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More than 1200 protesters marched against LTTE Tamil Tigers in Berlin

July 31 (AT) Now it is the turn of the Sri Lankan diaspora to protest against the reclusive Tiger leader Velupillai Prabakaran and his terror outfit, LTTE throughout Europe. The latest successful protest march against the Tamil Tiger terrorists’ atrocities was staged in Berlin, Germany. These type of marches against the Tamil Tigers were something unthinkable a couple of years ago, but today Sri Lankan diaspora in Europe are determined to expose the more..

LTTE supporter starts Thendral TV in UK

July 31 (AT) A well-known LTTE supporter in London commenced a new television transmission called Thendral TV with the obvious intention of telecasting Tamil Tiger propaganda. The new transmission commenced telecast on July 14, 2008 barely a month after the Israeli decision to close down Tharishanam TV transmission after the Israel authorities were informed about the link between the terrorist organization and Tharishnam. more..

Glennie St. residents told judiciary cannot help them

July 31 (LD) Ruling that no one can build houses in state-owned land, the Supreme Court told residents of Glennie street, Colombo that their houses were illegal and that the judiciary cannot help them in the matter. The SC was considering a fundamental rights petition filed by residents of Glennie Street against their eviction by the Urban Development Authority and the Ministry of Defence. Initially, the SC issued an interim order to suspend the demolition of their houses. more..

UK student visa must be sponsored

July 31 (BBC) Students coming to the UK from overseas will have to be sponsored by a college licensed by the UK Border Agency, under Home Office proposals. The colleges will have to prove they are genuine education institutions - not just routes into low skilled work. They will have to report students who are not attending their courses. As part of the wider shake-up of the immigration system, applicants will need to have enough points before they can apply for a student visa. more..

Let's enjoy mystery man Ajantha Mendis while we can

July 31 (TO) What is at the heart of a great story? Narrative and character are usually a good place to start. A storyline, perhaps, that weaves through unpromising beginnings to a triumphant end with a little-known character possessed of a touch of mystery? If that is what you want, read on because a great narrative is unfolding right now in Sri Lanka, where Ajantha Mendis is the latest to join an exclusive club whose members have included Bernard Bosanquet, Sonny Ramadhin, Johnny Gleeson and Jack Iverson. more..

Sri Lanka: Civil war coming to an end?

July 31 (ISN) Early this month, Sri Lankan officials claimed that the civil war that has been ongoing since 1983 finally has an end in sight. For twenty-five years the government of Sri Lanka has been embroiled in one of the bloodiest civil conflicts in the world. Their enemy, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been touted "the most dangerous and deadly extremist group in the world" by the FBI. more..

Indian, Pakistani FMs to hold bilateral talks in Colombo

July 31 (IANS) Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee is set to hold bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the SAARC Council of Ministers meeting Thursday, highly placed diplomatic sources here said. The two-day Council of Ministers meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is commencing Thursday morning at the BMICH. more..

Sri Lanka insurance regulator cracks down on misleading ads

July 31 (LBO) The Insurance Board of Sri Lanka has revealed it had warned several insurance firms that violated regulations and also resorted to advertising campaigns that misled the public. The Board said it issued warnings to two insurers, one violating rules on investments in government securities; and the other for having granted loans to related companies without obtaining the regulator's concurrence. more..

Beyond ‘Babu SAARC’: Liberating airwaves for South Asians

July 31 (GV) Watching the current SAARC jamboree unfold over television news, my young daughter asked why none of the officials were smiling. The SAARC Secretary General, Dr. Sheel Khant Sharma, was always scowling. Others didn’t have smiles on their faces either, even insincere ones. They all looked stressed out, wearing glum, miserable faces. I could only hazard a guess. Perhaps the assorted babus have too much to worry about, as more..

Christians mark 25th anniversary of 'Black July' riots

July 31 (UCAN) Christians here who gathered for a prayer service to remember the 1983 "Black July" riots, strongly linked to Sri Lanka's civil war, prayed for an end to that ongoing conflict. Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM), an NGO, organized the service at St. Philip Neri's Church in Colombo on July 23, recalling the start of anti-Tamil riots on that day 25 years ago. The 500 people who took part included Anglican, Catholic and Methodist laypeople and priests. more..

Supreme Court allows Church construction to proceed

July 31 (UCAN) Catholic priests are overjoyed the Supreme Court has allowed construction and religious activities to resume at a church just north of Colombo that police closed last year amid renovation work. On July 24, the Supreme Court nullified the closure of Our Lady of Rosa Mystica Church. It said the expansion could continue and ordered police to arrest and bring before the court anyone who disturbs religious services or Sunday school activities at the church. more..

Permanent loss of sight in one eye due to cruel and inhuman treatment

July 31 (AHRC) A young man is now in the Colombo Eye Hospital having permanently lost his sight in one eye due to acid being thrown in his face while he was in police custody. The police, acting in connivance with a truck driver, arrested him and beat him severely while the truck driver threw the acid at his face. He was kept for several days at the police station with his injuries unattended despite of all attempts by the family to have him taken to a hospital. more..

LTTE cadre held in Tamil Nadu

July 31 (IANS) Tambianna alias Daniel, a high-ranking LTTE operator, two Sri Lankans and a Tamil Nadu resident were arrested Wednesday, the police said. A top police official told IANS that huge quantities of explosives, GPS equipment, detonators, triggers and other contraband were seized from them. The arrest may have far-reaching consequences, since Tambianna is suspected to be the head of LTTE's procurement team in Tamil Nadu, the official added.

Hikkaduwa beach comes alive with annual fest

July 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Hikkaduwa beach, on the island's southwestern coast, is coming alive, with traditional dances and fireworks kicking off a carnival which is due to become an annual event that will draw visitor from all over the world. "The atmosphere is incredible; everyone has been so friendly," says Lisa Littlewood, a DJ from Scotland who will be in action Friday night at a rave party. more..

SAARC Foreign Ministers confer today

July 31 (GDI) Foreign Ministers of all the SAARC nations are about to inagaurate the two-day Council of Ministers' meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) at the BMICH, Foreign Ministry sources informed According to diplomatic sources Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee will hold a series of bilateral meetings with his regional counterparts. more..

UNP attacks SAARC summit

July 31 (SAMN) The UNP Wednesday challenged the Government to enumerate, if possible, the benefits that the country would derive from this SAARC summit without making statements to hoodwink the masses. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told reporters yesterday that his party did not oppose any international conference being held here, yet this was not the appropriate time for it. Mr. Kiriella said that the SAARC Summit was scheduled to be conducted in the Maldives, but more..

8,000 strong police force for Kandy

July 31 (SAMN) An 8,000 strong police force will be deployed during the Kandy Esala Perahera, DIG/Central Province, Pujith Jayasundera said. The STF and the Civil Defence Force will assist the police. The DIG said any police officers who misbehave will be severely dealt with. Police sought of the public cooperation to make the arrangements a success. They will be on duty controlling the large crowds and traffic under more..

Major changes at next General Elections

July 31 (SAMN) Moves are underway to hold the next parliamentary election in 2010 under a mixed electoral system combining the First Past the Post and Proportional Representation system, a minister said Tuesday. Minister Dinesh Gunawardana who heads the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms, said the Attorney General was scrutinising amendments to the Bill. The composition of representatives in the new parliament as proposed by the Committee would be more..

ICTA develops Tamil Character Code

July 31 (SAMN) The Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) in partnership with the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) has completed a project to develop a draft Sri Lanka Standard Tamil Character Code for Information Interchange. The proposed standard is consistent with the Unicode standard. It comprises a coding for the Tamil character set consistent with the latest version of the Unicode standard, a keyboard layout for Tamil based on the Renganathan layout, more..

SAARC nod for Food Bank

July 31 (DN) The 15th SAARC Summit has placed food security high on its agenda with the promise of more state intervention including a SAARC Food Bank to help any Member State in case of exigencies. Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona addressing media at the conclusion of Standing Committee meetings said that all Member States had reached a consensus on the concept of a SAARC Food Bank. more..

UDA, residents urged to settle issue

July 31 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday noted that the parties in the Glennie Street eviction case should settle the issue by the next date, August 19. The Court allowed an application by the counsel for the petitioners that petitioners’ representatives along with their lawyer be granted an opportunity to meet the UDA officials in order to work out a settlement. The Court also directed the UDA not to demolish the illegal housing structures at Slave Island until August 19 more..

AG reveals more BOI bungling

July 31 (Island) The Board of Investment had allotted a land of 2 Acres, 3 roods and 20.5 perches valued at over Rs. 3 million for an annual rent of Rs 974,335 to a garment manufacturing company that had defaulted its annual rent payments from 2002 to 2006. The company had imported goods to the value of Rs. 13,221,210 under duty waivers but exported garments to the value of only Rs.9,153 during this period the Auditor General’s report on more..

JVP vows to teach Mervin a lesson

July 31 (Island) The Executive President, the General Secretary of the SLFP and the Police have failed to teach Minister Mervin Silva a lesson but the JVP with the strength of the people of Siripura would teach him a good lesson this time around. It’s a big blunder made by Mervin Silva, this time because he had meddled with the JVP, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna said in a press release quoting its Polonnaruwa District Parliamentarian S.K.Subasinghe, more..

Sri Lanka's inflation seen at 21.5 pct in July

July 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's inflation, as measured on a 12-month moving average, is expected to have accelerated in July to its highest in more than five years due to an increase in food prices. The median forecast of nine analysts predicted the new consumer price index had risen to 21.5 percent in July, the highest reading for the index and above 21.0 percent in June. more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka for deepening bilateral ties

July 31 (APP) Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Sri Lankan counterpart, Rohitha Bogollagama on Wednesday agreed on the need to further deepen ties between their countries and work closely under SAARC to promote regional cooperation. Foreign Ministerr Qureshi is currently in Sri Lanka which is hosting the 15th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). more..

Lanka launches world’s first SHDI

July 31 (DM) Sri Lanka yesterday unveiled the world’s first ever Sustainable Human Development Index (SHDI), a foil to the Human Development Index (HDI) of the UNDP. Launching the new index, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Patali Champika Ranawaka said what prompted his ministry to come up with an index of the nature of SHDI were the shortcomings of the HDI which had failed to take into consideration “the sustainability aspects of development”. more..

Sri Lanka seeks nuclear reactors from India

July 31 (DM) With a political breakthrough achieved over the highly-contentious issue of the Indo-US nuclear deal, a number of countries like Turkey, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand and UAE have initiated talks with the Nuclear Power Corp of India (NPCIL) to buy low-cost, small and medium-sized nuclear power reactors (SMRs), indigenously developed by NPCIL, as reported in more..

'I still feel nervous before a game'

July 31 (HT) Muttiah muralitharan has more than 1000 international wickets to his name and has played for Sri Lanka for 16 years. Yet, he still gets the jitters before every match. In a long conversation with the HT, Murali spoke about Mendis, pre-match nerves, and the unforgiving Indian media. You’re a celebrity only when you're playing cricket. Otherwise, we are all normal people. more..

CPI activists protest killing of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy

July 31 (ANI) Communist Party of India (CPI) activists staged a demonstration hereon Wednesday against the alleged killing of innocent Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. CPI National Secretary D. Raja led the protestors, who later gathered outside the Sri Lankan consulate in the city to register their protest. Slogans were raised against the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lanka fighting kills 25 as summit nears

July 31 (AP) The Sri Lankan army launched a wave of attacks against Tamil Tiger separatists in the north, sparking battles that killed 24 rebels and one soldier, the military said Thursday. The new fighting came as officials from eight South Asian nations gathered in Colombo for a regional conference that is to culminate in a top-level summit this weekend. The Tamil Tigers offered a cease-fire beginning last Saturday because of the conference, but more..

Sri Lanka says military win may not wipe out rebels

July 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka may be close to a military victory over Tamil Tiger separatists, but the rebels could still wage a protracted low-intensity insurgency with hidden resources, a senior foreign ministry official said. "Defeating the LTTE might not be the end of the story because an organisation like this might still have some resources hidden away," Sri Lanka's Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona told Reuters in an interview. more..