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Maj.Gen. (Retd) Janaka Perera is ambitious but not treacherous

July 21 (LG) There is much controversy with regard to the recent decision made by Major General (Retd) Janaka Perera to contest as the UNP Chief Minister nominee at the North Central Provincial Council election. Some of his friends have even gone to the extent of labelling him a traitor for having joined hands with the UNP led by Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Define the role of Bruce Fein forthwith

July 21 (LG) The Sri Lanka Guardian feature “Bruce Fein Episode developing into a major scandal” attracted two comments, one by T Douglas and the other by Sabapathy. Both were totally off the mark from the feature. The issue focused in this feature by Renuka Sharma and Jacinta Cruz is Bruce Fein whose conduct has created much anxiety among the Sri Lankan Tamils in North America and elsewhere too. more..

SAARC Old Boys Vs. Present Boys

July 21 (LG) We bumped into a Special Branch contact whom we had seen off at Kanatte around 15 years ago. He looked ghostly and ethereal and beckoned me to his side. He gave a card with the venue and time written on it. 'It will be a world scoop. Cover it at your risk. If you're caught you will disappear in a white van for ever,' he said and disappeared into thin air. We don't believe in ghosts, gods or anything like that. more..

Pre-Vijayan Agriculture in Sri Lanka

July 21 (LG) According to the Mahavamsa, when Vijaya and his followers arrived in Sri Lanka about 500 BC, they were met by the god Upulvan, in the guise of a mendicant, who informed them there was nothing to fear as the country had no humans, only yakkas. Vijaya later married Kuveni and lived with her for 10 to 15 years in Tambapanni, the north- western coast of Sri Lanka, between Mannar and Puttalam. more..

Who is supplying “adulterated” Cyanide to Tiger and Company?

July 21 (LG) In the golden days of LTTE (before Rajeev Ghandhi was killed) the cyanide capsule was a pride and honor of young Tamil terrorist recruits. It is said that the Terrorist Commander hangs the cyanide capsule around the neck of a wanna be terrorist who has successfully underwent training and converted in to a killing machine at their graduation ceremony. I have seen number of pictures Tiger and Company CEO Velupillei Prabakaran himself doing the honors to the child soldiers graduating from Tamil Terrorist training academies. more..

Are the Tamils fit rule themselves? ( Part III )

July 21 (LG) Understanding the moral dimensions of the politics that is swirling around us is rather confusing and difficult, considering that there is a fundamental division of opinion on the nature of the evil that confronts the nation. The passions that move us, day by day, are woven round the evil that confront us but there is no consensus on the nature of the evil. Broadly speaking, the nature of evil that is haunting nations is sourced to two main areas: more..

Prince Parakramabhu, Kuruwita Rala and Mr Bean

July 21 (LG) Ranil Wicramasinghe has done it again. Yes, when it comes to political meetings, our “nayakathuma” can’t resist showing off his knowledge of history to us. Remember what happened to King Parakramabahu during the last presidential elections? Ranil’s King Parakramabahu was a liberal democrat who reclaimed all paddy growing wet land for the cultivation of Cinnamon, the cash crop of that time. more..

Hands off Katchativu

July 21 (AT) The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Muthuvel Karunanidhi recently when referring Katchativu, has said "When the proposal for gifting of Katchativu to the island nation was made by the then Indra Gandhi Government in 1974, the DMK Government in Tamil Nadu has opposed it vehemently." It has become customary for the Indian leaders and scribes to use the word gifting whenever they refer to Katchativu, which is an integral part Sri Lanka, a sovereign independent nation. more..

Foreign Ministry will move supplementary vote for the forthcoming SAARC Summit

July 21 (AT) Foreign Ministry will move a supplementary votes in parliament on Tuesday to obtain Rs. 2,880,180,332 for the forthcoming SAARC summit. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama will present this estimate and the parliament will hold a six hour debate on this proposal. According to the parliament sources this is about the recurrent expenditure will be Rs.401,881,272.00 and Capital expenditure will be Rs.2,478,299,060.00. more..

An Elam exhibition at British parliament

July 21 (LT) Five British parliamentary members have participated to a pongutamil festival held at Richardson Even ground at Rohamton of London on12th July. Following MPs had participated even when LTTE was banned and supporting to LTTE is a punishable in British. Mean time a tiger friendly Photo exhibition named "Ceylon Tamils, Repression of 60 years" started at common hall of British parliament organized by all party parliamentary group for Tamils. more..

New development projects for seven districts under 'Gemidiriya'

July 21 (GDI) The World Bank has released Rs. 112 million for new development projects in seven districts under the village reawakening programme 'Gemidiriya' being implemented by the Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development. The projects will be implemented in the districts of Moneragala, Badulla, Ratnapura, Hambantota, Matara, Galle and Polonnaruwa. The Ministry reached 712,669 people through several projects in rural areas during the last half of 2007, more..

Artistes extend their support to the President

July 21 (GDI) A large number of cinema and teledrama actors and actresses, male and female vocalists and numerous other artistes met President Mahinda Rajapaksa to extend their solidarity to him last week. The meeting between local artistes and the President was held at Temple Trees in Colombo. They also discussed the present security and economic situation in the country. Brigadier Amal Karunasekera explained in detail about the forward march of battlefront heroes under excellent leadership. more..

State cement factory to go to Indian company

July 21 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has insisted to his cabinet that the state-owned cement factory in Kankesanthurai should be given to India's Aditya Birla Group, 'Lanka' reports. At a meeting on July 16th, the president has told ministers that he had already agreed to the handover. This is despite a claim by Sri Lanka's Holcim to the premises, according to the JVP-backed newspaper. more..

Rs. 210 m textbook swindle - Ravaya

July 21 (LD) Five top officers in the Ministry of Education and a leading printing house have swindled Rs. 210 million rupees from school textbooks in 2003, a probe has found, 'Ravaya' reports. Following a revelation by the auditor general, the Education Ministry appointed a five-member investigation unit and its report was submitted in January this year. The probe is accusing former Commissioner of Publications Sumanatissa Liyanagunawardena, more..

Racketeers at IDB in brass scam

July 21 (LD) Certain employees of the Industrial Development Board are reportedly engaged in a racket to sell casings of spent ammunition used by the army, to private traders. This is despite an official order to the IDB to give the casings to small brass industrialists registered with the institution. Racketeers are selling a kilo of spent casings of artillery, mortars and RPG bullets at between Rs. 340 and Rs. 350, reports said. more..

British HC to close down Defence Division

July 21 (LD) The British government has decided to close down the Defence Division at its High Commission in Colombo by the end of this year, diplomatic sources said. No reason has officially been given for the decision. According to unofficial reports, Sri Lanka's failure to follow defence and political advice given by London has prompted the closure. The Defence Division has been coordinating training for the armed forces, more..

Sri Lanka state radio to shed excess workers

July 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state radio will shed up to 400 excess employees by giving them a million rupee severance package senior officials said, while the broadcaster was reeling under mounting losses. Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) chairman Hudson Samarasinghe said employees who had worked for more than 10 years and are below the age of 52 could apply for the voluntary retirement scheme. more..

Appointing Arjuna to SLC 'a mistake'

July 21 (BBC) Sri Lanka’s sports minister says appointing Arjuna Ranatunga as the head of Sri Lanka Cricket was ‘a serious mistake’. Minister Gamini Lokuge told BBC Sandeshaya that appointing Ranatunga as the head of SLC while he was a parliamentarian was ‘wrong’. Politicians should not hold positions in sports bodies, the minister added. President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed Mr. Ranatunga, a ruling party MP, replacing Jayantha Dharmadasa as the head of SLC in January this year. more..

Seized Idol 'belongs to Sri Lanka'

July 21 (BBC) A temple in Eastern Sri Lanka has claimed the idol of lord murugan seized by the Tamil Nadu police a few weeks ago. The idol was seized from an individual while he was trying to sell it according to Tamil Nadu Police. The statue believed to be 300 years old is considered priceless. The trustee of the “Verugalampathi Chitira Velayutha swamy Temple” told BBC Tamil Service that they strongly believe the said idol was stolen from that temple. more..

Drop in number of Sri Lankans working in garment factories in the UAE

July 21 (Gulf) There has been a 20 per cent slow down in the number of Sri Lankans working in garment factories in the UAE, said the Sri Lankan Consul General Wasantha Senanayake. "This is because of the increase in the wages of garment factory workers by the Sri Lankan government. Garment factory workers do not find this market lucrative anymore. Also there have been new market openings for them in Cyprus, Korea and Japan," he said. more..

Mendis set for selection

July 21 (TOI) When Sri Lanka’s selection committee headed by former fast bowler Ashantha de Mel meets on Monday to pick the team for the first Test against India starting on July 23, the main agenda will be to find the 6th batsman and a new ball partner for Chaminda Vaas as some of the key bowlers like Lasith Malinga and Farveez Maharoof are nursing injuries. "We have more or less worked out our combination. We just need to find a No. 6 batsman and a fast bowler who will share the new ball with Vaas," more..

Things we can’t do because of “National Security” in Sri Lanka

July 21 (GV) 25 years after Black July, the term “National Security” is used to thwart lot of things. V from the movie ‘V for Vendetta’ said “I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of the everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition”. At least he had that. We don’t. We can’t Nikang sit, walk around at night, carry our CDMA phones, visit TamilNet, buy remote controlled toys, visit Galle Face Greens, Nikang stand, wear full-face helmets, more..

India comes out with strong possible terms

July 21 (IL) India has come out with its strongest possible terms in dealing with the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. India can no longer afford to remain a spectator as it has been since the death of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. This most recent development is not entirely unexpected where Sri Lanka's internal conflict is right in India's backyard impacting India on several fronts. more..

Sri Lanka rebel toll passes 5,000 for this year: official figures

July 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka's defence ministry said Sunday it has killed dozens more Tamil Tigers in the latest ground and sea clashes, bringing a tally of reported rebel deaths so far this year to more than 5,000. Sri Lankan Navy spokesman D.K.P. Dassanayake said eight rebel boats, carrying at least 16 guerrillas, were either destroyed or damaged on Sunday in an attack off the northwestern coast. more..

‘White van’ abductions on the increase, says parliamentarian

July 21 (TW) 180 people have been abducted by ‘white van’ squads, since January 1st 2008 thru July 20th 2008 says P. Radhakrishnan MP, a parliamentarian of the Up Country People’s Front (UPF). Mr. Radhakrishnan, Deputy Minister of Vocational Training in the present UPFA government of Sri Lanka also says, within the last six months the pace of abductions have increased compared to 2006 and 2007. more..

Chamara, Gambhir shine in draw

July 21 (CI) India's only chance to acclimatise before the Test series ended in a tame draw with less than three days' play at the Nondescripts Cricket Club in Colombo. Having declared at an overnight 196 for 8, the tourists turned in an ordinary day in the field - Anil Kumble did not bowl a ball - as the Sri Lanka Board XI batted to 247 before handing the final session over. In that time, extended by nearly an hour, Gautam Gambhir helped himself to a fifty after Virender Sehwag fell cheaply again. more..

Injury scare for Fernando

July 21 (CI) Sri Lankan fast bowler Dilhara Fernando's return to Test cricket suffered a setback when he complained of knee pain and was unable to take the field during India's second innings on the third and final day of the practice game at the NCC on Sunday. Fernando, who last played a Test in December, against England, was in discomfort during his six-over first spell on Saturday. more..

'SAARC leaders to take a common position on the scourge of terrorism, developing together'

July 21 (AT) Dr. Palith Kohona, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary, when speaking to Asian Tribune said that Government of Sri Lanka is making all the required arrangements to make the 15th SAARC Summit a success. He pointed out that SAARC leaders when they meet, they intend to formulate common positions on the climate changes, energy crisis, developing together, and on the subject of elimination of poverty. more..

Wars of Domination

July 21 (AT) Finally we have the unvarnished truth about how the regime perceives the war and what it hopes to achieve by winning it. The various spokesmen for the government and the Army love to define this war as a ‘humanitarian war’ and a war to ‘liberate’ the Tamils from the jackboot of the Tigers. The Army Commander knows better and has no hesitation in saying it; as far as he and his political masters are concerned this is a war by the ‘Sinhala nation’ to ‘protect the country and survive’. more..

Bad weather claims 2 lives, leave 20,000 homeless

July 21 (LD) Around 20,000 people are homeless and two have died as two-days of torrential rains devastated several areas of the island, said the National Disaster Management Centre. Of the 6,724 families displaced, a majority is from Ratnapura district, while Gampaha, Colombo Kegalle, Kandy and Matale are also reporting considerable number of people without homes. Ratnapura is having 11,448 members of 3,718 families seeking temporary shelter, more..

Combined protest to call for Rs. 7,500 pay hike

July 21 (LD) The August Fourth Movement and the Trade Unions Federation are to launch a combined protest campaign from early September to press for three demands. The two trade unions decided at talks on July 19th to call for a Rs. 7,500 pay hike for both the state and private sectors, member of their convening board Joseph Stalin told 'Lanka Dissent.' A Rs. 2.50 payment per each point of cost-of-living allowance index and more..

We are confident and prepared as alternate host: SLC

July 21 (CI) Sri Lanka, the official alternate venue for the Champions Trophy, is "very confident" of staging the tournament within the short preparation time available if Pakistan, the official host, is ruled out by the ICC board due to security reasons, Duleep Mendis, Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) chief executive has said. "We are confident that we can hold the tournament within the short span of time if it's not possible to hold it in Pakistan," more..

Sri Lanka gets World Bank help to improve economic statistics, oversight

July 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka is getting a 22.6 million US dollar credit from the World Bank's concessionary window to improve the government statistics and audit offices, the multilateral lender said. "This project will help the government to further strengthen statistical capacity and audit functions which are at the core of public administration and public financial management," more..

Petroleum ministry gets new secretary

July 21 (LBO) A senior Sri Lankan public service official, W B Ganegala, has been appointed as the new secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development. Ganegala was previously secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Common Amenities and before that secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information. He had also held positions in the President's Office as Chief of Staff of the president and additional secretary and more..

Mendis named in first Test squad

July 21 (CI) International cricket's new spin sensation Ajantha Mendis was named in Sri Lanka's 14-member squad for the first Test against India starting at the SSC on Wednesday. The 23-year-old Mendis, who bowled Sri Lanka to a 100-run victory over India in the Asia Cup final in Karachi this month, is most likely to make his Test debut and partner Muttiah Muralitharan, the Test world record holder. more..

Management saga continues with sports minister refusing to endorse Tillakaratne

July 21 (AP) Sri Lanka's sports minister on Monday refused to endorse the appointment of ex-captain Hashan Tillakaratne as manager of the national cricket team for the upcoming series against India. Minister Gamini Lokuge did not give any reason for his decision but Sri Lanka Cricket will be asked to nominate another person for the job, S. Liyanagama, secretary of the sports ministry, said. more..

Basil on inspection tour of power stations! Minister unaware!

July 21 (LT) Presidential Adviser Basil Rajapakse and a group of officials had visited power stations at Norichcholai and Kerawalapitiya without the knowledge of Minister of Power and Energy John Seneviratne say reports. During the tour Mr. Basil Rajapakse has directed the officials of the Chinese company to complete the construction work before the due date. more..

Janaka rejects police bodyguards

July 21 (LNP) Retired Army Chief Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera and UNP s Chief Ministerial candidate for the North Central Province has rejected a four-man police squad offered by the government following reports of LTTE threats on his life. The war veteran said the Ministerial Security Division (MSD) had discussed the deployment with him over the weekend but he turned down the offer. `This is an obvious face saving measure on the part of the government,` more..

Basil: we are winning IC s confidence

July 21 (LNP) Basil Rajapaksa, MP, yesterday said the unprecedented rapid pace at which the government had re-settled the internally displaced families in the Eastern Province after the conclusion of major ground operations had subdued misgivings among the international community. It was an immense task which many had thought was beyond the government s capacity, the National List MP told The Island in a brief interview. more..

Sri Lankan Trotskyists mark 40 years of struggle for socialist internationalism

July 21 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) in Sri Lanka held a public meeting in Colombo on July 16 to mark the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL)—the predecessor to the SEP. Around 150 people attended, including workers, young people, students and professionals from Colombo, along with others from the island’s southern and northwestern provinces and the central plantation districts. more..

International greetings to the Sri Lankan SEP

July 21 (wsws) The following greetings were read out at a public meeting held by the Socialist Equality Party on July 16 in Sri Lanka to mark 40 years since the founding of its predecessor—the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL)—as a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). The RCL was founded at a conference held on July 15-16 in Colombo in 1968, in the wake of the betrayal of the principles of Trotskyism by the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP). more..

Army liberates Iluppaikkadavai

July 21 (SAMN) The Army Sunday liberated Iluppaikkadavai town, 12 kilometres north of Vidattaltivu striking another blow to the LTTE on the North Western coast and making headway along the strategically important Mannar-Pooneryn A32 main road. According to defence sources troops of the Sri Lanka Army Task Force 1 and the Commando Brigade encircled the remote town Saturday night and entered it Sunday morning. more..

50 House Committees non-functional

July 21 (SAMN) Parliamentary business and good governance has hit a setback with more than 50 Parliamentary Committees, including the all important Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), being non-functional even after the re-constitution of these committees after the recent prorogation, a well informed Parliamentary source revealed Sunday. more..

Tragic end for zoo’s only male giraffe

July 21 (SAMN) The giraffe calf of the Dehiwala Zoological Gardens which was in a critical condition due to blockage of the nostrils died at the zoo’s Veterinary hospital Sunday morning. Officials of the Park said the calf had fallen into a marshy pit in the area where the giraffes are kept and apparently mud got stuck inside the calf’s nostrils when it struggled to stand up which ultimately resulted in its tragic end. more..

Govt. wasting public money: JVP

July 21 (SAMN) The JVP Sunday charged that the government was attempting to implement the 13th Amendment in full by giving police, land and fiscal powers to Provincial Councils, by giving into foreign pressure. JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake charged that the government was aiming to implement the 13th Amendment in full, ‘plotting’ to strategically stop the ongoing military operations. more..

SAARC ideal opportunity for Lanka to showcase its image - JVP

July 21 (DN) The SAARC summit is an ideal opportunity for Sri Lanka to showcase its good image while silently giving a clear picture to the world that the country is calm and tranquil for tourism and investment, JVP Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake said on Friday. Dissanayake pointed out that Sri Lanka would be able to obtain benefits and favourable outcomes from the SAARC Summit especially in the investment sector. more..

Enjoining order extended against Thera and three others

July 21 (DN) The parties of the case filed against Ven. Dambara Amila Thera with regard to the Patriotic National Movement agreed to reach a verdict based on written submissions. Colombo District Judge Sisira Ratnayake ordered to submit the written submissions on August 20. The Court also extended the enjoining order that prevented certain members of Patriotic National Movement Executive Committee including Ven. Dambara Amila Thera from holding exhibitions or press conferences on behalf of the Patriotic National Movement. more..

‘Bring Int. schools under MoE’

July 21 (Island) Several political parities including the JVP, the MEP and the JHU have requested a committee of intellectuals preparing a new Education Act to bring all the international schools under the purview of the Education Ministry. The committee of intellectuals chaired by Prof G. B. Gunawardena has collected data on over 200 international schools and about 200,000 children learning there countrywide. more..

Free screening of women for cancer

July 21 (Island) The Health Ministry with the assistance of International Centre for Cancer Research in France will draw up a plan to screen the 12 million female population for cervical and breast cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) would fund the programme the Health Ministry said. The Maharagama National Cancer hospital was inundated with a large number of patients and some general and base hospitals in the country had also reported an increase in cancer patients. more..

Family dies in Saturday night horror

July 21 (DM) In a Saturday night horror a young couple, their one-and-half-year-old toddler and a friend died on the spot in a head-on collision on Saturday night at Avariwatta junction at Wattala on the Colombo- Negombo road, police said. They said that those who died were Dinesh Chamara Premananda (26), Kaushalya Abewickrema (25), their daughter Tharuk Premananda and Julian Shelward (28). more..