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Women in the north, the forgotten victims of the civil war

Sep 13 (AN) Women living in the Jaffna Peninsula, in northern Sri Lanka, are crying out for help. Forgotten victims of a civil war that is devastating the country’s northern and eastern regions, they want the same opportunities that women enjoy in the south. The Women's desk of the National Fisheries Solidarity (NAFSO) made the demand during the launch in Colombo of Gender, Social values and Women for Wellbeing of the Society, a book that looks at the real life situation of Sri Lankan women. more..

Sri Lanka Stresses Expansion of Ties with Iran

Sep 13 (Fars) Sri Lankan ambassador to Tehran called for the development of economic ties between his country and Iran. The Sri Lankan envoy made the remarks in a meeting with Iranian Parliament Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel here on Wednesday. During the meeting, the Iranian speaker noted the two countries' cordial and stable relations, and predicted a promising prospect for Iran-Sri Lanka relations in future, given the two states' potentials and possibilities. more..

Tamil Left in Sri Lanka revisited

Sep 13 (TN) "The majoritarian nationalists have reframed the national question as a ‘terrorist problem’ and displaced it from the historical and political domain to which it belongs. They have couched their call for a military solution in a discourse of ‘sovereignty and territorial integrity’ of the majoritarian unitary state and linked it to the so called global war on terror at the same time. more..

No bail for Mervin's son; Remanded until September 19

Sep 13 (LeN) Mount Lavinia Magistrate Court today (13) rejected granting bail to Malaka Silva, son of Minister of Labor Dr. Mervin Silva who was accused of assaulting an accountant at a nightclub in Colombo. The suspect was produced before Additional Magistrate of Mount Lavinia Ms. Darshika Wimalasiri today. Considering the motion for bail by the counsels appearing for the suspect, the Magistrate said that the court had no powers to grant him bail in accordance with the preliminary B-report submitted by Police. more..

Sri Lanka Aug tourist arrivals fall 15.5 pct yr/yr

Sep 13 (Reuters) Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka fell 15.5 percent in August from a year earlier, but the pace of the decline is slowing with fewer incidents of militant attacks in the strife-torn island. The government said there has been an improvement in monthly arrivals since a 40 percent drop in May, when the authorities closed the island's only international airport during night for seven weeks after Tamil rebels bombed an adjacent air force base. more..

England's winter Sri Lanka tour could begin early

Sep 13 (AFP) The first of England's two winter tours to Sri Lanka will start earlier than planned if they fail to reach the World Twenty20 semi-finals, a senior Sri Lanka Cricket official said. "They have asked if we have any objections to their coming early. We have said no objections," the official said on Thursday. England were originally scheduled to arrive on September 25 but are now looking at the 22nd. more..

Why many Sri Lankans are held in prisons and in the immigration detention center in Thailand

Sep 13 (AT) Reports reveal that Sri Lanka is to send a diplomatic team to explore why many Sri Lankans are held in custody in many prison facilities, as well as detained in the immigration detention centre in Bangkok, Thailand. Dr. Keheliya Rambukwella, Government Spokesman was recently in Bangkok and he told Asian Tribune that Sri Lanka Government has decided to go into this issue to ascertain the reasons why Sri Lankan are in Thailand and why presently, many Sri Lankans are held in custody in several prisons, more..

Sri Lanka economy slows to 6.2% in 1H2007

Sep 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economy expanded 6.4 percent in the second quarter clocking up a 6.2 percent growth for the first half, coming off record highs in 2006, the government's statistics office said. The growth in gross domestic product (GDP) has slowed compared to an expansion of 7.8 percent in the first half of last year, with the first quarter growing by 7.8 percent and second quarter growing by 7.7 percent. more..

Sri Lanka dollar bond transparency queried

Sep 13 (LBO) An international anti-corruption body has raised questions over a controversial sovereign bond issue by Sri Lanka as well as the role of the country's central bank in it and has called for more transparency in the deal. Transparency International, releasing a discussion paper on the issue, also slammed the main opposition United National Party for targeting one of the lead managers of the bond, HSBC Bank and making public calls to 'surround' the bank. more..

Sub post masters’ appointments made permanent

Sep 13 (GDI) The Government as taken steps to grant permanent appointments to acting sub post master, attached to sub post offices. According to the Minister of Posts and Telecommunication Rauff Hakeem, under the Mahinda Chinthana Programme, Government has made it a point to permanent those temporary or casual basis in the government service. more..

'Govt took swift action to safeguard people from possible tsunami threat'

Sep 13 (GDI) “Government took swift action to safeguard the citizens from possible tsunami threats,” said the Cabinet Spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa today. “All possible security measures were taken for the people who were exposed to a potential tsunami threat.” He stated that as soon as the National Disaster Management Centre issued the tsunami warning last evening the Government took steps to prepare facilitation and provide other requirements for the people who might have faced a life threatening situation if a tsunami occurred. more..

'Govt. will have to spend massive amount of funds to remove teacher salary anomalies'

Sep 13 (GDI) “Govt. will have to spend a massive amount of rupees to remove teacher salary anomalies,” said the Cabinet Spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa today, commenting on the currently launched token strike of teachers in all government schools to protest the government inaction to remove the salary anomalies of the Sri Lanka teaching and principal services. more..

Salary increase for plantation sector

Sep 13 (GDI) The government will take steps to increase the salaries of plantation workers without any disruption to the existing Collective Agreements signed between the Employers and the plantation trade unions. Announcing this Labour Relations and Manpower Minister Athauda Seneviratna said, “the minimum wage of a plantation worker should be placed at Rs. 5000 as against the present wage of Rs. 2000, Rs. 2500 and Rs. 3000.” more..

Govt. claim of tsunami warning system comes into question

Sep 13 (LD) The claim by the Sri Lankan government of an advanced tsunami warning system being in place came into question after a 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the western Indonesian island of Sumatra yesterday (September 12th). Stricken by panic following the tsunami warning issued by the Met Department, people living in coastal areas of the island had fled their homes with whatever belongings they could get hold of. more..

A socialist perspective for striking Sri Lankan teachers

Sep 13 (wsws) Tens of thousands of Sri Lankan public sector teachers will walk out today on a one-day strike for higher pay. Tamil and Muslim teachers have joined their Sinhala counterparts despite the atmosphere of communal hostility whipped up by the government to justify its return to war. The protest strike takes place amid mounting unrest among working people over the spiralling cost of living. more..

KP confusion: Govt. denies Thai denial

Sep 13 (LNP) Despite Interpol itself denying reports of the arrest of LTTE kingpin Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, a Government Minister yesterday claimed he was arrested and his extradition had been sought through the Foreign Ministry. `According to immigration records of the past two years, there is no record of him entering the country,` Thai Interpol Chief Col. Apichart Suribunya, told the Associated Press on Tuesday, adding there had been no arrests of Sri Lankans in the past three to four days. more..

Jeyaraj turns astrologer

Sep 13 (LNP) Chief Government Whip and senior minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle turned to the stars and astrology to defend the government at his weekly press briefing yesterday, saying that the chances of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe becoming the Prime Minister even in 2010 were remote or entirely ruled out according to the stars. At the briefing held at the Information Department he said that Wickremesinghe`s zodiac sign was Pisces and that he would be affected by the malefic influence of Saturn for a long period of time. more..

Two Indian trawlers intercepted

Sep 13 (LNP) The Sri Lanka Navy yesterday intercepted two Indian fishing trawlers in Talaimannar. They took into custody 10 fishermen. On examination of the trawlers the Navy found only fishing gear. The fishermen were handed over to the Police for further investigation. The Navy was on extra alert yesterday following information that Tamil Nadu politician P. Nedummaran was to cross over to Jaffna from Rameswaram more..

Monks oppose Peradeniya town shift

Sep 13 (SAMN) A fundamental rights violation application has been filed in the Supreme Court against the proposed shifting of the Peradeniya town to Eeriyagama. Five chief incumbents including Ven Welagama Dhammawansa Thera, Kiriwathkumbura Seewali Thera and Polonnaruwa Sumanasara Thera in the temples of Eeriyagama area filed this application citing Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development, more..

Project to protect erosion prone areas

Sep 13 (SAMN) A project to protect erosion prone areas in the hill country and divert them towards productive cultivation has been launched by the Sri Lanka Hadabima Authority (SLHA) in line with the Government’s national programme being implemented to promote indigenous food crops. The project implemented on the directive of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena plans to preserve and develop the lands in the hilly slopes which more..

Govt bans potato imports

Sep 13 (SAMN) Sri Lanka government has imposed a total ban on importing potato with immediate effect to benefit the local farmer in the harvesting season. The potato harvests of the local farmers are now reaching the market and the prices of local potato that is considered high in quality has gone down sharply. The government imposed a Rs. 15 per kilo import tax for potato imports earlier but decided to ban imports totally to avoid further drop of prices.

Sinhala Buddhists should visit Pakistan

Sep 13 (SAMN) Sinhala Buddhists should be encouraged to visit Pakistan as they do to Buddhagaya, for the Relics of the Buddha are also preserved in Pakistan, thanks to the Pakistani Government and its Cultural Ministry, Prof. J. B. Dissanayake Ambassador designate to Thailand said. The Professor said that Sri Lanka highly appreciated the efforts of the Pakistan Government to preserve the Relics of the Gauthama Buddha, a treasure valued by Buddhists around the world. more..

Mervyn Silva's outbursts condemned by Govt. ranks

Sep 13 (LD) There is strong condemnation within government ranks of the behaviour of Labour Minister Dr. Mervyn Silva, whose latest verbal outburst came with a threat to use his official pistol against his opponents. The UNP (Democratic) Group, which is an affiliate of the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, came out strongly against Minister Silva in Colombo today, with its member and Minister Dharmadasa Banda calling on the SLFP for disciplinary action against him. more..

‘Choura Regina’ book to be taken to courts?

Sep 13 (LD) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga is to consider taking legal action against ‘Choura Regina’ (Bandit Queen), the controversial book on her political and personal life, written by Victor Ivan, reports say. The book contains information that tarnishes the political career as well as the personal life of the ex-president, it is alleged. more..

SriLankan staff fingerprinted over anti President sticker

Sep 13 (BL) SriLankan Airlines staff at the Baggage Services Division was allegedly fingerprinted by CID sleuths for displaying a sticker which was perceived as derogatory to the President. The Bottom Line learns that the sticker in question was in fact printed in the United States as part of a campaign against President George Bush. more..

Govt. to expedite food transport to Jaffna

Sep 13 (DN) The Government will implement a crash programme to expedite the essential food transport to the Jaffna Peninsula and keep the prices of essential commodities stable, said Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) in a release yesterday. The Government arrived at this decision following a meeting with senior security officers, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the Commissioner General of Essential Services (CGES). more..

Aston Martin disclosure soon - Jeyaraj

Sep 13 (DN) The Government yesterday denied Opposition accusation that a top Government Minister or a relative was involved in the import of the super luxury, Aston Martin DB9 to Sri Lanka. “Rajapaksa Samagama or Puthra Samagama’ is not involved in that at all. We have now found out who brought this car down and we will reveal all the details in due course,” Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle told reporters at the weekly situation briefing yesterday. more..

Desperate people turned away

Sep 13 (DM) Tension and uncertainty prevailed yesterday when people in the costal areas of Ratmalana were turned away from religious places where they went in search of shelter following the tsunami alert. A. Raja said his family and several others were turned away by the priest of a church while they were subjected to the same treatment at a temple. “We went there as we had no place to go after we were asked to evacuate and the priest in the church turned us away, then we went to a temple by the Galle Road and the monk there also chased us,” he said. more..

Navy in recruitment drive

Sep 13 (DM) The Navy is to launch a fresh recruitment drive to enlist some 15,000 youth under a Government initiative, military sources said. A senior Navy official said the 15,000 youth would be recruited over a period of one year. “Under the new drive, the Navy will recruit some 1000 men to the force on a monthly basis,” the official told the Daily Mirror yesterday. more..

Three raised large funds for Tamil Tigers, court told

Sep 13 (AAP) Three men facing terrorist charges raised large funds for Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, a Melbourne court has been told. Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, 33, of Mount Waverley, Sivarajah Yathavan, 36, of Vermont South, and Arumugam Rajeevan, 41, of Old Toongabbie in Sydney's west, appeared today at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court for the start of their committal hearing. more..

Sri Lanka calls for Red Cross escorts for food ships to Jaffna

Sep 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process has urged the international Red Cross to resume escorting vessels taking supplies and passengers to the northern Jaffna peninsula by sea. It said in a statement that it was keen to reduce restrictions on movement between the north and south and to ensure that normal economic activity resumes in the north. more..

Sri Lankan police want pet dogs to fight terrorism

Sep 13 (ET) Sri Lankan police on Thursday appealed to the public to donate their pet dogs to help the fight against terrorism and crime on the war-torn island. "Make your pet a hero... to curb terrorism and make our motherland Sri Lanka a country with a new facelift," the police department said in a public notice. Donated dogs should be between six months and two years old and must have an impressive pedigree. more..

Killer targeted 'innocent' student on his way to lunch

Sep 13 (NP) Dozens of pairs of shoes and slippers were strewn outside a North York apartment yesterday, as adults and children gathered to console the parents of a 16-year-old boy who was stabbed to death outside his high school on Tuesday. Police say Dineshkumar Murugiah was not part of a gang, but something made someone seek him -- and only him -- out in a laneway that leads to Scar-borough's Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute. more..

Police prevent Tamil leader Nedumaran from going on fast

Sep 13 (ToI) Police on Thursday prevented Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran from going on a fast in Chennai citing he had no prior permission for it. Nedumaran, who tried to proceed to Sri Lanka on Wednesday with medicines and essential commodities to "help the suffering Tamils", was stopped and taken into custody at Nagapattinam. more..

Sri Lankan fighter jets bomb Tamil rebel base in north, says military

Sep 13 (AP) Sri Lankan warplanes pounded a Tamil Tiger base in the volatile north Thursday, the military said. The rebels claimed a civilian area was hit in the attack. Airstrikes were launched on the base in rebel-held northern Mullaitivu district Thursday morning, said an officer at the Defense Ministry's media center, on condition of anonymity because of policy. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Sep 14 (GDI) The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the development proposal for funding for M.phil/PhD Training Programme. Science and Technology status of a country is the backbone of its development strategy. This fact is amply demonstrated not only by the high living standards of the people in the developed countries but also the rapid development achieved by the newly industrialized countries. more..

'Sankara' for London Film Festival

Sep 14 (BBC) Award winning Srilankan film Sankara directed by Prasanna Jayakody will be screened at the forthcoming London Film Festival. Prasanna is among the young directers who had come in to international attention in the recent years. Jayakody's maiden effort as director, Sankara won the prestigious Silver Pyramid at the last Cairo Film Festival. Sankara also won the award for the best Asian film at Kerala film festival in India. more..

SLT employee unions demand elimination of salary anomalies

Sep 14 (LD) Employees of Sri Lanka Telecom accuse the management of having misled them, alleging that an assessment conducted in 2006 on salary anomalies has been a sham. The appraisal, conducted by the management consultancy firm Ernst & Young had covered three non-executive employee levels - the minor staff, central technical staff, starting staff and non-executive senior staff. more..

Sri Lanka gets USAF help to mop up rotten teeth in newly captured areas

Sep 14 (LBO) A team of U.S. Air Force medics has helped treat patients in territory recently captured from Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka's east, the United States embassy in Colombo Thursday. "A nine-person team of USAF medics recently completed a medical/dental humanitarian assistance mission that benefited civilians living in the recently-liberated eastern region of Sri Lanka," it said in a statement. more..

Lanka warns EU against action on human rights

Sep 14 (HT) Sri Lanka has warned the European Union (EU) that any action against it at the Human Rights Council will adversely affect its commitment to a "constructive engagement" with the UN human rights mechanisms. "Such action will go against the letter and spirit in which Sri Lanka has been cooperating with UN human rights mechanisms. This is also a counter productive measure as it would negatively impact on the government of Sri Lanka's position aimed at more..

Sri Lankan man 'groped female bus passengers'

Sep 14 (BT) A Sri Lankan man who groped the breasts of three Brisbane bus passengers because he had an infatuation with Australian women has narrowly avoided deportation. Mohammed Ilham Fareed, 30 of Coorparoo, was today sentenced to 10 months' jail for sexually assaulting the women on three separate trips aboard Brisbane City Council's 250 outbound service to Corinda, in the city's east. more..

SriLankan Airlines invites golfers to tee off at Victoria

Sep 14 (AB) The flags are up and the greens have been spruced up in Kandy's picturesque Victoria Golf and Country Resort to tee off at the12th annual SriLankan Airlines' Golf Classic on 10th October, 2007. "The SriLankan Golf Classic is one of our most popular events, drawing golfers from around the world. The tournament has grown to be very popular, with a large number of players coming back each year," more..

Returned refugees celebrate belated feast at makeshift church

Sep 14 (UCAN) Tamil villagers who fled fighting in eastern Sri Lanka returned home recently from refugee camps and celebrated their parish festival on a grand scale, though at a makeshift church. St. Peter’s Parish in Vakarai traditionally celebrates its patronal feast on the second Sunday in August. This year the celebration in the coastal village, 220 kilometers northeast of Colombo, was held a week late, on Aug. 19. more..

Sri Lanka start overwhelming favourites

Sep 14 (CI) Kenya's hopes of repeating their heroics of the World Cup 2003 were swiftly swept aside in the first eleven balls of their match against New Zealand. With that record-loss, Kenya have only one victory in their last six Twenty20s including defeat at the hands of Uganda. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, could be classified as the masters of power-hitting, evident from their World Cup 1996 triumph. more..

Assertion of unitary is not a key element of Mahinda Chinthanaya

Sep 14 (FI) The discussions at the All-Party Representative Committee (APRC) have taken a significant turn in the last two three weeks and its indefatigable chairman, Minister Tissa Vitharana, appears to have given in to the pressure of the Sinhala nationalist elements. All the signals show that the APRC final report would suggest that the unitary character of the Sri Lankan state be preserved. more..

LTTE’s financial nerve centre hit: Colombo

Sep 14 (Hindu) The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) on Thursday claimed to have pounded the LTTE “financial nerve centre” located at Puthukuduiruppu in the Mullaithivu area in the north. A statement by the Defence Ministry said the target of SLAF fighter jets was a vital strategic location of the LTTE. It claimed that the centre was accurately hit by the Kfir and MiG 27 fighter jets around 8.20. a.m. more..

Sri Lanka returns to the French Market!

Sep 14 (AT) A 12-day evaluation conducted by Sécurité Sans Frontières revealed that the terrorist risk is not that greater in Sri Lanka than other countries visited by the French. This positive conclusion is welcome change to the position adopted by the travel advisory of the French Foreign Ministry which contributed to a great extent the increasing negative perception of the destination due to the security problems related to the North and East of the country. more..

Schools shut over fears of a tsunami

Sep 14 (AFP) Sri Lanka shut schools yesterday along its coastline and asked residents to stay alert after powerful earthquakes near Indonesia raised fears of an Indian Ocean tsunami. President Mahinda Rajapakse ordered the school closure as a precautionary measure although no tsunami alerts were in force, his spokesman Chandrapala Liyanage said. more..

Teacher union leaders called to courts to show cause

Sep 14 (LeN) The Supreme Court has summoned the leaders of five teachers' trade unions tomorrow to show cause for conducting a token strike in opposition to a court ruling not to disrupt the evaluation of the G.C.E. (Advanced Level) examination and for informing about the strike in writing to the Minister of Education. The Chief Justive Sarath N. Silva made this order today (12). more..

All Schools closed for the first time in the history due to teachers' strike

Sep 14 (LeN) Almost all the schools were closed today due to a token strike of the teachers, for the first time in the history. None of the teachers reported duty today in leading national schools such as Ananda, Nalanda, Royal, Vishska colleges. Five teachers' unions launched the token strike since the discussions with the cabinet subcommittee, the Ministry of Education and especially with the Salaries and Cadre Commission were failed by yesterday. more..