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Dark Clouds Over SL Government

July 8 (LG) Lots of dark clouds are covering over the Government of Sri Lanka. There are lots of political upheavals both within and outside the alliance. The economy is plunging steeply leading to almost bankruptcy. The departure of the JVP from its alliance has shaken its stability. The renegades led by Karu Jeyasuriya are sending feelers to rejoin the UNP. The danger of a consolidated United Front against the GoSL is in the offing. more..

This Govt. must be defeated -Sajith Premadasa

July 8 (LG) The two Provincial Councils, North Central and Sabaragamuwa are corrupt and have wasted people’s money on useless projects; said Sajith Premadasa when addressing election rallies in Kegalla. In the overall picture, neither he Govt. nor these provincial Councils have delivered the goods. The entire economic and social development of the country had come to a standstill. Therefore, it is the duty of the people to think wisely and evict them, exhorted Premadasa. more..

Foreign Minister hands over compensation cheques

July 8 (LG) When Sri Lankans go abroad for employment, they do so with the objective of improving the lot of their families. However, even if these hopes and aspirations cannot be fulfilled, due to their untimely demise abroad, the Government of Sri Lanka in keeping with the people – friendly outlook enunciated in the Mahinda Chintana policy has accorded the highest priority to ensure that the next of kin receive their compensation and legal dues expeditiously. more..

Sri Lanka: A socialist program to fight for wages and conditions

July 8 (wsws) A one-day strike by hundreds of trade unions in the ports, plantations, transport, petroleum, electricity, education and health sectors and private companies is expected to bring much of Sri Lanka to a halt on July 10. With huge price rises devastating the living standards of working people, the unions are demanding a 5,000-rupee increase in monthly pay, an allowance pegged to inflation, and lower bus and train fares. more..

'Rally to strengthen democracy'

July 8 (LT) The President who invites civil forces to strengthen democracy but not taking any measures to enforce the 17th amendment, which would truly strengthen democracy, is a question says JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. Making the keynote address at a first of a series of seminars organized by the JVP held on the theme "Why 17th amendment to the Constitution is not enforced?" more..

'Not necessary to call Security Forces to South as workers join strike from their homes'

July 8 (LT) The government issues canards to sabotage the strike stating that the Security Forces would have to be called to the South from the North alleging that there were intelligence reports of possible explosions in several parts in the South. However, the workers join the strike without going to their work places by staying at home said President of National Trade Union Centre Parliamentarian Lal Kanthe issuing more..

Patient's Charter to ensure safety and rights of patients

July 8 (GDI) The Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition is in the process of drafting a Patient's Charter to ensure additional safety and rights of patients. The new Charter will define the law between patient and doctor and introduce a code of ethics for patients. Healthcare Minister, Nimal Siripala de Silva, speaking on the issue said that this has been a long felt need in Sri Lanka as most countries have a Patients' Charter for the safety of patients. more..

8 LTTE suspects re-arrested in Italy

July 8 (GDI) The Italian Police have re-arrested eight suspects for offences under Italian and International law, including extortion to support a terrorist organization who were released by the local Magistrate on the grounds of insufficient evidence to prove their complicity with the LTTE. These 8 were arrested with several other suspects in Italy recently in a country wide raid launched by the Italian Police. more..

Priyankara Jayaratne new Deputy Speaker

July 8 (GDI) Member of Parliment of the United People's Freedom Alliance, Priyankara Jayaratne was unanimously appointed as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament this morning (08). He filled the vacancy fell vacant upon the resignation of Former Deputy Speaker, Geethajana Gunawardena. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake proposed Mr. Jayaratne's name before the Parliament for the post of Deputy Speaker. more..

Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) Shows record growth

July 8 (GDI) Sources from the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) revealed that the Bureau earned Rs.212 million as net profit. In the corresponding period last year, the Bureau's earnings came to aruond Rs 40 million. This development was due to such factors as better finance management, cost cutting, 52%growth in male skilled migrant workers with better wages in foreign employment, awareness programs which protected workers from bogus agents, and more..

Omanthai entry/exit point reopened- Vavuniya

July 8 (GDI) The Omanthai entry-exit check point in the Vavuniya District which was closed due to the withdrawal of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) since July 01 was re-opened at 2.30pm today (July 7). The check point was re-opened in the presence of ICRC officials who will be manning the point. Continuous LTTE mortar fire led the parties engaged in manning the Omanthai point to withdraw, defence sources said. more..

Save Journalists from Terrorists!

July 8 (AT) As reported in Irida Divaina dated 29 June 2008, 42 Sri Lankan Journalists are seeking asylum in UK, Italy and Norway claiming that they have death threats in Sri Lanka. Out of them 31 are said to be Tamils. According to the news item the so-called journalists have obtained identity cards issued by the government information department after working very short periods of time for some websites operating from Sri Lanka. more..

OPA Chief ousted but remains in office

July 8 (AT) The Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka has split sharply over the highly controversial role of its President Elmore Perera against whom a motion of no-confidence was passed by a large majority at an OPA special general meeting held on Friday July 4. While the majority maintains that Perera no longer has any right to remain the association's president a few others want him to continue as before. more..

Open day at Sri Lankan Embassy in Berlin

July 8 (AT) For the eighth consecutive year the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin participated in the ‘ All National Festival ’ held in Berlin on 5th July 2008 from 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. in the Chancery premises. The doors of the Embassy were opened to the German Public to have a glimpse of the country. The Open Day in summer is one of the regular calendar events of the Embassy’s promotional activities. more..

Rameswaram fishermen protest to have poaching rights in Sri Lanka waters?

July 8 (AT) Are Tamil Nadu politician knowingly aiding and abetting fishermen to poach in the territorial waters of Sri Lanka by encouraging Indian fishermen to stray almost into Sri Lankan waters, just a few miles away from Sri Lank shores? Is this a ploy to disrupt the friendly relationship that exists between Sri Lanka and India? It is not unclear as to what type mischief major political parties in Tamil Nadu are up to, while agitation by the Rameshwaram fishermen continues? more..

Four Tamil gang members were sentenced to jail

July 8 (AT) Three Sri LankanTamil gangsters of London were sentenced to 17 years in jail for murder and another of the same gang was sentenced to 14 years in jail for the same offense by a criminal court of the Old Bailey for murdering another Tamil man by stabbing him 31 times. In this case six members of the Tamil gang were sentenced for offences like murder of Pirabakaran Kannan in Upper Tooting Road and lesser crimes of grievous bodily harm(GBH) and actual bodily harm(ABH), more..

Carnival Time for HRW

July 8 (PISL) Our old friends Human Rights Watch are at it again. Last week saw a spate of releases targeting Sri Lanka, timed it seem to put the kybosh on what seem successes both internally and internationally in our struggle against terrorism. It started with a release claiming that Sri Lanka should end what it termed internment of displaced persons. If the headline was the preferred choice of HRW, it is up to its old tactic of using sensationalistic language to draw attention to itself, more..

The Muttur Massacre - a quest for the whole truth

July 8 (PISL) In the first week of August 2006, 17 workers of the French Aid Agency Action Contre La Faim were killed in Muttur in the Trincomalee District of Sri Lanka. A number of questions concerning the incident still remain unanswered. Though it is vital to try to find out who was responsible for the killings, and why, there are other questions too as to the fuller reasons for the deaths of so many helpless youngsters. more..

Lay down arms for talks - Govt. tells LTTE

July 8 (LD) The Sri Lankan government has ruled out a resumption of negotiations with the LTTE until it renounces terrorism and lays down arms, said Government Peace Secretariat chief, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha. Speaking at a press briefing in Colombo yesterday (July 07th), he said that though the Tigers have conveyed their readiness for peace talks through certain media, they have not steadfastly announced this decision to the governments of Sri Lanka and Norway. more..

Army conducts free medical clinic for Jaffna civilians

July 8 (RW) The Sri Lanka Army Headquarters Jaffna organized a free medical clinic for the civilians in Jaffna peninsula on Friday (June 28). According to military sources in Jaffna, over 400 civilians in Kuddaththanai, Nadakuddathanai, Pothapadi and Manalkadu villages were given treatments by military medics and nursing staff at the clinic held at Kuddathanai Government School. According to the military medics a large number residents are suffering from dental, skin, respiratory, and worm diseases and malnutrition. more..

Sri Lankan share prices sink as security concerns loom

July 8 (LBO) Sri Lankan shares sank Tuesday with the indices dragged down by losses in heavyweight stocks as security fears added to investor concerns about deteriorating economic conditions, brokers said. The All Share Price Index lost 1.19 percent (28.67 points) to end at 2,372.50 while the more liquid Milanka was down 1.40 percent (40.39 points) to 2,849.62. Turnover was 272 million rupees. more..

Sri Lanka students to pit their wits in CFA analyst challenge

July 8 (LBO) Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) in Sri Lanka are kicking off a competition Friday to choose the top students with financial analysis skills who could pit their wits against others from the rest of the world. The Financial Analysts Competition 2008, which is endorsed by Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission, will be held from July to September, for the second year running, the CFA Sri Lanka chapter said. more..

Sri Lanka should build English medium schools in East: official

July 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's government should start English medium schools in the East of the island, because educators in the areas are clamouring them, a top official in charge of peace building efforts said. The Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) is encouraging communities in the Eastern Province to formulate their own development initiatives for the area which will also contribute to peace building. more..

Sri Lanka rubber prices, cultivation rising: trade official

July 8 (LBO) Sri Lankan natural rubber prices will remain high on strong demand while cultivation and production is increasing, the chairman of the Colombo Rubber Traders' Association Anura Edirisinghe said. Global natural rubber consumption will continue to outstrip supply through 2009, resulting in prices maintaining current high levels or increasing even above current levels, he told the association's annual general meeting. more..

India-Sri Lanka pact on prisoner swap soon

July 8 (Hindu) India and Sri Lanka are in the process of finalising a bilateral agreement on exchange of prisoners of both countries. The envisaged pact is on the same lines as the India-Pakistan agreement on exchange of prisoners. A senior official in the Indian High Commission said the draft of the proposed agreement was in the final stages and it was up to the two governments to decide. The official said the proposed agreement would benefit 43 Indians languishing in Sri Lanka jails. more..

Lanka school management board elected in Jeddah

July 8 (AN) A three-member board of management was unanimously elected by the parents of the Sri Lankan International School in Jeddah on recently. Announcing the names of the new members, M.L.M. Imran, Susantha Subasinghe and M.T.M. Muzammil, Musthafa Hersi, senior official from the Foreign Education Department of Ministry of Education, said that in the absence of a contest, the remaining three qualified nominees were declared elected as new members to the board. more..

Historic oil exploration deal signed with India

July 8 (LNP) The epoch-making Petroleum Resources Agreement was inked between Sri Lanka and India for the exploration and production of oil in Northern Sri Lankan waters in the Mannar basin, at Temple Trees yesterday with President Mahinda Rajapaksa presiding. This historic agreement signed between Sri Lanka and India will now pave the way for the exploration and production of natural gas and hydrocarbon resources yet untapped by the nation. more..

Ranil wants house to monitor forces

July 8 (LNP) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday stressed the need for a new defence setup and a military strategy adding that Parliament should be allowed to monitor the armed forces. Speaking at the launch of the book titled My belly is white written by Former Defence Secretary, Austin Fernando, Mr. Wickremesinghe said there should be parliamentary control over military warfare. more..

LTTE should ask for only what's possible - Wijesekera

July 8 (LNP) The LTTE should ask for something which is possible for it to be given by a government, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mahinda Wijesekera said when he laid the foundation stone to put up a post office in the vicinity of St Anne s Talawila Church Talawila last week. He said villagers do not have to travel frequently to the cities when necessary goods and services are provided at the village level under the Mahinda Chintana Rural Development programme. more..

Tight security on Thursday

July 8 (LNP) Special security measures would be in place countrywide next Thursday to meet any security contingency when trade unions had called for a one day token strike Director General, Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle told The Island yesterday (7). He said there may be attempts to intimidate employees who report for work disregarding the call of the trade unions. LTTE terrorists may make use of the day for terrorist attacks necessitating extra security measures to be adopted. more..

Defeat this insidious enemy

July 8 (LNP) Politicians are multiplying like rabbits. If one kicks a bush, so goes a saying, ten politicians will get thrown out. The Cabinet of ministers has ballooned to such an extent that it looks as though we were moving towards a Parliament of Ministers. We already have a government of politicians by politicians for politicians. They are feathering their nests at the expense of the public purse. An overstaffed public sector is also bursting at the seams. more..

Prospects of peace talks go to pieces

July 8 (SAMN) The government Monday insisted that any future peace talks would take place with the participation of all Tamil political parties in the country and not solely with the LTTE. The LTTE however ruled out such a possibility stating that it would enter negotiations with only the government, through the facilitation of the Norwegians and not with the presence of any other political party in the country. more..

Dullas dares strikers

July 8 (SAMN) Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma Monday challenged Trade Unions planning to join the July 10 public sector token strike to cripple passenger transport services if possible. “The Minister challenged the strikers to stop the operation of a single train or bus if they can,” a Ministry spokesman said adding that all major Trade Unions in the public transport sector have pledged not to join ranks with the strikers. more..

No political struggle in TMVP: Mowlana

July 8 (SAMN) "There is no room at all for a political struggle. All our members are working together to make the TMVP a strong political force in the democratic mainstream," TMVP spokesman Azad Mowlana said Monday. Mowlana, one of the TMVP representatives to the APRC, said: "Political opponents under the guise of friends are trying their best to create disunity among our ranks and divisions among our leaders through an well organized campaign of disinformation in the Media." more..

‘Strike a cover-up for internal cracks’

July 8 (SAMN) Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said Monday the proposed strike on July 10 was a futile attempt by the UNP and the JVP to cover up growing cracks within the two parties. Addressing the media at the Information Department, the Minister said these parties which are staring defeat in the face of the government’s various people-friendly initiatives are engaged in a futile attempt to regain their lost momentum by stooping to low levels to incite the country’s work force. more..

‘Abuse’ teacher deported

July 8 (GT) A Doha court declined to jail the man as the crime he committed only caused moral damage to the youngsters, and it was his first offence. The public prosecution lodged an immediate appeal against the “lenient” sentence. The 43-year-old teacher, from Sri Lanka, was accused of touching the eight-year-old girls intimately. A court heard that he had threatened to kill the pair if they told their parents. more..

Trauma in the Vanni: Human grist to the mills of dual hypocrisy

July 8 (UTHR) At the time this report goes out, residents just out of the war zone in South Vanni have been hearing constant sounds of intense warfare. From the government side, shells and MBRLs were being fired north into the Vanni, even as Kfir jets dropped their lethal cargo. Many of the young dying on the frontlines or being horribly maimed were barely 17 years old, recently conscripted, trained and sent to the frontlines. more..

Many unions to oppose July 10 strike

July 8 (DN) Trade unions which held talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa in relation to the salary increment of Government employees have unanimously decided to support the Government and to refrain from taking part in the strike organised by some JVP-led Trade Unions on July 10. Addressing the media briefing organised by the Central Council of Ceylon Trade Unions (CCCTU) jointly with Socialist Ceylon Workers Union (SCWU) and more..

Sugarcane cultivation to be promoted for bio-fuel purposes

July 8 (DN) The Government has taken steps to accelerate the cultivation of sugarcane in a bid to save billions of rupees from the country's annual fuel bill. Accordingly, the Ministry of Supplementary Crops Development and the Sugarcane Research Institute have come out with a plan to cultivate sugarcane in the Badulla, Ampara and Moneragala districts where vast areas of land is available. more..

Women’s hospital Blood Bank resists Ministry probe

July 8 (Island) The Castle Street Women’s Hospital Blood Bank has resisted a Health Ministry investigation into sabotage of its blood compatibility testing machine. A Health Ministry spokesman told The Island that although the investigating team on the instruction of Director General of Health Services had gone to the Castle Street hospital to conduct investigations, doctors attached to the Blood Bank had asked the team not to conduct investigations. more..

SLUMP lashes out at SLMC

July 8 (Island) The Sri Lanka Ulamas Muslim Party yesterday said they can bring down 1,000 Muslim clergy to Colombo at any given time though they not are economically as strong as the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. SLUMP leader Moulavi Mubarak Abdul Majeed, responding to a statement to The Island by SLMC Deputy Secretary General Nizam Kariyappar that SLUMP does not deserve a comment for their statement on SLMC Party leadership coming back to parliament. more..

TU leaders dismiss warning

July 8 (DM) The government yesterday warned the public to be vigilant against a possible major attack by the LTTE ‘in the next two days’. Media Minister, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told reporters that intelligence agencies had said the LTTE could undertake the attack in the next two days. "We have received information and it is our duty to protect the state institutions," Abeywardena told reporters. more..

How can a strike affect the war? -CTSU

July 8 (DM) Teacher trade unions are divided over the question of participating in the token general strike to be launched on Thursday throughout the country. The strike has been called by the JVP-led All Ceylon Trade Union Federation. The main opposition UNP has already pledged to support the strike. The JVP affiliated Ceylon Teachers Services Union said it had requested members scattered throughout the country to team up with other public and private sector employees to make the strike a success. more..

Future of Karuna, The Reluctant Rebel

July 8 (TC) Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, better known as Karuna Amman, the dreaded leader of Batticaloa during his days in the LTTE, must be a chastened man as he was flown into Colombo escorted by British security men on July 3, 2008. His return to Sri Lanka brings to a close the episode of his ill fated trip to the UK under a false identity that saw him sentenced to imprisonment by a London court in January 2008. more..

Sri Lanka's failure to end conflict is dangerous: rights group

July 8 (IANS) Sri Lanka's inability to resolve the ethnic conflict poses dangers, a rights group has said, adding that Tamils firmly believe in the 'justice of the liberation struggle' even if they don't admire the Tamil Tigers. In its latest bulletin, the University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR) has painted a grim picture of life in Vanni, the vast region in the island's north that the LTTE controls. more..

Nationwide telegram campaign

July 9 (BBC) Trade unionists, politicians and the general public in Sri Lanka joined hands with media activists to send protesting telegrams to President against threats to media. The protest was supported nationwide apart from Wanni and Jaffna, Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) president Sanath Balasuriya told BBC Sandeshaya. The SLWJA launched the campaign against increasing threats to media personnel in Sri Lanka. more..

Ellawala murder case transfered

July 9 (BBC) Three ministers in Sri Lankan government appeared before Ratnapura high court as accused and witnesses of a murder case. Nation Building Minister, Susantha Punchinilame, and Textiles Minister, Mahinda Rathnathilake, are charged as the first and second accused for killing a ruling party MP in 1997. Justice Minister, Dilan Perera, appeared as an eye witness of the murder. The two ministers and four others are charged with murdering more..

ECB name Sri Lanka as Zimbabwe replacement

July 9 (CI) England will host Sri Lanka for two Tests and three ODIs in April and May next year. Sri Lanka's tour slots in the fixture gap caused by England's decision to suspend bilateral ties with Zimbabwe and the cancellation of their 2009 visit. David Collier, the ECB chief executive, was pleased with Sri Lankan's willingness to step in and ensure England will have a competitive series ahead of the Ashes later in the summer. more..

Tea exporter sees lifestyle trends expanding market

July 9 (LBO) Changing consumer tastes and a willingness to pay a premium for a superior product should help tea producers, who until recent years had faced stagnant prices, a top Sri Lankan exporter says. Anslem Perera, managing director of Euro Scan, says tea producers and exporters were making use of traditional consumption trends to make new products that appeal to a new generation of consumers. more..

LTTE: Reaching Across the Strait

July 9 (LG) The international pressure which has clogged the LTTE attempt to replenish its depleted military equipments has undermined the rebel’s capacities to thwart the military offensive by the Sri Lankan Government troops. With their capacities progressively diminished, the LTTE has suffered severe losses. These developments are now impacting on India’s southern States, especially Tamil Nadu, as the LTTE attempts to source its war materials from these Indian Sates. more..