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Foot In The Mouth, Comrade Amarasinghe

Feb 27 (ML) The JVP, we have pointed out in previous editorials, wants to eat their Bibbikam and keep the Bibikkam. Their Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe has once again shown this trait in his call to the UN Assistant Secretary General Angela Kane who was sent here by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to look into problems the UN has with the Sri Lanka government particularly on addressing the humanitarian crisis. more..

Sri Lanka and Maldives fall victims to regional and international hegemonic powers

Feb 27 (IL) Isolated in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka and the Maldives often fall victims to regional and international hegemonic powers that strive to bring the entire Indian Ocean rim under their control for their own economic, political and security gains. Unless the peoples of these countries realize the dire consequences of such action the hegemonic powers, in the form of indirect imperialism, will infiltrate these countries and severely threaten their sovereignty. more..

Who does tell the truth? Who does want to know the truth?

Feb 27 (ML) “Tamil civilians locked in endless war” was the current topic of the France 24, the concurrent channel of the CNN, stationed in France. On 21.02.2008, this channel telecast a TV documentary to highlight the present situation of the Tamils who are supposed to have disappeared, arrested, and evicted. Being a Sinhalese should not be a valid reason for me to have repulsive feelings on the contents of the film. more..

The ceasefire agreement six years later

Feb 27 (FI) The Ceasefire Agreement was signed six years ago by the then Sri Lankan Prime Minister, without consultation of the elected Executive President or even the Cabinet. Though he could claim a mandate for initiating negotiations, following the victory of his party in the 2001 Parliamentary Election, the failure to consult adequately can be seen as one reason for a structurally flawed document that contributed substantially and visibly to the erosion of the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. more..

TMVP to release manifesto

Feb 27 (SLW) Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP), contesting an election for the first time, is due to release an election manifesto this week to inform the public of their work programme. "We have prepared an election manifesto that will be issued this week. Through this we will inform our stance and how we will be governing the Batticaloa district," TMVP media spokesman Asath Moulana said. more..

Another batch of "Sinhala Tigers" undergoing training in Wanni

Feb 27 (SLW) Few months ago a startling revelation was made when police made a crackdown on a clandestine organization working alongside with the Tamil Tigers. The organization which was named Revolutionary Liberation Front (Viplawakari Vimukthi Peramuna) was lead by Singhalese some of whom even had government jobs. Hence they were better known as the 'Sinhala tigers'. more..

So near and yet so far in Mannar War Theatre so far

Feb 27 (TC) The mainland area in the north-western district of Mannar has become the primary theatre of war in recent times. The Island of Mannar from which the district derives its name is under Government control. Though the LTTE maintains a clandestine presence in Mannar island, the tigers never established territorial control over it mainly due to the naval installations at Thalaimannar and the military base in Thalladdy. more..

Sri Lanka says ending 2002 truce boosts chances of Tamil accord

Feb 27 (BN) Sri Lanka's government said ending the 2002 cease-fire accord with the LTTE in January boosted the prospects for peace because all Tamil groups will now be involved in the process. "There is a broader space available to interact with all sections of the Tamil community," the government said in a commentary marking the sixth anniversary of the signing of the truce. Most groups were "left out of a participatory role due to the highly restrictive and limiting scope" of the agreement. more..

Priests and parents honor Catholic youth front for service to community

Feb 27 (UCAN) Priests and parents recently gathered to show their appreciation for a cathedral parish volunteer group that has provided parish youth with alternatives to destructive behavior. About 200 parents, most of them past members, attended the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Don Bosco Youth Front of St. Lucia's Cathedral. The event was held on Feb. 3 in John Paul Hall, next to the cathedral. more..

Troubled diocese gets long-awaited auxiliary Bishop

Feb 27 (UCAN) The vicar general of war-plagued Trincomalee-Batticaloa diocese, who is known for promoting interreligious harmony, has been appointed auxiliary bishop. Priests and laypeople in the diocese welcomed Pope Benedict XVI's appointment of Father Joseph Ponniah, 55, on Feb. 19. His episcopal ordination is scheduled for May 10. Father Mathurangan Croos told UCA News the bishop-elect is a "capable person" willing to "face the challenges" in the eastern diocese. more..

Bogollagama Homage to Tyrone

Feb 27 (LG) “I am deeply saddened to learn of the demise of the former Foreign Minister and Senior Advisor to the President, Tyronne Fernando, P.C. Today,” Minister Bogollagama said in a condolence massage to slain Mr. Tyronne Fernando, “Mr. Tyronne Fernando sacrificed a lucrative legal practice and took to politics by entering Parliament in 1977 and a few years later was appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. more..

Is He Innocent?

Feb 27 (LG) A local TV station in its evening news telecast yesterday (February 25), reported that an unidentified gang that had come in a white van abducted a person named Muththusami Ilankoowan alias Sami at Pettah, Colombo on the same day evening. According to this TV station the person who was a holder of a Singaporean passport had been accommodated at a hotel on Kadireshan road before getting "disappeared". more..

Foreign Ministry saddled with hormone dysfunction

Feb 27 (LG) Despite all the problems the Foreign Minister is confronted with, he has no respite from the hawk eyes of the paparazzi and journalist investigators who go into every bill he runs up and every turn he take. This information is readily supplied by the foreign ministry trade union guys who are absolutely mad that outsiders are being regularly appointed to various posts which should rightly have been theirs. more..

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

Feb 27 (LG) Soon after my article was published on the Sri Lanka Guardian, Nesan Raj, telephoned me to question me among other things, why had I written about the history of EROS instead of writing about Jihad. On enquiring, whether he was warning me, he candidly replied that he was. I remarked that his warnings were better contested on paper instead of on the telephone. more..

Fact finding civil groups want elections stopped in Batticaloa

Feb 27 (TN) "Batticaloa elections seem to be about legitimizing brutality through forced political authority and participation," said a group of 9 civil society organisations that undertook a fact finding mission to the district between February 16 and 18. The mission, issuing a report titled "Afraid to even say the word: Elections in Batticaloa," in a press conference held in Renuka hotel on Wednesday, more..

Extortion by SLA suspected in release of Jaffna youths- MP

Feb 27 (TN) Family members of 44 youths who were recently allowed to leave Jaffna prison have complained to a TNA parliamentarian that they had paid sums of up to Rs.70,000 to brokers acting as intermediaries between the relatives and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) personnel in Jaffna, to obtain the youths' release. Meanwhile, Major. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, claimed that the youths had confessed to being members of LTTE and more..

Sri Lanka to release new currency notes

Feb 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka will release new currency notes under the signature of president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the finance minister and governor Nivard Cabraal, the Central Bank said. A 1,000 rupee note with the new signature will be issued on March 03, followed by 2,000, 50, 20 and 10 rupee notes which will be dated July 2007. Sri Lanka also has 500 and 100 rupee notes in circulation but they would be released later, more..

Rama Mani – a mole for international conspiracy in Sri Lanka?

Feb 27 (LT) It has been revealed that the Executive Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Dr. Mrs. Rama Mani, who clandestinely moved to bring down UN ‘peace keeping’ forces by including Sri Lanka in the category of R2P (Responsibility to Protect) in UNO by compiling a false report that Government of Sri Lanka was annihilating Tamil people, had been stationed in Sri Lanka as part of an international conspiracy. more..

Sri Lanka rupee reasonably stable: CB governor

Feb 27 (LBO) The Sri Lanka rupee has been "reasonably stable", Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said, as the currency held rock-steady against the US dollar amid tight monetary policy. "The rupee has been made reasonably stable," governor Cabraal told a gathering of bankers at a micro finance seminar. "It has not appreciated as much as India, but more..

Police reserve service officials complain their special allowances cut; Senior DIG denies

Feb 27 (LeN) Police reserve service officials complain that the special allowance (bata) paid to those in duty in operation areas in North and East, has been slashed since three months and the previously paid allowances are also been reduced from salaries. The maximum amount of this allowance paid to an official who has service more than 16 years is Rs. 16,800. However no officials with such seniority are in duty in the operation areas. more..

Police welcomes its first ever batch of Tamil stream police recruits

Feb 27 (PISL) The 125 young men and 50 young women who proudly marched into the parade grounds, escorted by the ceremonial band of the Kalutara Police Training College, comprised the very first intake of recruits to the Kallady Training College, the first police training school established in the Eastern Province. This batch of recruits were Tamil Sri Lankans from Batticaloa and Ampara Districts, the first recruits taken specifically from these areas and trained in the Tamil medium. more..

School children protest delay in rebuilding school

Feb 27 (LD) Students of Ginthota Maha Vidyalaya in Galle are staging a demonstration against a delay in the reconstruction of their tsunami-damaged school. Police have been called in after the agitation turned unruly, as the protestors burnt tyres and closed a section of Galle Road this morning (Feb. 27th). They alleged that UNICEF had promised to rebuild the school, but nothing had been done for the past three years. more..

Nation’s hopes rise as Mahinda-Ranil meet

Feb 27 (BL) The nation’s hope rose yesterday midst much hype over the ‘historical’ meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, which ended on a positive note. While government allies welcome the meeting, opposition parties were skeptical, with the United National Party declaring that the meeting was an attempt by the government to save itself. more..

More shocks for scribes as they go to NPC

Feb 27 (BL) Journalists were in for a shock yesterday when they were obstructed by a senior National Police Commission (NPC) official who refused the journalists permission to cover a complaint they were to lodge at the commission, despite obtaining prior approval. An official from the NPC demanded TV cameramen to switch off their cameras when Derana TV News Producer Sugath Dharmapriya and representatives of five leading media organisations went to the commission to lodge a complaint over last Saturday’s incident. more..

More files called to probe Rs. 500 m. Health Ministry fraud

Feb 27 (BL) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has requested the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry to furnish 11 files to carry out further probe over the Rs. 500 million fraud allegedly committed by top Ministry officials. CIABOC Director Investigations, Neville Guruge told The Bottom Line that they have requested for 11 files, to carry out further investigations on the matter. more..

PBOA vows trade union action against interference by ‘outsiders’

Feb 27 (BL) The Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) vowed to take trade union action against any minister who interferes in an area that does not come under his authority. PBOA, Chairman, Gamunu Wijerathne speaking at a press conference yesterday, said that there were certain unwanted remarks by a minister from outside the Transport Ministry on the recent bomb blast in Mount Lavinia. more..

China to seek trade and investment opportunities in SL

Feb 27 (GDI) A high powered trade and investment delegation from China will arrive in the island on the 5th of next month (March) to explore trade and investment possibilities in Sri Lanka. The nine-member delegation from Jinlin Province, China includes decision makers of the Department of Commerce. They will participate in a programme organized by the National Chamber of Commerce with the assistance of the Department of Commerce. more..

Ex-LTTE supporters seek Govt. protection

Feb 27 (GDI) The numbers of LTTE members and sympathizers abandoning the terrorist movement were swelled yesterday (27) when another 44 had sought Government protection immediately escaping from uncleared areas, defence sources said. The recently arrived group consented to receive rehabilitation and have confessed that they were either connected to the LTTE or have had directly or indirectly aided and abetted the terrorist cause in the Jaffna peninsula. more..

10 new ‘manufacturing’ projects to Negombo

Feb 27 (GDI) Ten new ‘manufacturing’ projects worth Rs.37 million will be commenced in the Negombo Divisional Secretariat under the Small and Medium Industries development programme of the Ministry of Rural Industries and Self-Employment Promotion. The project expected to reach its completion by the end of May this year and will directly benefit over 800 small and medium scale entrepreneurs in Negombo. more..

Sacred Hair Relics of Lord Buddha to be taken to Kataragama tomorrow 28th

Feb 27 (GDI) The sacred hair relic of the Buddha gifted to Sri Lanka by the Chitagong Purana Viharaya in Bangladesh now placed at Gangaramaya ,Hunupitiya, will be taken to the Kataragama Kiri Vehera in a special motorcade tomorrow 28th. Before the departure a special ceremony will be conducted at Temple Trees in the morning attended by President Mahinda Rajapajsa followed by a “heel-dane” offered to the Maha Sangha. more..

Anyone in Sri Lanka with unauthorised weapons will be arrested - Defence Secretary

Feb 27 (LNP) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has asserted that the Police have been given strict directives that no one, other than the law enforcement authorities, should be permitted to carry weapons in the East, and that anyone else found in possession of a weapon would be arrested. He had made this declaration at a meeting with the UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, Ms. Angela Kane, when more..

Sri Lanka sex ring exposed in Singapore

Feb 27 (LNP) A prostitution ring operated by Sri Lankan pimps in a noted red light area in Singapore and involving scores of Sri Lankan women has been exposed in a video aired by the Singapore Home Ministry and the anti vice squad of that country. The secretly shot video shows a group of Sri Lankan women seeking customers at Lorang 15 in the Geylang district under the watchful eyes of Sri Lankan pimps, most of whom are said to be well known in the area and operating there for well over a year. more..

Sri Lanka sliding into humanitarian nightmare- Geneva Group

Feb 27 (LNP) Pointing out that the number of civilian deaths has jumped sharply after the election of Rajapakse Government and that `the present government displays little appetite for peace,` Director of Small Arms Survey in Geneva, Robert Muggah, in an article appearing in Canada`s The Star, recommends that if Sri Lanka rebuffs pressure to abandon military solution `U.S. and the EU could consider withdrawing the country from the General System of Preferences,` more..

Sri Lanka`s Tour of shame

Feb 27 (LNP) Sri Lanka s cricketers completed what will go down in history as the worst ever tour of Australia in the context of the players who made up the team as the curtain virtually came down on them with defeat against India at the Bellerieve Oval in Hobart yesterday. When the tour party returns in shame in a few days, the Sri Lankans will still be in the spotlight making headlines for the wrong reasons as they gear to play for something else in neighbouring India where making money will be far easier than winning matches. more..

SL’s Rights record bottom in the region

Feb 27 (SAMN) Sri Lanka’s recent human rights record was one of the worst in the region, the London based Minority Rights Group (MRG) said Tuesay launching its global ranking of Peoples Under Threat. Afghanistan and Burma were listed as the worst situations due to worsening violence while the climate in Sri Lanka has deteriorated fast in the new year, according to the MRG ranking that is now available on line. more..

Stiffer laws to prevent Marine pollution

Feb 27 (SAMN) The government had decided that the Marine Pollution Prevention Authority (MPPA) laws should be strengthened to fight marine pollution caused by the dumping of waste oil, garbage and other waste matter within the territorial waters of Sri Lanka. A Bill to amend the present authority, giving more powers to the MPPA would be introduced in Parliament shortly, MPPA Chairman Ranjith Kularatne said on Monday. more..

Blood going downs the drain

Feb 27 (SAMN) Unused packets of blood have reportedly been destroyed at the National Blood Centre (NBC), inside sources said. NBC inside sources said around 2000 packets of blood are destroyed within the premises of the NBC every month. "NBC officials get a commission on every packet of blood they use. But they have to show proof that the blood packets had been used to get their commission. Hospitals in the country are not requesting for blood these days as they have ample stocks in their blood banks. more..

Minister bares money racket by 'co-operative banks'

Feb 27 (DN) Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services Minister Bandula Gunawardena has brought to the notice of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Finance about a major money racket committed by certain banks which call themselves 'co-operative banks'. Gunawardena told the Daily News yesterday that the Ministry has received information about two such 'co-operative banks' in the Central Province. more..

Peradeniya University re-opens on Monday

Feb 27 (DN) Except the Science and the Engineering faculties all other faculties of the Peradeniya University will reopen on March 3 after it was closed on Monday following a clash between two student groups belonging to the Science and Engineering Faculties. The Science and the Engineering Faculties are scheduled to re-open on March 10, Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Anura Wickramasinghe told the Daily News. more..

Placing bags under bus seats to be banned?

Feb 27 (DM) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association President (LPBOA) Gemunu Wijeratne said that the LPBOA had proposed to the Transport Ministry to ban placing bags under the seats of buses. Carrying bags on the racks in buses has already been banned, he said. Mr. Wijeratne, said so at a news conference hosted to reward the driver and conductor who averted a disaster last week by the timely action to disembark the commuters before the bomb exploded. more..

Devananda complains to PAFFREL

Feb 27 (DM) With the local government election campaign in the east hotting up, EPDP leader and Minister, Douglas Devananda, lodged seven complaints with People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), regarding election violence in Batticaloa. Mr. Devananda apprised PAFFREL chairman, Mr. Kingsley Rodrigo, of the incidents when they met yesterday. more..

LPBOA complains to Bribery Comm. against time keepers

Feb 27 (Island) Enough is enough. Annual extortion by time keepers, employed by the Passenger Transport Authorities islandwide, now total to a grand Rs. 80 million and the Lanka Private Bus Operators Association (LPBOA) has requested the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption for urgent assistance. The LPBOA resorted to this as a last resort unable to seek relief despite bringing this to the notice of authorities on several occasions earlier. more..

Survey reveals dearth of Tamil proficient officers

Feb 27 (Island) The Official Language Commission recently concluded a survey on how the official language is used in State institutions in the course of transactions with the public. The last in the series of surveys was conducted at the Ceylon Electricity Board. The survey had revealed there was a dearth of officers proficient in Tamil though about 52 percent of the public in Colombo speak Tamil, a press release from the Government Information Department said yesterday. more..

Relations with CPI(M) good, says JVP

Feb 27 (PTI) The Sri Lankan Marxist JVP party today underlined its close relations with the Communist Party of India-Marxist despite not being invited for the CPI(M) conclave in Tamil Nadu next month. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which is usually amongst the invitees for the CPI-M's Congress, has been overlooked for the left party's conclave this year in Coimbatore from March 29 to April 3."We have not been invited," said R. Chandrasekaran, a senior JVP member and the Tamil face of the party. more..

Sri Lankan military say Tamil Tigers in disarray

Feb 27 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan military claimed Wednesday that Tamil Tiger rebels are in a state of disarray due to continued government military offensives in the island's north and northeast. Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, the military spokesman, told reporters that intensive military offensives against the LTTE have continued since the Feb. 14 and the rebels have suffered a large number of casualties. more..

Meeting ends on positive note

Feb 27 (SAMN) A crucial meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe ended on a positive note Tuesday, with the latter giving an assurance that his party would not jeopardize the government’s move to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, as an interim measure, while seeking a lasting solution to the ethnic issue. more..

JVP chief loves 'Mother India', hates Official India

Feb 27 (IANS) Somawansa Amarasinghe, leader of the ultra nationalist Sri Lankan party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), loves 'Mother India' but hates her bureaucrats. Amarasinghe, who has threatened to call for a boycott of Indian goods if New Delhi continues to 'interfere' in Sri Lankan affairs, told the Daily Mirror Wednesday that he loved Indian culture and Mahboob Khan's 'Mother India' was among his all-time favourite movies. more..

Sri Lanka ahead in war, but don't write off rebels

Feb 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government has the upper hand in a new phase of a 25-year civil war against the Tamil Tigers, but it would be foolish to write the rebels off, experts say. After opting to take the war to the rebels and formally scrapping a six-year truce, the government banished Nordic truce monitors who were cataloging violence and accused elements of the military of an aid worker massacre and other rights abuses. more..

Shares at 8-week high on earnings hopes

Feb 28 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares climbed to their highest close in eight weeks on Wednesday, bolstered by earnings expectations, while the rupee ended a tad firmer. Top fixed-line phone operator Sri Lanka Telecom and private lender Hatton National Bank led the rise as investors bet on earnings. The Colombo All-Share index rose 0.26 percent or 6.57 points to 2,534.19, its highest close since Jan. 3, more..

Sri Lanka Telecom sets up internet TV unit

Feb 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom, the island's dominant fixed line operator, Wednesday announced it had set up a subsidiary to provide internet television programmes with a planned investment of 100 million rupees. The fully-owned subsidiary called SLT Visioncom would provide internet-based television services to its broadband customers, the company said in a statement to the Colombo bourse. more..