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Not the government nor the UNP have the solution for present crisis - Vijitha Herath

Sep 11 (LT) 'Not this government nor the UNP have the solution for the arisen crisis of this country but they do have political and econmic policy that lead the country to destruction.' Vijitha Herath, Political Burueau member of JVP and the parliamentarian said. JVP parliamentarian said this at a seminar in Kandy yesterday(9). more..

“Ranil did not plagiarize public money or assets”- Lal Kantha

Sep 11 (LD) “Despite the numerous criticisms, can we accuse Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe of plagiarizing public money or assets? No. we cannot. There still are uncorrupt persons in the United National Party. We should also appreciate the good qualities of politicians as well as criticizing them,” said JVP parliamentarian K.D. Lal Kantha. more..

Sri Lanka gets 20thAnniversary Ozone Protection Award

Sep 11 (LD) Sri Lanka’s National Ozone Unit has been conferred an “Implementers Award” by the Ozone Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme, which is marking the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. The award will be given in recognition of extraordinary contributions by national ozone units or individuals, whose hard work at the country level has helped to make the Protocol’s phase-out goals a reality, the Ozone Secretariat said. more..

Salaries Commission Chairman rules out pay hike for teachers

Sep 11 (LD) Chairman of the National Salaries Commission Lionel Fernando has ruled out a pay hike for teachers and principals of government schools, as demanded by them, according to reliable sources. He has said that in the event of their salary anomalies being eliminated, there would be island wide protests by other workers in the state sector for salary increases similarly. more..

Sri Lankan Navy destroys 3 floating warehouses of weapons of LTTE

Sep 11 (GDI) Beginning 8 a.m yesterday (10) to 8. a.m today (11) Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) observed, analyzed and gave chase to three naval Vessels of the LTTE carrying arms and artillery, small aircrafts, and a bullet proof vehicle supposed to be for LTTE leader, in the deep South East sea. The three vessels did not move in a convoy but intermittently in the last 24 hours. Sri Lankan Navy had information of transport of arms and weapons over the last one and half years but they were able to identify the vessels for sure yesterday. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines' fleet to double in next 5 years

Sep 11 (GDI) The airline Emirates seeks to double Sri Lankan Airlines' fleet within the next five years. The A321 is being evaluated as a replacement for UL's A320s, says the President of Emirates Tim Clark. The Dubai-based Emirates airline has a 43-percent stake in the Sri Lankan carrier. Emirates being the largest Arab airline will increase the number of flights to Sri Lanka up to 30 which is currently at 14. more..

Sri Lanka to recycle plastic waste

Sep 11 (GDI) The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has stepped in to the process of recycling plastic while taking steps to increase the community awareness of such a mechanism to protect the environment. The CEA will launch a campaign to ensure proper disposal of plastic waste and to put in place the logistics to enable the collection and recycling of post consumer plastic waste. more..

Interpol’s ‘Most Wanted’ LTTE leader arrested in Bangkok

Sep 11 (GDI) One of the most wanted terrorist by the International Police (Interpol) who has been engaged in an international level procurement network on behalf of the LTTE terrorists was arrested in Thailand last night (10). According to the Asian Tribune Kumaran Padmanadan, alias "KP" was arrested by Thai police in Bangkok. Kumaran Padmanadan believed to be the LTTE’s top man for arms purchase and cross border smuggling activities. more..

Sri Lanka rupee ends flat; shares rise on bluechips

Sep 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee ended flat on Tuesday at its all time low as state banks fed company demand for dollars to settle import bills while other banks sold the U.S. unit, dealers said. Shares rose on strong retail trade in select bluechip counters, ending a series of declines for the larger firms. The rupee closed at 113.28/113.32 per dollar, equal to a life low first hit on Thursday and then matched on Monday. more..

The parent trip

Sep 11 (GU) When your kids are small, you inform them where the family holiday is going to be. If they don't like it, they know what they can do — which is, come along and enjoy themselves. Or else. But when they're older — ours are 21 and 18 — and you want them to choose your trip in preference to them spending a riotous week in Spain with their friends, you have to ask them politely where they would like to go. And it's you who must like it or lump it. more..

One stabbed in land dispute

Sep 11 (LNP) A long standing land dispute between two parties resulted in the stabbing of a young man at Kirimetiyana in Lunuwila on Friday (7). Madushka Dinesh (26) was stabbed four times with a knife on his abdomen and spine. He was admitted to the Emergency Treatment Unit of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama. more..

President Rajapaksa has no true mandate to rule - Ranil

Sep 11 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapakse does not have a true mandate to rule the country but one obtained by a Gazette Notification published by the Commissioner of Elections, Dayananda Dissananyake, UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Sunday (9). He was addressing a UNP convention in Kandy. He said the Rajapaksa brothers reached an agreement with the LTTE during the last Presidential election to prevent 600,000 Tamil people from voting and more..

For the serene joy of the pious

Sep 11 (LNP) Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe`s flair for stinging and biting extempore remarks oozing with sarcasm is monumental. On Saturday, when a group of journalists asked him what had transpired at a closed door meeting between him and the Malwatte Maha Nayake Thera in Kandy, he displayed his puckish sense of humour with the quip that he had requested the prelate to ordain all the journalists. more..

CAA Chief guilty of contempt of court

Sep 11 (LNP) Consumer Affairs Authority Chairman Sarath Wijesinghe was yesterday found guilty of contempt of the Supreme Court with the Chief Justice saying it would come as an eye-opener to high officers who disregard court proceedings. High drama prevailed in the court when Mr. Wijesinghe collapsed and fainted while Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva was delivering the order. more..

Consensus sought on noise laws

Sep 11 (SAMN) The Central Environment Authority (CEA) will take steps to introduce legislation to prevent noise pollution. The Supreme Court had accepted the CEA’s proposals in this regard and the draft proposals are now with the Legal Draftsman's Department for final touches. The Director General of the Central Environment Authority, Pasan Gunasena said they would hold a Symposium on September 13 to indicate their position on the proposals. more..

A’port taxi drivers virtually thrown out

Sep 11 (SAMN) Airport taxi drivers complained Monday that the virtual take over of Airport taxi service at the Bandaranaike International Airport by a certain Deputy Minister has now virtually thrown them out of business. Some taxi drivers said the Deputy Minister had handed over the running of Air Port Taxi Service to his son and he is controlling the entire service at the Airport. more..

Mobile libraries for local authorities

Sep 11 (SAMN) The Asia Foundation is launching a new mobile library initiative aimed at helping an estimated 80,000 families and children who do not have access to the existing library services in four local authorities. Many of these communities were devastated by the tsunami and schools and libraries are still in the process of being rebuilt. The mobile library initiative is being launched with support from the AIG Disaster Relief Fund and Give2Asia, more..

Minister accuses Opposition of sabotage

Sep 11 (SAMN) Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva accused main opposition UNP, the JVP and the TNA of sabotaging his ministry’s efforts to solve the shortage of doctors in the North - East. The Minister said the health care and nutrition ministry took steps to post MBBS graduates of the Jaffna University as interns to hospitals in the North - East to ease the severe shortage of doctors there. more..

Sri Lankan newspaper calls for action against homosexuality

Sep 11 (PN) A local Sri Lankan newspaper, Divaina last week published a feature about homosexuality and effeminate men in Sri Lanka and the problems they face as they get older. The article goes on to make claims about the number of homosexuals in Sri Lanka who become involved in commercial sex work to make a living. The Sinhala newspaper is a sister title of the English-language newspaper The Island. more..

Operative's arrest is major blow to LTTE: Indian officials

Sep 11 (IANS) The reported arrest of the man who ran the highly secretive global arms procurement wing of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers for over two decades is a serious blow to the insurgent group, Indian officials say. Tharmalingam Shanmughan alias Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP has also been linked to the explosives that were used to assassinate former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991 in Tamil Nadu, according to these officials. more..

Sri Lankan Churches Still Hoping for End to Conflict

Sep 11 (CT) The international community will be looking at Sri Lanka in September, as the European Union prepares to bring its case against the conflict-torn country before the UN Human Rights Council, a body which counts Sri Lanka amongst its members. The Council’s 6th session takes place one month after the visit of an international ecumenical team that expressed solidarity with local churches and more..

Eastern paddy fields under the plough soon

Sep 11 (DN) Farmers in the East deprived of their lands and agricultural activities will be able to re-start their paddy and other cultivations within the next two weeks. The Government has ordered Security Forces to clear all land and anti-personnel mines laid by fleeing LTTE terrorists and enable farmers to re-start their cultivations within the next few weeks. more..

Tobacco and Alcohol Act to be amended

Sep 11 (DN) Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has appointed a special committee under the Chairmanship of Prof.Carlo Fonseka to amend the Tobacco and Alcohol Control Act to implement the Act more effectively, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said. The sources said the persons who smoke on public roads cannot be arrested under this act because in this Act roads are not included under `public places'. more..

Economy beyond redemption: No budgetary proposals from JVP

Sep 11 (DM) Unlike last year, the JVP yesterday said it would not make any proposals to be incorporated in the budget to be presented to Parliament in November. Party frontliner Vijitha Herath said the party extensively discussed the issue at yesterday’s politburo meeting before making the decision on the grounds that the economy had declined beyond redemption today. more..

Change decision on CMC suspension, JVP tells Govt.

Sep 11 (DM) The JVP yesterday called on the government to change its decision to suspend the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) and appoint a Competent Authority. JVPer Sunil Handunneththi said in a statement that such a suspension would suppress the democratic rights of the people. “A commission has been already appointed to look into the malpractices of the CMC and we cannot approve the suspension of the Council in such circumstances as it is an undemocratic act,” more..

Woman helps dying Sri Lankan dogs

Sep 11 (BBC) A Staffordshire woman is devoting much of her life to saving dying dogs on the streets of Sri Lanka. Sam Noon set up a charity to help the animals after first witnessing their suffering while on holiday in 2003. Ms Noon, of Milton, has named the charity after a dog, Little Bo, she found dying in a drainage ditch and has since nursed back to health at home. She aims to ease the suffering of hundreds of other dogs in the country which are abandoned and left to die. more..

Sri Lankan music contestants reach finals

Sep 11 (GT) Sri Lankans gathered to see the semi-finals of Qatar Gee Taru Dahanaya, a talent search for singers in the Sri Lankan community in Qatar. The singers regaled the audience with popular songs from albums of their favourite artistes. The jury this week had a difficult task in selecting the 10 finalists who will perform at the finale for the crowning of Sri Lankan Idol 2007. more..

Sri Lankan team tours Orvakal

Sep 11 (NIP) A Sri Lankan team, led by two nation building ministers and comprising officers from the Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Development today visited Loddipalli, Uyyalawada and Hussainapuram villages in Orvakal Mandal in the district to study the poverty alleviation programmes and implementation strategy. more..

Book Review: Asylum for the displaced

Sep 11 (Hindu) The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established by the United Nations General Assembly by Resolution 428 (V) in 1950. Its mandate is to provide international protection to refugees and assist governments in finding permanent solutions to the problems of refugees. The traditional practice of the UNHCR is to deal with the outflow of refugees from conflict situations only as and when the victims reach the countries of asylum as refugees. more..

Sri Lanka claims success against rebels at sea

Sep 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka's navy on Tuesday claimed its biggest success against the Tamil Tiger rebels, saying it had virtually wiped out the separatist group's ability to smuggle arms into the country. The navy said it had destroyed three rebel gun-running vessels offshore in separate battles, killing up to 45 guerrillas and eliminating all but one of the Tigers' sea fleet, which had included 10 ships. more..

Colombo awaits confirmation of top LTTE arms procurer's arrest

Sep 11 (HT) The Sri Lankan government is awaiting official confirmation of the arrest of top LTTE arms procurer and smuggler, Kumaran Pathmanathan, better known as KP, in Bangkok on Monday. "We have only seen media reports about his arrest. We are yet to get confirmation," the Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary, Dr Palitha Kohona, told Hindustan Times on Tuesday. more..

Sri Lanka navy claims it has nearly destroyed Tamil Tiger smuggling fleet

Sep 11 (AP) Sri Lanka sank three Tamil rebel ships packed with weapons and carrying light aircraft, the navy said Tuesday, nearly destroying what remained of the separatist smuggling fleet. The rebels could not immediately be reached for comment, and the navy's claims could not be independently verified. But if the military's announcement is true, it would mark a significant loss for the rebels, who more..

Call for Nauru refugees to be settled here

Sep 12 (SMH) THE Federal Government must face up to its human rights responsibilities and resettle in Australia any Sri Lankan asylum seekers it approves for refugee status, a refugee advocate says. Immigration Department officials have promised a group of Sri Lankan men, detained on Nauru, that the first decisions on their cases will come by the end of the week. more..

Shocking disclosures

Sep 12 (FL) MAJOR General Harkirat Singh (Retd.) is an upright gentleman and a fine soldier; altogether a man of integrity. He was Divisional Commander of 54 Infantry Division when, on July 29-30, 1987, he was sent to Sri Lanka as General-Officer-Commanding (GOC) of the Indian Peace-Keeping Force (IPKF). In January 1988, he got orders “posting me out of Sri Lanka”. more..

Human rights in peril

Sep 12 (FL) IT would not be an exaggeration to suggest that no single organisation, within or outside Sri Lanka, has shown the kind of courage that the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), or UTHR(J), has displayed, since its birth in 1988, in documenting the various aspects of the island nation’s nearly three-decade-old war. The miseries that innocent people suffer and the stifling of human rights by state and non-state actors figure prominently in its latest report. more..

Nation’s conscience keeper

Sep 12 (FL) THE University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), or UTHR(J), formed in 1988, is the Jaffna unit of a national organisation. At the time of its birth, Jaffna was a bloody theatre of war with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) on one side and a range of forces, varying from the LTTE to those who enjoyed government patronage, on the other. This placed a unique responsibility on the outfit and put it in an unenviable position. more..

Muffled media

Sep 12 (FL) IT was a gathering of over 250 journalists in a five-star hotel in Colombo on the evening of August 19, on the platform of the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) representing all the eight countries of South Asia. They were animatedly discussing the draft of a resolution on “Media, Peace and Poverty Alleviation”. A delegate from Jaffna was not only baffled but amused at the concern of his colleagues for the order of punctuation marks and the nuances of some of the words used in the resolution. more..

National Literacy Art Festival to inaugurate on 20th

Sep 12 (GDI) The National Literacy Art Festival 2007 will be held from September 20th to 24th at the Horana Sri Pali Vidyalaya premises. The names of the authors of the year’s best volumes will be announced on 13th September and the awarding ceremony will be held on 23rd September with the participation of the Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake and Minister of Cultural Affaires Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana. more..

Protests against tax bills launched

Sep 12 (BBC) The opposition parties in Sri Lanka have vowed to protest if the Speaker validate tax bills recently passed in the parliament. Main opposition and a breakaway faction of the ruling party are organising a protest campaign against the five bills on tax and fiscal amendments passed on Thursday. Speaker in the parliament WJM Lokubandara who declared the bills were legally passed with a majority of 25 is yet to approve them. more..

'Switch off your mobiles for two hours on 17th to protest the tax'

Sep 12 (LeN) United National party (UNP) General Secretary Thissa Aththanayaka said that the government should immediately resign since it had no mandate to remain in power. He said that it should not be allowed to nourish one family from the money extorted from the public. Addressing a press briefing at the official residence of the opposition Leader, Aththanayaka said that the current government is politically illegitimate. more..

Education Minister too, kills time over salaries dispute – Ceylon Teachers' Union

Sep 12 (LD) Yet another meeting convened by the Education Minister to settle the dispute over teachers' salaries before a planned token strike on September 13th by five teacher unions, has failed. President of the Ceylon Teachers' Union Joseph Stalin says they understood at today's discussion that the Minister too, was trying to kill time, instead of ending the disagreement. more..

LTTE man linked to Rajiv's assassination nabbed

Sep 12 (ToI) Sixteen years after former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed, Kumaran Padmanathan, the LTTE leader who allegedly financed his assassination has been arrested by Interpol in Thailand for gun-running. If extradited to India, the 52-year-old Padmanathan, also known as KP and Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingham, could prove to be a prized catch, with CBI sources claiming he would be able to unravel the conspiracy behind the assassination of Gandhi on May 21, 1991. more..

Launch of the Human Rights Watch report "Return to War: Human Rights Under Siege"

Sep 12 (RW) Human Rights Watch has consistently documented abuses by the LTTE, in particular its abominable use of child soldiers and coercive fundraising tactics in Canada and the UK, as well as targeted killings and other serious violations of Sri Lankan and international law. We have called for the UN to impose targeted sanctions against the LTTE due to its "repeat offender" status with regard to child soldiers. more..

Norway says ready to help in Sri Lanka talks

Sep 12 (Reuters) Norway said on Tuesday it stood ready at any time to facilitate talks between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels to help end more than two decades of civil war. "We are ready as soon as they are ready, but there is no way we can impose any peace in Sri Lanka. We are available and ready (to help)," Norwegian Development Aid Minister Erik Solheim told foreign correspondents at a briefing in the Norwegian capital. more..

“Pathmanathan, second-most wanted man in Sri Lanka”

Sep 12 (Hindu) In a recent special report on the LTTE, Jane’s Defence Weekly said Kumaran Pathmanathan, reportedly arrested in Bangkok, was the second-most wanted man in Sri Lanka. He was a highly competent and elusive operative and his department reportedly sourced arms in various countries and operated a fleet of deep-sea vessels, known as the Sea Pigeons. more..

Sri Lanka buffer zone forces fisher folk into other work: survey

Sep 12 (LBO) A controversial buffer zone that banned re-building of homes of Sri Lankan victims near the coast after the December 2004 tsunami has forced fisher folk out of their traditional livelihood, a survey has found. A survey by the International Labour Organization has found that 45 per cent of fisher families who have been resettled five kilometers away from the coast have had to change their livelihoods. more..

Vaas confident about Sri Lankan chances

Sep 12 (PA) Bowler Chaminda Vaas is confident Sri Lanka's experience in limited-overs cricket will make it a tough prospect at the ICC World Twenty20 championship in South Africa. Sri Lanka gets its bid underway on Friday when it takes on Kenya in Group C in Johannesburg before facing New Zealand on Saturday. And while it can be argued there is no clear favourite given each participating country is relatively new to the format, more..

India wants Tamil Tiger

Sep 12 (BP) India has indicated it wants the Thai government to extradite a top Tamil Tiger member believed to have financed the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. One of the top LTTE terrorists, Kumaran Padmanathan alias KP, was reportedly arrested in Bangkok after information provided by the government of Sri Lanka, Interpol and other agencies. more..

Sri Lanka's economic growth probably held at slowest in 2 Years

Sep 12 (BN) Sri Lanka's economic growth probably held at a two-year low in the second quarter, constrained by the highest interest rates in Asia and renewed violence in the island's civil war. The South Asian economy expanded 6.1 percent from a year ago, matching the pace of the first quarter, according to the median forecast of nine analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. more..

Sri Lankan military launches northern offensive against LTTE

Sep 12 (wsws) A new operation launched by the Sri Lankan military on September 1 to seize a strip of land on the northwestern coast of the island marks a further intensification of the civil war against the separatist LTTE. Having seized most of the East in a series of offensives beginning in July 2006, the army is moving against the LTTE’s remaining strongholds in the North. more..