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The Dogs Bark, and the Caravan Moves on...

Apr 18 (LG) The Tamil liberation struggle has gone through many stages, inching forward, despite many contrary winds, con-men, and cock-sure betrayals. But as they say, the dogs bark, and the caravan moves...towards its destiny. In recent years, much has been said and ink spilled about the Tamil suicide bombers; both from scholarly quarters and from 'know-it-all' squatters. Many a dilapidated pundits come out of the wood works, more..

More than 70 hard cadres from LTTE have entered Colombo

Apr 18 (LG) Several friendly foreign intelligence services have renewed their warnings of LTTE infiltration in Colombo. According to these intel sources, between 75-100 hard core cadres from LTTE's intelligence wing and Black Tiger suicide wing have entered Colombo. VVIP assassination (the president is a top priority target of the LTTE), destruction of economic structures, disruption of day to day civilian life and assasination of key military personnel are some of their objectives. more..

SA wants UN to act against Sri Lankan Govt

Apr 18 (LG) Bombings in Sri Lanka, Murders and rapes in Darfur, civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip, political hostages in Colombia and violent conflict in Somalia. These are the pressing issues that are to receive attention at the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Cape Town this week after the world's parliamentarians agreed to place a South African-sponsored emergency item on the agenda. more..

Vaiko has justified "ethnic cleansing" in Sri Lanka: Keheliya

Apr 18 (ZN) A senior Sri Lankan minister Thursday accused the MDMK leader Vaiko of justifying the LTTE's "ethnic cleansing" of Tamil Muslims from Jaffna in 1990 by expelling them from there. At a conference in Oslo recently the Indian Tamil leader, while admitting that "chasing out" some of the Muslim Tamils from the LTTE region was an error, also justified the "atrocities" against the minority community in Sri Lanka, more..

'IGP sent JVP MP to jail, but was a coward before Mervyn'

Apr 18 (LD) Leader of the SLFP Mahajana Wing Mangala Samaraweera has questioned the role of IGP Victor Perera in the country’s law enforcement, noting that the police chief had swiftly arrested JVP MP Jayantha Wijesekara at the whims of the government, but had acted like a coward in the Mervyn Silva incident. Mr. Samaraweera was speaking to Sri Lankan expatriates in the UK at a Sinhala-Tamil New Year festival at Eailing, London more..

Sri Lanka port detains merchant ship

Apr 18 (LBO) Sri Lankan shipping authorities have detained a cargo ship in Colombo port for non-compliance with regulations and submission of false documentation, officials said. "The vessel has been detained after our inspectors found certain deficiencies," said a port official. The authorities had found faulty machinery on board the vessel and that some of the officer did not have the required qualifications. more..

Sri Lanka private sector concerned over oil exploration delay

Apr 18 (LBO) Sri Lankan companies aiming to provide support services to petroleum firms in anticipation of an offshore oil strike say they are disappointed by a government decision to award only one block instead of three. Industry officials said they were worried the supply service providers might not have enough business to start operations if the government commences the search for offshore oil with only a single block. more..

'Our Lady of Madu' spirited away to bring govt into disrepute internationally

Apr 18 (GDI) Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that shifting the holy shrine of 'Our Lady Madhu' to an LTTE controlled area at a time when the Security Forces are engaged in a humanitarian mission to liberate the area from the clutches of terrorism, poses a great threat. Minister Rambukwella added that the LTTE's decision to move the holy shrine might have been prompted by factors such as diverting the attention of the international community from more..

Dispatch from Sri Lanka tour

Apr 18 (WG) HOWZIS for the trip of a lifetime? Worksop College cricket team have just toured Sri Lanka, playing friendly matches and taking in the culture. Thirteen of the boys' cricket team, aged 16 to 18, took advantage of the college's pro-active sports programme to sample the sub-continent. They played five matches in 12 days against cricket academies and local schools, winning three times, the highlight being a victory at the Test ground at Columbo. more..

Rajiv Gandhi's ghost haunts TN's bandicoots through Priyanka

Apr 18 (II) No daughter, wife or mother in India, in her senses, would ever wish to have Priyanka Vadra’s life. Ironically, nobody can find fault with her father, husband or her children. They are neither wicked creatures nor despicable by a woman. Moreover, Ms Vadra was born with a silver spoon, in arguably the wealthiest and most powerful families of India. Yet, she deserves all the sympathy from even complete strangers because of her unenviable fate. more..

Swamy wants Priyanka prosecuted

Apr 18 (LG) Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy sees more than what meets the eye in the ‘clandestine’ meeting of Priyanka Vadhra with Nalini, who was part of the team that masterminded the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Swamy, in a statement Thursday, also demanded that Priyanka must be prosecuted by the Tamilnadu Government for the criminal offence of trespass into a highly restricted prison in Vellore, more..

Anandasangari concerned over night air raid

Apr 18 (IANS) A pro-government Tamil moderate leader in Sri Lanka Thursday expressed his “grave concern” over the night air raid by Sri Lankan Air Force jets in the rebel-held northern Wanni region, and urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa “to take immediate action to prevent it”. TULF leader V. Anandasangari in an urgent letter to Rajapaksa with copies to the air force commander and the defence secretary has stated that the aerial attack in the night would cause immense hardships and more..

How high is our Social Esteem in Sri Lanka?

Apr 18 (GV) Our self esteem is central to our survival. Yet, we do not value its importance as we face life’s challenges. Self esteem, whether our own or others’, is strengthened or takes a beating, through the way people communicate with each other. This communication is based on our power in relation to others. So, the more hierarchical and controlling a system is, power is concentrated with a few people, chances are esteem of the people below is undermined. more..

Evolution of the falsifier's role of the Attorney General's Department

Apr 18 (AHRC) Today (April 17), a news item appeared reporting that the government is backing the Attorney General in the face of the severe criticism made by the IIGEP regarding the officers of the Attorney General's Department being part of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Violations of Human Rights (CoI). more..

Bishops deny charges that statue removal abets Tamil rebel struggle

Apr 18 (UCAN) The country's Catholic bishops have responded to criticism over the Church's removal of a revered Marian statue from a shrine in the north, denying it was done at the request of Tamil rebels. The Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka issued a statement April 10 in response to speculation in the media and criticism by politicians. Critics contended the Church aided the rebels' war strategy when it removed the statue on April 3 from more..

Sinhalese and Tamils join hands to mark New Year

Apr 18 (GT) THE Sinhala and Tamil New Year, which fell on April 13, will be celebrated in Qatar by the Sri Lankan community today on a grand scale. The event, being organised by the Sri Lankan Co-ordinating Committee (SLCC) and the Sri Lankan embassy, is to be held at the Al Hambal Boys Secondary school grounds near The Mall on D ring road from 7am to 6pm. Sri Lankan Ambassador S B Atugoda will be the chief guest. more..

Vaiko meets PM on Sri Lanka Tamils issue

Apr 18 (Hindu) Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko on Thursday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here and requested the government to mount diplomatic pressure on the Sri Lankan government to stop its military offensive and initiate peace talks for a workable solution to fulfil the aspirations of Sri Lankan Tamils. Mr. Vaiko told The Hindu that he had explained to Dr. Singh the outcome of an international conference on more..

Opposition, govt trade charges over sanctions threat

Apr 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's main opposition political party says the island is facing international isolation and economic sanctions, a charge rejected by the government. The opposition UNP accused the government of being unable to effectively address international concerns over human rights abuses by the military. But a government spokesman dismissed the charges as baseless, saying the opposition was trying to discredit the government for political gain. more..

Agents help Lankan Tamils escape to US

Apr 18 (TOI) A group Chennai-based agents, with network in Colombo and East Asian countries help Sri Lankan Tamils for illegal migration to the US and Canada. These agents help the Sri Lankans to get fake passports and travel documents and assist them to escape to either the US or Canada. These agents have been sending hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamils through Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand and earning crores in return. more..

Sri Lanka ready to talk with rebels but no contact with facilitators

Apr 18 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government said Thursday that it will be ready for talks with the Tamil Tigers if they eschewed terrorism but has not made any formal contact with the Norwegian peace facilitators on resuming the process of stalled negotiations. "Our doors are always open to start talks provided they give up terrorism," Keheliya Rambukwella, the government's defense spokesman and more..

Gov't says 399 rebels killed in April

Apr 18 (Xinhua) The military in Sri Lanka said Thursday that 399 Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed in clashes with government troops in the north so far in April. Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, the military spokesman, told reporters that 34 soldiers have also been killed while 236 soldiers injured in this period. Nanayakkara added that 16 civilians were killed and 83 civilians were injured in the violence. more..

Information & Strategy - Key to solving Muslim issues in Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (MG) A close look at the Muslim community reveals shocking news on the quality of life as judged by status of education, economy, housing, health, etc. The community as a whole is poorly educated, economically weak, socially neglected and politically deprived. The lack of a full fledged body dedicated to actively monitor and update on issue based information is a drawback that is little realized among the community. more..

New road from Puttalam to Talaimannar soon

Apr 18 (MG) Construction of the New 61 kilometre Siyambalanduwa, Pottuvil, Karathivu road in the Eastern Province had already begun. A new road from Puttalam to Talaimannar along the sea coast, shortening the distance between the two towns, would be constructed and the surveying and land acquisition were in progress, acting Minister of Highways and Road Development T.B. Ekanayaka told. more..

UNP-SLMC rally in Ampara

Apr 18 (MG) Mr. Hassen Ali, Secretary of SLMC and Leader of the UNP Group in Amapara said that voters in Ampara District has changed a lot and 80% of the Voters in Muslim areas are eagerly hoping to vote for UNP. Specially, this change could be seen in the areas where sinhalese people are living in Ampara District and most of them are supporting for UNP. "By now propaganda for mini polls are carrying on without any obstructions, and on the 26th of this month, more..

SRI LANKA: A nation without a political will - AHRC

Apr 18 (SLW) In giving reasons to quit their role, the IIGEP stated that there is no political will on the part of the government to find out the truth about the alleged violations of human rights by agents of the state. This question of the absence of political will affects not only the investigations into violations of rights but, in fact, into all areas of national life. more..

Our politicians and India

Apr 18 (LG) Our politicians have never been able to understand India. They either blow hot or blow cold. Some years before independence Mr. J.R. Jayawerdene, attending a Congress party conference in Trivandrum had stated that Ceylon should be a state of India! The same Mr. Jayawardena unnecessarily went out of his way years later. to antagonize India and her rulers, - so much so they subverted this country and transformed a low intensity ethnic conflict into a full scale of insurgency, more..

JVP petition against new posts in Western PC to be heard on 2nd

Apr 18 (LT) The writ application filed by twenty three JVP members of the Western Provincial Council requesting the Court to compel the administration of the Western Province to refrain from recognizing four new posts created by WPC is to be supported in the Court of Appeal on 2nd May, 2008. The petition was yesterday called before Justice Chandra Ekanayake (President) and Justice Anil Gooneratne. more..

LTTE's first ever Grandma Brigade

Apr 18 (AT) When the LTTE launched its baby brigade it caught international headlines. Years later, the UN the custodian of world peace is yet to take stern action against the LTTE for forceful recruitment & use of children as child soldiers. It is perhaps why the LTTE has decided to go a step further by introducing another brigade known as the Grandma Brigade. If action against the LTTE's use of child soldiers has yet to see results we can imagine the state of the Grandma Brigade as well. more..

London IBC Radio - LTTE Propaganda mouthpiece continuously spews rabid anti Sri Lanka campaign

Apr 18 (AT) The Sri Lankan High Commission in London which has come under heavy scrutiny recently over the management has failed to get the LTTE's IBC Tamil radio station shut down and get it off the air. By the blatantly ignorant approach, Sri Lanka mission in London have simply ignored the LTTE's main media propaganda radio station notwithstanding the fact that the IBC Tamil radio station is run by LTTE agents committing acts of terrorism against the Sri Lankan state. more..

Ranil refused safe journey to East

Apr 18 (LD) The Defense Ministry has turned down a request by the UNP Chairman Rukman Senanayake for the use of a helicopter for party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to travel with adequate security to the East to address Provincial Council election meetings. Mr. Senanayake told ‘Lanka Dissent’ that the Leader of the Opposition had fixed dates to attend several election meetings in the East and therefore had requested the President to provide a helicopter as road travel to the East is not safe. more..

‘Irida Lanka’ continues without Wimal

Apr 18 (LD) ‘Irida Lanka’ the JVP newspaper that had been published under the editorial supervision of Wimal Weerawansa, is to continue without him, from 20th April. In its last issue, edited by the JVP Propaganda Secretary, the newspaper announced its publication from 27th April under the banner name ‘Rivida.’ Lanka Dissent learns that the newspaper’s continuation had run into severe snags with its main sponsor identified as ‘JVP Saman’ switching his allegiance to the dissident faction led by Mr. Weerawansa. more..

'Policies of a new Patriotic Front out soon'

Apr 18 (LD) JVP MP Vijitha Herath says that policies of the new patriotic front will be declared public soon to pull Sri Lanka out from its present crisis. Mr. Herath in an interview to the April 20th issue of ‘Irida Lanka’ which hit newsstands today (April 18th), explained in detail the future plans of this new patriotic front to come. The JVP MP also alleged attempts by the government to prop up a bogus patriotic front to sabotage the party’s work. more..

JVP attacks PNM

Apr 18 (LD) Kalutara District organizer of the Patriotic National Movement (PNM), Hemantha Perera had been attacked in Bandaragama yesterday (April 17th), allegedly by members of the JVP, reports say. The attackers included Kamal Soyza the JVP organizer of Bandaragama, and Ajith Anura a JVP member of the Western Provincial Council, reports add. Mr. Perera had been admitted to Horana Base Hospital. more..

Weerawansa gone underground ?

Apr 18 (LD) Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa has left his residence to a place owing to security concerns, says a close ally of his. Mr. Weerawansa, his wife and two children have moved from their rented house at Pagoda Road in Nugegoda to an undisclosed location. The JVP has completely withdrawn Mr. Weerawansa’s security after the recent internal clashes. more..

Vote for Sinharaja forest to be selected as one of seven wonders of nature

Apr 18 (GDI) Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Patali Champika Ranawaka has appealed to all environment –friendly people to cast their votes via internet for Sinharaja Forest, which has been considered as Global Heritage to be selected as one of seven wonders in the world. Votes could be exercised via One person could cast seven votes but for one monument of nature. more..

Iranian President to visit Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (GDI) The first ever Asian tour of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to start on the April 28 with a two-day state visit to Sri Lanka upon a special request from President Mahinda Rajapaksa. President Ahmadinejad choosing Sri Lanka as his first stop in his first Asian tour is a victory gained by the Sri Lankan President as a political leader in Asia, according to political analysis. more..

LTTE looting medical supplies in hospitals in non-liberated areas

Apr 18 (GDI) The Government while clarifying the issue of shortage of basic medical supplies in non-liberated areas in Wanni said “The LTTE is to be held totally responsible for the suffering caused to many including children and women in the non-liberated northern patches as it is well known that the outfit is shamelessly looting government provided medical supplies and equipment for the treatment of its battle wounded.” more..

Govt. initiates Housing project for low income earners

Apr 18 (GDI) The Government has initiated a housing project at a cost of Rs.1, 500 million as an immediate step to solve the prevailing shelter problem faced by low income earners. The project will be implemented in two different categories, first under the Negenahira Navodhaya development programme and the second under the Plantation Sector Housing Programme. 3,458 housing units costing Rs. 500 million will be constructed for estate workers while more..

Authorities to crack whip on quack doctors in Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (LNP) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry and the Police Department will launch a countrywide one day raid to arrest all quack doctors. It has been discovered that there are 40,000 quack doctors in Sri Lanka at the moment, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said. Sources said these quack doctors pose a great danger to the public because they are strangers to the field of medicine. more..

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation losses reach Rs. 7.3 billion

Apr 18 (LNP) The accumulated losses of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) reached Rs. 7.3 billion by April 15 this year. Petroleum Resources Minister A.H.M. Fowzie told ColomboPage that this loss will be recovered strategically within a short period of time with CPC starting to make profits. We have already implemented many plans to cut the unnecessary costs which enables CPC to make profits in the near future. more..

The rice crisis of Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (LNP) In a far reaching move, the Government yesterday stipulated the maximum retail prices for rice, the staple food of the vast majority of Sri Lankans. Hopefully, this will afford relief to a populace that has been suffering as a result of high rice prices for a number of months. While the mechanisms of enforcement of the new price structure are yet unclear, what is certain is that rice traders will not be able to fleece consumers any longer through artificially inflated prices. more..

15,000 new cancer patients every year

Apr 18 (SAMN) Around 15,000 Sri Lankans, including children, are reported to be contracting some form of cancer annually the Health Ministry said, adding that 60 per cent of these new cases were women. The ministry attributed the alarming increase to smoking, drinking water boiled in aluminium pots and consumption of junk food. The alarming discovery had come to light following a comprehensive survey conducted by the Health Ministry. more..

Uplifting women entrepreneurs

Apr 18 (SAMN) The National Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (NCCSL) inaugurated the 'Women's Wing' project to recognise the hidden talents of women and assist them in business enterprises. "We are the only Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka to inaugurate a women's project named 'Women's Wing'. "The main objective of this project is to recognise the hidden talents of women and assist them in their business enterprises," President, NCCSL, D. Eassuwaren said. more..

JVP to hold 3000 pocket meetings in East

Apr 18 (SAMN) The JVP has decided to hold 3,000 pocket meetings at domestic level in the electorates of Kalmunai, Pottuvil and Sammanthurai. The Ampara District Leader of JVP, Krishantha Priyadarshana said these meetings would be held in addition to the main public meetings, house-to-house canvassing and distribution of hand bills. He said some political parties were engaged in the election campaign to achieve communal and separatist goals in an area where Tamils and Muslims were a majority. more..

Voting rights for 48,000 IDPs

Apr 18 (SAMN) PAFFREL Chief, Kingsley Rodrigo and Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayaka are to discuss several issues relating to the upcoming Eastern polls including the granting of voting rights to about 50,000 people displaced in the province. Although a circular was issued by the Elections Commissioner calling for all IDP’s to re-register themselves to vote for the provincial council elections, only some 1600 had done so, leaving more than 48,000 IDP’s without voting rights. more..

Oncology Unit for Batticaloa Hospital

Apr 18 (DN) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva has ordered the relevant officials to set up an Oncology Unit at the Batticaloa Hospital and send the required number of doctors and Cobolt Machines as soon as possible, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. He said that Minister has also ordered to upgrade work on the existing Oncology Units at the Kandy, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Karapitiya, Ampara and Badulla hospitals in order to more..

Lanka needs a common language

Apr 18 (DN) "Sri Lanka should adopt a language policy which is seen in countries like Singapore where English is the common language. When a common language is in place Tamil people will no longer feel like strangers. However I still say that Sri Lanka has only a terrorist problem". All languages should be given equal rights and then there would be no ethnic problem in the country. Due to the language discrimination Tamil people do not feel comfortable and this is leading to problems. more..

Rice price control decided after consulting millers – Govt.

Apr 18 (Island) The Government decided on the new price structure for rice only after consulting the Rice Millers’ Association, Secretary to the Ministry of Trade, Consumer Affairs and Cooperatives Dr. R. M. K. Ratnayake said yesterday. He said President Mahinda Rajapaksa before taking the decision had pointed out that farmers had been granted a fertilizer subsidy totalling Rs 17 billion and like the farmers, the consumers, too, should be benefited. more..

Presidential appointments: A way of accommodating ‘rejected’ politicos

Apr 18 (Island) Many retired politicians are among a group of politically influential persons employed as consultants/advisors to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the taxpayers' expense. The waste of public funds on so called consultants to the President is continuing despite the UNP criticism. Although the UNP had attacked the government over this in Parliament early last year there had been no sustained campaign against it. more..

UNP D says it won’t join SLFP

Apr 18 (DM) Reference to the news item titled ‘UNP D-Group to join the government’ published on page 3 of Daily Mirror of Wednesday April 16, the UNP D-Group has sent the following statement: “We wish to state categorically that our group has no intention of joining the SLFP and there had been no discussion whatsoever by anyone of us on such matters. We would like to state that we are UNPers and we would continue to be so as long as the people who elected wants us. more..