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Jihad story cooked up by Karuna?

Sep 5 (BL) Contrary to a series of reports to the effect that a Muslim armed group is running riot in the Eastern Province, neither the security forces nor the SLMM has received any ‘reliable’ information to confirm the situation. SLMM Spokesman Steinar Sveinsson told The Bottom Line that apart from Karuna cadres, who were openly seen roaming around in the east, they had not received any reports to the effect that any armed ‘jihad’ gang had been seeing roaming around or more..

Too many Sri Lankans living in poverty – Survey

Sep 5 (BL) Are too many Sri Lankans living in poverty? That’s the big question posed by LMD, courtesy of TNS Lanka. And the answers - as revealed in the September edition of LMD, out this week – are not surprising. A majority (78%) of respondents gave an emphatic: “Yes!”. In the thought-provoking analysis of the survey results, also published in the widely read business magazine’s current edition, the people render their verdict on an issue affecting many of their fellow Sri Lankans. more..

Govt. probes mounting CEB losses

Sep 5 (BL) The government has decided to look into how best mounting losses at the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) owing to the use of wrong fuel for power generation as well as other reasons, could be arrested. Yesterday a top level meeting chaired by Minister of Power and Energy John Seneviratne was held involving Investment Promotion Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, relevant Secretaries and Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal. more..

‘Buying cows or planes, govt. is corrupt’

Sep 5 (ML) Former minister Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi, in conversation with The Morning Leader said the government would fall due to its own inability to govern the country. The Rajapakse regime he said, was riddled with allegations of corruption, abductions for ransom and a spate of human rights violations. The people cannot suffer the burdens of the economy any more, Sooriyaarachchi said. more..

Silavathurai a political stunt charges LTTE

Sep 5 (ML) The LTTE yesterday charged that the government’s move to capture Silavathurai in Mannar was yet another political stunt aimed at fooling the people in the south and challenged the security forces to launch an offensive into areas where there are Tiger cadres in the Wanni. LTTE Military Spokesperson I. Ilanthirayan told The Morning Leader the government forces were only targeting areas where their humanitarian work was carried out instead of targeting its main areas. more..

Sri Lankan Army claims further success

Sep 5 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan military on Tuesday claimed to have marched 3 km further into the Silavattura area in Mannar district in the north and said its troops had reached Kondachchi. It said the LTTE had an important base in Silavattura till last week end. It came under the military control after it launched a "humanitarian mission" to rescue hundreds of civilians fleeing the LTTE-controlled territory. more..

UNP JVP 'support Govt. war'

Sep 5 (BBC) Both the United National Party (UNP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) say that they voted for the Emergency Regulations in support of war. The UNP had reservations earlier over a clause of the gazette notification and wanted to oppose, says United National Party (UNP) mp, John Ameratunge. After the government agreed to remove the clause in the gazette notification of the Emergency the UNP abstained from Tuesday's voting. more..

Despotic rule and a government adrift

Sep 5 (ML) Even as both the UNP (decisively) and the JVP (tentatively) decided Monday to vote against several financial bills to be taken up in parliament Thursday, Mahinda Rajapakse had already positioned himself to use his unlimited executive powers to stifle a political backlash. On August 21 a Gazette notification was published under the hand of President Rajapakse, for a proposed amendment to the Emergency Regulations under the Public Security Ordinance which could effectively make any political activity not aligned to the government a terrorist act. more..

Propping up a corrupt regime

Sep 5 (ML) With the country falling into a dark abyss as it is, one cannot but help notice that the UNP dissidents have firmly planted themselves in the saddle of power and are enjoying the perks that go with it: wealth, position, power, security, fleet of luxury vehicles, six figure housing allowances, and globe trotting opportunities. While they are reveling in the lap of luxury they stand exposed to the public as unprincipled, self serving and a covetous breed of politicians. more..

Sri Lankans hit by lack of embassy

Sep 5 (GDN) THE lack of a Sri Lankan diplomatic mission in Bahrain could be affecting the numbers taking part in the government's general amnesty for expatriate workers, rights activists have warned. Migrant Workers Protection Society (MWPS) action committee head Marietta Dias says there were not enough people to cope with the number of cases involving women from Sri Lanka. more..

Unitary vs. Federal: the debate that never ceases

Sep 5 (FI) Having managed to steer away from the spotlight since the release of its highly contentious experts’ reports in December last year, the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) finds itself in troubled waters, yet again. Devolution of power undoubtedly being the most urgent and sensitive issue in today’s political discourse, the mission of formulating proposals for a sustainable solution to the protracted ethnic conflict was never going to be a cake walk. more..

UNP & JVP to vote against 5 finance & tax bills tomorrow

Sep 5 (LD) The government is due to table five finance and tax bills in Parliament tomorrow (September 06th). They are 2 Finance (Amendment) Bills, the Regional Infrastructure Development Levy (Amendment) Bill, the Excise (Special Provisions) (Amendment) Bill and the Special Commodity Levy Bill, Minister of Finance and State Revenue Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. These bills aim to introduce new taxes to raise Rs. 3 billion in state revenue. more..

Red carpet welcome for Susanthika

Sep 5 (LD) Ace woman sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe was accorded a red carpet welcome on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake today (September 05th) from Osaka, Japan where she won a bronze in the 200 metres event at the IAAF World Championship. From the airport, Susanthika was taken in a motorcade to the Sports Ministry in Colombo. Thousands gathered on the road between Katunayake and Colombo to greet the champion short distance runner. more..

Govt. attempts to pass 3 merchant shipping regulations without debate, fail

Sep 5 (LD) Attempts by the government to pass three regulations under the Merchant Shipping Act without a debate or a vote failed today (September 05th). At one point, Chief Government Whip, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle stood up and said that “today’s agenda includes the passing of the regulations under the Merchant Shipping Act without a debate.” more..

UNP Working Committee decides to withdraw from APRC

Sep 5 (LD) The United National Party’s Working Committee has decided to pull out from the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) process. Accusing both the government and the APRC of lethargic in its efforts to end the war and find a political solution to the ethnic conflict, the UNP Working Committee decided at its meeting yesterday (September 04th) to withdraw from the APRC, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told Lanka Dissent. more..

'China must lead the resistance to the western intention to create an Israel in South Asia'

Sep 5 (LT) ‘China must take leadership against the intentions of western imperialist powers to create an Israel in South Asia by dividing Sri Lanka’ Wimal Weerawansa, Propaganda Secretary of JVP said. Mr. Weerawana said this while he was attending the official discussion with Cheng Feng Gi Xiang, Deputy Minister of Foreign bureau and the Central Committee member of Chinese Communist Party on 3rd of September at Beijing. more..

Finance Ministry does not have a deputy minister

Sep 5 (LT) The chief whip of the government, minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said that the Finance Ministry does not have a deputy minister. The minister said this answering to a question raised by chief opposition whip Joseph Michel Perera on standing orders. Mr. Joseph Michal Perera said that the president chairing the advisory committees of the defence and Finance ministries was a breach of parliamentary privileges. more..

Chandana lashes out at selectors

Sep 5 (CI) Upul Chandana, the former Sri Lanka allrounder, who announced his retirement from international cricket on Monday has lashed out at the national cricket selectors and denied any involvement with the Indian Cricket League (ICL). In an emotional press conference held at the Nondescripts Cricket Club (NCC) pavilion on Wednesday, Chandana broke down in tears at the mention of his late father Somaratne Umaligiya, who passed away when he was only six. more..

Sri Lanka politicians oppose taxes, while promoting inflation and money printing

Sep 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's opposition, including a Marxist party which engineered fuel subsidies and mass state recruitment forcing the government to print money and push inflation up, is now opposing taxes and demanding higher wages. In 2004, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna called for fuel subsidies to remove what it labeled 'a plug' to the world economy and forced the government to print 65.8 billion rupees to finance fuel and fertilizer subsidies and government salaries. more..

'We are ready for No confidence Motion'

Sep 5 (GDI) “We are ready to face the No Confidence Motion planned by the UNP against the Government,” stated Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. Addressing the weekly media briefing to inform the current political situation at the Department of Government Information today (05), Minister Fernandofulle pointed out that not only the Government is ready to face the Motion but also strong enough to challenge the UNP to win the motion if possible. more..

'UNP similar to LTTE in attempts to block funds for development'

Sep 5 (GDI) UNP (United National Party) in its attempt to block the loans from Foreign Banks is similar to the acts of LTTE, which is trying to block the development in Sri Lanka,” stated the Minister of Media Lakshman Yapa Abeygunawardana. He stated this at the weekly media briefing held to inform the current political situation at the Department of Government Information today (05). more..

'Government has a road map to end conflict'

Sep 5 (GDI) The Government has a road map in seeking to bring the conflict in Sri Lanka to an end,” assured the Minister of Foreign Affaires Rohitha Bogollagama to the European Union (EU) Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner. Minister Bogollagama made these observations in wide-ranging talks held at the European Commission in Brussels, responding to Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner, more..

Explosives found in Colombo suburbs

Sep 5 (GDI) This morning (05), security forces found seven kilograms of C4 explosives dumped on the beach side of Dehiwala – a busy town in the immediate outskirts of Colombo city limits, official security information states. The Explosives have been in 500 gram packs wrapped in polythene and newspapers contained in cardboard boxes framed by metal plates. According to the Media Centre for National Security these explosives were found near the railway track on the coastal line, close to Treasure Avenue. more..

Maldives and Sri Lanka to broaden ties in fisheries sector

Sep 5 (GDI) Sri Lanka and Maldives have made agreements to broaden their in the fisheries sector. The Sri Lanka-Maldives Sub Commission Meeting on Fisheries has established the basis for the broadening ties in the fisheries sector. The Maldivian Minister of Fisheries Abdullah Kamaludeen told media that Sri Lanka has a good fiberglass industry and the Maldives has used Sri Lankan expertise in the past. more..

DMS systems to detect illegal act in SL maritime boundaries

Sep 5 (GDI) The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will be obtaining DMS systems to detect foreign vessels poaching in Sri Lankan waters. According to the Deputy Minster of Fisheries Neomal Perera the Government will have to endure a cost around US Dollar 8 million to purchase the equipment. He stated that the Ministry will be taking these steps as a mean of preventing violations of the country’s maritime boundaries in the 200 kilometre economic zone. more..

UN peace prize winner in Sri Lanka

Sep 5 (PISL) United Nations Peace Prize Winner and Muslim Foundation International, USA Chairman, Sheikh Yusuf Estes is here in Sri Lanka to conduct a series of lectures. He spoke on the topic `Islam Exposed’ at the BMICH yesterday. Today, Wednesday, he will speak on the topic `Terrorism, Islam and the West’ at the BMICH and on Thursday he will speak on the topic `Adam’s Religion –Was it Jewish? Christian? Muslim? at the BMICH and on Friday he will speak on the topic `Religion, Science and Common Science in Kandy. more..

Problem of being SB

Sep 5 (LNP) Former SLFP heavyweight and present UNP National Organiser S. B. Dissanayake is obviously at the end of his tether. He is being forced into an uneasy cohabitation with his political enemies. Hence, his diatribe against his former boss turned bete noire Chandrika Bandaranaiake Kumaratunga, who has now joined forces with the UNP to topple the government. She will, he has said, certainly ruin the UNP. more..

Thomian Gunasinghe stars on first day

Sep 5 (LNP) Two records were lowered and one meet record was equalled on the opening day of the Milo sponsored Sir John Tarbat Senior Athletic Championship commenced at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Ruwan Gunasinghe of S. Thomas` College, Mount Lavinia impressed in the Under-16 boys` long jump erasing a ten year old meet record established by Ashan Randika Fernando of Joseph Vas College Wennapuwa ten years ago. more..

Tigers planning to use chemical weapons - PM

Sep 5 (LNP) Presenting the Motion to extend the State of Emergency in Parliament yesterday (4), Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said the LTTE had in the past month attempted to penetrate the army`s forward defence lines in the North and had inflicted casualties on the police, the armed forces and the civilians. There was an even more dangerous attempt by the LTTE to use chemicals in warfare. more..

COPE comes under fire again

Sep 5 (SAMN) Justice Minister Dilan Perera stormed out of a government parliamentary group meeting at Temple Trees Monday, after a serious exchange of words with UNP dissident ministers and the President, over the controversial COPE report that has highlighted irregularities in several high profile government deals. Informed sources said, Perera, a member of the committee rose to the defence of COPE Chairman Wijedasa Rajapakse, who was at the receiving end of a brutal verbal attack by Construction and Engineering Services Minister Rajitha Senaratne. more..

Elephants poser for Peraheras

Sep 5 (SAMN) Tamed elephants are a dwindling breed in Sri Lanka that has posed a problem for the conduct of the numerous Peraheras, Environment Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. According to the Minister, there are only 137 tamed elephants in the country and it has posed a major obstacle in conducting of nearly 72 annual peraheras throughout the country. Ranawaka said tuskers too are a rapidly dwindling species with only 17 of the breed found in Sri Lanka. more..

50 tsunami early warning towers

Sep 5 (SAMN) The Government is to set up 50 more tsunami early warning towers along the coastal areas. The early warning towers will function 24 hours seven days a week. Speaking at the concluding ceremony of the Income Recovery Assistance Programme (IRTAP) conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said all Parliamentarians had a vital role to play to resettle the victims and restore their livelihoods. more..

JVP leaders to tour Australia

Sep 5 (SAMN) JVP Leader Somawansa Amerasinghe and politburo member Anura Kumara Dissanayake are to tour Australia in September. The two JVP leaders are to hold public meetings to educate Sri Lankans in Australia of the need to form a broad national alliance to govern the country. They will hold public meetings under the topic "Broad National Front to Safeguard the Country" on September 15 at the AMWU Auditorium. more..

Missing Lankan maid found in Sharjah

Sep 5 (DN) A UAE national family heaved a sigh of relief when their missing maid was finally traced and deported. Abdullah Al Mansoori, a Central Government employee, and his wife Nada, both 33, said their Sri Lankan maid, Madhushika Rajakaruna, left their Abu Dhabi home in December last year. Following her disappearance, the maid’s relatives in Sri Lanka took up the matter with their Government, alleging that Madhushika had been killed by her sponsor. more..

Suspects further remand in Mavilaru fraud

Sep 5 (DN) The five suspects who had been remanded in connection with the massive fraud at the Agrarian Insurance Board and Agrarian Service were yesterday further remanded till September 17 by Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Sarojini Kusala Weerawardena. The CID filing a further report in connection with their investigations told court that they have taken into custody 2918 application forms of farmers who were affected during the attack on Mavilaru anicut by the LTTE. more..

Diplomatic stir over Nedumaran’s Jaffna landing threat

Sep 5 (DM) Sri Lanka on Tuesday officially demanded Indian authorities to take immediate action to prevent Tamil National Movement leader P. Nedumaran from entering Jaffna by force, diplomatic sources said. The request was made following Mr. Nedumaran’s announcement that he was determined to enter Jaffna unlawfully by crossing the Palk Strait on September 12 with boatloads of food, medicine and other essentials for the civilians in the Jaffna and Vavuniya districts. more..

Politico and kin running amok: Bimal

Sep 5 (DM) The JVP charged in Parliament yesterday that a Minister from Polonnaruwa and his brothers were behaving in the area like Veerappan and his gang while engaging in illegal sand mining, quarrying and illicit logging. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said the sand, rock and poached timber were being transported in ten-wheeler trucks from Polonnaruwa, while the police turned a blind eye. more..

Nedumaran joined by pro- LTTE Tamil Nadu leaders in his proposed illegal boat journey to Sri Lanka

Sep 5 (AT) The Tamil Tigers’ proxy agent P. Nedumaran continues with his threat to cross the Palk Strait and enter Jaffna to distribute parrippu and other food and medicinal items to the people in the peninsula. Now Nedumaran’s threat has taken a turn to throw a serious challenge to the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, as the pro-Tamil Tiger leaders of Tamil Nadu, who are in the payroll of the Tigers, joined forces with him in his bid to cross into Jaffna by boats. more..

Commentary: The heavy price of liberation

Sep 5 (UPI) The government has justified its military operations in the Silavathurai area of northern Sri Lanka as a humanitarian operation. This is similar to the language used by the government a year ago when it sent in the army to open the irrigation sluice gates at Mavil Aru in the east of the country, which had been shut by the LTTE. On that occasion the government had reason to be concerned about the fate of around 15,000 people whose livelihoods were affected by the LTTE blockade. more..

Sri Lankan asylum seekers on hunger strike

Sep 5 (ABC) Several Sri Lankan asylum seekers waiting to be processed on the island of Nauru say they are on a hunger strike. In their first broadcast interview since arriving six months ago, the asylum seekers have told the ABC's Lateline program they have had enough of waiting for a decision to be made on their future. They are demanding the Australian Government set a timetable for their claims to be processed. more..

Sri Lankan judiciary, parliament at loggerheads

Sep 5 (IANS) Sri Lanka's new school admission policy has been delayed over fears that it might lead to a head-on collision between the legislature and the judiciary. While Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has instructed the education secretary to formulate a new policy for school admissions taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the courts, parliament believes the new policy need not be amended because the courts cannot dictate the legislature. more..

Sri Lanka says kill 5 rebels, explosives found

Sep 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military said on Wednesday five Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in artillery shelling and a gunbattle in the far north of the island, the latest in a renewed civil war. Separately, soldiers found 9 kg (20lb) of explosives in a suburb of Colombo, which police said may have been brought by the Tamil Tigers to mount an attack on the capital. "The military fired artillery at a gathering of LTTE who tried to infiltrate to Jaffna. Later troops observed two bodies," more..

India takes steps to guard against LTTE air attacks

Sep 6 (IANS) The Indian government has taken 'all necessary steps' to protect its territory from possible air attacks by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told parliament Wednesday. '(The) government has taken all necessary steps to safeguard its territory from any air attack,' he said in a written statement in the Lok Sabha. 'Necessary security measures are continuously reviewed, assessed and strengthened depending upon the exigencies of the situation,' he added. more..

Pathirana smashes 277 in Twenty20 onslaught

Sep 6 (OA) Sri Lankan first-class player Dhanuka Pathirana scored a remarkable 277 off 72 balls in a Twenty20 match in Lancashire's Saddleworth League to steer his Austerlands side to 366 for 2 and an easy win over Droylsden. Pathirana smashed 29 sixes and 18 fours in his onslaught. "Everything seemed to hit the middle," Pathirana, who had to borrow a bat as he had left his at home, said. more..

'Taxes on mobiles and vehicles are for the benefaction of Sri Lanka'

Sep 6 (GDI) “Taxes on mobiles and vehicles are for the benefaction of Sri Lanka, the Government need to regain the amount they lose at providing the tax releases in Essential good, to carry on the development process,” said the Minister Jayraj Fernadopulle. Minister Fernandopulle explained that the Government loses Rs.6000 million in providing tax concessions for the essential goods and they have to regain it to provide more concessions and benefits. more..

Who is the Son of James Bond who races on Colombo roads in a Rs. 42 million car

Sep 6 (LeN) The talk of the town in the political circles now is the purchase of a Rs. 42 million 'Aston Martin DB9' car by the son of a government bigwig. UNP parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella said at a press briefing that the tax-free value of this brand is Rs. 21 million. The high-speed car cannot be driven on Sri Lankan roads and it is reportedly driven on Galle Face Drive with back up vehicles around 2 AM. more..

Cabinet-Supreme Court in tug-of-war on Grade 1 admissions

Sep 6 (LD) The tug-of-war between the Cabinet of Ministers and the Supreme Court over Grade One admissions to government schools next year continues, as the SC today (September 05th) rejected the amendments to the circular in question presented by the Cabinet. Instead, the SC ordered the Secretary to the Ministry of Education to publicize the circular on Friday with amendments in accordance with the guidelines it had issued earlier. more..

The Appapillai Amirthalingam Eightieth Birth Anniversary Commemoration

Sep 6 (TC) A large gathering of 250 or so persons met at the Indian YMCA Building in Central London on 26 August, the eightieth birthday of the late Hon. A. Amirthalingam, the undisputed Tamil leader for well over a decade and former Leader of the Opposition , to celebrate his life and work. It was organized by the Amirthalingam Trust, with Dr. Baheerathan Amirthalingam, his younger son, doing much of the behind the scenes work. Sumptuous eats in neat boxes were served for the guests who had travelled great distances. more..

Myth, Propaganda And The Need For Tamil Introspection

Sep 6 (FI) Chairman Sir, Madam Amirthalingam, Mr. V. Anandasangaree, Distinguished Guests, Friends: It behoves me to begin this talk by first thanking the Organizing Committee and the family of the late Hon. Appapillai Amirthalingam, the onetime Leader of the Opposition in Sri Lanka, for honoring me by inviting me to be the speaker today. I am as humbled as I am beholden. more..

Vanishings in Lanka rise

Sep 6 (AA) Sixty-one civilians have surrendered before the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in the last two months in Sri Lanka’s northern peninsula seeking protection from threats by armed men allegedly operating alongside the country’s Army, the HRC has said. The Human Rights Commission said these civilians feared for their lives and safety and that they continued to receive death threats from armed groups dubbed "paramilitaries" by their rivals for functioning as an accessory to the armed forces. more..