Serious concerns about security incidents in east

Nov 23 (UNHCR) We are seriously concerned about the deteriorating security situation and various incidents reported from return areas in eastern Sri Lanka. Around 250 displaced people, who returned to their villages of origin in the Trincomalee district a few weeks ago, after fleeing escalating violence in 2006, fled their homes again this week back to welfare centres in Batticaloa district after serious security incidents in their villages. more..

India urged to ensure safety of Lankan MPs

Nov 23 (HT) Members of the Sri Lankan parliament belonging to the opposition TNA on Friday appealed to India and the rest of the international community to see that the Sri Lankan government ensured the safety and freedom of MPs. The appeal followed the abduction of the son-in-law of TNA MP, Kanakasabai, at Batticaloa, and the removal of the security given to two other MPs of the TNA, Ariyanenthiran and Thangeswari, just before the voting on the Sri Lankan annual budget on November 19. more..

Sri Lankan students complete 'Skill Development Programme for Footwear'

Nov 23 (F2F) Sri Lankan students complete 'Skill Development Programme for Footwear Manufacturing Technology' from Footwear Design & Development Institute (FDDI), Noida, India. A batch of 9 students namely Mr. W. Dinesh Karunadasa, Mr. M.M.D. Tharaka Nayana Kumara, Mr. T. Chathura Lankapriya Perera, Mr. Attanayakage Nanayakkara, Miss. A.K. Nayana Krishanthi Kumari, Mr. D.A.D. Thushith Neil Wijeratne, more..

Importance of learning Abhidghamma for contemporary society

Nov 23 (LR) Most of people in Sri Lanka call themselves Buddhists but they are mostly Buddhist by birth certificate who only cares of popular Buddhist rituals and few stories and stanzas from Dammapada. Then they go for contradicting faiths like Jothishya (astrology), pray for gods and Sai Baba to fill up their inner religious vacuum. If you are not intelligent, there are so many parties that are eying to exploit you. more..

AAB Attack : Did two black tigers return to Wanni?

Nov 23 (ISL) On the 22nd of October, the LTTE raided the SLAF airbase at Anuradhapura causing heavy damages to at least 18 aircraft stationed in the base. Earlier, it was assumed that 21 black tigers participated in the attack and all of them were killed. However, latest investigations have revealed that the actual number of tigers that participated in the attack is more than 21. It is now believed that at least two black tigers who took part in the attack managed to escape to Wanni unharmed. more..

Tamil Tiger suspect freed on bail

Nov 23 (BBC) A terror suspect accused of having links with a banned Sri Lankan rebel group has been freed on bail. Arunachalam Chrishanthakum, 50, faces six charges in total under the Terrorism Act 2000. He is accused of arranging and speaking at meetings of the Tamil Tigers, Kingston Crown Court heard. Mr Chrishanthakum, originally of Norbury, south London, pleaded not guilty to all the charges at an earlier hearing at the Old Bailey. more..