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Sri Lanka business advised to 'go lean' in hard times

July 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka must now switch to an "investment driven economy" with businesses and people 'going lean' to survive and come out of the difficult times the island is going through, a productivity expert said. Lean production and working methods will help increase productivity and the standard of living as well as make the country more resilient to external shocks, said Sunil Wijesinha, chairman of tableware exporter Dankotuwa Porcelain. more..

'Mahinda Rajapakse on Tiger hit list'

July 2 (LG) N. Sivajlingam, Jaffna District TNA, MP allied to the Tigers, was grilled by angry Tamil expatriates in Australia on Inbath Tamil Vanali, a talk-back radio show in Sydney last Friday. Sivajilingam was former member of TELO and narrowly escaped a death squad of the Tamil Tigers. But his leader Sabaratnam, a rival to Prabhakaran, was liquidated. He was reminded on the talk-back radio of what happened to his leader and asked why he is backing the Tamil Tigers. more..

The English Language textbooks for GCE O/L

July 2 (LG) As a nation we have been, more often than not, involuntarily, betraying our children for too long, not so much through any lack of good intentions as through our collective failure to properly implement courses of action designed for their realization even where much could be achieved with a little effort. Nowhere is this disastrous tradition of failure more evident than in the sphere of education. more..

Fire-hit Lankans moved to a flat

July 2 (GT) The Sri Lankan workers who were left homeless by a fire that gutted their accommodation and killed six of their colleagues recently have been moved to a flat with the active assistance of the Sri Lankan Community Benevolent Fund, the charity arm of the Sri Lankan Co-ordinating Committee. “The members of the organisations have been working tirelessly for the past few days to find a suitable accommodation for the workers which would be convenient for them as well,” more..

'Raise fishermen issue in SAARC meet'

July 2 (Hindu) The Communist Party of India (CPI) has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to raise the issue of killing of innocent Tamil Nadu fishermen in the forthcoming SAARC summit in Sri Lanka. “It is a fittest case to raise the issue in the forum, as more than 400 fishermen of Tamil Nadu were killed by Sri Lankan Navy since 1983. No other country in the world is killing the fishermen of other countries whatever may be the reasons except Sri Lanka,” more..

Kidnap attempt condemned by media

July 2 (BBC) Five main media organisations are expressing their shock at the assault and attempted kidnap of the journalist Namal Perera who is also the acting head of the advocacy division of the Sri Lanka Press Institute. In a media release, they say that Namal Perera, a defence correspondent and defence analyst, has been responsible for co-ordinating several recent media protests. Namal Perera and his friend, Mahendra Ratnaweera, working for the British High Commission in Colombo, were more..

US condemns attack on reporter, British embassy official

July 2 (IANS) The US Tuesday condemned the assault on a journalist and a British high commission officer and asked the Sri Lankan authorities to bring the perpetrators to book at the earliest. “The US condemns the brutal and unprovoked attack on a member of the British high commission staff and an official of the Sri Lankan Press Institute June 30. We call on the authorities to bring the perpetrators of this crime swiftly to justice,” more..

Presidential helicopter convoy fired at?

July 2 (LD) A Presidential convoy of helicopters reportedly came under fire in Ampara by the LTTE this afternoon (July 01st) according to reports reaching Colombo. President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Arugambay in Pothuvil to ceremonially open the Tsunami damaged Arugambay Bridge that was reconstructed with US Aid, earlier in the day. One accompanying helicopter in the convoy had been damaged from the supposed attack, forcing it to make an emergency landing in a place close to the ceremony, reports say. more..

We are ready to face 'Gas' challenge in court' – Bandula Gunawardena

July 2 (GDI) Clarifying the legitimate rights that multinational companies have in demanding their requested price hikes for relevant products or services, Minister of Trade, Marketing Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs, Bandula Gunawardena said that he is ready to take any on challenge posed by gas companies in court to protect the consumer. The Minister asserted this at a media briefing held in Colombo today (01). more..

"English for All" island wide course commences this month

July 2 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to launch an English language training programme titled "English for All" in 130 centers island wide commencing from this month (July). The project was originally developed at the Presidential Secretariat under the guidance of the Presidential Advisors in keeping with the aspiration of the Mahinda Chinthana with the object of improving the standard of English of school leavers and the general public. more..

"We are determined to continue the efforts until the goal is achieved," President

July 2 (GDI) "The endeavour and commitment of the government is to ensure the victory of the people regardless of any challenge," said President Rajapaksa said today (01). The President, speaking at the occasion of declaring opening the newly constructed bridge at Arugam Bay, said that the government has initiated massive development programmes while liberating people from the clutches of terrorists and that this development drive cannot be abandoned despite many conspiracies including attacks on journalists. more..

The Sri Lankan Conflict: A Multi-Polar Approach

July 2 (AT) Narrow interpretations of cultural identity and models of conflict resolution built on ethnic dualism contribute to ethnic polarization and inhibit sustainable peace. To improve both the analysis and processes of conflict resolution, it is necessary to move beyond the bipolar ethnic model and explore the multi-polar nature of conflicts. The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the secessionist LTTE is commonly identified as a primordial ethnic conflict between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. more..

USAID Completes State-of-the-art Bridge over Arugam Bay

July 2 (AT) The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today marked the completion of its flagship tsunami reconstruction project – the new bridge across Arugam Bay – in the presence of President Mahinda Rajapakse. The $10 million Bridge is a gift from the American people to the people of Sri Lanka, and will replace the original bridge that was destroyed by the 2004 tsunami. more..

Sri Lanka making arrangements to hold 15th SAARC summit

July 2 (AT) Sri Lanka Government is making all the necessary facilities to hold 15th SAARC Conference at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall from July 27 to August 3rd. The Summit where heads of states of all the eight member countries are expected to meet is scheduled to be held for two days, from 02 to 03 August. As observers of the conference, delegations from Japan, United States, European Union, China, Mauritius, Iraq and South Korea are expected to participate in the eight-nation summit. more..

LTTE to hold Pongku Thamil event in London to glorify Black Tigers

July 2 (AT) Though Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam remains a proscribed Foreign Terrorist Organization in the United Kingdom, it is planning to hold ‘Pongku Thamil’ event in London to glorify Black Tiger suicide cadres and also to raise funds for its war chest. The LTTE is now arranging to hold Pongku Thamil events in all European capitals to promote its sagging popularity in the midst of the Tamil diaspora. more..

SAARC in Colombo

July 2 (LG) SAARC is not a time wasting club to Heads of the Member States. It evolves slowly than expected because of the serious differences still exist between India and Pakistan. After setting the mission and acceptance of this mission by the member countries the countries should have jointly injected the speed to achieve the goals it sets to achieve. The slow progress is the fault of the leaders of these member nations. Hope they will realise this drawback. more..

Presidential probe into violations of human rights Significance of a Commissioner's resignation

July 2 (LG) Presidential Commission of Inquiry official monitors TV screens as witnesses in the case of the murder of five students in Trincomalee in January 2006 give evidence, on March 14, 2008 in Colombo. Dr Devanesan Nesiah has, at long last, resigned from the Commission of Inquiry and our attention has been drawn to his `swansong’ in the form of a self-serving statement to the media in respect of his resignation. more..

No arms supply from India: Lankan army

July 2 (PTI) Sri Lanka has made it clear that India does not supply arms to the strife-torn island nation, saying that it understood New Delhi's "political compulsions" in this regard. "We have good relations with India. If India can supply arms to us then we do not have to go anywhere. We understand New Delhi's political compulsions," Si Lankan army chief Sarath Fonseka said. more..

Setting the stage for mayhem in the NCP

July 2 (ML) The recently announced alliance between Wimal Weerawansa’s NFF and the TMVP signals the possibility of yet another carnage-marred election in the Polonnaruwa District of the North Central Province. Our sister paper The Sunday Leader, as far back as 2005, exposed the existence of camps, teeming with hundreds of heavily armed TMVP cadres, camouflaged around the jungle outskirts of the Polonnaruwa District. more..

Foreign Ministry is not for rest and recreation

July 2 (ML) IT has been realised that just as much as the Sri Lankan armed forces underwent transformation from ceremonial forces to fighting forces, our foreign service too had to change from the wining and dining striped pants brigade it was, to an effective diplomatic service performing functions vital for the survival of this nation. The armed forces had no option other than to leave their drums and bugles on the parade grounds and march off to the battlefields, but more..

Fuel price hike: PBOA sees red

July 2 (ML) The Private Bus Owners’ Association (PBOA) is to launch an islandwide lightning strike in the event the government increases the diesel price, President, PBOA, Gemunu Wijeratne said. It has been reported that the government is to increase fuel prices after the conclusion of the upcoming provincial council elections. According to Wijeratne all private buses would halt their operations if another fuel price hike is implemented. more..

Hybrid environmental friendly vehicles soon

July 2 (ML) The Environment Ministry plans to bring down hybrid environment friendly vehicles at a reasonable price soon. The Morning Leader learns that a reputed vehicle importer has already brought down a hybrid vehicle, which would cost Rs 8.5 million inclusive of tax in the local market. Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka together with government officials are discussing the possibility of reducing the tax imposed on these hybrid vehicles to sell them at a reasonable price in the country. more..

Karuna changes stripes again

July 2 (BL) Former TMVP Chief Karuna Amman has vowed to take revenge on his successor and Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan, after the sudden conversion of Pillaiyan from being a Karuna loyalist to become subservient to the UPFA. Much angered by the unexpected change of Pillaiyan, Karuna, who had been detained by the British law enforcement authority in the United Kingdom over violation of the country’s emigration regulations, has according to informed sources pledged to help the Wanni Tigers regain the east soon. more..

Liberation ‘Rice Bowl’!

July 2 (BL) On June 29, the Sri Lanka Army’s 58th Division liberated what is known as the ‘Mannar Rice Bowl’ which had been in the LTTE grip for 20 years. Brigadier Shavindra de Silva said at 7:30 p.m. last evening, the 58th Brigade from Pallemadhu links with the 57th Brigade from Periyamadhu. The total land area of the rice bowl is 120 Giant’s Tank and around 153 small tanks situated in this area provide water to the paddy fields in their vicinity. more..

Lottery dealers protest 100% price hike

July 2 (BL) The sudden decision to increase the price of a lottery ticket by 100% from Rs. 10 to Rs. 20 has created a lot of problems for the lottery dealers. The All Island Lottery Dealers’ Society criticised this decision claiming that this will only give birth to a new set of problems. The real reason for this price hike is the corruption that prevails in the Lotteries Board claimed B. S.S. Madarasinghe, the Secretary of the society. more..

UNP demands Rs. 7,500 pay hike

July 2 (BL) The UNP has scoffed at the recently announced salary hike of Rs. 1,000 and demanded that salaries should instead be increased by Rs. 7,500. UNP Media Spokesman Gayantha Karunathilake said that though the government promised to give Rs. 1,000 to the workers, the actual amount received was Rs. 625 as the workers already receive Rs. 375. “Instead of Rs. 5,000, we want the government to increase the salaries by Rs. 7,500. more..

Abha police asked to reopen case in Sri Lankan’s possible homicide

July 2 (AN) Officials in Abha have reopened the case of the possible homicide of Mohammed Imtisam Shamsudeen, a 28-year-old Sri Lankan assistant manager whose partially burned body was found in his apartment on May 9. “The governorate in Abha asked the Special Crimes Unit to reinvestigate the case when it received the police report that ruled out foul play in the death,” Abdul Lateef Mohammed Lafeer, Sri Lankan consul general in Jeddah, told Arab News. more..

ICRC withdraws from Omanthai

July 2 (BBC) International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has withdrawn from a crossing point between government and rebel held areas following an aerial bombardment. ICRC spokesperson from Geneva, Karla Haddad confirmed that the ICRC has temporary suspended its work in the Omanthai crossing point due to "explosion". ICRC will resume work as soon as the security in the area for civilians is assured by the authorities, she said. more..

Sri Lanka opposes Zimbabwe exclusion

July 2 (BBC) Sri Lanka sports minister, Gamini Lokuge, says the country would oppose moves to expel Zimbabwe from International Cricket council (ICC). The ICC will discuss the move at a meeting in Dubai on Wednesday. The England and Wales Cricket Board has already stated it will not host a tour by Zimbabwe next year. And Cricket South Africa has also cut its ties with Zimbabwe because of the political situation in the country. more..

‘Indian entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka flouting spirit of FTA’

July 2 (Hindu) Some of the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) the country has got into in recent years have resulted in unintended adverse consequences, primarily because of non-application of mind at the time of negotiations and signing of the agreement as also lackadaisical enforcement of rules subsequently. For instance, agreements with Nepal and Sri Lanka, as everyone knows, opened the floodgates to import of low-priced vanaspati that hurt the domestic vanaspati industry and more..

Sri Lanka's war against journalists a conspiracy: President

July 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's continuing attacks on the media is a conspiracy to discredit the government President Mahinda Rajapakse said, while the latest assault against a mediaman and UK embassy staffer drew new condemnation. At a time when the government was fighting terror and implementing development projects, there were moves to de-stabilizing the process by leveling allegations of human rights and media suppression, more..

Woman arrested with explosives concealed in coconuts

July 2 (GDI) A suspected female LTTE cadre has been arrested by the Police while clandestinely transporting C4 explosives concealed in coconut last evening. The woman was travelling in a bus plying towards Siddambarapuram, along the Vavuniya - Horowpotana main road at the time of her arrest by the Vavunia Police at the Police roadblock at the Cemetery Junction in Vavuniya. "The police searched the woman because she displayed suspicious behavior, and more..

PM rules out ceasefire with LTTE

July 2 (GDI) "The Government is not prepared to enter a Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) with LTTE" said Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake while addressing a gathering at the Kalutara District "Youth Awards Ceremony" at the Horana Sri Palee Vidyalaya recently. Evoking the clandestine moves of the LTTE terrorists during the previous CFA period Prime Minister Wickramanayake said that tigers abused this agreement to obtain respite, to recruit cadres, re-arm and finally renege on it. more..

More high-level threats against the Sri Lankan media

July 2 (wsws) In an interview with the Sunday Times on June 15, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse issued what amounted to an ominous new threat against the Colombo media. He slammed the press for helping “terrorism” by publishing articles critical of the government and military on issues related to the renewed war against the separatist LTTE. Rajapakse made his comments to the Sri Lankan newspaper while in London for a Commonwealth mini-summit. more..

Rajapaksa vows to rebuild Sri Lankan areas seized from rebels

July 2 (BN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised "massive development" of territory liberated from the LTTE, as the army severed rebel supply lines in coastal regions in the island's north. The government will reach its "ultimate goal" of defeating terrorism "regardless of any challenge," he said yesterday at the opening of a bridge at Arugam Bay in Ampara district, a year after driving the LTTE from the eastern region. more..

TMVP cannot be `more equal` than others

July 2 (LNP) After the Tsar was ousted, it is said, Russians got commissars who proved to be equally repressive and ruthless. We, in this country got rid of the Portuguese with the help of the Dutch and finally had the British only to realise in the end that we had blundered. In the post Independence Sri Lanka, too, we have acted in a similar manner in chasing away swarms of political fleas feasting on us. We get rid of one set of political parasites at an election only to be plagued by another. more..

Bernard returns after US assignment

July 2 (SAMN) Bernard Goonatilake, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to USA has completed his tour of duties in Washington and has left for Colombo on June 29. It is still not clear how Sri Lanka Government is planning to make use of this veteran diplomat, who has served as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to many countries, and later as the Foreign Ministry Secretary. Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat was the brain-child of Bernard Goonatilake and more..

Plantation parties fail in poll alliance

July 2 (SAMN) An attempt by the Up-Country People’s Front (UPF) to bring together all parties representing the plantation sector to contest for the forthcoming provincial council election has failed as a result of some parties trying various games calling others to contest on their symbol rather than forming an alliance. A senior member of the UPF said the party had rejected a request made by CWC Leader Arumugan Thondaman to contest under the cock symbol. more..

New ID measures for PC polls

July 2 (SAMN) Election authorities have tightened screws on election malpractices including alterations to the Identity Card issued to voters who do not possess a valid NIC to be used for voting at the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provincial Council elections. The special ID is to be issued to those who claim that they have lost their National ID or those who possess faded or unrecognisable identity cards. more..

Pakistan has no fear over SAARC security

July 2 (SAMN) India may have some reservations in coming to Sri Lanka to attend the SAARC Summit but as far Pakistan was concerned it has no apprehensions about Sri Lanka’s security arrangements, Pakistan’s High Commissioner Shazad A. Chaudry said Monday. He said that the Sri Lankan security forces have the requisite expertise and ability to take care of security throughout the entire SAARC Summit. more..

293 passports, documents taken into custody

July 2 (DN) Sleuths attached to the investigation arm of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment yesterday busted a bogus foreign manpower recruiting agency in Maradana and took into custody 293 passports along with other documents. SLBFE Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka told the Daily News that the recruitment agency had been operating since 2006 without a valid licence since they had not renewed their contract from 2006. more..

JVP has become LTTE cat’s paw - Wimal

July 2 (DN) The diehard JVP leadership has become the LTTE’s unofficial cat’s paw. The party has been driven to a sorry state because certain party members have begun to work according to an agenda of some foreign powers active within the party, said the Janatha Nidahas Peramuna (JNP) President Wimal Weerawansa. He was addressing its inaugural meeting at the Ananda Samarakoon theatre, Negegoda recently. more..

Only deserving to benefit from police rewards scheme – New IGP

July 2 (Island) The newly appointed IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne said he would ensure only the deserving would benefit from the police rewards scheme. Responding to The Island queries, Wickremaratne said financial rewards would squarely depend on a thorough evaluation by relevant police authorities. This assurance was given against the backdrop of the recent arrest of a police officer who had received a large cash award from former IGP Victor Perera for more..

Teacher unions refuse to budge

July 2 (Island) With barely a month to go for the GCE Advanced Level examination, scheduled to start on August 6, teacher unions continued to refuse to apply for marking of answer scripts until their outstanding salary anomalies are rectified. Meanwhile, they described the President’s request to them to hand over their proposals for a salary hike as "mere eye wash". The Ceylon Teachers Union, Ceylon Teachers Service Union, All Ceylon United Teachers Union and the Educational Professionals Association are together in the protest over salary anomalies. more..

Splits within splits, where’s the silver lining?

July 2 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam, assalamu alaikkum and best wishes as we move into July – marking the 25th anniversary of the 1983 Black-July holocaust -- with little sign of any silver lining in the clouds of gloom or doom. The state of achcharu or kaivaru politics with its multi faceted with its conflicts within conflicts and confusion within confusion continue. more..

Hakeem back in Parliament

July 2 (DM) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem who resigned from his parliamentary seat to contest the eastern provincial council election has decided to return to Parliament next week on the national list, a party source said yesterday. Mr.Hakeem who was elected to Parliament from the Digamadulla district, will return to the House as a National List MP filling one of the slots that fell vacant following the resignation of two other party members who contested the eastern poll. more..

Fresh fighting kills 27 rebels, 2 soldiers in north

June 2 (AP) New fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels along Sri Lanka's northern front lines killed 27 rebels and two soldiers, the military said Wednesday. Fighting erupted Tuesday in the Vavuniya and Welioya regions bordering the rebels' de facto state in the north, the military said. The fighting in Vavuniya killed 16 rebels and one soldier, while in the nearby Welioya region, 11 rebels and one soldier died, he said. more..

Treasury chief says subsidies inefficient

June 2 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government treasury secretary P B Jayasundera has described subsidies as an inefficient way of managing economic affairs and said the government was moving to reduce the burden of handouts with price increases in a range of commodities. "Any form of subsidy is inefficient," Jayasundera, who is also secretary to the Finance Ministry told the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2008, an annual conference of business leaders more..

Sri Lankan media offers reward for tips on attackers

June 2 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) and the Newspaper Publishers Association are offering a reward of five million rupees for information on the assault on journalist Namal Perera. Informants could give information that lead to the arrest of the assailants by calling 0033 147 777 414 or sending emails to, representatives of the organisations told a news conference Wednesday. more..

An Analysis of the Military Situation

July 3 (FI) Years back when I was a young officer in the Regiment of Artillery, our regiment moved from New Mal in Eastern India to Deolali in Western India. On the day of our departure we trooped into the railway station with our trucks, baggage, stores and all the men at 6 am in the morning. Our special train was scheduled to leave at 11 am. We sweated in the heat in the roofless station but the train earmarked for us was nowhere in sight. more..