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Magistrate orders sealing of printing press

Apr 1 (DM) Colombo’s Additional Magistrate yesterday ordered the sealing of the Outreach Multi Media Press and the Renaissance Publicity Co at Jampettah Street Kotahena for allegedly utilizing them for LTTE propaganda work. Magistrate Poornima Paranagamage made the order following an application made by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID). more..

PIU probes corrupt officials

Apr 1 (Island) The Presidential Investigation Division has begun probing complaints made against a number of Administrative Officials, including Divisional Secretaries, senior official sources said yesterday (31). Among the complaints received against certain Divisional Secretaries were those of preparing forged land deeds and selling state land fraudulently and for defrauding public funds allocated for various projects implemented by the government, more..

Pillaiyan denies rift in UPFA

Apr 1 (Island) Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) leader Pillaiyan yesterday said that there was no conflict between his party and the UPFA vis-a-vis the forthcoming PC polls in the East. "There is absolutely no problem between as rumoured by some parties. We contest under the betel leaf of the UPFA and will win the East," Pillaiyan told The Island yesterday. more..

Terror suspect or a prisoner of conscience?

Apr 1 (KT) MY friend Jayaprakash Tissainayagam is in detention. A senior journalist and Tamil, he was arrested on March 7 by the Terrorism Investigations Department (TID) and he does not know why he is being detained. Yesterday, the supreme court took up a fundamental rights petition filed by him, challenging his detention. Is he a terror suspect or a prisoner of conscience? more..

Sri Lanka frees 12 more Indian fishermen

Apr 1 (IANS) Sri Lanka Tuesday freed 12 Indian fishermen who were arrested by its navy while poaching in the island's territorial waters in early March, diplomatic sources here said. The navy arrested 59 Indian fishermen and seized six fishing trawlers March 8 off Chilaw. The authorities released 47 of them in two trawlers after two days. The others have been in custody since then. more..

A Sri Lankan boxer in Olympics after 40 years

Apr 1 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will send a boxer ranked within top eight in the world to vie for a medal at the upcoming Olympics - for the first time in 40 overs. According to the Daily News, Sri Lankan Amateur Boxing Association president Dian Gomes will travel to Beijing along with the island's famous boxer Anuruddha Rathnayake. 'After 40 years, Sri Lanka is sending a boxer to the Olympics and all the long hours of hard work is rewarded. more..

Japan NTT sells Sri Lanka Telecom stake for $297 mln

Apr 1 (Reuters) Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp sold its 35.2 percent stake in Sri Lanka Telecom to a Malaysian mobile network operator for $297 million, sending Sri Lanka Telecom shares to a record high. The deal, which values Sri Lanka Telecom at $844 million, had been expected after a court last month ruled that NTT could sell its stake in Sri Lanka Telecom following a lengthy legal battle, but the price exceeded analysts' expectations. more..

Prabhakaran met suicide squad before Lankan vessel was sunk

Apr 1 (PTI) LTTE chief V Prabhakaran met his "elite" Black Sea Tigers suicide squad before they detonated an explosion on a Sri Lankan Navy Fast Attack Craft that killed 10 sailors late last month. "The 10 sailors who had gone missing since March 22 are now presumed dead," a defence ministry official said. Meanwhile, pro-LTTE website Tamilnet has said that the members of the suicide squad had a meeting with Prabhakaran and more..

Central bank defends policy after IMF report

Apr 1 (Reuters) A senior central bank official in Sri Lanka defended the authority's policies on Tuesday, arguing that the International Monetary Fund had given a misleading picture of the country's inflation. In a report at the weekend, the IMF said loose fiscal and monetary policies were contributing to Sri Lanka's inflation and rising prices could not be entirely blamed on external factors such as the rising import costs of food and oil. more..

Hartal against Pillayan group in Kalmunai

Apr 1 (MG) A hartal is being observed today in Kalmunai area against Pillayan Group and requesting the government to ensure the security of Muslims. In an incident last night member of Pillayan group had come armed to Kalmunai Muslim coastal area and interfered in the affairs of the Muslims of the area which was not welcomed by the Muslim community. It is reported that the situation arose when those engaged in illegal fishing were asked to stop it and vacate the area by the other fishermen. more..

Home Guard, policemen killed aid workers: report

Apr 1 (IANS) One of Sri Lanka's most respected rights groups revealed Tuesday that a Home Guard and two policemen shot dead 17 aid workers in the country's volatile east two years ago even as the victims begged for mercy. The University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR) identified the killers of the predominantly Tamil aid workers as Jehangir, a Muslim Home Guard who was seen as a thug, and constables Susantha and Nilantha, both from the Sinhalese community. more..

Variable rains and flooding impact on rice harvest

Apr 2 (IRIN) Changing rainfall patterns in Sri Lanka have prompted later paddy planting by farmers and affected the country’s overall rice yield, government officials said. Traditionally, rice farmers would begin planting in early October for the Maha harvest – the main growing season in the country. However, variable rainfall in that month over the past two decades has pushed farmers to wait until the rains arrive, sometimes as late as the end of the month. more..

'Wait to see the MPs response to the new acting Parliamentary Secretary'

Apr 2 (LeN) Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara said that the President had appointed Mr. Dhammika Kithulagoa as Acting Parliamentary Secretary. He further stated that names had not been forwarded by the Constitution Council, which is still defunct. When enquired about the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe's statement that an appointment of a Parliamentary Secretary by the President would violate the parliamentary privileges, the Speaker said that the response of the MPs could be seen on April 08, when the parliament met again. more..

Laws alone cannot avert the crisis in the coconut industry

Apr 2 (FP) The escalating cost of living is a topic that has immense conversational possibilities. Ideas are bandied about concerning this topic of unending interest by politicians who depending on their hue either justify or condemn the increase , housewives who complain and trade unions who protest about it. In the midst of all these conversations the subject of most discussion centres around the increase in the price of coconuts. more..

Buddhists who stand up

Apr 2 (IHT) Westerners tend to think of Buddhism as a passive religion, focused on silent meditation and personal spiritual growth. The image of the Buddha seated with a smile sums it up. So while the West is highly familiar with conflict and activism in other religions, the "saffron revolution" in Burma and the "high altitude revolt" in Tibet have come as a surprise to many. more..

Lightening kills four Sri Lankan soldiers

Apr 2 (IANS) At least four Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and 59 wounded when a lightening struck them when they were undergoing physical training near a military base in the north-central Polonnaruwa district Tuesday evening. 'A group of soldiers was engaged in a routine training exercise when a lightening hit them, leaving four soldiers killed and 59 wounded at the Katukaliyawa Army camp in Minneriya Tuesday around 5.30 p.m.,' more..

Sharjah to build houses for poor

Apr 2 (WAM) Visiting Sri Lankan Minister of Labour Relations and Manpower Athauda Seneviratne discussed Monday with Director General of Sharjah Secretariat General of Auqaf Jamal Al Taraifi arrangements for opening a housing project in Sri Lanka. His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has instructed building of 500 houses for poor families in Sri Lanka. more..

'Every day is made April fool’s day by this regime'

Apr 2 (LG) Gayantha Karunatilleke, UNP M.P speaking to the media, (1Apr) wished that at least this Sinhala New Year will bring relief to the people although the Govt. is having no plans whatsoever towards achieving this end, except nourishing itself and its largest Cabinet in the World of 108 Ministers. Recalling the last Presidential elections, he said, but for the illicit deal with the LTTE, Mahinda Rajapakse would not be in the Presidential seat now. more..

Eastern PC Polls: With Whom

Apr 2 (LG) Provincial Council (PC) elections for the Eastern Province are scheduled for May 10 this year. According to the Gazette notification on March 13, nominations for eastern PC polls will be accepted from March 23 to April 3. It appears that the eastern PC stakes would attract more political parties than the recently concluded local authority polls for Batticaloa District. more..

Mannar Bishop appeals for protection of Madhu Church

Apr 2 (TC) The Catholic Bishop of Mannar Rt. Rev. Joseph Rayappu has lodged an urgent appeal that the Our Lady of the Rosary shrine at Marudhamadhu (Madhu) be protected from escalating military activity in the vicinity. Bishop Rayappu makes this appeal to both the Government and LTTE and points out that increased shelling has caused many who sought refuge to move out as more..

Sri Lankan marketers say conventional media getting crowded

Apr 2 (LBO) Fragmented audiences in traditional media like television and radio have made commercial inserts in programs less effective especially to reach urban consumers, marketers in Sri Lanka have said. This was pushing advertisers into emerging new media such as the internet, mobile and to sales points. Conventional advertising on television, radio and print, popular with marketers, are often ignored by consumers. more..

Popular Sri Lanka actress stars in broadband push

Apr 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom's brand ambassador for broadband services popular actress Pooja Umashankar says celebrities must be choosy about the products they endorse. Celebrity icons must control endorsing brands to increase responsible buying among the public, Lanka born actress with ties to India, Pooja Umashankar said, endorsing the island's biggest fixed line operator, Sri Lanka Telecom. more..

MR’s eastern nightmare returns

Apr 2 (ML) Even as the EPDP, uncomfortable with the government’s new alliance with its rival in arms the TMVP has decided to contest the Eastern polls alone, a UNP/SLMC was being fine tuned as the Karuna/Pillayan faction insists the Chief Minister of the province must be drawn from its ranks. The TMVP armed to the teeth and under the protective umbrella of the government is predictably confident of a sweeping win. more..

Are free and fair Elections possible in Sri Lanka?

Apr 2 (ML) Imagine a typical Parliamentary Election held in 1977, 1970, 1965 or earlier. There is only one major Election, most often once in five years. Parliament has been ‘dissolved,’ a caretaker Government is in place and all Members of Parliament have been relegated to the status of ordinary citizens. Permanent Secretaries of Ministries, not being political appointees are free of political pressure and other machinations for political advantage. more..

Govt. MPs ordered not to leave country

Apr 2 (ML) The President has issued a directive to all Government Members of Parliament to be in Sri Lanka next week and attend Parliament in anticipation of opposition protests over the appointment of Acting Secretary General Dhammika Kitulegoda. Following the Presidential directive, Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle informed the ruling party MPs in writing to cancel all foreign travel next week and attend parliament. more..

Whither Sri Lanka under MR?

Apr 2 (ML) There are a number of writers posing off as authoritative in their comments and opinions about the beginning of the ethnic strife in Lanka. Some of them even admit that their’s is yet another perspective not free from personal bias and prejudice, and further, that they are not free of the choice of a person’s pet theory from his/her own circumstances. And that’s the truth about it. more..

Video: Prabhakaran movie trailer

Muslim vs. Tamil battle for East’s CM?

Apr 2 (BL) In an about turn of face, President Mahinda Rajapaksa whose party allied with the Pillaiyan led TMVP to contest elections in the east appears to have offered the key Chief Minister position to SLMC dissident M.L.A.M. Hisbullah who decided to contest the Eastern Provincial Council election on the government ticket last night. Hot on the heels of the long awaited SLMC decision to contest the Eastern Provincial Council election with the UNP, more..

Acting Secy. General’s appointment valid only for 14 days

Apr 2 (BL) The appointment of Dhammika Kithulgoda as acting Secretary General of Parliament by the President is legally valid for a period of 14 days only, constitutional experts and lawyers said yesterday. Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) Chairman Elmo Perera said that the appointment of Kitulgoda for the post of the Acting Secretary General made by the President is lawful for two weeks, more..

Rotten to the core

Apr 2 (BL) It wasn’t an April fool’s joke after all, the screaming headlines in most national newspapers yesterday morning. It was true – and incongruously so. After so much haranguing in Parliament over the last several weeks, the President once again showed everyone who’s boss by making an appointment of his choice to the hallowed position of Parliament Secretary General, and to hell with the Constitutional Council (CC). more..

Take a leaf out of India and make the language leap

Apr 2 (BL) Even as Sinhala Nationalism is fast sweeping the country, as it did in the mid fifties, out of the wilderness, were voiced words of wisdom by Former Permanent Secretary Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Amara Hewamadduma. Hewamadduma was speaking at Monday’s book launch of a collection of articles published in five newspapers, written by Rivira Editor Upali Tennekoon. more..

Youth Ex-patriots of Sri Lanka launched at Channa-Upuli dance extravaganza

Apr 2 (AT) Sponsored by Sri Lanka Foundation, the world-renowned dance troupe of Channa Wijewardena and Upuli Panibharatha -Channa-Upuli Dance-performed to a packed audience who were mesmerized by the show’s, authenticity as well its awesome professionalism. Dr. Walter Jayasinghe Founder-President of the Sri Lanka Foundation appealed to the altruism of everyone present to help sent groups of Sri Lankan youth back home every year as more..

President intervenes and Prof Vitharana dumps others

Apr 2 (LD) The original decision of the USA that consists of the two old left parties, the LSSP and the SL Communist Party, the SLMP, the DVJP and Vasudeva Nanayakkara’s DLF that decided to contest the Eastern Province elections in coalition with the newly aligned Tamil Democratic National Alliance (TDNA) which includes PLOTE, EPRLF (Pathmanabha Wing) and the TULF has come a cropper with the President intervening, say sources close to the CP and the LSSP. more..

The Role of India

Apr 2 (LG) Liam Fox is back again but he may not succeed as he did last time when he was able to obtain the signatures of both Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremesinghe for a memorandum of understanding. It is said that Fox is on an invitation by the minister of foreign affairs but we do not know whether he got himself invited. In politics, especially in so called international relations what is stated is very often different from what has actually taken place in this age of the common man who is more..

The Buddha, his noble philosophy and Rasputin monks

Apr 2 (LG) Buddha’s philosophy is universal loving kindness towards humanity and all life on Earth. ‘Refrain from harming any life’ is the first of the five most basic promises all Buddhists make before images of the Buddha apart from the other four i.e. stealing, lying, indulging in wrongful sensual pleasures and consumption of alcohol. Last full moon day the President was shown on TV making the same promises sitting before the JHU monk Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka, with a large gathering at his residence. more..

Ban "My daughter, the Terrorist" EROS urges US

Apr 2 (AT) Eelam Revolutionary Organization (EROS) has urged the United States Government to ban the “Black Tiger” documentary in the United States of America, as it was a blatant propaganda film glorifying suicide bombers and terrorism in Sri Lanka and would entice would-be suicide bombers to join terrorist organizations that are a threat to the interests of the United States. more..

Sri Lankan local polls: a travesty of democracy

Apr 2 (wsws) Local elections in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province last month provide a graphic picture of the regime that the government intends to impose on areas “liberated” from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the country’s renewed civil war. Far from being a fair and free vote, the campaign was dominated by intimidation and thuggery directed against the government’s opponents. more..

Eastern PC election, another step in Sinhalasisation of East - TNA

Apr 2 (TN) The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has projected himself as an "ultra Sinhala nationalist leader" in all his decisions since taking office in 2005, was going ahead with his agenda of Sinhalasising the Eastern sector of the North-East, the historical habitation of Tamil speaking people, in the guise of development, splitting it into High Security Zones, Industrial Zones and Environmental Zones, more..

Thousands march in Mannaar, urge protection for Madu shrine

Apr 2 (TN) More than five-thousand people of Mannaar city gathered at St. Sebastian's Cathedral Wednesday morning for an special prayer service and staged a peace march towards the District Secretariat and handed over an appeal, urging the warring parties, the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (LTTE) to respect the area of Madu Shrine as a 'Zone of Peace'. more..

6 killed in Kuruwita jailbreak attempt

Apr 2 (LD) Six prisoners were killed and three others injured in shootout during an attempted jailbreak and a subsequent search operation in Kuruwita yesterday evening (April 02nd), Prisons Commissioner General Vajira Wijegunawardena said. Two prisoners are still unaccounted for. A group of sixty prisoners had been brought to the Kuruwita Prison after being produced before the Ruwanwella and Avissawella courts. more..

Foreign Minister meets British Foreign Secretary

Apr 2 (GDI) Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama met with the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office yesterday (01). According to a joint press statement by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they conducted a cordial and frank exchange of views on the situation in Sri Lanka and more..

Special Director to resolve issues of Adivasi community

Apr 2 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (01) made a special request to appoint a Special Director to deal with issues faced by the Adivasi community in Sri Lanka and to ensure their welfare. President made these instructions to the Ministry of Environment during a meeting held with the Adivasi community leader Uruvarige Vanniyela Aththo at the President's House in Kandy. more..

Inflation rate will come down - Dr.Ranjith Bandara, Director MBSL predicts

Apr 2 (GDI) Director of the Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL), Dr. Ranjith Bandara addressing a media briefing on the annual performance of the Bank today (02) stated that people should not see inflation as a major draw back. He further stated that as an economist he can assume that the current trend of increasing crude oil price will decrease in the near future, thus bringing down the inflation rate. more..

Rs.100 million for rabies prevention

Apr 2 (GDI) Ministry of Health launcheda rabies prevention project in the Sabaragamuwa Province yesterday (01). The Government in its 2008 budget has allocated Rs. 100 million for rabies control activities under President Mahinda Rajapaksa's 'no kill' policy. The Ministry plan to launch the rabies prevention project in Wayamba and Western Provinces as well shortly and Rs. 10 million has been allocated for each province. more..

25 million increase in income generated through migrant workers

Apr 2 (GDI) Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFBE) declared that there has been an increase of Rs.25 million in income generated by Sri Lankan migrant workers during the past month. The increased income is due to the registration fees charged from migrant workers at the airport, which in 2007 exceeded the previous year's income by 50 million rupees. The SLBFE charges Rs.7,700 from each Sri Lankan going abroad for employment, more..

Education Ministry to upgrade 150 schools by year end

Apr 2 (GDI) Education Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday said that 150 schools will be elevated to fully fledged educational institutions under the Isuru Pasal concept. The Minister, speaking at the launch of the Education for Knowledge Society Project (EKSP), said the project aimed at improving the quality, relevance, effectiveness of secondary and tertiary education is funded by Asian Development Bank to the tune of Rs. 11,550 million. more..

No journalists killed in Sri Lanka in 2007, UNESCO confirms

Apr 2 (GDI) UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura's report for 2007 listing the names of 53 journalists killed in number of countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia DPR Congo, Palestine and Myanmar concedes that tot a single journalist has been killed in Sri Lanka in the year under review. There had been no killings of journalists in Sri Lanka, India, Philippines, Russia, Colombia, Ecuador, Lebanon and Pakistan, where there had been killings of journalists in the previous year, according to the report. more..

US $ 10m from World Bank to develop schools in North and East

Apr 2 (GDI) The World Bank is to provide US $ 10 million towards the development of schools in the cleared areas in the North and East, said Education Minister Susil Premjayanth. The Minister, addressing a meeting after an inspection tour of the special English unit of Katawala school in the company of Provincial Council Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Neranjan Wikramasinghe, more..

UN honours Sri Lankan troops in Haiti

Apr 2 (GDI) Sri Lankan soldiers in Haiti have received the United Nations Peacekeeping Medal in recognition of their contribution to peace in Haiti, the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) said. The medal ceremony was held at the Sri Lankan contingent's headquarters in Leogane. Sri Lankan peacekeepers, who have been working for a more stable security environment in Haiti for several years now carry out motorised and foot patrols as well as man traffic control points on a daily basis. more..

'LTTE remains a hindrance to bring about peace'

Apr 2 (AT) In his address at London International Institute of Strategic Studies, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka very elaborately informed the measures taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to bring about a peaceful solution to the 20 year old ethnic conflict in the country and regretfully how determinedly the separatist terrorist organization has always adopted measures to overturn government’s peace overtures. more..