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Sri Lanka breaches Tamil residential, monetary rights in Colombo

Feb 14 (TN) Sri Lanka Police in Maradana, Colombo, is embarked upon issuing time stipulated temporary residential 'visas' to all Tamils living in their police jurisdiction while Mukaththuvaram police insists the Tamil residents in their area to provide their personal bank account details in addition to other information, Attorney-at-Law Sumanthiran told the panel of Judges of the Colombo High Court Wednesday. more..

Forensic report to Court on Friday on Sripathi death

Feb 14 (TN) Government Analyst is to submit the forensic report conducted at the site of accident in regard to the death of Mr.Sripathi Sooriyarachchi, Gampaha district parliamentarian, to the Colombo magistrate court Friday, legal sources in Colombo said. Meanwhile, Mr.M.T.Ilankakone, Senior DIG of Police of the headquarters said a police team is to record a statement from Mr.Lakshman Kiriella, senior parliamentarian of the main opposition UNP who has expressed suspicion regard to the accident, more..

Government refutes false propaganda

Feb 14 (AT) Sri Lanka media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says propaganda carried out by certain parties regarding foreign aid received by Sri Lanka could not be accepted. The Minister added at a meeting to covey cabinet decisions today said certain groups are attempting to fulfill their personal political ambitions by focusing on a statement alleged to have been made by the Japanese special peace envoy Yashushi Akashi. more..

JVP Plans to Challenge APRC Proposals Legally

Feb 14 (AT) JVP Leader Somawansa Amerasinghe talks today of their plan to challenge the All Party Representative Committee proposals in the law courts of Sri Lanka. He said that according to his observation this was the beginning of a move to bring about federalism in the country. The JVP is of the view that there seems to be a move to ultimately merge the Northern and Eastern provinces that were de-merged by a Supreme Court decision. more..

Provide adequate security to Ganeshan, court orders IGP

Feb 14 (LD) The Court of Appeal has issued an interim injunction to the IGP for the provision of adequate security to Western People’s Front leader and parliamentarian Mano Ganeshan. Justices K. Sripavan and Rohini Perera today considered a fundamental rights petition filed by the MP and ordered that he be granted eight bodyguards and a security backup vehicle. The Defence Ministry slashed his security to just two personnel after he voted against Budget 2008. more..

Death knell for media freedom 60 yrs. after independence

Feb 14 (LD) The Movement against Media Repression (MMR) squarely blames the government for sounding the death knell for media freedom through a culture of murder of journalists and barbaric attacks and death threats against them and hostility towards media institutions, at a time when the country completed 60 years after independence from colonial rule. To highlight this extreme situation, MMR is organizing a protest march and public seminar in Colombo later today (Feb. 14th). more..

Doctors in Mannar & Vavuniya protest travel ban

Feb 14 (LD) Doctors attached to hospitals in Mannar and Vavuniya launched a strike today (Feb. 14th) after being refused permission to travel to the areas in their private vehicles. With the recent escalation of military offensives in these areas, the Defence Ministry restricted all forms of transport to and from the south to Mannar and Vavuniya upto the Medawachchiya checkpoint. more..

Paddy Marketing Board to provide more incentives to Farmers

Feb 14 (GDI) "A kilogram of paddy will be brought at Rs.22.00 by the Paddy Marketing Board," said the Minister of Agriculture and Mahaveli Development Maithripala Sirisena, attending a function to hand over documents for scholarships to children of farmers in the Ampara District on Tuesday (12). More than 35,000 hectares of paddy land in the Sammanthurai, Akkaraipattu areas in the Ampara District have been harvested this Maha season, he revealed. more..

Efficient and effective measures needed to manage climate change – Minister Ranawaka

Feb 14 (GDI) "The stark reality is that the countries with lower economic status and with low emission levels are the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change," said Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Champika Ranawaka, addressing a meeting of the UN General Assembly on climate change yesterday (13). He said that the degree of impact of climate change varies from country to another. more..

Steps to make country self-sufficient in milk production

Feb 14 (GDI) National Livestock Development Board said that they are successfully implementing the program of encouraging fresh milk consumption among the people and create competitive market for the local milk. At the directive of Minister of Livestock Development, Hon. C.B.Ratnayake, milk outlets have been established in schools, towns and public places, which have received good response from the consumers. more..

'Mahinda Chinthana' takes industries to villages

Feb 14 (GDI) Under the 'Mahinda Chinthana' plan to take industries from city to village, the Ministry of Industrial Development and Ranaviru Welfare, had laid the groundwork for launching industries in Ulapane, Buttala, Embilipitiya, Galigamuwa, Puttalam, Matugama and Kalutara. This step is taken under 'Mahinda Chinthana's' 'Gamata Karmanta 300' program. Addressing a meeting of "Temple berg" industrialists of the Homagama Industrial Estate recently, more..

Eight indicted with illegal sale of infant

Feb 14 (LNP) Eight persons, including an ex-Provincial Councillor, have been indicted before the High Court of Colombo with attempting to sell a baby to a foreign couple. They were alleged to have sold a new-born baby to Jan Hulsebosch and Susan Hulsebosch, a couple from the Netherlands, at Beruwala. The first accused, Kaluperuma Rathnasiri Silva, a former Provincial Council Member of the SLFP is said to have acted as the main broker between the mother of the baby and the foreigners. more..

Conducive atmosphere for Batticaloa poll in Sri Lanka

Feb 14 (LNP) There is a peaceful atmosphere conducive to conducting a poll in Batticaloa, foreign elections observers said yesterday. `This the third election we monitor with the People`s Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) and we received very easy and absolute access to all stakeholders of Local Government Elections, 2008, Batticaloa district. There is excellent protection for all areas,` said Bernard O` Sullivan, Deputy Director, Non-violent Peaceforce an International Monitoring Mission attached to PAFFREL. more..

Sri Lanka plans to build new official residence in UK for HC

Feb 14 (LNP) The government is planning to build a new official residence for Sri Lanka s High Commissioner at 35 Avenue Road, London. `We are in the process of finalizing the project,` an authoritative government source told The Island. The new building would come up at the same location where the now abandoned official residence of Sri Lanka s High Commissioner to the UK was, the official said. more..

Those whom God wishes to destroy...

Feb 14 (LNP) The civilised world is horrified at the dastardly shell attack the LTTE launched on a much venerated Catholic church in Mannar on Tuesday. The beleaguered Tigers trained their big guns on St. Sebastian s Church, Thallady, where soldiers were engaged in repairs on a request from a group of Catholic priests, killing six of them and injuring ten. That horrendous act of desecration is proof of the Tigers callous disregard for religions as well as more..

Sri Lanka will target Ponting

Feb 14 (CI) Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene has laid down a marker for Friday's match in Perth after vowing to target Australian frailties - and Ricky Ponting in particular - as they bid to top the table. A win for Sri Lanka would see them top of the standings, relegating the world champions Australia to bottom. Ponting has not yet reached double figures in the tournament and was targeted by Harbhajan Singh in the India Test series in January. more..

Chevron to rebuild Kandy railway station

Feb 14 (SAMN) Chevron Lanka, the local subsidiary of Caltex, the marketer of the Havoline lubricants in the US has come forward to refurbish the 145 year old Kandy Railway Station at an initial cost of Rs. 7 million on a request made by the Transport Ministry as a social responsibility project of the company. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said the thinking of the government is the private sector must be in the forefront of development in the country. more..

CMC paves way for toilet tax

Feb 14 (SAMN) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has approved the taking over of the assets of the sewerage system of Colombo City by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB), thus paving the way for the latter to levy a sewerage tax on all households and establishments that make use of the sewerage system, from May this year. It is learnt that the levying of a sewerage tax would be illegal unless the sewerage system were taken over by the NWSDB after Parliamentary approval. more..

Japan makes grant for food security

Feb 14 (SAMN) The Japanese Government Wendresday signed a Grant Contract with Sarvodaya and Sewalanka to provide funds for projects to ensure the long term food security of resettled communities through the building and rehabilitation of agro wells and channels. One of the projects will be the first to be implemented in Vakarai and Vavunathivu in the Batticaloa district, Sewalanka Foundation Chairman Dr. Harsha Kumara Navaratne said. more..

SC orders speedy release of detainees

Feb 14 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the police to expedite the release 92 detainees who had been arrested subsequent to the Nugegoda bomb blast and being held at the Boossa detention camp. The Bench comprised Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva PC with Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga and Justice Andrew Somawansa. The court also ordered Senior DIG Range 2 to convene a special meeting comprising more..

Tourism to generate Rs. 550 m in 2008

Feb 14 (DN) Sri Lanka hopes to generate Rs. 550 million from the Tourism industry this year. This is an increase of over Rs. 100 million over the previous year. Director General Sri Lanka Tourism, Dileep Mudadeniya said they are expecting over 600,000 arrivals and January has already witnessed an increase. The year 2007 saw arrivals of around 500, 000 tourists and a revenue generation in the excess of Rs. 400 million. more..

Sripathi’s death: Kiriella challenged to produce witnesses

Feb 14 (Island) Defence spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday challenged UNP parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella to bring produce his party’s supporters who heard an explosion and gun shots after Parliamentarian Sripathi Suriyarachchi’s vehicle veered off the road and crashed into a tree killing four. He said Kiriella should bring those supporters to the Police Headquarters without making statements about a matter under investigation. more..

Mosque trustees complain to SC against police

Feb 14 (Island) The Environmental Foundation Limited through, its Legal Director, Senior Superintendent of Police Gamini Dissanayake, recently gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court that steps would be taken to reduce the volume of amplifiers used at call to prayer at Mosques in areas where the predominant population is non-Muslim. Such call to prayer will not be amplified prior to 6 a.m. In predominantly Muslim areas the call to prayer will be restricted to one particular mosque. more..

Legal action to bring health workers home

Feb 14 (DM) Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) chairman Kingsley Ranawaka said the Government has decided to take legal action against the King Fahd Hospital in Riyadh, which has allowed the contracts of 140 Sri Lankan minor staff to be ‘automatically renewed’ allegedly refusing to accept their resignation letters.Tension arose between the group of Sri Lankans and the hospital management late last year, when they demanded to come back to Sri Lanka once their three year contract expired in November 2007. more..

‘Protect Sri Lanka’ launched to counter LTTE propaganda

Feb 14 (DM) A group of intellectuals and professionals yesterday launched an organization called ‘Protect Sri Lanka’ (PSL) along with a website to counter pro- LTTE propaganda and international intervention in Sri Lanka. Launching the organization, member of the Board of Management Major General (Rtd) Lalin Fernando said that the PSL is a think tank to promote a common understanding among all Sri Lankans on the role of foreign interventions, the threat to peace, development and more..

Beleaguered Workers Seek Intervention

Feb 14 (AN) The Sri Lankan government has sought the intervention of the Eastern Province governorate in the case of more than 100 beleaguered migrant workers who are under virtual house arrest in a government hospital in Ahsa. The workers are being held against their will since their employment contract lapsed six months ago. One worker, a woman, reportedly attempted suicide due to the situation. more..

Fighting kills 52 rebels as jets bomb rebel base in northern Sri Lanka, says military

Feb 14 (AP) Government troops fighting Tamil Tiger separatists across the jungles of northern Sri Lanka killed 52 rebel fighters in recent days, the military said Thursday. Soldiers killed eight guerrillas in fighting Wednesday along the front lines in Vavuniya region, the military said in a statement. In the nearby Mannar district, soldiers attacked rebel bunkers and killed seven fighters, while in the northeastern Welioya region, seven other guerrillas were killed, more..

Lankan Navy Chief seeks cooperation to check LTTE

Feb 14 (ANI) Sri Lanka's Navy Chief, Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, feels that cooperation among Indian Ocean Region states is vital to check the threat of the LTTE. "The (LTTE) is a huge threat to the island nation and if it is not stopped now it can be threat to other countries as well," Vice Admiral Karannagoda said. Speaking on the sidelines of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) seminar here, he said that the cooperation between the navies of India and Sri Lanka is important for countering the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka court flays indiscriminate arrest of Tamils

Feb 14 (IANS) Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has rapped the police for indiscriminately arresting Tamils in drives meant to nab Tamil Tiger suspects or their collaborators. A bench headed by Chief Justice Sarath Silva Wednesday asked the police to formulate rules on detention, arrest and investigation of Tamils who might be suspected of being agents of the LTTE. The LTTE has been waging an armed struggle to secure an independent Tamil state of Eelam in the north and east of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka says jets bomb, destroy rebel base

Feb 14 (Reuters) Sri Lankan fighter jets bombed and destroyed a Tamil Tiger camp in the island's rebel-held far north on Thursday, the military said, adding troops killed at least 50 insurgents in fresh fighting a day earlier. However there no immediate details of any casualties from Thursday's air raid on what the military called 'Radha Base' in the village of Teravikulam, in the northeastern district of Mullaittivu. more..

Sri Lankan frees uncharged man jailed for 50 years

Feb 15 (Xinhua) A man who had spent the last 50 years in jail without being charged was freed Thursday by the Magistrate's Court in Kurunegala, about 96 km northeast of the SriLankan capital Colombo, officials said. The police authorities said the Kurunegala Magistrate released James on Thursday as the police told the court that not enough evidence was available for the police to press charges against D. P.James, now 80 years old. more..

“It was based on slanderous and derogatory facts” – EROS

Feb 15 (LG) A majority of the Tamil speaking community as we call "Eelavar's" (Hindu's, Muslims and Christians etc) will already be aware of the good name and reputation of EROS and the work that we have conducted for the benefit of Eelavar's. It is distressing to learn that Mr S.M.M. Bazeer would choose to write such a slanderous and derogatory article as such and have this published in the media. more..

Endangered: Our right to ’shoot’ in public

Feb 15 (GV) Earlier this week, a leading Sri Lankan photojournalist was detained, questioned and released by police for taking photographs near a well-known Colombo school. According to news reports, Associated Press (AP) photographer Gemunu Amarasinghe was apprehended by a group of parents who formed the school’s civil defence committee. They had handed him over to soldiers on duty near by, and he was briefly detained by the Narahenpita police. more..

Seven-year-old boy removed from school

Feb 15 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a seven-year-old boy has been deprived of his education due to a malfunction of the schooling system since 1 November 2007. His principal allegedly forced his mother to sign a statement that said she was removing her son of her own will. The statement was later used for justifying his removal from the school. more..

Catholic shrine damaged in alleged Tamil rebel attack

Feb 15 (UCAN) Church people in Mannar diocese are shocked by an artillery attack that damaged a Catholic shrine and resulted in the death of six soldiers in the area. On Feb. 12, artillery shells reportedly fired by Tamil rebels hit St. Anthony Shrine in Thalladi and the surrounding area, killing six soldiers and wounding 10. According to Church sources, the portico and entrance to the shrine were seriously damaged. more..

Archbishop's contributions highlighted at golden jubilee celebration

Feb 15 (UCAN) Religious leaders in Sri Lanka have praised Archbishop Oswald Gomis, who is celebrating 50 years as a priest and 40 as a bishop, for his contributions to education, writing and interfaith dialogue. The 75-year-old archbishop was feted on Feb. 2 at St. Lucia's Cathedral in Colombo to mark the twin milestones. "His achievements in the fields of education and interfaith, and Catholic traditions are excellent," retired Bishop Frank Marcus Fernando of Chilaw said more..

Sri Lankan journalists march against media suppression

Feb 15 (AP) Hundreds of journalists marched Thursday in Sri Lanka's capital to protest harassment and suppression of the media. The march was organized by members of the Movement Against Media Suppression, who say media personnel have been killed, abducted and jailed by government-backed paramilitary groups and Tamil Tiger rebels. The group says 14 journalists and media workers have been killed in Sri Lanka in the past two years, more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Feb 15 (GDI) Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by Hon.Chamal Rajapaksa, Minister of Ports and Aviation, to enhance container handling capacity in the Port of Colombo. The approximate cost of the project will be USD 19.4 million. The annual estimated additional revenue from these 4 berths at Berth Occupancy of even 40% will be USD 21.9 million, which means the investment of the SLPA will be paid back in less than 11 months. more..

Medicine not our probelm - say doctors

Feb 15 (BBC) Doctors in Vavuniya and Mannar Hospitals staged a token strike on Thursday to protest against transport difficulties inordinate delays they face at the check point at Madawachchiya. It was given up half away following discussions the doctors had with the military authorities, Dr.Chandika Epitakaduwa of the Government Medical Officers’ Union (GMOA) told Sandesaya. The security forces recently introduced a ban on vehicles coming from Vavuniya and Mannar to pass through Medawachchiya and also more..

Trade Unions join media protest

Feb 15 (BBC) Journalists supported by trade union and political party members held a rally in Colombo on Thursday to protest against harassment and suppression of media. The march organized by the Movement Against Media Suppression marched from Slave Island to Lipton Roundabout. President of the Working Journalists’ Association, Sanath Balasuriya said the march was organised with the support of trade unions because it is a problem of democracy and an ‘issue of right to life’. more..

Critical German donation to WFP emergency operation in Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (RW) The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a German donation of €750,000 (US$1.1 million) worth of rice that will be used to provide needed critical food assistance for internally displaced people and other vulnerable groups on the Jaffna Peninsula. The German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, honourable Mr. Jürgen Weerth, handed over 2,000 tons of rice to W.K.K. Kumarasiri, Secretary of the Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development as Germany's contribution towards WFP's activities in Sri Lanka. more..

Nalandians to Offer Scholarships to Children of Veterans

Feb 15 (IL) Nalanda College Old Boys Association of America (NCOBAA) in association with Seva Vanitha Army Branch in Sri Lanka launch “Ranaviru Kids Fund in USA” to offer financial assistance for the education of needy children of disabled or deceased Armed Forces Veterans. A committee of Seva Vanitha Army Branch selects the most deserving eligible children. There are two types of scholarship programs; Junior Scholarship (Year 1-5) - $90.00 per year and more..

Tsunamis And Tamil Tigers

Feb 15 (CBS) Even during the worst of the tsunami coverage on the island of Sri Lanka three years ago, I knew I wanted to return. The sheer beauty of the nation, once known as Ceylon, and the resilience of the Sri Lankans themselves were enormously appealing even during those difficult days. I remember January 2005 in a helicopter chartered by CBS News looking down over endless fields of green tea leaves covering Sri Lanka’s interior. more..

Reflections on the Current Situation in Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (FI) The government of Sri Lanka has currently achieved several successes in its combat operations against the LTTE. It captured the LTTE controlled eastern province, established its control there, and destroyed a number of LTTE arms shipments. These military offensives against the LTTE have also killed many civilians in the north and the east. If the LTTE were pushed against the wall, one could expect that their resistance could be stiff and suicidal. more..

UN seeks 44 million dollars to feed Sri Lanka displaced

Feb 15 (AFP) A United Nations agency Thursday appealed for 44 million dollars to feed thousands of people displaced by fighting between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels. The World Food Programme (WFP) currently feeds more than a million Sri Lankans, of whom 400,000 have been internally displaced. "For now, we urgently need 11 million dollars... to feed people as fighting increases in the northern districts of Jaffna and Vavuniya," more..

Ranaviru Foundation USA to sponsor two fund raising events in Southern California

Feb 15 (IL) Ranaviru Foundation USA, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission is the welfare and rehabilitation of disabled veterans in Sri Lanka, is sponsoring two fund raising events in Southern California. "Ranaviru Sandyawa," a cultural performance by the Sri Lanka Defense Forces cultural troupe, will be staged at the Bovard Auditorium of the University of Southern California on Saturday February 16th 2008 at 6.30 pm. more..

Constructive Relativism

Feb 15 (LG) The materialists starting with the Greeks in the west, and the Dravyavadins in Bharat, in general attempted to reduce all phenomena to a materialist base. The Buddhist idealists in the form of Vinnavadins and the Greek idealists on the other hand wanted to show that the mind was supreme, and that the so called material world was the creation of the mind. We present a different approach, where the world as an observer “sees” is created by the observer due to “avidya” of anicca, dukka and more..

Is Jihadi Leader to Sri Lanka in UK?

Feb 15 (LG) “It has emerged that Jihad Group leader to Sri Lanka currently living in United Kingdom, who is one of the key Al-queda linked terrorists involved in the indiscriminate killings of hundreds of innocent Muslim civilians opposed to radical Islam,” according to sources. “It is learnt that the leader who is closely linked to the TMVP (English translation: Tamil Peoples Liberation Tigers) persuaded Col. Karuna Amman (who is presently remanded in Prison in the UK) to more..

Civil society pushes for CC

Feb 15 (SAMN) Religious leaders, along with several legal, business and professional associations, are to pressure the government and political parties to immediately establish the Constitutional Council (CC), implement electoral reforms, ensure media freedom and put an end to the violence in the country. Representatives of several associations, including the Congress of Religions, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the Organisation of Professional Associations and the Law and Society Trust, who met Thursday, decided more..

Kotmale power project at standstill

Feb 15 (SAMN) The civil works of dam, tunnel and the power house sites of the Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project at Thalawakelle and Niyamgamodara in Kotmale have come to a standstill due to workers staging a protest campaign, a senior official said. Power Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said he had instructed the Japanese contractor to directly employ workers since the manpower agencies supplying labourers to the Japanese company keep a very high margin for themselves. more..