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Minister blames mafia in Education Ministry

Sep 28 (BL) The Education Ministry is grappling with a fresh crisis, after it found out that the 850 computers it had ordered costing some Rs. 80 million , were of ‘very low grade’. “Following the discovery, I have instructed my Ministry to return the computers to the company from which they had been purchased through tender procedure”, Education Minister, Susil Premajayantha told The Bottom Line. more..

Fresh efforts to resume peace talks

Sep 28 (SAMN) Norway has started fresh initiatives to resume peace talks between the government and the LTTE while discussing the efforts at a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa in New York on Wednesday. Norwegian Minister Erik Solheim and special peace envoy Jon Hanssen Bauer discussed the peace moves with President Rajapaksa and a Sri Lankan delegation on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, a Norwegian spokesman said, adding that further details were not immediately available. more..

Bill against propagation of war

Sep 28 (SAMN) A Bill against the propagation of war and racial, religious hatred came up before the Supreme Court (SC) Thursday as an urgent matter in terms of national interest. President Mahinda Rajapaksa referred the Bill titled “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Bill” to the SC for its special determination as to whether the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution. more..

Top doctors walk out of stormy meeting

Sep 28 (SAMN) Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) Chairman Dr. H.H.R. Samarasinghe and its Registrar Dr. N.G. Nonis walked out of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting of the Health Ministry yesterday after ‘heated cross talks’ with Construction and Engineering Services Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. The meeting turned stormy after Dr. Senaratne raised objection to the representatives of the Medical Council undertaking ‘site visits’ to study criteria followed in other countries for the recognition of medical degrees. more..

Tyrone new SL ambassador to France

Sep 28 (SAMN) Former Foreign Minister Tyrone Fernando is soon to be named as Sri Lanka’s new ambassador to France following the recall of three ambassadors from European countries by the Foreign Ministry. The ambassadors recalled are the ambassadors to France, Germany and Belgium. The ambassador to France was a senior foreign service officer, Chitrangani Vageeshwara, who made many attempts to cut down LTTE activities in that country. more..


Sep 28 (Hindu) Yet another Sri Lankan national who was trying to illegally fly out of India was apprehended at the Bangalore airport in the early hours of Wednesday. The Immigration officials at the Bangalore airport arrested Thushyanthan (23), who was possessing fake passport and visa, when he was about to board a Lufthansa Airline flight to the U.K., sources in the police told The Hindu. more..

Global support for Lanka's peace quest

Sep 28 (DN) World leaders and key officials who met President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the General Assembly in New York have expressed their fullest support to his Government's quest for peace and development. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagma told the press at the UN Headquarters that President Rajapaksa's visit to the UN deliberations was extremely successful in terms of explaining Lanka's position to the international community on a wide range of issues and receiving their pledges for continued support. more..

News ban on defence procurement a canard, says Minister

Sep 28 (DN) The Government yesterday categorically denied claims that it was preparing to promulgate regulations to ban media reports on defence procurements. Addressing the weekly situation briefing, acting Information and Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said there was no move to impose a prohibition or restriction on media regarding defence transactions as stated by the Free Media Movement (FMM). more..

CMC in crisis over non-payment of dues

Sep 28 (DM) The Colombo Municipal Council is planning to file action against all government departments which have defaulted payment of rates for several months. Municipal Commissioner Jayantha Liyanage said all government departments had been sent several reminders to settle their outstanding rates amounting to Rs. 2.5 billion. “We will not be able to carry out any work in the future if we do not receive these sums,” he said. more..

UNP is aimed at luring parties supporting government: Minister

Sep 28 (DM) Acting Information and Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana yesterday charged that the policy shift of the UNP on the ethnic problem is aimed at luring in to its fold the parties that support the Mahinda Rajapaksa government. Addressing the combined cabinet and government press briefing at the information department auditorium he said neither the government nor the democratic group of the UNP changed stance on the ethnic issue. more..

SCOPP welcomes Radika's statement

Sep 28 (PISL) The Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process yesterday welcomed Radhika Coomaraswamy's statement to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.A statement released by SCOPP said: "The Peace Secretariat emphatically welcomes the statement of Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, made to the Human Rights council in Geneva on 21st September 2007. more..

LTTE Faces Fatal Factionalism

Sep 28 (ST) The military has been more active, with daily air raids, and increased army advances into LTTE territory. As a result, there are now nearly a hundred casualties a day. In some cases, the army is attacking to destroy LTTE bunkers that are being used as staging areas for attempts to sneak terrorists into government territory. The LTTE is making a major effort to carry out terror attacks in government territory, but has not been very successful. more..

Sri Lankan military says it sank 3 Tamil Tiger boats in lengthy sea battle

Sep 28 (AP) Naval attack craft waged a three-hour sea battle Friday with 20 Tamil Tiger boats off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, sinking three of the rebels' vessels and killing one of their top naval commanders, the military said. Meanwhile, army troops killed seven rebels in other fighting in the north, where the two sides have waged a series of fierce battles that killed more than 70 rebels in recent days, the military said. more..

Children’s Day commemorations on grand scale

Sep 29 (GDI) The Ministry of Labour has initiated a programme to commemorate the Universal Children’s day on 01st October 2007 on grand scale. The event will be organized by the Women and Children’s Affaires Division of the Ministry. Accordingly the Ministry will hold a medical clinic for the sake of two hundred tsunami affected students in Moratuwa area. more..

UN seeks more aid for Sri Lankan refugees

Sep 29 (AFP) The UN food agency Friday launched an urgent appeal for more money to feed thousands of people displaced by fighting between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil rebels. The World Food Programme (WFP) said it was short of eight million dollars to provide relief to thousands displaced by the conflict. "I am concerned about our resourcing situations as we will be running out of food in November," more..

Sri Lankan church worker killed in attack while delivering aid

Sep 29 (CI) Fr Nicholas Pillai Pakiaranjith, a 40-year-old priest, has been killed in a claymore attack in Kilinochi, north east Sri Lanka, while delivering essential aid to people made homeless by the conflict. The Caritas Confederation strongly condemns the brutal attack and calls on all sides in the conflict to safeguard the security of aid workers. Fr Packiaranjith was killed in a claymore blast in the Mallavi area on 26 September when more..

City of Los Angeles to accord a reception to Sri Lanka President

Sep 29 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse will be accorded a civic welcome of the City of Los Angeles on Frday the 28th by its Mayor Antonio Villargoisa at the City Hall and the mayor will hold crucial discussions about developing cultural and economic relations between the city and Sri Lanka. The President is also scheduled to meet with the Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles, the governing body of the County of Los Angeles for similar talks. more..

Sri Lanka's rupee flat; shares slip in thin trade

Sep 29 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee ended almost flat on Friday after a state bank bought and sold dollars heavily to maintain market stability, dealers said, while shares slipped in thin trade, led by declines in select blue chips. The rupee closed at 113.39/113.49 per dollar, slightly firmer from Thursday's close of 113.42/113.50, and staying above an all-time closing low of 113.57/113.62 hit on Sept. 18. more..

Iran to set up petroleum refinery in Sri Lanka

Sep 29 (LM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa met President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran on the sidelines of the UNGA sessions in New York last Tuesday (25). The two leaders discussed the international situation and issues of common interest to both countries. The Iranian President told President Rajapaksa that Iran intends to establish an oil refinery in Sri Lanka in order to give some relief to the people affected by high price of oil in the world market. more..

MTD in final talks for construction of Sri Lankan toll road

Sep 29 (TS) MTD Capital Bhd (MTD Cap) is in final talks with the Sri Lankan Government on the Colombo-Kandy toll road project, says group managing director Datuk Azmil Khalid. "The Government wants to expedite the concession agreement so we can start land acquisition and construction. Colombo-Kandy is the vital artery in the Sri Lankan network because they are the first and second city," he said after the company AGM on Friday. more..

Evidence duplicated in Tamil case: court

Sep 29 (AAP) Witnesses to be called in the committal hearing of three men facing terrorism charges cut and pasted slabs from another witness' statement, a Melbourne court has heard. Melbourne pair Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, 33, and Sivarajah Yathavan, 36, along with Arumugan Rajeevan, 41, of Old Toongabbie in Sydney's west, have been charged with being members of a terrorist organisation, making funds available to a terrorist organisation and making an asset available to a proscribed entity. more..

India's ONGC turns down Sri Lanka oil block offer

Sep 29 (Reuters) India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Crop has turned down an offer from Sri Lanka to operate a block in the Mannar basin due to the size of a bonus request and poor prospects, its chairman said on Friday. Sri Lanka earlier this year offered Block 1 on a nomination basis to the Indian firm. "We did not find the prospectivity. Moreover, they were asking for a fantastic signature bonus for that. So we are not interested," more..

Sri Lanka Television Suspends Journalists for Distributing Leaflet

Sep 29 (IFJ) State-controlled Sri Lankan television station Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) has sent four of its journalists on compulsory leave after they submitted a letter stating that their professional rights had been disrespected and damaged. According to IFJ affiliate the Free Media Movement (FMM), SLRC Producers' Union Chairman Kanchana Marasinghe, Organizer Herbert Kumara Alagiyawanna, Athula Peiris and Ravi Abewickrama also distributed leaflets to other staff related to the letter. more..

Army recruitment improved in Sri Lanka

Sep 29 (Xinhua) A series of military victories by the government troops against Tamil Tiger rebels have led to improved recruitment for the security forces, the military officials of Sri Lanka said here Friday. Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, the military spokesman said some 24,000 new recruits have been enlisted in 2007 up to September. "The response has been good due to military defeating the LTTE, " Nanayakkara said, "It is very pleasing to note." more..

Despite Buddhist links Lanka is silent on monks' stir in Myanmar

Sep 29 (HT) The Sri Lankan government, the Buddhist clergy and the media, are all observing a resounding silence on the cataclysmic monks stir in Myanmar, the nearest Buddhist country, which also follows the Theravada school of Buddhism. Most of those who conduct foreign relations are currently in New York attending the UN General Assembly session. Therefore, they may be too busy to react to the developments in Myanmar. But the silence of the Buddhist clergy and the local media cannot be explained so easily. more..

Church 'supports' monks protest

Sep 29 (BBC) Christian clergy in Sri Lanka have expressed serious concern over the violence in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. In an open letter to the Ambassador for Myanmar in Sri Lanka, The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, the Anglican Bishop in Colombo, has expressed solidarity with the protesting Buddhist monks in Myanmar. "As a fellow religious leader, I wish to express my solidarity with the commendable leadership provided by the Buddhist monks of Myanmar to this mass agitation," the letter said. more..

Twenty-eight new buses for the East - Basil Rajapakse

Sep 29 (AT) With the view to improve the passenger transport system in the war ravaged East, which has been recently liberated, Ministry of Nation Building has put in the services of 28 new buses and introduced numerous new bus routes. Basil Rajapakse MP, who is also the Senior Advisor to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse, said that these new buses were ceremoniously handed over to the CTB bus depots at Kalmunai, Batticalaoa, Valaichenai and Trinciomalee. more..

U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery opens on October 3, 2007

Sep 29 (TW) 50,000 individuals from around the worldwide will win Green Card. The 2009 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery will be formally declared open in Washington, DC on October 3, 2007, the US Embassy in Sri Lanka announced on Sep 28th. This program allows randomly selected applicants to migrate to the United States on an expedited basis, provided they meet all the criteria. more..

Re-examining the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka

Sep 29 (TW) Addressing the 62nd UN General Assembly in New York, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that his government was committed to seeking a ‘negotiated and honourable’ end to the conflict and that the All-Party Representative Committee was working successfully towards that goal. It was re-assuring to read such comments given that doubts had risen about the President’s sincerity to resolve the issue after the recent military successes. more..

Human Rights and Political Agendas in Geneva

Sep 29 (LG) The 6th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council concluded in Geneva on September 28th without any resolution on Sri Lanka. This seems to have come as a surprise to a few human rights activists, since for the last month or so some newspapers and websites have been full of the dire criticism that awaited Sri Lanka in Geneva. The explanation now is that Sri Lanka was saved by ‘like minded banana republics and potty regimes’ to quote perhaps the least subtle of the critics of the government. more..

S.L. High Commission in UK, Has own house, but wastes large sums on rented premises

Sep 29 (LG) It is alleged that this Govt. even in this bankrupt state is taking no steps to halt the criminal waste of funds of the toiling tax payers. Negligence and lethargy of the Govt. to renovate the only residence belonging to the Sri Lanka High Commission (HC) in U.K. has cost unnecessary wastage of large sums of taxpayers money on rented premises. more..

Mangala appears before SLFP disciplinary panel

Sep 29 (LD) Former Treasurer of the SLFP and Convener of the SLFP (Mahajana) Wing Mangala Samaraweera appeared before a SLFP Disciplinary Committee today. At the outset, Samaraweera objected to the SLFP General Secretary being represented by a lawyer at the hearing. Despite the claim that this Disciplinary Committee has been appointed in accordance with the SLFP Constitution, lawyers appearing on behalf of the SLFP (M) Wing Convener said the party General Secretary nor a representative of his can attend the inquiry. more..

CEPA talks with Sri Lanka hit roadblock

Sep 29 (BS) Ongoing negotiations for concluding a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Sri Lanka have hit a hurdle over issues related to services as well as pruning of a ‘negative list’ of products that will see no tariff cuts. In 1998, the two countries had signed a Free Trade Agreement for merchandise goods. This agreement is now being upgraded to a CEPA covering services and investment also. more..

Post-yoga volunteering in Sri Lanka

Sep 29 (Times) As one of 22 strangers on a week’s yoga holiday, I dreaded my turn when our teacher, Simon Low, asked us to “share with the group” why we had come to the Turkish mountains. I had no idea what to say, but when the moment came a few choked words tumbled out involuntarily: “I sense change in my life, but I have no idea what. I’m looking for some clarity.” Four days later, I was contorted in a pigeon pose, a challenging position for any yoga novice. more..

Sri Lankans among illegal immigrants held at Turkish border

Sep 29 (AFP) Greek border guards arrested 69 illegal immigrants and seven suspected people smugglers who were trying to enter the country from Turkey, police said on Saturday. The immigrants, all men aged between 25 and 45, were from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iraq and Sri Lanka. The group had on Friday crossed the Evros river, which marks the border between Turkey and northeast Greece and is a common crossing point for illegal immigrants trying to reach western Europe. more..

Sri Lanka breaks 'radio silence' over sovereign bond

Sep 29 (LBO) The controversy over a sovereign bond took a new turn with Sri Lanka's finance ministry saying the country's president could approve any foreign borrowing, in a statement sent to selected local media. Breaking the 'radio silence' held over the issue so far, including the US bank JPMorgan, the finance ministry said the bond would not be publicly sold in the United States, but the government intended to go ahead with the issuance. more..

Pulmodai Sea Confrontation and Soosei’s rebirth

Sep 29 (LG) The Sri Lanka Navy last night foiled a Sea Tiger attempt to rescue around 150 hard-core cadres trapped in the Peraru Jungles in Trincomalee through a daring beach-landing in the general area of Pulmodai. Around 20 Sea Tiger boats that took part in the mission were all driven out by Naval Troops using Dvora FAC’s and Ground Fire. One Sea Tiger ‘Lt. Col’ and around seven other cadres were killed when two Sea Tiger boats sank in a ball of fire. more..

Puthukkudiyiruppu Sea Tiger training facility destroyed

Sep 29 (GDI) Today early morning Sri Lanka air force fighter jets have destroyed the Puthukkudiyiruppu Sea Tiger training facility. Located at Thevipuram, Northwest of Puthukkudiyiruppu this faculty has been one of Sea Tiger’s key training faculties which have been used to train LTTE cadres on seaborne and amphibian operations. A combined air raid of MIG 27 and Kafir fighter jets launched at 8.10.a.m accurately hit the terrorists' training camp which is known as L2 (Leema two), more..

World Maritime Day! 27th Sept

Sep 29 (GDI) For the past several years World maritime day has been usually celebrated on 29th September by the World community. This year it fell on Thursday 27th September. The International maritime Organization (IMO) which is a UN agency has since its inception made far reaching contributions in all aspects of the maritime industry. It is responsible for regulating international shipping. more..

President Rajapakse appeals to civic groups in US to join his efforts to reconstruct east

Sep 29 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles in English appealed to civic groups in California and other places in the United States and businessmen to join in his efforts to reconstruct the Eastern Province and invest money in business ventures to upgrade the lives of the Eastern province people who have suffered immensely by the rule of terrorists for two decades. more..

No invitation to Rajapkses at Kumarathunga's wedding function

Sep 29 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapakse is not among the distinguished invitees for the ceremony held on coming Sunday (30) at Mount Lavonia Hotel to celebrate the wedding of Former President Chandrika Kumarathunga's daughter Yasodhara with British national Roger Walker. Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka, senior SLFP Ministers, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, Rukman Senanayaka, Malik Samarawickrama and political party leaders are among the invited guests. more..

Govt. invites Mangala to a Nation regime

Sep 29 (LD) A Senior government Adviser has reportedly invited former Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera to join in the formation of a National Government to attain similar goals. The invitation was unofficially given through an elite government senior, who is also a close associate of Mangala Samaraweera. Reliable sources say that the SLFP (M) convener responded saying that he would consider the offer if more..

Ranil-Mangala meets media on Oct. 3rd

Sep 29 (LD) The ‘Jathika Sabha’ has organized a special media briefing on the 03rd of October. This follows the wave of confusion in the political arena after news flashes reported that the United National Party has abandoned its federal stance in order to find a solution for the ethnic crisis. The event is to shed light on the political stance of the UNP, the SLFP (Mahajana) Wing and the ‘Jathika Sabha’. more..

“Discussed on forming a new Constitution model with JVP and TNA” -Ranil

Sep 29 (LD) Addressing the ‘Janarala’ in Moneragala yesterday, the Leader of the ‘Jathika Sabha’, Ranil Wickremesinghe said that discussions on ending the North- East war and on forming a new Constitution model was discussed with the JVP and the TNA. He emphasized that forming a regime of his own after toppling the government was not discussed the least. “We publicly call for a general election,” said Mr. Wickremesinghe. more..

Freed Maid Gives Power of Attorney to Lankan Mission

Sep 29 (AN) A Sri Lankan Embassy official told Arab News that Anista Marie, the Sri Lankan maid, who says her Saudi sponsor falsely imprisoned her for eight years without pay for her services, has given the mission power of attorney to press charges against her sponsor. Marie has said she would like to get home to her family as soon as possible and indicated that the desire to leave was stronger than her will to stay in the Kingdom to follow through on pressing criminal charges against her sponsor, a Saudi woman whose name has not been provided. more..

Sri Lanka: cricket, Buddhas and beyond

Sep 29 (TMG) Sri Lankans never seem to stop smiling, but when the England cricket team last toured their country, in late 2003, they had genuinely good reason to be cheerful. It wasn't just that they won - 1-0 in a three-Test series. Sri Lanka was at peace. The ceasefire agreed between the government and the LTTE in 2002 was holding and tourism was set to take off. Small, stylish hotels were opening by the month, foreigners were buying houses and Amanresorts had more..

surrender: Who and why?

Sep 29 (SAMN) The new military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara Friday said some 42 “LTTE cadres” surrendered to the Jaffna Human Rights Commission during the past few weeks. However, an official at the Human Rights Commission office in Colombo said that those who surrendered to the Jaffna office were youth who feared abduction or recruitment by the LTTE. “Most of those who surrender or are handed over by their parents are those who fear the LTTE. We hand them over to the police who in turn produce them before the magistrate,” the official said. more..

UNP should announce its stance: JHU

Sep 29 (SAMN) The Jathika Hela Urumaya says that the reports on the UNP deviating from federalism cannot be considered as its official stance since the policy change has not been announced by UNP leadership or its accepted policy makers. JHU in a statement calls on the UNP leadership to declare its policy change in an official manner with reasons as to what prompted the party to abandon federalism. more..

Seeking for a Solution: 13th Amendment + or 2000 +

Sep 29 (GV) The United National Party has changed its policy on ethno-political question and stated that it would withdraw from a federal type solution to a unitary solution that would be based on the 13th Amendment to the Second Republic Constitution. Clarifying this change, its spokesperson, Ravi Karunanayake, even used words decentralization and devolution as synonym. At a meeting in Monaragala, Ranil Wickramasinghe talked about adopting a policy framework that is doable. more..

Chief Monk assaulted

Sep 29 (SAMN) The chief incumbent of Dambulla Nayakumbura Purana Viharaya, Ven. Matale Pannananda Thera was admitted to the Dambulla hospital in a serious condition after he was assaulted by four persons who had forced themselves into the temple on Thursday night. The suspects had damaged the temple property as well. The people in the area who thronged the hospital premises Friday afternoon lamented over the fate of the priest. more..