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Strike forces minister, state workers, to boost productivity

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's postal minister, one of a coterie of 108 ministers in the island, said he had personally got the postal service moving during a one-day token strike, while the head of an over-staffed state enterprise wished for strikes every day. "When I came to the central mail exchange it was not operating because people who had come to work were also standing about not working," post minister Mahinda Wijesekera said. more..

July 1983: Resident Evil

July 11 (LG) For 1971 Eliot was right -- April was the cruelest month—but wrong for 1983. In ’83, it was July. The week 23-29 was the cruelest week of that cruelest month, and perhaps Friday the 29th was the cruelest day, certainly on the streets. Prof. Carlo Fonseka may recall Charles Abeysekara and me turning up and talking to him and Vijaya Kumaratunga, hoping to take him to refugee camps to medically minister, which would prove impossible at that moment with the mobs marching down their very road. more..

50 Computers for Jaffna students

July 11 (LG) Security Forces Head Quarters (Jaffna) collaborating with Nestle Lanka Ltd and Sri Lanka Rebuild Organization donated 50 computers among the schools in Jaffna peninsula on last Monday, July 07. The computers were officially handed over to the principles of the respective schools in a function held at the Union school in Thelippale under the patronage of Maj Gen G.A Chandrasiri, Commander of SFHQ(Jaffna). more..

Kalaignar Karunanidhi! Awake! Arise! Perform a historic duty!

July 11 (LG) LTTE political Wing leader P.Nadesan has put forward an acid test to ascertain whether Dr.Karunanidhi is an ordinary politician, who leads a state, or whether he is a revered leader of the Tamils all over the world. Yes! Nadesan has made an appeal to Dr.Karunanidhi, Tamilnadu Chief Minister, to rally the support of all political parties in Tamilnadu and extend his solidarity with the freedom struggle of the Tamil people. more..

Alleviate sufferings to win Tamils' hearts!

July 11 (LG) As a result of the ongoing war, people are under pressure and anxiety. People express their anxiety and worry that problems are increasing in the north, the theater of war. People are displaced, as result of the heavy shelling. On the other hand, the closing of roads and the resultant crippling of the transport have affected the people badly. People are pleased since the Omanthai check point which was closed for one week was reopened and people are allowed to travel. more..

Sri Lanka Born Indians

July 11 (LG) S.Thambyrajah in a letter on “India Duty Bound to Intervene” quotes a letter drafted by Jawarharlal Nehru during his visit to Ceylon in 1939 that had included two clauses to achieve ‘Puma Swaraj’ for India and Ceylon. Nehru also had included a clause to safe guard the interests of the Indians in Ceylon. He also quotes a letter in his possession written to Prime Minister Nehru on May 20th 1959 by V. Arunachala Thevar and A. Pudukottai suggesting more..

Attracting expatriates to invest in Sri Lanka

July 11 (LG) With the world economy in turmoil, Sri Lanka is suffering the ripple effect of the oil price hikes that affect every aspect of life. On the one hand, the economy is drained by war. The lack of funds for infrastructure investment is also an outcome of corruption that continues unabated. The government appears to be focused on ending the war but is there any focus on what we plan do when the war ends? more..

The predicament of a Defence Secretary

July 11 (LG) There is no question of doves and hawks in Sri Lanka’s bloody ethnic troubles. The world of media sees every Tamil as anti-Sinhala and every Sinhala, anti-Tamil and reports constantly indicate in the words of Rudyard Kipling that never the twain will meet. The extreme solution demanded as paraded by the insensitive media is that the Sinhalese want the Tamils out of Sri Lanka and the Tamils want a separate state all of themselves. more..

Heroic sailor who saved lives of two children bids adieu

July 11 (LG) Leading Patrolman RMSK Chandrasiri (XP 27665) bade adieu to the nation yesterday (09th July 2008) amidst a large number of grateful mourners who had gathered to pay their last respects to a brave naval hero who sacrificed his life while performing the heroic deed of rescuing five children from drowning in the sea off Preethipura, Uswetakeiyyawa, Hendala on the 05th July 2008. more..

British spawned today’s Sri-Lanka ethnic- conflict

July 11 (LG) Many Sri-Lankans of this generation are of the view that the present communal conflict in the island is due to former prime-minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike passing the Sinhala Only Bill in parliament in 1958 depriving the Tamils of the favoured status they enjoyed when the British ruled. Still others think that the ethnic conflict aggravated after Mr.S.J.V Chelvanayagam after forming the Federal Party and more..

LTTE: Freeing Nalini will ratify Tamil cause

July 11 (LG) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has said that early release of Rajiv Gandhi's killer Nalini Murugan will be seen as ratification of the Tamil cause by the Indian government. Speaking exclusively to Dhanya Rajendran from an undisclosed location, LTTE's political chief B Nadesan said that such a step will be a strong indication that the Indian government has recognised and ratified the Tamil cause. more..

Sri Lanka western province economic dominance slips

July 11 (LBO) The dominance of Sri Lanka's Western province which housed the capital Colombo, in the country's economic activity has fallen below 50 percent in 2007, the island's central bank said. Using gross domestic product (GDP) data compiled by the government's statistics office, Sri Lanka's central bank said the share of Western province in the country's GDP has fallen to 48.4 percent from 50.1 percent in 2006. more..

Sri Lanka shippers say handling charge dispute still unresolved

July 11 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council (SLSC) says their dispute with foreign shipping lines over a handling charge at Colombo port remains unresolved despite repeated protests and court action. The council, an apex body representing the island's exporters and importers, has waged a long campaign against the terminal handling charge (THC) imposed by lines for moving cargo through Colombo port. more..

Japan funds nearly two million dollars on a North East livelihood project

July 11 (AT) A massive rural empowerment and sustainable livelihood programme among the conflict affected people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces is organized by UNIDO and the Ministry of Industrial Development. The funding for this empowerment programme is by the Japanese Government and the value of the funding would be US $ 1.732 million and the apportionment would in the proportion of 2/3rds for the Eastern Province and 1/3rd for the Northern Province. more..

Chief Minister of the Eastern Province: Sivanesathurai Chanthirakanthan

July 11 (AT) When forcefully recruited as a child soldier, by the LTTE at the tender age of 14, Sivanesathurai Chanthirakanthan alias Pillayan, never had the assistance of previous Governments, I/NGOs or International Organizations to set him free from a world of bloody violence and gruesome death, to take him back to his family, back to a civilized society to gain an education and lead a normal life. more..

More actions against the Government envisaged - Ramalingham Chandraseger MP

July 11 (AT) Ramalingham Chandraseger, claimed that the token strike that was organized yesterday by the Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna was a great success and said that in the near future they are planning further trade union action to bring the government led by President Mahinda Rajapakse to its knees. He said more political actions against the government are envisaged in the future. more..

Cakes and shakes at Hilton Colombo

July 11 (AT) On a promotional drive of cakes and shakes, Hilton Colombo has set aside the month of July for people with a sweet tooth, where Hilton invites sweet lovers to come and taste a delicious array of cakes and shakes available at the Cakes and Shakes at the Thorana Lounge from the 1st to the 31st of July. The scrumptious delights on offer are made by an award winning team of pastry chefs from Hilton. more..

JVP-UNP-TNA strike was unsuccessful says the government

July 11 (AT) Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that the Thursday‘s strike was unsuccessful and it shows utter failure of the JVP and the UNP. Addressing a press conference held in Colombo on Thursday, he said government is ready to face any type of challenges in future. He said government did not block the Thursday’s strike and not appealed to the masses not to attend the strike. “Entire transport sector and other essential services were normal, he said. more..

Army deployed for public services

July 11 (LD) Functions of many state institutions were disrupted as a result of the one-day token strike called by the National Trade Unions Centre and supported by several other trade unions. Reports said that certain services were carried out by using force on workers, while security forces personnel were seen carrying out services in the health sector. At the Colombo National Hospital, soldiers were seen doing patient registration. more..

As security threat spreads, settlement chances fade

July 11 (LG) ‘Time for a rethink’ is the headline of a recent Far Eastern Economic Review report on the Tamil situation written by that journal’s South and West Asian specialist writer, Salamat Ali. This well known Pakistan-born journalist, now based in Delhi, visited Jaffna soon after the violent disturbances which accompanied the May 18 local polls. While it is indeed time for a rethink, the re-thinking can take different forms. more..

India's fore-taste of Sri Lanka's Israel style warlike action on its TN fishermen

July 11 (LG) Israel invaded Gaza and South Lebanon in 2006; waged a savage war over a couple of Israeli privates taken into custody by Hamas/Hezbolleh in Israel’s front lines. Big powers and UN involvement internationalized the issue. In stark contrast Sri Lanka (SL) took captives over 1000 Indian (Tamil) fishermen and 250 fishing boats in Indian waters. Except for protests in TN not a whimper from Delhi a nation aspiring for a more..

Importance of resuming peace talks!

July 11 (LG) It has been stressed consistently that resolution of the nation's ethnic problem should be found in a peaceful manner but no one responds to this request favourably. Tit for tat attacks and unrealistic preconditions have shattered the hopes for peace and there are war clouds hovering over the Country. The war continues and normalcy is crippled. People have to face difficulties and the economy is badly affected. more..

'Apparel South Asia Conference' to be held in November

July 11 (GDI) Sri Lanka will host the first ever Apparel South Asia Conference on the 5th and 6th of November in Colombo, foreign news agencies reported on Thursday (10). The Conference, held under the theme "Beyond 2010 – Challenges and Opportunities", was initiated by the Sri Lanka Apparel Institute with the collaboration with the Apparel Industry in Sri Lanka as well as the support of the Joint Apparel Association Forum. more..

Provincial Council Polls

July 11 (LG) The Commissioner of Election has announced the dates for polls of North Central and Sabragamuwa Provincial Councils and the candidates of political parties and independent groups have begun the election campaign. An election must ensure the people's right to cast their votes to elect their representatives in a democratic manner. Sri Lanka has faced several elections since independence. more..

Christians bear brunt of violence in Sri Lanka

July 11 (MNN) Voice of the Martyrs' Canada reports more violence against Christians in Sri Lanka. The faithfulness of believers in the face of opposition is evident in that there has been a significant growth of evangelical Christianity since 1980. Local monks, threatened by the loss of power and the growth of the church, have been stirring up increased opposition with militant Buddhists. Many churches have been burned, and Christians have been beaten and stabbed. more..

President to visit India tonight

July 11 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is due to leave for India tonight (July 10th) on a special official visit, said sources at Temple Trees, adding that the objective of the tour is unclear. President Rajapaksa is paying the visit at the invitation of Indian premier Manmohan Singh. The two are scheduled to meet for talks at 10.00 am tomorrow, the sources said. The visit comes in the wake of an unannounced tour of Colombo by three top-level officials from New Delhi. more..

Strikers claim success

July 11 (BBC) The government say a strike called by Sri Lanka's government workers for better pay has met with a lukewarm response. But the main trade union leaders claim the strike was 70% successful. BBC Correspondent in Colombo say, the workers' threat to "cripple state services" seems to have had little impact with railways and hospitals functioning normally. The strike comes at a time when the price of consumer goods has risen by almost 30% in the last year, leading to very high inflation. more..

Sri Lanka cricket board resolves contract row

July 11 (TOI) The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Thursday 'amicably resolved' the issue of players' contract that has remained a dispute since March this year. "We are pleased to announce that the annual contracts for the year 2008-09 have been finalised amicably and would be signed by the players by mid of next week," the Sri Lankan Cricketers Association (SLCA), which looks after the interests of the players, said in a statement on Thursday. more..

Govt., unions both claim victory

July 11 (SAMN) Both the government and trade unions claimed success in Thursday’s general strike with Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva claiming the strike was a total flop and the strike’s prime mover, NTUC leader and JVP parliamentarian K.D.Lalkantha claiming a 70% success. Attendance at state institutions was reported to be around the normal 80% Thursday, Minister de Silva said charging that the general strike was a conspiracy hatched by the UNP, JVP and the LTTE against the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to scuttle its war effort. more..

Your debt Rupees 162,000: Dayasiri

July 11 (SAMN) The UNP Thursday charged that each Sri Lankan is indebted to the tune of Rs. 162,000 due to the economic blunders of the government. UNP Kurunegala parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara told Parliament the per capita debt had risen to such levels today, entrapping the country in a vicious circle. He said the government was wasting public funds according to its whims and fancies, despite severe hardships burdened on the people. more..

Lalkantha calls for Dallas’ resignation

July 11 (SAMN) JVP trade union wing leader MP K. D. Lalkantha Thursday called on Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma to resign from his ministerial portfolio to settle a bet. The Transport Minister had wagered his portfolio on the challenge that not a single CTB bus crew would join the strike. "So, now it is up to Minister Alahapperuma to resign from his portfolio since he could not stop us taking out more bus crews than he said," MP Lalkantha said. more..

CBK fires letter to Mahinda

July 11 (SAMN) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has again accused President Mahinda Rakapaksa of sidelining her after the last presidential election. In a strongly worded letter addressed to the President, the former SLFP leader has severely criticised the President for rejecting her nominee Ranjith Rupasinghe for the post of the Attanagalle organiser. Kumaratunga has claimed that the President’s choice Sarana Gunawardene shouldn’t have been appointed as the SLFP organiser for Attanagalle. more..

Sri Lankan envoy arrives in Doha to take charge

July 11 (TP) The new Sri Lankan ambassador to Qatar, Vijayasiri Padukkage, arrived yesterday to take up his assignment here. Padukkage is a career diplomat who has served in his country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director-General In-Charge of UN and Multilateral Affairs. In the course of his career, he has served in Stockholm, Katmandu and New York in various capacities. more..

President lauds working class for thwarting strike

July 11 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa lauded and thanked the working class for their cooperation in thwarting the strike organised by reactionary indigenous and alien conspirators, at a decisive moment for the Motherland. Presiding at a meeting with representatives of the North-Central and Sabaragamuwa Province Chambers of Commerce at Temple Trees yesterday, President Rajapaksa categorically pointed out that irrespective of the party in power the country should first survive to implement its policies. more..

Wild elephant population rising

July 11 (DN) Sri Lanka’s wild elephant population has shown a marked increase over the last 10 years. Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said that there were 1,099 elephants in the North Western Province in 1993 and the number has increased to twice as many in 2004. The minister said, “there are 450 elephants in Udawalawe National Park and there are an estimated 1,500 elephants living outside the Wilpattu National Park as result of terrorist activities that take place in the Park,” he said. more..

JVP opposes Indian troops providing security for SAARC summit

July 11 (Island) The JVP on Wednesday registered its opposition against deploying Indian forces for the security of Indian participants in the forthcoming SAARC meeting in Sri Lanka. "India has an inferiority complex against our troops because her army suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the LTTE but our troops had proven far better by almost sweeping off the LTTE. They want to look down on our troops because of this. That is the plan behind their proposal to bring Indian forces for their security," more..

Lal Kantha claims strike a success, but admits failure to mobilize more

July 11 (Island) JVP trade union leader MP K. D. Lal Kantha claimed yesterday’s token strike was a success but in the same breath admitted that they failed to muster the entire work force into the agitation. "The token strike was successful in our view. We earlier said that public, private and estate sectors would participate but at the last moment we decided to limit private sector participation only to a demonstration level. We think around 70 per cent of the public sector and a large number of estate sector workers were on strike," more..

Probe into use of outdated plasma at the National Hospital

July 11 (DM) A special probe was on, after the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) found a stock of expired plasma at the National Hospital Colombo yesterday. The CIABOC initiated an inquiry soon after it received an anonymous complaint on Wednesday evening about a stock of expired plasma kept for the use at the National Hospital. They had found over 100 containers of plasma stored in the hospital whose labels indicated the expiry date as March 31. more..

List of errant policemen being compiled: UNP

July 11 (DM) The main opposition UNP yesterday said a list of errant police officers will be compiled to take appropriate legal action against them locally and internationally, to press them into performing their official duties according to the law. Addressing the media in Colombo, General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayaka said there has been a concerted effort by certain interested parties to tarnish his image and destroy him politically. more..

Malinga, Maharoof are back

July 11 (TS) Sri Lanka's cricket selectors yesterday included pacemen Lasith Malinga and Farveez Maharoof in a 30-man preliminary squad for the ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan in September. Malinga (knee) and Maharoof (side) were unfit for the recent Asia Cup, won by their team in Karachi on Sunday. Malinga has played 53 one-day internationals and bagged 79 wickets, including four off successive balls in a World Cup match against South Africa in the Caribbean last year. more..

LTTE says ready for ceasefire and peace talks

July 11 (PTI) Facing a concerted military offensive by the Sri Lankan army in its stronghold of Jaffna peninsula, the LTTE on Thursday expressed readiness for ceasefire and peace talks with the island government. LTTE's political wing chief, V Nadesan, said that the group was ready for a ceasefire now, while accusing the Sri Lankan government of "abrogating" the six-year-long ceasefire which came to an end early this year. more..

To The Directors and Staff, HRW

July 12 (LG) If I were you, I would have a sleuth hanging around your office coffee urn and the water cooler to see whether anyone is spiking your coffee and water with an anti-Sri Lanka drug, or else you all wont come up with such questionable rubbish on Sri Lanka’s human rights and lambasting the Sri Lankan government. Beyond my asking you, what the heck did you all smoke before you came to office this morning, I smell a “We Gotch Ya! Sri Lanka” rat among you lot, and a damn putrid one too. more..

Bastardisation of the Tamil struggle

July 12 (LG) The Sri Lanka Guardian published a response to my write up titled ‘Bruce Fein! Open both your eyes widely’ datelined 10 July 2008. The response was from a US based ‘Tamils for Justice’ (T4J) organisation without naming the author responsible for the write up. The writer had taken exception that I had attempted to scandalise their organisation by charging that there was no email directed to me from any of their sources as I have quoted in my write up. more..

The Rise and fall of the "Ceylonese" or "Sri-Lankan" Identity"

July 12 (LG) Please permit me to make some comments on the recent article on the "Sri Lankan Identity" by R. M. B. Senanayake , continuing a discussion in a previous article by Anne Abeysekera. Both these articles, written by authors who are familiar with the English-educated Sinhalese point of view, deal very inadequately with the issues of Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka and in earst-while Ceylon. more..

Tiger Cannibalism

July 12 (LG) At least 4 civilians were killed and 25 others reported wounded when LTTE terrorists opened fire at a passenger bus plying from Monaragala towards Kataragama, at the 49th mile post along the Buttala-Kataragama main road, Friday (July 11), at around 10:15 a.m., Ministry of Defence said in a statement. The injured civilians were initially rushed to the hospital at Kataragama and later 19 of them were transferred to the General hospital in Hambantota, the Kataragama hospital sources said. more..

A degrading act of India!

July 12 (LG) It appears that India has displayed an irresponsible attitude of trying to fish in troubled waters. New Delhi dispatched three member high power delegation only recently in a secret manner, over which the Tamil side was overjoyed hoping for the best. They anticipated that India was making moves in the interests of the Lankan Tamils, who suffer immensely due to the on going war. more..

New Delhi demands "Pottu Amman"

July 12 (LG) India has begun to poke its nose into the internal affairs of Sri Lanka, once again, since the failure it faced following its military intervention in the 90's. India has been keen through out on interfering in the affairs of Sri Lanka and ensuring its geographical and political interests. Whether it was in the late 80's or whether it is now, the foremost objective of the Indian diplomacy has not been to ensure and preserve peace in Sri Lanka or in the Indian region. more..

Kalmunai Police Inspector Suicide linked to killing of 3 Sinhalese businessmen shot dead in Kalmunai

July 12 (LG) The suicide of OIC W.C. Wijetilake in Kalmunai this morning at approximately 05.45 hours is directly linked to the murders of 3 Sinhalese businessman identified as Indika Jayasekara, 22, Wasantha Premakumara, 24, and Asanka Namal, 22 in Kalmunai. There is credible evidence that OIC W.C.Wijetilake was reprimanded by Kalmunai SSP for not providing adequate protection for the Sinhalese businessman, who were visiting Kalmunai. more..

Twenty five years of conflict

July 12 (LG) Sri Lanka will shortly enter twenty five years of conflict between the LTTE and the government. This raises the question of what have the LTTE achieved for the Tamils? They have lost the East and elections have been held there recently. It is clear they have never represented the interest of the Tamils. It is for LTTE’s own self-interest that this conflict has gone on and the Tamils have been in travail and have lived under threat and intimidation. more..

The war is winnable: Lankan troops gaining impressive ground

July 12 (LG) Sri Lankan Armed Forces have launched a multi prong military operation in Vanni. Few months ago some military analysts expressed the view at media briefings that although Sri Lankan forces had engaged in a prolonged battle with the LTTE in Madu area, for a period over 8 months, they will not be able to advance any further due to fierce resistance from LTTE. Thereafter, these military gurus posed the question as to whether it could be possible for the forces to sustain the offensive against the LTTE. more..