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For want of govt interest, ICRC up-grade cold-storage facilities in northern hospitals

Aug 28 (Island) For want of government intervention, the ICRC is in the process of upgrading a cold-storage facility at the Padaviya hospital to facilitate the transfer of the remains of combatants killed on the Welioya/Mullaitivu front. Earlier, the ICRC had equipped and upgraded cold storage facilities in hospital mortuaries in Anuradhapura and Vavuniya. Officials said that the ICRC had stepped in to ensure the collection, storage and the transfer of bodies of the security forces personnel and LTTE cadres. more..

GMOA warns of forces attempting to cripple health services in North, East

Aug 28 (Island) The Government Medical Officers’ Association warned that there was an unseen force attempting to disrupt the health services of the North and East, as the doctors serving in the two provinces had not been paid their allowances for over a month. They are due for on call availability, transport and disturbance allowance and an extra duty allowance. There are over thousand doctors maintaining round the clock services in the North and East despite the hard life they face. more..

Magistrate slams police negligence

Aug 28 (DM) The Anuradhapura Chief Magistrate took the police to task yesterday, for negligence during the attack on the house of UNP Anuradhapura District organiser Dr. Rajah Johnpulle. Anuradhapura Police Headquarters Inspector M.R.P Sarath Prema admitted in court that the police were present at the scene when Dr. Rajah Johnpulle’s house was set on fire. He said that he rushed to the scene and attempted to disperse the rioters, but the tear gas canisters were defective. more..

Con men trick devotees, get over four lakhs

Aug 28 (DM) Four men disguised as Buddhist monks misled the Chief Incumbent of the Sri Sudarshanarama Temple in Nagolla and obtained permission to organize a religious ceremony in the temple to bless the country and the security forces and later vanished after collecting Rs.460, 000 from the devotees who attended the ceremony. It is alleged that the suspects cheated the devotees and sold them talismans for Rs.1600 each without more..

3 journalists attacked by medical students

Aug 28 (LD) Three journalists from private media institutions were allegedly assaulted and their cameras snatched at the Medical Faculty of the University of Colombo this afternoon. Journalist Yamuna Darshani and cameraman Janaka Galappatti of 'Lankadeepa' newspaper and Sirasa TV journalist Dushyantha Manoj are the victims of the incident. At the time, they had been seeking public opinion over the dispute surrounding the boycott of answer script marking at the G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination. more..

'Nawamani' chief editor dies

Aug 28 (LD) Chief Editor of 'Nawamani' newspaper, M.P.M. Azhar, passed away this morning (Aug. 28th). According to the Muslim Media Forum, the remains now lie at No: 115/1, Vivien Gunawardena Mawatha, Kittanpahuwa, Wellampitiya. Burial will be at 4.00 pm at Maligawatte Muslim Burial Grounds.

PC ministers, a thorny issue

Aug 28 (LD) The government is facing trouble over ministerial positions in the new councils in Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces, said government sources. As a president-appointed committee is discussing subjects for the ministers, many elected-councilors are claiming their rights, based on their experience and better performance at the August 23rd polls. Each of the two councils will have five ministers, including a chief minister. more..

Common symbol to defeat Rajapaksa junta - Mangala

Aug 28 (LD) Leader of the SLFP Mahajana Wing Mangala Samaraweera has called for unity among all progressive forces in the opposition under a common symbol to come out strong from the present political abyss. Speaking to the media in Colombo today, he said, "President Mahinda Rajapaksa had won the provincial polls by claiming the battlefront victories of the three armed forces as achievements of his own and by selling their fame. more..

Govt to build iconic telecom tower

Aug 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka will build a state-sponsored 250 metre tall common broadcast tower for television, radio and telecom firms, information minister Anura Yapa said. "The building of towers in a haphazard manner cannot be allowed," Minister Yapa said. "The tower will be a national icon, like those in China, Kuala Lampur and Tehran." The tower will be located in Peliyagoda in the greater Colombo area and will have a public observation gallery and a restaurant. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines appoints its first female Captain

Aug 28 (LBO) Sri Lankan Airlines has appointed a female pilot, Anusha Siriratne, as Captain of an aircraft for the first time, the national carrier said in a statement. "It doesn't make a difference whether you are a man or a woman when flying," the statement quoted Siriratne as saying. "The circumstances don't change, the weather is the same, and the aircraft doesn't know the difference!" more..

Fighting kills 38 rebels, 5 soldiers

Aug 28 (AP) Fierce fighting between government troops and separatist Tamil Tigers across Sri Lanka's embattled northeast killed 38 rebels and five soldiers. The latest violence occurred Wednesday along the front lines separating government-controlled territory and the rebels' de facto state in the north. Army troops and the air force launched a joint offensive on rebel bunkers in Kilinochchi district, triggering a furious battle that killed 18 rebels and four soldiers, he said. more..

ICRC gives training on treatment of war wounds

Aug 28 (IRIN) Being well-prepared and capable of fast and effective triage (the sorting and treatment of patients based on the degree of their injuries) are the key to caring for war-wounded. That is the core guidance given by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in war surgery seminars it has been conducting in Sri Lanka, Morven Murchison, the ICRC health coordinator in that war-torn country, told IRIN. more..

Sri Lanka's inflation may fall under 10 pct

Aug 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's economic growth is expected to be less than a forecast 7 percent this year due to tight monetary conditions but inflation may fall into single digits by the end of 2009, the central bank governor said. All-time high fuel and food prices pushed inflation in Sri Lanka this year -- among the highest in Asia -- to a record level when measured on an index introduced in December that tracks it back to 2002. more..

LTTE air strikes cannot change military balance: Sri Lanka

Aug 28 (IANS) Sri Lanka Thursday brushed aside threats posed by the Tamil Tigers' air wing and said that aerial attacks by the guerrillas 'cannot change the current military balance strategically'. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa made the remarks at a media briefing, shortly after accompanying Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama to a meeting at the foreign ministry with Colombo-based diplomats to explain the security situation in the country. more..

122 Sri Lankan soldiers hospitalized after food poisoning

Aug 28 (IANS) At least 122 Sri Lankan soldiers attached to a training base in the Eastern Amparai district were hospitalized Thursday morning immediately after their breakfast due to food poisoning, military sources here said. Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said these newly recruited soldiers were undergoing training at Henanigala army camp at Dehiattakandiya in the Amparai district, more..

Sri Lanka appeals to Tamils to flee to govt territory

Aug 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Thursday appealed to minority ethnic Tamil civilians living in the line of fire in rebel-held towns to move to areas under government control, saying it would guarantee them safe passage. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse said the military had cleared a route for people fleeing the island's embattled north, where troops are advancing on the rebel capital of Kilinochchi, 330 kilometres (205 miles) north of Colombo. more..

Politicians dragging Lanka towards anarchy

Aug 29 (LG) Mankind that evolved through the Stone Age has now arrived at the doorstep of interplanetary travel. During this period of transition many great religious personalities and philosophers attempted to civilise humanity presenting various theories. Following some form of religion has become part and parcel of mankind because of the fear and sorrow ever present in everybody’s life. more..

North–east student’s education!

Aug 29 (LG) The Ministry of Education has taken steps to fill the vacancies that exist for teachers in the national schools in the eastern province. This is a sound move to solve the problem of the dearth of teachers at schools. There has been a shortage for teachers in most of the schools in the north east and in the upcountry. There is a dearth for teachers of mathematics, science and English, and for higher classes in these schools. more..

War On Tissa

Aug 29 (LG) The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Colombo high court's indictment of journalist J.S. Tissainayagam today on terrorism charges for articles he published in 2006. Sri Lanka's Terrorist Investigation Division arrested Tissainayagam, the editor of news Web site OutreachSL, and five of his colleagues within a few days in March 2008. Three of the group were released later that month, more..

Will the government establish the constitutional council?

Aug 29 (LG) The government has announced that the results of the North Central and Sabragamuwa Provincial Councils have been a great encouragement to the government’s war efforts. However, it is not wrong to say that the results are in favour of military operations. Now, the government is confident that it can win all elections with the war propaganda and citing military victories. more..

Sri Lanka a country with better health facilities - WHO

Aug 29 (BBC) The World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling for greater social equality as a way of evening out differences in health, both between different countries and within them. A report, drawn up by the WHO's Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, says that although a country's wealth is an important factor in its people's health, issues of equality also have a significant impact. more..

Journos attacked

Aug 29 (BBC) A group of five journalist organizations have strongly condemned an attack on three journalists. Journalist Yamuna Darshani and cameraman Janaka Galappatti of 'Lankadeepa' newspaper and Sirasa TV journalist Dushyantha Manoj were allegedly attacked by medical students of the Colombo university. According to the journalist they have been in the process of seeking public opinion over the dispute surrounding the boycott of answer script marking at the G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination. more..

Central banker says money should not be printed for wars or subsidies

Aug 29 (LBO) A central bank should not relax monetary policy (print more money) to increase employment, or finance wars and subsidies, because inflation, which is worse than terrorism, would be the result, a top Sri Lankan economist said. "Though societies should fight terrorism with real resources mobilised from the society, it is not advisable to use central bank’s nominal resources to fight such wars," more..

Sri Lanka aviation expert slams govt international airport plan

Aug 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka risks losing a race with south Indian airports to become an aviation hub in south Asia owing to misguided plans by politicians to build a second international airport, an aviation expert has warned. Its sole international airport at Katunayake, north of Colombo, remains too short and narrow for modern long-haul commercial jets, said Dayanthe Athulathmudali, Director, Dubai World Central, more..

Sri Lanka migrant workers connected by Microsoft

Aug 29 (LBO) Microsoft is training Sri Lankan migrant workers in information technology skills to improve their employability and keep in touch with their families at low cost, the IT giant's Sri Lanka office said. The project is implemented with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), the island's state foreign employment promotion office. The initiative will enhance the quality of life of migrant workers by filling a skills gap, more..

Business leader says trade barriers still hamper regional integration

Aug 29 (LBO) South Asian nations should lower trade barriers to make a regional economic co-operation work and deliver the promised benefits to the region's people, a Sri Lankan business leader said Thursday. Regional integration is the key to improving the living standards and economies of the region of 1.5 billion people grouped under the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC), said Macky Hashim. more..

This isn't a time to give up, says Jayawardene

Aug 29 (CI) There's little a team can do once they've lost a series with a dead rubber to be played. Faced to confront a future that appears less than rosy, Mahela Jayawardene has emphasised the importance of not giving up even at this stage. "We do have some cricket in the near future so it's important that we finish on a high note," he said after losing the series on Wednesday. more..

Palihakkara presents credentials as new UN envoy of Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (AT) The new Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Hewa M.G.S. Palihakkara, presented his credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr. Palihakkara, who currently serves on the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, retired as the Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka on 31 December 2006 after 38 years of civil and diplomatic service. more..

Sumith Nakandala: New deputy High Commissioner in the UK

Aug 29 (AT) Ambassador A. Sumith Nakandala has taken duties as Sri Lanka’s new Deputy High Commissioner in the United Kingdom. He has arrived in London this week succeeding to Sudantha Ganegamaarachchi, his erstwhile schoolmate. Ambassador A. Sumith Nakandala During the 15th SAAARC Summit, Nakandala was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Royal Kingdom of Nepal and as the summit arrangements hit a snag regarding more..

‘Animal Tracks’ lead villagers out of poverty

Aug 29 (IPS) An impoverished village in southern Sri Lanka is slowly pulling out of poverty by churning out terracotta moulds of animal footprints for tea connoisseurs all over the world. Villagers here -- traditionally brick-makers -- have found value and economic potential in protecting the jungle, the wild animals and their natural habitat under a new project titled ‘Animal Tracks’, Ajith Perera, a celebrated Sri Lankan potter and team leader of the project explained. more..

Grenade blast wounds 7 suspected rebels in Sri Lanka prison

Aug 29 (Reuters) A hand grenade blast inside a prison in eastern Sri Lanka wounded seven prisoners, most of them suspected of being allied with the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, police said."There has been an explosion inside Batticaloa prison. Seven people have been injured and admitted to Batticaloa hospital," police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara said. "All of them are Tamils, and most of them are suspected of LTTE (rebel) activities." more..

Power cut in Jaffna peninsula likely to last for months

Aug 29 (TN) Problems encountered in procuring Sri Lankan Defence Ministry permission to take certain electrical components to Jaffna peninsula and the delay in shipping them may affect the ongoing arrangements to supply the needed electricity for the entire peninsula until early next year. When Laxapana national electricity supply was suspended in 1990, electricity supply to the peninsula was taken over by the SLEB in Chu’n’naakam. more..

Electricity transmission line from Kilinochchi to Jaffna

Aug 29 (MG) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Power and Energy, W.D.J. Seneviratne to upgrade and reconstruct the protection scheme of the 220KV transmission line and transformers in the CEB power system pertaining to the rehabilitation of the transmission line from Kilinochchi to Jaffna given the prevailing security situation. Once normalcy is restored, the 67.2km Lynx double circuit 132KV transmission line from the Kilinochchi Grid Substation to more..

Amity after the War

Aug 29 (AT) The dissolution and the dismantling of the LTTE is not a defeat for the Tamils. Sri Lankans have a rich ethos of togetherness at all social levels to bind the nation which was disturbed by separatist forces with the connivance of mischievous NGO elements. Majority of the Tamils are law abiding citizens of whom few became terrorists. These terrorists were the deadliest in the world and subjugated the Tamils wherever they were, to become captive pawns; more..

Sri Lanka protests aspersions cast on Govt in recent EU Parliamentary Delegation statement

Aug 29 (AT) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the European Union (EU) Ravinatha Aryasinha on Monday (25 August) protested to the President of the European Parliament Dr. Hans-Gert Pottering, on the aspersions cast on the Sri Lanka government in a statement issued by Robert Evans, Member of the European Parliament, who headed a group of MEPs of the European Parliament’s South Asia Delegation, more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Aug 29 (GDI) Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by Minister Champika Ranawaka to prohibit the import and export of virgin Chloro Fluoro Carbons (CFCs) with effect from January 1, 2008 and virgin Bromo Fluoro Carbons (Halons) with effect from January 1, 2010 with exemptions for essential and critical uses. Cabinet also agreed to direct the Import and Export Controller to introduce appropriuate regulations under the Import and Export Controls Act. more..

President's mandate reaffirmed, FM tells diplomats

Aug 29 (GDI) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said that the results of the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections was a reaffirmation of the mandate given by the people to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and an endorsement of the President's policy to defeat terrorism and restore democracy in the North. more..

Ranil playing for time to save his neck

Aug 29 (LG) Though there are moves to remove Ranil Wickremesinghe from the leadership after failing again at the elections he is making covert counter-moves to remain in power, according to informed insiders. Insiders say that he has done this time and time again and he will undercut his rivals with a smile to retain the leadership of he party. An insider said that yesterday’s Working Committee meeting made some promises of reform but more..

Tamil Tigers escalating violence in Australia

Aug 29 (LG) Tamil Tigers are suspected to have spray-painted High Commission a car parked outside its premises in Canberra and thrown eggs at the walls last night. Australian Protective Intelligence Unit is investigating the new trend of violence of the Tamil Tigers in Australia. This incident happened when the new High Commissioner, Senaka Walgampaya, was entertaining his staff for dinner at his residence. more..

Berty confident he will be CM

Aug 29 (LNP) North Central Province UPFA Chief Ministerial candidate Berty Premalal Dissanayake yesterday said that there was no change in the decision taken by President Mahinda Rajapaksa or the UPFA in appointing him to the slot. He told the media that President Rajapakse doesn t mince his words. `I am confident that there would be no change in the decision taken by the UPFA,` Dissanayake said. more..

Ranil promises to consider call to step down

Aug 29 (LNP) Last week s heavy PC polls defeat at Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces has driven a group of UNP MPs to urge UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to quit the leadership. Lakshman Seneviratne, Johnston Fernando, Thalatha Atukorale and Indika Bandara have asked Wickremesinghe to hand over the leadership to UNP Chairman Rukman Senanayake. Wickremesinghe has said he would consider their request. more..

Army captures Palamoddai and Ulathuvely areas

Aug 29 (LNP) The counter terrorist offensive operation launched to liberate Wanni region from LTTE clutches has reached to a significant milestone as the troops of Task Force-2 and 59 Division captured the Palamoddai Town, west of A-9 Road, near Omanthai, and Ulathuvely beach area, 4 km to the north of Kokkutuduvai in the Welioya front, respectively this afternoon, 28 August, the latest report received from battlefront said. more..

Fishermen want their boats back

Aug 29 (Hindu) Five fishermen of Pamban, who returned from Sri Lanka after spending nearly two-and-a-half months in jail, have appealed to the State and Central governments to secure the release of their boat. M. Easwaran,28, M. Senthilvel, 27, A. Ignatius,21, M. Vijayakumar,21, and A. Joseph Bath,17, made this demand when they met Collector R. Kirlosh Kumar here on Thursday. The fishermen, who returned to Chennai from Colombo, were brought here by a special vehicle. more..

Escape route for Wanni civilians

Aug 29 (SAMN) The government on Thursday appealed to Tamil civilians living in the line of fire in rebel-held towns to move to areas under government control, saying it would guarantee them safe passage. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said the military had cleared a route for people fleeing the embattled north, where troops are advancing on the rebel capital of Kilinochchi, north of Colombo. more..

Rs.1,600 m for teachers' pay hike

Aug 29 (SAMN) The Treasury has pledged Rs.1,600 million to implement the recommendations of the Salaries and Cadre Commission to rectify the salary anomalies of teachers' and principals' services, Education Minister Susil Premajayantha disclosed Thursday, adding that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had approved the recommendations of the Salaries and Cadre Commission to remove the salary anomalies of the 200,000 teachers and 16,000 principals. more..

Compulsory ID for PC polls criticised

Aug 29 (SAMN) Making national identity cards compulsory for the recently concluded Provincial Council Elections has come under severe criticism from both the government and opposition parties. The ruling UPFA said at least 50,000 its supporters were not able to vote on Saturday as they did not have a valid ID card while the UNP claimed about 70,000 of its supporters were denied their right to vote for the same reason. more..

Bonus seats according to PVs

Aug 29 (SAMN) Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said Thursday four members would to be appointed to fill the bonus slots won by the UPFA, and the candidate next to the last elected candidate of the party’s preferential votes’ (PV) list in each district would be appointed to fill these slots. He said the UPFA had taken a policy decision in this regard. Minister told journalists he had sent the names of elected candidates to Elections Commissioner more..

Committee to probe complaints against Secretaries

Aug 29 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a three-member committee comprising eminent and senior officers who currently serve and have served in the public service to inquire into representations and complaints to the President, by and with regard to Ministry Secretaries, the President's Office said yesterday. The committee comprises the Cabinet Secretary D. Wijesinghe (Chairman), K.H.J. Wijedasa, more..

CFC imports to be banned

Aug 29 (DN) The Government has decided to ban the import of Chloro Fluro Carbons (CFCs) and Bromo Fluoro Carbons (Halons) which are chemicals commonly known as Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). The import and export CFCs will be prohibited with effect from January 2009 while the import of halons will be effect from January 2010 with exemptions for essentials and critical uses as defined by the Montreal Protocol. more..

Restrictions on mobile phones: Court issues notice on TRC, Gotabhaya

Aug 29 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and the Secretary Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa following a petition by Sudarshana Gunewardene, Attorney-at-Law, challenging a decision to restrict the use of mobile phones to registered owners and not to their family members. The gazette notification issued in respect of this regulation said that the spouse, parents or children of the owner could not use the mobile phone for security reasons. more..