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Who Prevents the Muslims’ Resettlement in Jaffna?

Feb 18 (SLW) The victims of these riots have never been compensated, nor have they even been allowed to resettle in the places where they were living before the riots in the South of island. Soon after the worst communal riot in 1983, almost all the Tamils living in the South started escaping from the island, seeking protecting in many western countries. They received no compensation either for the loss of their properties or the loss of their kith and kin. more..

Tamil Students Association 'Most Outstanding'

Feb 18 (SLW) Tamil Students Association at York University (YUTSA) was a very active participant during the week long festivities and this year had even more reason to be excited and motivated! Every year, each countries flag is displayed in York Lanes and this year the Tamil Eelam National Flag has also been included. by Tamil Students Association, York University, Canada, February 15, 2008. more..

Sri Lanka: Events of 2007

Feb 18 (SLW) In the continuing conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, both sides show little regard for the safety and well-being of civilians—and violate international humanitarian law—by indiscriminately firing on civilian areas and unnecessarily preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid. Since the breakdown of the ceasefire and the resumption of major military operations in mid-2006, hundreds of civilians have been killed and more..

A New World Through Quantum Mechanics

Feb 18 (LG) Planck introduced his ideas on quanta or packets of energy towards the end of the nineteenth century. In that sense Quantum Mechanics is more than one hundred years old. From the very beginning Quantum Mechanics came up with strange phenomena that made the western Physicists to disbelieve what they themselves were proposing to understand the new features that were being observed. more..

Cultural Imperialism: History, Future & Postscript from the present

Feb 18 (LG) The detailed plans and targets of the Christianization process are easy to find on the Internet. These are similar to military plans with details of demographics of the target population down to district and town level, giving weaknesses and strength of the local population and the means of bringing them into Christianity. These are plans with the stamp of the crassest mass merchandising on it. more..

Our Ethnic Imbroglio

Feb 18 (LG) We Sri Lankans have been caught up in an ethnic imbroglio, from which we cannot extricate ourselves unless we recognise and take corrective action over the core problem behind it. In the alternative, the de facto Eelam which the LTTE has been busily establishing will almost certainly lead to the permanent breakup of Sri Lanka. In arguing the case stated in the preceding paragraph, I will begin by explaining what I mean by "imbroglio" and more..

Sri Lanka kicks off US$300mn syndicated loan

Feb 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka has called for proposals from foreign banks to raise 300 million dollars from a syndicated loan aiming to close the deal by late March or April, officials and bankers said. The Central Bank, which manages the island's public debt, will call a meeting of bankers later this week to explain the purpose of the loan and get the views of bankers, the head of the public debt department C J P Siriwardane said. more..

Sri Lankan car dealers' profits slow

Feb 18 (LBO) Listed Sri Lankan car dealers have reported lower profits for the December quarter, as higher import taxes, interest rates and inflation slowed sales, but one firm is fighting back with local assembly of vehicles. Associated Motorways (AMW) third quarter net profit fell 34 percent year-on-year to 130 million rupees with gross revenue down 21 percent to 2.7 billion rupees, according to interim results sent to the Colombo bourse. more..

Sri Lanka UN volunteers seek more support

Feb 18 (LBO) The United Nations office in Sri Lanka will hold a round table conference Tuesday to seek ways of encouraging more people to do volunteer work after a noticeable decline in interest. "The round table conference will talk about how we can make volunteering everyone's business again," United Nations Volunteers Programme Coordinator, Okama Ekpe Brook, said. more..

Sri Lanka journalists being intimidated, says watchdog group

Feb 18 (LBO) Sri Lankan journalists who expose government corruption are being subject to harassment and intimidation, the Free Media Movement said. The latest incident was an attempt to intimidate Susil Kedelpitiya, the news director of the popular Sinhala TV channel Sirasa, it said in a statement. Kedelpitiya has complained to police that he was followed by a "hostile group" which tried to force open the door of his car in an apparent attempt to harm him more..

Prabhakaran Damned if he Stays and Damned if he Leaves Sri Lnaka

Feb 18 (AT) Prabhakaran's options are numerous. He is surrounded and has a back to the wall fight. India wants him extradited no sooner we capture him. He also has the Idi Amin option of leaving Sri Lanka-like Idi Amin who took money and some women with him-he might be able to fade into the sunset. Some say that even Norway might provide him a safe haven. Some want us to encourage Prabhakaran to leave Sri Lanka. more..

Won’t resign till confirmed in new posting – Mervyn

Feb 18 (LD) Labour Minister Mervyn Silva has denied having said that he would resign from his National List parliamentary seat. Silva insists that he would not resign until he receives the letter confirming his appointment to the Constitutional Council. On February 16th, the media reported that the Labour Minister had decided to tender his resignation this week to take up a posting at the CC. more..

Government looks to renewable energy

Feb 18 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed energy authorities to look into alternative and cheaper power generating avenues as a means of minimizing the burden on the public with the escalating electricity bills. The President, speaking at the 17th session of the National Economic Council stressed the need to find viable answers to overcome the power crisis. He pointed out the importance of completing the construction of Norochcholai coal power plant by 2010 while more..

Jaffna Law Courses in Colombo

Feb 18 (GDI) In view of the security situation prevailing in Jaffna, courses of study in Law will be conducted in Colombo, Prof. Gamini Samaranayake, Chairman, the University Grants Commission (UGC) disclosed. A place has been secured for this purpose with library facilities being provided by the Colombo University. Measures are underway to obtain the services of visiting staff from Colombo to conduct lectures. more..

SAARC Nations join hands to tackle illegal wildlife trade

Feb 18 (GDI) SAARC Nations will join hand to tackle the region's illegal wildlife trade and accordingly the eight nations have come under the banner of the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP), an inter-governmental organization. The first regional workshop of this programme was held in Kathmandu, where the group agreed to a series of measures as part of a South Asia Wildlife Trade Initiative (SAWTI). more..

Government to allocate Rs.500 million for Eastern Development

Feb 18 (GDI) Government has taken steps to allocate Rs. 500 million for livelihood-based development activities in the Eastern Province, according to the Deputy Minister of Nation Building and Development Susantha Punchinilame. He said that the Rs. 500 million allocated this year was the biggest amount ever allocated for Grama Niladhari Divisions. The allocation will be utilized to organise livestock development and farming in several selected regions. more..

Sri Lanka to submit report on child recruitment to Security Council

Feb 18 (GDI) The Government is planning to present a comprehensive report on its recent findings on the recruitment of child soldiers at the United Nations Security Council meeting on Thursday, in line with its Zero-Tolerance policy on using underaged children in armed conflict. The Sri Lankan delegation would apprise the UN on the progress made so far by a committee appointed by him to inquire into abductions and recruitment of children for armed conflict. more..

President instructs speedy completion of Katugastota Bridge

Feb 18 (GDI) President has instructed relevant authorities to speed up the much delayed construction work of the Katugastota Bridge. This directive was made by President Rajapaksa during his surprise inspection tour to assess the progress in the construction of the Katugastota Bridge in Kandy yesterday. The 130 metre long and 20 metre wide bridge which spans the Mahaweli river and is close to Kandy, links up to the Kandy-Jaffna highway and consists of four lanes. more..

Terrorist force civilians to provide blood

Feb 18 (GDI) It is reported form Kilinochchi that the LTTE terrorists are forcing the civilians in terrorist held areas to provide blood for the movement. The situation arose as the civilians did not positively respond to the LTTEs request to donate blood previously. According to aid workers and defence sources from the district, the LTTE has stared to force even school children to provide blood to the outfit. more..

Now Tigers are coming as holy men

Feb 18 (LNP) A senior LTTE cadre known as Nagulan, now in police custody, has told his investigators that 12 battled hardened Tigers had received training as priests at a religious institution in a Colombo suburb. Their mission is to transport weapons and explosives to different parts of the country posing as holy men to wreak havoc in the country, he has said. Nagulan has revealed that out of a batch 40 novices undergoing training at the institute 12 had been Tigers. more..

Wijeyadasa accused of trying to take bread out of Dodangoda's mouth

Feb 18 (LNP) Justice and Law Reforms Minister Amarasiri Dodangoda yesterday dismissed claims that he would quit his ministerial portfolio over colleague Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe s criticism. `There is absolutely no truth in this,` the minister told The Island , asserting that the National List MP's claim of the rapid deterioration of law and order was baseless. more..

A better bus service for Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (LNP) The decision by the Transport Ministry to stop issuing new permits for the operation of private buses is a prudent move, which will be received with a sigh of relief by commuters, motorists and the public in general. While having the effect of not adding to the already chaotic highway scene and easing congestion of vehicular traffic, the snowballing air pollution not to mention the dangers posed by the speeding merchants of death on our highways, more..

Civil Society Groups unite for new push

Feb 18 (SAMN) The Civil Society Organisations led by the Congress of Religions will present a draft paper with proposals for the government to implement the 17th Amendment with immediate effect, to heads of all political parties shortly. A spokesman from the Congress of Religions said the strongly worded document would be presented to President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe and heads of all political parties this week. more..

Expert committee rejects AG’s report

Feb 18 (SAMN) Controversy over the Auditor General’s damming report on UNDP funded IT projects in Parliament has taken a new turn with an IT Expert Panel appointed by the ICTA (Information and Communication Technology Agency), the consultants to the project, strongly disputing the audit findings. The ten-member panel, in its 18-page report has pointed out that there was no basis for AG’s report which faulted both the House administration and UNDP for more..

Declare Hantana Range ‘protected’

Feb 18 (SAMN) A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking a declaration that the Hantana Range in Kandy or a part of it is an environmentally protected area. The petitioner Ms. J.G.V. Kesala Raminie Jayawardene of Richmond Hill Estate, Kaluwala Road, Heerassagala, Kandy in her petition of November 20 last year states that during the recent past, part of the Hantana Range facing the City of Kandy had been divested by two respondents stated in the petition. more..

Doc held for running abortion centre

Feb 18 (SAMN) The Anuradhapura police last Friday arrested Maduwa Guruge Tilakaratne, a doctor attached to government hospital at Welisara, Ragama for running an abortion centre at Buddagaya Mawatha, Anuradhapura. Police produced the suspect before Anuradhapura Additional Magistrate Ms Chamari Maheshika Danansuriya, who remanded him till today. Along with the suspect, police had taken into custody three women who had come there to undergo abortions. more..

Deegawapi declared sacred place to expedite development

Feb 18 (DN) Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said yesterday the historic Deegawapi has been declared a sacred place to expedite its development work. Under the accelerated development project, a museum is to be constructed to protect the archaeological artefacts and measures would be taken to renovate the Deegawapi Chaithya and Sala Pathala Maluwa under the supervision of the Archaeological Department. more..

Three Buddhist Viharayas constructed in India

Feb 18 (DN) The three Buddhist Viharayas named, Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha constructed at Thiruthanni, Trichy and Chennai in India will be opened on March 1, 2008. Arrangements have also been made to plant two Bodhi saplings from the Jayasiri Mahabodhiya, Sri Lanka, at the Buddha and Dhamma Viharayas. The work of the three Viharayas were commenced in 2006 under the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi Bharata Dharma Yatra programme. more..

Mayadunne reluctant to forgo House appointment to take up CC post

Feb 18 (Island) Former Auditor General S. C. Mayadunne yesterday said that he wouldn’t want to quit his current assignment in Parliament to join the Constitutional Council. "That wouldn’t be right," he said. Political parties other than the two major parties recently nominated Mayadunne as their nominee to the council. He said that he would like to accept the appointment as long as more..

Ban on medical reps visiting hospitals suspended

Feb 18 (Island) The government succumbed to pressure from multinational pharmaceutical companies and local doctors and suspended a ban it had imposed on hospital visits by medical sales representatives with immediate effect. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had made that decision on Thursday in response to representation made by doctors and drug companies, sources said. Health Secretary and Director General of Health Services had been instructed to carry out the presidential order forthwith. more..

Cabinet reshuffle after prorogation: Jeyaraj

Feb 18 (DM) A cabinet reshuffle will follow a prorogation of Parliament in the first week of April, Senior Minister and Chief Government Whip, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said yesterday. “President Mahinda Rajapaksa most probably will prorogue parliament before the National New Year and then there will be a reshuffle as President is contemplating to change certain portfolios and to bring new faces to the cabinet,” Mr. Fernandopulle told Daily Mirror yesterday. more..

Lakmal Silva not a paid army informant, mother challenges CID

Feb 18 (DM) While calling on the CID to bring the killers of her son to book, Mrs. Rupa Silva the mother of the slain Journalist Sampath Lakmal Silva yesterday denied claims made by the CID Head H. W. Prathapasinghe that Lakmal had been a paid army informant. Mrs. Silva told Daily Mirrror that Lakmal was not paid a cent by the intelligence units. “Since he was a free lance journalist he was living on small sums of money which was paid for the stories he used to give to several newspapers and electronic media,” she said. more..

Pressure mounts on India

Feb 18 (CI) It's 38 C in Adelaide and the Indians find themselves in the hot seat. It's the business end of the tournament and even if their countenance suggests they are relaxed, the sweat is steadily gathering across those creased foreheads. A loss tomorrow against Sri Lanka will push them to the bottom of the points table. They will not want a situation where their last league game becomes virtual semi-final. more..

S&P gives S.Lanka benefit of doubt over indicators

Feb 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has been given B+ ratings despite its worsening fiscal indicators and a negative outlook, to give it a chance to turn around the current debt level and fiscal deficit, Standard and Poor's rating services agency said on Monday. "We are giving Sri Lanka the benefit of the doubt that the pace of improvement would be such that they will quickly catch up other B+ rated in terms of their debt level, fiscal deficits etc." more..

Sri Lanka slaps more tax on cars to cut imports

Feb 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka has further raised taxes on cars to discourage imports and save foreign exchange, officials said Monday. The new tax, which adds 10-percent import duty on cars and vans, is to be rubber-stamped by parliament this month although customs authorities have been collecting it since January. Sri Lanka has no car manufacturing industry and imports mainly from Asia and Europe with duties ranging from 250 to 350 percent before the new tax. more..

Civilian death toll reaching 'appalling levels'

Feb 18 (IRIN) The first six weeks of this year have been some of the deadliest for civilians since the fighting between Sri Lankan government forces and the LTTE intensified in December 2005. More than 180 civilians were killed and almost 270 injured in attacks on buses, at the country’s busiest railway station in the capital Colombo and elsewhere during the first 42 days of 2008, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a 13 February statement. more..

Sri Lanka dubs Kosovo independence a threat to security

Feb 18 (IANS) Sri Lanka has opposed Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia saying that it has set an unmanageable precedent and posed a grave threat to international security. 'We note that the declaration of independence was made without the consent of the majority of the people of Serbia. The unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo could set an unmanageable precedent in the conduct of international relations, more..

Sri Lanka says 56 killed in fighting in north

Feb 18 (Reuters) Sri Lankan troops killed more than 50 Tamil Tiger rebels in weekend battles in the island's north in which two soldiers were also killed, the military said on Monday. Fighting between the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has intensified since the government scrapped a six-year ceasefire pact last month. The government said the rebels had used the truce to re-arm. more..

Sri Lankan company launches hand protection wears in India

Feb 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka-based company Dipped Products Plc, which manufacture hand gloves, today announced its plans to enter country's market in partnership with Indian firm Optimum Marketing Metrics (OMM). The company, which has joined hands with Delhi-based importing firm OMM to sell its hand protection wears in the country, said that it has planned to achieve a turnover of Rs 1.80 crore from the country in one year. more..

Animal rights group protests LTTE attack on zoo

Feb 19 (IANS) An international animal rights organisation has protested the bombing of a zoo in Dehiwela in Sri Lanka, allegedly by Tamil Tiger rebels earlier this month. 'In addition to injuring several human beings - which was no doubt its intent - the explosive device that was set off near the zoo's birds enclosure terrified many animals in the zoo,' said Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in a letter to the Tamil Tiger leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. more..

Sri Lanka High Commission in UK, a robbers' den

Feb 19 (LeN) Sources linked to the Sri Lanka High Commission in Britain say that the High Commission is a hub of corruption that exploits massive commissions from Sri Lankans. The monthly rental for the official residence of the High Commissioner Ms. Kshenuka Senevirathna is 10,000 (Rs.2,150,000). It is Rs. 25,800,000 a year. The house rent for the three-year service period of the High Commissioner is Rs. 77,400,000. more..

More Tamils 'abducted by police'

Feb 19 (BBC) Police in Sri Lanka are abducting Tamils in Colombo "like dogs", a leading human rights campaigner says. Convener of the civil monitoring committee (CMC) and leader of the Western People’s Front (WPF) said: "since 12th February seven people were kidnapped by white van in Colombo". According to Mano Ganeshan, MP, the number of abductions is increasing around Colombo and its suburbs. more..

Police deny 'abduction' charges

Feb 19 (BBC) The police in Sri Lanka have denied accusations that the force is "abducting" Tamil people in the capital, Colombo. Police spokesman, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) NK Ilangakoon told BBC Sandeshaya that police abide by the law. "We are not violating the law while arresting suspects" he added. "We are carry out arrests in accordance with law but we cannot release any details," he said. more..

Sri Lanka offers to host regional anti tobacco talks

Feb 19 (GDI) Sri Lanka has offered to host the consultations of the South-East Asia Regional Group (SEAR) of the World Health Organization on the Protocol on the illicit trade in Tobacco Products in October 2008. The offer was made during the First Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on a Protocol on Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products which concluded in Geneva on Friday (15). more..

Jayalalitha telling 'a bundle of lies': Karunanidhi

Feb 19 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Monday accused archrival J. Jayalalitha of 'telling a bundle of lies' about the DMK government's support to Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels, saying her 'only aim is to get the DMK government dismissed'. He was responding to the AIADMK leader's statements in an interview to her party's television channel, Jaya TV, Sunday night. more..

Prabhakaran - Son of peace loving father

Feb 19 (LG) The world little knows that Prabhakaran, the Tiger Leader, is the son of a non-belligerent, peace loving and ‘No’ to politics father, T. Veluppillai, with whom I had the privilege of working with in Batticaloa from first April, 1947 for four years. A peace loving father producing a fighter or warrior or warrior father bringing forth a peace seeking son is often seen in society. more..

Unethical conversions

Feb 19 (LG) The Universal Declaration of Human rights has recognised the right not only to the practice of religion but also the right to change one’s religion. One could change the religion one is born into, because one genuinely believes in the teaching of such other religion or because of some favours asked for and granted as he believes by the God worshipped in such religion. more..

Devolution to whom? The Tamil people

Feb 19 (LG) The Tigers are not the Tamil people. This is a basic truth we should bear in mind if we want to see a durable peace in this country and if we want to prevent the division of this country. The outrage of July 1983 would not have happened if we understood this simple truth. The LTTE ambushed and killed 13 Sri Lankan soldiers. We, because we did not understand that the Tigers are not the Tamil people, vented our rage on innocent unarmed Tamil men, women and children. more..

Science, capitalism and culture

Feb 19 (LG) Why did western Science not originate in China even after the Chinese had contributed immensely to what could be known as Chinese Science? Dr. Joseph Needham who did work on Chinese Science and who published a large number of volumes detailing the contributions of the Chinese to knowledge answered this question with a characteristically western bias. According to Dr. Needham there was no Capitalism in China to develop a western Science. more..

Prabha's Photographer Dead

Feb 19 (LG) A pro-LTTE website has today announced that a personal 'photographer' for LTTE Leader Velupillai Pripaharan has died. The 'photographer' has been promoted to the military rank of 'Lt. Colonel' and the supposedly civilian honour of Mamanithar concurred on him. Sri Lanka Military Intelligence believe the Tiger had died of injuries sustained either on the LTTE 'Heroes-Day' bombing of an LTTE hideout last November or in the February 6th bombing of Thiruweiaru, more..