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On the Way to Nibbana

Apr 8 (LG) Nibbana is the one and only goal of Buddhist spirituality. This is the final end in which the Buddha ended his noble quest for the termination of all samsaric ills. This he achieved here and now, in this very existence, at the very young age of thirty five. And he enjoyed the bliss and benefit of it for full forty five years, with no more to add to it. At eighty he had only to disclaim his physical body and part with it. more..

The 17th Amendment

Apr 8 (LG) The 17th Amendment to the Constitution, which was passed last week, is not a satisfactory solution to the problem of patronage in appointments to the public service. Whether it would lead to any improvement in the present situation is doubtful. Self-interested behaviour by ruling politicians has increased enormously since 1956. more..

Some measures to combat corruption

Apr 8 (LG) It is like air. Seems to be everywhere. Blowing from one end to the other, touching many on its path, heavily or softly; remotely or closely. Like liquor it has become the scourge of the country enveloping every spectrum of the society. As bribery and corruption is beneficial to the giver as well as the taker, its eradication is not that easy as it is spoken. But it rots the society causing moral and spiritual deterioration among the people. more..

Unite to Eliminate LTTE Terrorism

Apr 8 (LG) We are emphatically condemns the Tamil Tiger Terrorist's brutal assassination of Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. A devoted Catholic and a Tamil, the Hon Minister was the chief Government whip in the Parliament and at all times, an exemplary practitioner of democratic virtues and values. The Minister worked tirelessly to unite all communities in Sri Lanka and to demonstrate especially to the Tamil community, that their future was within a united Sri Lanka. more..

Fake tears from terrorist LTTE for safety of Madhu Church

Apr 8 (AT) Tamil Tigers who have occupied the hallowed Madhu church grounds for years as a military base, are now accusing the government of using it to attack them - a blatant lie propagated by the LTTE for additional political mileage. In a letter addressed to Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim, B. Nadesan, Head of the Political Wing of the LTTE has urged the Royal Norwegian Government to take steps to immediately end the military assault on the Holy Madu shrine in Mannaar district. more..

My Daughter the Terrorist reveals LTTE’s diabolical deception

Apr 8 (AT) “Terrorists are not terrorists without victims”, was an insightful comment made by a member of the audience, during a brief discussion at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina, on April 4, 2008, following the screening of, “My Daughter the Terrorist,” a documentary on LTTE suicide bombers. Hundreds of Sri Lankan expatriates in the U.S., who read the news of the screening of the documentary a few days before the event, more..

Australian Chief Government Whip expresses his sadness on the death Jeyaraj Fernandopulle

Apr 8 (AT) Australian Chief Government Whip and Federal Member for Chifley has expressed his great sadness about sudden death of Hon Jeyaraj Fernandofulle, the Chief Government Whip of Sri Lankan parliament and the Minister for Highways. In a media release Roger Price further said “ It is a tragedy to loose anyone in such a way and ask that our thought be spared for the families of this terrible crime”. more..

President is only determined to follow laws of the Jungle and `frog in the well culture` - Lakshman

Apr 8 (SLW) Addressing the media today (4Apr) at the UNP Media unit , UNP M.P. Lakshman Kiriella said, this Govt. is only preoccupied with harassing opponents and plotting against the people by looking for measures to heap burdens on them while perpetuating its evil motivated power and sustaining its Giant white elephant of Cabinet Ministers by hook or by crook, compromising country’s economy, development ,people’s safety and welfare. more..

Canada condemns killing of Minister Fernandopulle

Apr 8 (LT) Issuing a statement Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Bernier strongly condemned Sunday’s terrorist attack which killed Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and 14 others. In his statement Minister Maxime Berniersttes, "Canada strongly deplores this senseless act of violence, which killed Sri Lankan Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and former Olympic marathoner K.A. Karunaratne as well as civilians taking part in a sporting event. more..

Why ignore the tips given by the foreign intelligence unit about approaching 2 Black Tigers to Jeyaraj?

Apr 8 (LeN) It is revealed by now that Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was assassinated due to lack of security, provided by the Special Task Force. From last February, security of Minister Fernandopulle was transferred to STF from MSD as per request made by the Senior DIG, who is in charge of the MSD, to the Commandant, STF. MSD is a specially trained division for VIP security. more..

AMW goes on Mangroves planting drive along Southern coast

Apr 8 (CP) The sole responsibility of protecting the country’s coastal belt fell on the shoulders of the Coast Conservation Department before the 2006 tsunami. The department is pleased, since more organizations are assisting in the Coast Conservation work now, said S.A.A. Shanthapriya Development Assistant of the Cost Conservation Department, speaking on the occasion of planting 1000 mangroves by Associated Motorways PLC at Egodauyana, more..

Kitulgoda appointment not unconstitutional - Speaker

Apr 8 (LD) Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara suspended sittings of Parliament for 10 minutes this morning (April 08th) after a disturbance in the House over the appointment of Dhammika Kithulgoda as acting Secretary General of Parliament. Disorder reigned after UNP MPs gathered on the well of the House around 10.10 am and protested against the appointment. The situation became tense as ruling party members too converged on the scene. more..

No prior notice of Jeyaraj’s visit to Weliweriya - MSD chief

Apr 8 (LD) There had been no prior notification to the Ministerial Security Division about Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle’s ill-fated visit to Weliweriya in Gampaha to flag off a marathon race on April 06th, MSD Director SSP Nandana Munasinghe has written to the IGP. According to police sources, the MSD had not carried out any security arrangements for Mr. Fernandopulle at the event. more..

Suspected Jeyaraj killer carried bogus ID

Apr 8 (LD) Preliminary police investigations into the Weliweriya bomb blast have indicated that the National Identity Card found from the crime scene suspected to be that of the assassin, is a bogus one. The NIC carried the name Ameen, that of a Muslim, but, it has now been ascertained that the Department of Registration of Persons had not issued an identification card to that number. Its address too, has been that of a non-existent one. more..

House sittings suspended for 2nd time

Apr 8 (LD) Parliamentary sittings were suspended for the second time today (Apr. 08th) after the opposition resumed their protest over the appointment of an acting Secretary General of Parliament. At the outset, Chief Government Whip Joseph Michael Perera raised a point of privilege, claiming that it was unconstitutional to make the posting without first appointing the Constitutional Council. more..

11 JVP MPs to support Wimal Weerawansa?

Apr 8 (LD) Former Parliamentary Group leader and Propaganda Secretary of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Wimal Weerawansa is holding a special news conference at Hotel Nippon in Colombo at 2.30 pm today (Apr. 08th). Eleven JVP MP are reportedly planning to go public with their support for Mr. Weerawansa on the occasion, an organizer of the event told ‘Lanka Dissent’. They are Piyasiri Wijenayake and Jayantha Samaraweera (Kalutara), more..

Probe into Sunday's terrorist attack continues

Apr 8 (GDI) Preliminary investigations underway to the assassination of Minister Jeyaraj Fernanadopulle have revealed that the suicide cadre had given a Muslim name when he entered for the marathon and stated that his residence was in Valachchenai, in the East. A police team was dispatched to the area to check the address and to ascertain whether the assassin was actually a resident there, sources said. more..

'LTTE exposes that terrorists do not subscribe to democracy and pluralism'

Apr 8 (GDI) While vehemently condemning the brutal attack of the LTTE terrorists that took the lives of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and several others, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rohitha Bogollagama in a condolence message said that this cowardly attack is a direct assault on democracy and all civilized values of humanity. "The untimely demise of Jeyaraj under such terrible and tragic circumstances has robbed the nation of an outstanding and dynamic politician, more..

Sri Lankan Troops inch closer to Tiger den

Apr 8 (LNP) A low-deep sound, as of cannon fire, shakes the ground. It can be from a trap we ve set up right on the edge of the current LTTE defense line, a camouflaged officer speculates. A trap, is a concoction of antipersonnel mines and other explosives, strung together to form a high-impact cluster bomb. A few minutes after we bade farewell to the spirited men at the Muhamalai Forward Defense Line (FDL), another blast is heard. more..

Police blame organizers in Sri Lanka for not taking precautions

Apr 8 (LNP) The Police yesterday blamed the organizers of Sunday s Sinhala New Year celebrations at Weliweriya, where a suicide bomber blew himself up killing Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and 14 others, including National athletic coach Lakshman de Alwis and Marathon Karu , for not ensuring tighter security arrangements at the venue. Police investigations found that security arrangements had not been what they should have been for the visit of a government politician. more..

Jeyaraj was an ambassador of peace - Nandana

Apr 8 (LNP) Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was an ambassador of peace. Though he was not born a Buddhist he won the hearts of the majority Sinhalese and was working towards peace with people of all religions and ethnic groups. His death could have been prevented if security personnel were more vigilant. The LTTE will continue to target the political leaders and it was necessary that all leaders whether they were in the government or in the opposition should be more careful about the danger to them, more..

The battle of Katussas (chameleons)

Apr 8 (LNP) Rathu Sahodarayas downhill journey has begun. Their post Wijeweera performance reached its zenith at the 2004 General Election, where 36 of its 37 candidates fielded from the UPFA list were returned and two of their National List seats donated to the SLFP. Then it plateaued and now it is on the decline or, as they say, the JVP is down the pallang. The rise and fall of the JVP is a cyclical phenomenon. more..

IC urges political initiative

Apr 8 (SAMN) The United States, European Union, Canada and Australia have condemned Sunday's LTTE suicide bombing which killed Minister of Highways Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, saying only a political solution, not violence, would ensure peace. "The United States denounces this vicious and reprehensible terrorist attack on civilians in the strongest possible terms," a US embassy statement said Monday, adding, more..

OPA tells Acting PSG to step down

Apr 8 (SAMN) Against the backdrop of the UNP threat to disrupt Parliament sittings today (8) to protest the appointment of the Acting Secretary General of Parliament (PSG), the OPA has warned Dhammika Kitulgoda that an attempt by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to extend his two week acting appointment even by a day would be an intentional violation of the Constitution. more..

Mild earth tremor rocks Dambulla

Apr 8 (SAMN) A mini tremor measuring 3 on the Richter scale rocked the Dambulla area Monday afternoon slightly affecting the historical Sigiriya rock, the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau said. Bureau Director Dr. O. K. Dissanayake said there was a wide possibility that the tremor might have caused the Sigiriya rock to move vertically due to the structural changes that had taken place with the tremor. more..

Bomber not a marathon runner: CID

Apr 8 (SAMN) The CID teams investigating the suicide blast that killed Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle in Weliweriya Sunday, ruled out the possibility that the male suicide bomber had come there as a marathon runner. “Investigations are still on to trace how the suicide cadre came to the place. Considering the nature of the blast it is extremely difficult for the suicide cadre to come there as a marathon runner wearing a suicide kit,” more..

35 out of 93 'seriously injured' in Weliweriya blast

Apr 8 (DN) Ninety three patients were receiving treatment at hospitals by yesterday, following the suicide bomb blast at Kanthi playground in Weliweriya with 35 categorised as seriously injured, hospital sources said. A LTTE human bomb claimed the lives of 15, including Chief Government whip cum Highways and Road Development Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, when he was about to flag off a marathon organised as more..

Marriott chain eyes Colombo

Apr 8 (DN) Marriott International operating more than 2,800 hotels and resorts around the world is looking at opportunities to invest in Sri Lanka. President and Managing Director, Marriott, Ed Fuller who was in Colombo to attend the PATA Board meeting in an exclusive interview with Daily News Business said they already have over 20 hotels under their portfolio in India. “The group will be embarking on more projects in India,” he said. more..

Shocking exit of French NGO from Presidential probe

Apr 8 (Island) The presidential inquiry into the massacre of 17 aid workers employed by the French aid agency Action Against Hunger (ACF) in the first week of August 2006 has taken a dramatic turn with the Agency quitting the proceedings. The Counsel for the ACF yesterday shocked the Commission by declaring that his client would no longer be involved in the process. The ACF’s made its move against the backdrop of the shocking revelation that more..

Tigers could have made use of Jeyaraj: TULF leader

Apr 8 (Island) TULF leader V. Anandasangaree said: The tragic news of the assassination of Hon. Jeyaraj Fernandopulle came as a rude shock to me. He was my good friend and onetime colleague of mine in Parliament. He was a very frank and out spoken person who expresses his views without mincing words. The fact that he had been repeatedly elected in a predominantly Buddhist constituency, although a catholic, goes to his credit showing to the world that more..

Travel to Jaffna new verification process: Military

Apr 8 (DM) People travelling to Jaffna can now look forward to a smoother clearance process with the army proposing to introduce special identity cards for all inhabitants of the city in the next few months. The cards would simplify the process of identity verification besides facilitating the travel of people from Colombo and other places to Jaffna. The army is also proposing to computerise the verification system for travellers to Jaffna within the next four months to more..

LTTE in statistical battle on child soldiers

Apr 8 (DM) The Sri Lankan government has raised its concerns over the lack of validation of the statistics issued by the UNICEF, on the number of child soldiers enlisted in the ranks of the LTTE and the TMVP. “It was brought to the notice of the UN Special Envoy on Children in Armed Conflict Radhika Kumaraswamy during my last visit to New York, that there needs to be an authentication mechanism for the figures put out by the UNICEF in relation to the situation in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka asks World Bank to fund highway to Jaffna

Apr 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka has asked the World Bank to fund a highway to the northern Jaffna peninsular, which is now cut off from the rest of the island by a stretch of land held by Tamil Tiger guerrillas, a top official said. The A-9 highway starts from Kandy in the central part of the island and goes to Jaffna town in the north. "We have asked the World Bank to fund the A-9 highway," more..

Confifi group says beach resorts done well

Apr 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Confifi Group says two of its three beach resorts on the west coast have done well in the last winter season despite the sharp down turn in arrivals to the island. M T A Furkhan, Confifi Group chaiman, said the company has plans to refurbish its hotels although expansion plans are on hold until the market improves. Confifi owns and operates three resorts on what's known as the 'Golden Mile' in Beruwela, south of Colombo, more..

Stock markets watchdog warns brokers against manipulation

Apr 8 (LBO) Stock markets watchdog has warned brokers against manipulating share prices at the market's pre-opening stage. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has told stock brokers that attempts to manipulate stock prices using the pre-open mechanism of the automated trading system (ATS) is an offence. "Through the surveillance systems of the SEC, attempts made by some individual stock brokers to manipulate the opening price of more..

People in Need help build multi-ethnic public market in Eastern Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (AN) The Czech NGO, People In Need (PIN) has completed the reconstruction of a Public Market at the Anuradhapura Junction in the tsunami and conflict affected town of Trincomalee in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. The completion ceremony of reconstruction of the Market was held today. While the market buildings are modern and functional, the design respects the traditional open Sri Lankan markets. more..

Faithful against the transfer of the statue of Our Lady of Madhu

Apr 8 (AN) Many Catholics in Sri Lanka, devoted to the Virgin Mary, disapprove of the decision of the bishop of Mannar to move the statue of Our Lady of Madhu to the church of Thevanpitti, at the northernmost border of the diocese. The decision of Bishop Rayappu Joseph - carried out last April 4 - is the epilogue of a drama that for months has been afflicting the local Church and the pilgrims who, in great numbers and from all the ethnic and religious groups, come to the famous shrine of Madhu. more..

EU: negotiated settlement alone can bring peace

Apr 8 (Hindu) A day after the assassination of Highways Minister Jeyraj Fernandopulle, an influential member of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government, by a suspected LTTE cadre, Sri Lanka’s air force on Monday claimed to have bombed a base of Tigers suicide squad northwest of Mankulam in the Vanni. The raid came a day after the President asserted that the killing of Mr. Fernandopulle “will not weaken our resolve to eradicate terrorism from our midst, and bring peace, harmony and more..

When’ll the mad killings end in Sri Lanka?

Apr 8 (KT) IN THE aftermath of the lucky escape of the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in a bomb blast at a Brighton hotel in October 1984, the Provisional Irish Republican army issued a bold statement. “You were lucky this time. But remember, we only have to be lucky once.” Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, the latest victim of the Tamil Tiger terror, was lucky on January 8, when the LTTE exploded a roadside bomb targeting a ministerial convoy. more..

Suresh takes gym aid to Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (SG) STAFF and members at a Taunton gym have helped children battling to get back on track after the devastating 2004 Asian Tsunami. Suresh Ebert, a personal trainer at Hermes Health and Fitness Studio, has been out to his native Sri Lanka to help support orphans and street children. He took more than £3,000 raised by the gym through a 48-hour exercise marathon when people rowed, swam, bike and ran 9,284km - the distance from Taunton to Sri Lanka. more..

Fear: A personal experience in Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (GV) “Beware of suspicious looking objects” – this is a commonly heard public announcement these days in airports, markets and metro stations from New Delhi to London to downtown Chicago. One cannot escape the voice of the sweet lady reminding us of the volatile and precarious times we live in. There is a sense of constant caution. However in Colombo, the reminder is more personal with a visit from your friendly neighborhood cop (mostly to offices and commercial establishments). more..

Managing media

Apr 8 (FL) ON December 27, the citizens of Sri Lanka were witness to a bizarre drama right in their offices and homes live via the state-owned television channel, Rupavahini. The spectacle involved Mervyn de Silva, a controversial Minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, who allegedly stormed the television station with his bodyguards at around 10-30 a.m. and assaulted a news director for failure to broadcast a public speech made by him. more..

Demonising India

Apr 8 (FL) SRI LANKA-watchers cannot be faulted if they wonder occasionally, going by the high-pitched and concerted anti-India rhetoric of the LTTE and the JVP, whether the island nation has travelled back in time to 1988-89. That was the period when the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), deployed in the northern and eastern parts of the country at the invitation of the J.R. Jayewardene government, got enmeshed in the ethnic conflict. more..

Sri Lanka's economy may expand 7% in 2008 on exports

Apr 8 (BN) Sri Lanka's economic growth is expected to accelerate this year as rising government spending and commodities exports counter weakening consumer confidence, the central bank said. Gross domestic product may expand 7 percent in 2008, at the lower end of the range estimated in November, Central Bank of Sri Lanka said in its annual report released in Colombo today. The $27 billion economy grew 6.8 percent last year. more..

War may see EU duty concessions cut

Apr 8 (IPS) Sri Lanka’s garment industry is worried that the duty free access it enjoys to European markets will soon be cut as a result of alleged human rights violations related to the government’s pursuit of a military solution to a long-standing ethnic conflict. EU trade concessions, known as GSP+, end this year and will come up for review in October. Already EU has indicated that continuance of the GSP+ depends on how well the Sri Lankan government is more..

Shooting within is more painful than shooting from outside -Weerawansa

Apr 8 (LeN) JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa made a special statement in the parliament today (08) and said that the JVP Central Committee had decided to sack him from the party. Criticizing the party, Mr. Weerawansa said that the Central Committee had decided to sack him at a meeting that he did not take part and the implementation of the decision had been postponed until May 1, with the hope of obtaining his support for the election campaign of the Eastern Provincial Council. more..

Tamil rebels seek Norway help to stop Sri Lanka offensive

Apr 8 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels asked peace-broker Norway on Tuesday to pressure Sri Lanka's government to stop a military offensive in the island's north, saying a venerated Catholic church was at risk. Government forces backed by artillery are pushing into territory held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Wanni region, and the guerrillas said the Roman Catholic church of Madhu was in the line of fire. more..

Sri Lanka and Pakistan excluded from the tourism boom of the subcontinent

Apr 9 (AN) The tourism industry in southern Asia generally showed growth in 2007, except for Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Political instability and a lack of security in these two countries led to a drop in arrivals from abroad: -7% for Pakistan, and -12% for Sri Lanka. Data published today by the Singhala newspaper The Island place the former Ceylon in last place among the tourism destinations in the entire region. more..

SL - Egypt enters into an MOU to promote tourism

Apr 9 (GDI) A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of Egypt to promote tourism between the two countries. The MoU was signed at a meeting held between Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and Egyptian Tourism Minister Zoheir Garranah in Cairo, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 7. more..

Wijayadasa Rajapakse calls for PSC to seek political solution

Apr 9 (LD) MP Wijayadasa Rajapakse has called for the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to seek a political solution to the armed struggle in the north and the east. In a letter to the Acting Secretary General of Parliament, Mr. Rajapakse says this PSC could identify the root causes of the conflict and recommend political proposals within a democratic process that also safeguard the dignity of all communities. more..