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Katankudy Sufi Muslims Prevented from Entering Their Homes

Feb 22 (AT) Tension mounted yesterday, as a group of minority Muslims tried to return to their homes in Katankudy in Batticoloa as ordered by the Supreme Court. They were prevented from occupying the homes they had left during times of religious violence in 2004 and 2006. Nearly 500 Sufi Muslims, thus, had to go away to their temporary abodes away from their traditional Katankudy homes. more..

Kosovo: Norway talks poppycock

Feb 22 (SLW) "Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that further negotiations would lead to a mutually agreed solution to the status issue. At the same time, the status quo is no longer viable. There is a need to clarify Kosovo's future status so that it can continue its economic and political development. In the current situation, it is important that the members of the international community as far as possible take a common position. more..

Appeal to international anti-war forces

Feb 22 (SLW) Stop the war: In the aftermath of the unilateral withdrawal of the Ceasefire agreement by the Rajapakse regime in Sri Lanka and the growing civilian massacres, destruction and absence of rule of law, there can be little doubt that the government's intention of a military solution is bringing grief and suffering to huge numbers of civilians of all ethnic constituent people of Sri Lanka. more..

SPUR demands screening process for academics and officials traveling oversees

Feb 22 (SLW) At this juncture, when your government is doing its utmost to uproot terrorism from the soil of Sri Lanka, we saw over the last few weeks a large number of articles that appeared in the newspapers on how foreign funded NGOs are trying to subvert the country by invoking R2P to bring in foreign troops. There have been names of several academics including those in the universities and the government sector, who have being associated with these forces for foreign intervention in the country. more..

It’s a damaged roof over this land of the President

Feb 22 (SLW) This island is definitely an oddity. It cannot be the “Land of Gauthama Buddha” as those stickers on vehicles publicly declare. How can it be, if Dr. Mervyn is tipped to be appointed by HE the President to the most independent Constitutional Council? The week closed with that news spreading like hay flu. “Mervyn Silva to resign from Nationalist MP post and to be appointed to the Constitutional Council” the media went hot. more..

Sri Lankan inventor hopes to give mobility to thousands

Feb 22 (LBO) A Sri Lankan inventor is setting up a facility to provide customized artificial limbs to thousands who lave lost their limbs to war, disease and accidents. "My aim is to cater to disabled soldiers who have sacrificed so much for us and diabetic patients who are amputees and victims of accidents," says Aruna Samarawickrema who is partway on his quest after work began on the artificial limb facility earlier this month. more..

What’s Wrong with Schrodinger’s Cat?

Feb 22 (LG) Schrodinger in his famous 1935 paper that dealt with the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics introduced the concept of entanglement in order to show that Bohr's interpretation did not meet the requirements imposed by reality, especially on macro objects. He proposed an "experiment" in which a cat (now known as Schrodinger's cat) is kept in a closed chamber with radio active atoms in a Geiger tube that is attached to a hammer placed above a bottle that contains a poisonous gas. more..

Case of Nethmi

Feb 22 (LG) The news that a girl who qualified to enter Visakha Vidyalaya (VV), Colombo. 05, after the grade V scholarship examination, has been denied entry to VV simply because she happened to be a Tamil (though a Buddhist), is sure to cause much resentment, anger and disillusionment in the minds of all right thinking citizens of this country. The student named Nethmi is the daughter of Mr. Yogendran who is an old Anandian and a Buddhist who has studied in the Sinhala medium. more..

The Second Fascist Front in Sri Lanka

Feb 22 (UTHR) The Ceasefire Agreement has been abrogated, the Nordic Monitoring Mission has left and it is now a war without witnesses. Civilians on both sides are the main victims as each side pursues military advantage regardless of them. One way or the other, singly or otherwise, each side has deliberately targeted civilians of the other ethnic group. The bus bombings in Okkampitiya in Moneragala on 17th January and near Madhu in the LTTE-controlled area on 29th January, more..

Assistance from Inter-Parliament Association to strengthen Sri Lankan

Feb 22 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa held a cordial discussion with the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Inter-Parliament Association, Sharon Carstairs, yesterday (21st) at Temple Trees. Among matters discussed during the meeting was the strengthening of the parliamentary system. The President's dedication and interest in this regard was highly appreciated by Ms.Carstairs, and she promised to extend her fullest support in accomplishing it. more..

'Public-private partnership needed to counter climate change'

Feb 22 (GDI) Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, addressing the United Nations conference on Climate Change held in New York from 11th -12th February, stated that the need for collaboration between government international organizations and the corporate sector for a comprehensive approach to climate change related issues is of great importance. more..

Forget about clothes, hair most important for Lankan women

Feb 22 (IANS) Beauty-conscious Sri Lankan women attach more importance to their hair than to clothes or make up and often judge others by the way they have dressed their tresses, a new survey has revealed. Conducted by the Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB) for Unilever in December 2007, the survey found that 48 percent of the 429 women interviewed strongly felt that hair was a crucial aspect of appearance or beauty. more..

Buddhist Monk turned soldier gave his life in the frontline

Feb 22 (LNP) One of Sri Lanka s proud sons who first went in search of enlightenment in saffron robes but then realised that one had a duty to emancipate not just one`s self but the oppressed brethren of his nation gave his life in the frontline recently. Nineteen year old R.M.Sanjeewa Bandara who was ordained as Ven. Dunukewatte Sumana Thera at the Hataraliyedda temple was attached to the Sinha regiment. more..

UNP slams Govt. on MiG cover-up

Feb 22 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP and the JVP slammed the government Thursday for what they called the arbitrary removal of Bribery Commission’s Director General Piyasena Ranasinghe. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe asked parliament whether the removal of the Director General was part of an attempt to undermine the ongoing investigations into the MIG deal following a complaint made by the opposition and more..

JVP warns of ‘big explosion’

Feb 22 (SAMN) The JVP Thursday warned that there would be a ‘massive explosion’ unless the Rajapaksa administration stopped all of its corruption, waste and irregularities that had directly contributed the rising cost of living over the past two years. Addressing a news conference JVP heavyweight Lal Kantha asserted that such an eventuality would be inevitable and would lead to the downfall of the government which the JVP helped to form. more..

Team to study rise in renal failure

Feb 22 (SAMN) A team of specialist doctors from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Tokyo University, Japan will arrive in Sri Lanka next month to find out the reasons for the rise in kidney diseases in Wayamba, North Central and Uva Provinces, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. He said the Ministry has decided to subject all residents in Wayamba, North Central and Uva Provinces to medical examinations free as a precaution. more..

Govt. to end ‘Pollute and pay ’ policy

Feb 22 (SAMN) The Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority (CEA), Udaya Gammanpila Thursday ruled out the ‘pay and pollute’ policy for environment polluters. Environment polluters will be jailed in the near future, he said adding that the CEA will be on alert for the protection of the environment. He said "Environment polluters will be fined or jailed according to the CEA Act. Most often, the CEA enforced only fines. more..

SL’s longest tunnel opens Sunday

Feb 22 (SAMN) Sri Lanka’s longest tunnel at Rambada will be opened to traffic on February 24. The 225 metre long tunnel has been built at an estimated cost of Rs. 2,000 million, under the direct supervision of Highways and Highways Development Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. According to the Ministry Secretary Sirisena Amarasekera, the tunnel comprising two lanes, has been completed within 18 months.

Ranil, Wimal attack govt. delay in activating Con. Council

Feb 22 (Island) Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara yesterday rejected former Speaker and Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera’s assertion that the undue delay in appointing former Auditor General S.C. Mayadunne to the Constitutional Council was a privilege issue. The Chief Opposition Whip, raising a privilege issue, asked why the nomination of former Auditor General S. C. Mayadunne to the Constitutional Council has not been accepted and the appointment made by the President so far. more..

SLUMP condemns Hakeem’s planned pact with TNA

Feb 22 (Island) The Sri Lanka Ulamas Muslim Party, an influential political movement formed by the Muslim Clergy, yesterday expressed serious concern over Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauff Hakeem’s recent statement that the SLMC would sign an electoral pact with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which had recognized the LTTE as the sole representative of Tamil speaking people. more..

Unprincipled school principal

Feb 22 (DM) The woman principal of a girls’ school in Nugegoda was nabbed by Bribery Commission officials yesterday, while allegedly taking a bribe of Rs. 15,000 to admit a to child grade one. The Commission’s Director Investigations, SSP Neville Guruge, said that the principal was arrested when she took the money at her office yesterday from two officials of the Commission. more..

Warrant issued through Interpol on bribery accused

Feb 22 (DM) The Colombo High Court, yesterday, issued a warrant through Interpol, on a former technical officer of the Paddy Marketing Board, who was absent from court and reported to be in Australia. Issuing the warrant in a bribery case, High Court Judge Ms. Kumuduni Wickremasinghe said that the medical report submitted by the accused could not be accepted as a report issued by a specialist, as it did not indicate a specific ailment. more..

Withdraw decision to increase electricity tariff! – JVP urges government

Feb 22 (LT) The JVP has asked the government to withdraw the decision to increase electricity tariffs immediately. JVP Parliamentarian Lal Kanthe addressing a media briefing held in Colombo today said the decision taken by the government would never be approved. Speaking further Mr. Lal Kanthe said, “The government has already made the people aware through advertisements and media that electricity charges have to be increased by a big margin. more..

Sri Lank state savings bank in pensions business

Feb 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run savings giant, National Savings Bank entered the pensions market with a campaign specifically targeted at young savers, officials said. Sri Lanka's central bank governor Nivard Cabraal said the scheme will give an opportunity for private sector workers to save for their retirement as formal pensions were only available for government workers some private workers. more..

Govt plans sham local elections in eastern Batticaloa

Feb 22 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government has scheduled local council elections for March 10 in the Batticaloa district in the war-ravaged eastern province. The planned polls have nothing to do with resuming civilian control. They are a PR exercise to dress up the military occupation of the area with a democratic façade. Last year, the Sri Lankan army captured areas in Batticaloa district which were previously held by the separatist LTTE. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Feb 22 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Chamal Rajapaksa, Minister of Irrigation and Water Management, for the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project, which is one of the priority items in the water and power sector in the Mahinda Chintanaya- 10 Year Development Framework. Accordingly, a project director will be appointed and a project office will be opened in Colombo. more..

Haul of explosives recovered in Wattala

Feb 22 (GDI) A haul of explosives was recovered in a search operation conducted by the Sri Lanka Navy in the Kerawalapitiya area in Wattala last night (21). The recovered items included 20 kg of C-4 high explosives packed into 1kg packets with 23 electric detonators and two belts. The items were concealed underground, defence sources said. Search operations was carried out on information provided by a civilian. more..

UN Security Council applauds Govt. report on Children and Armed Conflict

Feb 22 (GDI) UN Working Group of the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict commended the comprehensive report based on Sri Lanka’s Zero-Tolerance Policy on using underage children in armed conflict, submitted to its special session in New York Thursday (21). In addition, the Working Group also expressed serious concern about the charges leveled against the LTTE, allegations of misconduct by other armed groups including the LTTE’s breakaway group Karuna faction more..

Mobile Ministry in Ampara on 24th and 25th

Feb 22 (GDI) The Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affaires will be operating a mobile service facility in Ampara on Saturday (23rd) and Sunday (24th). This Mobile Ministry plan is conducted under the 'Janatha Sathkaraka Sevaya' programme of the Ministry. During the two days the Ministry is planning to offer to the general public of the area the services of the Department of Registration of Persons, Department of Immigration and more..

Two ministers, deputy minister and governor sworn in today

Feb 22 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today (22) appointed two ministers and one deputy minister and also a new Governor to the Sabaragamuwa Province. Mahinda Wijesekara, was sworn in as the Minister for Post and Telecommunication, Dilan Perera was sworn in as the Non Cabinet Minister for Ports Development, and was Puthrasigamani sworn in as the Deputy Minister for Justice and Low Performs. more..

‘Life goes on undaunted-build monuments of art” – Prime Minister

Feb 22 (GDI) Addressing the audience at the inauguration of “Architect 2008- the Initiator” Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake pointed out that life goes on undaunted by the sporadic acts of terrorism unleashed by a bunch of blood-thirsty barbarians. “Their leader is cornered in their den in the jungles of the Northern Province. Soon its head will be taken off and terrorism will wane and life will return to normalcy”, he said. more..

Owner takes away A-321 leased to Mihin Air

Feb 22 (LD) An A-321 that had been leased to Mihin Air had been taken away by its Turkish owner, the Best Air, on February 14th, reports say. Registered under no: IC-TVB in Turkey, the aircraft was given on lease to Mihin Air on March 26, 2007. Last month, it made an emergency landing in Mumbai following a technical glitch. After repairs, it was brought to Colombo a few days later. more..

Minister & Mill owners plundering the Farmers` profits

Feb 22 (LG) The UNP Media unit, P.Harrison UNP M.P. for Anuradhapura asked whether this Govt. has honoured even a single promise or respected the Farmers of this essentially agricultural land of ours? He asked.The entire agriculture sector has been plunged into ruination because of the ruthless treacherous machinations of the Minister and his Rice Mill owners which are the cause of rice price hikes, and the abysmal predicament of the farmers, he added. more..

FM meets Soudhi Prince In Singapore

Feb 22 (LG) "Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama met with HRH Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, Assistant Minister of Defence and Aviation for Military Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 19th February 2008 on the fringes of the Singapore Airshow 2008," according to media satatement relased by the Foreign Ministry in Colombo. "The Minister highlighted the cordial ties between the two nations and more..

A Political Solution, but not to cater only to Tigers

Feb 22 (SLW) As an intelligent educated Sri Lankan who has done immense work in countering the serious disinformation propaganda network of the Tamil terrorists, Sri Lankans do appreciate your valuable service. However in the interest of constructive discussion your view on the APRC leaves much to be desired. The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) which has taken 1½ years to present proposals is a joke. more..

Security personnel only united Force in Lanka -Dullas

Feb 22 (DN) Petty divisions among the society is the greatest tragedy confronting the country. The secret behind the success achieved by the Security Forces is the unity, discipline and co-operation among them, Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said. The Minister made these observations addressing a seminar attended by delegates of civil defence committees in the Matara district at the Matara District Secretariat Auditorium on Wednesday. more..

President empowered to appoint CC members

Feb 22 (DN) Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle yesterday said in Parliament that the Constitution has vested powers in the President to appoint members to the Constitutional Council although it has guaranteed power on the political parties to nominate members for it. He made this observation in response to a privilege matter raised by Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera on the delay of appointing former Auditor General S.C. Mayadunne to the Constitutional Council. more..

Rain helps Australia to 24-run win

Feb 22 (CI) Australia and Sri Lanka were both dug into holes by their top orders at the MCG but while Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke clambered out, Sri Lanka were drowned in their pit by Melbourne's rain. Australia picked up a 24-run victory on the Duckworth-Lewis method, which means Sri Lanka must now win both their remaining CB Series games and rely on Australia beating India to have any chance of reaching the finals. more..

Tamil rebels say eight killed in Sri Lanka air strike

Feb 22 (AFP) At least eight civilians died in an air attack in northern Sri Lanka Friday, Tamil Tiger rebels said after the military announced an escalation of strikes against the rebels. The LTTE said eight civilians, including three children, were killed and another 10 wounded when war planes hit a village inside rebel-held territory. "Two children aged five and six from the same family and an infant from another home are among those killed as a bomb fell on their home," more..

Prabhakaran will get fair trial in India: US envoy

Feb 22 (IANS) Tamil Tiger leader V. Prabhakaran would get a fair trial in India if he were captured and sent to the country to be tried for alleged involvement in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, says US Ambassador in Sri Lanka Robert Blake. 'I am sure that he would get a fair trial in India. We would have no concerns about that,' Blake said in an interview posted in the website of the American embassy here. more..

Sri Lanka under-19 beat Australia under-19

Feb 23 (CI) Sri Lanka's varied spin attack, led by the left-arm spinner Navin Kavikara, performed a slow strangle act that would have made their senior team proud as they set up a five-wicket win against Australia at the Penang Sports Club. They dismissed Australia for 172 and Dilshan Munaweera helped them gun down the target with more than 12 overs to spare. The victory put Sri Lanka on top of Group C and more..

Sri Lanka - Annual report 2008

Feb 23 (RSF) The government and the military have intensified the war against the Tamil Tigers and President Mahinda Rajapakse has sworn to stamp out the rebellion, at the price of appalling human rights violations if necessary. Both the Sinhala and English-language press came under even greater pressure from the authorities in 2007. On their side, the Tamil Tigers allow no dissident voices in the areas they control. more..

Ethnic Crisis — is a negotiated solution possible?

Feb 23 (LG) The ethnic crisis and its implications can never be wished away unless the underlying issues are realistically addressed. These issues are based on the real discrimination and insecurity experienced by the Tamils of this country which translates into real fear and an inferior status in the political, social and economic life of this country. Although it is 18 years since the 1983 program against the Tamils, there has never been any transparent inquiry and commensurate punishment meted out to the perpetrators. more..

Eelam: An open letter to my own

Feb 23 (LG) This letter is written because I find it difficult to keep quiet any longer and for reasons best known to Tamils I’m using a pen name. Let me begin by saying that I am a Vellahla Tamil, a previous resident from Jaffna itself and proud to be so, although not so proud of the deeds of the Vellahlas. A few months back there was an article in the ‘Sunday Leader’ Journal where Mr. Anton Balasingham has stated that the Sri Lanka Government does not send adequate food supplies to the people of the North and that they are undergoing much hardship. more..

Can we become less selfish?

Feb 23 (LG) After a very long journey you have at last become duly certified members of the medical profession. It is a profession which still has a high status. In recent times, however, there have been voices muttering that doctors have become too selfish and that they make too much money too quickly. Even if it is only partly true, this indictment is a serious one which we cannot just ignore. more..

Maldivian Military Chief arrives in island

Feb 23 (GDI) Visiting Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF) Commander Major General Mohamed Zahir as the first leg of his itinerary visited the Army Headquarters today (22). The Military Chief is here on a goodwill tour and also to participate in the passing-out parade of the Maldivian Defence Force parachutists, trained by Sri Lanka's Training School of the Commando Regiment. more..

'New probes' over SLRC debacle

Feb 23 (BBC) Police in Sri Lanka have launched two fresh investigations into an incident in which a minister was assaulted by media workers. CID told judiciary that they have launched new probes on assaulting minister Mervyn Silva and breach of security at Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC). The CID made the comments on Friday as the alleged assault on SLRC news director, TMG Chandrasekara, was taken for hearing at Colombo magistrate court. more..

750 families receive relief from Red Cross

Feb 23 (RW) 750 families in Kalawelgama and Kahakurullan Pelessa in Tanamalwila in Monaragala District who are undergoing hardships after a terrorist attack in the area on 16th of January received dry rations from the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society. The SLRCS Monaragala Branch facilitated distribution worth seven hundred thousand rupees with financial support from German Red Cross. Each dry ration pack contained seven kilos of rice, and potatoes, sugar, flour dhal one kilo from each item and two tins of canned fish. more..

Dancer of state dancing troop missing in Australia

Feb 23 (LeN) In future, tight rules will be implemented on Sri Lankan delegations by Australian Government as one of the dancers vanished in Australia while returning after completion of a tour. This dancing troop performed in several cities in Australia and the final performance was in Sydney. This was organised for 16th by the consul for Sri Lanka in Sydney, Mrs. Gothami Indikadahene. more..

'Help people of seven terrified villages in South'

Feb 23 (LeN) UNP Monaragala district MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara says that the villagers of Buththala, Katharagama, Okkampitiya, Siyambalanduwa, Kotigala, Ethumale and Gonaganara villages in Monaragala district have no security today and they have lost livelihood under the current rule. He further says that although the Government stated that the Eastern Province was freed from LTTE, the people of the Monaragala district live under terror and LTTE threats since terrorism has spread all over the district. more..