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Warnapura takes the honours on rain-hit day

July 24 (CI) Malinda Warnapura's brisk unbeaten 50 off 74 balls proved to be the difference between an emphatic session and a merely satisfactory one for India on a rain-hit opening day of the Test series. India's new-ball bowlers had Warnapura sorted out initially: seeing his penchant for front-foot play, they peppered him with bouncers, fooled him with slower ones, and got him to play ungainly shots, more..

Sri Lanka biscuit maker evolves to meet changing tastes

July 24 (LBO) Maliban Biscuits is launching new products aimed at the changing food habits of younger Sri Lankan consumers and is slowly regaining market share lost after a crippling strike three years ago. The biscuit manufacturer is now financially stronger with a young team of professionals in charge of its plan to emerge as a big player in the food industry, a senior official said. more..

Talks not seen as solution for Sri Lanka

July 24 (ZN) The civil war in Sri Lanka between the government and the separatist Tamil Tigers has now reached a point where opportunities for dialogue are basically nonexistent, says the archbishop of Colombo. Speaking from Colombo to Vatican Radio, Archbishop Oswald Gomis added that fighting will likely prove to be the only way to end the conflict. He said, “There are certain people who feel that this may be the only way to a solution; though there are those who still advocate peace talks. more..

‘Black July’ riots, 25 years later, and the rise of the Tamil Tigers

July 24 (NP) Twenty-five years ago this week, as many as 1,000 Sri Lankan Tamils were killed in what came to be known as the “Black July” riots. Majority Sinhalese nationalists, including Buddhist monks, went door-to-door in Sri Lankan cities looking for Tamils (who are predominately Hindu). The Sinhalese mobs dragged their victims into the street and either beat them to death with clubs and pipes or placed gasoline-soaked tires around their necks and set them alight, more..

Govt of Sri Lanka hailed Indian government’s victory

July 24 (AT) Government of Sri Lanka hailed Indian government’s victory on Tuesday and said it is another victory for Sri Lanka. Addressing a special press briefing at the parliament complex on Wednesday Minister Maithreepala Sirisena said it is a blessing for India and Sri Lanka. He said government has rejected LTTE’s so-called peace offer but said the UNP’s behavior on the government decision is shameful. more..

India intends to defeat SL politically - JVP

July 24 (LD) India's interventions in Sri Lanka's affairs are aimed at defeating the country politically, rather than coming up with a solution to its problems, said JVP Parliamentary Group leader, Anura Kumar Dissanayake. Speaking in Parliament yesterday (July 23rd), he said that the Indian intrusion has reached a climax. India, which aims to be an economic powerhouse, is attempting an economic expansionism, he added. more..

Govt. to take decision on P.B.

July 24 (LD) The government will come to a decision regarding Secretary of the Finance Ministry and the Treasury, Dr. P.B. Jayasundara, after considering the recent Supreme Court ruling against him, said senior Vice President of the SLFP, Nimal Siripala De Silva. Speaking at a UPFA press briefing at the Parliamentary complex yesterday (July 23rd), the Minister said that the cabinet would take up the matter in the future. more..

Customs seize 6 Prima containers

July 24 (LD) The Customs have suspended the release of six container loads of goods imported by Prima Flour Company, and launched an investigation with the support of the Board of Investment. According to reports, the goods have to be taxed, although they had been imported under the duty-free category. The BOI said that the state has lost Rs. 1.8 billion in tax revenue since 2001 due to such imports by producing bogus documentation. more..

Sri Lankan families count cost of war

July 24 (BBC) It was 25 years ago this week that a minor insurgency in Sri Lanka began to turn into a full-scale civil war. An attack by Tamil Tiger rebels in the north sparked rioting across the country targeting members of the Tamil minority. The events came to be known as Black July. More than 70,000 people have died in the conflict. Now the army says victory is finally in sight. In recent weeks the pace of the advance has quickened, but the Tigers deny they are facing defeat. more..

Sri Lanka: 25 years, and no lessons learnt

July 24 (IPS) On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom in Sri Lanka there are few signs that any positive lessons have been learnt from the gory events that changed this island nation’s history and sent a once booming economy into a downward trajectory. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the think tank Centre for Policy Alternatives and an often-quoted political analyst, says billions of dollars have since been spent on the quarter century of ethnic strife that followed ‘Black July’. more..

Air force says fighter jets strike rebel training camp, as 19 die elsewhere

July 24 (AP) Sri Lankan air force jets attacked a rebel training base in the north Thursday as new fighting in the civil war killed 19 people, the military said. The jets hit a Tamil Tigers base in the Mullaittivu district about 7:30 a.m., the military said in a statement. In other fighting, government troops killed nine rebels in battles in the Vavuniya region along the front lines, the military said. more..

Sri Lanka regulator supports use of derivatives

July 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's markets regulator, the SEC, is backing the introduction of derivative instruments structured around shares prices on the Colombo bourse. These will help investors hedge risk and encourage higher participation in the market, SEC director general Channa De Silva says. Initially, All Share Price Index related futures are being considered within the next year after a feasibility study by capital market specialists is completed. more..

Rubber production records 14.4% increase in first quarter

July 24 (GDI) A total of 36.9 million kilograms of rubber was produced during the first quarter of the yaer, a 14.4% increase over the corresponding period in 2007, it is reported. While the demand for natural rubber has increased following the fuel price hike in the world market, proper maintenance of rubber trees with rain protectors, delayed tapping during the rainy days and introduction of high yield clone variety from 2000 – 2002 have also more..

Clear UNP, LTTE nexus bared - Minister

July 24 (DN) Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithreepala Sirisena said yesterday that the political bankruptcy of the UNP was obvious through the suggestion to accept the unilateral ceasefire of the LTTE. The Minister said the UNP was not encouraging the Government to combat terrorism continuously when the three Armed Forces were victorious in the North. The Minister made this observation at a special press conference in Parliament. more..

Govt policies based on people’s aspirations - President

July 24 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa asserted that a responsible Government formulates policies based on the needs, requirements and the aspirations of the people and not on the expectations and whims and fancies of political parties and foreign countries with vested interests. President Rajapaksa opined that certain unscrupulous groups who lacked a sense of patriotism were endeavouring to overthrow the Government on the basis of the GSP+ concession being withdrawn by its donors. more..

Delhi asks Lankan VIPs not to come ‘unannounced’

July 24 (Island) The Indian Government has advised the Sri Lankan government to abide by protocol when politicians visit India to avoid any ununcomfortable situations. India’s External Affairs Ministry, in a special missive to the Sri Lanka’s New Delhi mission, has said that many Sri Lankan ministers arrive in the country without prior notification. India has called for an immediate end to this practice emphasizing that visitor security would depend on notice given to External Affairs Ministry. more..

Transport Union warns Govt. against victimizing strikers

July 24 (Island) The All Ceylon Transport Workers’ Union in a strongly worded letter addressed to the Minister of Transport Dallas Alahapperuma, has warned him of dire consequences to the SLCTB if he does not take steps to stop the haphazard transfer of July 10 strikers and reimburse the cost of damages caused to their nine regional union offices. The Union warned that as a self respecting Union it would be compelled to resort to action that could disgrace and damage the SLCTB if the Ministry did not respond. more..

Gale force winds, rains lash western coast

July 24 (DM) Gale force winds accompanied by heavy rain lashed several parts of the country early last morning killing at least three fishermen while the Navy launched a massive search operation for several missing fishing boats and their occupants. Several boats at sea or beached on the shore were also damaged. The Navy said it had deployed at least four warships to locate several fishing boats in Ahungalla, Beruwala and Negombo. more..

UNP scoffs at Govt’s claim of grabbing Killinochchi

July 24 (DM) UNP in parliament yesterday scoffed at the government’s claim that Killinochchi is within ‘grabbing distance’ of the security forces, saying the war is being used to cover up all its ills today. UNP MP for Puttalam district Palitha Ranga Bandara said that the government had not implemented any project beneficial to the country. MP Bandara said that the government is boasting about war to hoodwink the public who are subjected to undergo a myriad of problems. more..

'JVP will never allow the war to defeat tiger terrorists to be halted'

July 24 (LT) The government is conspiring to halt the war carried out by heroic Security Forces to defeat tiger terrorism but the JVP would never allow such an attempt by the government says General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. Mr. Silva said the government, which tried to stick pro-tiger label to the JVP when workers launched a token strike asking the government to fulfill several just demands, is now trying to have discussions with the tiger terrorist organization. more..

Sri Lanka rocked by court ruling against John Keells Holdings

July 24 (LBO) A landmark court ruling against Sri Lanka's John Keells group involving the privatization of a profitable marine bunkering unit which was coupled with a tax holiday, is sending shockwaves through the island's private and public sectors. Sri Lanka's Supreme Court said JKH had got a tax break through a 'false and illegal' manner and the then-chairman of the island's privatization commission, current Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera, had acted arbitrarily and exceeded his authority. more..

My name is Cedric. Do you remember me?

July 24 (GV) July usually passes me by without too much notice, beyond the vague worry that there might be a Tiger attack on Colombo, and a few flashbacks to that weekend in 1983. But this time it’s been a bit different. I’ve found myself reliving that day a lot more this year. It isn’t the fact that this is the 25th anniversary of the carnage which most people see as the starting point of our war, though that has been the focus of a lot of attention. more..

TNA MP Mr. R. Sampanthan remembers the events of July 1983

July 24 (GV) TNA MP Mr. R. Sampanthan speaks of the anti-Tamil riots of July 1983. Speaking of the “terrible experience for all Tamil people in Sri Lanka” he says that the riot was “premeditated pogrom… largely believed to be with the support of very influential forces within the then government”. He notes that there were Sinhalese friends who helped Tamil friends in distress and says that more..

'Military defeat of LTTE pre-condition for peace'

July 24 (GDI) Archbishop Oswald Gomis expressing his views to Vatican Radio pointed out that the opportunities for dialogue with the LTTE is basically nonexistent as the war has reached a decisive stage and added that fighting will likely prove to be the only way to end the conflict. He said, "There are certain people who feel that this may be the only way to a solution; though there are those who still advocate peace talks. more..

National Policy on Energy Development to be introduced soon

July 24 (GDI) The Ministry of Power and Energy has taken steps to introduce a National Energy Policy to overcome the challenges faced by the energy sector while contributing actively to national development, Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said. Minister Seneviratne said that there were many obstacles which inhibits the energy sector from contributing to national development due to the shortsighted policies adopted by various governments in the past. more..

Sri Lanka seeks partners to revive northern cement plant

July 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's industrial ministry plans to revive a defunct cement plant in Kankesanturai, in the northern Jaffna peninsula, through a joint venture, a government spokesman said. Industrial Development Minister Kumara Welgama has got cabinet approval to look for "suitable investors" for a joint venture to revive the cement plant which has been closed since 1990, information minister Anura Yapa said Thursday. more..

Three centurions make it SL's day

July 24 (CI) Sri Lanka overcame the shaky start on the first day and resumed normal service, accumulating runs on the placid SSC pitch, and capitalised on reprieves to move into a position of strength. Mahela Jayawardene looked set from the moment his innings began shortly before stumps last evening and, by tea, he had scored a classy 105 and threatened to punish India severely for the opportunities they failed to take. more..

Sri Lankan forces say they capture rebel territory as battles kill 50 rebels, 4 soldiers

July 24 (AP) Sri Lankan forces battled rebel gunmen deep inside the nation's northern jungles Thursday, killing 25 guerrilla fighters and seizing new territory, the military said. Other battles killed 25 rebels and four soldiers, the military said. The fighting in the northern Mullaitivu district, a key part of the rebels' de facto state, began early Thursday morning and erupted into hours of gunbattles, more..

Colombo finds Manmohan's trust vote victory a blessing

July 24 (IANS) The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has welcomed the trust vote victory of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government in the Lok Sabha, saying that it would be advantageous to Sri Lanka’s ongoing military onslaught against the Tamil Tigers, a media report here said Thursday. Senior minister Maithiripala Sirisena said at a media briefing Wednesday that had the Indian government been defeated in the trust vote, it would have resulted in instability not only in India, but also in the south Asian region. more..

Bishop de Chickera’s Lambeth sermon bare on integrity

July 25 (LG) Nowhere in his sermon was any reference or recognition of Christian identity giving the impression, no doubt, that it is the Anglican identity that is primary to Christian discipleship. The Rt Rev Duleep de Chicekra, the Bishop of Colombo delivering the sermon at the opening Eucharist of the Fourteenth Decennial Lambeth Conference of the worldwide Anglican Communion being held currently in Canterbury, England called for more..

Tigers kissing the hand that it cannot cut

July 25 (LG) The latest gimmick of the Tamil Tigers is to declare “a unilateral ceasefire that is devoid of military actions during the period of the SAARC conference from 26th July to 4th August”. This move is hyped in the official press release of the Tigers as “a sign of goodwill ….. to develop friendship with the countries of the world and our neighbouring countries in our region.” more..

'Tigers the worst enemies of Tamils, not the Sinhalese'

July 25 (LG) Attacking the Ponku Thamil demonstrations of the Tamils in the diaspora, Dr. Noel Nadesan, Editor of the leading community Tamil newspaper in Australia, UTHAYAM, has compared the LTTE to extinct dinosaurs in his latest contribution to the Thenee -- a leading anti-Tiger Tamil websites gaining wide popularity in the Tamil diaspora. Leading anti-Tiger activists and writers contribute to Thenee. more..

Facts & Fallacies Of Black July

July 25 (LG) A Sinhala newspaper in August 1983 published articles by a number of Sinhala merchants, for instance: Our merchants rarely had an opportunity to import essential commodities. Up till now trade in these commodities in Pettah has continued to be a monopoly in the hands of people who are not citizens by descent. Our people had no room in the paper market, which covers an area of one square mile. more..

Disgraceful LTTE supporting Tamil Diaspora

July 25 (LG) Having embroiled in the Sri Lankan politics ever since circumstances pulled me in to it during my young age, I have engaged with the determination and the underline desire to gain the denied political rights of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. The democratic agitation of the Tamils eventually led to an armed struggle and as the time passed the very same armed struggle has changed into a mammoth human swallowing machinery and is even preying its own people. more..

For the sake of future operations

July 25 (LG) The Indian Navy is in Sri Lanka with a strong force that includes the elite Black Cat Commandos for the SAARC Summit. Indian PM Manmohan Singh is to arrive in the island in two days. Indian spy satellites hover over the Vanni, observing the progresses made by the Army for unknown reasons. As speculated by some sources, the Sri Lankan Army is under no pressure to stop the war abruptly. This is false information. more..

Are We Sri Lankan Malays Doomed?

July 25 (LG) The 70 thousand small Malay community in the island at present is in a state of limbo as they are fast losing their culture, language and identity swamped by the cultures and life styles of the majority Sinhalese and Tamils. Some Malays have observed the culture of their co-religionists the Moors, which essentially is different from those of the Malays who originated from Indonesia and Malaysia. more..

SARRC countries must recognize Tamils' right to self determination! - TNA

July 25 (LG) Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Shivajilingam, addressing the Parliament, appealed to the SAARC countries to recognize the right to self determination of the Tamil people. He stated that the LTTE has announced a unilateral ceasefire to coincide with the holding of the SAARC summit in Sri Lanka, while the government was attempting to depict the LTTE as terrorists. more..

'The time has come to find a political solution or let the Tamils determine their destiny'

July 25 (LG) The TNA leader MP R. Sampanthan said in Parliament yesterday that time is ripe for the international community to boldly tell Sri Lanka to accept the internal self-determination rights of the Tamil people if it cannot deliver a political solution. He accused the Sri Lankan Government of "destroying our society, culture and economy". more..

The Lost One

July 25 (PISL) The tragic events of July 1983 contributed more than any others to protracted war in Sri Lanka, the exacerbation of a political problem into one of violence and unremitting hostility. In recognition of this, the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process will be publishing each day this week some of the creative writing about those events which depicts the collective response of Sri Lankans to the suffering of our Tamil fellow citizens. more..

Reflections on the 25th Anniversary of the July 1983 tragedy

July 25 (PISL) Reports from the North suggest that at long last there seems an end in sight to LTTE terrorism. This has to be said with circumspection, for the LTTE is a very capable outfit, its resources reaching far and wide. It could pull several rabbits out of its hat, and so it continues essential for the government to guard against assaults on all sides, offensives in the north, sniping in the East, large scale terror elsewhere, and also more..

On-going conflict situation ruins the Travel and Tourism industry

July 25 (AT) At the Annual General Meeting of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka held at the BMICH,in an overview of the Tourism Industry it is indicated that the year 2007 saw a set-back in tourism with tourist arrivals declining by 11.7 percent to 494,008 compared to 559,603 in 2006. The overview indicated that travel advisories issued by major tourist originating countries including the UK, Germany, Australia, Italy and France were a detriment to the progress of the tourism industry. more..

Sri Lanka gains high visibility at the ASEAN Regional Forum

July 25 (AT) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama accompanied by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa participated in the high level segment of the Ministerial session of the 15th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) today, (24th July 2008) in Singapore, at which he was joined by ministerial colleagues from the US, Russia, China, Japan, Australia and South Korea, among the other 27 member states. more..

Parliament to debate on the oil exploration

July 25 (AT) Petroleum Minister A.H.M.Fowzi said the government plans to hold a parliamentary debate on oil exploration in mid of next month. The debate was a request of the JVP Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Replying to a earlier statement of the NFF Ledear Wimal Weerawansa, Minister Fowzi told the forth-coming Oil exploration business would bring 100 percent successful results to the government of Sri Lanka. more..

Prabakaran targeted: Norway wants to remove him to a safe haven

July 25 (AT) Sri Lanka war weary troops have begun to lay siege of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts, targeting a high valued crucially figure. In the meantime ‘Asian Tribune’ reliably learnt that an untenable situation has arisen over the safety of Velupillai Prabakaran, the reclusive Leader of the Tamil separatists and terrorists outfit, LTTE, as the defensive arrangement to safeguard him turning out to be more and more porous and indefensible. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

July 25 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a joint memorandum submitted by President Mahinda RaJapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning and Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development for the construction of a Twin Tower building complex on the land in extent of 4 acres and 37.10 perches at Transworks Square, Colombo 01. The building is expected to consist of 103,000 square meters of more..

Sri Lanka will not sign economic pact with India: minister

July 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka will not sign an economic pact with India until fears of local industrialists and professionals which suddenly cropped up despite four years of discussions are allayed, the island's international trade minister said. "We certainly do not want to sign an agreement by force," international trade minister G L Pieris told reporters. more..

Sri Lankans must plan for retirement early says financial professional

July 25 (LBO) Sri Lankans must start making specific plans to save and invest money early enough to help at the time of retirement or in an emergency, financial sector professionals say. Most young people have not planned their future based on their earnings and despite high inflation levels in Sri Lanka, a certain amount can be allocated for savings, says Hasitha Premaratne, head of corporate finance at Brandix. more..

Sri Lanka to develop prime state property in capital

July 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka will look for private investors to develop prime state property in the heart of the capital Colombo, who would be expected to build a two-tower high rise which could cost around 200 million US dollars, a senior minister said. The land is the so-called Transworks Square, a four acre 37.4 perch property which houses the historic Transworks House, information minister Anura Yapa said. more..

John Seneviratne new COPE Chairman

July 25 (LD) Minister of Power and Energy, John Seneviratne, was elected Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) yesterday (July 23th). However, the UNP has termed the appointment unlawful, and said it would boycott committee deliberations. Earlier in the day, Minister of Mass Media and Information, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, was elected Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA).

Undergrads smash gates & storm UGC

July 25 (GDI) Protestors smashed gates of the University Grants Commission in Colombo and stormed the premises today (July 24th) during an agitation to demand solutions to problems at the Faculty of Allied Sciences at the University Peradeniya. The undergraduates, led by the Inter-University Students Council, demanded a meeting with the UGC chairman. Convener of the Council, Upul Premaratne told 'Lanka Dissent' that the faculty opened two years ago had no physical or human resources. more..