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Mendis spins Sri Lanka to title triumph

July 7 (CI) Eight years ago, in Sharjah, Sanath Jayasuriya scored a magnificent 189 before Sri Lanka's bowlers sent India tumbling to 54 all out, and a humiliating 245-run defeat. At Karachi's National Stadium, Jayasuriya, now 39, smashed another superb century before Ajantha Mendis, the mystery spinner still classed as a slow-medium bowler, bamboozled a highly rated batting line-up to finish with astonishing figures of 6 for 13. more..

Deported former LTTE leader wants seat in Sri Lanka Parliament

July 7 (TW) Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, better known as Karuna, says that he plans to revamp the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) as a strong political party and wants to contest the next parliamentary elections. “I will be meeting the President shortly and send representatives to the All-Party Representative Committee to find a political solution to the conflict” said Karuna, a former leader in the LTTE told Colombo newspaper The Sunday Times. more..

Fighter jet skids off runway at BIA

July 7 (LD) A Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jet skidded off the runway after landing at the Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake today (June 06th), AF sources said. The aircraft had been returning after engaging an LTTE target at Iranamadu in Kilinochchi. The sources said a wheel malfunction had been the cause. The extent of damage to the aircraft and the runway is still not known. The pilot of the jet escaped unharmed, the sources said. more..

Canadian Tamils hold rally, condemn Ottawa’s ban

July 7 (NP) Waving the flag of the Tamil Tigers guerrillas, thousands of Canadian Tamils gathered this weekend for their first rally since the federal government shocked the community by outlawing a Toronto-based Tamil non-profit group under the Anti-Terrorism Act. A statement issued by the event's organizers condemned the government for last month's decision to ban the World Tamil Movement as a suspected financial front for the Tigers, and called on Canada to recognize guerrilla-held areas of northern Sri Lanka as an independent state, called Tamil Eelam. more..

Sangakkara shines as an orator

July 7 (Hindu) Kumar Sangakkara struck an evocative note during the course of the Asian Cricket Council’s silver jubilee seminar that dealt with Asian Cricket — Past, Present and Future here on Saturday. In a well-prepared speech, the Sri Lankan vice-captain said: “As I stand here today, I am proud to be an Asian cricketer.” Sangakkara also spoke about the power of cricket to heal. “I have witnessed the ravages of the tsunami being soothed by the panacea that is cricket.” Sangakkara said. more..

Use mobile camera to thwart rape bid: Lanka top cop

July 7 (KT) Sri Lanka’s newly-appointed police chief has come up with a novel idea to tackle the rising crime rate. Inspector General Jayantha Wickremeratne, who assumed duties last week, says camera phones could play a bigger role in crime busting. “If someone comes to rape you, use your mobile phone to record it,” he said addressing journalists in Sri Lanka’s hill capital, Kandy yesterday. more..

'Sri Lankan killed up to 2002 is as high as 338,000'

July 7 (AT) Independent studies performed by the University of Washington and Harvard Medical School, indicates that at least 215,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka's war up until 2002. The study further states the estimate may be as high as 338,000 killed, taking into account various factors that may have led to under-reporting, and only includes those killed directly due to violence in the conflict. more..

Sri Rama Gnanamirtham Isai Velvi 2008

July 7 (HA) The 11th Sri Rama Gnanamirtham Isai Velvi (Festival of Music) is held annually by the Colombo Kamban Kazhagam. Members of Kamban Kazhagam got displaced from Jaffna in 1995, and relocated themselves in Colombo. The activities of the Kamban Kazhagaman began soon after the relocation in Colombo. Local musicians decorated the Isai Aranagu at dusk, while the Indian musicians decorated the Isai Per Arangu in the nights. The hall was packed with the Carnatic music lovers. more..

Prabhakaran leads LTTE in paying homage to its suicide bombers

July 7 (PTI) Elusive LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran led the Tamil rebels in paying homage to 365 members of its suicide squad killed since the Tigers first unleashed the deadly terror tactic 21 years ago. A grim faced Prabhakaran, 53, who rarely comes out of his hiding, participated in the remembrance ceremonies at an undisclosed location in Wanni on Saturday. The event coincided with the anniversary of the first suicide attack by LTTE "Black Tiger" identified as Captain Miller on more..

Slow Creep — the World Tamil Movement and Tharisanam TV

July 7 (GV) The banning in Canada last week of the World Tamil Movement (WTM) and the taking down in London of Tharisanam TV a couple of days ago, hit the LTTE a double punch that largely went unnoticed in Sri Lanka. Last week’s listing of the WTM as a terrorist organization by the Canadian government, caused a furor in that country that went beyond the usual GoSL-LTTE split. The decision by Ottawa sparked as much debate on both sides of the Liberal-Conservative constituencies as can be seen on any Sri Lankan blog. more..

Consumer protection in Sri Lanka: Seeing beyond rice, coconut and milkfood

July 7 (GV) Consumer protection! It’s of those widely desired, critically needed yet rarely found practices in Sri Lanka. When it does happen, even falteringly, the practice is largely confined to everyday consumer goods, mainly food items - ranging from our staples rice and bread to essentials like coconut, sugar and milkfood. Throw in LP gas, pharmaceuticals, fish and chicken, and the mix is about complete. more..

Neocolonialism (Conduct of Compradors) – Part 2

July 7 (GV) The influence of Western rifle on Sri Lankan politics was first witnessed in 1556 when King Buvanekabahu-VII was ‘accidentally’ shot through the heart by a Portuguese, and his grandson, prince Dharmapala, under the ‘protection’ of King Emmanuel of Portugal, ascended the throne of the Kotte Kingdom as Don Juan Dharmapala and his queen, Kusumasana Devi, as Dona Catherina. Later the rifle was supplemented by the Bible and the Portuguese finally had a puppet king in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka seeks OIC observer status

July 7 (AN) Sri Lanka has urged the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to grant it an observer status. "Although we are a non-Muslim country, we need to have an observer status, especially at a time when we are concerned about rising oil prices," M.H. Mohamed, the island's longest-serving federal minister, told Arab News at a meeting at Sri Lankan Consul General Abdul Latiff Mohamed Lafeer's residence here yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka tea exports up to May at new high

July 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka has earned half a billion dollars from tea exports in the first five months of the year, with volumes also hitting a new record of 129.4 million kilograms, brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said. Last year Sri Lanka exported 117.8 million kilograms of tea up to May. "The previous record for the five-month period was 127.9 million kilos back in 2006," Asia Siyaka said in a report. "In that year exports hit an all-time high of 329 million kilos." more..

The Unbalanced State

July 7 (AT) Think of an Olympic runner who is intent on winning the gold, practices for that purpose forgetting and neglecting all other concerns and ends up by fatally undermining his health. That fate can befall a country which concentrates on a war, however necessary that war may be, to the detriment of every other area and problem. The current Lankan socio-economic and political trends, if allowed to continue unabated, can do lasting structural damages to the country, damages which will take decades or more to make good. more..

Agreement on oil exploration signed

July 7 (GDI) The Government today signed an agreement with Cairn India Ltd to explore and produce hydro - carbon and natural gas in the Mannar Basin in Northern Sri Lanka. According to the Petroleum Resources Agreement, Cairn Indian Ltd will start exploration activities in Block SL2007/01/001 in the Mannar Basin which covers 3,400 sq. km. at depths between 200 to 1,800 m within 6 months from today. more..

Railways upgraded with new signalling system

July 7 (GDI) Upgrading the railways system with new infrastructure facilities, the Ceylon Government Railway has extended the Railway 'signalling system' up to Matara, replacing the old system of 'exchanging tablets'. The new system is introduced to ensure control of railway traffic safely, said General Manager of Railways, Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan. The system will be maintained through a central unit. more..

Harmful propaganda will to be countered – Ambassador Designate to USA

July 7 (GDI) Sri Lankan Ambassador designate to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya, speaking to the Official Government News Portal,, on Saturday (July 5) said he is looking forward to making an impact in Washington, emphasizing that he will focus on ensuring that the image of the country is not tarnished by adverse and baseless propaganda. Wickramasuriya said that he believes the expatriate community can be mobilized to effectively counter the LTTE lobby in the USA and more..

14 flights a week to 3 Pakistani destinations from Colombo

July 7 (GDI) The recently signed Air Services Agreement between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will allow Sri Lanka to operate flights to Pakistan 14 times a week. Accordingly, a new flight services will begin operations to Islamabad and Lahore in addition to Karachi where the national carrier flies three times a week, High Commissioner for Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Shahzad A.Chaudhry said last week. The agreement also allows operating cargo flights to any part of Pakistan without any restriction, he added. more..

Malaysia assists housing development

July 7 (GDI) Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development, Dinesh Gunawardane stated that Malaysia has agreed to provide assistance to construct houses for the needy in Colombo. An MOU to accelerate the construction process of 2,500 housing units in the Colombo city and suburbs was signed at the Ministry. The Reel Private Company Ltd., Sri Lanka, entered into two agreements, one with Jetson Institute of Malaysia and the other with Ceecon Company of India accordingly. more..

Bharati Airtel to commence services by year-end

July 7 (GDI) Bharathi Airtel, one of Asia's leading integrated telecom services providers, has made all the necessary arrangements to start operations in Sri Lanka by the end of this year, foreign news sources said quoting company officials. Bharti Airtel provides services in three strategic business units - Mobile services, Broadband & Telephone (B&T) services and Enterprise services. more..

Five villages in Polonnaruwa to boycott election

July 7 (LT) They would take a decision to boycott forthcoming election to elect members to North Central Provincial Council if their villages are not provided with electricity say 363 families in five villages in Pollonnaruwa District. The villagers of Yaya 16, Yaya 17 and Yaya 18 together with that of Dambulkelle and Puwakgahaulpatha in Bakamuna Divisional Secretariat in Minneriya electorate have been carrying on a continues fast opposite Kottapitiya Post Office since 29th more..

President asked to appoint Jeyaraj's wife as MP

July 7 (LD) The SLFP's Central Organization in the Katana electorate has requested the President to appoint the wife of the late minister Jayaraj Fernandopulle as a national list MP to fill the vacancy created following the resignation of Wasantha Samarasinghe. Mr. Samarasinghe, a JVPer who was appointed on the UPFA ticket, resigned recently to contest upcoming polls for the North Central Province as the party's chief ministerial candidate. more..

No criticism of govt. policy, president orders

July 7 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered his ministers and MPs not to criticize government policy during discussions with foreign diplomats. The President has given the instruction at the last Cabinet meeting, noting that one of the ministers had spoken against the present regime's actions at a meeting with diplomats recently. He said that he would personally take this up with the minister in question, whom he did not refer to by name. more..

Ex-IRA man warns Sri Lanka's rivals

July 7 (LD) "One thing is certain," insists Martin McGuinness in his office at Belfast's Stormont Castle. "The resolution of the conflict in Sri Lanka can only happen at the negotiating table. Nowhere else." "Both the government and the Tamil Tigers believe that they can have more victories over each other possibly in advance of peace negotiations. I have to say, I think both the government and the Tamil Tigers are foolish if they believe that." more..

SLMC to reappoint national list members

July 7 (LD) The High Command of the SLMC has decided to reappoint party leader Rauff Hakeem and Secretary Hasan Ali to Parliament on the national list, a senior party member told 'Lanka Dissent.' Mr. Hakeem, together with Hasan Ali and Basheer Segudawood resigned from their MP positions to contest the May 10th polls for the Eastern Provincial Council. The SLMC appointed M. Naushad to fill the vacancy that of its leader, while the two other positions remained vacant. more..

LTTE has not been weakened at all - Nadesan

July 7 (LNP) The LTTE has urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaingnar M. Karunanidhi to come forward to assist them in their struggle to establish a Tamil Eelam state. In an interview P.Nadesan, Political Head of the LTTE, said Karunanidhi should turn into a supporter of our struggle. Nadesan was being interviewed by Kumudam, a popular Tamil weekly from Chennai. In the interview, Nadesan categorically denied the Tamil Tigers have been weakened, claiming it was a vicious propaganda campaign being put forward by the Sri Lanka Government. more..

Sure victory for troops against terrorism Karuna Amman

July 7 (LNP) Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman is of the opinion that the security forces will definitely be victorious in the battle against the LTTE outfit. He opined that the terrorists have suffered a severe blow. The terrorists are restricted only to a limited area in the North. They are experiencing the worst defeat in history. The terrorists are facing hardships due to the initiatives adopted by the Government to obstruct the flow of foreign aid to them. more..

Mihin Lanka staff seeks legal advice to recover due salaries from the government

July 7 (LNP) The staff of the grounded airline Mihin Lanka is currently looking to resort to legal action in recovering the long due salaries. Mihin Lanka which was widely regarded as a government pet-project bankrupted allegedly due to the mismanagement of its former Chief Executive Officer Sajin de Vass Gunawardena who is also the Coordinating Secretary to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Deportation of Karuna: A hot potato as a wedge?

July 7 (LNP) Political circles are agog for news of renegade LTTE military commander Karuna s return after serving a sentence in the UK for the violation of the British immigration laws. Speculation is rife about his political plans. Before his arrival last week, it had been posted on the grapevine that upon his return he would re-join the LTTE to take on the army in the Wanni. But, as he was received with open arms by the government and given shelter, an attempt is now being made in some quarters to have more..

Karuna did not use false name: I&E

July 7 (SAMN) The Controller-General of Immigration and Emigration (I & E) Sunday denied reports that Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna had come to the country using a fake name. “He came under his original name Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan with an Emergency Certificate, issued by the British authorities,” Controller-General, P.B. Abeykoon said. Media reports claimed Karuna had arrived in the country under the name ‘Anthony’. more..

Schools hit by a dearth of principals

July 7 (SAMN) Administration of many schools has been adversely affected by a severe shortage of principals. Although there should be 16,512 principals, according to the Principals’ Service Minute, the government sector has only about 8,000 principals. According to informed sources, this has led to ordinary teachers acting for principals which in turn has caused severe constrains as they do not have authority to sign documents or issue orders. more..

Electricity demand declining in Lanka

July 7 (SAMN) "The demand for electricity in Sri Lanka is declining and it is not growing at a rate which it should be," Resource Management Associates Managing Director , Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya said. Addressing the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2008 on Challenges and Opportunities in Infrastructure Development in the power sector, he revealed that 10 years ago the demand growth for electricity was 7.9% which was actually greater than the GDP growth rate, but that now it has slowed down. more..

LTTE advertising music CDs and DVDs

July 7 (SAMN) On Sunday, the LTTE’s web arm Tamilnet published some extraordinary pictures of a glum looking Prabakaran receiving music CDs, DVDs etc at a ceremony to commemorate black tigers. Poddu Ammaan was photographed handing over music CDs on the Anuradhapura attack, Sea Tiger leader Soosai presenting Black sea Tigers volume 12 music album and LTTE political head Nadesan handing over Black Tigers Music volume 9. more..

‘Quartz jugglery’ at A’pura Hospital Radio Therapy Unit

July 7 (DN) The Anuradhapura Police are probing to ascertain if the X-ray equipment at the Radio Therapy Unit of Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital has been utilised to polish and convert quartz (Gevuda) valuable gems. Investigations are being conducted on a complaint by Teaching Hospital Authorities to the Police. Statements have been recorded from four hospital employees including a female minor employee attached to the X-ray unit, more..

English medium education to be improved

July 7 (DN) The Ministry of Education has taken initiatives to regulate the English education system in Government schools aiming to upgrade standard of English medium education which could meet the modern educational trends in the world, Additional Secretory to the Ministry of Education W. Dharmadasa said. Under this project the Ministry of Education has commenced a training programme for 450 teachers who are capable of teaching all subjects in English medium. more..

Government wants ICRC back at Omanthai

July 7 (Island) The military expresses confidence the ICRC will return to the Omanthai entry/exit point to facilitate the movement of civilians. The ICRC functions as a neutral intermediary to facilitate the movement of civilians to and from the LTTE-held territory and supplies to people living in areas under the LTTE control. Security Forces Commander (Vanni) Major General Jagath Jayasuriya said the ICRC had withdrawn on July 1. more..

Colombo Plan continues fight against drug abuse

July 7 (Island) Colombo Plan’s (CP) Secretary General Patricia Yoon Moi CHIA yesterday said Colombo Plan had immensely contributed towards the fight against drug addiction though its programmess such as drug demand reduction conducted with limited resources. The UN agencies provided only 90% of the financial requirement to conduct such programmes, she said. Ms CHIA, the first woman Secretary General of the CP in Asia addressing a gathering at the more..

Gas explosion kills 2, injures 4 in Sri Lanka, no bus explosion

July 7 (Xinhua) Two civilians were killed and four injured when a gas cylinder exploded in a shop in central Sri Lanka Monday afternoon, officials said, adding that there was no bus explosion as reported earlier. The explosion happened at about 1:30 p.m. (0800 GMT) inside a refrigerator repair shop at Gampaha district's Pasyala town, about50 km north of the capital Colombo, said Military Spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara. more..

Govt. to launch new patients’ charter

July 7 (DM) The Health Ministry is planning to introduce a patients’ charter to protect patient’s rights, a Ministry spokesman said. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had instructed his officials to take immediate steps to finalise a patients’ charter to safeguard the rights, privileges, dignity and security of patients. “The ministry is regularly receiving complaints from patients about the violation of the dignity and rights especially of patients who attend state healthcare institutions. more..

‘Few govt. elements trying to split TMVP’

July 7 (DM) Insisting that he still remained the leader of the TMVP, Karuna Amman yesterday admitted there was an attempt by some top government officials to split the outfit without the knowledge of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Karuna told the Daily Mirror by his release from jail his name had been cleared of human rights allegations and also insisted that he never framed Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa or any other government official during court proceedings in London over how he obtained a false passport to enter Britain illegally. more..

Sri Lanka opposition backs new state salary hike

July 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) is backing calls for new salary hikes for the island's already bloated state sector, continuing a tradition that has created a class of super citizens and high inflation in the country. The UNP and its trade union arm, the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS), said it was joining a token strike called by the Marxist-Nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) party. more..

Sri Lanka warns of rebel attacks in Colombo

July 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka beefed up security on Monday and warned of possible rebel attacks around the capital Colombo as the island's Tamil Tiger rebels marked the 21st anniversary of their first rebel suicide attack. The LTTE on the weekend commemorated the 356 men and women who have blown themselves up suicide attacks since the first such attack on 5th July 1987, when the suicide bomber or Black Tiger drove an explosive-laden truck into a Sri Lankan Army garrison in northern Jaffna. more..

The 'Indian Visit' and After…

July 8 (LG) Enough has been written over the past fortnight about the 'unannounced' visit of the three-member high-power team of Indian officials to Sri Lanka. Media reports and analyses have swung from the plausible to the ridiculous. Included in the first could be the proposition that the Indian team's views on the current phase of the 'ethnic war' in Sri Lanka reflected the international pressures on the Colombo Government to do be good to the Tamil community. more..

General’s Elephant

July 8 (LG) Major General [Retired] Janaka Perera, it has been announced, is to be the candidate of the UNP for the post of Chief Minister of the North Central Province at the forthcoming elections for the Provincial Council for that Province. In nominating Janaka Perera the UNP has departed from the practice common to all parties of nominating some political `hanger on’/stooge of no quality, with no achievement or record of service to the People to his name. more..

Poverty and malnutrition in Sri Lanka: Who is to blame?

July 8 (LG) I refer to the recent paper written by Tisaranee Gunasekera blaming the incidence of malnutrition on the present government of Mahinda Rajapaksa. She states: "When 13.5% of children below five years of age suffer from chronic malnutrition and at least 30% of children below five years of age suffer from anaemia, it signals a crisis far more devastating than the Tiger crisis. more..

Country’s biggest bugbear

July 8 (LG) This country’s biggest bugbear undoubtedly is division and partisanship. Division and diversity of opinion is, no doubt, inevitable and even welcome in countries and societies where democracy prevails. Such diversity arises from views and opinions formed after proper study and evaluation of issues. But what our country is afflicted with is acute division arising from prejudice and selfishness. All problems and issues are viewed from political party prejudices. more..

Fishermen continue crying

July 8 (LG) Though the fishermen are nominally allowed to go to sea, they are being harassed in several ways. Though they are allowed to fish for about 6-7 hours from about 8 am, those fishing in the Jaffna Lagoon are not allowed to take food parcels with them to have for lunch in the sea. They are also not allowed to use a particular type of fishing net earlier used by over 900 fishermen of this lagoon as the one most suited. more..

Increased Relaxation of Curfew

July 8 (LG) We are happy that the near high level tension here was eased a little this week. The daily relaxation from 5 am to 7 pm of the indefinite curfew imposed continuously from 11, August 2006 was increased to 16 ½ hours (from 4.30 am to 9 pm) this week, thus permitting people to be out of homes till 9 pm enabling them to be involved more in their various businesses. Fishing in the Jaffna lagoon has been allowed again but with more restrictions. more..

The 'Tiger' Bogey!

July 8 (LG) Among the politicians of the South, Wimal Weerawensa speaks most eloquently in favour of the war. He makes the war propaganda much more effectively than what he did while he was in the JVP. Weerawensa maintains that people are bearing the burden of the economic crisis only to support the war and that if the war is not continued, the government will fall. It is now clear that it was Weerawensa who persuaded the JVP to tow the line to support President Rajapakse's government and its pursuance of the war. more..