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Highest level of cooperation between Lanka-India

Sep 25 (GDI) Sri Lanka and India are seeing the highest level of cooperation and friendship, Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee assured President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday. Mukherjee is leading the Indian delegation to the UN General Assembly Sessions. This was President Rajpaksa's first in a series of bilateral meetings with world leaders and heads of UN organisations. more..

UN sessions to focus on wide variety of global issues

Sep 25 (GDI) The UN General Assembly's high-level debate, commencing today in New York, will see seasoned campaigners and new faces who will grapple with issues old and new, from Darfur to climate change. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has received the prime afternoon slot for his speech, (3 p.m. New York time) which is expected to outline the Government's commitment to peace and development for all regions, including the newly liberated East. Sri Lanka will also take a strong stand against terrorism. more..

Is Time ripe for politics?

Sep 25 (LG) Col. Karuna, once the second in Command in the LTTE, has changed the history of Sri Lanka by his disassociation from the LTTE. He has not only changed the political landscape of the Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka but also their political perception. Nothing in history remains invariable and evolution applies to all spectrums of human life, behaviour, culture and religion. more..

Centre, State silent on Sri Lankan Tamils’ plight: Krishnasamy

Sep 25 (Hindu) Political leaders in the State, who frequently voice their support for Sri Lankan Tamils, are now silent when they are suffering without any access to basic amenities, Puthiya Tamizhagam (PT) president K. Krishnasamy said here on Monday. Dr. Krishnasamy said the Sri Lankan Tamils were being killed in large numbers and human rights violations were taking place in an unprecedented way. But both the Centre and the State Governments remained mute spectators. more..

'Sailors' locked up by agent

Sep 25 (NST) Four Sri Lankans came here hoping to get jobs as sailors in Germany but ended up being locked up in a house for more than two months. They had paid more than RM50,000 to their agent in Sri Lanka but due to a misunderstanding among the local agents here over the payment, they became the victims. The four, aged between 20 and 25, arrived in Malaysia in February to meet a local agent who was to send them to Germany. more..

Budget to be people friendly – Govt.

Sep 25 (PISL) Budget 2008, the third budget of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, to be presented on November 7, will be people friendly with the accent on continuing the war against terrorism. Priority will be given to rehabilitation in the Eastern Province, of people displaced by the conflict, but development programmes will go on as targeted, Acting Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told The Island yesterday (24). more..

Bandicoot rats of terror

Sep 25 (LNP) Evidence surfacing in the on-going investigations into the recently detected tunnel dug by a group of LTTE cadres at the Kalutara prison points to inside help, according to press reports. We don`t need a high level probe to tell us that the prisoners concerned had inside help for their attempted escape. Given rampant corruption that has turned the prisons into the Augean Stables of Sri Lanka, the moment the news of the tunnel emanated, everybody suspected the involvement of some members of the prison staff in the clandestine project. more..

Tid Grill Kalutara Prison Staff

Sep 25 (LNP) The Police Terrorist Investigations Division has taken over investigations into the escape tunnel made by terrorist suspects from the Kalutara Prison. The convicts had aborted the excavation a few yards from completion point. A number of Prison employees have been grilled and many more, who were posted there at the time, are to be questioned as the police believe that one or some of them could have been involved as the prisoners had filled 25 fertiliser sacks with earth from the tunnel. more..

Symbol, colour will not be changed: UNP

Sep 25 (SAMN) The UNP will contest future elections under its elephant symbol irrespective of alliances made with any other political party or group, UNP General Secretary and Kandy District MP Tissa Attanayake said. Addressing a UNP protest rally at Galagedara on Saturday, Attanayake said the colour green and the elephant symbol had been synonymous with the UNP since its formation in 1946 and they will not be changed at any cost. more..

Alles will not be arrested again: DSG

Sep 25 (SAMN) When the fundamental rights violation petition filed by Tiran Alles, who is also Chairman of CBE group of Companies and former Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services, came up before the Supreme Court Monday (24), the Deputy Solicitor General informed court statements have already been recorded, completed and the question of arresting him therefore does not arise. more..

Machines worth millions lie unused

Sep 25 (SAMN) The Government Printing Workers’ Union (GPWU) is levelling allegations against the Ministry of Mass Media and Information on corruption and misappropriation of public funds running into several millions of rupees allegedly connected with buying machines and office equipment for the Government Printing Department. General Secretary of the GPWU K. Sarath Lal Perera petitioned the Commission to investigate allegations of bribery and or corruption yesterday. more..

Lanka army 'kills' Tamil rebels

Sep 25 (BBC) Sri Lanka's military says it has killed nine Tamil Tiger rebels and wounded 36 others in day-long clashes in the north-western district of Mannar. Troops fired artillery and mortar shells on rebel positions. The military said four soldiers were wounded. The rebels said only one Tamil Tiger was killed. The claims could not be independently verified. Government forces have already taken control of the east of the island and want to do the same in the north. more..

The perverted politics of dynasty, nepotism and hereditary

Sep 25 (KT) NEPOTISM and hereditary politics sound feudalistic. Theoretically, these concepts have no place in a democracy. Yet they are here to stay. Even politicians in vibrant democracies and liberal states in the developed world have not been spared of allegations of nepotism and hereditary politics. President John F Kennedy was accused of nepotism when he appointed his brother Robert Kennedy as the US Attorney General. more..

Govt. funds for Weerawila Airport

Sep 25 (SAMN) The Government has decided to commence construction of the Weerawila international airport using its own funds. Deputy Ports and Aviation Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne said President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed the Ministry to initiate work on the mega development project with the financial assistance of the Airport and Aviation Services Ltd (AASL). more..

Punish those who interfere with judiciary: OPA

Sep 25 (DN) The Organisation of Professional Association (OPA) of Sri Lanka called upon Law Enforcement Authorities to ensure that maximum punishment is meted out to persons who interfere with the Judiciary. In a press release issued yesterday, the OPA expressed its strong condemnation of the conduct of Minister Mervyn Silva. The OPA also requested the President to consider the suitability of Silva to hold a public office. more..

'Mangala, Sripathi, JVP and UPFA'

Sep 25 (DN) This political figure is a son of a war veteran during the Second World War. Albert Sirisena was a brave soldier who was commended by the Father of the Nation, D. S. Senanayake, first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. DS rewarded Albert Sirisena for his bravery with five acres of paddy land in Polonnaruwa close to the Parakrama Samudraya. In no time the masses in Polonnaruwa recognised and respected the services of Sirisena to make him their "Village Headman" from 1952-64. more..

Massive protest by public sector Trade Unions

Sep 25 (DM) Several public sector trade unions are joining forces to protest what they see as the invoking of the judiciary to suppress trade union movement in violation of the country’s Constitution and local and international labour laws, August 4 Trade Union Movement (A4TUM) convener Saman Ratnapriya said yesterday. Addressing a news conference in Colombo, he said the entire trade union movement would stage a demonstration opposite the Fort Railway Station at noon on October 3. more..

Dead may not get last rites unless living are paid their rights

Sep 25 (DM) All workers of the Colombo Municipal Council are on a war path against the authorities for the non payment of overtime for want of funds. Trade Union Federation CMC branch Convenor Jayantha Jayalath told Daily Mirror that the worker unions of the CMC are to meet on October 5 to decide on a course of action to take to register their protest. Earlier a trade union action by over 1000 workers attached to the Public Health Department including cemetery workers was called off as Municipal Commissioner Dr. Jayantha Liyanage agreed to allocate Rs 2.4 million to the department. more..

Everyday Items for the Rich and Richer

Sep 25 (ABC) Can you put your money where your mouth is? How about $14,500 for what a Sri Lankan resort is calling the world's most expensive dessert: a fruit infused confection complete with a chocolate sculpture and a gigantic gemstone. The Fortress resort in the coastal city of Galle hopes to give visitors a "one-of-a-kind" experience with "The Fortress Fisherman Indulgence," which includes an 80 carat aquamarine stone. more..

Sri Lanka blame lack of experience

Sep 25 (PA) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene believes his side's lack of experience in the 20-over format proved costly to their chances at the World Twenty20. Jayawardene's team - runners-up at the World Cup in the Caribbean in April - bowed out at the Super Eights stage in South Africa following defeats to Pakistan and Australia. "We started off extremely well and won the first two games (against Kenya and New Zealand). more..

Sri Lankan hotel claims it has made world's most expensive dessert

Sep 25 (AP) This dessert may be a little too rich for you, but you're probably not rich enough for it. A Sri Lankan resort is charging US$14,500 (€10,269) for what it calls the world's most expensive dessert, a fruit-infused confection complete with a chocolate sculpture and a gigantic gemstone. "The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence" was created to give visitors at The Fortress resort in the coastal city of Galle a one-of-a-kind experience, more..

Tamil Tigers call for international pressure on Sri Lanka

Sep 25 (AFP) Tamil Tiger guerrillas called Tuesday for international pressure to be cranked up to force the Sri Lankan government to halt military operations and return to peace negotiations. The LTTE, commonly referred to as the Tamil Tigers, accused Colombo in a statement of pursuing a military campaign and committing human rights abuses. The timing of the statement was intended to coincide with President Mahinda Rajapakse's address to the United Nations in New York later Tuesday. more..

Sethusamudram: Can Sri Lanka Speak?

Sep 26 (CC) One of the important issues in the Sethusamudram debates is the near total obliteration of the Sri Lankan perspective(s) by the Indian Media. Understanding the Sri Lankan perspective(s) is critical for two reasons. First, it is more than evident that the canal will be in India but its impacts would cross Indian territories with the suspended sediments and dredged toxins affecting the bio-domains surrounding Sri Lanka. more..

A Political Campaign To End All Military Campaigns!

Sep 26 (TC) The government of Sri Lanka is continuing with the war against the Tamils in the northeast relentlessly. The Tamils who live in the northeast of Sri Lanka have suffered from war for the last twenty-five years continuously. In that time over seventy thousand (70,000) people have died and over half a million (500,000) have lost their dwellings and possessions and have become internally displaced (IDPs). more..

Rural youth haunted by stress leading to heart attacks and death

Sep 26 (AT) Poverty unemployment and social inequalities are haunting the rural Sri Lanka to the extent of pushing the youth to frustration leading to stress. Stress is one of the major causes of heat attacks and the resultant deaths said Dr S J Steven, President, Sri Lanka Heart Association (SLHA) at the Press Briefing to announce the awareness programme on promoting heart healthy living to coincide with the world Heart Health Day at Water’s Edge Hotel, Battaramulla. more..

SUROL-Society for Uplift and Rehabilitation of Leprosy Affected Persons

Sep 26 (AT) Rev Fr Glen Fernando, it was that took over a movement helping lepers and turned it into a vibrant movement; his charisma made SUROL what it is-a vision to be realized-a mission to be accomplished, although as a human being he never proffered himself to be a paragon of virtue. His vision was to make those presently affected feel human and be accepted and his mission was to arrest the possibility of others getting affected, due to poverty that more..

LTTE boycotted election in North with Comrade Bahu's help

Sep 26 (LeN) Lanka-e-News learns that the New Left Front (NLF) directly involved in prevent people in North voting at the last Presidential. NLF provided this assistance via appointing people of North as polling agents in polling booths there. The parliament passed a proposal to appoint a select committee to probe the serious allegation that the LTTE was given money to prevent people of North voting at the last Presidential. more..

Lanka urged to help Burmese monks

Sep 26 (BBC) A leading Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka has urged the island's authorities to support protesting Buddhist monks in Myanmar, previously known as Burma. Leader of the Dambulla Chpater of the Siyam Sect told BBC Sandeshaya that it is the duty of the Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka as well as the authorities to help other Buddhists in the world. Tens of thousands of Buddhist monks and other civilians marched through Rangoon in another day of mounting anti-government protests. more..

Political solution soon - President

Sep 26 (BBC) The president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has pledged that his government would come up with a political solution to the national question as soon as possible. President Rajapaksa who is in New York is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. He is expected to talk about the approach of the UN towards different countries on the issue of human rights violations. more..

Sri Lanka tea production not seen reaching last year's level

Sep 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea production for August was higher than the same month last year but the island is still to fully recover from the disruption in harvesting caused by a strike and bad weather, officials said. The total production for August rose 11 percent to 24.2 million kg compared with 21.8 million kg in August 2006, with the increase coming from all three elevations. "But for the year so far we're still well behind last year," said more..

Sri Lankan illegals in Oman given lasts chance

Sep 26 (LBO) The deadline for the repatriation of Sri Lankans working illegally in Oman without being fined ends on September 30, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said Tuesday. It said in a statement that relatives of workers in Oman without valid visas have been asked to inform their family members without delay of the deadline. more..

Sri Lankans to pay higher taxes on cell phone calls

Sep 26 (LBO) Mobile users in Sri Lanka would pay a new 10 percent tax on call charges from today, a senior treasury official said Tuesday. The tax bill authorizing the increase was signed into law by the Speaker of Sri Lanka's parliament, yesterday, he said. The official said the government hopes to raise two billion rupees from the new charge. The tax was earlier set at 2.5 percent. more..

SLFP, UNP responsible for 'Tamil unrest'

Sep 26 (BBC) All major political parties that ruled Sri Lanka are responsible for Tamil youths taking arms, a senior government minister said. Transport minister Dalas Allahapperuma told BBC Sandeshaya that it was the policies of the two major parties that helped the emergence of the LTTE. The minister who is a close confidante of President Mahinda Rajapaksa made the remarks after attending a ceremony in Trincomalee. more..

Sri Lanka tells UN debate that global treaty on terrorism must be agreed soon

Sep 26 (UN) The negotiation process for a comprehensive global convention against terrorism has taken far too long and needs to wind up, Sri Lanka’s President told the United Nations General Assembly today as he called for greater international vigilance against terrorism and related illegal activities. Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the annual high-level general debate at UN Headquarters in New York, said his country knew first-hand of both the impact of terrorism and the need to act aggressively to deal with the scourge. more..

Terrorism anywhere is terrorism, nothing good. Sri Lanka has taken upfront position to deal with terrorism - President

Sep 26 (AT) Military operations were launched in Sri Lanka only to exert pressure on terrorists in order to convince them that it will not be possible for them to obtain a military victory. Government’s goal remains a negotiated and honorable end to this unfortunate conflict. “The All Party Representative Committee is working successfully towards it,” said President Mahinda Rajapakse addressing the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly more..

TNAs pre-emtive move

Sep 26 (ML) The TNA Foreign Relations Committee issued a statement preceding President Rajapakse’s address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, warning countries that Rajapakse will attempt to use the opportunity to portray the conflict between the Tamil nation and the Sri Lankan state as one of combating terrorism. Following are excerpts: more..

President cancels US$ 60 million farmer loan from ADB

Sep 26 (ML) The UNP yesterday charged that the government has informed the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to cut a US $ 60 million loan grant for agriculture development and provide US$ 300 million for infrastructure development in the country. This revelation was made by UNP Colombo district MP, Ravi Karunanayake at a press conference yesterday. more..

Ravi asks HSBC to disclose commission on US$ 500m loan deal

Sep 26 (ML) UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayke has in a letter to CEO, HSBC, David Griffiths called for a full disclosure on the Commissions to be made on the US$ 500 million bond deal in the name of transparency without demanding for ‘radio silence’ to keep the country in the dark. Karunanayake in his letter has noted that the dollar depreciation has impacted as much as 106 billion SLR or US Dollars 938 million for year 2006 and 71 billion SLR or US Dollars 622 million as of to-date and that the proposed borrowing would further impoverish the country. more..

The Devolution Panacea

Sep 26 (ML) An emerging school of thought on the much vexed problem of a solution to the country’s ethnic problem has been that the raging semantics over constitutional concepts should cease and that concentration should be focussed on the crux of the problem: Meeting the aspirations of all communities. Chief Justice Sarath Silva in his address in Anuradhapura at the opening of the Appeal Court for the Central Province said that some of those who were engaged in the war of words such as ‘federalism’ and ‘unitary state’ were not even aware of their true meanings. more..

UNP has only disguise to cling onto power - Wimal Weerawansa

Sep 26 (LT) JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa says that the United National Party is in disguise saying that they have changed their stand on National question with the narrow objective of coming back to power. He said this in his comments to the media on the change of stand announced by the UNP in respect of the National Question. He said that the UNP is slyly looking forward to the votes of the 37 JVP parliamentarians to use them for their strategic shortcuts. more..

Army called to quell the clash between ministers

Sep 26 (LT) Reports from Puttalam say that the army has been called to prevent confrontation between the supporters of deputy minister k.Bais and Minister Rishad Badurdeen who have flocked to puttalam town following the clash of opinion between the two ministers. The clash of opinions was about a housing scheme under construction for the displaced from the North and East, who have found temporary shelters in Puttalam. more..

Sri Lankan waters scene of failed piracy

Sep 26 (LBO) Several fishing vessels chased and tried to board a yacht off southern Sri Lanka in a rare attempted incident of piracy, according to a report from a piracy watchdog. The yatch, whose identity was not revealed, was enroute from the Maldives to Malaysia. The yacht managed to evade the attempted attack, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre based in Kuala Lumpur said. more..

Sri Lanka turns controlled era relic to shipping researcher

Sep 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka is planning to revamp the Central Freight Bureau, a state agency that at the time controlled the shipping business, into a research body, officials said. The new organization hopes to provide research material of commercial value to the shipping community. Ranjith de Silva, additional secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Aviation, said the new organisation would make use of the wealth of data available with the bureau and do commercially oriented research to help businesses. more..

Sri Lanka says human rights criticism is neo colonialism

Sep 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka has rejected criticism of its human rights record by Western countries saying it was being unfairly targeted in a campaign reminiscent of colonial era exploitation and domination. "Human rights must not be regarded as a new version of the White Man’s Burden," Dayan Jayatilleka, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva said during a debate of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva this week. more..

Sri Lanka confirm A-team tour of Zimbabwe

Sep 26 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed that it will send a strong A side to tour Zimbabwe. The itinerary has not been finalised, but the trip is scheduled to take place between October 10 and 31. At least three four-day games will be played against the full Zimbabwean side, which is using the matches as part of groundwork for a Test return. more..

"The GOSL is not by any means isolationist" - Prof. G.L. Peiris

Sep 26 (MoD) Professor G.L. Peiris speaking at a Seminar titled "Internal Conflict, Humanitarian Law and the International Community" held at UN office in Geneva on Monday (September 24) stressed that Sri Lanka's Government was not by any means adopting an isolationist position. On the contrary, he said that it was sensitive to the concerns of the international community and was continuing the dialogue that had always existed between the government and the international community. more..

Karuna flees to Britain?

Sep 26 (SAMN) Former LTTE eastern commander Karuna Amman has fled to Britain, well informed sources said Tuesday, adding that it followed the escalation of the split within the Karuna faction also known as the TMVP. Amman had reportedly fled around four days ago after receiving his visa from Colombo and is now with his family who have been in Britain for more than a year, the source said. His mobile phone is however on roaming for him to be in contact with his close associates in Sri Lanka. more..

Tax on dogs: animal lovers irked

Sep 26 (SAMN) Animal rights activists have voiced their concern over a government decision to increase the tax on dogs. A nominal tax has been levied on dogs since 1956, but according to the new Rabies Elimination Act (REA) prepared by the Health Ministry, animal lovers fear the government plans to increase the tax by a big margin. However Sargarica Rajakarunanayake of Sathva Mithra said the government had agreed to a meeting with animal rights activists, before a final decision is taken with regard to the report prepared three years ago. more..

No more slums in Colombo

Sep 26 (SAMN) Housing and Common Amenities Minister Ferial Ashraff Tuesday declared that some 65,000 houses would be built within the next two years in Colombo, to house the needy currently living in slums. The move, it is noted is a step towards eliminating slums from Colombo, towards making it a ‘hub’ in Asia. “We are planning to remove all slums and hovels and build better houses for the poor who are now housed in these,” more..

Commotion at CMC Commission session

Sep 26 (SAMN) The sessions of the special Commission appointed to look into the charges against the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) turned into commotion Tuesday with a heated argument between the Commission Chairman Retired Judge Chandradasa Nanayakkara and Maithri Gunaratne the lawyer retained by the CMC. The argument flared up when the Chairman asked Gunaratne not to ask irrelevant questions from the witness, CMC Procurement Manager B. Suriyasekera who was being cross examined at that time. more..