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JVP between the devil and the deep blue sea

July 21 (DM) The honeymoon between the ruling UPFA and the JVP had ended in June 2005 and it seems the whole love affair between the two has been severed following the rift within the JVP spearheaded by its former parliamentary group leader and the Propaganda Secretary Wimal Werawansa. Since the PA and the JVP formed the UPFA in September 2003 the PA leaders were extremely careful not to criticize the JVP in a harsh manner, more..

War after the fall of Vidattalthivu

July 21 (TC) Keeping up the momentum of their offensive, Sri Lanka army's 58 Division and Commando troops advanced another 10 km to the north to capture Illuppakkadavai on Sunday July 20, 2008 close on the heels of their success in capturing the Sea Tiger base of Vidattalthivu on the Mannar coast on July 16, 2008. According to Defence sources, the Commandos pursued and attacked the cadres of the LTTE fleeing Iluppakkadavai, three km to the north on the A32 Mannar- Pooneryn road. more..

Tamil rebels: Peace talks 'impossible'

July 21 (AP) Sri Lankan rebels said Monday that a new round of peace talks on ending the country's 25-year-old civil war is impossible as long as the government presses ahead with a military offensive. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said earlier this month he was prepared to restart long-dormant talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels if the group lays down its arms and ceases bombings and other attacks across the country. more..

Boosting our village life

July 22 (LG) When we, as Sinhala Buddhists, boast of our unique 2500 year old culture, we highlight our ancient village culture and that rustic, rural way of life. We even specify that our village was in close proximity of a Wewa, Dagoba and Pansala. No mention is made even of a ‘polathu school,’ a Grama Sevaka, or any administrative body. It has to be presumed that the men are farmers, either paddy or chena. more..

'LTTE is like a dog with rabies that needs to be destroyed'

July 22 (LG) He is an unusual man. A man who is of one of a kind that one would get to meet in a lifetime. A giant of a man with dominating posture and an eloquent orator with a witty and jovial nature, he is able to dominate an interested and bored nonchalant audience alike. Following is the interview with Brig. Kamal Gunaratne, General Office of Commanding – 55 Division (Reserve Strike Force). more..

Co- existence & Communal harmony in Srilnaka

July 22 (LG) The objective of this short article is to highlight the intricate nature of social interaction of Srilankan communities prior to recent ethnic upheavals. I will endeavour to explore the nature of this close communal relationship between our Srilankan communities, often through my personal interaction among these communities. It is not my intention to pinpoint the differences between our communities or more..

Caught in the Domestic Crossfire

July 22 (LG) Call it a coincidence or otherwise, every time there are visible signs of greater dynamism in the bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka, domestic forces at work see Satan Inc in all their dealings. Worse still, some of them keep working overtime, either directly or through proxies, to stall such progress on the track as if their own future depended on such efforts than any positive approach to domestic politics. more..

The price of alleged “Peace Talks”

July 22 (LG) Peace can never be achieved through `Peace Talks’ where one party utilizes those `talks’ and the attendant `ceasefire’ to strengthen itself and strike the other at an opportune moment. This has been the experience of Sri Lanka, where every set of so called `peace talks’ only resulted in the LTTE getting stronger and the carnage and suffering among our People increasing in Geometric Progression. more..

The continuing shocking saga of Bruce Fein

July 22 (LG) Last week Sri Lanka Guardian contacted the head and founder of Tamils for Justice Mr Jayantha Gnanakone, to have his attorney answer some questions in view of widespread concerns about the formation of Justice for Thamils and the still unaccounted large sums of funds collected in Toronto, 95% of which it was reported was in cash. more..

Tamil National Alliance is to take issues with New Delhi

July 22 (LG) Mavai Senathirajah, Tamil National Alliance senior Parliamentarian and the son of the soil of Mavitapuram, reiterates that TNA will not let any country for that matter even India to exploit the resources in the Tamil homeland without the consent of the Tamil people, and that they would vehemently, oppose, defeat and deter all such moves at any cost. They are prepared to pay any price. more..

Eviction of people from their houses in Colombo

July 22 (LG) Intellectuals for human rights (IHR) vehemently condemn the brutal acts of the government in evicting unauthorized residents from their houses at Slave Island in Colombo last Friday (18th July 2008). The Urban Development Authority (UDA), officials under orders from the Ministry of Defence, demolished the houses of the people who have been living over 50 years in the Glain Street area of Slave Island, Colombo, claiming more..

Among our friendly fellow folks in the north

July 22 (LG) As we got off the aircraft at Palali three days ago, our first impression was that we had landed in the middle of a jungle; and that we thought was rather strange. This was quite bizarre because Palali was a regional airport that used to service flights to India apart from linking Colombo, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai. But a totally unjustified civil war has changed all that and more..

Hands off Katchativu

July 22 (LG) India and Sri lanka negotiated the maritime borders which was part of the agreement where the Island of Kachaitheeivu was also discussed and resolved. It is nonsense for the honorable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, to make inappropriate statements, after 35 years and even in a immature manner, claim that Kachaitheevu was "gifted" to Sri Lanka. In international law, and maritime boundary claims this could possibly be even time barred after 35 years, more..

Wickramabahu demand the immediate release of LTTE members arrested in Italy

July 22 (AT) The London based Fourth International, affiliated to a small band of Sri Lanka’s revolutionary Trotskyite Marxists called Left Front led by Wickramabahu Karunaratne demanded that Italy should immediately release the LTTE members arrested all over the country, after the LTTE organized Ponku Thamil rally in that country. "We see these arrests as a move to undermine the legitimate demand of the Tamil nation for self-determination and more..

Sri Lanka laid the foundation, Centre for Intellectual Property

July 22 (AT) The foundation stone was laid for the construction of the Center for the protection of the Intellectual Property at D.R. Wijayawardene Mawatha in Colombo on the 16th July under the initiative by the President Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse and the estimated cost of the project is Rs.100 million. All the Intellectuals, Authors and the various Artists working in the different field praised the President for his idea and his effort of protecting their creative works and the rights of the Artists. more..

'Struggle to get wage increase will be carried out until final victory'

July 22 (LT) The struggle to get salary increase for the working people will be carried on until the demands are met and the vicious ploys to sabotage the struggle of the working people would be defeated says President of the NTUC JVP Parliamentarian K.D. Lal Kanthe. Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the series of meetings held at National Hospital in Colombo today to rally the working class for the struggle to increase wages Mr. Lal Kanthe said, more..

Stop closing down schools for SAARC summit! – IUSF

July 22 (LT) A protest campaign was held by Inter Universities Students' Federation (IUSF) to protest against closing down 50 schools in Colombo area for 7 days on behalf of SAARC summit. Speaking to 'Lankatruth' convener of IUSF Udul Premaratne said the government has decided to close down nearly 50 schools in Colombo area to supply lodging facilities for police personnel who will be deployed for security of the SAARC summit. more..

Public protest against LTTE terrorism in Germany

July 22 (GDI) Sri Lankans in Germany and all who reject LTTE terrorism will hold a demonstration on the July 26 in Berlin to protest against LTTE intimidation of Tamils living in Germany and LTTE forcible recruitment of child solders in areas under its control. The protest will begin at 1:00pm on Saturday July 26, 2008, at the water fountain in front of the Red City Hall (Rote Rathaus) in Berlin Mitte. more..

Eastern youth to be recruited for 500 Korean jobs

July 22 (GDI) Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Keheliya Rambukwella said today (21) that steps have been taken to provide 500 employment opportunities in Korea for youth from the Eastern Province. The selected batch will be provided with a preparatory language course prior to their departure. Minister Rambukwella added that decision was taken following a discussion he had with the Secretary of the Eastern Provincial Council. more..

Sri Lanka-India trade deal proponents emphasise benefits

July 22 (LBO) Sri Lankan proponents of a new trade and investment treaty with India say the island should go ahead with the deal as it gives access to a fast-growing economy with a huge market. Mano Selvanathan, president of the Indo-Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says safeguards built into the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) should take care of concerns of Sri Lankan businesses and professionals. more..

25 Years later: The haunting spectre of 1983

July 22 (TC) The last week of July this year would mark the 25th anniversary of one of the darkest chapters in the history of our island nation. It was the week when a racist rabble encouraged by those in power went against a helpless minority living within Sinhala majority regions of Sri Lanka. It was a shameful episode that created immense problems and caused great harm to the country’s image. Twenty five years have passed but the country is yet to recover from that fateful July. more..

Challenges facing the church today

July 22 (TC) The Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo, was chosen by the Archbuihop of Canterbury to deliver the sermon at the opening Eucharist of the Lambeth Conference of all Anglican Bishops world-wide held once in ten years. It is being held this year at the University of Kent at Canterbury. The following is the text of his sermon delivered at the Canterbury Cathedral on Sunday more..

Commemorating July 1983: Bridges that continue to hold

July 22 (FI) On July 23, 1983 law and order in Sri Lanka virtually collapsed as mobs went on a rampage, inciting anarchy and fear, uprooting Tamil people, looting and burning their property and killing many of them. These mobs backed by sections of the then Government claimed they were motivated by the desire to avenge the killing of 13 Sri Lankan soldiers by the LTTE in the northern city of Jaffna. more..

It's a mistake to focus on Mendis alone - Dravid

July 22 (CI) Rahul Dravid, the Indian batsman, has said it would be wrong to concentrate solely on tackling Ajantha Mendis, the Sri Lankan spinner, before the three-Test series against Sri Lanka begins on Wednesday at the SSC in Colombo. Mendis, known for his variations, was hyped as a sensation before his international debut and in his eighth match, spun Sri Lanka to victory in the Asia Cup final against India with figures of 6 for 13. more..

SC order against demolition came late - Police

July 22 (LD) Police have claimed a delay in the handover of a court order staying the demolition of houses at Glennie Street, Colombo. By the time the notice came, all constructions had been dismantled, said police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara. He was responding to a question at a media briefing at the Media Centre for National Security today (July 21st). However, the query was meant to be answered by Defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella. more..

Another suspect shot dead in 'self defence'

July 22 (LD) One more victim was added today (July 21st) to the list of suspects being shot dead by the police while being accompanied in search of hidden weapons. The latest incident took place near Dam Street, Colombo around 3.30 pm. The victim, who had been detained in connection with a firearms offence, had allegedly snatched a hidden revolver and tried to shoot a policeman. more..

P.B. Jayasundara guilty in LMSL deal

July 22 (LD) The Supreme Court has ordered Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara to pay Rs. 500,000, the highest ever compensation in a fundamental rights case, after finding him guilty of having concealed facts to the Cabinet and being party to an act of massive corruption. The case relates to the sale of a 90 per cent stake of Lanka Marine Services Ltd. by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to more..

Sri Lanka's sensation Mendis spins a mystery

July 22 (Reuters) Unorthodox Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis, who has confounded batsmen with his range of variations without a perceptible change in his action, has become the talking point ahead of the test series against India. Mendis, 23, destroyed India with a haul of six wickets for 13 in the final of the Asia Cup one-day competition and should make his test debut in the series starting on Wednesday in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka rebels declare ceasefire for SAARC summit

July 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka Tamil Tiger rebels said on Tuesday they would observe a unilateral ceasefire with the military to support the South Asian Regional summit. The rebel unilateral ceasefire came as the Sri Lanka hosting the 15th summit of the eight nation, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). more..

Furious minister throws out manager

July 22 (LNP) Relations between Sri Lanka s splintered cricketing establishment and the government took a dramatic turn yesterday as a tough talking sports minister Gamini Lokuge approved the team for the first Test against India starting on Wednesday but rejected the appointment of ex-captain Hashan Tillekaratne as manager in an unprecedented move unparalleled in the annals of the sport s history. more..

Best Air focus on Lankan potential

July 22 (LNP) Sri Lanka has tremendous business potential and this was the reason for Best Air Bangladesh to launch direct flights to Colombo said Chairman Best Aviation Ltd., M. Haider Uzzaman last evening in Colombo. In an Exclusive interview with Daily News Business he said that they are looking at more opportunities in Sri Lanka especially in the agriculture, infrastructure and aviation sectors. more..

Minister justifies demolition of houses

July 22 (SAMN) Police on Monday insisted that they had got the Supreme Court (SC) stay order suspending the demolishing of illegal houses along Glennie Street in Slave Island only after the Urban Development Authority (UDA) had completed its task. Addressing a news briefing, police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera said police were deployed in the area last week merely to provide protection to the UDA officials, but were compelled to use “minimum force” after residents pelted the police with stones. more..

Militants give up guns for jobs in Seoul

July 22 (SAMN) The government is to provide employment in South Korea to more than 75 former militants from the Tamil Makkal Viduthali Puligal (TMVP) cadres from the East, in a bid to prevent them from taking up arms again. A meeting to seek the possibility of sending the cadres overseas was held Monday between Foreign Employment Minister and government defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella and representatives from Pillayan’s party. more..

Polls one by one or all at once: MR

July 22 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Monday the government would exercise its prudence and sagacity in deciding as to when the elections for the remaining Provincial Councils should be held. He was speaking at a function held at the Temple Trees to present appointment letters to 1000 Transaction Assistants of the People’s Bank. “To survive in politics you should use tact and in good judgement. more..

Foreign security: IGP won’t divulge

July 22 (SAMN) The details of the number of foreign security contingent due to arrive in the country for the forthcoming SAARC summit in Colombo cannot be disclosed for security reasons, IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne said. “I cannot divulge the exact number due to security reasons but we are expecting heads of states or governments to bring their personal security when arriving in the island,” Wickremaratne added. more..

All set for productive Summit in Colombo

July 22 (DN) The forthcoming 15th SAARC summit will showcase to the entire world Sri Lanka’s resilience against terrorism and the country’s vibrant democracy, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said yesterday. Outlining the programme and the preparations ahead of the Summit to journalists at the BMICH, Minister Bogollagama opined that based on the SAARC theme Partnership for Our People, the agenda is all set for Sri Lanka to hold an extremely constructive summit in Colombo, more..

Rs. 6.2 billion for developing the East

July 22 (DN) Since the restoration of democracy in the Eastern Province, the Government has allocated Rs. 6.2 billion for its development, Government Defence Affairs spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. “Today 95 per cent of the East is under a political administration after being cut off from the national mainstream for over two decades,” he told a media briefing at the Media Centre for National Security yesterday. more..

VIPs urged to pay attention to personal security during polls campaign

July 22 (Island) Senior DIG (Elections) Gamini Navaratne yesterday urged VIPs to pay maximum attention to their personal security while on campaign. Tthe threat from LTTE terrorists looms large, he said. "There is a tendency among VIPs to relax their security while campaigning for the elections to Sabaragamuwa and North Central provinces," he said. The DIG who said security would be bolstered with deployment of Police personnel from more..

Blood Centre allays fears

July 22 (Island) The National Blood Centre yesterday allayed fears of blood donors of being infected by outdated Plasma pherasis kits. Chief of the National Blood Centre Dr. R.M. Bindusara said that the number of donors had dropped drastically during last two weeks because of malicious publicity. She strongly denied allegations that donors were in danger of getting infected due to the use of plasma pharesis kits which were past their expiry date. more..

Secret deal on rail track: Union

July 22 (DM) Railway trade unions expressed concern yesterday over an alleged move to lease out the Galle-Matara railway line to an Indian private company for six months, purportedly to effect improvement. Sumathipala Manawadu, Convenor of the Organization for Protection of the Properties and Rights of Railway Employees said they had reasons to believe there were ulterior motives behind this move as the agreement was to be signed on August 1 under cover of the SAARC summit. more..

LTTE rejects South Africa, Iceland initiatives

July 22 (DM) The LTTE has rejected offers by South Africa and Iceland to facilitate peace talks between the government and the LTTE. LTTE Military Spokesperson Rasiah Illanthariyan said that the rebels would not accept any country other than Norway in the facilitator’s role as it was Norway that had initiated the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002. “We will not accept South Africa or Iceland as facilitators to this ethnic conflict. We will move forward with the peace talks only with Norway,” more..

Sri Lankan unions call for further strikes and protests over pay

July 22 (wsws) Despite a relatively low turnout for a one-day general strike on July 10, Sri Lankan trade unions are calling for further action in support of their demands for a 5,000-rupee rise in monthly pay, cost-of-living allowances and reduced railway and bus fares. Tens of thousands of public sector employees including in the hospitals, railways, the Government Press, Government Factory, Ceylon Transport Board and Ceylon Electricity Board, more..

Heavy security takes the fun out of Sri Lankan weddings

July 22 (AFP) Ahead of a South Asia regional summit in early August, the Sri Lankan government has dealt weddings yet another blow by ordering five-star hotels to cancel all banquet hall and restaurant bookings for a week. As if wedding nerves, guest lists and the right dress were not enough to deal with, Sri Lankan brides-to-be are finding their big day dominated by heavy security, inflation and even global politics. more..

Spoil Sports, or an Oppportunity for a Dignified Exit

July 22 (GV) This morning, I woke up to the news that the LTTE had declared an unilateral ceasefire during the SAARC conference. Of course, war is not a sport - but their declaration must be causing a slight dilemma for the Sri Lankan Military. Here’s an extract from the LTTE’s press release that was said to have originated from LTTE’s Political Office in the Vanni during the early hours of this morning: more..

Church appeals over crippling rise in electricity bills

July 22 (UCAN) Archbishop Oswald Gomis of Colombo has asked Sri Lanka's Supreme Court to direct the government to lower electricity rates for religious institutions after the recent removal of a subsidy caused hardship. Clergy representing Archbishop Gomis appealed on July 9 to the Supreme Court on behalf of the Church for a reduction in electricity charges. They argued that religious places including Buddhist temples depend on donations from the people. more..

School boy assaulted and frightened by death threats made by his Principal

July 22 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding a 19 year old school boy assaulted and frightened by death threats made by the Principal of his school Sri Dharmalankara Maha Vidyalaya, Galle on 23 April 2008. On 23 April 2008 Janith left for school on his bicycle at about 7.15. am. On the way the bicycle chain broke and he went to get it repaired. more..

Demoralisation of the armed forces and shared values

July 22 (AHRC) The recent questioning of some representatives of several well known human rights organisations in Sri Lanka about a pamphlet which called for the ending of impunity regarding disappearances raises many serious questions. The questioning is based on the assumption that the publication amounted to an act that demoralised the armed forces. Emergency regulations have created an offence of any act causing demoralisation of the armed forces. more..

Sri Lanka economy, tourism targeted by Tamil Tigers: official

July 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's hoteliers say the industry is heading for the worst crisis in its history amid an ongoing internal conflict, while a senior government official said the economy and tourism was targeted by Tamil Tiger guerillas. Foreign visitors to the island fell 9.3 percent in May, hard hit by travel warnings, though intensive action by a restructured tourism promotional body and the industry may be helping ward off some of the negative fallout. more..

JHU and NFF concerned over CEPA

July 23 (AT) The Jaathika Hela Urumaya has expressed serious concern over the proposed Indo-Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and conveyed the party's apprehensions to Minister G.L. Peiris. At a recent discussion with the minister, the Venerable Athureliye Ratana said that CEPA could turn out to be the same as SAPTA (South Asia Preferential Trade Agreement) or even worse. He recalled that SAPTA brought no benefit to Sri Lanka. more..

Palestine is safe for Sri Lankan tourists

July 23 (AT) Palestine is a best tourist attraction. West bank is a very safe place to meet the business community and the country on the whole is very peaceful. Sri Lanka’s Representative in Palestine, Dr. T.Jayasinghe said,"I wish to inform all Sri Lankans that they need not think twice about visiting Palestine. I have been to most of the important cities in West Bank to meet the business community and the local political leaders and there is no problem in moving about. more..