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Public assistance sought in tracing missing schoolgirl

Apr 11 (LD) Police are seeking assistance from the public to trace a 17-year-old schoolgirl who had reportedly been abducted in Gampaha 10 days ago. Days before A.A. Irangi Chamakani went missing, an anonymous caller had demanded Rs. 25,000 from her mother, failing which, he had warned the girl would be kidnapped, OIC of the Weerangula Police R.A.S.B. Magalegoda said. more..

Latest threats to media by JVP & Mervyn condemned

Apr 11 (LD) The Free Media Movement-led five local media rights organizations have condemned the latest threats to the media. A joint statement by them came after two instances of harassment of the media by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and Labour Minister Mervyn Silva. A journalist from lankaenews website was threatened and prevented from covering a media conference organized by the JVP yesterday (Apr. 09th). more..

Mervyn Silva does it again

Apr 11 (LD) Labour Minister Mervyn Silva, who claims himself to be a devoted Buddhist, abused media personnel in front of a leading prelate and ejected them from a function in Kelaniya today (Apr. 10th). Minister Silva was the chief guest at the renaming of the flyover at Thorana Junction after slain Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. As Chancellor of the Kelaniya and Buddhist and Pali Universities Ven. Welamitiyawe Kusaladhamma Nayaka Thera began to address the gathering, more..

3 missing vehicles of JVP dissidents surface at party hq.

Apr 11 (LD) The missing official vehicles of three dissident MPs of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna have surfaced at the party's headquarters at Pelawatte in Battaramulla, police said. The vehicles had reportedly been hijacked from the Parliament garage on April 08th. The incident occurred as their owners, in a group of 11 who have sided with JVP Parliamentary Group leader Wimal Weerawansa, were holding a media briefing at Hotel Nippon in Colombo. more..

Journalistic Misrepresentations and the Failure to Correct

Apr 11 (PISL) The following letter was sent to the Sunday Times in response to some inaccuracies concerning the government’s interactions with the International Commission of Jurists. Though the Sunday Times is generally balanced in its reportage, occasionally its allegiance to the opposition shows through. This has become more marked in recent weeks as with its most recent assertion that more..

Harry Goonetilake passes away

Apr 11 (GDI) Former Air Force Commander, Air Vice Marshal, Harry Goonetilake passed away today. He is the father of Present Air Force Commander Roshan Goonetilake and the late Shirantha Goonetilaka who sacrificed his life at Palalai during an operation in 1995. Mr Harry Goonetilake joined the Air Force in 1951and served until 1981 He was the Commander of the Air Force from 1976-1981. more..

Auspicious times, Sinhala and Tamil New year

Apr 11 (GDI) The Sinhala and Tamil New Year will be celebrated on 12th and 13th of this month. Following are the auspicious times pertaining to the New Year celebrations: Bath for the old Year: Saturday the 12th before New Year dawns with herbs mixed in water. Dawn of the New Year: Saturday April 12th at 6.29 am. Punya Kaalaya: Between 12.05 pm and 12.53 pm on Sunday April 13th is the time for more..

Arbour condemns Weliweriya bomb attack

Apr 11 (GDI) The High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has strongly condemned the suicide bombing which killed a Government minister and at least 14 other people at the start of a marathon in Sri Lanka on April 6. She also extended her condolences to the bereaved families of the victims, according to a media release by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Right's (OHCHR). more..

China pledges to stand by Sri Lanka against terrorism

Apr 11 (GDI) President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China assured President Mahinda Rajapaksa that China will stand by Sri Lanka in its efforts to counter terrorism. This assurance was given when the two Presidents met at Yalong Bay Resort in the Hainan Province of China yesterday. President Rajapaksa is in China to attend the Annual Conference of the Boao Forum for Asia. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Apr 11 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development, Dinesh Gunawardana for the implementation of an urban development plan for Hatharaliyadde. The Hatharaliyadde Service Centre located in Galagedera Electorate has been declared by the UDA as an Urban Development Area and a series of projects have been identified for implementation by more..

Jeyaraj left an indelible mark in the political life of the country -- President

Apr 11 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was out of the country, in a condolence message read by Nimal Siripala De Silva at the funeral of Jeyarj Fernandopulle paid a glowing tribute to a friend, colleague, political associate and an exceptional citizen. The full text of the message, addressed to his friend, is given below: I recall how we did our studies together and how we spent the holidays at Medamulana or more..

Sanje Sedera: First Sri Lankan to run for political office in United States

Apr 11 (AT) The Asian community in the State of Nevada in general and the growing number of Sri Lankans living in the US capital of the hospitality industry Las Vegas in Nevada in particular were delighted when youthful Daraka Sanjeewa Sedera launched his political campaign in early April to enter the Nevada State Legislature whose election is schedule for November this year. more..

TMVP's leader Pillaiyan remembers massacre of 175 cadres by the LTTE

Apr 11 (AT) The martyrdom of the 175 of our carders on 10 April 2004 and the subsequent deaths of 600 of our valiant cadres were the seeds of democracy, they paid the way for the liberation of the East from the butchers of Wanni led by the psychopath Velupillai Prabhakaran. In order to sustain out gains we need to follow democracy to the hilt, said Sivanesathurai Chanthirakanthan alias Pillaiyan, more..

Wimal Weerawansa in hiding, Vehicles of three rebels robbed

Apr 11 (LNP) JVP parliamentary group leader and Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa has gone into hiding following death threats to him and the ten JVP MPs who backed him after the party split early this week. Weerawansa had left his residence yesterday on the advise of his supporters and gone into hiding following his differences with the party leadership, political sources said. more..

JVP`s main group resorts to violence against the split group

Apr 11 (LNP) The rift between the two groups recently split from the Sri Lanka Marxist party , JVP, took a new turn as the group led by Somawansa Amarasinghe resorted to violence to control the group led by recently sacked party member Wimal Weerawansa. According to the police sources in Halawatha, a group of JVP Somawansa loyalists has attacked Weerawansa loyalist Somasiri Herath, MP of Puttlam district during midnight. more..

The battle of katussas II

Apr 11 (LNP) Tuesday s big-bang in the JVP was a foregone conclusion. Ink on our editorial comment, The Battle of Katussas, predicting a disastrous split in the JVP, was still wet when Wimal Weerawansa told Parliament on Tuesday that his party had stabbed him in the back. A group of JVP MPs pledged solidarity with him later in the day. The JVP s split is far worse than that in the UNP, which has so far lost 25 MPs to the government in that the JVP is an ideologically driven, more..

Indian Navy, ICG to intensify surveillance

Apr 11 (UNI) The Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has decided to intensify air and sea surveillance along the coastline to thwart smuggling activities to Sri Lanka and prevent infiltration of LTTE militants into Indian territorial waters in the wake of escalation of battle between the Lankan forces and the LTTE. A senior official of the ICG told UNI here this evening that a decision to this effect was taken at a high-level 'Special Coastal Meeting' held here more..

Essential items also to north

Apr 11 (SAMN) Eighty nine lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the Northern Province during the period March 28 to April 3, the military said. Those consignments reached areas in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts via Omanthai and Uyilankulam entry/exit points, the Army Headquarters said. The stocks contained rice, dhal, dried fish, clothes, fuel, spices, building materials, vehicle spare parts, more..

Four JVP members absent from sessions

Apr 11 (SAMN) Four JVP members of the Uva Provincial Council did not attend the monthly sessions of the council Thursday prompting Chief Minister Vijith Wijayamuni Soysa to question the two remaining JVP members whether they belonged to Somawansa or Weerawansa. Of the six JVP members in the Uva Provincil Council only two were present at yesterday’s sessions. Replying to the Chief Minister’s query, JVP member R.M. Jayawardena said more..

Act against illegal ASG appointment: UNP

Apr 11 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP yesterday called on Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara to take stern action against the alleged illegal appointment of Dhammika Kithulgoda as the acting Secretary General of Parliament when his period of acting ends in 14 days. UNP Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera told a press conference Thursday the party would request the Speaker to act firmly when the 14 days lapse as more..

Tea exports to grow 15% in 2008

Apr 11 (SAMN) Colombo Tea Traders' Association (CTTA) Chairman Tyeab Akberally Thursday predicted that Sri Lanka's tea exports would grow by a further 15 per cent for 2008 following the landmark billion dollar export mark in 2007. Sri Lanka's tea exports were expected to grow by 15 per cent in 2008 according to current projections based on the increased demand for Sri Lanka's orthodox teas from Libya, Iran, Russia and the CIS States, more..

Jeyaraj: An emotional final journey

Apr 11 (DN) Highways and Road Development Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, who was brutally assassinated by the LTTE on Sunday, bid adieu to the Nation yesterday. A large crowd had gathered at the Jeyaraj Fernandopulle playground in Welihena, Kochchikade to bid farewell to their beloved leader. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka, Ministers and Government and Opposition MPs were present. more..

Three Sri Lankan UN peacekeepers shot in Haiti

Apr 11 (DN) Three UN peacekeepers from Sri Lanka were shot and wounded by unknown gunmen Wednesday as multilateral forces tried to quell food riots, UN sources told AFP Thursday. The three soldiers were injured in the Carrefour neighborhood, which has been the scene of violent demonstrations against spiking food costs. "The soldiers were fired upon while they were on patrol. They did not return fire and were not able to identify the shooters," more..

Govt. will not meddle with JVP’s internal affairs – Yapa

Apr 11 (Island) The government will not meddle in the internal affairs of the JVP, but it is natural for it to closely observe developments within a party that is a constituent member of the UPFA, Media Minister Anura Priyadharsana Yapa said yesterday. "The dispute in the JVP is an internal matter, but it is after all a UPFA member and being concerned is only natural", he said in response to more..

UNP disagrees with PM’s figures on losses to forces

Apr 11 (Island) Opening the Emergency debate in Parliament for the Opposition on Wednesday (9) Badulla District UNP member Lakshman Seneviratne said the figures of the losses suffered by the Armed Forces, presented in the House, did not seem to tally with the figures given on the Defence Website and the Information Department Website. There were always different figures of casualties by different government agencies. Therefore, the figures could not be accepted as correct. more..

Alarm bells as JVP crisis heads for crash

Apr 11 (DM) The split in the JVP took a violent turn early yesterday, when the Chilaw residence of a dissident JVP parliamentarian was attacked by a gang who robbed his vehicle, a land phone, a cellular phone and two magazines of the weapons belonging to the police officers on guard duty. Police said the gang, which had come by van and motor bike, had entered Puttalam District MP Samansiri Herath’s house and threatened the inmates with death. more..

Economy not in shambles: Minister

Apr 11 (DM) A government minister yesterday said the festive buying spree in bazaars and supermarkets indicated that prices of essential commodities had not skyrocketed and the economy was not in shambles. Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told journalists that people would not purchase goods if the prices were too high as claimed by the main opposition UNP. “The economy has grown by 6.8% in 2007 and the unemployment rate has come down to 6% in 2007. more..

Military says attack on bunkers kills 13 guerrillas in north

Apr 11 (AP) Government forces attacked Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers along the front lines in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northern region, triggering gunbattles that killed 13 rebels and wounded 11 soldiers, the military said Friday. Reports of fighting have increased in recent months amid government promises to capture the rebels' de facto state in the north and crush the group by the end of the year. more..

Vaiko asks EU to press Sri Lanka on Tamil ethnic issue

Apr 11 (PTI) MDMK chief Vaiko has asked the European Union not to turn a blind eye to the "sufferings of Tamils" in Sri Lanka and to pressure Colombo to end its offensive against the LTTE so that an "ancient race" could be prevented from being "totally wiped out". "The situation today is very bad. A whole ancient race is about to be wiped out. I would appeal to the European Union to put pressure on the Sinhalese government {to end its military offensive on the LTTE}," he said. more..

India should not support partition of Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (MN) ACCORDING TO IBN live on March 26, 2008, the island’s Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka said in Jerusalem that India would never allow a separate independent state for Tamils, to be carved out from Sri Lanka. "It should be borne in mind that India will never allow a separate independent state for Tamils in Sri Lanka, because such a development will have a disastrous effect in India," Wickremanayaka, who is the first Sri Lankan Prime Minister on his visit to Israel, told a gathering. more..

Sri Lanka board drops Jayasuriya from contract list

Apr 11 (IANS) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have virtually shut the door on the continuation of Sanath Jayasuriya's international career by dropping him from the list of contracted players for next year, according to a media report here. Daily Mirror newspaper quoted selection committee sources as saying that they have 'decided to drop the veteran all-rounder from a list of players to be contracted for next year'. more..

Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese radicals being led by a Tamil

Apr 11 (IANS) Ironically enough, the leader of the radicals in a Sri Lankan party which espouses the cause of the island’s Sinhalese community is a Tamil. According to the Daily Mirror, the recent attacks on the moderates in the Sinhalese-Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) were inspired by a senior Tamil leader of the party who had just arrived from Australia after a long exile. more..

Sri Lanka military says 58 die in week's fighting

Apr 11 (Reuters) Fighting in the far north of Sri Lanka in the past week killed 58 people, mostly Tamil Tiger rebels, the military said on Friday. The fighting in the northern districts of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Polonnaruwa and Mannar came after a suspected rebel suicide bomber killed the country's highways minister and 13 others attending a marathon race near the capital on Sunday. more..

Emis Singho acquitted after 55 yrs. in remand

Apr 12 (LD) Thanthrige Emis Singho, now aged 83, who had been an inmate at the Mental hospital in Angoda since 1953 as a remand prisoner was released by the Gampaha Chief Magistrate (Apr. 11th) yesterday. The issue of Emis Singho’s 53 year term as a remand prisoner was brought to courts by Attorney at law Ms. Ireshika Gunawardene, who filed a motion asking for his release. more..

Two bhikku fronts urge Weerawansa to take over JVP

Apr 12 (LD) Two bhikku fronts have urged Wimal Weerawansa to take over the reins of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and fine-tune its policies to suit the needs of patriots. Secretary of the Patriotic Bhikku Front Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera and the Ruhunu Bhikku Front’s Secretary Ven. Omare Kassapa Thera have issued a joint statement addressing the issue of Weerawansa being suspended from the party. more..

JVP MP remanded till Apr. 17

Apr 12 (LD) Jayantha Wijesekara, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna parliamentarian, has been remanded until April 17th. He stands accused of having stolen official vehicles of two MPs of the Wimal Weerawansa faction from the Parliament garage after assaulting a policeman on duty there. Mr. Wijesekara surrendered to the Welikada Police this morning (Apr. 11th) and made a statement. more..

Bayliss warns of Sri Lankan backlash

Apr 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss has warned that his side will be going all out for a win in the second One-day International against West Indies on Saturday at Queen's Park Oval. Sri Lanka trail 0-1 in the three-match series, after Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit a six off the last ball to formalise a thrilling one-wicket victory for West Indies in the opening match on Thursday at the same venue. more..

Book Review: Paradise Derailed

Apr 12 (Tehelka) This is a gem of a book. Only a journalist with perspective and empathy could have condensed so well the tumultuous history of Sri Lanka in so few pages. Tikku, who spent many years in Colombo coinciding with the times Indian troops battled the LTTE in Sri Lanka, has missed nothing. And he has not minced words either. Tikku is clear what he feels has gone wrong with an island that in the 1970s was wooed by the ASEAN but today struggles to stay afloat, more..

Sri Lankans unite at Bak Maha Ulela in London

Apr 12 (LE) There was no visibility of caste and creed differences, when over a 1000 Sri Lankan's from all three communities, Sinhalese, Tamils Muslims gathered to celebrate the London Bak Maha Ulela 2008 on April 5th in Feltham. The event jointly organised by four Sri Lankan associations, Hounslow Sri Lankan Janahanda Foundation, Heathrow Sri Lankan Community Centre, Slsco Flame and Helabasa Surekeeme Jathika Ekamuthuwa saw the traditional Sri Lankan games and competitions being played, more..

'Sri Lanka needs better insider trading laws'

Apr 12 (LBO) A Sri Lankan supreme court judge has proposed amending regulations on stock market offences to cover markets regulators as well as all company shareholders. Supreme court judge Saleem Marsoof said a serious deficiency in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Act is that it does not provide against the use of price sensitive information by SEC officials gathered in the course of their duties. more..

Musharraf pledges support to end terrorism in Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (IANS) Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf Friday voiced his country's support to Sri Lanka in the fight against terrorism. According to the president's office here, Musharraf gave the assurance at a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa in China on the sidelines of the multilateral Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference. more..

Murali mark II?

Apr 12 (CI) Tougher days surely lie ahead, but Ajantha Mendis appears to be a spin bowler with a bright future based on the evidence of his one-day international debut for Sri Lanka against West Indies in Trinidad. He bowled impressively to collect 3 for 39 as Sri Lanka narrowly failed to win the opening match of the series. It brought to mind Muttiah Muralitharan when he first stepped onto the international scene with his freakish bowling action. more..

The new Murali?

Apr 12 (CI) To steal shamelessly from Jon Landau, the man entrusted with selling a scraggy wannabe Bob Dylan by the name of Bruce Springsteen to the planet in 1975, I have just seen the future of spin bowling – and his name is Ajantha Mendis. Until now, given the recent stumbles of Danish Kaneria and the apparent failure of several young Australian twirlers to live up to their billing, detecting the seeds of a new generation of spinners more..

Central bank makes case for private investment in higher education

Apr 12 (LBO) Central Bank has called for legislative and regulatory changes to create a favourable environment for private investment in university education. There is an urgent need for introducing a market oriented, efficient mechanism to the existing university education system, the bank said in its 2007 annual report. The education sector also needs a quality assurance rating system to help parents and students make informed choices regarding university education. more..

On being and becoming Deshapremi

Apr 12 (LG) When the theoretical enemies of nationalism are rounded up, among the more prominent of those opposed to notions of culture, nation and patriotism would be the Marxists. They were ideologically blinded by an internationalism that sought to cut loose people from their identities and to poison the deep wells whose waters gave meaning to their lives. These revolutionary innocents (some of them at least) will be marked in history as the staunch allies of mindless capitalism and judeo-christian evangelical drive, more..

Failure to appoint CC: President could be removed from office

Apr 12 (LG) The President has failed to appoint the Constitutional Council as per the 17th Amendment to the Constitution despite so many persons and bodies, both religious, professional pleading with him to do so. The President continuing to carry on business without nominating his representative and also not appointing another nominee as per Article 41A (d) of the Constitution, after having received a written communication from the Speaker, more..

Sri Lanka needs a political party that believes in market economy

Apr 12 (LG) Tragically, we in Sri Lanka do not have a single party that advocates a market economic model. Even though the UNP is pro-business, it supports the ‘big government’ where the state involves itself in every economic activity. They differ from the SLFP and its allies only in following a more pragmatic economic management. We do not have a single party or a politician who questions the governments’ miserable failure during the past 60 years in more..

Mahinda "part of conspiracy"

Apr 12 (BBC) The president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is accused of involved in a wider conspiracy to divide one of his political allies. JVP strongman, Lal Kantha, MP, told BBC Sandeshaya that President and his brother, Basil Rajapaksa, MP, have both played vital roles in dividing the JVP. The arrest of Trincomalee district MP Jayantha Wijesekara on Friday is aimed at keeping him away from the forthcoming eastern Provincial Councils, the Anuradhapura district legislator said. more..

Sri Lanka's new spin-king looks the heir to Murali's cricket throne

Apr 12 (SG) The 23-year-old army recruit was brought to the West Indies as a filler for Muttiah Muralitharan. One mesmerising spell of 10 overs in his ODI debut was enough to persuade Sportingo's Mark Rivlin that Ajantha Mendis is going to be a massive success. been married for nearly 20 years, and therefore not having much to excite me in the evenings, more..

India: Necessity, not option

Apr 12 (GV) Peace talks in Sri Lanka are temporarily on hold. The Ceasfire Agreement of 2002 has crashed and burned and the Norwegians and the SLMM have bid a quick but reluctant goodbye. To all intents and purposes, the country has been left to descend into its own spiral of ruin as the parties engage themselves in all out war. The exclamations and interjections of the nationalists have won and peaceniks, more..