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Nedumaran to take medicines to Lanka

Sep 6 (Hindu) The Tamil Eelam Viduthalai Adharavalar Orunginaippu Kuzhu (Coordination Committee of Supporters of Freedom for Tamil Eelam) will forcibly take medicines and foodgrains to Jaffna for the benefit of Tamils in Sri Lanka from Rameswaram and Nagapattinam on September 12, its convenor P. Nedumaran said on Wednesday. The foodgrains and medicines collected by the committee had begun to rot for want of permission from the Centre. more..

USAID Helps Open Model Spice Processing and Training Center

Sep 6 (AT) Under the leadership of the Spice Council, the Sri Lankan spice industry opened a new Model Spice Processing and Training Center in Matale. The center was built with assistance from the USAID through The Competitiveness Program (TCP). TCP is helping the Sri Lankan private sector to compete more successfully in international markets, leading to more foreign investment, and more better-paying jobs that will help raise the standard of living for the country’s rural areas, including Matale. more..

Manipulating the People for Federalism

Sep 6 (AT) Sri Lanka although with a predominantly Sinhala population is a multicultural, multi-ethnic society. The question we have to pose is what political and social arrangements we should make to live with each other in harmony. To give an answer we must have some basic facts correct. But this is not an easy task because there is a large amount of deliberate and unconscious misinformation, especially drawn up by LTTE and other separatists as well as by foreign funded NGOs interfering in our local politics. more..

JVP parliamentarian Chandrasekaran outlines the JVP political program

Sep 6 (AT) In an interview with the Asian Tribune Ramalingham Chandrasekaran, the JVP parliamentarian and the Deputy Chairman of the Committees in the Sri Lanka Parliament said that the JVP will strike at the right time to overthrow the government but not now to bring Ranil-Mangala combination into power. Here is the full text of the interview: We are not with the government. We left the SLFP led PA Government when Chandrika Kumaratunga was the President. more..

Sri Lanka Navy ready to take action if Nedumaran tries his political stunt

Sep 6 (AT) In an indirect warning to P. Nedumaran, a Tamil Nadu politician who is threatening to cross the Palk Strait illegally to demonstrate his solidarity with the Tamil Tigers, Minister Dr. Keheliya Rambukawella, Government Spokesman for Defence and National Security told the Asian Tribune : “The Law of the country will deal with those trying to enter into the territorial waters of Sri Lanka.” more..

Colombo aims to carve out Sinhala district between North and East - Sampanthan

Sep 6 (TN) The Government of Sri Lanka is giving in for the demands of the extreme nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), with its plans a foot to carve out a Sinhala district between Trincomalee district in the Eastern Province and Mullaiththeevu in the Northern Province, aiming to split the geographical contiguity of the Tamil homeland, charged R. Sampanthan, the senior Tamil parliamentarian more..

Fitch Sri Lanka keeps watchful eye on regional banks

Sep 6 (LBO) Fitch Sri Lanka said it was maintaining a rating watch on six regional banks which was imposed following a government announcement that they would be merged with two other newly created state banks. Fitch put five regional banks on rating watch 'evolving' indicating that the rating could be changed after when final outcome of becomes concrete in December 2006. more..

Top spies from Sri Lanka, Asia Pacific meet to combat security threats

Sep 6 (AFP) Top military intelligence chiefs from 19 nations gathered here Wednesday for the first time to discuss terrorism, maritime security and disaster relief. "This is an opportunity for the intelligence chiefs from all these countries to get together to talk about areas of mutual cooperation and how we can go about sharing information for the benefit of all," more..

Sri Lanka Telecom expands broadband connections

Sep 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom, the island's dominant fixed phone operator, has increased bandwidth to accommodate rapidly growing high-speed broadband ADSL connections and plans a further expansion by December, an official said. But SLT cannot give telecom service level agreements (SLAs) guaranteeing ADSL performance as many factors determining service quality are beyond its control, more..

'This economic system has failed to resolve even the crisis in admissions of children to year 1'

Sep 6 (LT) Kurunegala district JVP parliamentarian Bimal Rathnayake says that this neo liberal economic system has failed even to resolve a minor problem like admission of children to year one. He said so when we inquired him about they views held by the JVP about the situation that has erupted on admissions of children to year one of national schools. more..

Maid Rescued After 8 Years of Forced Labor

Sep 6 (AN) Just over three weeks ago a woman called up Arab News claiming to be a Sri Lankan maid who has been imprisoned and abused in the home of her sponsor for the past decade. Yesterday, Riyadh police, working with the Sri Lankan Embassy, rescued Anista Marie, 40, who has not received her salary since 1999. “I still cannot believe that I am out of this ordeal that I have undergone for the past 10 years,” more..

Are eastern Muslims Jihadists-and practising violence?

Sep 6 (TC) The recent Special Report No. 26 on the East of Sri Lanka by University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) commonly known as UTHR (J), is entitled “Can the East be won through Human Culling?” The report attempts to expose the post-liberation reality and trend of Eastern Sri Lanka from the LTTE, an ethno-political movement, claiming to fight for self-determination for ethnic Tamils for a little more than two decades. more..

JDCSI: The rebel church and the over-exposed myth

Sep 6 (ISL) “A myth is, of course, not a fairy story. It is the presentation of facts belonging to one category in the idioms appropriate to another. To explode a myth is accordingly not to deny the facts but to re-allocate them.” Gilbert Ryle in his Concept of Mind. The myth that the Rev Sebastian Anthony filed an action in court for an injunction on the Executive Committee of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI) to enable more..

Why does opposition object to new finance amendments? Trade Minister asks

Sep 6 (LD) Amendments to the Finance Bill are meant to increase revenue of the state, and won't place burdens on the people, Minister of Investment Promotion Dr. Sarath Amunugama said in Parliament today (September 06th). The Minister placed the Finance (Amendment) Bill No.256 and No.257, the Regional Infrastructure Development Levy (Amendment) Bill , the Excise (Special Provisions) (Amendment) Bill and the Special Commodity Levy Bill before the House. more..

Holding parliamentary committee meetings outside, a breach of privilege - Speaker

Sep 6 (LD) Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara said today (September 06th) that he agrees with the notion that holding Parliamentary Committee meetings outsides the confines of the Parliamentary Complex amounts to a breach of parliamentary privileges. The Speaker was responding to a point of privilege raised on an earlier occasion by Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera. more..

Navy move to gather information on Negombo fisheries union leaders opposed

Sep 6 (LD) The Navy has called for the names and other information of fisheries union leaders in Negombo, reports say. In turn, union leaders have asked the Navy that they be informed in writing about why they should furnish personal details, but the request has been turned down. Therefore, fisheries union leaders have expressed their opposition to the Navy with regard to this move. more..

Sri Lanka to encourage cashew cultivation, consumption

Sep 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka has started a programme to encourage the cultivation and consumption of cashew nuts, saying it is good for health and has a good export potential. "Cashew is a crop that will help eradicate poverty as it grows in difficult areas and is easy to grow, not needing much care and maintenance," said Priyanath Piyadasa, deputy chairman of the Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka to limit kerosene subsidy

Sep 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka would make a fixed payment to poor households on income support from this month but limit a promised subsidy to fishermen to one month, a senior minister said. Ceylon Petroleum Corporation would make a 4,000 rupee one-off payment to 16,036 fishermen for the month of August at a cost of 320 million rupees, information minister Anura Yapa told reporters. more..

Summary of cabinet decisions

Sep 6 (GDI) The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the Minister of Finance and Planning, on providing concessions for those who are badly affected by the fuel price hike. Accordingly, fishermen who utilize the kerosene powered boats and Samurdhi recipients without the electricity facility will be benefited. more..

Government has no plans to carve out a new district in the east

Sep 6 (GDI) Cabinet Spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa today said that the government has no intention of carving out a new district comprising of parts of some districts in the eastern and northern provinces. He dismissed the reports published in Tamil dailies Sudar Oli and Virakesari stating that the Government will be establishing a new district in-between Batticaloa and Mulaithivu districts to make it a Sinhala colony as a baseless and fabricated report. more..

Fuel subsidies for fishermen and Samusdi recipients

Sep 6 (GDI) “The Government has decided to provide concession for the low income earning public considering the inconvenience they had to face with the recent fuel price hike,” said the Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. Minister stated this addressing the weekly press briefing to announce cabinet decisions today at the premises of Government Information Department. more..

SC orders to publish the final draft on Grade One Admissions

Sep 6 (GDI) Supreme Court issues orders yesterday (05) to the Secretary to the Ministry of Education to publish the final draft Policy Framework for the school admission for the year 2008 on Friday. The court has directed the Education Secretary to present the final draft to the Cabinet meeting which was scheduled for yesterday evening prior to the publishing on Friday. more..

US $ 365 million aid from UN for Development projects

Sep 6 (GDI) United Nations agrees to offer a grant valued US$ 365 million for the development projects in Sri Lanka. The agreement for the grant, to be provided under the 2008-2012 UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), was signed recently between Sri Lankan Government and the UN. According to the agreement the UN will be providing assistance to priorities defined with the Government of Sri Lanka. more..

Employment opportunities for Sri Lankans in France

Sep 6 (GDI) Government of France opens up employment opportunities for skilled Sri Lankans in the professional and skilled worker categories and for students in the IT and the natural science disciplines, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs says. Issuing a press release the ministry further states that proposals have been made to sign a protocol between the Governments of Sri Lanka and France in this connection. more..

Murali-less Sri Lanka fancy Twenty20 cricket title

Sep 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka have the resources to win the world Twenty20 crown despite the absence of star off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, their captain said Wednesday before leaving for South Africa. Skipper Mahela Jayawardena said Sri Lanka, the top limited-overs team in Asia and World Cup finalists in the Caribbean in April, needed to be at their best as the shortest form of the game allows very little margin for error. more..

Sri Lanka Q2 GDP up 6.1 pct from year ago-Minister

Sep 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's economy grew in the second quarter by 6.1 percent from a year earlier, holding at its slowest quarterly rate in two years, a government minister said on Thursday. Sarath Amunugama, minister of enterprise development and investment promotion, forecast full-year growth of 6.5-7.0 percent and also told parliament the government was forecasting 2008 growth of 8.0 percent. more..

Lankan government officers to be trained in Mussoorie academy

Sep 6 (HT) At a time when India is planning to send its senior bureaucrats to the US for further training, its neighbour Sri Lanka is contemplating on training their civil servants here. Impressed by the facilities at the Mussoorie-based Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, India's premier institute for training civil servants, Sri Lanka is planning to get some of their mid-level bureaucrats trained here. more..

Con cop unmasked after 26 years

Sep 6 (LNP) A man who conned is way through 26 years as a cop and even managed to have his son employed by the Sri Lanka Police as a Constable while using all the perks a policeman enjoys, such as free travel passes and over all that the respect of his neighbours, was unmasked on Tuesday by the Matugama Police, when he was at his residence at Meegahatenne. The last position he held in his bogus police domain was Sub Inspector attached to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), where he was not expected to be in uniform. more..

NGO poll: 84% approve Sri Lankan government`s war strategy

Sep 6 (LNP) A whopping 84% have approved the war strategy of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), according to the latest opinion poll conducted by NGOs in Sri Lanka. The latest study reveals that `as many as 84 percent of the respondents?. agree that the government should concentrate on militarily defeating the LTTE and recapturing all the territory controlled by the LTTE,` says the National Peace Council which conducted the poll with the MARGA Institute. more..

'No need to omit testing of child'

Sep 6 (SAMN) Supreme Court Wednesday (5) reviewed the amended policy framework forwarded by the Cabinet of Ministers on the admission of school children to Grade I for year 2008 and directed the Secretary to the Ministry of Education to submit it to Cabinet and implement it with the three minor amendments placed before the court. The Court directed the ministry secretary to publish the policy framework on Friday after it had been submitted to Cabinet. more..

Electronic vote in House today

Sep 6 (SAMN) Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara informed Parliament Wednesday that the electronic voting and counting system will be used for the vote on the five Bills to be presented in Parliament today (6th). Accordingly, the system established in 2001 as part of the Parliament electronic sound system will be used to tally the votes on two Amendments to the Finance Act, the Regional Infrastructure Development Levy (Amendment) Bill, more..

Sri Lanka Day Expo showcases nation's culture

Sep 6 (NP) The second annual Sri Lanka Day Expo, held on August 25 along all three blocks of the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California, drew crowds from all parts of California, as well as other states, to enjoy the cultural festivities of Sri Lanka.These included vendors with Sri Lankan arts and crafts, jewelry, music and DVDs. White tents with colorful decorations and Sri Lankan flags lined the Promenade and attracted people of all ages and interests. more..

'New flag does not symbolize Muslims'

Sep 6 (SAMN) Government ally SLMC charged in Parliament yesterday that the new flag that has been designed for the Eastern province does not symbolize the Muslim community in the area. Deputy Minister of Supplementary Crops Development Hassan Ali who joined in the adjournment debate in the House yesterday said the SLMC cannot accept this flag as it does not symbolize Muslims. more..

Govt to conduct community service plans

Sep 6 (SAMN) The Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs will conduct three Community Service Programmes (CSPs) in the east from September 15 to October 15. Addressing the media Minister Karu Jayasuriya said the three CSPs are aiming at issuing essential documents such as National Identity Cards, Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates, Land Ownership Documents and Passports will be held at Ampara, Trincomalee and Batticaloa. more..

Training in construction sector for school leavers

Sep 6 (DN) The Construction Training and Development Institute will start training courses for school leavers on the directives of Construction and Engineering Services Minister Rajitha Senaratne. They will be trained as construction technicians, labour management officers, co-ordinating officers and quality controllers in the construction sector. Their overall training of one year will comprise two months in-house training, nine months practical training and one month theoretical training. more..

Senior citizen population increased

Sep 6 (DN) The population of senior citizens of Sri Lanka will exceed over 25 percent by 2025 and the life span of an average Sri Lankan has already exceeded 70 years, Social Services and Social Welfare Ministry Secretary Vijayalakshmi Jegarasasingam said. She said that social Services and Social Welfare Ministry has already taken action to formulate special strategies to face the challenges under the guidance of Minister Douglas Devananda. more..

Devolution a myth: JVP

Sep 6 (DM) The JVP said in Parliament yesterday that it was a myth to consider power devolution as a solution to problems confronting the country today. Speaking during the debate on the North-East situation, JVP Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake said power devolution was never a solution to address issues of people suffering from grave poverty and lack of education. more..

Protect Athas: Anglican Bishop of Colombo

Sep 6 (DM) Colombo’s Anglican Bishop the Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera added his powerful voice to the growing calls for adequate security to be provided to The Sunday Times Consultant Editor and defence columnist Iqbal Athas whom he described as a highly respected and independent investigative journalist. In a statement the Bishop said: “I refer to several worrying news reports regarding the withdrawal of security to The Sunday Times Consultant Editor and defence columnist Iqbal Athas. more..

Sri Lanka opposed to Sethu Samudram Project: Swamy

Sep 6 (PTI) Sri Lankan government was against the Sethu Samudram Canal Project (SSCP) as it would have adverse environmental impact on the island nation, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy said today. The Lankan government had appointed a 34-member committee to study the environmental impact of SSCP on the island and it had come out with the finding that the project would affect the environment of Sri Lanka, he told reporters here. more..

Indo - Lanka high level Committee on defence

Sep 6 (MoD) An Indo - Lanka committee of high officials on defence related matters was established following the visit of a high level delegation of officials to Delhi this week, according to diplomatic sources. The establishment of this committee is the outcome of the discussions the Sri Lankan delegation held with their counterparts in New Delhi on September 3 - 4. more..

We'd rather die than wait: Sri Lankans on Nauru

Sep 6 (AAP) Hunger striking Sri Lankan asylum seekers being held on Nauru say they are ready to die rather than wait indefinitely for the Australian government to process their cases. At least three of the detainees have been taken to hospital, after refusing almost all fluids and food since September 1. It is understood 55 of the 82 Sri Lankans on Nauru have joined the hunger strike, and are accepting only two cups of tea each day. more..

Sri Lanka: A land like no other

Sep 7 (MT) IF, as the legend goes, God created the world in six days, then it is entirely likely that he devoted the seventh day wholly to creating Sri Lanka! Paradise is a word too easily bandied around these days on the global tourism front, but in its application to this jewel of an island hanging like a teardrop in the Indian Ocean, it matches the description in every sense of the word. more..

Sri Lanka rolls back unfair mobile phone tax

Sep 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka has dropped plans to charge a fixed levy from mobile subscribers which would have hit the smallest phone users the hardest, telecom minister Rauf Hakeem told parliament Thursday. The government initially proposed a fixed 50 rupee charge which would have hit the poorest or 'bottom of the pyramid' users hardest, as well as tripling a usage based charge from 2.5 percent to 7.5 percent. more..

Rights group says 43 aid workers killed in Sri Lanka

Sep 7 (AFP) At least 43 aid workers have been killed in Sri Lanka since early last year amid an escalation of fighting between troops and Tamil separatists, the Asian Human Rights Commission said on Thursday. The AHRC said that another 14 people had gone missing since January 2006 as the government and Tamil Tiger rebels blamed each other for killing civilians, including employees of local and foreign charities. more..

In addition to non-payment of loans, the license will be cancelled

Sep 7 (LeN) A future UNP government will not pay the high interest loans, the license of the HSBC bank will be cancelled, and it will be sent back to Hong Kong, said the Leader of Opposition Ranil Wickramasinghe. The Opposition Leader expressed these views addressing the farmer felicitation ceremony organized by the Eksath Udara Lanka Jathika Govi Peramuna parallel to the 61st anniversary of the UNP that was held at Sirikotha party head quarters today. more..

A/L answer paper evaluation issue deepens

Sep 7 (LD) The government is, on purpose, evading the G.C.E. (A/L) Examination answer paper evaluation issue, reports say. At talks with the ministerial sub-committee to resolve the matter, the government promised to take a decision by today (September 06th) after discussions with the Salaries Commission. However, at a discussion this morning between the ministerial sub-committee and teacher unions, it was intimated that the cabinet of ministers, on principle, accept that a salary anomaly exists in teacher and principal grades. more..

Court case on “Aksharaya” ban drags on

Sep 7 (LD) The fundamental rights petition filed by Film Director Asoka Handagama against a ban on the screening of his film “Aksharaya” (Letter of Fire) was taken up by a panel of Supreme Court judges, headed by Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva today (September 06th). The petitioner claims that the withdrawal of the permission given earlier for the screening of the film amounts to a violation of his fundamental rights. more..

Despite “Mathata Thitha”, Rajapaksa regime issued 3,754 liquor licenses - Sripathi

Sep 7 (LD) Despite its so-called “Mathata Thitha” concept, it is the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime that has granted the highest number of liquor licenses, said the SLFP (M) Wing’s Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi in Parliament today (September 06th). Joining the debate on five finance bills, he said, “This government has issued 3,754 liquor licenses. These are not my figures. The Excise Commissioner has issued these figures.” more..

UNICEF and CCF work together to help stop child abuse

Sep 7 (CCF) Fifteen-year-old Natasha* is once again a happy child. Orphaned by the December 2004 tsunami and a victim of subsequent child abuse, she now lives in a children's home where she receives emotional and psychological support. Natasha used to cry herself to sleep after her parents and younger brother were killed in the tsunami. Things got worse when she moved in with her aunt, Beatrice, and her aunt's boyfriend, Sarath. more..

Uneven progress in post-tsunami schools’ reconstruction

Sep 7 (IRIN) Fourteen-year-old Vinoka Rosari’s story is an all too common one among the civilian population in northern and eastern Sri Lanka where the decades-old conflict and the 2004 tsunami continue to affect lives. A camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Alles Garden, not far from Trincomalee, is the only home Rosari has ever known. Her family, along with dozens of others, was forced by fighting to flee to the camp in 1990 from Kinnya village, a short distance away. more..