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No foreign monitors for eastern polls - Bogollagama

Apr 5 (TN) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said Thursday that there would be no independent monitoring of the forthcoming elections to the Eastern Provincial Council. Meanwhile, whilst addressing a strategic think tank in London earlier this week, Mr. Bogollagama was challenged by the Times newspaper over his government’s bar on foreign media, a statement issued Thursday by the British Tamil Forum, an expatriate lobby group, said. more..

Wimal Weerawansa vs Ranil Wickramasinghe

Apr 5 (LG) As Propaganda Secretary of the JVP, Wimal Weerawansa MP who topped the list in the UPFA’s list for the Colombo District in April 2004 is deeply involved in the campaign for the election of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as the next President of Sri Lanka. His comments at press conferences of the Mahinda Rajapaksa campaign often provide good copy for the media and slogans for the campaign. He is a much sought after speaker at public rallies in support of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s candidacy, more..

Doctors and the pharmaceutical industry

Apr 5 (LG) A public debate is going on at present on the interaction between the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry. Claims have been made that these two groups have an unholy alliance to the detriment of the patients’ interests. Often wild allegations about the doctors prescribing expensive drugs to support the industry as well as the latter bribing the doctors with gifts and foreign trips etc. are commonplace in the local press. more..

Triumphs over trials and tribulations

Apr 5 (LG) Politics seems to be getting murkier - if it is possible to get any more murky — than it already is. Public cynicism is at its height. When we ask people to name politicians with integrity, their instant recall system seems to suffer a paralytic stroke. No names are thrown up. But, however, we can’t dismiss the entire lot as corrupt, there is a gentle breeze of freshness, some have their ideals intact and hope that he or she will never lose his/her joie de vivre. more..

President nervously assesses military stalemate

Apr 5 (wsws) Nearly three months after it formally abandoned the 2002 ceasefire, the Sri Lankan government’s hopes for a quick victory against the LTTE are fading as military operations in the North become bogged down. President Mahinda Rajapakse called a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) with military commanders from the northern war fronts at his residence on March 28 to discuss the situation. more..

Wimal Weerawansa and the JVP

Apr 5 (TC) The suspension of Wimal Weerawansa, the JVP ’s public face and most popular leader is an event of immense signficance for the JVP and is fraught with possibility. Although the party is nominally headed by Somawansa Amarasinghe and General Secretary Tilvin Silva, it is Wimal who is the poster boy of the new JVP in its most recent avatar. Weerawansa is the party’s most brilliant orator: revered by the rank and file, and feared by his opponents. more..

‘Against violent oppression, violent resistance is moral’

Apr 5 (FI) Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka Interviewed by Juliette Perrier in Geneva. Reputed academic, author of ‘Fidel’s Ethics of Violence’, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka is today the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva. He fervently defends the policy of his government against the Tamil Tigers, the secessionists of the North-East whom he describes as ‘Fanatics’: more..

Facts versus false allegations regarding targeting of civilians

Apr 5 (PISL) The Sri Lankan government recognizes that in some areas protection of Human Rights needs to be strengthened, and it has sought assistance in such areas. Unfortunately such requests have often been ignored, whilst the whole debate has turned into a no holds barred attack in which every possible allegation is flung at the government and its agencies. This confrontational attitude does not help to ensure improvement where this is necessary. more..

'It's going to be like a one-innings match' - Jayawardene

Apr 5 (CI) After a day in which both sides battled hard to seize the initiative, Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene was unhappy with his side's total but praised the bowlers for ensuring that honours were even after the second day. Resuming on 217 with five wickets in hand, Sri Lanka could only muster 278 in their first innings. "It was not easy batting on that pitch (on the first day), but we fought well, and I think that sixth-wicket partnership more..

Lack of Democracy

Apr 5 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapakse who was elected to office in November 2005 by a wafer thin majority with the support of the Jathika Hela Urumaya, (JHU) the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, (MEP) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, (JVP) has adopted an ultra Sinhala nationalist role and every decision that he has made whether it be political military or humanitarian has had as it’s objective the fostering of ultra Sinhala nationalism. more..

April Heroes’ Day Celebration without Wimal

Apr 5 (LG) JVP Parliamentary Group leader and Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa kept away from the JVP’s annual April Heroes Day event held today at the Vihara Maha Devi Park, amidst Sri Lanka Guardian an exclusively reports of a major split in the party on yetesrday. The long drawn out rift and crises in the JVP came to a head when it came to the open yesterday that the JVP Central Committee which met on March 21 decided to suspend Wimal Weerawansa from the Party membership. more..

Sri Lanka high inflation threatens recent gains in poverty, inequality

Apr 5 (LBO) Lower average inflation and a temporary halt in an internal conflict have lowered Sri Lanka's poverty levels by 2006, government statistics showed, amid warnings that rising prices may reverse the gains. The number of people below the official poverty line fell to 15 percent from nearly 22.7 percent in 2002, according to the Census and Statistics Department's five yearly household income and expenditure survey, which also measures poverty. more..

Bangladesh high Commission responds to 'LeN' news item

Apr 5 (LeN) The Bangladesh High Commission's attention has been drawn to the news item headlined 'Bangladesh High Commissioner behind scholarship scam' published in your website of 'Lanka-e-News', dated 2008 March 28. The High Commission hereby provides the clarification with regard to admission of Sri Lankan students in the Bangladesh Government Medical/Dental Colleges for the session 2007-2008 under Self Finance Scheme. more..

Prime suspect in Wasgamuwa double murder arrested

Apr 5 (CT) The first suspect in the Wasgamuwa National Wildlife Park double murder was arrested by the Kandy Region Special Investigation Unit last Friday. The suspect B. Thilakaratne alias "Konhora Malaya" was arrested while hiding in the house of a relative at Dewanagala in Mawanella, police said. Police were on the lookout for him following the brutal killing of the care-taker of the circuit bungalow and a guide of the park on the night of January 28. more..

Review of the religious beliefs and practices in relation to the Bo-tree

Apr 5 (LG) "Prince Kalama do not believe what I said thinking it is correct because I said it. Do not believe anything because it is an age old belief coming down from generation to generation. Do not believe anything thinking that it was said by the ancient religious teachers. Do not believe anything because it is stated in the Tripitaka. Do not believe anything said by your teacher because he is a Bhikku. more..

EPC polls – saving the country from the curse of the shawl

Apr 5 (LD) Talking to ‘Lankadissent’ today (April 05th), UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake said that the alliance formed between the UNP and the SLMC have decided to contest the forthcoming Eastern Provincial elections under the theme- ‘saving the country from the satakaye saapaya (curse of the shawl)’. The decision has been taken since this was an important political crossroad regarding future of the entire country. more..

Only judiciary & legislature left to be trusted - UNP MP

Apr 5 (LD) UNP parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella says the judiciary and the legislature are the only institutions that remain to be trusted. The country is increasingly becoming isolated internationally after President Mahinda Rajapaksa kicked aside its constitution and began his domineering administration, Mr. Kiriella charged. The UNP MP said further that the present regime had paved the way for the Pillayan Group to retain their weapons and legalized it, instead of disarming the group. more..

SLRC Additional Director General suspended

Apr 5 (LD) Additional Director General of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Dewapriya Abeysinghe has been suspended with immediate effect, reports say. This step comes after MP Wijayadasa Rajapakse was given a DVD copy of the SLRC footage done on his “Hiru Sandu Arana” variety show by Abeysinghe. The show marked the launch of eight books, the audio CD “Hiru Sandu Arana”, the short film ‘Agnidesh’ and the personal website of Wijayadasa Rajapaksha. more..

Sri Lanka to take part in "My Karachi" International Exhibition

Apr 5 (GDI) Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) in collaboration with the Consul General for Sri Lanka in Karachi will organize Sri Lanka's participation at the 5th My Karachi International Exhibition. It is to be organized by Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and will be held at the Karachi Expo Centre from June 6-8, 2008. The 5th My Karachi International Exhibition extravaganza is profiled to provide maximum interaction between international exhibitors and more..

Govt launches project on rural access roads and livelihood development for the poor

Apr 5 (GDI) The Government has launched a project to develop rural access roads and livelihood development for the poor, suing funds provided by the Asian Development Bank from grant assistance provided by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. The objective of the project is to improve the quality of life of the rural poor through a livelihood development programme linked to the rehabilitation and improvement of about 200km rural access roads in the project districts. more..

Pakistan thrashed by Sri Lanka in AFC Challenge

Apr 5 (Dawn) Pakistan suffered a crushing 7-1 defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers being played at the Chungshan Football Stadium in Chinese Taipei on Friday. It was an off-colour day for Pakistan, who entered the field to clinch their third consecutive international win after beating Nepal (2-0 at Pokhara, Nepal, last week) and Chinese Taipei (2-1) in the opener of the AFC event. more..

SLA's security measures keep Jaffna uncleared of mines

Apr 5 (TN) As Landmine Danger Awareness Week is observed in Jaffna peninsula, 95,75,958 of the district remain infested with landmines due to Sri Lanka Army’s (SLA) refusal to permit demining activities in the High Security Zones (HSZ) and other areas, Jaffna Secretariat sources said. In addition, killings and abduction of the demining personnel belonging to Danish-demining organization and Halo Trust, allegedly by SLA troops and SLA-backed paramilitaries, more..

Military convoys hinder civilian use of public roads in Jaffna

Apr 5 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA), have been blocking the public from using key roads in Jaffna while transporting troops and weapons to the Northern Front Defence Lines (FDLs), causing severe hardships for the public who are kept waiting for several hours until the convoys pass through, sources in Jaffna said. Requests by civil society organizations to SLA authorities in Jaffna to reduce hardships to the public remain unattended, sources added. more..

Mannar Bishop tells Vatican to intervene

Apr 5 (SAMN) Mannar’s Catholic Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph Friday appealed for assistance from the Vatican to resolve the prevailing volatile security situation in the Madhu Church area. This follows intensified fighting close to the shrine that led to the sacred statue of ‘Our Lady of Madhu’ being moved out of the Church and deep into uncleared areas in the north, for the first time in four centuries. more..

UNP fears danger to SLMC leader’s life

Apr 5 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP Friday accused the government of victimising SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem, who is contesting the Eastern Provincial Council elections, by attempting to drastically reduce his security. UNP front-liner Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference the same fate that befell UNP Colombo District MP T. Maheshwaran might befall Hakeem as well. more..

SL to contest WHO Chairman's post

Apr 5 (SAMN) Sri Lanka will contest for the World Health Organisation (WHO) Chairman post for the first time in history, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said. The election will be held in Geneva, next month. The WHO has recognised both Sri Lanka's contribution towards its activities and the country’s achievements during the last decade, the sources said adding that more..

Mervyn probe team playing for time?

Apr 5 (SAMN) The SLFP inquiry into the Dr. Mervyn Silva incident at the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation has taken nearly four months and no progress seems to have been made as the committee tasked with the inquiry is keeping its findings, if any, a secret, SLRC trade union sources said Friday (4). Although the three-member committee, headed by the Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva had recorded the evidence of a number of SLRC employees and some outsiders, more..

Zhejiang Province Vice Governor to visit Lanka

Apr 5 (DN) Vice Governor of Zhejiang Province Zhong Shan will lead a delegation to Sri Lanka from April 17 to 19 on the invitation of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. During the visit the Vice Governor of Zhejiang is scheduled to call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion and the Minister of Export Development and International Trade, states the Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing. more..

7% rise in Maha harvest

Apr 5 (DN) The paddy harvest of this year's Maha season has shown a seven per cent increase compared with that of the previous Maha season. The chief reason for the record yield is attributed to the move by the Government to cultivate a large number of paddy lands hitherto abandoned, under the Government's national food production drive Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu, Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Ministry Additional Secretary S.M.A.L. Gunathilaka said. more..

UNP regains right to field Muslim candidates

Apr 5 (Island) The unprecedented electoral deal between the UNP and SLMC to contest the first ever elections to the Eastern Provincial Council would help the main Opposition party to re-build its support base in the East, political sources said. Despite initial reservations, the SLMC had accepted the UNP’s right to nominate Muslims to contest all three districts in the Eastern Province, the sources said. more..

Doctors to strike if denied duty free vehicles

Apr 5 (Island) The All Ceylon Government Medical Officers Association yesterday issued a severe warning that it would resort to trade union action if doctors are denied the facility of duty free import of vehicles. It said that some time ago the facility was denied to doctors but subsequently restored to medical officers who had put in a continued service of five years. more..

Gripped with fear, Katupathwewa villagers prepare to flee

Apr 5 (DM) The village of Katupathwewa, close to Anuradhapura has been gripped by fear and panic after the killings of two of the villagers this week and has turned out to be a village very much under threat. The two victims, 62-year-old Sediris and 17-year-old Kumara Jayalath had just finished their bath at a lake close to the borders of the Wilpattu forest when suspected LTTE cadres had allegedly sprung upon them. more..

Warning sounds against noise pollution

Apr 5 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday directed the police to punish those engaged in promotional activities during the upcoming festive season, causing noise pollution. The warning came from Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva when an application on behalf of Environmental Foundation Limited was taken up. The application said there could be a violation of the guidelines issued with regard to noise pollution during the upcoming festive season. more..

Fresh battles across north kill 15 rebels, 1 soldier

Apr 5 (AP) Scattered battles between government troops and Tamil Tiger separatists across Sri Lanka's embattled north killed 15 rebels and one soldier, the military said Saturday. 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. But diplomats and other observers say the army is facing more resistance than it had expected. more..

Our lady of Madhu joins fellowship of internally displaced

Apr 6 (TC) The Marian church dedicated to our Lady of the Holy Rosary at Marudhamadhu - commonly known as Madhu - in the North - western district of Mannar has provided safety and refuge at different times to thousands of people fleeing the violence of war. The benign presence of “Madhu Maadhaa” (Our Lady of Madhu) or “Sebamaalai maadhaa ” (Our Lady of the Rosary) had made church precincts and environs an oasis of refuge and haven of peace in the past. more..

Madhu Church: Tragic casualty of politico-military crossfire

Apr 6 (TC) The continuing strife between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE has had many unintended consequences. Chief among them are the numerous victims caught in the politico - military crossfire of a conflict they were never a part of. The latest casualty in this respect is the Catholic church dedicated to our lady of the Rosary in Marudhamadhu (Madhu) in Mannar district. Our Lady of Madhu Church is the premier place of Marian worship in Sri Lanka. more..

Samaraweera ton sets challenging target

Apr 6 (CI) The second Test at the Queen's Park Oval hung in the balance at the start of the third day, waiting for one team to grab the advantage. West Indies' fast bowlers did exactly that, rattling Sri Lanka's top order to reduce them to 32 for 4 in the second innings. However, Thilan Samaraweera's determined hundred brought the match back into balance and his century partnership with Chaminda Vaas set West Indies a target of 253, one which will stretch them on a wearing pitch. more..

'Mr. President: You should stop this game'

Apr 6 (LG) Leader of the SLFP (M) Mangala Samaraweera, in a press release issued today, condemned the move by the Attorney General to withdraw the security of SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem while strengthening that of TMVP leader Pillayan. The full text of the statement is as follows: The slashing of security, which came soon after the SLMC leader decided to resign from Parliament and to hand in nominations for the forthcoming Eastern Provincial elections, was entirely politically-motivated. more..

Sun rise in the Eastern Sri Lanka

Apr 6 (LG) By holding local government elections in the e astern province of Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken the first step towards fulfilling his promise of ushering in participatory democracy in Batticaloa, Amparai and Trincomalee which suffered heavily under LTTE’s rule for two decades. A year ago, none in the East thought of a life free from LTTE dominance, leave alone exercising their voting rights in a democratic manner. more..

Pooja: “I am happy with the way things are going in my life”

Apr 6 (LG) Pooja Gautani Umashankar, Sri Lankan born Indian actress has proved her mettle as an actress as evidenced by her meteoric rise to the heights of the Indian cinema and winning wide acclaim. She walked into the Hilton hotel for the SLT organised press conference attired in a lovely saree, with her hair let loose in an early morning cheerful disposition in tote. She was specially flown here to be the Brand Ambassador for SLT's Broadband Services. more..

National Govt or National Conspiracy?

Apr 6 (LG) Those who think that a National government is going to solve any of our problems are living in a fool’s paradise. This is borne out by the experience of "National Governments" we have up to now. Surprised? Yes indeed, we have had a most perfect National Government for many years now - when it comes, that is, to the privileges and perks that our so called "servants" have given themselves at the expense of the half-starved house-holder. more..

The Malay factor in Sri Lankan history

Apr 6 (LG) Recent archaeological excavations carried out at various locations across the country have revealed that this ‘resplendent island’ had been inhabited for well over 35,000 years. The recorded history however, dates back to about the 6th century before Christ. Its unique geographical location, occupying a pivotal position in the Indian Ocean brought with it fortunes as well as misfortunes. more..

Does Bruce Fein want to balkanize Sri Lanka

Apr 6 (AT) Replying to attorney Bruce Fein's recent statement on Sri Lanka on behalf of Tamils for Justice, Fekade Tadesse, a United States citizen in California who has studied the Sri Lankan situation, has challenged him to an open debate on the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka. He believes that a debate between Bruce Fein and himself would be more appropriate than calling Ambassador Goonatilleke. more..

Is UNP getting funded by Norway and USA in the provincial council election?

Apr 6 (AT) We are winning the East Provincial Council Elections because the Tamils, Muslims and the Sinhalese people in the East are with us. They are grateful to Government for liberating them from the terrorist LTTE, said Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. Furthermore, he added, this election has clearly shown the bankruptcy of the UNP. more..

'Hakeem wanted to protect the UNP and gave up his Tree symbol'

Apr 6 (AT) In an interview with Asian Tribune M.L.M. Hisbullah stated his reasons to bring about a meaningful development to the Eastern Province. He said he had talks to unite the Muslims, especially with Rauf Hakeem. But that failed as Hakeem wanted to protect the UNP from certain defeat. He was willing to give up the Tree symbol for which he had clamored all this time and wanted to contest under the Eelephant symbol. more..

Counterproductive Counter-terror

Apr 6 (AT) The Mutur aid worker massacre will not go away; it will continue to haunt us until the victims receive the justice they rightfully deserve as citizens of Sri Lanka from their own government. Those seventeen deaths have caused – and will continue to cause - more harm to the Lankan cause than many a Tiger attack. This is why the government must carry out an impartial inquiry and institute legal actions against the suspects, with no further ado. more..

Rights abuses that threaten to rip GSP Plus and the search for a cover up

Apr 6 (SL) While the government's carefully mapped out strategy to capture the Eastern Provincial Council suffered a severe setback last week following a daring move by the Muslim Congress leadership to resign from parliament and throw their collective hats into the election ring, more trouble was in store for President Mahinda Rajapakse on the economic front with the prospect of obtaining the GSP Plus facility fast receding due to the country's poor human rights record. more..

UDA's not so healthy acquisition for J'pura Hospital

Apr 6 (SL) A dispute regarding a land acquisition to expand the entrance to the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital (SJH) that was not utilised for over two decades had to be temporarily settled by the Ministry of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development by calling for the project's suspension. The said land proved contentious from the beginning. Acquired for a public purpose and vested with the Urban Development Authority (UDA) under Section 17(1) of the more..

Playing Russian Roulette with the troops

Apr 6 (SL) Soaring sky high, on par with the prices of bread, electricity and fuel is the Defence Ministry's tally of the number of LTTE cadres killed in its 'defensive' operations on the northern front lines. If anything can testify to the haste and lack of planning with which the Rajapakse defence apparatus manages this bloody war, it is the haste and lack of planning of their public statements relating to the war. more..

Wimal on the mat as JVP's internal battle intensifies

Apr 6 (SL) The split in the JVP that has been long simmering within the party's rank and file has now come out in to the open. The first sign of a split in the JVP started to appear during the 2005 presidential election when the party decided on its stance with regard to the election. The party's central committee and politburo arrived at a decision with regard to the 2005 presidential election to field a separate candidate from their own party. more..