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Stark nightmare scenario of Sri Lanka’s educational system

June 16 (LG) Today’s terror politics has largely been the cause of mismanagement of our educational resources and the awful handling of the same that kept a good number of capable students out of university opportunities. The GCE (Ordinary Level) results recently published reflects an appalling state of affairs in respect of educational objectives and management in the country. more..

New peace keepers for Haiti

June 16 (BBC) A new contingent of Sri Lanka troops is to be sent to Haiti to replace existing Sri Lanka peace keepers. Guard of Honour for 750 troops from Gemunu Hewa Regiment to be sent to Haiti was held on Sunday at the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Regiment centre in Kuruvita. The contingent is to replace Singha Regiment troops in Haiti. The ceremony, chaired by SLA Chief of Staff Maj. General N Wijesinghe, was also attended by UN coordinator for peace keepers, Ray Redman. more..

Narrowing of Perspectives – The Key to Solving the Conflict in Sri Lanka

June 16 (AT) A recent article by the author titled “The Importance of Symbolism in Solving the Conflict in Sri Lanka” has generated a valuable discussion on the Asian Tribune. Several commentators have made important contributions, and hopefully, these will go a long way to advance the thinking amongst those involved with the Sri Lankan APRC process to find a mutually acceptable way out of the morass the country has been placed in as a consequence of the conflict. more..

Serbia stops Tiger transmission to Europe, Africa and Middle East

June 16 (AT) The LTTE, ran into another hurdle in propaganda drive. The LTTE official radio Voice of Tigers (VoT), which started transmissions on 1st June 2008 from Serbia has ceased its transmissions on June 09, 2008. According to reliable sources, the government of Serbia has terminated the broadcast license granted to VoT to retransmit to Europe, North Africa and Middle East via Serbian satellite, when more..

Sri Lanka crossing swords: New prescription for old ailment

June 16 (AT) Every time I look at the map of Sri Lanka I wonder what has gone wrong with Sri Lankan diplomacy. They have a wonderful case to tell the world about the terrorism threat they have at their door step. But they have miserably failed to utilize the post-9/11 sentiment to their advantage. In fact the map also makes me curse Indian obduracy vis-à-vis Sri Lanka. Over the past sixty-years, India has been experiencing insurgency in its Northeastern region. more..

'We need trasparency and accountability' - Warnapura

June 16 (CI) Bandula Warnapura, who is on his way out as Sri Lankan Cricket's director of operations, has said that the country needs a cricket-development base before harbouring visions of producing the best cricket team in the world. Warnapura, Sri Lanka's first Test captain, has been involved with SLC for the past eight years (as director of operations) and worked under the administration of elected as well as appointed bodies. more..

Pallakelle unlikely to host 2011 World Cup games

June 16 (CI) The Pallakelle cricket stadium, owned by Sri Lanka Cricket, is nearing completion but it will require a sum close to Rs 200 million (US$ 1.8 million approx) for the site to be in line to hold games during the 2011 World Cup - a remote possibility at the moment. Once the first stage of the project is completed, the stadium will be ready to stage domestic matches, mainly inter-provincial games. more..

Sri Lankan tea pluckers not reaping benefits: study

June 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea estate community, which plucked the leaf that kept the economy afloat for more than a century, has not reaped the benefits of the trade, says a new study on the link between trade and poverty. "The estate sector in Sri Lanka is a prime example of trade failing to translate into poverty reduction," says the study by researchers at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). more..

Head of Sri Lanka State Media calls for journalist’s death

June 16 (TW) Hudson Samarasinghe who was appointed as the Chairperson of State controlled SLBC called for the death of senior journalist Poddala Jayantha. This outrageous incitement to murder and violence by Hudson Samarasinghe was made June 8th during a breakfast radio talk show he participated in called “Isira”. Poddala Jayantha is the General Secretary of Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA), which is the largest journalists’ organisation in the country. more..

Police rule out foul play in Sri Lankan’s death

June 16 (AN) Police have ruled out any foul play in the death of a Sri Lankan man whose partially charred body was found in his apartment in the southern city of Abha last month. Mohamed Imtisam Shamsudeen, 28, assistant manager of Home Center in Abha, was found dead on May 9. His family in Sri Lanka had alleged foul play and said he had experienced difficulties with colleagues prior to his death. more..

Norway to continue promoting peace in Sri Lanka

June 16 (Xinhua) The Norwegian government said on Sunday that its policy towards Sri Lanka remains unchanged and it will continue promoting the peace in Sri Lanka, according to reports reaching here from Oslo. "The policies guiding our engagement with Sri Lanka remain firm and will not change," Deputy Foreign Minister of Norway Raymond Johansen said in a statement. Norway is committed to assisting Sri Lanka in finding a solution to the ethnic conflict while respecting the country's territorial integrity, he stressed. more..

'Civilians killed' in air raid

June 16 (BBC) The Tamil Tigers say that two civilians were killed and others injured in a Sri Lankan air force raid on rebel-held Mulaitivu. The Tigers say that several homes and other buildings were damaged in the attack on Puthukkudiyiruppu. The LTTE said the Sri Lanka Air Force bombers targetted a civilian settlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The air force says that it targeted and struck a key LTTE combat-logistic facility, leaving it on fire. more..

Sri Lanka exports up on commodity boom

June 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports grew 14.7 percent helped by strong prices for tea, while apparel exports grew by a slow 5.3 percent and the trade deficit expanded 92 percent on higher oil and capital goods imports, official data showed. The Central Bank said April export earnings increased 14.7 percent to 610 million US dollars with agricultural and industrial exports contributing 59 percent and 37 percent. more..

Port authority to develop land holdings

June 16 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is getting ready to make commercial use of its vast landholdings around the harbours in the island, some of which are now considered prime property. "We've structured a framework agreement by which we can use the land for public-private partnership projects," SLPA chairman Saliya Wickramasuriya said. "It's now going through policy approval stages." more..

Who will help Fathima to face the world?

June 16 (MG) Clad in a purple Shalwar Kameez 20 year old Fathima was on her way to work on the morning of Friday June 6 at about 8.05. Despite the worrying thoughts on her mind, the young girl resembled an Indian film star. She was thinking of her ailing father - and the state of her family was the factor that drove her to achieve success in life. Yet all that determination was knocked down when a speeding ambulance coming from Ratmalana knocked Fathima who was crossing the road near the Pizza Hut in Dehiwela. more..

Only traitors talk of ceasefires – Wimal

June 16 (LD) Leader of the National Freedom Front Wimal Weerawansa has condemned what he termed irresponsible statements of traitors who call for a ceasefire at a time when the security forces were engaged in a final battle to destroy Prabhakaran. Speaking at a ceremony organised by the ‘Manel Mal Movement’ to distribute goods among security forces personnel yesterday, he said that such statements by politicians who cater to the needs of the terrorists, only break the spirit of the security forces. more..

JHU accused over its silence on conversions

June 16 (LD) The Jathika Hela Urumaya has been asked to explain as to why it avoids pressurizing the government to adopt proposed laws to make Buddhism the state religion and to prevent unethical conversions. The call by Ven.Galabodaatte Gnanasara Thera came at the launch of a 'conversion observation centre' in Rajagiriya today (Jun 17th). The prelate, who is the director of the new institution, alleged the JHU had become a pawn of the present regime. more..

US defence officials meet Army Commander

June 16 (LD) Two senior officials of the U.S. Department of Defence, with a view to making a first hand assessment of the current security and operational situation in the country, met Army Commander Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka at the Army Headquarters on June 11th. Chris Clary and Amir Latif of the office of US Secretary Defence, accompanied by James E. Oxley, Defence Attache, discussed a variety of issues pertaining to the present security situation and relations between the two armies. more..

Teachers to boycott script markings

June 16 (LD) Teachers have decided to boycott the marking of answer scripts of the G.C.E. Ordinary and Advanced Level examinations to protest the non-resolution of their salary anomalies. Convener of their combined trade union Joseph Stalin told 'Lanka Dissent' that all teachers have been asked to refrain from the duties, as the government was keeping silent amidst trade union action that called for redress to their grievances. more..

Press freedom continues to deteriorate, CPJ tells president

June 16 (LD) The Committee to Protect Journalists, in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, says it is alarmed by his government’s policies toward journalists who write critically about the conflict between Sri Lanka’s military forces and Tamil secessionists. The letter said, "We have seen an increase in harassment, intimidation, and detention of reporters, many of whom are columnists in senior positions with well-established careers. more..

Injunction against 4 from using PNM's name

June 16 (LD) The Colombo District Court today (June 16th) issued an injunction to Ven. Dambara Amila Thera and three others against holding meetings and news conferences using the name of the Patriotic National Movement. District Court Judge Sisira Ratnayake gave the order that will be effective for a 14-day day period, after considering a petition filed by PNM Chairman Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara. more..

'PNM's path cannot be tackled & obstructed'

June 16 (LD) The Patriotic National Movement's Propaganda and Publication Secretary Ven. Dambara Amila Thera said that the path of the PNM cannot be tackled and obstructed. He was delivering a lecture at a public seminar titled ‘responsibility of the national movement in the face of foreign involvement’ in Maharagama today. Though the event was originally to be held at the Maharama Youth Centre, they were compelled to change the venue to Somro Hall after the original venue was not granted. more..

Sri Lanka loses vote to retain seat on UN Human Rights Council

June 16 (wsws) Despite a concerted lobbying campaign by Colombo, Sri Lanka lost its seat on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in an election held by the UN General Assembly on May 21. The loss was a humiliating blow to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and his government, which desperately wanted to retain the seat as a means of obscuring its own appalling record of abusing democratic rights. more..

Anticipating fresh assault, Tigers strengthen Muhamalai frontline

June 16 (LNP) Despite mounting military pressure on Vanni fronts and growing shortage of men and material, the LTTE continues to maintain its best equipped fighting cadres on the Jaffna front to face a possible ground assault across the frontline. The military said the LTTE had strengthened the frontline anticipating a major assault spearheaded by the recently created Mechanised Infantry Brigade. more..

Of that promised probe into massacre of policemen

June 16 (LNP) Political leaders of this country have earned notoriety for letting the grass grow under their feet over vital issues and springing into action after years, if not decades. The present government has suddenly woken up to a war crime the LTTE committed 18 years ago in the Eastern Province the massacre of 401 policemen who surrendered to the outfit on orders from the Premadasa government. more..

Education crisis deepens

June 16 (SAMN) The school education crisis is likely to deepen with teachers deciding Sunday not to apply for paper marking at the GCE Ordinary Level Examination scheduled to be held in December this year. Three teacher trade unions, the Association of Educational Professionals (AEF), the Ceylon Teachers Services Union (CTSU) and the Sri Lanka United Teachers Union had taken this decision as a part of their protest campaign demanding a pay hike and rectification of salary anomalies. more..

UNP MPs seek enhanced fuel allowance

June 16 (SAMN) Opposition MPs are discussing the urgent need to increase their Rs. 15,000 monthly fuel allowance due to rapidly escalating petrol and diesel prices. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, a vociferous UNP MP said the recent increase of both diesel and petrol prices had forced them to sharply reduce travel. "I am in a quandary," he said, "we have no option but to make representations to the party leadership." more..

Political parties pick polls candidates

June 16 (SAMN) With the announcement by the Elections Commissioner of the dates of nominations to be received for the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council polls from June 27 to July 4, the main stream political parties are busy with selecting their candidates and Chief Minister aspirants for the two PC elections that would decide the political fate of the country in the near future. more..

Reduction in pesticide related deaths

June 16 (SAMN) Pesticide related deaths have come down drastically over the years due to the creation of awareness among the public on the risk free use of these chemicals, Professor, Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Ravindra Fernando said. Addressing a seminar for journalists at the Health Education Bureau by the WHO, Prof. Fernando said the use of pesticide is essential as approximately 50% of crops are lost to weeds and pests before, during and after the harvest, which is now avoidable. more..

The Sri Lankan Conflict

June 16 (HR) Narrow interpretations of cultural identity and models of conflict resolution built on ethnic dualism contribute to ethnic polarization and inhibit sustainable peace. To improve both the analysis and processes of conflict resolution, it is necessary to move beyond the bipolar ethnic model and explore the multi-polar nature of conflicts. The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the secessionist LTTE is commonly identified as a primordial ethnic conflict between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. more..

Anti-terrorism drive accelerated in India

June 16 (GDI) Indian defence authorities have intensified investigations into LTTE operations in the coastal district of Ramnad, which overlooks Mannar, just across the Palk Strait. It is reported that the biggest number of detections of explosives and war material destined for the LTTE has been made from Ramnad. During 2007, the Indian authorizes have recovered large hauls of war materials used by the LTTE terrorists to attack both the security personals and the civilians in Sri Lanka. more..

50,000 MTs of Thai rice to Sri Lanka

June 16 (GDI) Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rohitha Bogollagama returning to the country after a successful official visit to Thailand said that the Government of Thailand has agreed to provide 50,000 metric tons of rice. The decision was reached when Minister Bogollagama held discussions with Thai Prime Minister, Samak Sundaravej, and with his counterpart Noppadon Pattama during his visit. more..

Neither Sri Lanka nor UN asked for Abolition of British Monarchy

June 16 (GDI) The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva wishes to contradict several inaccuracies and distortions contained in a report in the London Daily Express, which seems to have been echoed by certain other news organizations, to the effect that Sri Lanka called for the abolition of the British monarchy. There was no such call, not by Sri Lanka and not by the UN Human Rights Council. more..

'People have placed faith, confidence in Govt’s policies'

June 16 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa affirms definite victory at any election held democratically, based on the faith and confidence of the people in the Government. President Rajapaksa pointed out that the people are fully convinced, confident and assured of the Government’s clear-cut process of establishing democracy and developing the country. more..

Estate workers to get rice at concessionary prices

June 16 (DN) The Government has enabled the estate community to purchase a kilo of rice at a concessionary rate of Rs. 50 through the co-operatives under the its programme of releasing sufficient rice stocks daily to the market through the Food Commissioners' Department (FCD) in Narahenpita. Ample red nadu and white rice stocks are released to Co-operatives, Sathosa branches and Co-op Cities across the country including the Up country through the FCD. more..

Weerawansa to meet MR

June 16 (Island) A National Freedom Front delegation led by its leader MP Wimal Weerawansa is scheduled to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa today at 11 am at Temple Trees. The delegation is expected to discuss the NFF’s proposed establishment of an All Party Public Security Council as a measure against the LTTE’s killing of civilians. A copy of the proposal had already been submitted to the President, and his approval for the setting up of the council would be sought at today’s meeting, more..

30,000 graduate employees on work to rule from today

June 16 (Island) Over 30,000 graduate employees in the public sector will commence a work-to-rule campaign today demanding rectification of their salary anomalies and a starting salary of Rs 19,010. The graduate employees who launched a struggle demanding the basic salary stipulated by the Public Administration Ministry Circular No 06/2006 two years ago, stormed the BMICH premises, where the National Salaries and Cadre Commission offices is located and staged a protest last week. more..

CBK ‘detained’ at Srinagar airport

June 16 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga faced an embarrassing situation when she was ‘detained’ at the Srinagar airport after officials failed to identify her on arrival to take part in a SAARC cultural event, the Kashmir Times reported yesterday. According to the report security officials had refused to allow Ms. Kumaratunga to leave the Srinagar airport on May 24 as she did not have a special visa and prior Home Ministry permission to participate in the event organized by the South Asia Foundation. more..

I will remain and die in SLFP: Chandrika

June 16 (DM) Former President, Chandrika Kumaratunga says that nobody could expel her from the SLFP or move a resolution against her in the party on the grounds that she participated in the SLFP (M Group) convention on Thursday as she had informed her participation in writing to the SLFP General Secretary, Maithripala Sirisena. “I attended the convention as I had received an invitation from the group. more..

Sri Lanka's trade gap doubles on oil imports

June 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened to more than two billion dollars in the first four months of the year as imports of oil erased export gains, central bank figures showed Monday. Imports from January to April rose to 4.53 billion dollars, up from 3.29 billion dollars in the corresponding period last year, the bank said. Exports grew marginally to 2.48 billion dollars, up from 2.23 billion dollars. more..

Suicide bomber kills 12 police, wounds 23 people in northern Sri Lanka

June 16 (AP) A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up Monday near a police building in a northern Sri Lankan town, killing 12 police officers and wounding 23 other people. The bomber struck police officers and civilian bystanders on a street in the northern town of Vavuniya, 130 miles north of capital Colombo, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said. Of the 23 wounded, 19 were police and the rest civilians, he said. more..

India favourites to lift Asia Cup: Ranatunga

June 17 (PTI) India might have lost the recently concluded ODI tri-series to Pakistan but former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga says Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men are the favourites to lift the Asia Cup later this month. "India has lot of young talented players including its One-day captain MS Dhoni," Ranatunga, Chairman of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board said more..

Hikkaduwa fishing harbor completed with added amenities

June 17 (GDI) Construction on the Hikkaduwa fishing harbor, the first large-scale tsunami reconstruction activity of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was completed earlier this month. The fishing harbor has been identified as the source of livelihood for almost 4000 families in the Hikkaduwa area. The project is a key element of USAID's Sri Lanka Tsunami Reconstruction Program and more..

Mastermind of LTTE Credit Card scam nabbed

June 17 (GDI) The suspected mastermind behind the LTTE's international credit card scam was arrested by Special Task Force personnel while at a luxury apartment in Wellawatta. The suspect Anandan, alias Neshanadan Muruganandan was arrested with a large number of Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) and bank receipts issued by both local and foreign banks, amounting to a massive sum of money, over Rs. 100 million, in his possession. more..

Double Stand of South Asia Superpower

June 17 (LG) Paradoxically an India that under Indraji strove for the Tamil cause to save the Tamil from SL genocide has now become partners in that crime. This Indian action has the potential to destroy the Tamils and the Tamil cause. Hence expressions of support for Tamil aspirations are hardly audible today from Delhi. India's support for SL's genocide is no longer covert. more..

APRC was a fiction – Minister Nimal Siripala

June 17 (LG) The government needs a plan to create another Pillaiyan to control the North like in the East, says Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva in an interview with Sri Lanka Guardian at his Ministry last Tuesday evening (June 03). According to the Minister, the government will not be changing the constitution and is seeking a sustainable solution within a unitary state. He clams that, the APRC was a fiction. Here we publish the full text of the Interview. more..

Committee of seniors to reorganize UNP

June 17 (LD) The UNP ended its Working Committee meeting today by appointing a committee of party seniors to recommend measures for the reorganization of the UNP. It comprises Joseph Michael Perera, John Amaratunga, Gamini Jayawickrema Perera, Sarathchandra Rajakaruna and Renuka Herath. The UNP's WC committee was in focus after the state media reported that Ranil Wickremesinghe was facing an internal rebellion that would expel him from the party leadership at the meeting. more..

Ottawa outlaws non-profit World Tamil Movement

June 17 (Dose) The federal government has outlawed the World Tamil Movement, a Toronto-based non-profit organization, under the Anti-Terrorism Act in what may signal an aggressive new approach to combating terrorist financing in Canada. The decision to add the organization to Canada's list of outlawed terrorist groups marks the first time Ottawa has used the anti-terrorism law to shut down a Canadian community group for ties to terrorists. more..

Sri Lanka bombings follow government strikes

June 17 (CSM) A suicide bomber struck outside a police station on Monday in Sri Lanka, the latest in a string of such attacks blamed on the LTTE. The Sri Lankan government is seeking to defeat the separatist LTTE, or Tamil Tigers, after the government abandoned a six-year truce in January. In response to attacks on its forces in its northern stronghold, the LTTE has increasingly deployed bombers targeting civilians in and around Colombo, the capital, including a bus bombing and a mine attack on a commuter train earlier this month. more..

Doctors on 'indefinite' strike

June 17 (BBC) Society of Registered and Assistant Medical Officers (SRAMO) say the work to rule protest launched on 01 June is extended to an indefinite strike from Monday. Holding a protest opposite the health Ministry on Monday, the doctors accused the health authorities of treating them as ‘second class citizens’ among other doctors. Registered Medical Officers (RMO) and Assistant Medical Officers (AMO) are serving in over 950 hospitals in Sri Lanka. more..