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Child malnutrition extreme in North

Apr 2 (SAMN) Humanitarian agencies say hundreds of children in the North are suffering from severe malnutrition, with essential supplies, including therapeutic food supplements given to severely malnourished children, yet to reach them. According to the Kilinochchi District Hospital, more than 500 children below the age of five in the Kilinochchi District, suffer from severe malnutrition. more..

112 schools in SP close down

Apr 2 (SAMN) At least one school in the Southern Province was on the verge of being closed down once in 38 days during the past five years, President of the Southern Province Public Accounts Committee and Member of the Southern Provincial Council Nalin Hewage said. He said the main reason was non admittance of children and gradual non attendance. He said since 2004, 38 schools in the province had been closed and more..

Bus delays Veddah lunch with President

Apr 2 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa played host to a Veddah delegation led by Veddah Chief, Uruvarige Vanniyala Athatho at his official residence in Kandy Tuesday. The President had invited representatives of the country’s dwindling indigenous community for lunch at the official residence. But they arrived there several hours late. An apologetic Veddah Chief, Vanniyala Aththo explained to Maha Hura (the President) who looked visibly anxious about the delay in the arrival of his guests, more..

SC releases Tiran’s passport to visit US

Apr 2 (SAMN) The Supreme Court Monday (31) directed that the passport of CBE Group of Companies’ Chairman, Tiran Alles’, impounded by the Chief Magistrate, Colombo be released to him for three weeks to facilitate his visit to the United States in connection with his son’s education. The passport is to be released on the surety of his mother and his brother. more..

Alarming rise in dog bite deaths

Apr 2 (DN) The number of deaths reported due to dog bites during the last two months is 10 while 56 cases were reported in 2007. This is an alarming increase which is mainly due to the increase in dogs in Sri Lanka which exceeds three million, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said. The Government has taken a policy decision not to kill dogs as a method to reduce the stray dog population. The source said 20 per cent of the three million dogs are stray and 80 per cent domestic dogs. more..

Baby sold: Mother in custody

Apr 2 (DN) Police arrested on Monday evening a mother and another woman who sold a four-day-old infant for Rs.100,000 in Udathalawinna, Wattegama. According to OIC Wattegama IP Chintaka Bandara, following information a police team was deployed to arrest a mother who sold the four-day-old baby girl in Udathalawinna. "The woman separated from her husband had given birth to a girl and sold the baby to another woman through a broker to cover her illegal birth," more..

Lankan peacekeepers in Haiti without wages as big guns fail to pay UN dues

Apr 2 (Island) The Army Headquarters yesterday attributed the non-payment of due membership contributions to the UN Mission by leading members such as USA, Japan and several Western Nations to the failure of payment of salaries to Sri Lankan Peace Keeping Troops in Minustash, Haiti. The Army said it had been intimated about this inordinate delay by leading Western Nations in reimbursing the United Nations Mission. more..

Somawansa briefs British MPs on ethnic crisis

Apr 2 (Island) JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe met with four British Parliamentarians, Andrew Love, Stephen Hammond, Andrew Guerge and Dr. Asok Kumar at the JVP London office on Monday. After the meeting British Parliamentary group leader Andrew Love told reporters that the meeting was centered round a political solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem. Amarasinghe, briefing the British team, traced the history of the country’s ethnic conflict and said the LTTE and more..

Country heads for destruction: Academics warn MR

Apr 2 (DM) Kandy academics including some who actively supported President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last Presidential election have sent an open letter to warn him that the country is on a path of destruction. The group says: “Politics that justify killings, and upholds them as heroism, has condemned the life of the average person - whose only hope is peace and self respect - to one of unending fear and misery. more..

President off to China again

Apr 2 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a high level government delegation will fly to China on a five day visit next Monday, sources said. This is President Rajapaksa’s second visit to China in just over a year. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and several other top Government Ministers are scheduled to accompany the President during the April 7-11 visit to China. Details of the visit have not yet been made public. more..

Hisbullah croses over to govt

Apr 2 (BBC) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Batticaloa district main organiser M.L.A.M. Hisbullah has crossed over to the government. He has placed his signature for the United Peoples Front Allaince (SLFA) nomination list at the President's House on Tuesday. "I got an assurance that I would be appointed as the chief minister if we get more Muslim members elected to the provincial council", more..

Intel to target Sri Lanka for investment

Apr 2 (DT) Having achieved great results from its investment in China, Intel is planning to next invest Sri Lanka, which has a population of over 20 million, according to Cadol Cheung, managing director at Intel Capital Asia Pacific. Cheung pointed out that the company invested US$200 million in China to set up a technology foundation beginning in 2005 which has achieved great results, as a result the company will continue to proceed with this strategy. more..

ACF Demands International Inquiry into Sri Lankan Assassinations

Apr 2 (AN) Even as the Sri Lankan University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR) organisation publishes its report on the savage assassination of 17 ACF aid workers on 4th August 2006 in Muttur, ACF is calling for an international inquiry to fully investigate these murders to reveal the whole truth and bring those responsible to justice. ACF is shocked by the amount of detail exposed in this report: more..

Sri Lanka military says 13 rebels, 1 soldier killed in northern fighting

Apr 2 (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers launched a pre-dawn attack Wednesday on Tamil separatists in the embattled north, triggering a battle that killed 13 rebels and one soldier, while fighter planes bombed a separate guerrilla base, the military said. Troops pushed into Tamil Tiger rebel-held territory and seized took control of Kalaiadachchan village in Mannar district, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said. more..

Media union demands end to political intervention in state media

Apr 2 (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) supports the Lake House Employee’s Union (LHEU) in filing a Fundamental Rights petition to prevent political interference and intimidation of journalists working with media outlets belonging to the government-owned Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd (ANCL), or Lake House, and to promote implementation of the Lake House Provisions Act. more..

LTTE mines uprooted during rains, army operations also hit

Apr 2 (PTI) Heavy rains in northern Sri Lanka has uprooted LTTE laid landmines, which are floating over ground in the region hampering army operations, causing concern to the authorities. It was a virtual swap of mines and some explosives as heavy rains swept these ammunitions away, landing both in the army and LTTE controlled areas, media reports said. Army and LTTE activities were hampered by the rains which brought down the intensity of battle for a few days, more..

Tamil Nadu party seeks ban on Lankan film 'Prabhakaran'

Apr 2 (IANS) A Tamil Nadu party Tuesday filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking a ban on the Tamil film 'Prabhakaran' made in Sri Lanka, saying it 'denigrated' Tamil people. VCK party leader Thol Thirumavalavan, after filing the petition, told reporters, 'Though named after Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran, the film denigrates the entire Tamil race.' more..

Network supplying uniforms to LTTE busted

Apr 2 (Hindu) The Coastal Security Group police on Tuesday busted a network involved in supplying uniforms to the LTTE. It came to light when a CSG team raided a boat near the fishing harbour in Rameswaram. The boat used to make illegal trips to Iranatheevu, controlled by the LTTE, in Sri Lanka. There were five persons on board. They possessed photographs of model uniforms, which were supposed to be delivered to a group of tailors in Tamil Nadu. more..

Sri Lanka's SOS to Pakistan for urgent arms supplies

Apr 2 (IANS) Faced with stiff resistance from Tamil Tiger guerrillas, Sri Lanka has ordered emergency military supplies from Pakistan, according to official sources here. In a development noted with some concern by the Indian establishment, the Sri Lanka Army has sought 150,000 rounds of 60 mm mortar ammunition and as many hand grenades for immediate delivery, the sources said. more..

Hakeem, Segudawood & Ali resign as MPs to contest East PC polls

Apr 2 (LD) Three strongman of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, including its leader Rauff Hakeem, have resigned from their parliamentary seats in order to contest the May 10th provincial council election in the east. Mr. Hakeem, along with SLMC Chairman Basheer Segudawood and General Secretary Hassen Ali, sent their letters of resignations to Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara this afternoon (April 02nd), Mr. Kariappar said. more..

Sri Lankan elections could be violent

Apr 3 (UPI) The Sri Lankan government has declared that elections for the provincial council in the east will be held on May 10. This is a bold call. Its success in conducting local government elections peaceably in the Batticaloa district, one of the three districts that comprise the Eastern Province, has emboldened the government to take up the challenge of elections. more..

Sri Lankan growth won't decelerate as ADB says - Central Bank

Apr 3 (Reuters) The Asian Development Bank said on Wednesday Sri Lanka's economic growth will probably slow to 6 percent this year and next, but the country's central bank governor said he saw no reason to revise a 7 percent target. In its 2008 outlook said on Wednesday, the ADB said the slowdown from 6.8 percent in 2007 would be due to high interest rates and global economic weakness. more..

Sri Lanka tea board says no to legal exports of 'refuse' tea

Apr 3 (LBO) Tea Board has turned down an appeal by export firms to ship tea below government stipulated standards, saying it no longer allowed such shipments. Tea board director-general H D Hemaratna said exports of sub-standard teas was a "serious matter" and the trade was concerned such shipments could tarnish the reputation of Ceylon tea. Tea exports from Sri Lanka must be above a stipulated ISO 3720 standard, more..

MSD seizes media IDs of ‘Swarnavahini’ crew

Apr 3 (LD) Two personnel from the Ministerial Security Division (MSD) have seized the accreditation cards of a ‘Swarnavahini’ camera crew that went to cover an illegal land filling in Kotte today (Apr. 02nd). When contacted, Programme Manager of the channel Shan Wijetunga said that accompanied by a cameraman, he had gone to Samarakoon Park near Ananda Balika Vidyalaya this afternoon, following information about the unlawful act. more..

Alleged torture of man by prison officer in Kandy

Apr 3 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from the Kandy Human Rights Office, a human rights organization, regarding the case of torture of a man by a prison officer in last December and early January. Even though this case was informed to the Prison Commissioner on February 19 but, to date no investigation has been conducted. His family worries about his safety in the prison. more..

Police allegedly do not arrest the accused due to private relationship

Apr 3 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the continued inaction of the police into the alleged sexual abuse of a five-year-old girl by her father in Sri Lanka. The girl's grandmother filed a complaint at the Panwila police station in Kandy on 18 June 2007. A court has issued a warrant for arrest however to date the police have failed to arrest the alleged perpetrator. more..

Number of missing Tamils increasing, human rights groups say

Apr 3 (VoA) As violence surges in Sri Lanka, so does the number of abductions and disappearance of mostly Tamil men. That is the assessment of human rights activists and international aid groups operating in the Indian Ocean nation. Raymond Thibodeaux files this report for VOA from Batticolao, on the eastern edge of Sri Lanka. Soli Chana, 23, is trying to find out what happened to her husband. more..

Pax Americana, the EU, and the Tamil resistance movement

Apr 3 (LG) The European Union (EU) has banned the Tamil Resistance Movement (TRM) from Europe as a terrorist movement on May 29 2006.1 The TRM includes the LTTE, organisations and individuals being supportive of the LTTE. In Tamil, the term iyakkam, ‘the movement’, is commonly used. The ban was preceded by a joint motion on May 17 2006.2 They are made object of a political comment in the following text. more..

Seeking Justice in a Racist State

Apr 3 (LG) These are ordinary, simple but credible people, with no time for terrorism, with a common sense approach to justice, who come forward to assist the Commission to seek the truth. Instead of the Sri Lankan state protecting them, it has alienated and outlawed them while protecting and defending the real perpetrators of the crimes. For a Tamil-speaking person seeking justice from the racist state of Sri Lanka is like writing a letter to Santa Claus. more..

LTTE political party hands in nominations

Apr 3 (BBC) Peoples Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT), the political party of the LTTE registered with the Election Commissioner's Department has handed over nomination papers for the forthcoming Eastern Provincial Council Elections. The nomination papers were handed on Wednesday to the Ampara Government Agent, Sunil Kannangara. Seventeen candidates including two women handed over the nomination papers signed by the Secretary of the Peoples Front of Liberation Tigers, Yogaratnam Yogi. more..

A violent history of experiments with weapons

Apr 3 (SLW) The LTTE is not running large weapons factories in the Island anymore. Almost all the weapons and ammunitions are imported or manufactured from outside Sri Lanka, with the most recent being brought in Indian fishing trawlers and unloaded at Veduthalthivu and Chalai. However, there is evidence that the Tigers continue to experiment with the manufacturing of improvised Explosive devices (IEDs). more..

Smashing pots and pans: CIA-inspired

Apr 3 (SLW) It seems that UNP National Organizer S.B. Dissanayake has borrowed a leaf from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency which helped to stage the rightwing military coup that overthrew Salvador Allende's government in Chile. With the ousting of the popularly elected Allende the way was open for the notorious General Augusto Pinochet to seize power. more..

Some rudimentary thoughts on Arthur C. Clarke’s funeral

Apr 3 (GV) There may have been some two to three hundred mourners at his funeral. Most of them seemed to have been his close acquaintances or those known to him at least remotely. I don’t know how many scientists or science fiction writers were there to represent the field of Clarke’s scribe. From Sinhala art field there were two, namely Ajith Thilakasena and Sugath Watagadhara, and one politician, Prof. Thissa Vitharana. more..

Is globalization boon for Sri Lanka?

Apr 3 (IL) Globalization has had both a negative and a positive impact on the contemporary world. Many countries have greatly benefited through globalization as a result of dramatically- increased trade and cultural exchange, while, at the same time, some observers have been critical of globalization for various reasons. These include environmental concerns and the increase of social ills. more..

"The need for building bridges": Another view

Apr 3 (MB) In an article titled "The need for building bridges", Shanie (Notebook of a Nobody, The Island, March 8, 2008), attempts "to place in perspective the measures that disenfranchised the hill country Tamils", and refers to the legislation associated with this issue as being "pernicious". The issue of the franchise of the Indian Tamils cannot be "placed in perspective" in a few paragraphs because of its complexity. more..

Sri Lanka get a shot at history

Apr 3 (CI) A victory in the opening Test in Guyana has given Sri Lanka a golden opportunity to claim their first series win in the Caribbean. A win here would also give them a special record: they will become the first visiting side to complete a clean-sweep in the West Indies. Australia came close five years ago, when they won the first three Tests but a record-breaking chase in the final Test in Antigua snuffed out their hopes of a whitewash. more..

Lanka's China policy and Tibet's turmoil

Apr 3 (SLW) The crisis in Tibet is among the latest gimmicks that anti-Sri Lankan elements are using to ridicule our country. The Khaleej Times on March 25 ran an article titled Politics keeping Lanka from helping Tibet and argued that our government should help the Tibetan nationalist cause as an expression of gratitude to the extensive moral support that the Tibetan Buddhist monk Tasimgal - better known as S. Mahinda - gave to the Sinhalas in their struggle against British rule. more..

Foreign Minister and Commonwealth Secretary General on Pakistan’s membership to the Commonwealth

Apr 3 (AT) “Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and the Commonwealth’s Secretary General Shri Kamalesh Sharma agreed on ways how the international organization could contribute to institutional development in order to strengthen the foundations of democracy,” said a release issued by the Sri Lanka High Commission in London. The release said, “They also discussed matters relating to CMAG (Commonwealth Action Group), including more..

Sri Lanka defends lengthy inquiry into the massacre of 17 charity workers

Apr 3 (TI) Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister has strongly defended a commission of inquiry into the massacre of 17 aid workers after an independent human rights group accused senior police officials of a cover-up. "We want the truth to come out," Rohitha Bogollagama said yesterday. Asked why the commission had still not completed its investigation after 18 months, the Foreign Minister replied: more..

Girl of Sri Lankan origin is crowned Miss Philadelphia

Apr 3 (PI) Standing on a stage in a heavily beaded evening dress, this year's soon-to-be-crowned Miss Philadelphia could only think of one thing: "Oh, my gosh! My feet are killing me!" Brintha Vasagar doesn't have much use for what she calls "six-inch heels." As a third-year medical student at Ross University School of Medicine in Miami, she said she's more at ease in an operating room than under the glare of pageant spotlights. more..

Are people of the East interested in an election for the provincial council

Apr 3 (TC) Almost all major political parties in the country are currently making a fuss of the Eastern Provincial Council election scheduled to be held next month. Frantic efforts are on in making, breaking and confusing electoral alliances and winning Chief Ministerial post for certain communities. But how much are the people of the province interested in these alliances, positions and after all in this election itself. more..

SLA fired shells, rounds hit Madu Shrine premises - LTTE

Apr 3 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has launched sporadic offensive pushes from Pa'ndivirichchaan targeting Madu on Tuesday and Wednesday, LTTE's Operations Command in Mannaar told media in Vanni. Meanwhile, LTTE's Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan told TamilNet that the SLA-fired artillery and mortar shells exploded inside the mess of the Madu shrines premises, in the vicinity of the well and on priests' quarters. more..

UNICEF aid for Jaffna held back by Sri Lanka's Treasury

Apr 3 (TN) More than 10 million Rupees donated by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for educational projects in the Jaffna peninsula is being held back by Central Treasury since December 2007, seriously hampering a number of developmental projects, officials from the Department of Education in Jaffna said. Education Department of Jaffna is unable to make the payments for the building contractors as more..

Sri Lankan vegetable oil makers lobby for local sales

Apr 3 (LBO) Sri Lankan-base 'vanaspathi' margarine makers are lobbying the government to allow them to sell inside the island after India allowed crude palm oil to be imported duty free. The Vanaspati Manufacturers Association said the Indian move Monday, taken as part of measures to control inflation there, had dashed any hopes they had of reviving vanaspathi exports to the sub-continent. more..

Anura demands Rs.100 million compensation for false news item in ‘Dinamina’

Apr 3 (LT) JVP Parliamentarian of Kurunegala District Anura Kumara Dissanayake has sent letters of demand demanding Rs.100 million from the Chairman of Lake House and Chief Editor of ‘Dinamina’ Sinhalese news paper claiming that a news item titled “Signs of Maharaja’s dream coming true – secret talks at Ravi’s home to drive away a senior JVP man” published in that paper on 2nd April blemishes his reputation. more..

'Threat of tiger sympathizers contesting Eastern PC election from UNP lists'

Apr 3 (LT) There is an attempt to get a group of LTTE sympathizers to contest Eastern PC election through the UNP nominations list says JVP Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Speaking to the media regarding Eastern PC election Mr. Dissanayake said, “UNP contests the Eastern PC election amalgamating all forces of separatism. The UNP has come to an agreement with Mr. Rauff Hakeem of SLMC who has called for a separate Muslim administration unit in the Eastern Province. more..

Deputy Minister acts bull in a corporation

Apr 3 (LT) Deputy Minister of Petroleum Resources Duminda Dissanayake has broken into the Head Office of Petroleum Corporation at Kollupitiya in Colombo and after assaulting the finance manager has carried away the office telephone. According to information received from Petroleum Corporation the Deputy Minister had broken into the head office of Petroleum Corporation today morning, abused and assaulted the Finance Manager for more..

JVP and Indian Conspiracy

Apr 3 (SLW) "Far reaching Indian conspiracy" screams the head line of Lakbimanews, reporting the interview with the JVP MP Anura Kumara. Why only India? It is a conspiracy backed by world capitalist leaders including America. They all want to force the out dated and empty 13th amendment on the Tamil people and isolate the LTTE; Then to crush the LTTE and to carryout their economic agenda. MR regime is fully set to carry out this directive. more..

A just political solution

Apr 3 (LG) Opinion makers are guided by an element of zealotry. Minister Tissa Vitharane who chairs the APRC and is a claimant to Marxian thought should remember that Karl Marx’s central axiom was that nothing in the world remains static but was in a constant state of flux. In the days of his uncle, Dr. N. M. Perera, and other luminaries, Tamil leaders too adorned the political firmament of that time. more..

Sripathi’s wife appointed SLFP (M) Gampaha coordinator

Apr 3 (LD) The Sri Lanka Freedom Party Mahajana Wing has appointed Dilrukshi Sripathi, the wife of the late Sripathi Sooriarachchi, as its Chief Coordinator for Gampaha district. The appointment came at a meeting of the party’s district delegates today, chaired by its Leader Mangala Samaraweera and National Organizer Tiran Alles. On the occasion, the SLFP (M) appointed coordinators to every district, except for those in the north and the east. more..