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Hope amid tragedy

Sep 2 (TN) Antony, a six year old boy lost his leg, his 4-year old brother Reginathan was killed, his mother and 6-month old brother were injured, and his father Jegan lost his leg during 02 January attack by Kfir fast attack aircrafts of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) at the coastal hamlet of Padakuththu’rai in Iluppaikadavai, Mannar town. Jegan lost four of his siblings. more..

Food crisis in Jaffna worsens

Sep 2 (TN) Contrary to pronouncements by the Government and the government officials claiming that ship loads of food items are being sent to the North, an acute shortage of essential items prevails in the peninsula, civil society sources in Jaffna said. Sugar which had normal retail value of Rs.77.00 per kilo is available only in the black market at three times the price. there Stocks have run dry at the Multi Purpose Co-operative Societies (MPCS). more..

Sri Lanka Announces Pension Scheme for Overseas Workers

Sep 2 (AN) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) entered into an agreement last week with the Social Security Board in the presence of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Keheliya Rambukwella to launch a pension scheme for the benefit of expatriate workers. “The pension scheme will provide a monthly pension from the age of 60 until his or her death when the migrant worker had contributed to the scheme regularly,” more..

'Wahabism emerging as a threat to Sri Lanka’s security'

Sep 2 (AT) In an interview with the Asian Tribune Alavi Moulana, the veteran Sri Lankan Muslim leader and the Governor the Western Province, was highly critical of Wahabism and the emergence of Wahabism in Sri Lanka which he says is opposed to the very sprit of Islam and the Holy Quaran. Alavi Moulana, whose great grandfather is from Yemen and the direct descendent of the Holy Prophet (Let Peace be with him) warned about the dangers of Wahabists and their anti-Islam, anti-religious ideologies. more..

Sri Lanka Army wrested control of Arippu

Sep 2 (AT) An unexpected humiliation awaited on the 01st of September for the LTTE in the North, as the Sri Lanka Army has made inroads into the LTTE controlled area in Mannar. Army has already wrested control of Arippu from the LTTE and has reached Silavaththurai. “In a humanitraian mission” to liberate between 6000-7000 people who are living under the thumb rule of the LTTE, Sri Lanka Army announced that their troops have reached Silavatura, South of Mannar. more..

How national is the “National” Congress?

Sep 2 (AT) The declared political objectives of Thamilselvam, the political head of the Tamil Tigers, and that of Ranil Wickremesinghe, the head of the UNP, dovetail into a neat tight fit that it is too striking to be ignored. Thamilselvam says that the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) should go back to the failed Ceasefire Agreement (CFA). Ranil Wickremesinghe, the co-author of the CFA, says ditto. more..

A vision: ‘Five meters too far’ for our politics?

Sep 2 (AT) August 12th, 2005, a friend woke me up to give the shattering news that Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was taken to hospital fatally wounded by an assassin’s bullet. As I drove to the Accident Ward that night, I could not help the thought that this was a tragedy waiting to happen and the late Minister more than anyone else, was acutely aware of it all the time. more..


Sep 2 (AT) The Third Peace Process was premised on a delusional expectation – the willingness of the Tigers to change from a terrorist-fascist organisation to a democratic, law-biding entity. This Maya was a major factor behind the ceaseless willingness displayed by the Wickremesinghe administration and the Norwegians to indulge the Tigers. Given the unbridgeable chasm between this mirage and the reality, appeasement encouraged rather than discouraged the Tigers to kill, abduct, conscript, extort and torture. more..

India can play a key role in resolving crisis: Rajapaksa

Sep 2 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that while his country would not prefer the direct intervention of “even our best and closest neighbour,” it believed that India could play an important role in helping resolve the crisis on the island. In an interview to Hard Talk magazine published from here, Mr. Rajapaksa also gave his views on the India-Sri Lanka Peace Accord, which he indicated, was unable to fulfil most of the objectives it had set out to accomplish. more..

Humanitarian move: Colombo

Sep 2 (Hindu) Amid allegations by the LTTE that 11 persons were killed on Saturday in a claymore attack by the military on fleeing civilians in the Mannar district in the north, the Defence Ministry has claimed that security forces have launched a “humanitarian operation” in the south of Mannar. The military said it was left with no option but to launch the operation in aid of people fleeing the LTTE held territory. more..

Ukraine Ambassador Udaya Weerathunga involved in Mig deal, says Ranil

Sep 2 (LeN) Resembling to the time of King Vijayabahu in which King's brothers extorted luxuries from public money, the Rajapakse Company led by President Percy Mahinda Rajapakse extort public money, one brother from land and sea, another from the treasury and the other from everything, says United National Party (UNP) and National Congress leader Ranil Wickramasinghe. more..

The residence of Minister of Disaster Relief caught in disaster

Sep 2 (LeN) Two persons were killed due to earth slips and landslides and around 500 families are displaced in Rathnapura and Kaluthara districts in torrential rains. A 27-year-old mother and her five-year-old daughter were killed in a landslide yesterday (31) and the husband of the family was admitted to hospital with injuries in Hallala in Akuressa. Several areas in Rathnapura, Kaluthara and Galle districts are inundated and 300 families in Kaluthara district are displaced since their houses are under water. more..

India thrash Lanka 20-0 in Asia Cup

Sep 2 (IANS) India swamped Sri Lanka on Saturday in a totally one-sided match equalling the event record during the BSNL Asia Cup Hockey Tournament, as the home side scored 20 goals, equally divided in the two halves of play. India's Prabhjot Singh netted five of them including a hat-trick. A similar score line has been achieved only by two teams in the past in this tournament - on both occasions the team that got the rough end of the stick was Thailand more..

Sri Lanka should not ignore Eritrean aid for LTTE terrorism

Sep 2 (APIC) According to the Ministry of Defence of Sri Lanka, “A USSFRC report has revealed that Eritrea was providing direct military assistance to LTTE.” This certainly goes along with the numerous works of the Eritrean government in the horn of Africa, including Eritrean assistance for militants in Sudan, terrorist groups in Somalia, anti-government rebels in Djibouti and secessionist movements & terrorist organizations in the borders of Ethiopia. more..

Jayawardene plays down lack of experience

Sep 2 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, has played down the lack of experience ahead of the Twenty20 World Championship, saying that his team have it in them to win the tournament. "The shorter the game, it becomes more open. There are no clear favourites. A lot of sides have a lot of allrounders trying to play a different brand of cricket. Everyone has a very good opportunity to do well," Jayawardene told the Nation. more..

The Portrait

Sep 2 (ISL) The Portrait reveals in free verse the inner emotions of the poet impressed by experiences we all face on life's journey and how we react, respond and appreciate. A prolific writer on current issues especially on those that concern us so much, Victor Karunairajan, also searches his inner depths of his being, its meaning and his place in humanity from time to time. more..

200 Tamil refugees missing from camp

Sep 2 (CO) As many as 200 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees were found missing when a surprise check was conducted at the Mandapam camp here, police said today. 'Q' branch police sources told reporters that this happened despite strict instructions to inmates to give information if any of their neighbours were found missing. "We are now cross-checking the figures. We are sure minimum 200 refugees are missing," they said. The check was conducted yesterday. more..

UNP plans no confidence motion

Sep 2 (LD) The country’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) is planning to move a no confidence motion against the government in Parliament shortly. Senior UNP sources told The Nation they would give notice of the no confidence motion before the end of next week. The Political Affairs Committee of the UNP, which met on Wednesday, decided they should maintain the current momentum and seek to take on the government on various issues. more..

Make or break vote in parliament

Sep 2 (LD) The first tough test of strength for the fledgling almost two year-old Mahinda Rajapaksa regime will come in Parliament in the coming weeks. The opposition National Congress is to move a vote of no-confidence based on a number of critical issues. They include the skyrocketing cost of living, allegations of corruption, particularly in the procurement of MiG-27 aircraft from Ukraine, and the moves to raise dollar loans from foreign banks. The motion is now being drafted. more..

A crisis of confidence and the govt.’s human rights nightmare

Sep 2 (LD) While the government was facing the prospect of an European Union sponsored human rights resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva this month, the opposition decided to take the Mahinda Rajapakse administration head on through a No- Confidence Motion in Parliament late September with corruption the focus. It is the spectre of human rights violations that has haunted the Rajapakse administration from the time the undeclared war with the LTTE commenced mid 2006 and over a period of time, more..

Witch-hunt to apprehend Karuna cadres

Sep 2 (SAMN) A witch-hunt to apprehend Karuna cadres found in possession of weapons in public places has begun in Batticaloa informed sources said, adding that Karuna’s men, who were previously freely roaming through the town with weapons in tow, were now confined to their barracks following strict warnings by the Special Task Force (STF) that they would be arrested if found with weapons in public places. more..

The Iqbal Athas story

Sep 2 (SAMN) They called themselves campaigners for "real journalists" and last Monday staged a demonstration near the residence of Iqbal Athas, ‘The Sunday Times’ Consultant Editor and Defence Correspondent. But before they could put away the placards drafted by a top official, it became clear they were only masquerading as media personnel and were on a deadly mission - to provoke those in the neighbourhood to angrily retaliate. more..

Nishantha being packed off to US?

Sep 2 (SAMN) Attempts are underway from within some political sections to send Hemantha Nishantha—the businessman who was mixed in the JHU car scandal—to the United States, informed sources said. However, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, flatly denied any plans by his party to send Nishantha out of the country. “Why would we try to send him abroad? It must be the government, since they are the ones who are having a problem with him. They are the ones who sold the permit, and now they are trying to hide this fact and trying to bury their crimes,” he claimed. more..

Fowzie irked by noise ban

Sep 2 (SAMN) The prohibition imposed by the Supreme Court on the use of the public address system was questioned by Petroleum Minister A.H.M. Fowzie at Wednesday’s ministerial meeting. He said that the Muslims are affected by the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. ban on the use of public address systems. When the matter was raised, Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka said that this ban was not implemented by the Central Environment Authority (CEA), as perceived by the majority, but more..

FM breaks travel record

Sep 2 (LB) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama may soon overtake late Foreign Minister A.C.S. Hameed’s travel record, having visited at least nineteen countries in six months - running up a massive bill in the process. Among the countries he has gone to since his appointment as Foreign Minister on 28 January are (in alphabetical order) China, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom. more..

More revealed about that notorious Aston Martin

Sep 2 (LB) When the dust settled on the controversial Ellawala Medhananda Thera’s Benz car fiasco, another car matter came to the fore, and guess what, it’s connected to a VVVIP SLFP politician’s son. Before this issue came up in print, stories percolated over emails about the Aston Martin car but nobody knew who the politician’s son is, who is riding this controversial set of wheels. Rumours spread that the politician-son had got down the car in the name of another businessman using the BOI facilities to avoid taxes. more..

Who is governing this mad country?

Sep 2 (LB) Louise Arbour has commanded a suit of armour for her forthcoming visit to Sri Lanka after being updated by other bleeding, contused foreign guests that Sri Lankans have lately become a tad too warm and hospitable for their liking. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is set to come here in October, though one might wonder what brings her to paradise because NOBODY has human rights issues here. more..

Saving the rupee

Sep 2 (LB) The Cabinet met on Thursday. The first topic on the agenda was the admissions policy for Grade 1 students. Next, the Ministers took up the issue of foreign currency and the rupee’s devaluation against the dollar. The President said the rupee had risen to 113 against the dollar. He also claimed that, although the Central Bank Governor says they will try to maintain the rupee at those levels, two financial institutions wanted it to rise to 115 against the dollar. more..

Lanka’s political scene becomes `Alice’s Wonderland’

Sep 2 (NS) Sri Lanka’s volatile political scenario is getting `curiouser and curiouser’, if one were to borrow a phrase from Alice in Wonderland. And the country has become a Wonderland indeed in terms of the political permutations and combinations that are evolving by the day. This week we were informed that Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe paid a visit to former President Chandrika Kumaratunge. more..

Opposition gathers momentum as Rajapaksa takes on the media

Sep 2 (NS) The contradictions in the local political arena have gradually and steadily crept into the media too. Unlike in the past, the media is overtly divided and is advocating various political lines. The situation has been aggravated with the withdrawal of security given to senior journalist Iqbal Athas. Athas, who counts over 40 years in journalism, is essentially a defence writer who had been threatened by some unruly elements in the Sri Lanka Air Force on an earlier occasion. more..

Cabinet amends Grade 1 admissions guidelines

Sep 2 (NS) The Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday moved five amendments to the guidelines set out by the Supreme Court on the admission for Grade 1 students to schools, Education Ministry sources revealed. The circular and the policy framework with the amendments are to be produced before the SC tomorrow. The Cabinet amendments are as follows: • The suitability and the needs of the child should be tested by a group of teachers, specialized in primary education, nominated by the Provincial Education Director: more..

President to address UN General Assembly in September

Sep 2 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to address the General Assembly of the United Nations sixty-second session on September 24 at the UN Headquarters in New York. President Rajapaksa is expected to arrive in New York on September 22 with an eight member delegation. This is in contrast to his record-breaking 52-member delegation last year, which was the largest delegation to the United Nations sixty-first General Assembly. more..

'No room for corrupt politicians to survive in Govt'

Sep 2 (SO) The Secretary General of the SLFP and Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Services Maithreepala Sirisena challenging the political parties, which claim to bring the escalating cost of living (CoL) down, to announce ways and means to make the consumers happy said that it would never happen under any government. In an interview with the Sunday Observer he said that as a responsible government it was mandated to look into bribery and corruption issues seriously and there would not be any room for corrupt politicians to survive in the government. more..

'HR violations must be handled by local officials'

Sep 2 (SO) The investigations on human rights violations in our country, carried out by foreign human rights officials were rejected outright by Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe at a ceremony, organised by the Police Department at Beruwala on Friday. Minister Samarasinghe speaking to 60 senior police officials in the Kalutara District, expressed displeasure over the services obtained by the Government from foreign human rights officials to investigate internal matters. more..

Jaffna interns want to serve islandwide

Sep 2 (SO) Minister of Health and Nutrition Nimal Siripala told journalists he decided to appoint students of the 2006/07 batch of the Jaffna Medical Faculty to work for one year in the North and the East Provinces, due to the shortage of doctors. The Minister said prior to taking the decision he spoke to Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) and TNA members who did not raise any objections. more..

Bribery and corruption - Main enemy of the nation

Sep 2 (SO) Bribery, corruption, waste and nepotism are rampant all over the world. It is not possible to eradicate this menace totally. But it has to be controlled, checked and minimised for the benefit and the betterment of the society. Bribery is perceived but it is difficult to detect. We must have a more effective method to detect this 'cancer' at early stages. more..

More taxes to raise billions

Sep 2 (ST) A new set of pre-budget taxes for a cash-strapped government will soon be enforced, increasing the cost of mobile phones, vehicles and other items such as washing machines. The new taxes are set to raise billions of rupees for the government, ahead of the budget. “The government is desperate for cash, so these are the various forms of ‘subtle’ taxes that come before the (November) budget,” one tax expert said. more..

President to CWC: Sign MoU or go

Sep 2 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has asked the Ceylon Workers’ Congress to enter into a permanent political alliance with his ruling SLFP. The move, intended to prevent the CWC from switching allegiance during elections, was proposed to the CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman, during a meeting in Nuwara Eliya. The CWC was a constituent partner in the Government, with Mr. Thondaman holding cabinet portfolio and two members holding deputy minister portfolios. more..

Anandasangaree clarifies position - Right of Reply

Sep 2 (ST) TULF President V.Anandasangaree has sent the following letter in response to the page 1 lead story in The Sunday Times of August 26 under the headline “Government sidelines Karuna, promotes new front in East”. “As a patriot I love my country and its people. My only mission today is not to look for good pasture but to strive hard to bring back peace and normalcy to our people. more..

School admissions: Crisis bells still ringing

Sep 2 (ST) The ding-dong battle over Grade One admissions set off crisis bells when the Cabinet on Wednesday rejected a proposal to grant marks for the aptitude of the children to be selected for admission and called for greater consideration for children of security forces personnel. The changes are to be submitted to the Supreme Court again this week before the selection scheme is hopefully finalized after nine weeks of confusion and controversy. more..

Auditions begin for Sri Lankan musical event

Sep 2 (GT) THE final auditions for the first round of ‘Qatar Gee Taru Dahanaya – a talent search for singers amongst the Sri Lankan community – organised by the Sri Lankan Co-ordinating Committee (SLCC) Qatar and Sri Lankan embassy have been held at the embassy premises. The event was chaired by the Second Secretary of the embassy, A G Abeysekera. more..

Pradhan calls on Rajapakse

Sep 2 (RN) Minister for Foreign Affairs Sahana Pradhan paid a courtesy call on President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday in Colombo. During the meeting, matters of bilateral interest including the peace processes of the two countries as well as the development of Lumbini were touched upona and sentiments of utmost understanding were exchanged for peace and progress of both the countries, it is stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. more..

Sri Lanka's military says it captured rebel territory in north

Sep 2 (AP) Sri Lanka's military said it seized a key coastal territory that served as a supply point for Tamil Tiger rebels in the north on Sunday, a day after it announced a major operation to oust separatists from the region. The military began the offensive on Saturday aimed at seizing control of areas south of Mannar, saying rebels were holding some 6,000 civilians who want to escape conscription. more..

Sri Lanka takes Sea Tiger base after intense fighting

Sep 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka said Sunday that troops captured a Tamil Tiger naval base during a weekend advance into rebel-held territory that the guerrillas said killed nine civilians. Troops took the "Sea Tiger" base at Silavattura on Sunday following intense fighting in the Mannar district on Saturday. "The army successfully captured an LTTE Sea Tiger base, including three boats and a large quantity of anti-personnel mines and detonators," the ministry said. more..

Sri Lanka forms dispute resolution system for workers, employers

Sep 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's employers and labour unions have set up a dispute settlement mechanism funded by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with the aim of improving industrial relations. The Association for Dialogue and Conflict Resolution (ADCOR) is tasked with resolving employment related conflicts, making representations to authorities and conducting regular dialogue on issues of mutual interest. more..

Sri Lanka proposes massive concessions for the Investors under the Nagenahira Navodaya

Sep 3 (AT) The Board of Investment and the government of Sri Lanka have agreed to provide lands and other infrastructure for the investors who like to invest in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, but some leading and existing investors in the region said that their projects have been halted due to non availability of lands and other certifications from the government institutions. more..

Sri Lanka Embassy premises in Paris attacked, national flag destroyed

Sep 3 (AT) Sri Lanka embassy premises in Paris is attacked and damaged. The flag pole and the national flag too were destroyed on the early hours of Sunday, according reports. Sri Lanka Embassy statement revealed that miscreants alleged to be involved in the acts of vandalism belonged to the LTTE. This is the first time ever, a Sri Lanka diplomatic mission was attacked in a European country. more..

Unilever suggests two-tier tea market instead of supply controls

Sep 3 (LBO) Tea producing countries should aim to produce better quality, certified tea and not try artificial supply controls to raise prices, an official from the multinational Unilever said. Ian Neathercoat, Senior Resident Manager, Supply Chain Compliance Controller, Unilever Supply Chain Company, Europe, advocates the creation of a two-tier tea market – producers who are certified and those who are not. more..

Sri Lanka visa office of UK, no decision yet to move

Sep 3 (LBO) No decision has yet been made to close the UK visa office in Colombo, though a review is underway, the British High Commission in Colombo said Monday. Press reports had said the visa office may be closed and moved to India. "There is an ongoing review into British visa services in South Asia," the high commission said in a statement. more..

Taxing Sri Lanka's mobile customers; Goose or eggs

Sep 3 (LBO) Taxes are necessary. The consistent theme of the 'Choices' columns has been that choices have to be made; that one cannot have the cake and eat it too. The present administration got elected by promising to fight a war, give government employment to all graduates, give subsidies to all and sundry, etc. It has done the giving and spent even more on money-losing enterprises like Mihin Air. more..