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Sri Lanka floats the rupee; two way quotes return

Sep 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank has successfully floated the rupee after printing billions of rupees on an ill-fated intervention and sterilization adventure that nearly brought the national currency to its knees, analysts said. On August 23, the central bank stopped threatening dealers who were earlier labeled as being anti-national and heavy intervention was eased, allowing the rate to adjust. more..

Brig. Samarasinghe as Defence Attaché in London?

Sep 3 (LD) Military spokesman, Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe is to be appointed as Defence Attaché at the Sri Lankan High Commission in Britain, defence sources say. His place as spokesman is expected to be taken by Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, who is currently attached the Army Headquarters. Commenting on his new post, Brig. Samarasinghe has that although the LTTE has been banned in Britain, it still continues to engage in its activities within the country. more..

Army crosses to Silavatura & Arippu: Over 4,500 civilians displaced

Sep 3 (LD) The Army says it has launched an offensive operation to liberate the civilian populace in the Silavatura and Arippu areas of Mannar district from the grip of the LTTE, and within 24 hours, has gained control of a 130 square kilometre area. The areas now under the Army also include Kandavachchi, Kakkupadayan, Saveriyarpuram, Potkerni, Moosalai, Pandaraveli and Pichchavanipankulam. more..

SLFP 56th Anniversary held amidst verbal assaults

Sep 3 (LeN) The 56th anniversary conference of the SLFP held at the BMICH today was an open depiction of party splits since the reproachful speeches delivered by the speakers. A former General Secretary of SLFP J.R.P. Suriyapperuma who had earned the wrath of Bandaranaikes, delivered the keynote address. Without mentioning the name of late Premier S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, he said that the leader who took the plough to hand after D.S. Senanayaka is current President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

'Insane movements by International delegates is owing to the fact that it is there last chance'

Sep 3 (LT) 'Members of various International Delegations act like insane characters, release queer statements, as they understand it is there final chance to take action' Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara, the chairman of Patriotic National Movement says. Dr. Amarasekara also said that the security Forces, having conquered the east, now getting ready to defeat terrorism permanently and what the international forces attempt now is to reactivate false 'peace process'. more..

While fighting terrorism, development work will continue - President

Sep 3 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa assured the nation that the development and welfare measures will not be curtailed in spite of the conflict and the Government is working according to a plan to bring prosperity. Speaking at a ceremony organised to mark the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s 56th anniversary at the BMICH, Colombo, he said, “we will see the fruits of our labour in due course. We must strengthen the Government to hasten this victory. more..

SME Bank finances for IT/BPO Training

Sep 3 (GDI) The Government owned SME Bank under its “Pioneer Ventures Loan Scheme” has financed for a project on training Information Technology (IT) and Business Processing Out source (BPO). Through this scheme, SME bank has an example to the local banking industry by demonstrating its innovative and welcoming attitude towards local IT ventures which is considered as the “need of the hour”. more..

SL and Bahrain to boost trade ties

Sep 3 (GDI) Sri Lanka and Bahrain will be looking in to paths of expanding the trade ties between the two nations. Accordingly a delegation from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is in Bahrain to promote exports from Sri Lanka. The delegation is holding meetings with the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and local traders. "Our delegation represents a cross section of large groups in Sri Lanka that produce a wide and varied variety of products," more..

LTTE supporters cause damages to the SL embassy in Paris

Sep 3 (GDI) Suspected LTTE activists have caused damages to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Paris yesterday morning. It is reported that the LTTE supporters in Paris have destroyed the flag pole and the national flag at the Embassy and caused damage to the Embassy premises. This attack took place hours before the arrival of Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affaires Rohitha Bogollagama for a three day official visit to Paris more..

Basil and Gotabhaya in India amidst Nedumaran's threats

Sep 3 (LeN) A high level delegation of the government led by Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse and the Presidential Adviser Basil Rajapakse left for India India for an urgent tour. Presidential Secretary Lalith Weerathunga is also in the team. Government sources said that the chief Indian Ministers and state officials would be clarified the security situation of the country. more..

Special IDs for Jaffna residents over 10 yrs. Of age

Sep 3 (LeN) All persons above the age of 10 in Jaffna have been asked to apply for special identity cards before September 12 by the Palaly Army Headquarters. The rule also applies to those who are permanent residents of Jaffna as well. This identity cards is essential in the future to obtain defaence clearance it is reported. According to the military, the owner should posses this identity card, while entering the area or during departure via ship or plane. more..

“Tamil binds Tamil Nadu, Sri Lankan Muslims strongly”

Sep 3 (Hindu) The legacy of a shared heritage between the Muslims of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka binds them strongly, P.M. Amza, Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Chennai, said on Sunday. One of the binding factors was a shared language—Tamil—as Muslims in Sri Lanka were predominantly Tamil-speaking, he said delivering the presidential address at the valedictory function of the 13th International Qirath Meet and 22nd All India Competitions in Oriental Studies, more..

Lankan minister, envoy ‘discuss embassy matters’

Sep 3 (GT) SRI Lanka’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hussein Bhailla Bhaila met Sri Lanka’s Ambassador S B Atugoda yesterday and discussed “matters related to the running of the embassy”. The minister was transitting through the Doha airport on his way to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) ministerial meeting on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity in Tehran, said the ambassador. The two-day NAM meeting begins today. more..

Patrolling along Nagapattinam coast increased

Sep 3 (Hindu) The Coast Guard has intensified patrolling along the 189-km coastline of the district on Sunday following renewal of hostilities between the Sri Lanka Army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka. Intelligence officials told The Hindu on Sunday that the Coast Guard had intensified its patrolling following the possible intrusion of LTTE cadres into the district through the Vedaranyam coast. more..

India’s N-spot in TN is now a no-fly zone

Sep 3 (NIP) Concerned over growing threats from LTTE’s air wing, the Government has decided to declare the airspace above Tamil Nadu’s Kalpakkam, which houses one of its most sensitive nuclear installations, as a "no-fly zone". The IAF has already begun working jointly with the Civil Aviation Ministry to implement the decision as soon as possible. The Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research at Kalpakkam is on the military list of nuclear facilities in the Separation Plan under the nuclear deal with the United States. more..

Sri Lanka bids to bolster business

Sep 3 (GDN) A delegation from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce are in Bahrain to promote exports from Sri Lanka.It plans to hold meetings with the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and local traders. "Our delegation represents a cross section of large groups in Sri Lanka that produce a wide and varied variety of products," said delegation head and Sri Lanka-based International Foodstuff Company chairman S Sarath Chandra De Silva. more..

Mahela cautiously backs ICL

Sep 3 (LNP) Sri Lanka`s cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene was diplomatic in speaking about the Indian Cricket League, but having weighed the pros and cons of the now banned series, felt that it would be better if the players are given a free hand to play the tournaments, provided it didn`t clash with the international calendar. The national team leaves for South Africa this week for the Twenty-20 World Cup and more..

Families appeal to President

Sep 3 (SAMN) Marking the International Day of the disappeared, the families of disappeared persons Sunday requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa to amend the Penal Code. Over twenty organisations recording the disappearance of persons including Association of Family Members of the Disappeared, Association of War Affected Women, National Christian Council of Sri Lanka, National Peace Council and Parents of Servicemen Missing in Action and more..

WHO praise for Lanka’s health sector

Sep 3 (SAMN) The World Health Organisation has complimented Sri Lanka’s health services at the annual South East Asian Summit held in Bhutan, stating that it has set an example for all the other countries in the region with its excellence in the departments of hospital administration, medical services and patient care. Health ministers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India , Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, including Sri Lanka’a Health and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva attended the Summit, more..

VIP security by the book

Sep 3 (SAMN) A Defence Ministry circular on security for VIPs is to be strictly enforced with immediate effect to prevent the misuse of security personnel provided to them, Deputy Inspector General of Police Jayantha Wickremaratne said Saturday. DIG Wickremaratne told a news conference that according to the circular a Minister will be provided with six Ministerial Security Division (MSD) personnel, a deputy minister provided five and an MP two personnel. more..

Low-cost firewood gas cooker

Sep 3 (SAMN) The Agriculture Ministry has commenced a programme to introduce a low-cost firewood gas cooker among the public as an alternative to escalating prices of LP Gas. The Ministry has selected a firewood gas cooker manufactured by Spectra Industries Lanka, Kurunegala as a very low-cost method to be introduced among households for cooking. The Ministry will launch countrywide publicity campaigns to promote this firewood gas cooker among the public. more..

Private IT schools, main producers of required experts

Sep 3 (DN) “Private sector IT educational institutes currently makes the largest contribution to the produce experts required by the industry said General Manager, Virtusa Corporation Madu Ratnayake at the NICS IT - BPO Capacity Summit. He emphasised the need to increase private sector investment in ICT education for Sri Lanka to excel further as an IT- BPO offshoring destination. more..

Development, welfare will not be curtailed - President

Sep 3 (DN) Development and welfare measures will not be curtailed in spite of the conflict and the Government is working according to a plan to bring prosperity, President Mahinda Rajapaksa asserted yesterday. “We will see the fruits of our labour in due course. We must strengthen the Government to hasten this victory. Placing the Government in difficulty at this juncture is a betrayal of the masses. more..

Sri Lanka mulls cost of carrying its fight to Tamil heartland

Sep 3 (AP) Sri Lanka's government denied Monday it was preparing to launch an offensive to drive Tamil rebels out of their fortified heartland in the north, a move analysts warned would exact a heavy death toll. Speculation has been mounting that the military might push into the dense jungles of the Vanni — as the rebel stronghold is known — after soldiers captured a sliver of rebel territory over the weekend. more..

CBK hits out

Sep 3 (DM) Former President and SLFP Patron Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday slammed the SLFP leadership stating that removing her from the party President’s post was illegal. “Many things are done outside the democratic platform in the party,” she said speaking on Sirasa TV last night. She charged the party policies had been abandoned and the stand taken by the party at present on the ethnic problem was unacceptable. more..

Minister’s son creates HSZ at night club

Sep 3 (DM) Party-goers to a popular night club in Colombo on Friday were irked by the presence of the security personnel of a minister's son who virtually made his immediate surroundings a ‘high security zone’ (HSZ). The young boy had arrived in an unregistered Porsche for the party together with his friends, backed by two jeeps with security officers, witnesses told the Daily Mirror. more..

Orphanages used as last resort by parents of 19,000 children

Sep 3 (IRIN) Thirteen-year-old Kumuduni Perera (not her real name) was found outside the Suvasetha orphanage in Panadura town, Kalutara District, when she was just two months old. The authorities from the orphanage believe Kumuduni was left at the entrance early one morning by one of her relatives who has not visited her since. Raised in the orphanage, Kumuduni says that some day she hopes to find her parents. more..

Let rights body check Nauru centre: Dems

Sep 3 (AAP) The human rights commissioner must be allowed to inspect the federal government's immigration detention centre on Nauru, the Australian Democrats said. Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews has reportedly refused to allow the head of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC), Graeme Innes, to examine conditions at the Nauru facility where almost 90 asylum seekers are currently held. more..

Sri Lanka to tender exploration blocks in October; estimated one billion barrel deposit

Sep 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka is tendering three off-shore oil exploration blocks in October and exploration firms are expected to begin work in 2008, petroleum minister A H M Fowzie said. Sri Lanka has identified eight off-shore exploration blocks in the north eastern Mannar basin of which two had been reserved for China and India. more..

A no confidence motion against government: Final decision tomorrow

Sep 3 (LeN) UNP is planning a no confidence motion against the government based on the escalation of cost of living, corruption, malpractices and wastage. The General Secretary of the UNP Thissa Aththtanayaka said to 'LeN' that the move will be discussed at the UNP politburo scheduled to meet this evening and based on its decision, further discussions will be followed in tomorrow's Executive Committee meeting to decide on the no confidence motion. more..

Rights commissioner refused access to Nauru

Sep 3 (ABC) Australia's immigration minister has refused to allow Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissioner to inspect the country's immigration detention centre on Nauru. On Saturday 52 Sri Lankan asylum seekers began a hunger strike in protest against the delays in their asylum claims. The strike comes after six Sri Lankan detainees were charged in Nauru in relation to an alleged rape and indecent assault. more..

Outotec to deliver 100 million USD water treatment facility to Sri Lanka

Sep 3 (KC) Outotec has been awarded a major contract by the Government of Sri Lanka to supply a drinking water supply facility for the Eastern coastal towns of Ampara District in Sri Lanka. The contract is worth USD 100 million and it will become effective upon signing of a loan agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd and Export Finance Insurance Corporation of Australia. more..

Stamp issued to mark Nepal, Lanka ties

Sep 3 (RN) Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Sahana Pradhan held a meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Rohitha Bogollagama in Colombo yesterday afternoon. During the meeting, the two Ministers appreciated the excellent traditional cultural relations existing between Nepal and Sri Lanka for centuries, and strengthened since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1957, more..

Murali Manager Rubbishes ICL Link

Sep 3 (C365) Muttiah Muralitharan's manager Kushil Gunasekera insists the Sri Lanka spinner has "absolutely no reason" to sign up for the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL). Kushil Gunasekera claims Murali is "angry" at reports linking him with the breakaway league and remains fully committed to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). "Murali was surprised and angry as to how and why his name has been linked with ICL at this stage," said Gunasekera. more..

Bodies of civilians killed in northern Sri Lanka handed over to Red Cross

Sep 3 (Xinhua) The bodies of some 12 civilians killed due to clashes between government troops and Tamil Tigers in northern Sri Lanka have been handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), officials said Monday. The ICRC officials said the bodies were handed over to them at Uyilankulam in the northern Mannar district Monday morning by the Army. Among the bodies are eight women and three children, officials said. more..

5,000 displaced by military offensive in north-west Sri Lanka

Sep 3 (DPA) More than 5,000 Sri Lankan civilians, most of them minority Tamils, have been displaced by the latest military offensive in the north-western part of the country, government officials based in the region said Monday. A day after troops captured one of the strategic coastal areas known as Silvathurai, 320 kilometres north of the capital, the army was helping civilians trapped in some of the areas to reach to safer locations. more..

India must play larger role in Sri Lanka, check LTTE arms: Rajapakse

Sep 3 (IANS) President Mahinda Rajapakse wants India to play 'a much bigger role' to end Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict and also to check arms smuggling by the Tamil Tigers by sea. At the same time, he is urging Indian Tamil leaders to guide 'misguided' Tamils in his country to unite 'behind a peaceful solution' to a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and shows no signs of ending. more..

Sri Lanka blocks rebel supply route, offensive delayed

Sep 3 (AFP) Troops in Sri Lanka have blocked a key supply route used by the Tamil Tigers in possible preparation for a delayed major assault on the rebels' northern heartland, military experts said Monday. The military has been trying to break into the stronghold, the Wanni, for weeks but took some nearby areas on Saturday, including the coastal village of Silavattura, officials aid. more..

Sri Lankan soldiers kill 5 Tamil rebels in military offensive against rebel territory

Sep 3 (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers killed five Tamil Tiger rebels during weekend fighting in which troops seized a key coastal territory that served as a supply point for insurgents in the north, the military said Monday. The military began the offensive Saturday aimed at seizing control of areas south of Mannar, saying rebels were holding some 6,000 civilians against their will. The operation killed five insurgents and no soldiers, more..

Upul Chandana quits international cricket

Sep 4 (CI) Upul Chandana, the former Sri Lankan allrounder, has retired from international cricket. He played 147 one-day internationals and 16 Tests during his 13-year career. Chandana, 35, made known his intentions to retire to Duleep Mendis, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief executive, through a letter today. According to Mendis, Chandana did not state his reasons for quitting. more..

Sri Lanka – ICRC Bulletin No. 16

Sep 4 (AN) ICRC presence at crossing points The ICRC agreed to extend its presence at the Omanthai crossing point in the district of Vavuniya to five days a week, beginning 27 August. This was done at the request of the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. The Omanthai crossing point, which is on the A9 highway is the main source of access to Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts and the northern areas of Vavuniya. more..

'LTTE Insurgency would be brought to an end before the conclusion of his regime'

Sep 4 (AT) Addressing the Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s annual sessions President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that his regime would end the war before the life of its ruling period is over and it has not only taken back the Eastern Province which was under the terrorists but today it has taken over Silavaturai an important Tamil Tiger military garrison which has been run under the insurgent group since 1995. more..

Uylankulam checkpoint closed

Sep 4 (BBC) The International Comitee of the Red Cross [ICRC] decided to close down the Uylankulam check point due to increased fighting in the area. "We can't provide security for our staff as the fighting is escalating". ICRC spokesman Davide Vignati told the BBC. Uylankulam is one of the two points of entry to the Tamil Tiger territory. However 12 bodies of civilian victims of a claymore mine attack were taken through on to government controled areas before the closure. more..

'Roadshow' to promote oil

Sep 4 (BBC) Sri Lanka is going to conduct roadshows around the world to attract Oil companies to come and explore patrolium oil in the Indian Ocean. In an interview with the BBC Sandeshaya, Minister A.H.M. Fawzie said the government is assured that there are over one billion barrels of oil to be harvested from Sri Lanka's soil. "We have obtained data from a Norwegian Company based in Australia assuring oil deposits of billion barrels. We are calling for tenders to explore it on three blocks". more..

Sri Lanka rupee firms on overnight cash squeeze

Sep 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee ended firmer for the third day in a row on Monday, moving further off a recent record low due to a squeeze in the overnight money market and steps last week to ease currency trading restrictions. The overnight interbank rate touched 30 percent in intraday trade as a result of tight cash conditions, leading players to try to raise rupees in the currency market. more..

Sri Lanka lodges protest over vandalised Paris embassy

Sep 4 (AFP) The Sri Lankan embassy in Paris claimed Monday that Tamil Tiger rebels vandalised its flag ahead of a visit by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama later this week. In a statement denouncing "intimidatory tactics" by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the embassy said "LTTE agents" destroyed its flag pole and the national flag and caused further damage to the premises early Sunday morning. more..

Sri Lankan man hospitalized after neo-Nazi attack in south Germany

Sep 4 (IRNA) A 38-year-old Sri Lankan man was badly beaten up in an anti-foreigner attack in the south German city of Stuttgart Saturday morning, the press reported Monday. The victim who lives in Stuttgart was insulted, hit to the ground and repeatedly kicked by a drunk 27-year-old neo-Nazi assailant. Only after a police patrol arrived, did the attacker let go off his victim who was transferred to a hospital with multiple bruises. more..

Parts of the 2002 ceasefire pact defunct, says Colombo

Sep 4 (Hindu) Sri Lanka on Monday said some portions of the Norwegian-brokered 2002 Cease Fire Agreement were “defunct” in view of the blatant violations by the LTTE. At a news conference here, defence spokesperson and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the concept of areas demarcated as under the control of the Tamil Tigers was not acceptable. He said the demarcation was in violation of the Constitution and no sovereign government could be expected to endorse it. more..

Wahabist engaged in criminal activities in Sri Lanka

Sep 4 (AT) The rise of Wahabism in Sri Lanka and its links to criminal elements in the east of Sri Lanka are causing concern to mainstream Sri Lankan Muslims. Over the years, Wahabism has also grown into a militant organization in the east. Wahabists trained in Sri Lanka are sent to UK and Australia in the guise of students. The Sri Lankan government too is concerned as this militant movement has international ramifications. more..

Tips to Save Energy

Sep 4 (AT) In an initiative to promote energy efficient practices and to facilitate businesses to reduce their energy costs, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce is organizing a seminar on “Practical Tips to Save Energy and Reduce your Energy Cost” to be held on Friday, the 7th of September 2007 in the Ground Floor Auditorium of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. more..