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India to release 28 arrested Lankan fishermen: Report

June 23 (ZN) India has agreed to release 28 Sri Lankan fishermen who were arrested last week for fishing in its territorial waters, media reports said here on Monday. Sri Lankan deputy high commissioner in Chennai, A M Hamza held discussions with Indian authorities yesterday over the arrest of the fishermen and described the talks as successful. Arrangements are being made to send back the fishermen from Tutocorin to the island country, TV channels reported. more..

Don’t feed the Tigers

June 23 (CH) TERRORISM – those who practise it and those who support it – has no place in Canada. Ottawa officially placed the Tamil Tigers on its list of terrorist organizations two years ago. The LTTE – Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – is the guerrilla group that’s used extortion, assassinations, suicide bombings and the forced recruitment of child soldiers in its bloody fight for an independent state within the island nation of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka look for change of fortune

June 23 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, is hoping his team rediscovers the winning touch in the Asia Cup after three poor series since the 2007 World Cup. Since making the final of that tournament in the Caribbean, Sri Lanka have suffered one-day defeats against England at home, in Australia in the CB Series and in the West Indies. "We are working really hard and we have to start putting things right, there's no doubt about it," said Jayawardene. more..

Injury sidelines Maharoof again

June 23 (CI) Farveez Maharoof, the Sri Lankan allrounder, has been ruled out of the Asia Cup tournament in Pakistan due to an abdominal strain. He will be replaced by Thilan Thushara, the left-arm medium-fast bowler. Maharoof, 23, suffered the injury while bowling in a practice match at the SSC grounds on Thursday, and although the first scan failed to reveal the injury, a second scan taken on Friday showed that he had strained his left abdominal muscles. more..

A passage to peace

June 23 (TOI) Saradha (40) woke up with a start. She was sweating profusely. The sound of exploding shells was terrifying. In their small hut in a fishing hamlet in Trincomalee, the eastern port town of Sri Lanka, Sarada, her husband, Anton and their wailing son huddled together, trembling with fear. This was until they crossed the narrow width of sea, 27 nautical miles, separating India and Sri Lanka, to undertake a dangerous boat journey in an illegal ferry. more..

Malaysia frees Sri Lankan businessman after 4-year detention for alleged illegal nuclear deal

June 23 (AP) A Sri Lankan businessman jailed four years ago for allegedly supplying nuclear weapon components to Libya has been freed and is no longer a threat to national security, a Cabinet minister said Monday. The case of Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir drew additional attention because he was alleged to have deceived a company partly owned by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's son to procure the components. more..

Doc's success makes him a role model for refugees

June 23 (TOI) Dr Newton Raj may look like just another doctor catering to patients at a private hospital in suburban Chennai. However, the 27-year-old medical practitioner’s life story is a little out of the ordinary. A Lankan Tamil whose family fled the civil war when he was nine years old, Newton lived in a squalid refugee camp in a remote Tamil Nadu village for the next 18 years. more..

Sri Lanka says weekend fighting kills 59, most rebels

June 23 (Reuters) Sri Lankan troops killed 52 Tamil Tiger rebels in weekend fighting in the island's north while seven soldiers died, the military said on Monday, as the 25-year-old civil war escalates. The fighting in several northern districts came amid near daily land, sea and air attacks, as the government pursues a strategy to gradually retake the Tigers' northern stronghold and win the protracted civil war. more..

OP-ED: Peace for Sri Lanka?

June 23 (WT) The logical solution to Sri Lanka's conflict is a negotiated settlement, and the political will to achieve it has never been stronger. President Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed that commitment at his inauguration in November 2005, and reiterated his position in the United Kingdom this month. "Ultimately, any solution will have to be political. But there can be a political solution only after the LTTE has laid down arms," the army commander said in January. more..

Sri Lankan opposition wants details of Indian delegation's visit

June 23 (IANS) Sri Lanka's opposition parties have urged the ruling coalition to disclose the reasons behind the 'sudden visit' to Colombo by a high-powered Indian delegation led by National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, a media report said Monday. The demand from the opposition parties has come as both the Indian and Sri Lankan governments remain tight-lipped on the visit, while implying that the officials came here for a routine consultative meeting ahead of the upcoming SAARC summit in Colombo. more..

Three policemen killed in east

June 24 (BBC) Three policemen were killed in a bomb blast in Aithyamale, Batticaloa, police said. The attack has occurred while the policemen were taking bath in a nearby stream after the shift. Another policeman has sustained injuries in the attack. Police spokesman, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ranjith Gunasekara told BBC Sandeshaya that it is suspected that a time bomb has exploded while they were taking bath. more..

EPDP admits Batticaloa 'abductions'

June 24 (BBC) A political ally of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has admitted abducting a businessman in Batticaloa leading to renewed tension in the region. Ealam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) admitted the party 'arrested' three people including the missing businessman, Devadasan Sureshkumar. However, in an interview with BBC Tamil Service, EPDP councillor Arumailingam rejected accusations that he is still under their custody. more..

Gem stone will be test in a laboratory

June 24 (MG) The new gem test a fully equipped laboratory will be setup in Sri Lanka Under the guidance of National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA), the Chairman of NGJA Hasitha Tillekeratne said. The laboratory, which will maintain international standards, will be set up jointly by the State and the private sector and registered as a company under the name Lanka Gemological Laboratory Private Limited. more..

Ranil and the enemy within

June 24 (MG) The United National Party (UNP) still the country’s single largest political party, is in the midst of a political crisis. The UNP, led by veteran politician Ranil Wickremesinghe, is in the throes of a leadership battle which, some say, is the party’s worst crisis ever. The internal conflict and squabble among some, over the leadership, is certainly blocking the party’s forward march. more..

Where do we go from here?

June 24 (LG) “I am not worried about the opinion of the Tamil people. Now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion. The more you put pressure on the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here. Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy”. (President JR Jayawardene quoted in Daily Telegraph, UK 11th July 1983) The first Executive President of Sri Lanka, the late Hon. JR Jayawardene’s vision was to create a dharmista (righteous) Sinhala society. more..

Lanka’s identity in the world

June 24 (LG) The commentary in the local press over Sri Lanka’s defeat in the General assembly in its attempt to be re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council is proving revelatory in at least two ways. It is revealing of the spectrum of views on foreign policy and diplomacy in Sri Lankan society, and thereby simultaneously revelatory of our several collective selves, our several identities. more..

Poets join activists in chorus for Tamil cause

June 24 (LG) In 2001, Tamil students in the North and East got together to hold an event under the banner “Pongu Thamil” (Thamil Boiling Over), a Tamil “resurgence” programme designed to draw the attention of the Sri Lankan public to the Tamil cause, and to declare to the world the Tamil community’s desire for the political freedom of the Tamil people. At that first gathering, the student organisers resolved to make Pongu Thamil an annual event. more..

India-centric, Yet

June 24 (LG) Is it a 'sin' for a State to put supreme national interests at the top of its agenda? The public discourse within the LTTE revolving around India would make it look as if New Delhi's Sri Lanka policy should have been based exclusively on altruist values of the kind that the LTTE wants it to follow than otherwise. "India cannot make any healthy, fruitful contribution as long as it approached our struggle as an integral part of their national political equation," more..

84th Birth Anniversary: Remembering President Premadasa

June 24 (LG) During the days of President Premadasa this was the Gam Udawa time. It was a time of hard work and worry but also a time of excitement and fulfilment. With each Gam Udawa we had a huge target to be met — building houses, bridges and roads, ensuring water and electricity supply, taking care of other infrastructure facilities. more..

Toronto LTTE-WTM backers seek Anglo-Saxon leadership

June 24 (LG) On this my first visit to what has now come to be known as the Tamil homeland of Canada, I have been in for many surprises. Some strange guys rule the roost especially in Scarborough, Toronto with terror threat generated from Wanni. Canadian bureaucrats, for too long a time, thought this was one of the features of Tamil culture. In multicultural Canada anything strange and peculiar can also be seen as cultural norms and therefore have to be accepted and protected. more..

Dr. Sumathipala honoured with 'International Ozone Award'

June 24 (GDI) The prestigious '2008 Stratospheric Ozone Layer Protection Award' was received by the Director of the National Ozone Unit Dr. W.L. Sumathipala. The award was made by the United States Environment Protection Agency in recognition of Dr. Sumathipala's exceptional contribution to global environment protection and outstanding leadership. Dr. Sumathipala received the award for pointing out at the Montreal Protocol that the use of Hydro Flora Carbon causes global warming. more..

Minister Hemakumara to participate at Asia Pacific Agriculture summit

June 24 (GDI) Minister of Agriculture, Hemakumara Nanayakkara is scheduled to leave to India today (23) to attend the Asia Pacific Union on Rural Development, spokesman of the Ministry told This summit is a key event for the Asian Agricultural Industry as it serves as a platform to exchange technological knowhow between countries and help build capacity development programmes to train the rural masses towards self employment. more..

New Sri Lanka High Commissioner for United Kingdom

June 24 (AT) Retired Supreme Court Judge Chandra Nihal Jayasinghe is expected to take over, as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner of United Kingdom from 1st of July. Shenuka Senivaratne, the outgoing High Commissioner has completed her tour of duty and has gone back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo on the 19th of this month. Supreme Court Judge Chandra Nihal Jayasinghe retired from judicial service on 01 March, after serving in the legal profession for 37 years. more..

Bruce Fein – Panhandling in Canada

June 24 (AT) Bruce Fein, former US Deputy Attorney General – what an embarrassment you are to all Americans! As if you haven’t already proven to the world that you’re nothing but a Beltway prostitute – selling your legal/lobbying services to the highest bidder, even if it’s a client who allegedly deals in terrorism, death, and destruction. Have you no shame for taking your “Tamils for Justice”/”Bruce Fein Project” on the road – to Canada, more..

Kamal Hassan’s magnum opus a hit with fans in Sri Lanka

June 24 (TW) Kamal Hassan’s mega cine creation, Dasavatharam is breaking box office records in Sri Lanka. In Colombo the blockbuster is now showing at Cine City (Maradana), Liberty (Kollupitiya) Savoy (Wellawatta) and Samantha (Dematagoda) and several other locations around the country. All the movie houses are showing with full houses for several days now, winning praise from all movie goers. more..

Sannasgala wants UNP’s nat’l organizer post

June 24 (LD) Popular Sinhala tutor Upul Shantha Sannasgala has refused an offer to be nominated the UNP’s chief ministerial candidate for Sabaragamuwa at the forthcoming provincial council polls. Speaking to the media at Hotel Nippon in Colombo today (June 23rd), Mr. Sannasgala said he would accept the post of the party’s national organizer only, as he wanted to contribute something more than the prevailing politics could offer. more..

SC rules for environment friendly private buses

June 24 (LD) The Supreme Court today (June 23rd) ordered authorities to strictly enforce certain laws governing the private bus industry. Taking up a fundamental rights petition, the SC ruled that silencers of private buses should be modified to prevent air and sound pollutions. The verdict also made it mandatory for bus drivers and conductors to wear a uniform and the use of ticket machines. more..

India to expand military ties with Lanka

June 24 (TOI) India is likely to further bolster military supplies to Sri Lanka, alarmed as it is with the way Colombo continues to turn to China, as also Pakistan to some degree, to obtain weapon systems and platforms. The arms supplies will be "largely" defensive in nature, in keeping with the policy to supply mainly "non-lethal" equipment to the island nation, said sources. India believes there cannot be a "military solution" to the bloody ethnic strife in Sri Lanka, and more..

Scamsters flog dead to make a quick buck

June 24 (GT) FOR certain people, any chance of making a fast buck is good enough even if it is a tragedy that took human lives. The latest is the instance of certain individuals collecting money – ostensibly to repatriate the bodies of five Sri Lankan who died in an apartment fire last Wednesday. The cadavers of the five are currently at the Hamad Hospital mortuary, awaiting completion of legal procedures before being sent home. more..

Struggle of UNP leadership and Major General Janaka Perera’s enter into politics

June 24 (LR) The leadership crisis of UNP has been the talk of SL politics for some time. Ranil Wickramasinghe is now facing immense pressure even from his close allies to step down from his post. The nomination of former military veteran Major General Janaka Perera for the post of Chief Minister of North Central Province has been one of the outcomes of leadership crisis in UNP. This nomination would have never been on the card, if more..

Catholic youths serve food to Buddhist pilgrims

June 24 (UCAN) Young Catholics in Sri Lanka used their parish premises to serve food to Buddhist pilgrims on Poson Poya, which commemorates the arrival of Buddhism on the island. Poson Poya, the full-moon day in June, is a national holiday and day of pilgrimage. It fell on June 18 this year. On the day, Sri Lankan Buddhists celebrate the arrival of Buddhism more than 2,000 years with Venerable Mahinda Thero. more..

Catholic college students encourage interfaith understanding through 'Bo Tree' project

June 24 (UCAN) The focus of attention at a Catholic college's recent educational exhibition was a tree with Buddhist roots. Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant and Muslim students at Holy Cross College in Kalutara chose to highlight a living Buddhist symbol, and their town's pride and joy, for the college's "Revolution 2007" exhibition. The "Bo tree" exhibit, with photographs, poems and historical accounts, focused on a banyan tree said to be a more..

Sri Lanka credit card use climbs as inflation soars

June 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's ABC Group says its tri-lingual credit card is gaining popularity, especially in rural areas, and consumers are relying more on credit with inflation soaring to 30 percent. Garment sector employees and rural youth apply for the card owing to its tri-lingual facility and ease of use, says Orville Pereira managing director, ABC Credit Card Company. Credit card usage is on the increase since people prefer to use credit cards for more..

Sri Lanka national carrier in joint venture with Greek shipping dynasty

June 24 (LBO) Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC), Sri Lanka's national shipping line, has struck a deal with a member of a famous Greek shipping dynasty for a joint venture project to transport petroleum products and supply ship fuel. "We have signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to see if we can form a joint venture company to go for oil transportation, particularly for CPC (Ceylon Petroleum Corporation) and also to do bunkering in Colombo," more..

Three-wheeler drivers making merry

June 24 (LG) Petrol went up from Rs127 per litre to Rs 157 per litre a few weeks ago - a 23.6% increase. Normally a three-wheeler runs 25 km (+or-2kms) on a litre of petrol. Therefore, before the price increase, the cost of running one km was Rs 5/08. After the increase the cost is Rs 5/28 for a km. From Piliyandala town hiring cost of a T-W to run a distance of 4km was Rs 80 - 100 before the increase. Now the charge is Rs 150/- for the same distance - a 50% increase. more..

More trade unions to join strike on 10th July

June 24 (LT) More trade unions have expressed willingness to support the strike called for 10th July by the National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) says its President JVP Parliamentarian Lal Kanthe. The strike was called by NTUC which has 366 trade unions affiliated to it. Mr. Lal Kanth expressed this view when a special meeting of Trade Unions was held at CGR Head Office auditorium yesterday to discuss views and suggestions regarding the intended strike on 10th July. more..

Integration of society needed, not division or differentiation -- President

June 24 (GDI) "Every citizen of this land should have the freedom and the liberty to enjoy the right of religious worship, as per his conscience. The terrorists grabbed this right from the people, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (23). The President made these observations addressing a ceremony organized to donate financial aid worth rupees five million for improving 42 Temples, Kovils, Churches and Mosques islandwide held at Presidential Secretariat yesterday (23). more..

Iranian President direct authorities to facilitate investments in SL

June 24 (GDI) The President of Iran, who recently visited Sri Lanka in what was his first ever official visit to the region, has issued an order related to encouraging and supporting investments between Iran and Sri Lanka, according to sources from Tehran. Iran and Sri Lanka with a view to expanding economic relations have agreed to encourage and support mutual investments with the aim of utilizing their economic resources and more..

Indian Airline, Kingfisher to fly to Sri Lanka

June 24 (GDI) India's private air carrier Kingfisher Airlines is likely to begin its operations to Sri Lanka from September this year, Press Trust of India reported. Accordingly the airline expects to operate two daily flights to Colombo, from Chennai and Bangalore. The domestic airline service of India is expecting the approval of the Government of India to fly abroad on the rights of low-cost carrier Air Decan which it has taken over the management. more..

Sri Lanka targets US $ 5 billion trade with India by 2010

June 24 (GDI) Following the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Sri Lanka is expected to expand bilateral trade with India amounting to US $ 5 billion by the year 2010. According to the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, still there is immense potential left further to expand bilateral trade between India and Sri Lanka and since the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement in March 2000 trade has grown rapidly between the two countries. more..

Gas price revision on June 30

June 24 (LD) Gas companies say that they expect a price increase with effect from June 30th. Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority Rumy Marsook has told the media that a price revision could take place in accordance with the pricing formula. Noting that a metric ton of gas in the world market was priced at $812 in April and $ 856.50 in May, the gas companies have requested to up gas prices as the current crude oil price is $ 912.50. more..

India helping Colombo to perpetrate genocide on Tamils, accuses Vaiko

June 24 (LNP) In a letter to the Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, Vaiko, General Secretary of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), accused India of equipping the Sri Lanka Government to help its war machine to perpetrate genocidal attacks against the Tamils...throwing to winds the farsighted foreign policy adopted by Pandit Nehru and Mrs. Indira Gandhi, and urged the Prime Minister to not participate in the SAARC Conference. more..

Wrong body flown down

June 24 (LNP) The body of a 75-year-old Swiss national was mistakenly sent to Sri Lanka instead of the body of a Sinhala youth who died in Italy. The kith and kin who received the casket containing the body realized that it was not of their loved one only when it was opened by the undertakers at Kekirawa on Sunday. The sealed coffin was received by the deceased s relations on Saturday night at the Katunayake Airport and more..

CEB chairman out

June 24 (LNP) Chairman Udayasri Kariyawsam and the Board of Directors of the CEB were yesterday removed from office after discussions between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the CEB Engineers Union. Some of the members of the present Board will retain their positions, a senior official said. A senior ministry official told The Island yesterday that Power and Energy Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne would likely appoint Ministry Secretary M. M. C. Ferdinando as the new Chairman initially for a month. more..

France to take SL to world court

June 24 (SAMN) The French government is seeking support from other countries for the holding of an international inquiry into the brutal massacre of 17 aid workers of the French aid agency Action Against Hunger in Muttur in August 2006, an agency official said Monday. French Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner has, in response to an ACF request , assured that France would explore the possibility of an international inquiry, the official said. more..

Vulnerable towns to be relocated

June 24 (SAMN) Urban Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has proposed to relocate families in areas prone to natural calamities with urgency. According to the Minister the areas which are periodically under threat by natural disasters have been recognised by the National Physical Planning Department (NPPD) and the ministry suggests that these areas with major towns be relocated. more..

Work on Matara – K’gama track begins

June 24 (SAMN) Work on the rail track of the proposed new railway line connecting Matara and Kataragama is to commence this month. Railroad Development Director Planning Jayantha Gunatilleke said they will start building the first four kilometres of the 128 kilometre rail line within this month. The Rs. 9.2 billion project launched last year with the construction of a railway bridge over the Nilwala Ganga is expected to cut down the travel time from Colombo to Kataragama to three hours. more..

JHU to reveal PC polls stand Thursday

June 24 (SAMN) The Jathika Hela Urumaya will announce its stance on the forthcoming polls for the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provincial Councils on Thursday. The party’s Central Committee and Supreme Sangha Council had held lengthy discussions on the party’s stand over the elections last week, JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said Monday. A delegation of the party would meet the President today to discuss their stance, he said. more..

PC polls: UPFA for broader alliance

June 24 (DN) The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is set to form a broader alliance to contest the upcoming Provincial Council elections for the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces with several parties voicing interest in joining ranks to form such a front. More than 12 political parties took part at a recent meeting chaired by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees to discuss matters pertaining to the elections. more..

MP Anjan Umma's vehicle found

June 24 (DN) Police found a vehicle of JVP Gampaha Parliamentarian Anjan Umma, which had gone missing earlier at the Parliament park, at her residence on Sunday. Police media spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekera said following a tip-off the Meerigama OIC recovered the vehicle of Umma on Sunday. "It was reported that people had seen Umma's husband driving the same vehicle before it was found at her house on Saturday," more..