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Why are HROs silent over tiger attack on Kalladi RC church? - Military spokesman

Feb 13 (LT) The UNO and international and local human rights organizations maintain a calculating silence over the tiger terrorist attack on St. Sebastian’s Church at Kalladi in Mannar says Brig, Udaya Nanayakkara, military spokesman. Making a statement to the media Army spokesman regarding the terrorist attack on Kalladi church said, “Tiger terrorist carried out a mortar attack on St. Sebastian’s Church at Kalladi yesterday. more..

Foreign factions within country creating disputes among people! – Mahanayake

Feb 13 (LT) “Certain foreign factions operating within the country are attempting to create disputes among the people, but the Government has been able to identify and defeat these foreign forces, said the Mahanayake of the Malwatta Chapter Most Ven.Thibottuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera. Welcoming the Indian Commerce Minister Jairam Ramesh who called on him yesterday the Mahanayake said "Terror and violence has been unleashed in the North. more..

Time to punish parties who use or abuse children in armed conflicts – UN envoy

Feb 13 (AT) The Security Council must “take concrete and targeted measures” against those parties that persistently use or abuse children during armed conflicts around the world, the United Nations envoy on the issue said today, urging that well-meaning words be transformed into effective actions. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy noted the ongoing impunity for those persistent violators that use or abuse children during wars. more..

Visa-style registration for Maradana Tamils

Feb 13 (LD) Maradana Police have reportedly introduced a visa-style registration for the Tamil nationals living or staying in the area under its purview. The period of stay for the applicants under this system will be decided by the police, it is alleged. The relevant application calls for all personal information. The nearby Mutwal Police have issued a different application, which requests applicants to furnish even their caste and personal banking particulars, including the balance maintained. more..

Mangala mourns Sripathi’s loss

Feb 13 (LD) Leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Mahajana Wing Mangala Samaraweera has expressed his heartfelt condolences over the sudden death of Sripathi Sooriarachchi. The tragic demise of close friend, colleague and parliamentarian Sooriarachchi will also be a loss to the progressive political movement that fights for a free and fair society, Samaraweera says in a message of condolence. more..

AHRC appeals against death penalty in Saudi Arabia

Feb 13 (LD) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has expressed concern over the failure of the governments of Sri Lanka and India to provide legal assistance to three of their nationals who are to be executed in Saudi Arabia. The AHRC website says an appeal for Sri Lankans Halemma Nissa Cader and K.M.S. Bandaranaike and Indian Naushad should be submitted by February 19th. If an appeal is not filed by that date, their execution may be carried out at any time thereafter. more..

Only armed forces can prevent LTTE getting away with mass murder -- Dayan Jayatilleka

Feb 13 (GDI) Sri Lanka's Permenent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka states that only the men and guns of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces can and will prevent the LTTE from getting away with mass murder. Jayatilleka, responding to criticism regarding his office having rejected repeated offers by Louise Arbour to set up a UN human rights monitoring mission, rejected the charge that the reasoning behind this rejection was more..

Rambukwella asks: Where are the human rights activists?

Feb 13 (GDI) Addressing the media today (13) in Colombo, Media Spokesman for National Security, Keheliya Rambukwella recounted with sadness the taking away of the lives of budding youth and school children in the very recent past and paid a tribute to the parents, relatives and colleagues, the schools they came from and the general public who bore the tragedy, remained calm and refrained from any untoward act such as expected by the LTTE, in the greater interest of the country. more..

The Maldivian President conferred Sri Lanka Mithra Vibushana

Feb 13 (GDI) Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was was conferred the Sri Lanka Mithra Vibushana, the highest honour bestowed on a Foreign Head of State. The honour, accorded for the first time, was based on the exceptional friendship and solidarity of the Maldivians with the people of Sri Lanka, and in recognition of President Gayoom's contribution to South Asian solidarity and regional cooperation, especially on issues pertaining to the environment. more..

Security enhanced in buses

Feb 13 (GDI) The National Transport Commission (NTC) has initiated a programme to enhance security in 4,000 buses attached to the Inter-Provincial Passenger Service to provide a safe ride to commuters, it is reported. NTC Chairman Prof. Ama Kumarage said under this special programme, 4,000 buses will be checked. Officials will check seats, sound level, cleanliness and other essentials required for passenger comfort. "If there are shortcomings we will give them time to correct it, he said. more..

Lankan Minister impressed with Surajkund fair

Feb 13 (SS) Sri Lankan Minister for Rural Industries and Self Employment Promotion S. B. Nawinna, being highly impressed with the ongoing Surajkund Crafts Mela, said that his country was keen to organise such fairs in Colombo. Nawinna visited the Surajkund Mela here alongwith his wife to explore the possibility for organising such fairs in Sri Lanka. Such events in the island nation would draw lots of attention, he said. more..

Father's mistresses ill treat 12 year old girl in Sri Lanka

Feb 13 (LNP) A twelve-year-old school girl who was allegedly subjected to cruel treatment by two mistresses of her father was handed over to the custody of the Viharamahadevi Children s Home in Biyagama by Colombo Additional Magistrate Purnima Paranagamage yesterday. The case will be taken up again on March 18. The child from Kotahena area who is a grade 6 student in a statement, had said that her mother had left her to live with her father. more..

The mess that is education

Feb 13 (LNP) The Ministry of Education has, as we reported yesterday, ordered that five Grade One students each be admitted to all schools in keeping with a Supreme Court ruling. There seems to be no end to the problem of school admissions. Most schools are bursting at the seams, and at this rate, classes will be too unwieldy for teachers to handle. A researcher in an article on environmental practices in this country yesterday argued that if we cut down on the leftover food dumped on the roadside, there would be a corresponding decrease in the stray dog population. more..

TMVP to lay down arms

Feb 13 (SAMN) The Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) has agreed to lay down arms in response to a request made by election observers to ensure free and fair elections in Batticaloa. "The TVMP responded positively to our request. They promised to lay down arms and our monitors have observed that they did not carry arms in their campaigns for the last two weeks, Chairman, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), Kingsley Rodrigo said Tuesday. more..

Ranil calls on religious leaders

Feb 13 (SAMN) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, TYuesday, called on religious leaders to take the lead in bringing about lasting peace in the nation by solving the national issue. Wickremesinghe, who spoke at a special ceremony to felicitate His Grace the Archbishop of Colombo, the Right Rev. Oswald Gomis, on the golden jubilee of his priesthood and the ruby anniversary of his Episcopal ordination, at the BMICH Tuesday said that more..

Japan hopeful for Sri Lanka’s economy

Feb 13 (SAMN) Japanese Ambassador Kiyoshi Araki expressed his hope for an improved and better economic relationship between Sri Lanka and Japan at a Fellowship Evening held recently by the Sri Lanka-Japan Business Co-operation Committee (SLJBCC). He added that the agreement to establish a ‘Government-Private Joint Forum’ between Sri Lanka and Japan augured well for Sri Lanka’s economy. more..

Local fishermen complain

Feb 13 (SAMN) Fishermen are perturbed over the loss of export market for their catch of yellow fin tuna (Kelawalla) resulting from the government allowing foreign fishing vessels to unload their catch at our fisheries habours and sell them to export companies, JVP MP Premasiri Manage charged Tuesday. MP Manage who is the Convener of the All Ceylon Fisheries Federation said the companies engaged in fish export, purchase fish from foreign vessels at a lower price. more..

‘Expat Welfare Our Top Priority’

Feb 13 (AN) Offering the best services to Sri Lankan expatriates in the Kingdom is top on the agenda of the island’s mission in the Kingdom, said W.S.M.S. Wijesundera, charge d’affaires of Sri Lanka, yesterday at the commencement of the country’s 60th National Day celebrations in the capital. “With the help of the Saudi government, we have been successful in saving several domestic servants who were victims of nonpayment of salaries, harassment, assault and bondage,” Wijesundera said. more..

Minister orders urgent medical needs for hospitals

Feb 13 (DN) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has instructed Health Supplies Division to provide medication, medical equipment and other requirements needed during emergencies to all main hospitals immediately, a Ministry spokesman said. All main hospitals should maintain stocks of these items for one month, the Minister had said when he visited the National Hospital, Colombo recently to inquire about in-house patients receiving treatment after being injured following bomb explosions in the North and Colombo. more..

India will leave no room for Lanka's division - Indian Minister

Feb 13 (DN) Visiting Indian Commerce Minister Jairam Ramesh who called on the Mahanayake of the Malwatta Chapter Most Ven.Thibottuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera yesterday reassured that India will not leave any room for division or creation of a separate state within Sri Lanka. The visiting Indian Commerce Minister who held extensive discussions with the Mahanayake Thera said the Indian Government has always maintained a firm stand on the Sri Lankan issue. more..

Officials used fraudulently obtained documents

Feb 13 (Island) CEB employees who have received payments from the Inland Revenue Department on the false pretext of being overtaxed are alleged to have submitted fraudulently obtained documents to the IR, well informed sources said. Twenty one senior employees found guilty by the Auditor General had been issued with T 10 forms, the sources said, asserting that this particular document could be issued only to an employee who had paid PAYE tax. more..

Police called in to evict journalists

Feb 13 (Island) Deputy Chairman of the Southern Provincial Council asked the police to come into the council meeting yesterday (12) complaining that journalists were photographing the incidents of the council yesterday. Police prevented journalists from leaving the venue of the meeting, Town for nearly one hour. Journalists Ajith Niroshan and a number of other journalists covering the council meeting videoed the JVP member carrying the mace out of the meeting when the Deputy Chairman summoned the Police. more..

Kidnapped businessman found at Minuwangoda

Feb 13 (DM) The Tamil businessman from Negombo who had been abducted on Monday night, was found in a lane in Minuwangoda last evening. The Negombo police HQI Somasiri Liyanage said that the businessman, Selvamoththy Nimalan Rajendran (42), had been on his way home after closing his communications and video shop when he was abducted. He had been abducted in front of his house by a gang and put into Toyota Hiace van, according to his wife, who had been watching from the balcony. more..

Police recover anti-personnel mine in Yala

Feb 13 (DM) Police stumbled across an anti-personnel mine planted by home guards for security purposes some 50 metres away from the main road in Sithulpauwa, Yala on Monday. Southern Province DIG Jayantha Gamage said that the mine was laid by home guards who were operating in the area following the recent tensions in Ranminithanna. The mine was recovered when police launched a clearing operation in the forest area surrounding the road. more..

LTTE supremo Prabhakaran comes out of bunker only at night

Feb 13 (ZN) LTTE supremo Vellupillai Prabhakaran lives in a sprawling air-conditioned bunker complex located 30 feet below the ground, and comes up to the surface only at night to avoid detection, a report said on Wednesday. Prabhakaran's "extravagant underground bunker is constructed as per his instructions and equipped with air-conditioning and power generators," a newspaper reported, showing a sketch of the alleged bunker mapping. more..

'Centre should take against Karunanidhi for LTTE support'

Feb 13 (UNI) The Opposition AIADMK on Wednesday urged the Centre to take action against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for his open support to the proscribed LTTE and play a role in finding a political solution to the ethnic Tamils issue in Sri Lanka. A resolution adopted at the party's General Council, the highest policy making body, said that after coming to power in the aftermath of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, more..

Combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations a challenge - President

Feb 13 (AT) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse while speaking at the banquet in honour of visiting President Maldivian Abdul Gayoom yesterday evening in Colombo pointed out the challenges of an unprecedented scale, such as combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. In his speech, Mahinda Rajapakse emphasised to be conscious of the importance of peace and security for the development the region. more..

Sri Lanka's civilian casualties reaching appalling levels, Red Cross says

Feb 13 (AP) The number of civilian casualties in Sri Lanka's raging civil war has reached "appalling levels," the Red Cross said Wednesday, as the military announced the deaths of 28 rebels and two soldiers in new fighting. The Tamil Tiger rebels have been blamed for a wave of attacks on buses, train stations and other civilian targets in recent weeks, while the government has been accused of at least one attack on civilians in rebel-controlled areas. more..

Monks in Sri Lanka to counter Valentine's Day celebrations

Feb 13 (IANS) Sri Lankan Buddhist monks plan to counter Valentine's Day celebrations in the island with programmes to lure the youth away from romantic love which they denounce as an undesirable Western concept. The Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya (JSS), a national organisation of monks, will hold 'Adishtana' and 'Ashirwada' prayers Valentine's Day Thursday in a bid to make the youth love the country and the security forces battling Tamil Tigers. more..

Death toll mounts as Sri Lanka pushes for Tiger territory

Feb 13 (AFP) Fighting between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tigers intensified in the north of the island Wednesday, officials said, but there was no sign of major gains by either side despite a rising body count. The International Red Cross also sounded the alarm over what it described as "appalling levels" of civilian casualties, saying non-combatants were being increasingly caught in the crossfire or deliberately targeted. more..

Sri Lanka's clay jewelery on display at Surajkund fair

Feb 14 (PTI) Clay jewelery from Sri Lanka, a country famed for its tea and tourism and perennially in news for militancy, was the centre of attraction at this year's Surajkund Crafts Mela. At the SAARC section of the Mela at Faridabad the Lanka stall had put up for display uncommon fashion accessories all crafted in clay. The stall featured wares made by Manohari, a young girl from the country who utilises the medium of clay to create innovative and designer jewelery that are eco-friendly too. more..

Nationalism rides roughshod over rights

Feb 14 (UPI) In a recent media interview Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa extended the August deadline for eliminating the LTTE given earlier by the government to over a year and a half. While the government forces have been making progress on the ground, the progress has been relatively slow. The issues of protecting human rights and ensuring practices of good governance take on heightened importance in the context of the likely prolongation of the war. more..

Buddhist monks begin praying for world peace

Feb 14 (ANI) Thousands of Buddhist monks and devotees, many of them from abroad, are participating in a 10-day chanting ceremony for world peace here. Organised by the Mahabodhi Society of India, the over weeklong festival is being attended by several Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Thee monks will recite the "Tripitak Sutra Path" under the famous Bodhi tree, where Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. more..

Sripathi bids farewell to nation

Feb 14 (LD) Leader of the Jathika Sabha and the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, vowed to take forward to victory, the struggle pioneered by the late Sripathi Sooriarachchi to uphold social justice, people’s supremacy and to eliminate corruption, terror and repression from the country. Wickremesinghe was delivering an oration at the Borella Cemetery at the funeral of the Gampaha District MP, who was killed in a road accident on February 09th in Thambuttegama. more..

Is missionary activity the cause of war?

Feb 14 (LG) Mr. E.M.G. Edirisinghe laments that there is missionary activity by the monotheistic religions. Hinduism is pantheistic. He thinks if such missionary activity stops there will be peace in the world. If Arahant Mahinda & Sangamitta thera didn’t come to Sri Lanka on missionary activity surely there would be no Buddhism here today. The people would then have continued to be animists- spirit worshippers seeing spirits in trees. more..

“LTTE Human Bombers may use more 'pregnancy prosthetics'”

Feb 14 (LG) The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DSH) is reminding law-enforcement officials of the increased use of female suicide bombers worldwide inclding Sri Lanka and Iraq, and warning that women terrorists might hide explosives in devices “that mimic the look of a pregnant woman.” The unclassified DHS threat assessment, released Monday and obtained by the Media, shows photographs of “pregnancy prosthetics,” hollowed-out devices that could hold explosive devices. more..

Sri Lanka accuses human rights bodies of bias

Feb 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka Wednesday accused international human rights groups of being silent in the wake of a string of bomb attacks blamed on the Tamil Tigers that killed scores of civilians including 14 school children. "None of the international human rights organizations have even raised a voice or given a statement over these incidents," defence spokesman minister Keheliya Rambukwella told a news conference. more..

Press freedom 'under threat'

Feb 14 (BBC) The Sri Lanka government and the LTTE are increasingly threatening press freedom as war intensifying, a international media watchdog said. Reporters Without borders (RSF) says Sri lanka authorities have vowed to wipe out terrorism, "at the price of appalling human rights violations if necessary". The RSF annual report on press freedom says the media in Sri Lanka has affected by the security forces strategy of 'sowing terror' in Tamil areas in their fight against the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka to take up sea attack issue with India

Feb 14 (Xinhua) The chief of the Sri Lankan Navy is to take up the issue of an attack against a Sri Lankan naval ship from a flotilla of Indian fishing boats, a government spokesman here said Wednesday. Commander Wasantha Karannagoda, who is currently on an official visit to India, would raise the issue, among other things, with Indian officials, spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters. more..

India to help Sri Lanka set up 500MW power plant

Feb 14 (IANS) India and Sri Lanka Wednesday agreed on a timetable to build a 500 MW coal-fired power plant in Veloor, near Nilaweli, in the eastern Sri Lankan district of Trincomalee. The power plant, which is to cost $250 million, will be a joint venture between the Indian power utility giant, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). The first of the two 250 MW units will be commissioned by April 2012, more..

Mirihana Special Investigation Unit allegedly tortures a man after arbitrary arrest

Feb 14 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Mirihana Special Investigation Unit arbitrarily arrested and detained a man on 15 January 2008 in Sri Lanka. On the basis of a report from a third party, the police allegedly assaulted him to extract his confession, threatening him not to report the torture otherwise, they would send him to prison on a fabricated charge. more..

The 'deadly triangle of LTTE+ NGO+ Christian extremists' exposed

Feb 14 (SLW) Due to prompt action by the Seeduwa Police in setting up road blocks, police were able to arrest the person suspected to have transported them to Mabole area in a van bearing the licence plate number 57-7399 at the road block at Kala Oya around 1 p.m. The arrested person was later identified as a pastor of a church in Mannar which is a branch of Four Square Church, a Christian evangelist group. more..

JSS Monks to counter Valentine's Day celebrations

Feb 14 (SLW) The Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya (JSS), a national organisation of monks, will hold 'Adishtana' and 'Ashirwada' prayers Valentine's Day Thursday in a bid to make the youth love the country and the security forces battling Tamil Tigers. Amawessa organizing Committee including JSS members Ven.Rajawaththe Wappa thero, Dutuwewa Lankananda thero, JSS president Venerable Induragare Dhammaratana Thero hold a press conference regarding the event today in Colombo. more..

Heavy Trappings and the Days of the Sniper

Feb 14 (SLW) Army Intelligence officers in Vavuniya are disgusted by the inaction of the Directorate of Military Intelligence when one if its officers was wrongfully accused of disappearing 76 civilians in the area by Vavuniya Magistrate M. Ilanchelian recently. The MI officers claim they have no support from their seniors when the Magistrate summons them and blasts them in person, without any charges presented in a court of law or evidence presented against them. more..

Trincomalee under new LTTE Guerrilla Threat

Feb 14 (SLW) A group of 20 LTTE cadres who appeared last 12th in a resettled Muslim village east of Peraru Jungles robbed a large stock of dry rations an hauled them back in a tractor as the Sri Lankan Navy detachment and Police detachment at Kallampattu in Kuchchaveli turned a blind eye. The Tigers who are starving without food, came in a tractor and trailer around 7.20pm and went straight into three local boutiques at Vadarikulam Muslim village. more..

'People Suffering - Regime Enjoying' says UNP

Feb 14 (LG) "The Rajapakse Government is planning only to prosper itself and its largest cabinet while plotting at every turn against the 21 million people looking for ways and means to grab even the people’s plate of rice," a member of United National Party , a main opposition in Sri Lanka and Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanyake said at the press conference on this morning (14 Feb.) in Colombo. more..

'TMVP have rights to handing weapons' - Jeyaraj

Feb 14 (LG) “We can liberate the North and will as soon as possible like in the East”, according to Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Minister of highways and road development. He has shared his opinions on the current political and military situation with Sri Lanka Guardian at his residence in Colombo. He spoke to us with a positive mind on the current regime as he promised that the Government would wipe out terrorism and find a sustainable solution to country’s problems. more..

Bishop of Mannar silent on LTTE attack on church

Feb 14 (LG) The Bishop of Mannar had been silent on the LTTE artillery attack on St Sebastian’s Church, Thallady. Tuesday's attack killed six soldiers who were helping the church parish to clean the church in preparation for its annual feast. When asked whether the Bishop of Mannar Rayappu Joseph who has been continuously critical of the security forces and has been silent about the LTTE atrocities, more..

Each Generation has to re-fight its Grandfathers’ Battles

Feb 14 (TC) Unfair criticism must be met with fair counter-criticism. If the criticism is private, so too should be the counter-criticism. Insofar as the criticism is public, so too should be the defence, and the counter-criticism. No self respecting state can respond in private, to criticism of it in public. The British Foreign Secretary David Miliband was gracious enough to issue a statement on Sri Lanka’s 60th anniversary of Independence. He said: more..

Sri Lanka supports Russian-Chinese initiative on the prevention of arms race in outer space

Feb 14 (LT) Sri Lanka supports the joint Russian-Chinese initiative to prevent the placing of weapons in outer space said Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations at Geneva Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka in his remarks to the Conference on Disarmament (CD) yesterday. He congratulated the Foreign Ministers of Russia and China for the initiative introduced. more..