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Sri Lanka –From Here To Eternity

Aug 21 (LG) India neither could defeat the Tamil Tigers nor get the Tamils on their side when the IPKF was around in the North and East. Defeated on both fronts in despair they left. Can Sri Lanka do both or undo the gallant work of the armed forces who have sacrificed so much? An expression by the National Security Advisor but there is more to it –it reflects more the hopes of India than the thoughts of India. Yet it carries a message which needs to be addressed. more..

A genocide inquiry?

Aug 21 (LG) Bosnia has its Radovan Karadzic, Sudan has its Omar Bashir and the United States could have its Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. He is a United States citizen serving as Sri Lanka's Sinhala Buddhist defense secretary who may be complicit in an ongoing genocide against Sri Lanka's Tamils. While Mr. Rajapaksa enjoys a presumption of innocence, the United States should be investigating to ensure it is as scrupulous in genocide enforcement as is expected of foreign governments. more..

Nalini case: HC flays TN govt

Aug 21 (LG) The Madras High Court today condemned the Tamilnadu government for not filing a reply on the case filed by Nalini, who has been sentenced for her involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Justice Nagamuthu ordered the government to file its reply within a week. Nalini had moved the High Court after her plea for release on the ground of good conduct and having completed over 17 years in jail was rejected by the Tamilnadu Government. more..

'Iceland-Sri Lanka ties should move beyond the CFA'

Aug 21 (GDI) Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rohitha Bogollagama who is currently visiting Iceland, met with Prime Minister Geir Haarde and pointed out that Iceland's relations with Sri Lanka should transcend the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), and move into broader areas of co-operation for a more structured and enhanced relationship between the two countries. more..

All private hospitals directed to obtain Environment Protection Licences

Aug 21 (GDI) The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has instructed all private hospitals operating in the island to obtain Environment Protection Licences before the 31st of December this year. Accordingly the Ministry will take stern actions against private hospitals that do not comply even to the extent of shutting them down. Meanwhile the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has declared the period from August 15 to September 15 as the "Piyakaru Purawara-Pilisaru Month". more..

Crack down on pro-LTTE outfits -- Lankan expatriates tell Defence Secy

Aug 21 (GDI) Highlighting several issues of national interest especially concerning the Government's humanitarian mission to liberate the North from the grip of terrorism and questioning the role of INGOs and NGO operated in Sri Lanka, several organizations have sent an open letter to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The letter also questions the acts of some INGOs whose contributions have positively benefitted the terrorists who are now on the verge of falling apart. more..

Supreme Court dismisses petition filed by unauthorized dwellers in slave Island

Aug 21 (GDI) The Supreme Court today (19) dismissed the petition filed by the slum dwellers of Slave Island against their eviction from permanently lodged unauthorized lands. The Government has already initiated a project to construct 1,000 houses at a cost of Rs. 1 million each for the shanty dwellers of Slave Island and the work is due to be completed by the end of March next year. more..

IDPs provided all necessary assistance by Government

Aug 21 (GDI) The Government has taken the responsibility of providing all necessary assistance to civilians who face difficulties due to the on going counter terrorism operations in the Wanni. Urgent measures have been taken to provide adequate food and shelter to displaced people and additional facilities are being constructed in Government controlled areas. It has often been pointed out that Sri Lanka is a unique case of a government maintaining its offices and more..

Sri Lanka gets Modi Revlon cosmetics plant

Aug 21 (LBO) Indian cosmetics manufacturer Modi Revlon has opened a plant in Sri Lanka to make products more suitable for the skin colour and climate of the tropics and cheaper than imports which are heavily taxed. The Modi group also plans to expand in to the south Asian region using the products manufactured in Sri Lanka under international standards. The 100 million rupee manufacturing plant will produce cosmetics that suit the Asian skin tones, more..

Sri Lanka seeks fisheries aid from Iceland

Aug 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka has sought help from Iceland to develop its fisheries and geo-thermal resources and both countries plan to improve air travel links, the foreign affairs ministry said in a statement. The request for aid was made by Sri Lankan foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama during a visit to Reykjavik earlier this week when he met with Geir Haarde, prime minister of Iceland, and his counterpart, Ingibjörg Solrun Gisladottir. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines in the black with aircraft sales

Aug 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's national carrier SriLankan Airlines has posted a 4.8 billion rupee profit with capital gains from aircraft sales, in a year that it was hit by rising fuel costs and weak tourist arrivals to the island. The carrier had lost 6.1 billion rupees (57 million US dollars) on its core airline operations but ground handling (3.3 billion rupees), flight catering (985 million rupees) and duty free sales (499 million) had helped boost margins. more..

India level series with hard-fought win

Aug 21 (CI) India fought back to level the series 1-1 with a three-wicket win but the victory was far from convincing as they made heavy weather of a modest target of 143. Zaheer Khan's dramatic opening spell, which sent Sri Lanka's top order reeling, was the highlight of the day as India restricted Sri Lanka to a score four less than what India made on Monday. The contrast, however, was the manner in which victory was achieved. more..

Sri Lankan military gets US training in probing rights abuses

Aug 21 (LBO) The United States military's Pacific Command has conducted a military law exchange programme to train Sri Lankan security forces to investigate and report human rights abuses, a US embassy statement said. Subjects covered during the three-day programme included maritime law, coastal state enforcement authority, military justice, and preventing and investigating human rights violations. more..

Sri Lankan bishop: ‘Help war refugees’

Aug 21 (ACN) A leading Sri Lankan Bishop has demanded increased government help for those displaced by the fighting in the north of the country. Speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam of Jaffna, in north Sri Lanka, described how nearly 200,000 civilians fled their homes because of the conflict between the army and separatist rebel forces. more..

Sri Lanka sets up nanotechnology park

Aug 21 (NN) The first nanotechnology park in Sri Lanka is expected to commence operations from November with an investment of US$10 million which is backed by the Science and Technology Ministry and SLINTec and MAS Holdings Chairman Mahesh Amalean. The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka signed the agreement with Nanco to develop and manage the country’s first Nanotechnology Park. Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing field of applied science where matter is controlled at an atomic or molecular scale. more..

Sri Lanka must honor its social contract

Aug 21 (UPI) The Sri Lankan government has been constantly setting new deadlines for the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the northern part of the country. The passing of every deadline is accompanied by the setting of a new one a few months later. In reality, LTTE-controlled territory that has been recaptured by the government in the north is still considerably less than northern territory under LTTE control. more..

Sri Lankan troops break through rebel defenses

Aug 21 (AP) The Sri Lankan military says it has broken through the Tamil Tigers' defenses in recent weeks, ending a prolonged stalemate and stirring predictions of an imminent rebel defeat after 25 years of civil war. Troops overran a major rebel naval base on July 16, then pushed deep into the north, capturing four more bases and entering the rebel's heartland in the Kilinochchi district for the first time in 11 years. more..

Salvaging Sri lanka’s media freedom from the jaws of …...

Aug 21 (AT) The Sri Lanka Press Institute distributed a missive among the South Asian Leaders, who attended the recently concluded SARC conference in Colombo, in a bid to influence them about the repressive nature of the current Sri lankan Governments media policy. The signatories to this brochure were Ranil Wickremesinghe, Wickremebahu Karunaratne, R Sampanthan, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Somawansa Amerasinghe and V. Chandrasekaran. more..

Religious and ethnic amity are essential forerunners for lasting peace

Aug 21 (AT) There are a few fanatics persistently spit anti-religious venom and perpetrate ethnic disharmony and even incite people to involve in violence by setting against religions and ethnic groups. In fact there are instances of attacking and burning of places of worship and preventing religious activities. In the sphere of ethnic disharmony the activities taking place are enormous and too much a number to explain. more..

Campaign ends violence escalates

Aug 21 (BBC) On the final day of campaigning for the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Council Provincial Councils, election related violence has increased with two shooting incidents on Wednesday. Correspondents say Anuradhapura town was tense on Wednesday follwing election related violence in the area. In Eppawala two supporters of the UPFA including the personal assistant to the Minister Duminda Dissanayake were injured in a shooting and were hospitalized. more..

'We were just a wicket away' - Jayawardene

Aug 21 (CI) It could very well have been Sri Lanka's day had it not been for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and S Badrinath. At the post-match press conference, Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, said their partnership took the game away and helped India square the series 1-1. "When you are defending 142 you try to stop runs and pick up wickets. We tried different things and picked up wickets when we needed them," Jayawardene said. more..

Northern Front: Retreating Tigers and Advancing Army

Aug 21 (TC) In what appears to be a co-incidence the military fortunes of the LTTE have been declining on the Northern battlefront ever since our Lady of the Rosary was relocated from her traditional abode at Maruthamadhu (Madhu). The sacred statue was taken amid controversial circumstances to St. Xaviers church at Thevayanpitty in April this year. A few days later on April 15th the armed forces took control of Madhu and its environs. more..

Unity amidst diversity, Sri Lanka’s strength, recognized in Washington

Aug 21 (AT) Recognition of Sri Lanka’s strength is an underlying trend beginning to take hold among all segments of people in the United States. Many I interviewed expressed their longing for strengthening of our common values rather than any negative aspects of division. It is quite visible judging by the comments of those in many of parts of the US. The beauty of togetherness is now being talked of among all sections of the people. more..

JHU opposes Provincial Council system, but supports Gram-raj

Aug 21 (AT) The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the introduction of the provincial Council system was done with the brute force of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). When those amendments were introduced in the constitution, the referendum was not there. We need some referendum to ratify these kinds of things. more..

Interreligious Groups Promoting Sri Lankan Peace

Aug 21 (ZO) Dialogue between Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims in Sri Lanka is playing an essential role in the search for peace, affirmed the apostolic nuncio in the country. Archbishop Mario Zenari told L'Osservatore Romano that cooperation, particularly among Christians and Buddhists, is based "on a mutual respect that has lasted for centuries." Buddhists make up 70% of Sri Lanka's population, and the nuncio affirmed that they "show respect for Christians, whom more..

Free and fair election in Sri Lanka is the US interest

Aug 21 (TW) The United States is interested in assuring a free and fair election and not working with any particular party, Ambassador Robert Blake said when commenting this morning after a meeting with Dayananda Dissanayake, Sri Lanka’s Election Commissioner. He denied allegations in Colombo media that the United States and perhaps other western countries might be working with political parties to determine the outcome of the upcoming provincial elections. more..

Agricultural officers offered 100 post graduate scholarships in India

Aug 21 (GDI) The Ministry of Agricultural Development & Agrarian Services Development has made arrangements with Indian authorieis to enable officers engaged in the local agricultural sector to read for post-graduate degrees. Accordingly 100 agricultural officers will be able to continue their studies at the post graduate level. These scholarships will be awarded to Government servants serving in departments and others working in areas related to agriculture. more..

Minister of Higher Education lauds support from South Korea

Aug 21 (GDI) Minister of Higher Education Professor Wiswa Warnalala acknowledged the enormous financial assistance Sri Lanka is receiving from the Republic of South Korea. He also noted that Sri Lanka receives an annual grant of US$20 million and expressed his appreciation to South Korea for providing employment to many categories of workers. He noted that Sri Lanka is one of the biggest receivers of direct foreign investments from the Republic of South Korea. more..

Buddhist monk claims sinister move to destroy Sinhalese

Aug 21 (LNP) Fear of a calculated move to drive the Sinhalese into extinction systematically prompted a leading Buddhist monk of Kesbewea and a group of residents of the area to protest against an NGO-sponsored tubectomy programme being implemented at the Piliyandala Hospital yesterday. Chief Incumbent of the Kesbewa Jayasundaramaya Ven. Kamburipitiye Nandaratane thera rushed to the hospital yesterday morning while the LRToperations were in progress. more..

Violence erupts in Anuradhapura

Aug 21 (SAMN) Violence erupted in Anuradhapura town and its suburbs Wednesday when a mob attacked the main UNP party office and set fire to it and several vehicles causing a multi-million rupee loss. This was followed by a shooting incident. The main UNP office, housed at the residence of senior UNP member Dr. Raja Johnpulle, was set on fire while the final rally of PA Chief Ministerial candidate Berty Premalal Dissanayake was taking place at Kada Panaha Junction in Anuradhapura. more..

50 foot deep chasm appears in Dehiwela

Aug 21 (SAMN) The National Geological Survey and Mines Bureau said yesterday that a chasm has appeared in the soil between a row of houses on Prathibimbarama Road in Dehiwela on Tuesday, which is thought to be a result of soil being filled and coming loose. A spokesman from the Bureau told Daily Mirror there had been a metal quarry at the location some time ago and later a garbage dump. more..

WPF member Perumal attacked at Kahawatte

Aug 21 (SAMN) Western People’s Front member Ruben Perumal, who is contesting for the Sabaragamuwa provincial council on the UNP ticket, and a few of his supporters had allegedly come under attack by a group led by a provincial minister who is also a UPFA candidate from the Kahawatte area Wednesday. Spokesman for the Western People’s Front, Dr. M. Kumaraguruparan, told Daily Mirror the attack took place at Clock Tower Junction in Kahawatte at 11.30 am yesterday. more..

JVP wants police to pay for downed decor

Aug 21 (SAMN) The JVP Wednesday made a complaint to the Human Rights Commission against the IGP and two other senior police officers saying that the police tore down decorations put up at a JVP political rally which was to be held in Polonnaruwa town recently. JVP Polonnaruwa district leader R.K Indrananda making the complaint said the police action resulted in a waste of large amount of money spent in propaganda work in respect of more..

Berty Premalal’s supporter shot in Eppawala

Aug 21 (DN) Wasala was hospitalised after the attack which occurred near the Elidivilleva playground in Eppawala. The goons had also set fire to the double cab pickup he was travelling in. They had fled the area after committing the crime and the Anuradhapura Police are on their trail. In other major incidents, a van bearing the number 59-0712 has been shot at by unknown persons. more..

Lanka to face acid rain threat

Aug 21 (DN) Sri Lanka is on the verge of facing ecologically harmful acid rains. Prof. O.A. Illeperuma of the University of Peradeniya said as indicated by the recent environmental studies carried out by environmental scientists, in Anuradhapura, Mahailuppallama and Uva areas for over many years during North-Eastern rainy seasons, Sri Lanka is likely to experience acid rains in the future. more..

Cellular phones in prison cells

Aug 21 (Island) It appeared in the front page of The Island on 14.08.2008, that an extortion ring led from the Anuradhapura prison had been busted. The extortion ring king pin had used a mobile phone inside the prison to run the operation. It was the Crime Detection Bureau that exposed this extortion racket, masterminded by a prisoner at the Anuradhapura prison. This was revealed when a wealthy Colombo businessman complained to the Crime Detection Bureau of death threats by an anonymous caller, more..

Dr. JJ accuses Health Ministry of changing AG’s letter

Aug 21 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardane yesterday accused the Health Ministry of having tampered with a two-page letter sent by the Auditor General to them and releasing a changed version to the media. In a letter to the Auditor General he said the document sent on July 22 to the Health Secretary had contained the findings of the preliminary investigation conducted into the National Blood Centre regarding the use of out- dated plasmapheresis kits for blood transfusion. more..

A/L paper marking scuttled

Aug 21 (DM) The marking of Advanced Level Exam answer scripts yesterday was a flop due to the boycott by the teacher trade union actions demanding a pay hike and rectification of their salary scales, trade union sources said. However, Examinations Commissioner General Anura Edirisinghe said that it was possible to carry out paper marking between 50 and 60 percent yesterday. Trade union sources said that teachers’ participation in paper marking was very low all over the country. more..

Religious leaders urge violence free elections

Aug 21 (DM) Members of the Society of Religions who met Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday at the Elections Department had requested him to ensure violence free polls in the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces. The religious leaders, comprising the Anunayake of the Kotte Chapter the Ven Ittapane Dhammalankara Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Kotte Sri Nagavihara the Ven Maduluwave Sobitha Thera, the Secretary of the Amarapura Sangha Sabha the Ven Brahakmanawatte Sivali Thera, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Colombo the Rt. Rev Oswald Gomis and more..

Violence unleashed with president's knowledge - Ranil

Aug 21 (LD) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has alleged that the UPFA was unleashing violence against its political rivals with the full knowledge of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr. Wickremesinghe was speaking to the media in Colombo today. The opposition leader said he was unaware of the need of an office of the Presidential Secretariat in Anuradhapura, but, that such an office does exist close to the UNP chief ministerial candidate's office. more..

Media groups demand sacking of police chief

Aug 21 (LD) Media rights groups have demanded the immediate sacking of the police chief over his failure to respect three court orders for the arrest of Minister Mervyn Silva over his anti-media behaviour. Gathering in front of Colombo Fort Railway Station under the banner of Five Media, journalists in their numbers began the demonstration at 12.00 noon today. Carrying banners and placards and shouting slogans, they also accused the president of protecting his errant minister. more..

Facing defeat, govt. letting loose violence - JVP

Aug 21 (LD) The JVP has charged that the ruling UPFA, in a state of infuriation after confidential surveys have indicated certain defeat at upcoming provincial polls, of having let loose the worst form of violence to gain victory by any means. JVP Secretary Tilvyn Silva made the accusation at a media briefing in Colombo today, also attended by party MPs Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Lakshman Nipunarachchi. more..

Govt. plans 'Bodhi Pooja' as propaganda

Aug 21 (LD) The government is reportedly planning a religious programme titled 'Ashirvada Bodhi Pooja' as a propaganda measure targeting the upcoming provincial polls. The ruling party leaderships in North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces are organizing the event tonight, purportedly for invoking blessings on members of the armed forces. State-media has been instructed to give wide publicity to this programme, reports said. more..

5 prisoners transferred to police custody

Aug 21 (LD) The Colombo Additional Magistrate yesterday ordered the transfer of five Tamil prisoners to police custody under the directions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as Minister of Defence. Velumile Chandrasekaran, Ponnasami Kadireshi Sivaji, Padmanadan Rajiv, Sivajilingam Arunan and Padmanadan Ayyar, who were arrested by the Mutwal police over alleged links with the LTTE, were transferred to police custody. more..

Mervyn given bail

Aug 21 (LD) The Colombo Magistrate's Court this morning granted bail to Minister Mervyn Silva who surrendered to the court through his lawyers some hours earlier. The Colombo Additional Magistrate ordered a Rs. 50,000 surety and a Rs. 500,000 cash bail for the minister. A complaint lodged with the Peliyagoda Police accused a group, including Mr. Silva and chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Prasanna Ranaweera, of having assaulted and snatched cameras from a Sirasa TV crew at an official function early this month. more..

Pakistan to help in Colombo’s final battle against Tigers

Aug 21 (Dawn) As India continues to call for a political solution to Sri Lanka’s 25-year-old ethnic conflict, reports indicate that Pakistan has decided to bolster what Sri Lanka military says its final push to defeat Tamil Tiger rebels and end their war for a separate state in the country’s north-east. Pakistan has pledged to send a large quantity of ammunition to help the Sri Lankan government finish off the rebels in the final phase of Elam War IV, more..

Sri Lanka-flagged ship sinks in Bay of Bengal

Aug 21 (Reuters) A ship carrying more than 3,000 tonnes of rice from India sank near the outer anchorage of Bangladesh's Chittagong port on Wednesday, port officials said. They said the Sri Lanka-flagged vessel Badulu Valley was in collision with an empty, anchored Chinese oil tanker called Heng Zhou, and sank in the Bay of Bengal during the afternoon. Port officials had earlier said the vessel was carrying a Singapore flag. more..

Sri Lanka's air force attacks Tamil rebels

Aug 21 (AP) Sri Lanka's air force launched attacks on Tamil Tiger rebels along the northern front lines Thursday, while infantry clashes killed eight rebels and two soldiers, the military said. Air force helicopter gunships hit a rebel fortification in the northern district of Vavuniya, bordering the rebels' de facto state, said air force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara. He said the attack early Thursday was launched in support of army troops fighting in the area. more..

Norway-LTTE ties sour over theft of NGO vehicles

Aug 21 (IANS) Norway’s decision not to hail a truce the Tamil Tigers declared before the SAARC summit this month seems to have fuelled a crisis that has for the first time soured ties between the rebels and Oslo, the peace facilitator in Sri Lanka. Norway, seen by many in Sri Lanka as sympathetic to the Tigers, has been acutely embarrassed after the LTTE commandeered heavy vehicles belonging to the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), an Oslo-based NGO, in the rebel-held Kilinochchi district. more..

Cyprus doctors help out in Sri Lanka

Aug 22 (KYPE) The Cyprus division of Doctors of the World will be handing over to the Sri Lankan authorities next week a series of projects that have already improved the standard of living of locals, especially after the December 2004 tsunami and its consequences. President of the Doctors of the World (Cyprus) Elias Papadopoulos has told CNA that so far 45 volunteers of the organisation have visited Sri Lanka and more..