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Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka Ambassador designate reports at Washington DC

July 14 (AT) Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador designate to United States reported at his working station in Washington DC, yesterday. The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC held a religious ceremony to welcome the newly arrived Ambassador designate, Jaliya Wickramasuriya on Saturday, July 12, 2008 at the Embassy premises. Wickramasuriya is the 15th Ambassador to represent the Government of Sri Lanka in Washington DC since its independence in 1948. more..

Export promotion by Sri Lanka in Palestine

July 14 (AT) Dr. T. Jayasinghe, Representative of Sri Lanka in Palestine completed an intensive trade promotion campaign in the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus and Hebron. During his campaign he met the heads of Trade Chambers, and a number of Hoteliers, Tour Agents, tea importers and political figures. He was assisted by an export manager of a leading firm in Sri Lanka who explained to the parties concerned about the trade opportunities more..

Pro-Opposition party members join with the SLFP

July 14 (AT) After the dawning of the provincial election fever, a number of pro-opposition party members are gradually coming forward to support the government and said they would extend their support to Sri Lanka Freedom Party in the forthcoming provincial council elections. Speaking to media they said the UNP has presented candidates for the election who are neither aware about the problems of the people in the province nor themselves. more..

Sri Lanka Navy denies the shooting of two fishermen from Nagapattinam

July 14 (AT) Sri Lanka Navy has denied of any involvement in the killing of two fishermen - Vasakan and Narayanasamy and seriously injuring Murali from Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu. Reports revealed that those three fishermen from Nagapattinam were out on a boat in the sea on Sunday and was shot. Indian reports alleged that Indian fishermen were killed by Sri Lanka Navy. more..

Importance of the Utilitarian Theory in Evaluating Public Policy

July 14 (AT) As Sri Lanka is poised for progressive changes in its political, economic and social landscape, it is relevant to ask the question: on what basis this change should be engineered or evaluated? The answer given in this article is the 'greatest happiness of the greatest number,' however 'cutting across gender, ethnicity, language, caste or religion.' more..

TMVP nominates Sivageetha for APRC

July 14 (GDI) The Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) has nominated the Mayor of Batticaloa Sivageetha Prabhakaran to represent the party at the All Party Representative Committee set up to discuss issues pertaining to the resolution of the conflict in the North and East. The APRC is to meet next week after a long hiatus, according Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Tissa Vitharana. more..

Sinhala students join SE campus

July 14 (BBC) Education authorities say that there has been a unprecedented interest among the Sinhala students to study in the South Eastern University in Oluvil. Forty percent of the students given admission by the South East University for the 2008/2009 academic year are Sinhala nationals. Vice Chancellor Dr. Husain Ismail told BBC Sandeshaya that this is the first time Sinhala students were given admission since it was established in 1995. more..

Splurge on SAARC meet irks Lankans

July 14 (HT) The coming 15th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit to be held in Colombo later this month has run into several controversies. Questions are being raised in the Sri Lankan parliament about the expenditure involved in holding the summit put at approximately Rs 3 billion (One Indian rupee is equal to Rs 2.70 SLR) and the money that the government has spent to buy bullet-proof luxury cars to be used during the eight-day summit, beginning July 27. more..

False information in list of Alliance candidates for Sabaragamuwa

July 14 (LT) There is an allegation that false information has been entered in the list of candidates of the UPFA presented from Ratnapura district for the Sabaragamuwa PC election. Shirani Chandrika Hettiarachchi's name is placed under number 26 of the candidates list of UPFA for Ratnapura District. She has mentioned 571931270V as the number of her identity card. This is a number of an identity card issued for males. more..

Sri Lanka gets Canadian support for disaster planning

July 14 (LBO) Canada has given Sri Lanka support to train officials from government and non-governmental organisations in responding to natural disasters like the 2004 Indian Ocean which devastated parts of its coastline. High Commissioner for Canada, Angela J. Bogdan, said the devastating impact of the tsunami and other natural disasters in many countries has reinforced the need for better planning and preparation for major natural disasters. more..

Sri Lanka busts fertilizer subsidy budget in five months

July 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka has spent almost a year's allocation for a populist fertilizer subsidy in just five months, the finance ministry said in a report, indicating that more than 30 billion rupees would be needed to maintain it till the year end. Up to May 2008 Sri Lanka has spent 14.9 billion rupees (138 million US dollars) on fertilizer subsidies, "utilizing almost the full year allocation, leading to an extra pressure on the budget," more..

'Breakthrough' in malaria fight

July 14 (BBC) Australian scientists have identified a potential treatment to combat malaria. Researchers in Melbourne believe their discovery could be a major breakthrough in the fight against the disease. The malaria parasite produces a glue-like substance which makes the cells it infects sticky, so they cannot be flushed through the body. The researchers have shown removing a protein responsible for the glue can destroy its stickiness, and undermine the parasite's defence. more..

Karuna restored as TMVP leader

July 14 (LD) The politburo of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) has unanimously agreed to reinstate Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman as their leader. Following a discreet meeting with Karuna Amman in Colombo on July 12th, Chief Minister of the East Provincial Council, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan has agreed to hand over the party reins to its former leader. more..

Hospital staffs protest against circular

July 14 (LD) Urging the government to nullify the circular that demanded reason within three days from hospital staff who struck work on July 10th, protests were held in several hospitals this noon (July 14th). Staff of Colombo National Hospital, Kalubowila Hospital, Kalutara-Nagoda Hospital, as well as leading hospitals in Badulla, Karapitiya, Hambantota, Moneragala, Dambulla, Peradeniya, Kurunegala and Ragama protested today. more..

Vehicle Emission tests from tomorrow (15)

July 14 (GDI) Two centers set up in Kiribathgoda and Miriswatta, Gampaha to test vehicle emission under the 'Haritha Riya' programme will commence operation from tomorrow (15), a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport told Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport has embarked on this new programme to preserve and protect the environment by implementing a vibrant law enforcement body backed by a national policy to ensure a safer environment. more..

Anaconda gives birth to 20 'babies' in Sri Lanka

July 14 (GDI) A green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) which was brought to Sri Lanka some five years ago along with a male of the species, has given birth to 20 baby anacondas in the Dehiwala Zoo, officials said. According to the Director of the Dehiwela National Zoological Gardens, Duminda Jayaratne, the mother anaconda had given birth to 23 baby anacondas Friday and of them 20 had survived. "Both the mother and the baby anacondas are in good health," he said. more..

Elephant census in August

July 14 (GDI) Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Patali Champika Ranawaka said that initial studies indicate that there has been an increase in the elephant population in Sri Lanka over the last decade and announced that a new census of elephants will be carried out in August this year. According to the census taken on elephants in 1993, it was recorded that there were 1099 elephants in the North Western Province. more..

Sri Lankan British High Commission boasts eco-cooling technologies

July 14 (BC) British contractor Gibs has constructed a £10m British High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which features green cooling technologies. These include the use of natural ventilation provided by the construction of high level chimneys running the full length of each wing of the building. When external doors are opened the air conditioning will be automatically switched off, and chimney vents opened to allow the through-flow of cool air. more..

Take up fishermen issue with PM: PMK tells TN CM

July 14 (PTI) PMK on Monday demanded that Chief Minister M Karunanidhi meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and ask them to take up with the Sri Lankan government the frequent attacks on Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy. The Chief Minister should urge the Centre to issue a statement,condemning the attacks on fishermen, PMK leader S Ramadoss told reporters here yesterday. more..

Civil Protection Committee in Batti

July 14 (SAMN) A 48-member Civil Protection Committee (CPC) with a mission to implement projects that nuture goodwill between local citizens and the Police was formed for the Maanmunai North District Secretariat division in Batticaloa Sunday. According to CPC members, the committee, spearheaded by Batticaloa Suprintendent of Police Priyantha Weerasooriya, will also serve as mechanism to allow local citizenry to register complaints against the Police. more..

'Forest fire an act of terrorism'

July 14 (SAMN) Setting forest reserve on fire is an act of terrorism, which has to be dealt with just like the Northern terrorism, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Patali Champika Ranawaka said in Kandy Sunday. He said so answering a question raised by journalists at a press conference on the forest fire which cut a swathe through the Knuckles forest reserve last week. more..

Non-Cabinet ministers up by one

July 14 (SAMN) The newly appointed Non-Cabinet Housing minister Geethanjana Gunawardene will assume duties today (14). Gunawardene last week quit the post of Deputy Speaker after his brother Dinesh Gunawardene had received the appointment as the Chief Government Whip. Gunawardene said that he had quit the Deputy Speaker’s post on ethical grounds. Meanwhile, the JVP has questioned the appointment of another non-Cabinet Minister. more..

EPC members to receive permits

July 14 (SAMN) The newly elected 31 members of the Eastern Provincial Council are to receive duty free vehicle permits soon, according to Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Janaka Bandara Tennekoon. Minister Tennekoon said that the cabinet paper to this effect would be presented soon. He said that there had been continuous requests from the provincial councillors for duty free permits to import a vehicle to carry out their duties in the area. more..

Permanent houses in 10 cities under 'Slum free city' programme

July 14 (DN) Plans are afoot to construct permanent housing units in place of slums in 10 cities selected from districts at a cost of Rs. 100 million under the "Slum free city' poogramme functioning under the Nagarika Dilindu Niwasa Arunodaya project of Urban the Development and Sacred Area Development Ministry aiming at the livelihood improvement and sustainable urban development. more..

Treat people with equality and dignity, Social Services Minister tells graduates

July 14 (DN) Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare Douglas Devananda said the National Institute of Social Development (NISD) which came under the purview of his Ministry has reached a milestone as the pioneer institution of higher learning engaged in social work education in Sri Lanka. The Minister was speaking as Chief Guest at the ceremony conferring the Bachelor of Social Work degrees on 18 graduands who completed the degree programme conducted by the NISD, more..

Organiser of unauthorised medical exhibition arrested

July 14 (Island) The police are investigating an allegation that the Colombo Medical Faculty released nearly 200 medical exhibits to a private party to hold an exhibition. Medical sources said the transaction had come to light after the Chilaw police took into custody the main suspect who initially insisted on his right to go ahead with the exhibition. Acting on a complaint lodged by health authorities, Police arrested the suspect. more..

School boy involved in abduction of teacher

July 14 (Island) Acting swiftly on a complaint, the Kandy police rescued a 24-year-old teacher abducted by a group of men using a white van on Friday afternoon. The police located the house where the gang had held her on Saturday, an investigator said. According to him, the gang had captured her as she was on her way to the Kandy bus stand and bundled her into their vehicle. Police identified two persons arrested in connection with the abduction more..

TU leaders meet today to plan next step

July 14 (DM) The National Trade Union Alliance (NTUA) will meet trade union leaders today to discuss the future course of action to be adopted by trade unions against government threats and harassment of employees who struck work last Thursday. NTUA convener and JVP parliamentarian K.D. Lalkantha vowed there would be more concerted trade union action with the participation of public, private, semi-government and estate sector participation in an effort to win the demands of the employees. more..

No clues about Anarkali: Police

July 14 (DM) Wellawatte police said no clues could be found on the whereabouts of actress Anarkali Akarsha who had lodged a complaint claiming that an alleged attempt was made under the influence of Western Provincial Councillor, Duminda Silva to abduct her. Disclosing the development with regard to the preliminary inquiry into a complaint made by Janitha Anarkali alias Anarkali Akarsha Jayathilake to the Kollupitiya police, more..

Security forces stop issuing travel permits to leave Jaffna

July 14 (GV) Security forces stop issue travel permit to leave jaffna for the security of SAARC conference. Normally if anybody wish to leave Jaffna they must be taken permission from the forces. The security forces stop issue travel permit to end of this month, the reason of SAARC conference security. They issue travel permit only urgent cases like funneral, treatment, wedding and interview. more..

On dimensions of ‘lyricality’ in times of war

July 14 (GV) Aboorvan Prabanjana takes great pains to drive home a point in a piece titled “Why does Malinda justify excesses of Government?” (Sunday Lakbima News, July 6, 2008). For the record, Malinda doesn’t. But all credit to Prabanjana’s effort. That he doesn’t get it is of course another matter altogether. He says he agrees with me and also disagrees and bases his agreement/disagreement not on what I have said but what he believes I have said. more..

Sri Lanka weekend fighting kills scores

July 14 (Reuters) Sri Lankan troops have advanced into Tamil Tiger rebel-held areas in the far north as weekend fighting killed 62 rebels and one government soldier, the military said on Monday. The fighting in several northern districts came amidst near daily land, sea and air attacks, as the government pursues a strategy to gradually retake the LTTE northern stronghold and win the 25-year old civil war. more..

Sri Lankan tour status to be known on Wednesday

July 15 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will inform its top cricketers on Wednesday about the status of their England tour next year, Graeme Labrooy, the secretary of the Sri Lanka Cricketers' Association (SLCA), said. The series clashes with the Indian Premier League for which 13 of them have signed three-year contracts. Labrooy told Cricinfo that two options are being actively explored to find a solution but the "bottomline is that players will be allowed to play in IPL". more..

Linking JVP with the LTTE, is it gullible?

July 15 (LG) Minister Eheliya Rambukewella, the government defence spokesman has made a statement that the JVP launched a general strike in order to support the LTTE. The government, which is committed to a military solution, has to rely on the war as an excuse for all lapses and omissions. Being disturbed over the general strike launched by the JVP for the welfare of the people, particularly of the workers, the government cites the war as an excuse to dissuade them from supporting strike. more..

British proscription law of the LTTE proves to be a naked king’s story

July 15 (LG) The LTTE activists lead by the British Tamil Forum showed two fingers to the British Terrorism Law which proscribed the LTTE as a terrorist outfit. Subsequent amendment to the Terrorism Act upheld glorifying terrorism is a punishable offence. The LTTE front British Tamil Forum displayed the most wanted terrorist leader Velupillai Pirabakaran’s photo’s and the police did not interfere to arrest anyone. more..

Fifth column in our Fourth estate

July 15 (LG) Fifth column is defined as “a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group to which it is expected to be loyal, such as a nation”. In 1936, Emilio Mola, a nationalist General during Spanish civil war, spoke in the radio as his army approached Madrid. He told that four columns of his army outside the city, is being supported by a “fifth column”, his people inside the city, to undermine the Republican government from within. more..

Whither Eastern University Medical Faculty?

July 15 (LG) The establishment of a Medical Faculty at the Eastern University was the response to the long felt need of the Eastern region in respect to higher education and health care of the people. The study programme is built upon a carefully prepared curriculum in line with modern medical education principles. Though, at present, the Faculty has only a few senior staff, the study programme is effectively carried out with the help of consultants and other senior medical staff from the Teaching Hospital, Batticaloa. more..

Now is the Time for All Good Men

July 15 (LG) Reports quoting the Sri Lankan Government's Peace Secretariat that future talks with the LTTE would include all the Tamil political parties should not come as a surprise to anyone. Combined with TMVP leader Karuna's assertion that some top Government officials were attempting to split the party, the Peace Secretariat's announcement should set all Tamil groups re-thinking on their strategies from the past and tactics for the future. more..

Response: Large amount of funds raised For Bruce Fein

July 15 (LG) These funds raised by Tamils For Justice through various volunteers and contributors around the world has gone to Mr.Fein's account directly. Other than in Toronto there has been no one directly collecting funds. Those accounts would be made public via our T4J website when received from Bruce Fein and our representative, Sriskandarajah. Tamils For Justice are justified, and proud to have undertaken such a project, accomplished so much, more..

The Strike & The Stricken

July 15 (LG) While last Thursday’s [the 10th] “`token’ General Strike” of the JVP/UNP/TNA was undoubtedly a `flop’ it was not a `total flop’. Though, `by and large’, both the public and the private sector worked, and the services were not disrupted, there were places where they did not work – for if they did, there was clearly no reason why our hard pressed troops should have functioned as admitting officers and attendants at Government Hospitals. more..

British law makers are there to break the very law they make

July 15 (LG) Some of the British elected parliamentarians are being accused of disrespecting and violating the very same Terrorism Act they brought to halt citizens subscribing to the international terrorist activities in the UK. Five members belonging to cross parties in the House of Commons have knowingly attended the Pongu Thamil festival of the LTTE in the South London on 12 July 2008. more..

Jaffna academics expose the desperation of dying Ee(vi)laam

July 15 (LG) The latest report of University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) (UTHR) projects the issue of evil facing the nation in graphic and contrasting terms. In a sense, it represents the soul of the Tamils torn between the evil they face now and their yearning for normalcy and peace like all other communities. Each UTHR report signifies (not in explicit terms though) that the evil bred in Jaffna-centric racism – the only kind of politics pursued by the Jaffna vellahla caste dominating peninsular politics -- is far greater than the evil posed by the state. more..

Negotiate with real leaders of the Tamils!

July 15 (LG) Minister Tissa Witharana, the Leader of All Party Representative Committee, has stated that Sri Lanka is moving towards formulating a new constitution without being tied down to a rigid stand either for Federal system or a unitary system and following a flexible position of finding devolution of power in a unitary set up. He has also revealed that there are moves to accommodate the TNA, too, in the deliberation. Let us dwell on this! more..

The Enemies Within - why political compromise failed over half a century

July 15 (PISL) Over the last year, I have been struck by the number of times I have been told that a political solution to our problems is not possible unless the two main parties get together. This argument is based on the historical record, inasmuch as two serious attempts at compromise, involving Regional Councils in the late fifties and then District Councils in the late sixties, were stymied because of forceful opposition by the main opposition party. more..

Attempt to evict 800 poor families in Colombo

July 15 (LD) The Defence Ministry has issued eviction orders to 800 families in Glain Place, Slave Island, claiming that their land belongs to the Defence Ministry. Glain Place, which is a cross road in the Chiththappalam A Gardiner Mawatha, houses nearly 1,500 people of 800 Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim families who have been residing in the area for nearly 50 years. They have been paying the state taxes, water and electricity bills and have even been included in the voters list. more..

Sri Lankan bankers get more time to meet term limits

July 15 (LBO) Directors of Sri Lankan banks would get three more years to meet term and age limits imposed by the Central Bank after a court ruling confirmed the rules with extended transitional provisions, the financial regulator said in a statement. Governance rules imposed by the Central Bank limited the term of a bank director to nine years and the age to 70 years. Bank directors also could not be members of the boards of more than 20 companies. more..

Sri Lanka Dialog launches children's package

July 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Dialog Telekom has started a mobile phone package for kids with child safety features, world filtering, restricted text messaging (SMS) and features to increase parental control over their child's phone, the company said. Dialog said the package, dubbed 'Kidz Connection' has no picture exchange or internet surfing facility for child safety and calls can be restricted to five numbers chosen by the parent at the time of signing up. more..

SC orders to reason videoing of Tamils

July 15 (LD) The Supreme Court ordered the Attorney-General to produce reasons tomorrow (July 15th) for videoing Tamils in Kimbulahela area in Colombo 15 recently. The SC issued the order today, after considering the Fundamental Rights petition filed by the Ceylon Workers Congress that argued sporadic arrests of Tamils in the Colombo area violated their rights. more..

Bruce Fein – A Rose by Any Other Name is Still the LTTE

July 15 (AT) I just noticed that the Tamils for Justice Website has been renamed "Justice for Thamils." I’m assuming the organization has also been renamed. Please note that now there’s an "h" in the word "Tamils." I’m not sure if the new spelling is to emphasize the difference between the old and the new, or just an attempt to throw us off track. Bruce Fein, the arrogant Washington D.C. mercenary lawyer/public relations maven representing this dubious, alleged LTTE front organization, must think we’re all stupid. more..

Tamil Nadu advocates burnt the effigy of Sri Lanka president

July 15 (AT) In Chennai, a group of advocates, around 50 of them, burnt the effigy of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse, yesterday morning, at NSC Bose Road located near the Chennai High Court. They shouted slogans against the killing of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy. Tamil Nadu police failed to prevent the advocates from burning the effigy of the Sri Lanka President. more..