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Handicrafts exhibition to showcase Sri Lanka to her South Asian neighbours

July 28 (GDI) The National Crafts Council has organized a handicraft exhibition at the Colombo National Art Gallery from July 29 to August 2 to coincide with the 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo. The exhibition will portray Sri Lanka's identity and pride to the South Asian Heads of States, diplomats, officials and other special invitees attending the SAARC Summit and provide a market and international exposure to our intrinsic artistic creations, more..

India Sri Lanka economic links de-railed by protectionism

July 28 (LBO) The developing discourse on a trade agreement with India is disturbing. The proponents of the manjokka economy, led by experts on plug removal and tooth extraction, are framing the debate. The level of naiveté displayed by those who should know better, including those who write newspaper columns and the quick surrender by the Minister of International Trade, a man whose intelligence and eloquence cannot be questioned, bodes ill for the future of this little island. more..

Sri Lankan cosmetic market offers good prospects, says Oriflame

July 28 (LBO) Cosmetics manufacturer Oriflame says the market for its products in Sri Lanka grew by almost half in 2007, more than the average growth rate of markets in the Asian region. "This means there is a lot of potential," said Kanny Gordon, marketing manager, Oriflame Lanka Private Limited. Sales of Oriflame products in Asia increased by 43 percent in 2007, Gordon said at the launch of its new perfume 'Sensoria'. more..

'Killinochchi and Mullaitivu, like the East, will be liberated soon'

July 28 (GDI) Addressing a rally in Anuradhapura in support of the United People's Freedom Alliance candidates contesting the North Western Provincial Council election yesterday (26), President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that no period in history since the time of King Parakramabahu the Great has seen a development drive as the present one launched by the Government. more..

Sri Lanka condemns terrorist attacks in India

July 28 (DPA) President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday condemned terrorist attacks in Indian cities of Bangalore and Ahmedabad, and said the two governments remain firm in their commitment to jointly fight terrorism in South Asia. Sri Lanka, being a country gravely affected by the scourge of terrorism for more than two decades, 'understands well how the manipulators of terror seek to destroy the harmonious relations among communities and the democratic traditions that prevail in our societies,' more..

Dammika Prasad added to Test squad

July 28 (CI) The Sri Lankan selectors have added Dammika Prasad, a right-arm fast-medium bowler to the squad for the second Test against India starting at Galle on Thursday. Selection committee sources said they need a quick bowler who can beat the bat quite often and it was with this in mind they had added the 25-year-old right Prasad to the squad. Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Kulasekara, the new-ball bowlers for the first Test, are among the slowest Sri Lanka have had in recent times. more..

Not war, humanitarian mission: President

July 28 (SAMN) While claiming the ongoing military activity in the north is only a ‘humanitarian mission’ to reaffirm the right to life of all people, President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday said security forces have already weakened considerably the striking capabilities of the LTTE. “What is happening in the North is nothing more nothing less than a humanitarian mission to reaffirm the right to life of all people, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others,” more..

2 Indian warships anchored near SL

July 28 (SAMN) Two Indian warships INS Ranvir and INS Mysore will be anchored just outside Sri Lankan territorial waters to provide security to the Indian Prime Minister and other high ranking officials who will be in Colombo to attend this week’s SAARC Summit. “The two ships will only operate just outside the Sri Lankan waters and the Sri Lanka Navy will provide security in the Sri Lankan waters during the summit,” a top defence official said. more..

Hundreds of families living under trees

July 28 (SAMN) With fighting in the North further escalating, the humanitarian situation is continuing to deteriorate with more families in Kilinochchi being forced to live under trees for want of temporary shelters, a humanitarian assessment report said. The latest report by the IASC says in Akkarayan alone in the Kilinochchi District there are 817 newly displaced families living under trees with both UNHCR and UNICEF continue to distribute tarpaulin sheets for their shelter. more..

Numberless vehicles used for campaign

July 28 (SAMN) The Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CAFFÉ) monitoring the forthcoming Provincial Council election alleged Sunday there were a large number of vehicles without number plates moving in Anuradhapura and Ratnapura areas. A CAFFÉ Media Spokesman Keerthi Tennakoon said they had informed the Elections Commissioner on the matter. He said a black double cab was seen from around 10 in the morning till evening in Kalawana on Saturday. more..

Foreign investors to construct 100,000 houses

July 28 (DN) Moves are underway to construct 100,000 housing units using low cost modern technologies within the coming three years for low and middle class income earners, Construction and Engineering Services Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. He said that there is a need for more than one million houses for low and middle class community throughout the country. Houses will be constructed for the middle income earning group at a cost of between Rs. 600,000 to Rs. 1.5 million. more..

Kankasanthurai cement factory to reopen soon

July 28 (DN) Moves are under-way to reopen the Kankasanthurai Cement factory as a step to cater to the local cement demand, Lanka Cement Limited Chairman Sisira Paranagama said. He said a sustainable solution could be found for the prevailing cement shortage in the market and stable cement prices too could be maintained. He said nearly 3,000 job opportunities could be generated with the opening of the factory. more..

TNA for APRC Only after agreeing with UNP

July 28 (DM) All Party Representative Committee Chairman and Minister Tissa Vitharana said yesterday he would invite the TNA for the APRC only after reaching consensus with the UNP regarding the political package for the resolution of the North-East problem. Professor Vitharana was commenting on a statement by European Union delegation saying the APRC was incomplete without the TNA. more..

SC orders the construction to continue

July 28 (DM) The Supreme Court ordered the construction of a church which was stopped following a repeated destruction by an armed group be continued and directed the Inspector General of Police to produce any body who violates the order before court. The bench comprising Justices J. A. N. de Silva, Saleem Marsoof and P. A. Ratnayake made this order following a fundamental rights petition filed by a priest for abrupt manner in which the Ja-Ela Police stopped the celebration of the Holy Mass held in the church. more..

Forces on alert to thwart LTTE threats on several fronts

July 28 (Island) Sri Lanka’s biggest ever security operation is underway with armed forces and police given multiple targets to thwart a major LTTE attack during the 15th SAARC conference. The military said preventing an LTTE attack in the city and its suburbs in the next few days would be a major priority. It would be an element in the overall security objectives aimed at keeping the LTTE at bay, more..

Treasury Chief paints bleak picture of state finances

July 28 (Island) Treasury Secretary D. P. B. Jayasundera has assured Environmental and Natural Resources Minister Champika Ranawaka of additional funding at the next Budget. He said it would be a benchmark for other ministries. "We’ll make the funding necessary for the project," he said. Commenting on the recently introduced Environmental Levy, he said tax would facilitate their efforts to protect the environment. more..

Sri Lankan expats rally to counter LTTE lies

July 28 (GDI) Countering the blatant attempts of pro-LTTE groups aimed at distorting the truth about the situation in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankans living in several European and Scandinavian countries have stepped forward to unveil the true nature of the LTTE front groups operating in these countries under the banner of charity organizations. Accordingly a number of highly successful anti-LTTE demonstrations have taken place in most of European cities in the past week. more..

Officials of SAARC countries discuss key regional issues

July 28 (GDI) SAARC-related deliberations among top officials from the member states commenced at the BMICH yesterday (July 27) with a meeting of officials of relevant foreign ministries. The officials are reported to have given priority to four issues- food security, energy crisis, terrorism, and climate change. A foreign ministry official said that the SAARC commenced its meeting, with Sri Lanka taking the chair from India. more..

Massive anti terrorism demonstration in Paris

July 28 (GDI) More than thousand Sri Lankans and their French friends gathered at Trocadero, the most significant landmark of Paris, under the shadow of the Eiffle Tower, to protest against terrorist attacks unleashed by the LTTE. The demonstrators, carrying photographs of the victims of the most brutal killings of innocent civilians by the Tamil Tigers urged France and the European Union to immediately ban the front organizations of the LTTE such as WTM, ORT (TRO of France), Tamil Sangham and other Tamil Eelam associations. more..

Sri Lanka pepper trade calls for end to Indian restrictions

July 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's pepper trade has demanded an end to import restrictions imposed by India that they say violates the spirit of a free trade accord between the two countries. The call was made by Gulam Chatoor, a former chairman of the Spices and Allied Products Association, on the eve of a south Asian summit to be attended by Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to discuss better regional integration. more..

Sri Lanka regional development banks to merge

July 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's finance ministry plans to bring a proposed new law to amalgamate six regional development banks (RDBs) to parliament early next month, a senior official says. The main stake holders of the banks last week gave the green light to the proposed act which is now being examined by the attorney general's department, says D M S Batagoda, head of the ministry’s public enterprise department. more..

'Handing over administration of electricity to India jeopardizes security of the country'

July 28 (LT) With the cabinet approval to set up a cable line from India to Sri Lanka to transmit electricity, India has been able to control electricity consumption in Sri Lanka says Information Secretary of the JVP and its Parliamentarian Vijithe Herath. Speaking at a media meeting held at Hotel Nippon to apprise the current threat of Indian mediation, Mr. Herath said Indian intervention in internal affairs of Sri Lanka has acutely intensified recently. more..

Mervin the ogre does devils act at Plonnaruwa

July 28 (LT) Minister of Labour Mervin Silva with a band of thugs had broken into a shop in Industrial Zone at Nuwaragala in Pollonnaruwa District owned by Mr. K.M.L. Jayasinghe, a supporter of the JVP, at about 11.00 p.m. last night, assaulted the people in the shop, shot at them and damaged the shop and motor bicycles parked at the shop states the media unit of the JVP. more..

Shares up 1.4 pct as Dubai deal stars

July 28 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares rose 1.41 percent on Monday to their highest close in more than a week, pushed up by the foreign buying of a majority stake in Associated Motorways AMW.CM, which boosted investor confidence. Dubai-based engineering firm Al-Futtaim bought 71 percent of the Sri Lankan motor vehicle company, 20 percent previously held by John Keells Holdings JKH.CM and 51 percent by Associated Electrical Corporation AEC.CM, analysts said. more..

Iran to Loan Sri Lanka on Electrification

July 28 (ID) Iran is to provide Sri Lanka with a $65 million loan to facilitate the transfer and supply of electricity to its remote rural areas. Sri Lanka’s Power and Energy Ministry said Saturday Iranian Ambassador Behnam Behrooz had said at the Rural Electrification Project discussions held at the ministry that arrangements were being made to provide the loan under the long-term friendship between the two countries. more..

New fighting in Sri Lanka kills 22 despite rebels' cease-fire offer

July 28 (AP) Sri Lankan troops launched a wave of attacks on Tamil Tiger bunkers that killed 18 guerrillas and four soldiers, despite a rebel decision to implement a temporary, unilateral cease-fire, the military said Monday. The rebels said last week they would halt attacks for 10 days starting last Saturday as a goodwill gesture in honor of a summit of South Asian leaders to be held in Colombo. more..

Judiciary won’t give in to any force - CJ

July 28 (LD) The judiciary will not allow anyone to squander the country’s resources through corruption, Chief Justice, Sarath N. Silva said. Speaking at the opening of the High Court in Moneragala on July 20th, the CJ said that the judiciary will not give in to pressure by the Finance Ministry, its officials or any other force. Noting that the judiciary took action against those who squandered the country’s wealth, the CJ said that at certain times, officials failed to abide by them. more..

Sri Lanka shifts site of planned second international airport

July 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's ports and aviation ministry has stopped work on a controversial new international airport in the island's south and decided to shift it to a new location. A ports and aviation ministry statement said the decision was taken after protests from farmers in the original site in Weerawila, in the Hambantota district, and owing to numerous environmental problems. more..

We are digging our own grave

July 29 (LG) It is 60 years since we gained independence and we boasted that we achieved it without bloodshed. Little did we know then that the bloodshed was yet to come. We are today faced with a never-ending war, killings, abductions, absence of law and order, and thriving bribery and corruption. But the funny thing is that wrong doers do not get the punishment they deserve. They go scot-free and continue to commit more crimes. more..

Black’ July

July 29 (LG) The last week saw the 25th anniversary of the unforgivable riots of July 1983 when unruly and inhuman mobs of thugs and hoodlums, most of whom were indisputably Sinhalese, attacked Tamils and their property in Colombo and several cities leaving a death of 471 according to Minister DEW Gunasekera. It was these inhuman acts that have led to the emergence of the term “Black July”. more..

New direction needed to arrest chaos

July 29 (LG) The Sri Lankan government continues to reject repeated calls by the international community to refrain from seeking a military solution to the Tamil national question and to engage in a political dialogue to resolve the conflict. The TIC urges the government to adopt a violence-reduction strategy that encourages cooperation among the island’s embattled communities, rather than continuing to pursue a destructive and divisive military solution in Sri Lanka. more..

Peace & stability in Srilanka: The role of Indian government

July 29 (LG) I will attempt to correlate the role& contribution of successive Indian governments to the peace & stability in Srilanka in the current context of prevailing ethnic tension. It is very significant to understand and appreciate Indian government’s help and support to maintain peace and stability in Srilanka. It is in the national interest of Srilanka and India to have good harmonious relationship. more..

SARRC summit in Colombo

July 29 (LG) SARRC summit is scheduled to be held in Colombo this week. SARRC countries are concerned about the security of their leaders, since it is hosted in Sri Lanka, where there is a war going on. Countries like India even sent their high power delegation to discuss matters relating to security in advance. India even stressed that they should monitor the air space during the holding of the Summit. more..

Western Democracy a Failure in Sri-Lanka

July 29 (LG) Western styled democracy inherent with the party system is what Sri-Lanka inherited from their last colonial masters, the British. The much vaunted Westminster styled democracy prevails with dire consequences and has been the bane of this land for more than half century. It has not only been responsible for the fragmentation of the body politic, but also the human family into bitter groups, more..

Community rehabilitation and livelihood recovery project

July 29 (RW) This initiative is helping both tsunami- and conflict-displaced families in resettlement areas in Ampara District. These beneficiaries have not received a basic infrastructure package (toilets, kitchens, and water supply) or any other substantial assistance (financial or otherwise). Additionally, the project addresses the nutritional security of school children through gardening. more..

Sri Lanka appeals to 10,000 men to return to the army

July 29 (ZN) Sri Lanka has appealed to about 10,000 army personnel who quit the force to rejoin service saying the war against the LTTE had reached a "decisive" juncture. "This is a very decisive juncture when the security forces have got the upper hand and need all the help they can get," Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the powerful Defence Secretary and brother of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. more..

'India didn't look fit to play Tests'

July 29 (PTI) Ripping apart already bruised and battered Indian team for their below-par show in the first Test, Sri Lankan media said the visitors did not look a side fit to play Test cricket. "They did not look a side fit to play at this level of the game. The Indian batsmen looked feetless wonders as they stayed manacled to the crease and refused to attack the spin. Had the Indian top order done that, such a disgraceful defeat would not have been slapped on them," more..

Sri Lanka to Give Israel’s Secrets to Iran

July 29 (LG) The United States, Israel and India are seriously concerned on proximity between the Iranian and Sri Lanka regimes recently, Cursor agency reported. The Israeli Military Industrial Complex (MIC) cancelled export of military technology and armaments to Sri Lanka in connection with this matter. Recently, Iran has become a main sponsor of this island country, investing considerable capital in economy and defense of Sri Lanka. more..

Diplomats promoting their personal views

July 29 (LG) The articles and letters now appearing in media, almost every week, under the names of Sri Lankan diplomats posted abroad for vital positions are not only misleading the world but degrading the status of the highly respected and valued positions they owed to represent. An ambassador is a government official or a minister of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government to an international organization to serve as the official representative of his or her own country with more..

Cries from the Palmyra grove

July 29 (LG) Gang burglary of several houses in an area in the same night has again started in the Jaffna Peninsula. It has to be repeated that such gangsterism involving several hours and 20-30 members going about in vehicles takes place under cover of a curfew proclaimed and 'strictly enforced' by the state security personnel and in an area fully covered and closely interspersed with security men and check points. more..

CEPA - not a pair of Indian rubber slippers

July 29 (LG) Many protests have been made on the signing of the CEPA. India would not pressurise GOSL to sign it unless it is advantageous to them. It is obvious that India is not a magnanimous country. It tried to dominate Sri Lanka politically through the LTTE. Having failed to do so, it is now trying economic neocolonialism. It is looking for job opportunities for its middle class and lower level people in the service sector numbering millions. more..

Perennial appeal of Ramayana to Indian and Lankan minds

July 29 (LG) The Ramayana has an extraordinary and perennial appeal to the Indian and Sri Lankan minds. A deeper study and understanding of the central message of Ramayana would bring the people of these two countries closer to each other. In fact, even within India as well as within Sri Lanka, a proper and true understanding of the core issues dealt with in Ramayana would go a long way to ensure harmony and peace. more..

Realism of Mass Emigration and its Effects on Tamil Demands

July 29 (LG) of Sri Lanka have left the island in very large numbers. According to estimates, the Tamil Diaspora is 600,000 strong scattered mainly in Western and Australasian countries. Resultantly, the local Tamil population has reduced relative to other communities. War and insecurity has provided a good excuse for hundreds of thousands to go to greener pastures every year. Although war is an excuse, is it the main reason for their emigration in recent times? more..

A golden opportunity the country can’t afford to miss

July 29 (LG) Within the next few days another feather is going to adorn your cap. You are going to be installed as the Chairperson of perhaps the largest regional organisation in the world the SARRC comprised of eight nations with a total population of over 1.7 billion people. I congratulate you, Your Excellency on your achievement in advance. more..

Some Thoughts on LTTE's Military Response

July 29 (TC) During the last one week, Sri Lanka army has kept up its momentum of advance. According to defence sources, the troops of 57 Division are on the periphery of line Tunukkai-Mallavi, west of A9 highway. We can expect them to secure the line from Vellankulam on the coast to Mallavi during the course of the week The LTTE's failed attempt to dislodge the security forces in area South of Vavunikulam tank by last Wednesday is significant. more..

Mahanayaka Thera supports media

July 29 (BBC) The Mahanayaka thera of the Malwatte Chapter the Ven.Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera has stressed the need to excert pressure on government to stop threat to media freedom in Sri Lanka. Secretary general of the Working Journalists Association (WJA) Poddala Jayantha who met Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Maha Thera on Monday said that they met the venarable thera to brief on the present situation faced by the media in Sri Lanka. more..

Mass Media and Information Minister exchanges views with SAARC journalists

July 29 (GDI) Two special "Media Zones" have been reserved for both local and foreign journalists covering the ongoing 15th SAARC summit in Colombo, under the supervision of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information and the Department of Government Information. Minister of Mass Media and Information, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa made a courtesy visit to the Media Zones to look into on going activities of the journalists at the locations, more..

SAARC media supporting staff gets Rs. 4,000 meal

July 29 (LD) A protest by staff running the SAARC foreign media unit at Hotel Trans Asia has ensured them a meal costing Rs. 4,000 per head after mediation by Sajin Vaas Gunawardena. Earlier, these officers from the Information and Police Departments had alleged they had not been provided with adequate facilities. Head of the Presidential Media Unit Lucien Rajakarunanayake and SSP Amarasinghe of the Presidential Security Division had complained about this to the Presidential Secretariat. more..

Irrelevance & Relevance of Black July’83

July 29 (AT) There have been many articles, lectures & even photo exhibitions to mark 25 years since "Black July" – many of these organizers have labored to portray the brutality of a month that led to deaths, destruction of property & looting. Overnight Sri Lanka & most importantly the Sinhalese were branded as "racists" & the world labeled the situation in our country as an "ethnic conflict" & whatever who is privy to what really happened may say more..

Sri Lankan Against Terrorism reprimanded two Labour MPs for participating in the LTTE sponsored event

July 29 (AT) Sri Lankan Against Terrorism, a UK based anti-terrorist organization, castigated Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of United Kingdom for tolerating his own party Members of Parliament aiding and abetting Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a separatist terrorist organization based in Sri Lanka which has been banned in UK under the Terrorism Act of 2000. more..