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Pathirana develops unique vegetable, fruit dehydration machine

June 18 (FP) A Sri Lankan engineer from Veyangoda, Rankoth Pathirana has manufactured a vegetable and fruit dehydration machine that can be operated without fuel. A popular method of preserving vegetables and fruits is dehydration. Pathirana the owner of Rankoth Industries said in Sri Lanka a lot of fruits and vegetables go waste during the season, due to unavailability of sufficient preservative systems and storage facilities. more..

LTTE reject laying down arms for talks

June 18 (Reuters) Tamil rebels have rejected a request to lay-down or decommission their weapons before peace talks, saying they can still win the war against government forces. The government said last week it would only reconsider re-starting a peace process if the rebels agreed to lay down or decommission their weapons and issued a clear timetable for negotiations. But Balasingham Nadesan, the rebels' political head, said laying down arms could weaken the rebels' bargaining power during any talks. more..

Govt. welcomes Canada's listing of WTM as a terrorist organization

June 18 (GDI) The Government of Sri Lanka welcomed the announcement of the Canadian Government to list the World Tamil Movement (WTM) as a terrorist organization, under the Criminal Code of Canada. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has conveyed Sri Lanka's appreciation in this regard to his Canadian counterpart. Minister Bogollagama, commenting on the Canadian decision which became effective on June 13, noted with satisfaction the timely action against the World Tamil Movement underscored the more..

Draft bill to assist and protect victims of crime and witness presented

June 18 (GDI) The draft bill for the Assistance and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses has been a long felt need in Sri Lanka, said Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights on the occasion of the Parliamentary debate on the above Bill. Minister said that the Bill was especially welcome as it provides for two critical areas that are essential for the protection of Human Rights, the smooth functioning of the justice system and, ultimately the upholding of the rule of law. more..

Portraits of seven remarkable politicians unveiled in parliament

June 18 (GDI) The portraits of seven politicians who left their mark in Sri Lankan politics were unveiled in the first floor of the Parliament building in a special ceremony by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake. The politicians thus honoured were, Dr. C.W.W. Kannangara, A.E. Gunasinghe, Dr. S.A. Wickramasinghe, G.G. Ponnambalam,. Dr. N.M. Perera, Phillip Gunawardena and Dr. T.B. Jayah. more..

'The best service to human values is making collective efforts at social welfare'

June 18 (AT) "The best service to human society is making collective efforts at social welfare that eschews all divisions. Moved by this belief my government has initiated several projects to prevent social degradation and build a society imbued with religious fervor, offering comfort to all," states President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his message to the nation on Poson Full Moon. Full text of President Mahinda Rajapaksa message to the nation on Poson Full Moon: more..

Assessing the Role of President Mahinda Rajapakse

June 18 (AT) It is high time to assess President Mahinda Rajapakse’s leadership role in Sri Lanka, critically and comprehensively, particularly in respect of peace, as he will be completing three years in office as the country’s Executive President, in five months from now. This article is only one effort. Among the leaders of the country after independence, he has already earned an image, within and outside Sri Lanka, as a man to be reckoned with both in national and international politics. more..

Lawyers protest 'language issue'

June 18 (BBC) Members of a lawyers association launched a strong protest against the decision to hold the final Law examinations at Colombo Law College in English language. The decision to hold examinations in English medium was taken by the Legal Education Council (LEC) headed by the Chief Justice, Sarath. N Silva. According to the reports, large number of lawyers on Tuesday held a demonstration opposite the Magistrate Court in Colombo to oppose the move by the LEC. more..

LTTE reject laying down arms

June 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s Tamil rebels have rejected a request to lay down or decommission their weapons before peace talks, saying they can still win the war against government forces. The government said last week it would only reconsider re-starting a peace process if the rebels agreed to lay down or decommission their weapons and issued a clear timetable for negotiations. more..

Divisive politics and national calamity

June 18 (ML) With the government’s announcement that the people will have to face further burdens in the name of holding up its war against the LTTE, speculation has begun as to the true nature and objectives of the military campaign. Despite claims — oft revised — that only 5,000 LTTE cadres remained to be killed in 2008, coupled with Defence Ministry statistics that will almost certainly lead to that number being reached by the coming weekend, many are pondering the clash of the government’s own realities. more..

Duminda accused of threatening Anarkali with death

June 18 (ML) Renowned film actress and singer Anarkali Akarsha yesterday accused ruling party western provincial councillor Duminda Silva of threatening to kill her and her mother if she refused to marry him. The death threat allegation came following an incident at Elibank Road yesterday where it was alleged an attempt was made to abduct the actress when she in the company of her mother, was proceeding to keep an appointment at the Ramani Salon. more..

President gets tough with Keheliya

June 18 (ML) President Mahinda Rajapakse on Sunday informed Royal College Principal Upali Gunasekera not to succumb to pressure from any quarter on matters of discipline and to take whatever steps necessary to ensure discipline in the school. The President also directed the Principal to make a police complaint on any threats received and assured his fullest support in ensuring justice. more..

Inflation, its control and economic growth

June 18 (ML) In modern economies commercial banks create more money than printed by government. The money created by banks is known as "credit money" a form of money substitute. They do it under a complex banking system which we practice today. That banking system is called ‘Fractional Reserve Banking’ which we will explain later. However if the CB is requested to submit the details of the stock of money in the system then more..

Anjaan quits JVP, seeks police protection

June 18 (LNP) The JVP s Gampaha District MP Anjaan Umma yesterday severed her connections with the party over the still simmering dispute between the Somawansa and Weerawansa factions. Ms. Umma, who was absent for sometime, yesterday attended the morning session of Parliament and left the Chambers after five minutes. She made her way to the Parliament police to complain that she had received threats. more..

Reckless driver gets 62 years RI, Rs. 90,000 fine

June 18 (LNP) Panadura Provincial High Court Judge Malanee Gunaratne delivered a historic judgement when she imposed a sentence of 62 years Rigorous Imprisonment and a Rs. 90,000 fine on a private coach driver who pleaded guilty to 26 indictments including causing the death of 10 passengers and critical injuries to 16 passengers following a bus accident on the Galle Road, Panadura on August 17, 2002. more..

Mud, elections and presidential advice

June 18 (LNP) Election fever is beginning to rise in this holy month of Poson. Jumbos are butting one another in a frantic effort to revitalise their party by effecting changes at the helm in time for the PC polls due in August. But, their struggle is a self-defeating exercise at this juncture. The internal strife of the UNP could not have come at a better time for the government beset with numerous problems, to which it doesn`t seem to have solutions. more..

Warm and humid conditions ahead

June 18 (SAMN) Warm and humid conditions will be experienced in the island during the coming days, especially during the nights. Director, Meteorology Department, G.B. Samarasinghe saidalthough the country was experiencing the southwest monsoon, there would be periods when rain would be followed by dry spells, and there could be times of heavy lightning. "At the moment the country is experiencing a dry spell and this will continue for a few more days. more..

Govt. moots Mihintale Preservation Fund

June 18 (SAMN) A Mihintale Preservation Fund will established soon on the advice of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Petroleum Resources Minister Duminda Dissanayake said Tuesday. He was speaking at the commencement of the Mihintale Aloka Pooja organised by ANCL for the 46th year in collaboration with the CEB. The programme is sponsored by Abans Limited. Minister Dissanayake said the government aimed to turn the 450 care sacred site to a world heritage site while preserving it for future generations. more..

Transfers of doctors not expedited

June 18 (SAMN) The Health Ministry’s failure to implement annual transfers of medical officers has obstructed the performance in government hospitals, the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said. Committee Member, GMOA Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa said although more than Rs.1.5 million is spent to prepare the transfer lists the Health Ministry’s failure to implement the transfers has led to more..

UNP in disarray: Aluthgamage

June 18 (SAMN) Power and Energy Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said, during the Adjournment debate in Parliament, that the UNP was trying to topple the government but that party was in total disarray. For six hours Monday (16) the UNP Working Committee had been trying to put their house in order as there was a revolt against the leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Today, only Renuka Herath, Sagala Ratnayake and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam are with the leader of the UNP but more..

Rs. 40 million ward complex opened at Ragama

June 18 (DN) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva recently opened the first ever surgical ward complex in Sri Lanka built using funds donated by a Bhikku. The ward complex was built at the Ragama Teaching Hospital at a cost of Rs. 40 million, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. He said the surgical ward complex had been built with the funds donated by Waradala Mallivanarama Viharadhipathi Ven. Aluthepola Jinarama Thera. more..

British Police on trail of Tamil gangs

June 18 (DN) British Police are cracking down on Tamil gangs in the UK, especially South London, it was revealed yesterday. Gangs of violent men from Sri Lanka are “constantly tooled up” and “ready to go”, according to police. There have been a number of violent clashes involving groups of Tamil men in Croydon and other parts of south London in recent years. They culminated in the murder of 28-year-old Prabaskaran Kannan in Tooting last year. more..

Ranatunga globe trots

June 18 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket which is currently going through a financial crisis seems to be headed for deeper trouble due to poor management decisions, as officials continue to splash money lavishly at every given opportunity, hoodwinking the powers. Having run a record bank overdraft of Rs. 601 million by yesterday, SLC officials have increased the salaries of a section of the employees including a whopping Rs. 50,000 salary raise to a lawyer. more..

Why Mahinda said Colombo failed in the propaganda fight against the LTTE

June 18 (DM) “We have failed in the propaganda fight……” This is a statement made by Mahinda in an interview with “The London Times” while he was in London recently. He further said that the reason behind the poor international reputation for his government could be attributed to the clever propaganda machinery of the LTTE. If Mahinda says that his government has failed in the propaganda fight against the LTTE, then more..

Vavuniya-Kandy road closed

June 18 (Island) Tightening security in the aftermath of Monday’s suicide bomb blast near the Vavuniya Police complex, security authorities yesterday sealed off a section of the Vavuniya – Kandy Road. The closed area includes the Vavuniya Police complex, Air Force complex and the Army detachment. Authorities have opened alternate routes to facilitate vehicle and pedestrian movements. The alternate routes are through Tekkawatte opposite the Vavuniya Tamil Maha Vidyalayam. more..

Provincial elections no substitute for parliamentary poll – UNP

June 18 (Island) The government should hold a parliamentary election to test its true popularity, without wasting taxpayers money on uncalled for provincial polls, the UNP said yesterday. Anuradhapura District UNP MP. P. Harrisson told a news conference in Colombo, that rigged provincial elections cannot reveal the exact support for the Mahinda Rajapaksa government. more..

Poson celebrations in Batticaloa

June 19 (BBC) Buddhist activities were unhindered in Battiicaloa despite prevailing security situation in the area, says the Head of Mangalarama Temple the Ven. Ampitiye Sumanaratana thera. Poson celebrations were held in Batticaloa on Wednesday days after a new Chaitya was opened in the Buddhist temple fulfilling a long awaited need. The Ven. Ampitiye Sumanarathana thero said the temple was built with donations but more..

UNP calls for abolishing presidency

June 19 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka says the executive presidency should be abolished if the country to resolve many burning issues. UNP parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara told BBC Sandeshaya that Sri Lanka urgently needs major reforms in presidency and the electoral system. “The executive presidency and the electoral system should be abolished and independent commissions should be established,” he told more..

Italy holds 'Tamil Tiger' members

June 19 (BBC) More than 30 suspected members of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebel group have been arrested in Italy in a series of raids across the country, police say. They say all of them are Sri Lankan citizens suspected of extorting funds for the Tigers, who are banned as a terrorist group by the European Union. Police said that more than 200 officers were involved in the operation. more..

Some Malaysians Linked To LTTE?

June 19 (Bernama) Malaysia will extend its fullest cooperation to Sri Lanka if an allegation that some Malaysians worked hand-in-glove with the LTTE terrorists to launch bomb attacks in Colombo is true. "We are still waiting (for the Sri Lankan government to confirm the allegation). As the minister (Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar) said Tuesday, if there is anything, the Sri Lankan government should contact us. more..

Worker charged with murder of boss

June 19 (GT) A Sri Lankan labourer has been charged with the murder of his manager on March 8 at their accommodation in the Al Hilal area. According to the charge-sheet, the 34-year-old victim was playing a game of carrom with three friends when the 41-year-old suspect entered the room and stabbed him in the chest. Sources say the labourer had been angered by a comment made by the manager earlier that day. more..

Price hikes and war cause devastating inflation

June 19 (wsws) Over the past few weeks, the Sri Lankan government has announced unprecedented price increases for fuel and transport, further stoking what is already the highest inflation rate in Asia—nearly 30 percent—and provoking deep social unrest. Life for ordinary working people and the poor is becoming extremely difficult, because of a combination of soaring global oil and food prices and the government’s ever-increasing spending on its reactionary war against the LTTE. more..

No one can issue Fatwas - Wakfs

June 19 (MG) At a meeting of the Wakfs Board held on June 3, with Chairman of the board Al Haj Mansoor Marikar, a ruling was made that "No one can take upon himself the authority to issue Fatwas. People may express a view that it is ‘Shrik’ to visit Ziyarem. This is a matter of religious opinion. Some may say it is un-Islamic while others may say that it is of merit. But if a shrine has been in existence in the Mosque Premises for over period of one hundred years and as past practice, more..

'On-field umpires should be respected'

June 19 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, feels that the new umpire decision review system that will be implemented on a trial basis during the home Test series against India next month should be utilized in a manner that shows respect to the on-field umpires. Jayawardene said he welcomed the trial but admitted that it would place more responsibility on the captains. more..

Jayaratne appointed Sri Lanka Cricket's head of coaching

June 19 (CI) Jerome Jayaratne, the former Sri Lanka Under-19 cricketer, has been appointed Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) head of coaching by the board's interim committee headed by Arjuna Ranatunga. However, his role does not extend to the national team, which is coached by Trevor Bayliss. On his new role, Jayaratne, who has coaching certificates from Cricket Australia and the England Cricket Board, said: "There has been much work done in the area of coaching by SLC over the years. more..

Sri Lanka constructors tout offshore opportunities

June 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Chamber of Construction Industry is pressing for the setting up of an institutional and legal framework to exploit the island's offshore resources. "It appears that our economic survival will depend on our ability to exploit our offshore resources," said Dakshitha Thalgodapitiya, chief executive of the Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI), an industry body. more..

Sri Lanka economic statistics questioned

June 19 (LBO) Rosy growth figures put out by government outfits are suspect, a Sri Lankan think tank has said, calling for the collection and analysis of socio economic data to be entrusted to independent authorities. The Point Pedro Institute of Development, said the outlook for the island economy is bleak given rising prices of commodities and a slow down in the US economy, the main market for Sri Lankan products. more..

Failure in the propaganda front and its effects

June 19 (LG) According media reports, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has blamed his government's poor international reputation on "propaganda" by the Tamil Tigers. "We have failed in the propaganda fight," he told The Times in an interview during his visit to London for the Commonwealth meeting. As the President quite correctly identified, though his government has taken steps to confront the terrorist outfit militarily, apparently not enough attention has been made to counteract the effects of false propaganda machinery of the LTTE. more..

What happens if and when the LTTE is vanquished?

June 19 (LG) This is the question that is in the minds of almost every one these days — especially the thousands of displaced Tamils from their homes in the northeast, whose homes have been occupied by the Sri Lanka Army for over 10 years. Autonomy for the Tamils has been promised, but like a thousand broken promises one wonders whether any will be granted. The reasonable use of Tamil promised decades go is still to be officially implemented. more..

My Dear Pillayan

June 19 (LG) The Eastern Provincial Council was established by President Mahinda Rajapakse with the intention of entrusting the administration of the province to the people of the Eastern Province irrespective of race, religion or caste. This was established at the expense of many innocent lives from the Eastern Province and incurring quite a lot of government expenditure. The question arises whether the vision of the President will become a reality by more..

No talks at all

June 19 (LG) We have been saying no talks with the LTTE for more than twenty years when many of who are advocating humanitarian operations against the LTTE were on the other side of the barricades. There were people who wanted the government (who started referring to the government as GOSL thus reducing it to a four letter "word" like the LTTE. This is a subtle way of demeaning the stature of the government equating it with LTTE a ruthless fascist organisation. more..

Adapting to future climate change

June 19 (LG) The reading public in Sri Lanka has a general awareness about "impending climate changes" in the not too distant future, although very few seem to be aware of the overall impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptations and the spatial-temporal aspects of such changes. Essentially, the discourse has been on global scale impacts. There is now a general consensus that the frequency and intensity of extreme hydrometeorological events more..

In defence of Douglas Devananda

June 19 (LG) If Douglas Devananda did not exist, the democratic system would have had to invent him. Any resolution or even sustainable management of North-South relations in Sri Lanka, any successful attempt at nation-building and conflict transformation, devolution and autonomy, requires the fulfilment of the following four conditions: that the Sri Lankan state have a moderate Tamil partner; that the Sinhalese – especially the Sinhala leadership-- have a Tamil leader they can trust; more..

New Lankan envoy to Qatar named

June 19 (GT) VIJAYASIRI Padukkage, a career diplomat, is to replace S B Atugoda as the next ambassador of Sri Lanka in Doha. Atugoda, who relinquished duty this week as the envoy, left Doha on Monday at the end of his three-year tenure. He has been the ambassador in Doha since April 2005. Padukkage, 50, is currently the acting director-general of United Nations Human Rights and Multilateral Affairs. more..

Pongku Tamil is finished in Italy

June 19 (AT) The hoisting of the Eelam falg at Milan was shown on the National Television of Itlay Rai Uno One, but this time there were no adulations about the oppressed Tamil people or of the illusory goal of Prabahkaran’s Eelam, but the TV commentator described the flag as the most dangerous flag symbolizes the most dangerous terrorist outfit of the world. Also announced that under the direction of the Interior Ministry, the anti terrorist outfit has swooped down more..

Australian support for development projects

June 19 (AT) The Australian High Commissioner, Kathy Klugman, presented funds worth approximately Rs 3 million to beneficiaries of the Australian Government's Direct Aid Program (DAP) in a ceremony held on Tuesday morning. Speaking at the occasion Ms Klugman said that the High Commission takes great pride in the Direct Aid Program as it allows us the opportunity to provide direct benefits to those most in need; more..

'LTTE demand for 30 % landmass for 6% of a population is utterly impracticable'

June 19 (AT) Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke told a US TV interviewer that that the LTTE’S intransigent demand of asking thirty percent land mass of the country for a population of six percent is utterly impractical. Ambassador Goonetilleke said, “Sri Lankan Tamils,” earlier known as “Ceylon Tamils,” today comprises less than 12% of the population……. more than 50% of this less than 12% Tamil population lives outside the North and the East. more..

Malaysian govt yet to receive report on Tiger link

June 19 (NST) Kuala Lumpur is still waiting for a report from the Sri Lankan government on claims that Malaysians were working with Tamil Tiger terrorists to carry out a bomb attack in Colombo. Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said Malaysia had yet to receive any report on the matter. "We have no problem extending our co-operation to the (Sri Lankan) government if the allegations are true, but until today, we have not received anything from them." more..

President Rajapaksa's Oxford speech misleading

June 19 (IL) President Rajapaksa gave a speech at the Oxford Union Society - the world's most prestigious debating society - on May 13, 2008, where many renowned leaders, including the Dalai Lama, have spoken previously. President Rajapaksa used the occasion to call upon the International Community (IC) to brand the LTTE as a terrorist outfit, one of the worst the world has ever seen. more..

Canada Tamil group to appeal terrorist designation

June 19 (Reuters) The Toronto-based World Tamil Movement said on Wednesday that it plans to appeal a recent decision by the Canadian government to make the group the first non-profit placed on a list of terrorist organizations. The organization said it was shocked by the federal government's announcement this week. The designation freezes the group's financial assets and makes it illegal for others to assist its activities. more..