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Editorial: Don't bring your wars to Canada

June 19 (SAP) Many immigrants come to Canada carrying with them the political baggage of their homeland. The more active ones tend to drift towards Canadian-based organizations that strive to help their countrymen and their causes. While making a new life for themselves and their families in Canada, contributions in cash and kind are remitted through a variety of channels for struggles in the country of origin. more..

Ranil, Chandrika and Mangala ganging up to save Prabhakaran

June 19 (LG) The opposition has decided to publicly challenge the government’s war strategy, according to media reports. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Leader of the Opposition, is leading the attack on the soldiers who are knocking on the gates of the Tiger terrorists. His latest gamble is to stop the war purely for his gain – an aspect that will be explained later. Apart from openly challenging the war strategy he more..

TNA Condemns Killing of Civilians

June 19 (LG) The TNA expresses its deep anguish over the killing of civilians in different parts of the country. In the Wanni, Tamil civilians, men, women and children are killed in large numbers by aerial bombing, multi–barrel artillery shelling and claymore attacks by deep penetration units. TNA appeals to Sinhala government that all such violence be brought to an end impress upon the government to demonstrate its willingness to bring to an end the killings of civilians. more..

War against Tamil

June 19 (LG) I wish to express my views on the present situation in the country. I always listen to the customary speech of the Prime Minister during the extension of the Emergency. His speech indicates that there is no room for peace. Once in this house, an ex-Finance Minister, the Ronnie de Mel, said that peace on knees is better than war on feet. The present situation affects everyone irrespective of the difference of race or religion. more..

Legal assistance from Hong Kong in criminal matters

June 19 (GDI) An agreement was signed between the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HK SAR) of the People’s Republic of China concerning Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters on June 16, 2008 in Hong Kong. Secretary, Ministry of Justice Mr. Suhada Gamalath signed on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, while more..

Foreign Secretary meets Russian Deputy Premier

June 19 (GDI) A thorough exchange of views on the current state of and prospects for Russian-Sri Lankan relations took place during consultations between Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexei Borodavkin and Sri Lanka Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona on Tuesday. The sides noted with satisfaction both the high level of bilateral political dialogue and the positive dynamics of mutually advantageous cooperation in a whole array of growth areas. more..

'We respects Sri Lanka's sovereignty and territorial integrity'

June 19 (GDI) Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Raymond Johansen has stressed that policies guiding their engagement with Sri Lanka remain firm and will not change. In light of the recent public debate about Norwegian policy towards Sri Lanka, the Deputy Norwegian Minister in a statement said Norway is fully committed to assisting Sri Lanka in finding a solution to the national conflict, while respecting the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. more..

Ministerial Committee to look into grievances of journalists

June 19 (GDI) A committee comprising of six Ministers and vested with full powers has been appointed to inquire into problems faced by media personnel in carrying out their duties. The move a brainchild of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa was taken to inspire confidence among journalists regarding the primacy of the rule of law and to assist them in finding solutions to the various types of obstructions encountered when discharging their duties independently. more..

'Engage with GoSL to end white van abductions'

June 19 (LD) A media release issued by the office of Leader of the Civil Monitoring Committee - Mano Ganeshan says that the CMC convener has urged visiting Human Rights Ambassadors of the European Union to enter into a constructive engagement with the government of Sri Lanka on human rights to bring immediate halt to white van abductions. Ganeshan has said that “this engagement should bring an immediate halt to white van abductions and more..

CEB engineers work-to-rule

June 19 (LD) Demanding the immediate removal of the CEB Chairman and to permit engineers to import vehicles under duty concessions, the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) has launched a work-to-rule campaign today (June 19th). Except for those in essential services, all CEB engineers have joined the campaign, which followed a decision taken at a CEBEU meeting on June 17th. more..

NFF aims to achieve true national independence

June 19 (LD) The National Freedom Front (NFF) was formed with the objective of achieving a true national independence after facing up to challenges, leader of the NFF, Wimal Weerawansa says. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the NFF headquarters at Jayanthipura, Battaramulla today (June 19th), Weerawansa said that the NFF is the only party in Sri Lanka that is capable of steering the country towards a correct direction. more..

UNP suggests a General Election

June 19 (LD) In order to realize the true mandate of the people, we propose to dissolve Parliament and to fix a date for a General Election instead of wasting funds on Provincial Council elections, says leader of the opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Speaking at a meeting with UNP representatives of the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils at Cambrige Terrace, the UNP leader said that the people will not be benefited by the PC elections in any way. more..

President urged not to nominate Bertie

June 19 (LD) Internal forces of the Sri Lankan Freedom Party have urged the President Mahinda Rajapaksa to not to nominate former chief minister of the North Central Province, Bertie Premalal Dissanayake at the upcoming PC elections, reports say. Speaking to ‘Lanka Dissent’, a senior official at Temple Trees said that several SLFP seniors have requested the President to appoint Dissanayake as the governor of the North Central Province instead. more..

Rajitha & Dallas criticized at media meeting

June 19 (LD) Remarks by government Ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Dallas Alahapperuma at a meeting organized by five media organizations with politicians to discuss threats to media freedom came in for criticism by other political representatives and media personnel present. The talks at the Sri Lanka Press Institute at Kirula Road, Colombo yesterday (June 17th) were aimed at reaching consensus on ensuring media freedom, people's right to information and safeguarding the lives of journalists. more..

Gota: let us zero-in-on the common enemy

June 19 (LNP) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa wants the UNP to stop playing politics with the ongoing war effort against the LTTE. In an interview with The Island, Rajapaksa regretted the UNP-led Opposition had chosen to undermine the military campaign which he asserted was on track despite the LTTE and its sympathisers frantically fighting to save the day. He said the Opposition could play a constructive role, thereby facilitating the military effort against the common enemy. more..

Pillayan seeks foreign help for East

June 19 (SAMN) Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan is to meet the heads of diplomatic missions based in the country to discuss the present situation in the Eastern Province and obtain foreign funds for development work. The Chief Minister’s Co-ordinating Secretary Azad Maulana told the Daily Mirror yesterday that dates are yet to be fixed for such meetings. more..

385 Tamil civilians languish in SLA detention in Nanaaddaan - MP

June 19 (LNP) 385 civilians from 177 families of Mannaar are languishing in Sri Lanka Army detention at Ka`limoaddai in Naanaa for three months without any inquiries, said TNA parliamentarian Sivasakthy Anandan in a letter to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday. The TNA parliamentarian for Vanni District appealed to the Sri Lankan president to order the release of the civilians detained in the SLA camp. more..

JVPers arrested with equipment meant for disabled soldiers

June 19 (LNP) The Welikada Police yesterday recovered a massive stock of crutches, wheel chairs and equipment meant for war heroes allegedly stolen by the JVP and arrested two party activists. The equipment was worth over two million rupees and had been sent by Lankan expatriates in United Arab Emirates to the Manel Mal Movement. Stored initially at the MMM head office , they had been taken away by a JVP member in Rajagiriya. more..

Hand grenade on bus

June 19 (LNP) A possible Poya Day disaster was averted yesterday when a hand grenade, which was set to explode automatically, was found inside a bag on a bus at Slave Island last evening. According to Police media spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekera, the route 122 bus was going from Avissawella to Pettah. The STF had rushed to the scene and defused the grenade. According to SSP Gunasekera investigations were continuing. more..

Women have achieved due status: Thera

June 19 (SAMN) Sri Lankan women have today achieved their due status in society, said Ven. Alutwewa Soratha Thera, Vice Chancellor of the Uva University and Viharadhipathi of the Kataragama Kirivehera. The Ven. Thera was delivering an anusasana at the auditorium of Women of Sarvodaya Shramadana Samithi at Kataragama where a new bank building was opened. Ven. Soratha Thera said the women attached to the Sarvodaya Shramadana Samithi have been rendering a praiseworthy service for 11 years. more..

'Govt to withdraw guidelines for media'

June 19 (SAMN) The Free Media Movement urged the government to withdraw some guidelines for media that was set by Defence Ministry, restrictions imposed on the media. In a statement the media watch dog also urged “to make an urgent clarification as to whether they constitute elements of official government policy rather than merely the views of an editorial writer, given that the editorial under consideration, published on the Ministry of Defence website, more..

LTTE using umbrellas to raise funds

June 19 (SAMN) Umbrellas are the latest tool the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are going to use to raise money in the United Kingdom. The British Tamil Forum (BTF) members were seen promoting the multi-coloured umbrella at a recent rally against Sri Lanka. Moustached men were seen holding them, even though there was no rain, at the recent LTTE rally during the Commonwealth Mini Summit in London. more..

Combined effort to block child trafficking

June 19 (DN) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) and the Child Protection Authority (CPA), has combined forces to counter child trafficking, which has been found to be taking place in the guise of sending teenagers for overseas jobs on forged passports. CPA Chairman Jagath Wellawatte said yesterday that a joint committee was formed recently to work out an effective strategy to confront this development. more..

OIC of Police post nabbed for bribery

June 19 (DN) A Police Officer who solicited a bribe to release a confiscated shotgun from a civilian, was arrested by bribery sleuths, during the act of accepting the bribe inside a Police post in Dambeyaya, Buttala yesterday. The Director-Investigations of Commission to investigate allegations of Bribery and Corruption, Neville Guruge told the Daily News that the said Police officer was arrested around 11.30 a.m yesterday after they were tipped off by the complainant. more..

JVP accused of seizing Anjaan's vehicle

June 19 (Island) The Welikada police seized the official motor vehicle of the JVP Gampaha District parliamentarian Mrs. Anjaan Umma from the housing complex of Members of Parliament, Madiwela on Tuesday (17) after she made a complaint to the police that it had been robbed. Police said it was parked opposite one of the houses in the complex used by the JVP as their propaganda office. more..

Embassy staffer targeted: security lapse revealed

June 19 (Island) Last Tuesday’s robbery of 4,000 Pounds Sterling from Ranjith Perera, accountant of the Sri Lankan High Commission in London has revealed that he hadn’t been provided with transport or security when he carried money to and from HSBC bank in Paddington. Although, the HC had a fleet of vehicles, Perera had been compelled to walk alone to the bank. One of the persons involved in the robbery is believed to have thrown some light brown paint on Perera’s coat as more..

101 cakes at Cinnamon Grand!

June 19 (DM) The Cinnamon Grand Colombo delivers on its promise of indulgence with the premier launch of The Cake Menu, on June 21st at the Atrium Lobby from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm. Patrons and the public will have the opportunity to view the 101 stunning cakes that will feature in this unique Cake Menu. The 101 cakes prepared by the Grand's team of talented chefs headed by Pastry Chef Niranjan include hobby cakes, birthday cakes, cartoon cakes, kids cakes, occasion cakes and many more. more..

More time needed for Low Level Road reconstruction

June 19 (DM) The section of road of the Colombo-Avissawella low level road which collapsed on Saturday following heavy rains and a pipeline leak cutting off the water supply to several areas, will take another week to repair, Road Development Authority Executive Engineer S. Jayakody told the Daily Mirror. According to Mr. Jayakody unforeseen problems cropped up in the reconstruction process causing delays. more..

Prostitution triggered murder of Srilankan woman

June 19 (ATO) Securitymen from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in the Capital Governorate have arrested three Asians suspected of killing a Sri Lankan woman, whose body was found in the sea behind the Maternity Hospital in Al-Sabah two days ago. Reportedly, one of the suspects is a driver transporting nurses to Al-Sabah Hospital, the other works at Amghara scrapyard and the third had allegedly absconded from his sponsor. more..

As Sri Lanka's civil war escalates, so do attacks on its journalists

June 19 (AP) With civil war raging in Sri Lanka, the journalists trying to cover the conflict find themselves increasingly under siege. They have been hounded by the government, attacked by unknown assailants and accused of aiding the rebels. Many reporters have been arrested or fled the country, while others have resorted to self-censorship, journalists said. Rights groups blame much of the intimidation on the government, saying more..

Lanka ready to revive talks with LTTE

June 19 (PTI) In an apparent softening of its stand, Sri Lanka has offered to hold talks with the LTTE after a two-year gap, saying the outfit does represent a "fair amount" of Tamils but ruled out immediate revival of the ceasefire scrapped in January. "The (Sri Lankan) President has already announced that he is ready to talk (with the LTTE)," Basil Rajapaksa, the powerful Special Advisor to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said. more..

Buddhist festival of Poson Poya for peace and “non violence”

June 20 (AN) Yesterday, Wednesday 18 June, Sri Lankan Buddhists celebrated the festival of Poson Poya, which this year was dedicated to peace and national harmony. The slogan hailing “non-violence” was welcomed favourably by the faithful of other religions who hope that it might “lead the minds of our people to end violence in the country.” The solemnity of Poson Poya is closely linked to Sinhalese culture and traditions. more..

Tea prices seen heading for correction

June 20 (LBO) Sri Lankan tea prices appear to be heading for a correction with many grades from the estates easing at this week's Colombo auctions where a larger volume was on offer, brokers said. Bartleet Produce Marketing said the quantity of tea arriving at the Colombo auction this week increased to 8.08 million kg from 6.89 million kg traded the previous week. There was lower demand for teas from the estates compared with last week while the ex-estate crops were also lower. more..

The Village as a Developmental Unit in the North and the East

June 20 (PISL) Poverty in Sri Lanka has become a multi-dimensional situation where low income groups are faced with a situation where basic consumer needs cannot be satisfied. The poor are faced with gaps in access to education, healthcare, water and sanitation. This tends to stifle an individual which results in the drive for personal development not taking place. This in turn contributes to the vicious cycle of poverty in the country. more..

Chinese company gets contract for construction at Lanka port

June 20 (IANS) The government of Sri Lanka has offered a leading Chinese company the contract to build a fuel tank farm and bunkering facility at the new harbour at Hambantota in the southern part of the country. "The unsolicited project proposal sent by the China Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Corporation for building the bunkering facility and tank farm at the Hambantota harbour has been approved by the project committee and the cabinet-appointed negotiations committee," more..

A haunting meeting of Eastern and Western music

June 20 (PP) Žižkov’s venerable Atrium will reverberate with fresh sounds Friday evening as Sri Lankan pianist Gayathri Khemadasa performs her own compositions, backed by her group Facing The Waves. Khemadasa, 31, is a tiny, solitary and fragile figure who looks like she is still in her teens, though she moved to Prague from Sri Lanka 13 years ago to study at the Prague Conservatory. “I chose to study at the conservatory because I love Bach!” she says earnestly. more..

Resettlement of Deeghawapi housing project suspended

June 20 (LD) The Supreme Court today (June 19th) ordered to suspend the resettlement of tsunami victims in a housing project near the Deegawapi till a verdict on the petition filed against this action is issued. However, the construction work of the housing project was permitted to be continued by the bench comprising of justices, Nimal Gamini Amarathunga, K. Sripawan and P.A. Rathnayake. more..

Mervyn evade hearing on assaulting SLRC News Director

June 20 (LD) The Human Rights Commission took up a complaint filed by four media organizations against Minister Mervyn Silva for assaulting the former News Director of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, T.M.G. Chandrasekera. Though the minister informed to appear before the HRC at the hearing, he has failed to do so. Labour Minister Mervyn Silva and a group of thugs entered the SLRC premises and assaulted the state owned institution’s News Director. more..

Sri Lanka Indian Oil unit faces sanctions over pricing

June 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka has ordered a local unit of Indian Oil Corporation to sell diesel on par with state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation or face sanctions, after the Indian firm raised diesel prices in response to a new tax. Lanka IOC raised the price of diesel by 20 rupees to 130 rupees a litre, after the government slapped a special import customs duty on petrol in late May, which is sold at a massive profit by the two fuel retailers in the island. more..

Fire kills five Sri Lankans in Qatar

June 20 (BBC) Five Sri Lankans have died in a fire that accidently triggered in the house they were living in Doha, Qatar. Chrishantha Herath, the Labour Officer of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Qatar confirmed the deaths. Those who were killed in the incident, which the Labour officer believes to be an accident, are Thushitha Ananada Abeywickrema of Embilipitiya, Roshan Thushitha Kumara of Akuressa, Nimal of Chilaw, Amila Madhusanka of Bulathsinhala and Nalinda Kumara of Thambuththegama. more..

Army denies Wanni MP's allegations

June 20 (BBC) Security forces are forcibly keeping 177 Tamil families in a detention camp in Kalimuttai in Mannar says Wanni district MP, Shivashakthi Anandan. Military spokesman denied the allegation and said the families live in the camp willingly for their own protection. In a letter, the MP, Anandan has requested President Mahinda Rajapakse to personally intervene to release the 385 Tamil people belonging to the 177 families immediately. more..

150 Railway Security Officers appointed

June 20 (GDI) Minister of Transport, Dullus Alahapperuma, handed over appointment letters to a total of 150 newly recruited Railway Security Offciers. Persons under the age of 45 and who have served at least 12 years in the security services were recruited under this scheme. The minister pointed out that at a time when terrorists were deliberately targetting civilians, especially those using public transport, it was necessary to put in place counter measures to meet the threat. more..

NFF aims to achieve true national independence

June 20 (LD) The National Freedom Front (NFF) was formed with the objective of achieving a true national independence after facing up to challenges, leader of the NFF, Wimal Weerawansa says. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the NFF headquarters at Jayanthipura, Battaramulla today (June 19th), Weerawansa said that the NFF is the only party in Sri Lanka that is capable of steering the country towards a correct direction. more..

Heavy incursions by TN fishermen in Lanka waters

June 20 (TOI) An official report circulated at the collectors’ conference here on Thursday revealed data on the large-scale incursions by Tamil Nadu fishermen into Sri Lanka’s territorial waters, and indicated that the violations occurred even in areas not known to be traditional fishing grounds. The report contains maps and naval radar reports showing fishermen crossing the international maritime boundary line (IMBL) not merely close to Kachchativu, more..

LTTE Military Intelligence Wing Leader in Trincomalee shot and killed

June 20 (AT) Sri Lanka Army shot and killed Thangkan Amman, (38 Yrs.) yesterday morning at Manal Chenai, located in Muthur, in the Trincomalee district. Thangkan Amman alias Sounderarajan is an intelligence operative of the LTTE. Thangkan provide Intelligence to LTTE Military wing. He was involved in the gathering of intelligence regarding Sri Lanka Navy camp in Trincomalee, movement of Navy ships and boats. more..

The dissolution of the North Central and Sabaragamuwa provincial councils

June 20 (GV) The North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils have been dissolved by Proclamation of the respective Governors effective as of midnight on Monday 9th May 2008 (see Gazette Extraordinary No. 1553/6 (North Central Province) and No. 1553/7 (Sabaragamuwa Province), 9th June 2008). Both Councils were dissolved approximately fourteen months before their respective terms of office would have expired at the end of five years from the date of election in terms of Article 154E of the Constitution. more..

Edicts of King Asoka – A window into shape of Buddhist government

June 20 (LR) Asoka's edicts are to be found scattered in more than thirty places throughout India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The edicts are mainly concerned with the reforms he instituted and the moral principles he recommended in his attempt to create a just and humane society. As such, they give us little information about his life, the details of which have to be culled from other sources. more..

Lay Catholics recall past pleasant memories at Latin wedding mass

June 20 (UCAN) When Milroy Thamel, 34, and Niluka Fernando, 29, walked down the aisle hand in hand at the end of their wedding Mass, the historical significance of the liturgy was not on their mind. Thamel says he just wanted a traditional Latin Mass for the occasion. And on June 7 in St. Mary's Church in Negombo, a Catholic enclave a little north of Colombo, Latin was used for the Mass during which he married Fernando. more..

Catholic doctors call on Church to preach against 'Test-Tube' fertilization

June 20 (UCAN) Catholic doctors and priests have warned that the Church needs to educate its members about artificial means of conception it considers wrong or immoral. "Catholics have abandoned their faith, values and morals in the wake of new reproductive and genetic technologies in Sri Lanka," asserts Doctor Rohan Jayasekera. The Catholic professor of anatomy and director of the Human Genetics Unit of Colombo University's Medical Faculty made a more..

Devotees hope damaged Madhu marian shrine will reopen for feasts

June 20 (UCAN) As the traditional months of pilgrimage to this country's most popular Catholic shrine approach, devotees are hoping the military will clear out and the shrine can be readied in time. The jungle shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, in a northern area government troops retook from rebel forces in April, has received much media attention of late. A TV documentary showed damage to the shrine and tanks in its compound. more..