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Bruce Fein! Open both your eyes widely

July 9 (LG) I received an email from Bruce Fein of an organisation called Tamils for Justice in the USA. The email with a heading stated: ‘A MOST IMPORTANT MATTER, Dear friends, Kindly help circulate this appeal as widely as possible and if necessary speak to people and secure their urgent cooperation and help in this most important matter’. Further statement to the email gave full details of work undertaken by Bruce Fein which is reproduced herein: more..

Rich countries achieved economic supremacy at our expense: Champika

July 9 (LG) Greetings from the Government and the peoples of Sri Lanka, Honourable Ministerial colleagues, Excellencies, experts and senior government officials, distinguished invitees, ladies and gentlemen, At the outset, I would like to take this opportunity to record our appreciation to the SAARC Secretariat and the Government of Bangladesh for organizing this important meeting on a very timely subject, more..

Taking responsibility is essential to find solutions

July 9 (LG) With reports coming in on a daily basis of military progress in the battlefields of the north and of the destruction of LTTE bases, it is to be expected that the government’s military strategy would be generally perceived as a successful one. Although concerns are sometimes expressed that the costs of this strategy are high, conclusive evidence to buttress this claim is hard to come by. more..

Mystic Mendis is latest Sri Lankan mould-breaker

JJuly 9 (AFP) As if Muttiah Muralitharan was not enough, Sri Lanka now have another formidable spinner in Ajantha Mendis, whose unique style is also breaking new ground. Muralitharan, with a record 735 Test wickets, has long flummoxed batsmen with his "doosra" delivery that spins away from right-handers instead of coming in like a conventional off-break. more..

Planes bomb rebel position; 23 killed in ground fighting

July 9 (AP) Sri Lankan fighter planes bombed a Tamil Tiger base Tuesday and the rebels ambushed an army patrol killing two soldiers in the country's war-ravaged north, the military said.The attacks came a day after ground battles along the front lines of the civil war killed 19 rebels and two soldiers, according to the military. The air force jets twice hit a logistics facility in the rebel-controlled Kilinochchi district Tuesday, more..

Maj. Gen. Pannipitiya not given enough security

July 9 (LD) The Lawyer for Major General Parakrama Pannipitiya told the Supreme Court that its order for the provision of adequate security to his client was yet to be fulfilled. President's Counsel Manohara de Silva brought this to the attention of the SC, which took up a fundamental rights petition filed by the senior military officer. The panel comprising judges Shirani Thilakawardena, Raja Fernando and P.A. Ratnayake ordered the Ministry of Defence to provide eight bodyguards to Maj. Gen. Pannipitiya. more..

Basil asks for Beliatta seat

July 9 (LD) Senior presidential advisor and national list MP Basil Rajapaksa has asked the president that he be appointed SLFP organizer for Beliatta electorate, government sources said. Beliatta is the birthplace and bastion of the Rajapaksas, with Mahinda Rajapaksa being the organizer for the electorate before his elevation to presidency. Since then, the position has been vacant. more..

Ensure media's freedom & safety - Colombo Bishop

July 9 (LD) Bishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera has urged the President Mahinda Rajapaksa led government to ensure professional freedom and personal safety of all journalists. In a statement, Rev. de Chickera noted that the wave of violence unleashed against the media has disturbed the masses, as repression of the media has denied the people's right to information. The most recent attack on journalist Namal Perera and Mahendra Ratnaweera should be condemned by all Sri Lankans in one voice, he said. more..

Children as early detectors, preventers of disaster

July 9 (IRIN) Residents of Ovilkanda, a remote village in Matale District, central Sri Lanka, often contend with a natural hazard, lightning, that strikes with great frequency and sometimes with deadly effect. So when the local school, the Ovilkanda Maha Vidyalaya, hosted a disaster mitigation programme conducted jointly by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Disaster Management Centre, the government agency handling disaster mitigation, more..

TNA support JVP strike

July 9 (BBC) A demand by the working class is always a right to address their grievances, says Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian, R.Sampanthan. Saying, "Whether it is JVP or otherwise; it doesn't matter", Sampanthan said that the Tamil National Alliance will support the trade union action planned by the JVP for July 10th. This is the first time ever TNA has come forward to support a trade union action. more..

Sri Lanka extended the state of emergency by another month

July 9 (AT) Government extended the State of Emergency by another month with a 97-vote majority on Tuesday. At a vote requested by TNA's R. Sampanthan, 111 members favored the motion for the extension, while 14 opposed. All government affiliated parties voted in favor of the motion and the UNP was absent at the time of vote. The State of Emergency gives wide powers to the security forces and police to carry out operations against the terrorism. more..

TN fishermen helping LTTE: Lanka

July 9 (NIP) Tamil Nadu’s fishermen bitterly complain that the Sri Lankan Navy is aggressively preventing them from exercising their “traditional right” to fish in the Palk Strait, especially around Katchchativu island, which was ceded to Sri Lanka in the 1970s. But the Sri Lanka Navy contends that the problem is not about Tamil Nadu fishermen poaching around Kachchativu, but the massive daily intrusion of these fishermen into Sri Lankan waters very near Mannar and Jaffna, more..

Private bus operators ignore strike call

July 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's privately-run bus operators said they would keep their buses on the road on July 10, ignoring the token strike call of a Marxist-Nationalist former ally of the ruling coalition. The Marxist JVP which popularized policies of wholesale government recruitment, indiscriminate subsidies and increased state intervention in 2004 and extended them in 2006, fell out with the government this year. more..

Child-abuse father ‘took a fatal overdose in the dock’

July 9 (TO) An abusive father killed himself in the dock with poison after learning that he faced jail for a brutal assault on his baby daughter, an inquest was told yesterday. Anandakumar Ratnasabapathy, 40, mixed a solution of crushed sleeping tablets in a Coca-Cola bottle and gulped down a fatal dose. The Sri Lankan-born father had repeatedly vowed to commit suicide if found guilty of assaulting his three-month-old daughter, who was left quadriplegic, epileptic and partially blind when her nose and mouth were deliberately blocked. more..

Ajantha Mendis to receive military promotion after Asia Cup heroics

July 9 (AP) Ajantha Mendis, the soldier who guided Sri Lanka to its second successive Asia Cup win with his crafty spin bowling is in line to be promoted three ranks higher to the rank of sergeant, a military officer said Tuesday. Mendis, a gunner in Sri Lanka Army's artillery regiment, on Sunday took 6-13, record bowling figures in the history of the tournament against favorites India and helped his side defend the title. more..

Sri Lanka condemns attack on Indian mission in Kabul

July 9 (IANS) Sri Lanka Tuesday condemned the suicide car bombing attack targeting the Indian embassy in Kabul Monday, which killed at least 40 people. 'The government of Sri Lanka strongly condemns the suicide bomb attack outside the Indian embassy in Kabul Monday. This terrorist atrocity aimed against two neighbouring nations with which Sri Lanka enjoys close and friendly ties, claimed the lives of at least 40 people and seriously injured scores of others,' more..

UNP accuses army commander

July 9 (BBC) Sri Lanka's main opposition party has in parliament accused the country's most senior army officer of being behind violent attacks on reporters. Opposition MP Joseph Michael Perera told MPs that the attacks were carried out by a "special team" controlled by Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka. Mr Perera said the government should arrest the offenders and "immediately bring them to justice". more..

Of trade union action and LTTE strikes

July 9 (ML) As the government continues to sell its particular brand of political wares in the name of patriotism, tomorrow, hundreds of trade unionists are set to take to the streets in a JVP led islandwide strike. Curious as it sounds the government predictably sent out immediate warnings that information had been conveniently received the LTTE would also engage in a different kind of strike in the next few days covering the crucial date of Thursday, July 10. more..

Wanni residents abhor LTTE, Govt.

July 9 (ML) At the time this report goes out, residents just out of the war zone in South Wanni have been hearing constant sounds of intense warfare. From the government side, shells and MBRLs were being fired north into the Wanni, even as K-fir 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. For the civilians life is no less miserable. more..

SCOPP chief cannot rule out Govt. hand in abductions

July 9 (ML) Head of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP), Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha has said it was not possible to say that the government was not involved in the abductions taking place in the country. Prof. Wijesinha addressing the media on Monday while admitting that abductions were taking place in the country had said it was not possible to directly say that the government was not doing it. more..

A.G. directs police to probe abduction complaint on Duminda

July 9 (ML) The Attorney General directed the police yesterday to investigate the complaint of abduction and criminal intimidation made by actress Anarkali Akarsha against Western Provincial councillor Duminda Silva and to produce the suspect in court. The directive by Attorney General, President’s Counsel, C.R. De Silva went out to the police on Friday and a further directive went out yesterday with a query on what progress has been made with regard to the investigation. more..

Stock Market crashes to one year low

July 9 (BL) Despite Government’s much trumpeted military victories and sound economic growth, investors don’t seem to have much cheer, as the Colombo Stock Market plunged to its lowest levels in a year. The main All Share Price Index fell over 1% or, over 28 points, to finish at 2,372 points, a one-year low. It was also the 10th consecutive fall that took to its lowest close since July 19, 2007. more..

Govt. challenged to bring goons to justice

July 9 (BL) The main Opposition UNP yesterday in Parliament accused the Defense Ministry claiming it was responsible for the attacks on journalists who criticised military activities, as well as their abductions “Namal Perera and Mahendra Amaraweera were assaulted in a high security area. Who has the capability of pulling off such a stunt and getting away with it?” UNP MP Ranga Bandara asked. more..

Govt. using sabotage tactics to prevent July 10th strike - UNP

July 9 (BL) The UNP lashed out at the Government for using all possible tactics to sabotage the upcoming July 10th strike. Speaking at the press briefing, UNP Parliamentarian, Gayantha Karunathilaka said that the government has tried all sorts of tactics in public, such as attacking the monks, university students and teachers who were demonstrating to win their rights. “If the government is trying to use these means to disrupt the strike of the masses, then it will be another failure for the government. more..

Await: A striking nation

July 9 (BL) The countdown has begun to tomorrow’s General Strike (GS), with Trade Unions (TU) and the Opposition charging that the Government was pulling out all stops to prevent the TU action from going ahead. While the impact of the strike is impossible to assess, until the action is launched, union members warned of snags in the distribution of fuel and blackouts, as representatives of the key Energy sector join in tomorrow’s strike. more..

VIPs get 31 bulletproof cars

July 9 (ML) The government yesterday informed parliament that some 31 new bulletproof vehicles were purchased for VIP use. Replying an oral query raised by UNP legislator Ravi Karunanayake, Chief Government Whip, Dinesh Gunewardene said 31 new bullet proof vehicles were imported after the 13th parliament was elected. He said 12 vehicles were imported at US$ 1.8 million, 15 others at US$ 3.7 million and four others at US$ 13.23 million. more..

Government spreads bomb scare to scuttle general strike

July 9 (wsws) In a blatant effort to scuttle tomorrow’s one-day strike by hundreds of unions, the Sri Lankan government has mounted a “terrorist” scare, claiming to have information that the LTTE could set off bombs in the South this week. At a press conference on Monday, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that the LTTE would launch a major attack to mark “Black July”—the vicious anti-Tamil pogroms in July 1983 that triggered the country’s long-running civil war. more..

Sri Lanka to get Chinese support in tea cultivation

July 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea industry expects to get support from China to improve plant breeding and cultivation, Sri Lanka Tea Board chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi said. He said scientists from both countries, both big tea producers, recently established contact with each other and plan to enter into a formal programme to exchange technology and knowledge. "China is the home of the tea plant," Hettiarachchi said. more..

Civilians from Puthukkudiyiruppu flee LTTE terror, seek Govt. protection

July 9 (GDI) Amid increasing reports that civilians in un-cleared areas are suffering immense hardship due to the coercive tactics of the LTTE, a group of 12 Tamil civilians fleeing their homes in the yet to be liberated Puthukkudiyiruppu area have arrived at Pulmoddai last morning (08). The group included seven males and five females north of Puthukkudiyiruppu and according to available information, there were also 3 children and 3 youth with them. more..

President says saddened by strike with political motives

July 9 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that he was saddened by the fact that trade unions were resorting to strike action to gain political mileage at a time when heroic soldiers were sacrificing their lives for the country and nation without expecting any returns. He was speaking to heads of trade unions affiliated to the government at Temple Trees yesterday (July 08th). more..

Lal Kantha vows to resign as MP if strike failed

July 9 (LD) Chairman of the National Trade Unions Centre, K.D. Lal Kantha, says that he will resign as an MP if tomorrow’s (July 10th) strike protest failed to obtain support from the transport sector. Making a special statement to the House today, the JVP parliamentarian responded to a statement by Transport Minister, Dalles Alahapperuma, who challenged organizers to stop at least one bus if they could. more..

Ranil & Janaka Perera differ on war - Dallas

July 9 (LD) UNP chief Ministerial candidate for North Central province, retired Major Gen. Janaka Perera, should declare whether he agrees with the party leader’s stance against the government plan to defeat the LTTE militarily, said Transport Minister, Dalles Alahapperuma. The minister pointed out that UNP leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe wanted the resumption of talks with the LTTE, while Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera believed the war against the Tigers should continue. more..

Conspiracies will get due response from Sabaragamuwa! – Tilvin Silva

July 9 (LT) The government is circulating a canards to say that the JVP has links with the tiger organization and this would be properly replied with results at Sabaragamuwa PC elections says General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at a meeting held at Sri Ramya Reception Hall at Ratnapura to brief the contestants of the JVP to Sabaragamuwa PC election Mr. Silva said, "We are being questioned for Nadhan following JVP classes in the 70s. more..

Lanka warns its fishermen against straying into Indian waters

July 9 (PTI) Sri Lanka has warned its fishermen against entering Indian waters saying such incursions were costing its exchequer dearly. Lankan Fisheries Minister Felix Perera said the government was forced to spend millions of rupees to bail out fishermen arrested by the Indian coast guards for such violations. Last month India had decided to release 28 Sri Lankan fishermen who were arrested after straying into its waters. more..

PKK runs guns to LTTE: Turkey

July 9 (SAMN) The Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit said on Tuesday that the terrorist organisation PKK/Kongra-Gel was running guns to the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka. He also said terrorism was the biggest threat to peace and security in the age of globalisation. The PKK is an organisation fighting for a separate state for the Kurds in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq and Iran and been designated an international terrorist outfit by the US State Department. more..

Govt. tarnishing Lanka’s image: JVP

July 9 (SAMN) The JVP told Parliament Tuesday the country’s reputation had suffered in the international arena due to the ‘heinous activities’ of the government. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake, speaking during the emergency debate, said there was no serious allegation against the security forces and it was solely due to the atrocious and foolish activities of the government that the country’s image had been affected. more..

World Heritage Sites to be promoted

July 9 (SAMN) A series of programmes titled Maharu Mini to highlight the seven World Heritage Sites in the country will be introduced locally and internationally soon. The seven World Heritage Sites are Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy, Galle Fort and Sinharaja. Informed sources said the series of programmes are expected to create awareness among locals and also encourage tourists to visit the sites. more..

Mystery of SSP’s pouch revealed

July 9 (SAMN) Last Saturday’s recovery of a galkattas, 90 rounds of T 56 ammunition, an expired passport and several photographs near the official residence of SLAF Chief Air Marshal Roshan Gunatilleke at Keppetipola Mawatha has revealed the mystery of the disappearance of a pouch, in 2001, belonging to SSP Sarath Beddewella during his deployment in the East Timor under UN command. "I have been wondering what had happened to my pouch," Beddewella said Tuesday. more..

Sri Lanka contract dispute clouds India tour

July 9 (Reuters) A protracted contract dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its players has reached boiling point just weeks before India are due to tour there. Sri Lanka players, who returned home from Karachi on Wednesday after winning the Asia Cup, have not been paid since February and have requested an emergency board meeting this week. "We did not even see a first draft of the new contract until seven weeks after our last contract lapsed," more..

Sri Lankan air force attacks rebel boats as fighting kills 21

July 9 (AP) Sri Lanka air force jets attacked a Tamil Tiger flotilla off the coast of northern Sri Lanka early Wednesday, destroying one rebel boat, while infantry clashes in the north killed 19 insurgents and two soldiers, the military said. The military has increasingly used airstrikes to try to weaken the rebels as part of its ongoing offensive against the Tamil Tigers' de facto state in the north. more..

Pay hike for private sector

July 9 (DN) The Government yesterday announced a 15-43 per cent pay hike for private sector employees with retrospective effect from July 1. Labour Relations and Manpower Minister Athauda Seneviratne said the salary increase, which has already been gazetted, will be adopted by 40 out of the 43 Wages Boards in the country. “Since March this year, the Government had a series of discussions with private sector employers and trade unions on increasing the salaries of their employees in line with the rise in cost of living. more..

Strikes in South only possible due to Forces’ heroism in North - President

July 9 (DN) The struggles to win rights and increase salaries could be launched because our valiant Forces are today fighting terrorism in the North President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. “As a former labour leader who fought for workers’ rights and a former Minister of Labour, I do not see any wrong in workers resorting to trade union action, but it is a matter for regret that the methods to be adopted only where discussion fails to resolve problems, are being resorted to gain political mileage,” more..

Geethanjana says he resigned on principle

July 9 (Island) Colombo District Member Geethanjana Gunawardena yesterday told the House that he resigned from the post of Deputy Speaker on ethical grounds. When the Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was assassinated, his brother, Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Areas Development and leader of the MEP Dinesh Gunawardene was appointed Chief Government Whip, he said. more..

Many relatives of politicos join the fray

July 9 (Island) SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said 267 wanted to contest the two provinces on the government ticket. Fielding queries raised by The Island, the minister said among the candidates fielded by the SLFP-led ruling coalition were nominees of the UNP Democratic Group. Among the nominees was Amarakeerthi Atukorale, a coordinating secretary to C. A. Suriyaarachchi, non-Cabinet Minister of Land and Land Development. more..

Clarify your position, govt. challenges UNP

July 9 (DM) The government yesterday challenged UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and North Central Province UNP Chief Ministerial candidate Janaka Perera to clarify their positions on the war against terrorists given the contradictory views, they had expressed.“This is a challenge. They should come to a common platform and explain their opinion on the current war against terrorists,” Minister Dullas Alahapperuma told a news conference more..

31 bullet-proof vehicles for VIPs, but declines to name users

July 9 (DM) The government has imported 31 bullet proof vehicles for the use of parliamentarians at a cost of 8.6 million US dollars, Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena told parliament yesterday. Mr Gunawardena made the disclosure responding to a question by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. He said 15 of these vehicles had been bought for 3.7 million Euros inclusive of duty, 12 for 1.8 million US dollars, and four for 1.3 million US dollars. more..

Sri Lankan insurgency to continue forever?

July 10 (UPI) With daily reports of military progress in the battlefields of the north and of the destruction of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam bases, it is to be expected that the Sri Lankan government’s military strategy would be generally perceived as successful. In this context, an interview with the media by army commander Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka is particularly important. more..

India chases the Dragon in Sri Lanka

July 10 (AT) Gripped by civil war for over two decades, Sri Lanka is fast becoming a battleground for the two Asian giants - India and China. The looming struggle for influence has Delhi worried as the stage is on India's southern doorstep. Separated by a narrow stretch of water, the Palk Straits, India and Sri Lanka have generally had good relations, although India has wielded significant influence on the island for decades. more..

On history

July 10 (LG) I am not a historian if one were to go by the degrees I have obtained, but by paraphrasing as somebody what has been said on war it can be stated that history is too serious a subject to be left in the hands of the historians. In the recent past Michael Roberts a historian produced by the University by the river, and turned Anthropologist by history and Shainie who is comfortable in his/her anonymity have commented on history and referred to me as I also write on history. more..

Make money not war: A recipe for peace

July 10 (LG) Reading a recent article titled "How does one become Sinhalese or Tamil by sentiment?" by Michael Roberts, prompted me to write a few words for the benefit of your readers because every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting. In my humble opinion this is the most absurd question and every answer will be confronted by an unanswerable why. more..