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Private sector support for hydro power projects

June 25 (Island) More than 50 private companies have pledged support to the construction of hydro power projects which would generate 150 MW. This follows applications called from the private sector by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA). Increasing world oil prices have resulted in high cost of electricity that has compelled the country’s premier energy efficiency authority to go for a number of options, more..

Residents demand police action over assault on youths

June 25 (Island) Residents of Hatangala and Kabaragala in Galle demanded immediate action by Police over the inhuman assault on four youth opposite the Bogahagoda Police Post on Monday night. The four severely injured youth were admitted to the Karapitiya Hospital. According to Hospital sources the condition of one youth is critical. Failure of the Police to arrest the culprits indicated that the Police failed to act impartially and more..

Lanka once again in ‘Failed State’ list

June 25 (DM) Sri Lanka has once again been included in the Failed States Index by the Foreign Policy and The Fund for Peace which rank the countries where state collapse may be just one disaster away. Sri Lanka has been ranked 20 in the list of 60 failed states with Somalia claiming the number one spot and the distinction of being the state most at risk of failure. In the fourth annual Failed States Index, Foreign Policy and The Fund for Peace rank the countries where state collapse may be just one disaster away. more..

Indian trio’s mysterious tryst or twist

June 25 (DM) Ayubowan, vanakkam and assalamu alaikkum as the country continues to shake, rattle and roll with the increasing confusion of crisis within crisis and contradictions within contradictions. The latest issue hit by this crisis of conflict within conflict was the sudden and largely secretive visit of India’s heavyweight delegation comprising the powerful National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and Defence Secretary Vijaya Singh. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines adds flights to Middle East

June 25 (LBO) Sri Lankan Airlines, the island's national carrier, said it has increased flights to the Middle East to support government moves to attract more tourists from the region. The state-owned airline said in a statement that weekly flights to the city of Doha had been increased to six from four previously, to Bahrain to seven flights from five earlier, and flights to Dammam to three, up from the present two. more..

Kotelawala demands a billion rupees from Central Bank governor

June 25 (LBO) Sri Lankan businessman Lalith Kotelawala has demanded a billion rupees in damages from Central Bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal for trying to introduce rules that would effectively remove him from a bank and finance companies in his Ceylinco group. Kotelawala also threatened to initiate legal action against Cabraal to remove him as central bank governor if he persists with more..

Peace mediators meet in Oslo

June 26 (LG) Conflict mediators from all over the world will again meet at the annual Oslo Forum to exchange experience at Losby Manor outside Oslo from 24 to 26 June. This year's peace mediators' retreat will focus on dialogue and new opportunities for and perspectives on negotiations. It will be opened by Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim. Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and State Secretaries Raymond Johansen and more..

War, destruction and chaos in Sri Lanka

June 26 (LG) Millions of people in Sri Lanka as well as in other parts of the world suffer immensely due to the fury of nature that visits them in the form of tsunamis, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes etc., and we can imagine the suffering, mental agony and trauma they undergo as a result. In Sri Lanka in addition to the 2004 tsunami and periodical floods we have a more deadly man-made disaster in the form of a racial war deliberately created by none other than our pseudo patriots who more..

Tips to reduce your fuel costs

June 26 (LG) Everyday I drive out of Colombo to my workplace at Radawana, and the rising cost of fuel was one of the main problems that hit me recently. Unable to cut petrol costs and spending several weeks in search of a solution, I thought of seeking advice from the internet. Here are some of the useful tips I found out about reducing fuel costs, and I am placing them before readers for their information. more..

Politicians and journalists

June 26 (LG) Politicians and journalists are two important groups of people in a country. The former to run the nation and the latter to pen on the trend of their ruling. Politicians, whether literate or illiterate, are elected by the people while journalists are selected by employers only if they are educated and knowledgeable. Politicians are powerful but the power of the journalist's pen is unparalleled. Politicians are inconvincible but journalists are corrigible. more..

President spreading his tentacles in to private TV channels

June 26 (LG) There is a Sinhala saying "Do not bring even a kitten that has still not opened its eyes, from the south." Why was this phrase coined? Because people from deep down south were thought to be dangerous and crafty people. They will do anything to achieve their goals. How true this saying is in the current scenario. Most of the prominent Sinhala businessmen in Colombo are from the south who came with a few rupees in their pocket. more..

July 10: The intended general strike

June 26 (LG) The JVP unions have threatened to go on strike on 10th July. It is not known whether it is going to be a continuous strike or only a rehearsal for a general strike. However, it is reasonable to assume that even if the strike would be confined to a day initially the unions are thinking of a prolonged strike in the near future. It is true that there are issues such as a reasonable salary in view of the rising cost of living, corruption and wastage, for trade unions to resort to trade union action. more..

Prof. G.L. Peiris makes Sri Lanka's case battles for EU trade concessions

June 26 (GDI) Up to 100,000 jobs depend on the European Union extending the GSP+ trade concessions to Sri Lanka, according to International Trade Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris, who is on a visit to Paris this week. Sri Lanka is among a number of Asian countries which have benefitted from the Generalised System of Preferences, known as GSP+, for several years. This means that Brussels drops quota restrictions and duty on imports from developing countries but more..

New Task Force to accelerate Wanni liberation mission

June 26 (GDI) Military engaged in Wanni liberation mission have opened a new front from west of Jaffna-Kandy road to flank the 57 Division. Military spokesman Brigadier Uadaya Nanayakkara said the newly created Task Force 11 would advance northwards while the 57 Division stepped up pressure on the LTTE holding on to Periyamadu, about 16 kilometers north of Madhu. While the 57 Division and Task Force 11 would advance on the uncleared areas, more..

Sri Lanka's heritage featured at The US State Department

June 26 (AT) On a recent visit to Washington, Minister of Tourism, Milinda Moragoda presented the US State Department's Bureau for South and Central Asia with a framed 80 cm X 80 cm photograph of the statues of Lord Buddha at Gal Vihara, Pollonnaruwa, to adorn the walls of the Bureau's front office. The black and white rendering of this 12th century masterpiece carved on a single piece of rock is a photograph by the well-known Sri Lankan photographer Nihal Fernando. more..

Posters of death LTTE cadres revealed more than 20 child soldiers...

June 26 (AT) At least twenty child soldiers in the LTTE have been killed in the Northern Districts March – April 2008, in one month, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence said. Referring to recently captured obituary posters from a LTTE office occupied by the security forces, the Ministry of defence said, “No ranks were mentioned against 30 cadres who appear very young in their early or mid-teens. more..

Sri Lankan in Panel to probe deadly attack on UN in Algiers

June 26 (AT) Sinha Basnayake, a former Director of Legal Affairs at the United Nations, has been named as part of a panel to examine whether any United Nations staff should be held individually accountable over last December’s deadly terrorist attack on the world body’s premises in Algiers. UN Secrertary-General Ban Ki-moon told UN staff that he was establishing the follow-up group in response to a recommendation issued by the Independent Panel on more..

JVP-led farmers protest in Dambulla

June 26 (LD) The Socialist Farmers Union of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna staged a protest in Dambulla town yesterday (June 24th) to urge the government to address the grievances of the farmer community. Party strongmen K.D. Lal Kantha, S.K. Subasinghe, Ranaweera Pathirana and Jayantha Wijesekara led the agitation, which began with a march from the Gam Udawa premises to the Clock Tower in the heart of the city, where an hour-long protest took place. more..

India intervenes again to prevent LTTE defeat - JVP

June 26 (LD) After 1987, India is yet again intervening to prevent defeat of the LTTE, said JVP Secretary Tilvyn Silva. Unlike 21 years ago when New Delhi used only J.N. Dixit, this time the Indian government is using three of its leading officials as saviors for the Tigers, Mr. Silva told the media in Colombo. Alleging that the Sri Lankan government appeared to accept the Indian involvement, he called on all patriotic forces to unite against this intervention. more..

'Wimal, a thief of intellectual property'

June 26 (LD) Party dissident, Wimal Weerawansa is a thief of intellectual property, says JVP Secretary, Tilvyn Silva. Mr. Silva said that though Weerawansa’s book, launched yesterday, was titled ‘Nattha Wenuwata Attha’ (truth instead of myth), it should be the other way around (myth instead of truth). It is the usual practice for the JVP to hand over documents pertaining to meetings of the Central Committee to its members and more..

Janaka Perera says he won’t flee election battle

June 26 (LD) Janaka Perera says that as a former military officer with a reputation, he won’t be intimidated into fleeing the battle in the election front. The retired Major General is tipped to be nominated the UNP’s chief ministerial candidate at the forthcoming polls for the North Central Provincial Council. He rejected a newspaper report as well as remarks by the JVP Secretary Tilvyn Silva, both to the effect that he was yet to accept the UNP’s nomination. more..

Sri Lanka US embassy closed after "suspicious powder" found

June 26 (LBO) The United States embassy in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo was closed Wednesday after a "suspicious powder" was found, the embassy said in a statement. All visa appointments and routine American citizen services will be postponed until the incident is resolved, it said. It said the suspicious substance will be sent to a laboratory for analysis. "Until the results are received and a determination is made that the substance does not pose health or safety risks, the embassy will be closed to the public," more..

Sri Lanka prove too strong for Bangladesh

June 26 (CI) Mohammad Ashraful was left to rue his decision at the toss - on the sort of pitch where they had piled 300-plus the previous day, Bangladesh decided to field first and paid a heavy price as Sri Lanka, fired by some superb top-order batting by Kumar Sangakkara and Sanath Jayasuriya, piled a massive target before inflicting a heavy defeat. Chasing an insurmountable target, Bangladesh never seemed like waging a battle more..

Sri Lanka says economic sanctions no help in fighting terror

June 26 (LBO) Economic pressure on Sri Lanka by the international community at a time when the Tamil Tigers are targeting the economy is unhelpful in the struggle against terror, a senior diplomat has said. Foreign Affairs Ministry secretary Palitha Kohona said the Tamil Tigers, consistent with the strategy of other terrorist groups who seek to cripple the economies of target countries, has aimed its sights at the economy of the country. more..

Defeat anti-war forces: JVP

June 26 (BBC) The attempts by the Indian and Sri Lankan governments to stop the war should be defeated says JVP. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said the aim of the high powered Indian delegation’s visit to Colombo last week was to force the government to stop the war against the LTTE. Indian National Security Advisor MK Narayanan, Defence Secretary Vijay Singh and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon made an unannounced visit to Sri Lanka last week. more..

CBK's land deal 'corrupt'

June 26 (BBC) The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka has accused the former president of involved in corruption in providing a prime land for a private company. Chief Justice Sarath Silva made the observation as a petition against selling 32 acres near the parliament, in Jayawardhanapaura, Kotte, to Asia Pacific Golf company. The land was sold to the company during President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s tenure for Rs. 320 a perch, the court was informed. more..

Lankan embassy sends two more bodies of fire victims

June 26 (GT) THE Sri Lankan embassy has sent the human remains of the two Sri Lankan nationals who died in a fire last Wednesday. The bodies were sent by Qatar Airways flight last night. The first three body bags were dispatched on Tuesday night. Sending the bodies of Amila Madusanka of Bulathsinhala and Nalinda Kumara of Thambuthegama last night was potentially a complicated issue since both of them had left their sponsors, more..

Torture endemic in Sri Lanka police-rights group

June 26 (Reuters) Torture has become endemic in Sri Lankan police stations and there seems to be no political will to stop it, an Asian human rights group said on Wednesday. The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission said torture was standard procedure both in investigating ordinary crimes and as part of the civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels. The government said the allegations were baseless. more..

Ministry of Livestock Development to establish a chain of modern dairy farms

June 26 (AT) Ministry of Livestock Development has decided to establish a chain of modern dairy farms in Sri Lanka. The Ministry has planned to apply up-to-date technology for animal husbandry and dairy food products. According to a survey made by the Ministry, Sri Lanka requires 60 to 70 million litres of fresh milk per annum. But at present 20% of this annual requirement is only achieved annually. more..

'Mathata Thita' results in 90% drop in smoking in public places

June 26 (GDI) Smoking in public places has dropped by 90 per cent and the use of alcohol has gone down by 40 per cent since January 1, 2007, subsequent to the implementation of the Tobacco and Alcohol Control Act under President's 'Mathata Thitha' concept (Full stop to drugs and liquor). Although there are 250,000 cannabis users in Sri Lanka and 40,000 heroin users, Ministry sources claim that the number of intravenous drug users is very low when compared with the other countries. more..

Promptly implement Govt decisions, President tells Secretaries

June 26 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed Ministry Secretaries to take prompt action in implementing the decisions taken by the Government, for the welfare of the people. The President gave these directions when he presided and addressed the fifth Ministerial Sub-Committee meeting on 'Food Security' and 'Cost of Living Regulation' at Temple Trees on Tuesday. more..

3 expatriate Tamils arrested in Colombo

June 26 (LNP) Kollupittiya police arrested three expatriate Tamil family men returning after many years abroad 18 June in kollupittiya, according to a complaint lodged with Sri Lankan Deputy Minister for Vocational Training and Industrial Education, P. Rathakrishnan, by the sister of one of the arrestees, sources in Colombo said. Police said that the arrests were made on a tip received by them that one of them was in possession of fake hundred dollar bills. more..

Army Commander contributes to biggest sculpture work

June 26 (LNP) The ongoing sculpture work of the country`s biggest Buddha statue in stone in Rambadagalla, Ethugalpura, Kurunegala, sculpted from a single natural block of rock formations (boulder) received a welcome fillip on Tuesday when the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka on hearing of its construction donated a sum of Rs. 2 million for the project. more..

Oslo Forum delegates urged to adopt principled approach to peace process

June 26 (LNP) Welcoming the reiterated stand of the International Community (IC) that there is no military solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka, a Norwegian Tamil organisation urged Tuesday global mediators to adopt a principled approach to the conflict in Sri Lanka. The organisation called on the IC to recognise the historical realities that there is a legacy of oppression by the Sri Lankan state against the Tamils and more..

Plan to close down fuel guzzling Kelanitissa power plant

June 26 (LNP) Despite the debt-ridden CEB warning of an imminent catastrophic economic crisis due to rapid depletion of foreign exchange resources, caused by the unprecedented rise in global oil prices, officialdom has recently made an attempt to involve the private sector in a project which could have been handled by the CEB, well informed sources said. This wasn't an isolated case, the sources said. more..

May records sharp rise in tourists

June 26 (SAMN) The Tourism Ministry said Wednesday that tourist arrivals saw a sharp increase in May in comparison to the corresponding period last year. According to a Tourism Ministry spokesman, tourist arrivals in May recorded 31,140 as against 26,307 in the corresponding period last year. He said over 79 per cent of tourists arrived from the Middle East in May. This is largely attributed to promotional campaigns launched by the Tourism Ministry and the Sri Lanka Tourism Board. more..

One shot’ for UNP in Sabaragamuwa

June 26 (SAMN) Popular Actor Ranjan Ramanayake said Wednesday he had informed the UNP that he was willing to become the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate for the Sabaragamuwa Province at the forthcoming elections. “I fear there would be moves to stop me from contesting the election,” he said. Mr. Ramanayake told media Wednesday he had informed the UNP leadership about his willingness to contest the polls and more..

Detained foreigner stabs two constables

June 26 (SAMN) A foreigner who was detained at the Immigration Department Detention Camp in Mirihana had stabbed two police constables yesterday afternoon causing serious injuries to them. The two constables who sustained serious injuries in the attack were immediately admitted to the Kalubowila hospital. The foreigner who had been detained there for some time for violating local immigration laws had stabbed the duo in a frenzy. more..

Lankan refugee assets survey begins

June 26 (SAMN) A state-wide exercise to collect the details of movable and immovable assets , which Sri Lankan refugees, living in various refugee camps in Tamil Nadu possess, has begun. As decided in the recent Collectors’ conference, district administrations, including Salem, have started collecting these details deploying teams of revenue and police officials in all the camps. The officials have been asked to collect detailed information of whether the refugees possess properties or not. more..

Govt will strive to bridge State, mercantile salary anomalies - President

June 26 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that while facing the global economic challenges, the Government will strive to bridge the salary anomalies between the State and mercantile services by taking measures to provide relief to them. Addressing representatives of the Joint Trade Unions Bala Mandalaya at a special meeting to discuss the problems confronted by 1.2 million of government employees and 65 million of private sector employees, more..

Notice issued on Ananda Principal

June 26 (DN) Colombo High Court Judge Thilak Thabrew yesterday issued notice on the Principal of the Ananda College, Colombo B.A. Abeyratne to appear before Court on October 17 in connection with the case of allegedly forwarding forged documents to the CID. The Attorney General filed indictment against B.A. Abeyratne with six counts for forwarding three letters to the CID Inspector of Police Wijesekara for an investigation as if they were written by him (principal) but were allegedly forged documents. more..

CEB: Reduce diesel consumption or be doomed

June 26 (Island) Despite the debt-ridden CEB warning of an imminent catastrophic economic crisis due to rapid depletion of foreign exchange resources, caused by the unprecedented rise in global oil prices, officialdom has recently made an attempt to involve the private sector in a project which could have been handled by the CEB, well informed sources said. This wasn’t an isolated case, the sources said. more..

Three hockey players jailed for shoplifting in Singapore

June 26 (Island) Three players of the Sri Lanka national hockey team that took part in the Asian Hockey Federation Cup in Singapore have been jailed for shoplifting. Among the three players serving a ten day jail sentence are a policeman and a solider. Polwattegedara Jayaratne of Sri Lanka Police, Prasanna Abeyratne of Sri Lanka Army and Sadditha Fernando of Wennapuwa Hockey Association were the three players to receive the ten day working jail sentence, more..

TMVP demands police and land powers

June 26 (DM) The TMVP is to put forward political proposals to the All Party Representatives’ Committee (APRC) demanding police, land, educational and financial powers for the provinces, which it cited as the unit of devolution when evolving a political solution to the ethnic conflict. Some TMVP activists belonging to the Tamil diaspora in Europe had advised the party hierarchy to work out political proposals on these lines. more..

No Indian hand in CM’s election: Govt

June 26 (DM) The government yesterday reiterated that India had no hand in electing Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan to the position of Chief Minister of the Eastern province and vehemently denied allegations to the effect by the JVP. “I say on behalf of the government that the Eastern election was one where people elected their leader by themselves. We are extremely disappointed that Tilvin Silva (JVP) made such baseless remarks which mislead the general public,” more..

Private sector employees clamour for Rs.5000 salary increase

June 26 (LT) A massive agitation was held opposite Fort Railway Station yesterday by a large number of private sector employees demanding a salary increase of Rs.5000/- Employees from Helsim, Prima, Coca-Cola, Munchi, Lake House, Air Services, Taj Samudra, Galadhari and many other leading private enterprises from throughout the island participated at the agitation organized by Inter Companies' Employees Union. more..

Sri Lanka in move to form tea producers group

June 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to join a global forum of major tea producing countries, Tea Board chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi said. Most major tea producing countries have signed a memorandum of understanding to form the International Tea Producers Forum (ITPF) which will focus on issues of concern to producers, he said. The Plantations Industries Ministry is to seek cabinet approval soon to ratify Sri Lanka's membership of the ITPF, he said. more..

JVP to name replacement for Wasantha Samarasinghe

June 26 (LD) The JVP is to name a replacement for the slot vacated by the resignation of Wasantha Samarasinghe, who is to contest as the JVP's chief ministerial candidate at the North Central PC polls, the party's Propaganda Secretary, Vijitha Herath told ‘Lanka Dissent.’ In the run up to the last General Election, the JVP signed a MoU with the SLFP and jointly contested the polls under the betel leaf symbol of the UPFA. more..

Sinhalese youth abducted in Welikada

June 26 (LD) A Sinhalese youth was abducted in the Welikada, Rajagiriya last night (June 25th), reports say. The victim, identified as Sunil, was returning home in a van when a group in a trishaw took him, along with the van, police spokesman, SSP Ranjith Gunasekera said. Police in Kadawatha have informed the Welikada Police that the van was found abandoned in the Kadawatha area. more..

UDA should be dissolved – SC

June 26 (LD) The Urban Development Authority which has acted outside its objectives, should be dissolved, said Chief Justice, Sarath N. Silva yesterday. The CJ was taking up a petition against the acquisition of 136 acres of private land at Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, and selling them to Asia Pacific Golf Company during the tenure of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. He also said that it was a grave crime to take over land from poor people after paying a trivial compensation, more..