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Weather still the one to beat

Feb 7 (CI) The last time Australia and Sri Lanka met in a one-day international the game's conclusion was ruined when the umpires forced play to continue as darkness fell on the World Cup final in Barbados. Weather looms as the only thing that could spoil their rematch at the SCG on Friday, with a cracking contest likely if the rain stays away. Unfortunately, that "if" should be bold and underlined. more..

Sri Lanka suspend schools' cricket

Feb 7 (CI) The on-going schools cricket season in Sri Lanka has been thrown into chaos as a result of the government imposing an indefinite ban on all school sports because of an escalation in the on-going war in the north against the Tamil Tigers. The ban came into effect on Wednesday when an education ministry circular announced an indefinite cessation in all school competitions. Almost immediately the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association postponed all matches. more..

Aravinda de Silva appointed in to interim committee

Feb 7 (CI) Former Sri Lanka cricketers Aravinda de Silva and Guy de Alwis have been appointed to the Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee along with Asoka Pathirage, a leading mobile owner by sports minister Gamini Lokuge. The seven-member committee headed by former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga will expand to ten with these new appointments. de Silva is already heading the cricket committee of Sri Lanka Cricket and more..

Sri Lanka says oil exploration bids satisfactory

Feb 7 (LBO) The response for Sri Lanka's off-shore oil exploration offer was satisfactory considering block sizes and risks, the island's top petroleum development official said, Sri Lanka received bids from three regional petroleum companies for three offshore blocks in the Mannar Basin despite the difficulties and risks involved, said Neil De Silva, director general of petroleum resources development. more..

Civilian Lives Going Cheap

Feb 7 (IPS) This week, as Sri Lanka celebrated the 60th anniversary of its independence from British colonial rule, over 60 civilians were reported killed in the raging ethnic conflict on the island. The violence has led observers to comment that a culture of impunity has taken hold of the country and that the belligerents, the Sri Lankan army and the rebel LTTE, have given up any pretence of being responsible for the lives and safety of ordinary citizens. more..

Britain seeks 'political process' to end Sri Lanka bloodshed

Feb 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former colonial ruler Britain has called for a "political process" to end Sri Lanka's spiralling violence and condemned the latest wave of bombings against civilians. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in a statement released here said that the Sri Lankan government's unilateral withdrawal from a ceasefire with separatist rebels did not mean both parties should stop protecting civilians. more..

Sri Lanka suspends school sports after bomb

Feb 7 (AFP) All school sports have been suspended in Sri Lanka after a Tamil Tiger suicide bomb attack in the capital killed nine pupils and a baseball coach, the government said Thursday. An eduction ministry spokesman said planned field trips for events marking the island's 60th anniversary of independence from Britain would also be cancelled, with the freeze remaining in place until further notice. more..

India urged to end military support to Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (IANS) Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony was Thursday urged by a group of Indian Tamils to end military support to Sri Lanka, saying it was worsening the situation in the island. Periyar Dravida Kazhagam leader Kolathur Mani said that Antony heard carefully what his delegation had to say but he made no commitment, the Tamil Nadu political leader said. 'We told him that the Indian government needed to respect Tamil sentiments. more..

RITES team to visit Lanka to give final shape to project

Feb 8 (PTI) A high level Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) delegation will visit Sri Lanka this month to give final shape to its $170 dollar project to upgrade Sri Lanka's Southern Railway. "We have got the government approval for the proj ect and the Attorney General is looking at the proposals before giving clearance", said the Sri Lankan Transport Secretary Mr Nihal Somaweera. more..

For some Sri Lankan women, military is the saviour: book

Feb 8 (PTI) Wives and mothers in militancy-infested Sri Lanka have come to accept the military as the sole avenue of employment for their husbands and children, however anguished they are about losing them in the war, a new book says. "Given the absence of non-military public sector expansion and lack of employment opportunities even for the urban youth, agrarian devastation, closure of garment factories and breakdown of rural economies, more..

India should put pressure on LTTE: TULF chief

Feb 8 (PTI) The international community, especially India, should put pressure on the LTTE to refrain from killing innocent civilians in Sri Lanka, a senior Tamil politician has said. "The time has now come for India to step in and tell the LTTE to keep hands off civilians," TULF president V Anandasangaree said. "The LTTE's only hope now is to unleash fresh violence for which the Sinhalase are not prepared," he said in a statement from London. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Feb 8 (GDI) Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Agriculture Development for the purchase of the Maha paddy harvests which would cost Rs.2000 million, in order to prevent private dealers from making bulk purchases and causing price hikes of rice, particularly the Samba and Naadu varieties. Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by the Minister Karu Jayasuriya, to award the contract to construct official houses down Keppetipola Mawatha to State Development and Design Corporation. more..

Sri Lankan couple die in St. Laurent fire in Canada

Feb 8 (MG) A couple from Sri Lanka were killed when an intense fire of suspicious origin ripped through a brick bungalow in St. Laurent early yesterday. Flames devoured the carefully maintained house on Rochon St., which featured a large lawn and shrubbery shielded against the winter. Windows were smashed and blackened, and storm gutters littered the front lawn. There were large holes in the roof where firefighters had hacked in to get at the embers. more..

Sri Lanka U19 claim spoils

Feb 8 (ECB) runs in a Duckworth-Lewis affected final encounter between the sides before the World Cup gets under way. England batted first after winning the toss, but Billy Godleman suffered his second first-ball duck in a row as Thisara Perera struck with the opening ball of the match. Perera also claimed the wickets of fellow opener James Taylor (13) and James Lee (three) on his way to figures of 3-31 in England’s total of 200 for nine. more..

British tourists warned of bomb risks in Sri Lanka

Feb 8 (Times) The government has warned Britons that the risk of travel in Sri Lanka is increasing following the latest bomb attack in the capital, Colombo. In the latest of a series of travel warnings issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the overall level of travel advice is unchanged. But in a specific statement, the FCO adds: "There is an increasing risk of British nationals being caught up in an attack." more..

Anomie of the Sinhala-Buddhists

Feb 8 (LG) Systems left unattended tend to rot internally. Those familiar with the basic truisms of science will recognize here a manifestation of that great law of nature whose intimidatory title - The Second law of Thermodynamics - makes ordinary folk wary of a close examination of its meaning. Perhaps its significance is best grasped by considering the unassailable facts about living systems. A living thing - in its most elementary form, a living cell - has to struggle incessantly to be alive. more..

On Relativity of Knowledge

Feb 8 (LG) I believe in the philosophy of relativity not only in western or any other Physics but with respect to knowledge in general. To me knowledge, whether in Physics or History, is created by people relative to their sense organs, culture and mind. This takes place in a Chinthanaya which itself is part of culture. However, though Chinthanaya is part of the culture it is also the thread that runs through all aspects of the latter. Thus I am not reducing knowledge to either culture or Chinthanaya. more..

Keheliya's statement on Maheswaran killing still not recorded

Feb 8 (LeN) Lawyer Mohammed Misba appearing for the interests of the victims of the killing of UNP MP Maheswaran said to the courts today (07) that Colombo Crime Division was not conducting the investigations properly. When the case was summoned before Colombo No: 03 Magistrate Ravindra Premarathna, the lawyer said that a proper investigation and the reporting to the court was a right of the citizens. more..

Japanese assistance to reconstruct tsunami affected schools

Feb 8 (RW) The Government of Japan has provided Rs. 343 million for the reconstruction of five Tsunami affected schools in Batticaloa and Ampara districts. The construction work has completed last year and the schools were officially opened for educational activities on 7th February 2008. A large number of schools along the coastal belt in Sri Lanka were damaged by the tsunami and the school activities of the children were disrupted. more..

Forces closing in on LTTE in Wanni, says Colombo

Feb 8 (Hindu) At least 40 cadres of the LTTE and eight soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) were killed in continued battles between the forces and the Tigers along the Forward Defence Lines (FDLs) in the north, the military said on Thursday. A statement by the Defence Ministry claimed that security forces in an “offensive operation to liberate Wanni” are advancing further towards the LTTE stronghold, inflicting heavy casualties. more..

The problems of school leavers

Feb 8 (LG) The school leavers’ problem is a central issue for educational planning, both because the destiny of school leavers is the key to identifying what we mean by a relevant education and also because school leavers without work have been regarded as a very grave problem to the State. The brute facts are that educational inflation in Sri Lanka has been rampant. Demand for further educational opportunities has rapidly increased, but more..

Five Mindfulness Training

Feb 8 (LG) The society is infested by violence etc. Moral degradation is alarming! The Buddhists are believed to observe Five Precepts. In spite of the fact that many people observe a religious teaching negative powers are gaining the planet. The great contemporary Buddhist philosopher and meditation master Thich Nhat Hanh has updated the old Five Precepts so that they would fit for the modern world and its needs. more..

Sri Lanka deploys undercover police to curb terror

Feb 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka is setting up public vigilance committees and deploying thousands of policemen in plain clothes to strengthen security after a series of terrorist bombings, a government spokesman said. The aim is to improve surveillance and intelligence through better public co-operation with the authorities, minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told a news conference. more..

Sri Lanka says Tamil rebels unleash `Mental War' on civilians

Feb. 8 (BN) Sri Lanka's rebel LTTE is unleashing a "mental war" on civilians through bomb attacks to mask its defeats in the north, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said. The LTTE has killed 73 civilians in the past month while 68 soldiers died in operations in the north, the last area held by the Tamil Tigers, Wickramanayake told Parliament. "When terrorists face severe setbacks militarily, they begin to attack innocent civilians mentally," the prime minister said, more..

Sri Lanka's military says 6 killed in latest clashes

Feb. 8 (AP) Sri Lanka's military said it destroyed six Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers during clashes that killed five guerrillas and one soldier, while a rights group warned that violence is escalating. Soldiers attacked the rebel bunkers in their northern front lines in Muhamalai and Nagarkovil villages on Thursday and the two sides exchanged gunfire for about a half-hour, a defense official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. more..

Dispute over reactivating CC continues

Feb 8 (SAMN) The dispute over the reactivation of the Constitutional Council (CC) heightened in Parliament Thursday, with the government expressing doubts about the legitimacy of minority party nominee, the former Auditor General S.C. Mayadunne, serving on the committee. Speaking during the debate on the Commissions of Inquiry (Amendment) Bill, Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said, according to the 17th Amendment, any person working under an official appointed by the CC could not serve on the council. more..

UNP condemns Govt. link with armed group

Feb 8 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP Thursday said the government had created world history by signing a MoU with an armed group for the purpose of contesting the Local Government elections in the East. UNP front-liner Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference that by signing the MoU with the TMVP – a breakaway faction of the LTTE -- the government had agreed to field a combined list for some local bodies in the province. more..

Paddy debate turns personal

Feb 8 (SAMN) A Parliamentary adjournment debate on the prevailing paddy crisis turned ugly and personal Thursday, with Agriculture Development Minister Maithripala Sirisena accusing JVP MP S.K.Subasinghe of obtaining ‘cash inducements’ from his brother Dudley Sirisena, a leading mill owner in Polonnaruwa, after the JVP MP launched a personal attack on him. Subasinghe charged that a few leading mill owners and some rice importers had monopolised the rice industry, more..

58 Wayamba undergrads arrested

Feb 8 (SAMN) Kuliyapitiya police Thursday arrested 58 students attached to the Wayamba University for not leaving the premises after being ordered to vacate the university two weeks ago. About 58 students who were illegally camped in the premises were taken into custody by a special police team attached to the Kuliyapitiya police. HQI Kuliyapitiya police, CI Premaratne Adikari, said minimum force had been used to arrest the revolting students who had smashed furniture in the cafeteria when the police arrived on the scene. more..

Executive faces garbage charge

Feb 8 (DM) A leading mobile phone company executive, who is alleged to have dumped garbage on a marshy land in the newly declared Green Zone near Parliament, was arrested by the Wild Life Department’s flying squad. He was caught while allegedly throwing a bag of garbage into the marshy land opposite the Central Environment Authority (CEA). He was produced in Court and released on Rs. 30,000 personal bail and also asked to be present in Court next week on Friday. more..

Devananda says ready to give up portfolio to take up IAC Chair

Feb 8 (DM) EPDP Leader and Social Services Minister, Douglas Devananda yesterday said he would consider it if an offer was made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to him to take up the post of Chairman of the Interim Advisory Council (IAC) to be set up in the North. Asked when he was going to tender his resignation from his ministerial portfolio, the EPDP leader told the Daily Mirror it would depend on the response of the President. more..

Schools flout Supreme Court directive on Grade 1 admissions

Feb 8 (Island) The Supreme Court directive to the Ministry of Education, on admission of children to Grade I, is being blatantly violated by several schools in many parts of the island, according to reports. Politics has once again reared its ugly head in the admission procedures thus depriving deserving children of their right to study and driving desperate parents from pillar to post in search of a school. more..

Speaker says voters should bear blame for wrong choices

Feb 8 (Island) Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara Wednesday said that if there been a decline in the parliamentary standards, the voters should be held responsible. Speaking at the launch of several books, a CD (Hiru Sandu Arana) and Beyond the Horizon poems) by Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s MP, at Waters Edge, Lokubandara asserted that the voters should exercise their franchise with responsibility. more..

Tamil Tigers cannot be crushed: Sri Lanka MP

Feb 8 (IANS) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas can never be vanquished militarily, a visiting Tamil MP has said, calling for an Indian role to bring peace to the island nation. M.K. Shivaji Lingam of the TNA also said that the escalating violence in the war-hit country was only adding to the unending human misery, principally among the Tamil community. 'It is impossible to crush or destroy the LTTE militarily,' Shivaji Lingam told IANS, more..

Jungle law in Sri Lankan Media

Feb 8 (SLW) Obtaining a broadcast licenses in Sri Lanka is like winning a lottery -- lots of aspirants but few who actually get it, usually through connections. Once in business, as I have explained in the article, every private broadcaster is acutely aware that their broadcast license can be suspended or revoked by the government at any time. As long as radio and TV channels provide entertainment and education, governments don't mind. more..

Theepan silent after air strike

Feb 8 (SLW) On the 30th of January, soldiers of the 53rd and 55th divisions of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) launched a pre emptive strike on LTTE FDL on Nagarkovil, Muhamalai and Kilali. More than 30 LTTE bunkers were destroyed in the fierce fighting that continued for some time. Just a few hours after the limited operation, the Air Force bombed an LTTE operations center south of Muhamalai. more..

Only Tamils can feel the pain...

Feb 8 (SLW) I kindly thank Major Keerthi Kottawatta for reading my article and replied it. Maybe you are the first and the only Sri Lankan solider who replied to criticism with pen. As far I know, from mine and other fellow Tamils' experiences, the answer always would a bullet or torture. As you said it, is waste of time accusing each other for the sordid events that had taken place in our history! But if your answer is based on facts I need not to reply to you. more..

Pasilan 2000 in Eelam War

Feb 8 (SLW) Our speculation about the LTTE’s production of Pasilan 2000 is that the LTTE imported Type 63 130mm MLRS (early version of 130mm Type 82) which is no longer used by PLA, and installed as single tubes on their tractors allowing for greater camouflage and conceal of the weapon and less chances of damage in a single air strike. The rocket has since then undergone some modifications. more..

Government Patronage to Islamism in Sri Lanka

Feb 8 (LG) Sri Lanka, earlier known as Ceylon is broadly divided between two major ethnic groups namely Sinhalese (74%) and Tamils. Religion wise composition of population is 70% Buddhists, 15% Hindus, 8% Muslims and 7% Christians. Of the 8% Muslims, 7% are Tamil speaking and popularly known as Moors. The remaining 1% of them is called Malays, who had immigrated to this island during Dutch and British rule from western countries. more..

Karuna: The Tragedy of a Rebel (Part II)

Feb 8 (LG) The Karuna rebellion took the LTTE, the Lankan state, the Norwegian peacemakers and the country by surprise. A bolt from the blue, it heralded the beginning of the end of Tiger’s summer. Until Col. Karuna rebelled the LTTE had things its own way, thanks to the appeasing nature of the third peace process. The anti-Tiger Tamils were on the run and the LTTE looked the only game in town when Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan did the unthinkable and more..

Sri Lanka govt says port project on track despite delays

Feb 8 (LBO) A multi-million dollar project to build a new container port in Colombo is on track despite lengthy delays, a Sri Lankan government minister has assured the island's shipping community. The government plans to build a new deep-water port next to Colombo, called the Colombo South Port, as well as build a new port in southern Hambantota, even closer to the shipping route which runs around the island's south coast. more..

IUSU finally remembers human rights

Feb 8 (LD) The JVP-backed Inter University Students Union (IUSU) is preparing to lodge a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (HRU) today (Feb. 08th) regarding a police crackdown on students of the Wayamba University, reports say. The campus remains closed since January 10th following a dispute between the administration and undergraduates over their hostel facilities. more..

Dr. Rama Mani leaves after govt. refused visa extension

Feb 8 (LD) After being embroiled in much controversy, Dr. Rama Mani, reportedly left the country with her son last night after the government turned down an appeal to extend her visa, which expired at midnight. The Indian national, also a French passport holder, was the Executive Director of the Colombo office of International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES). On February 01st, the Immigration and Emigration Department had reportedly informed Dr. Mani of the termination of her visa. more..

Govt purchasing paddy from PMB

Feb 8 (GDI) Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday told parliament that the Government is in the process of purchasing nadu paddy at Rs.20 and samba paddy at Rs.22 from February 20 through the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB). A new director board has been appointed to the PMB which had been defunct for the past few years, he said, dismissing allegations that inefficiency in purchasing paddy from the local farmers' had denied them a good price. more..

Tea exports pass US$ 1b landmark in 2007

Feb 8 (GDI) The tea export trade has recorded a landmark achievement, exceeding the US $ 1 billion value barrier in 2007. This is a record in the 140 year history of the story of tea in the island, said Lalith Hettiarachchi, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tea Board. The value of tea exports in 2007 recorded a 22 per cent increase over the 2006 figure by advancing from Rs. 91.7 billion to Rs. 112 billion which is a remarkable improvement, he elaborated. more..

Sinhala woman brought the bomb that exploded in Dambulla

Feb 8 (GDI) A 48 year old Sinhala woman who had brought the bomb which exploded in a private bus at Dambulla on Saturday (02) was arrested by Dambulla police. She has been identified as P.G Hemalatha, a resident of Killinochchi who had born in Kengalla, Kandy. She had left Kandy to Killinochchi at the age of 14. Her mother who was accompanying her and traveling in the same bus was also undergoing treatment for burn injuries at the Kurunegala Hospital. more..

Civil Supervisory Committee to buttress public security

Feb 8 (GDI) Power and Energy Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing, said that a new Civil Supervisory Committee will be established to boost efforts to maintain public security in the face of an increased threat of terrorist attacks by the LTTE. He said public vigilance in matters pertaining to civil security was of paramount importance, as evidenced by some past incidents, where grave and more..

Agriculture Ministry promotes household food production

Feb 8 (GDI) The Agriculture Development Ministry has launched a series of programmes to promote the cultivating habit among the public, said the Deputy Agriculture Development Minister Siripala Gamlath. Accordingly the ministry has taken steps to educate every householder on the importance of growing inter crops in their lands. This would boost the country's efforts to become self-sufficient in food, the Deputy Minister said. more..

Opening swashbucklers experience change of pace

Feb 8 (CI) Two of the batsmen the SCG crowd was desperate to see put in unusual performances as they faced off for one of the last times. The left-handed gunfight between Adam Gilchrist and Sanath Jayasuriya did not explode as the conditions were not ideal for the flashy strokeplay that has been a feature of the stunning openers' careers. Jayasuriya's only chance of returning to Sydney as a player is if Sri Lanka make the final and more..

Do not be misled by rumours, says minister

Feb 8 (DN) Some politically backed betrayers of the country are carrying out false propaganda to create panic and tension among people and block development in the North and the South but the people should follow the right path, Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development Minister S.M.Chandrasena said. Addressing the media, Chandrasena said there were rumours recently in the Anuradhapura district that LTTE cadres were roaming, particularly more..