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Shocking expose by victimised bribery officers

Aug 6 (BL) Two Investigating Officers (IO) of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, yesterday filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) Application before the Supreme Court, stating that they were transferred from the Commission mala fide and for the collateral purpose of discontinuing an investigation against a minister who has never declared his assets. Petitioners, Inspectors of Police A.M. Nihal Amarasiri of 207 Kossinna, Ganemulla and more..

Natural beauty at House impresses SAARC Heads

Aug 6 (DN) Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara yesterday stressed that world leaders who visited Parliament marvelled at the natural beauty surrounding the Parliamentary complex. "The South Asian leaders who arrived in Sri Lanka for the SAARC Summit paid an official visit to the Parliament," he said. "They spent a long time inside the Chamber and also viewed the natural beauty outside Parliament," Speaker Lokubandara said. more..

Is Sri Lanka losing Kachchatheevu ?

Aug 6 (DM) Kachchatheevu is a name which has its origin in two words – Kadchi meaning ‘safe haven’ and ‘theeve’ meaning Island. At all events , Kachchatheevu, today has become a safe haven not only for Tamilnadu politicians, but also for Indian politicians and Tamil Tigers. It is significant to note that the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was attending the SAARC conference in Sri Lanka at a time when the Kachchatheevu issue is hotting up not only in Tamilnadu, but also within the whole of India. more..

Environment Minister takes west to task

Aug 6 (DM) Environment and Natural Resources Minister Champika Ranawaka criticised the western countries and their ideology of science. Minister Ranawaka said that western countries have reached the top through violence and endangering the environment by emitting greenhouse gases, and place themselves quite high in their Human Development Index despite these shortcomings. more..

‘Mobile phone tax boost for environmental conservation’

Aug 6 (DN) Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority Udaya Gammanpila answering all criticism levelled against him and the Environment Ministry for slapping a two per cent levy on the monthly bills of mobile phone users, yesterday said that the Bill was “progressive” by all means because it deals explicitly with mobile phone users and not with non-user village folk. more..

GMOA urges Ministry to speed up ‘bloody’ probe

Aug 6 (Island) The Government Medical Officer’s Association (GMOA) urged the Health Ministry to complete investigations into allegations that the National Blood Centre had used outdated plasmapheresis kits. The Association said the investigations should be completed on a priority basis. Spokesman for the GMOA, Dr. Upul Gunasekara said yesterday that there was no point in blaming each other for shortcomings if there were any. more..

Biyagama factories cry foul over new entrant’s tactics

Aug 6 (Island) Several manufacturing companies in the Biyagama Export Processing Zone are up in arms over a range of inducements offered by a large UK group to attract their experienced staff. "We are facing a severe threat to our operations," a senior executive of an overseas-owned firm told The Island. The loss of experienced workers would disrupt work at several factories, he said, accusing the newcomer of causing unnecessary trouble. more..

Sri Lankans in Berlin writes to the German Government to ban the LTTE

Aug 7 (LG) After a successful demonstration against the LTTE in Berlin, the initiative ´´Sri Lankans against LTTE Terror- Germany´´ have written letters to the President of Germany Mr. Horst Köhler, Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, Interior Minister Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble and Foreign Minister Frank Walter-Steinmeier, appealing the Federal Government to ban the LTTE as a terrorist organisation and the supportive front organisations in Germany. more..

'Marxists misled Sinhala Buddhists'

Aug 7 (LG) Environment Minister and JHU Policy Maker Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday (August 5) that the JVP is again trying to mislead young people and Buddhist monks by getting them to demonstrate in the streets with the idea of promoting the party's dubious political agendas. He recalled the deaths of around 600 bhikkus 19 years ago in a tragic situation for which the JVP was primarily responsible. more..

SARRC's silence over human rights is perturbing - TNA

Aug 7 (LG) The TNA has expressed that the SARRC Summit's silence over human rights violations is rather disturbing. TNA Senior Parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah told that the SARRC summit did not address its mind to the human rights situation in the region, while articulating vehemently on the fight against terrorism. This was rather shocking. A resolution was passed to defeat terrorism in the region. The struggle of the Tamil people is not terrorism. more..

Colombo declaration of SARRC Summit

Aug 7 (LG) The 15th summit of the SAARC concluded its two-day proceedings in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, on Sunday, August 3. The summit discussed and adopted a 41-point Declaration or the "Colombo declaration", which called for united efforts and in-regional connectivity to combat threats posed by terrorism to peace, stability and security of the region. It also called to eradicate poverty and to protect energy and environment. more..

UN Office takes Daily Mirror to task for distortion

Aug 7 (GDI) The Office of the United Nations in Colombo has taken issue with a 'news' story published in the Daily Mirror recently, pointing out that the newspaper has erred by engaging in distortion and that this "does not serve truth, justice or history" and moreover only hampers UN efforts to help civilians in the Wanni. The Daily Mirror had in its story portrayed the situation in the Wanni as a 'Death Camp' and the UN missive points out that this 'displays a staggering lack of proportion'. more..

'Prabakaran can lay down arms and enter political mainstream'

Aug 7 (GDI) Media Minister and Matara District Parliamentarian Laxshman Yapa Abeywardane called on Prabakaran to lay down arms and terrorist activities and enter the mainstream of politics as minister Douglas Devananda and the Chief Minister for the Eastern Provincial council have done. Minister Yapa pointed out that this government was spending much more on the anti-Terrorist war and Samurdhi than the UNP government had done. more..

Minister Sirisena's "strategic plan" is launched vote rigging at Aralaganwila

Aug 7 (LT) When the postal voting is scheduled to be held tomorrow and the day after postal votes have been marked at Aralaganwila Divisional Agriculture Development Centre in Polonnaruwa District without the presence of party representatives said Mr. R.K. Indrananda, Leader of the JVP candidates for Polonnaruwa District adding that the act is a blatant violation of election regulations. more..

Reporting on human rights in Sri Lanka: Gender equity in media charter

Aug 7 (FI) Like in the above song, we women are marginalised in third world countries. Sri Lanka being the 53rd most populated nation in the world. We women represent 54% of the whole population of the country, which are about 20 million people. When it comes to journalism, the female representation is comparatively lower than any other professions such as teaching, banking, so on and so forth. more..

Tamil separatism survives on the strength of Sinhala nationalism

Aug 7 (FI) With SAARC on the cards, reminiscing “Black July” is almost over. There were plenty of articles in most of our print media and in web portals with differing points of view on “Black July”. In some, Black July was even discussed in a South Asian context. What ever the route taken to reach July 1983, the point of convergence in most was that it helped an accelerated growth of armed groups to establish their case for a separate “Thamil” State. more..

Undergrads-marshals clash at Colombo Campus

Aug 7 (LD) A clash between students and campus marshals at the University of Colombo this afternoon (Aug. 06th) left several injured, reports said. The marshals had taken several students to their room and tried to question them on a claim by Hudson Samarasinghe in 'Rata Yana Atha' Programme of Isira Radio that two marshals had abused a female student. Following the marshals attempted to video the students, enraged undergraduates had attacked them. more..

God'll take care of Mervyn - Maithripala

Aug 7 (LD) General Secretary of the SLFP Maithripala Sirisena says he is not in a position to deal with his unruly ministerial colleague Mervyn Silva, and that God will take care of him. He was responding to questions at a media briefing today (Aug. 06th) on the government stance regarding Minister Silva's having attacked a Sirasa TV crew and snatched their cameras. However, journalists asked as to whether there was anyone in government lower than God who could be responsible for the Labour Minister's conduct. more..

Life sentence to be commuted to 20 yrs.

Aug 7 (LD) President has decided to commute life imprisonment to a 20-year maximum prison term on a recommendation by a Justice Ministry appointed committee. Former High Court judge G.L.M. de Silva headed the four-member committee that inquired into 147 prisoners whose death penalties have been turned into jail terms for life following a special pardon. According to Prison Department sources, most of these prisoners could be freed due to this presidential decision. more..

'Serious lapse in security for Narayanan during SAARC summit'

Aug 7 (PTI) Taking note of "serious lapse" in security for National Security Adviser M K Narayanan during the SAARC summit here, India on Wednesday said some of the arrangements discussed in advance for providing protection to the top leaders did not get implemented. "The attention of this High Commission has been drawn to various media reports regarding the security cover to M K Narayanan, National Security Adviser, during the recently concluded 15th SAARC Summit," more..

Sri Lankan man jailed for having fake Belgian passport

Aug 7 (BB) A 25-year-old Sri Lankan man was sent to jail for three months after pleading guilty to possession of a forged passport. The statement of facts submitted in court by the Immigration Prosecuting Officer Norliza Hj Matnoor stated that Pratheepan Davidrasiah was detained by a Royal Brunei Airlines staff at the check-in counter when he presented a Belgian passport upon his arrival in the country on July 27, 2008. more..

Two more members of LTTE's procurement module held

Aug 7 (PTI) Two more Sri Lankan nationals, part of an LTTE procurement module, have been taken into custody by the police which recovered some explosive materials from them. The two were secured on suspicion from the Tirumangalam area after a tip-off, said the Q Branch Police which deals with extremist organisations. Police recovered a few spark plugs and some potassium nitrate used in explosives from the duo who were staying in a rented house in Tirumangalam. more..

Dozens Sri Lankans arrested for election violence

Aug 7 (Xinhua) Some 58 people have been arrested for election-related violence across Sri Lanka, the police said Wednesday. They have been arrested for election violence such as attacking the rivals and their property, damaging election propaganda material, as well as general flouting of election laws, the police said. Elections are to be held on Aug. 23 for provincial councils of North Central and Sabaragamuva provinces. more..

MPs clash over CEPA with India

Aug 7 (IANS) Sparks flew in the Sri Lankan parliament as supporters and critics clashed over the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India. India announced in July that the CEPA would be signed on the sidelines of the SAARC summit that ended here Aug 3. But Sri Lanka, coming under pressure from the radical Marxist JVP, postponed the event indefinitely claiming that it needed time to discus the deal with local stakeholders. more..

Sri Lanka debt markets still to show full potential: expert

Aug 7 (LBO) A veteran fixed income specialist says Sri Lanka's debt market has still to show its full potential though it is 15 years since the first commercial paper was issued in the island. The first commercial paper was issued by John Keells Holdings and Aitken Spence, with a guarantee from state-run Bank of Ceylon on August 6, 1993. The deal was structured by Waldock McKenzie, financial services unit of JKH, more..

M.I.A. accused of supporting terrorists by Sri Lankan Rapper

Aug 7 (BB) British rapper M.I.A., who is of Sri Lankan descent, is being accused of supporting terrorists, despite denying those accusations in the past. In a 2005 interview with Australian paper The Age, M.I.A. (real name: Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam) says, "I've heard lots of people say that I'm part of a terrorist group and I'm singing about that, and singing songs for them, but that's wack, I'd never do that." more..

Southern Sri Lanka shaken by earth tremor

Aug 7 (LBO) Southern parts of Sri Lanka were shaken by minor tremors, early on Wednesday morning, and investigations are underway to find the cause, an official said. The tremors were felt in Tangalle, Beliatte, Ranna and Kudawella, in Sri Lanka's southern province by residents around 5.45 to 5.50 am local time, JNW news said quoting the meteorological department. The tremors were very small and recorded at the Pallekele research station in central Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka seeks to improve seafarer rights

Aug 7 (LBO) A new International Labour Organisation maritime convention that Sri Lanka is to ratify will improve the safety, efficiency and working conditions of seafarers, officials said. The ILO maritime labour convention, also known as a 'bill of rights' for seafarers has an enforcement system that will prevent their exploitation by owners of sub-standard ships, they said. more..

Army commander warns newspaper to censor defense columns

Aug 7 (LNP) Sri Lankan media associations today expressed their deep concern over Sri Lanka Army Commander who is noted for alleged human right violations threatening another staff journalist of a national newspaper to discontinue her weekly defence column. It has been reported to the our organisations that Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka had told staff journalist Indika Ramanayake of Lankadeepa news paper that he would not cooperate with the newspaper if it did not stop the two regular and defence related columns. more..

Iran willing to share nuclear technology with Sri Lanka

Aug 7 (LNP) Iran is willing to share nuclear technology for peaceful purposes with Sri Lanka, the country s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who was in Colombo to attend the 15th SAARC Summit told The Island. He said that Iran and Sri Lanka are long standing friends and Iran was willing to assist in all fields, including uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes. Asked about allegations that Iran, was helping Sri Lanka because it has no friends in the world, Mottaki dismissed them as ridiculous. more..

Sri Lanka`s University becomes mini battleground

Aug 7 (LNP) The Colombo University was turned into a mini battleground yesterday as a group of students went on the rampage, throwing stones, assaulting at least two marshals of the university and breaking into the office of the marshals and damaging property. At least 11 persons, including university lecturers, were injured in the melee. Three of the injured have been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital. more..

Parliament grants nod for emergency extension

Aug 7 (LNP) The resolution was passed with a majority of 72 votes. The JVP, the Jathika Nidahas Peramuna and the Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka thera voted with the Government. Only the TNA opposed. UNP members were not present when the vote was taken up. Meanwhile, oining in the emergency debate, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake expressed concern that continuous appeals had to be made to Sri Lankans to obliterate terrorism, although SAARC leaders were united in vanquishing the common enemy. more..

LTTE takes 'ACAT France' for a ride

Aug 7 (GDI) The LTTE has hoodwinked Action Des Chretiens Pour L'Abolition De La Torture (better known as ACAT France) by getting the organization to carry a request soliciting readers to write to the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo and the Sri Lanka Embassy in France alleging that soldiers torture Tamil citizens in Sri Lanka, Embassy sources said. Apparently the Presidential Secretariat and the Embassy received dozens of letters signed by different individuals with Tamil and French names. more..

Share Twenty20 riches - Jayawardene

Aug 7 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, feels the spread of Twenty20 cricket needs to be controlled to prevent it from "taking international cricket apart" and says the "big solution" is to have one consolidated tournament where all cricket-playing countries get to share the revenue. Jayawardene observed that, with players and administrators across the world driven by money, the time had come to strike a balance and get the priorities right on developing the game's shortest format. more..

India's Sri Lanka role: Then and now

Aug 7 (AT) SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe's remarks over Isira Radio Channel this week on India and his reminiscences of the events of July 1987 seems to have highly disturbed some quarters. Copies of the Tamil Nadu Tamil publication 'Ananda Vikatan' (that conducted a survey claiming that over half the TN population is pro-LTTE) have surreptitiously found their way into Sea Street, Pettah, according to Samarasinghe. more..

"Keep the Lion flag flying high" – President

Aug 7 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for China yesterday morning to attend the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics, on an official invitation by the Government of the People's Republic of China. Sources revealed that Chinese vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Wu Dawei, who was in Colombo last week to attend the 15th SAARC Summit, personally extended the invitation to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa on behalf of the Government of the People's Republic of China, more..

Compassion and Forgiveness: The Resolution to all Conflict

Aug 7 (AT) I was deeply touched by the statement made today by the newly-elected Eastern Province Chief Minister, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, a former LTTE terrorist: "We (the LTTE) in hiding, were starving in Maduru-Oya sometime back. A young Sinhala woman carrying an infant brought me food and drink. I inquired from her about her husband and she said the LTTE killed him. Her reply made me speechless. more..

Protests against election violence

Aug 7 (BBC) Opposition parties in Sri Lanka have protested in Anuradhapura against the violence and malpractices allegedly committed by the ruling coalition. The main opposition, UNP, accused the police of not taking action against the ruling party supporters who unleash violence against their supporters. UNP supporters, led by Chief Ministerial candidate Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera, protested in front of Anuradhapura police station and then proceeded to the town. more..

Madhu statue handed over

Aug 7 (BBC) The Sri Lankan army says Catholic priests have been handed over control of the country's most revered church in the island's north-west. The army said the security forces would now assist the priests in resolving any problems regarding water and electricity supplies. Priests and staff of the famous Madhu shrine, in Mannar district, left with a statue of the Virgin Mary following heavy fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels in the area in April this year. more..

Eastern Sri Lanka struggles to recover from Tsunami, Civil War

Aug 7 (VOA) Sri Lanka's government and the international community have been pouring tens of millions of dollars into the country's Eastern Province. The area was liberated by the army from rebel Tamil separatists a year ago during the country's on-going civil war. Much of the coast was devastated by the December 2005 tsunami. VOA correspondent Steve Herman traveled to the province to take a look at the reconstruction efforts and more..

Terrorism threat to most countries: PM

Aug 7 (SAMN) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka said Wednesday that the US Government had expressed its support to block all channels that supply weapons to terrorists. The Premier made this observation in Parliament commencing the Emergency Debate. He said terrorism had become a threat to most countries. It is the same in the case of Sri Lanka as well, he said. more..

No cause for panic

Aug 7 (CI) Looking back at the Galle Test, I must say that one of the turning points was when Malinda Warnapura and I were dismissed in relatively quick succession in our first innings. The team needed one of us to go on and get a hundred. Not a particularly big hundred, but one that would have extended the partnership and given Sri Lanka a large total. That would have made it easier for the other guys to bat around. more..

Generalizations from the Asian Centre for Human Rights

Aug 7 (PISL) On Sunday August 3rd I issued a press release entitled 'Further Generalizations from the Asian Human Rights Commission'. I was in fact responding to a report from the Asian Centre for Human Rights, and must apologize unreservedly for the error to the Asian Human Rights Commission. In mitigation, though this is not an excuse, both these institutions, which purport to speak for Asia as a whole have very similar initials, more..

"TRO will not get any government money while on US blacklist" – NZ

Aug 7 (GDI) Clarifying the position of the Government of New Zealand towards internationally proscribed terrorist outfits and their front organizations, the Government of New Zealand has decided to stop grants for the pro-LTTE Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO). The decision came following an expose by 'ONE News', which portrayed the activities of the TRO on New Zealand soil. more..

Sri Lanka to more than double spending on fertilizer subsidy

Aug 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka has decided to spend at extra 25 billion rupees (230 million US dollars) on a politically important fertilizer subsidy, a senior minister said, as the country is seeking commercial funding for vital infrastructure projects. In the fiscal budget for 2008, Sri Lanka allocated 15 billion rupees for fertilizer subsidies, but the finance ministry said in an interim fiscal report that all the money has been busted in just five months. more..

Sri Lanka to get more funds for highway: Official

Aug 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka is negotiating additional funds to re-start work on a section of a highway to the island's south that is now suspended, but the first part is on track for completion by 2010, a top official said. The head of the island's road development authority R W Pemasiri says negotiations are underway with the Asian Development Bank, a Korean contractor and a Sri Lankan consortium to get additional funding. more..

Redress to be sought if no action against PB

Aug 7 (LD) Former Chairman of PERC Nihal Sri Ameresekere says redress would be sought in court after the recess is over in the event of the Supreme Court order to relevant authorities against Finance Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara is not respected. The SC has directed the Secretary to the President, the IGP, the DIG (CID), the Fraud Detection Bureau, the Attorney General and the Bribery Commission to act against Dr. Jayasundara. more..

UNHRC calls for restoration of SB's civic rights

Aug 7 (LD) National Organizer of the UNP S.B. Dissanayake says the UN Human Rights Commission has called for the restoration of his civic rights. Speaking to 'Lanka Dissent', Mr. Dissanayake said the UNHRC has determined that a suitable compensation too, should be made for him. The UN body has also recommended that measures be taken to ensure that no such mistakes occurred in the future, the UNP National Organizer said. more..

Yapa ashamed of himself over Mervyn

Aug 7 (LD) Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says he is ashamed of himself for being in a helpless situation to act against his colleague Mervyn Silva who is in a rampage against the media. Mr. Yapa was speaking to the media today at the Parliamentary Complex. Three days ago, Minister Silva and his supporters once again assaulted a Sirasa TV camera crew and snatched their equipment at an official function in Peliyagoda. more..

Media forced to withhold information - Vasudeva

Aug 7 (LD) The Sri Lankan media, against its will, has been forced to withhold information to the public due to intimidation in various forms, said Presidential Advisor Vasudeva Nanayakkara. Withholding information of public interest in that manner highlights the importance of a free media more than ever, he said at a seminar in Colombo. The awareness event focused on the Supreme Court verdict that found Finance Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara guilty of corruption charges. more..