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Prabha gets personally involved

June 30 (LG) Military Intelligence has observed a higher level of involvement of LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in organising LTTE defensive and offensive formations in recent times. Analysts accredit this to two factors, the first being the importance of this war to the organizations survival and the second being a dearth of experienced cadres. The same degree of urgency and determination is not being demonstrated by some quarters of the Army. more..

Next Poll: What will happen?

June 30 (LG) I am one person who never approved or will never approve the Province as a suitable administrative division or the Provincial Council as a unit of devolution of political power for this country because firstly, it creates more problems in our body politics than it resolves and secondly, it constitutes the biggest criminal drain out and wastage of the meager national resources of the country in order to maintain a network of superfluous institutions. more..

The role of the Opposition in today’s gathering crisis

June 30 (LG) In today’s gathering crisis the people and the country look to the Opposition to help in preventing further unbearable burdens being heaped on them. As it is, the Government does appear to have no hesitation in casting burden upon burden upon a suffering people. With the Government acting as it now does, the people look to the opposition to take up issues with the Government and demand from the Government that they cannot heap further burdens on the people and more..

The failed Opposition sinks in another crisis

June 30 (LG) Whenever Ranil Wickemesinghe appoints a committee it means that he is in deep trouble and that he does not know how to get out of it except by appointing a do-nothing committee. This time too he is reeling under the mounting pressures of the Party to shape up or get out. All media reports indicate that he is struggling to survive in a crisis where the rebels in the party are once again questioning and threatening his leadership. more..

Deliver us from evil

June 30 (LG) The world's weakest states are not just killing and oppressing their own people through war, corruption, despotism and economic failure; they are constantly threatening the progress of countries thousands of miles away. Countries that are quite unlike these despotic regimes. Free nations, rich nations with democratic principles at work. Perhaps more than anything else this is the singular most vital reason for global concern over failed states. more..

Indo–Lanka Relations: Avoiding past errors

June 30 (LG) In 1987, the Sri Lankan armed forces had the initiative, and if the operation was taken to a finish, the Tigers may have been defeated. Instead, by the second half of the year the Sri Lankan army was in barracks and the Tigers were off the hook. Both Sri Lanka and India paid for that turn of events, leaving only Prabhakaran the beneficiary. That tragic turn of events was made possible by a cluster of factors, ranging from a Sri Lankan foreign policy which more..

Sinhalese Buddhist politicians and Hindu gods

June 30 (LG) This column does not get involved in matters spiritual or theological but the headline two Sundays ago in a weekend paper under the double decked headline: "Ranil holds two-day pooja in India worshipping Hindu gods," which so far had gone uncommented, we thought cried out for a comment. The article was by a former journalist guru of ours in the mid '60s - H.L.D Mahindapala with whom we still maintain very cordial relations despite his abode being now in Melbourne. more..

Role of geography and climate in ethnic problem

June 30 (LG) It may sound ridiculous, but it is true that the climate or environment of the northeast played a significant part in the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka. The arid zone in the north and east of the island is quite dry and has only one monsoon a year, whereas the rest of the island is blessed with two monsoons that water these parts abundantly to make it green and lush. In the dry zone - where the Tamil minority live - water is scarce and large areas look like a desert. more..

Is suppressing election victories using injunction orders democracy of Rajapakse Govt.?

June 30 (LT) Mahinda Rajapakse government which brags on democracy uses injunction orders to postpone the election of office bearers for the Education Department Cooperative Society (EDCS) by the majority of its members who won a democratically held election says the General Secretary of the Lanka Teacher Services Union Mahinda Jayasinghe. He said this addressing a protest campaign opposite EDCS office at Kollupitiya opposing more..

Create performance driven culture

June 30 (AT) Disengagement is what happens when people continue to work at a company, but have effectively quit as they put in the minimum effort to get their pay cheque and not get fired. These employees do not give their talent, creativity, energy or passion to their work, said Ronnie Peiris, Group Director /CFO, John Keells Holdings making the Keynote Address at the 3rd Lanka Business Online (LBO) – Lanka Business Report (LBR), Chief Financial Officers Forum held at Cinnamon Grand Hotel. more..

AGA of Thunukkai killed under mysterious circumstances

June 30 (AT) The Assistant Government Agent of Thunkkai, located in the Mullaithievu district, was killed yesterday around 5.00 p.m., under mysterious circumstances. Thunukkai is an AGA Division, coming under the control of the LTTE. Reports revealed that N.Nanthakumar, (36 yrs.) succumbed to a claymore attack when riding a motorcycle. The incident reported to have taken place between Ampalaperumal Kulm and Koddaikasiya Kulam. more..

Sri Lanka denies arrival of any foreign troops for the security of visiting heads of states

June 30 (AT) Sri Lanka denied yesterday the news reports about the arrival of the elite Indian and Afghanistan troops for the special security of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Indian delegation and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan. A highly placed Foreign Ministry official flatly denied those reports appearing in a section of the Sri Lankan newspapers that 3000 elite Indian troops are coming from India to give security to Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and more..

Sri Lankan spin star targets one-day record

June 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka's spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan said his immediate target at international level is to overhaul Pakistani bowler Wasim Akram's world record of one-day wickets. "I want to take 30-odd wickets to get to Wasim's world record in one-day cricket and try out for 1,000 wickets in Tests," Muralitharan said before his team's crucial Super League match against hosts Pakistan in the Asia Cup. more..

Sangakkara ton sets up 64-run win

June 30 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara's flawless century was backed by a disciplined bowling performance as Sri Lanka took a giant stride towards the final with a comfortable 64-run win over Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi. Sohail Tanvir's five-wicket haul couldn't prevent Sri Lanka from piling 302 for 7, and a lacklustre batting performance all but ended Pakistan's hopes by the halfway mark of their chase. more..

JVP boycotts union meeting

June 30 (BBC) The JVP has boycotted a meeting called by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss issues related to trade unions. JVP trade union leader, Lal Kantha, MP, told BBC Sandeshaya that the president has failed to respond to their key demands for the state sector workers. Mr. Lal Kantha is the leader of the National Trade Union Centre (NTUC), an umbrella organisation of several affiliate unions. In a letter sent in May, the NTUC has demanded a salary increase of Rs. 5000 per month for state sector workers. more..

25 bodies handed over to LTTE

June 30 (BBC) The International Committee of the Red Cross in Sri Lanka says that it's handed over to the Tamil Tiger rebels the bodies of twenty-five of their fighters. The Sri Lankan army says that the rebels were killed in fighting on Thursday as the government's forces made a major advance. The Tigers have not yet made any comment. However, pro-rebel Tamilnet reported that 25 LTTE bodies were handed over to the Vavuniya hospital on Friday by military authorities. more..

Salary hike for state workers

June 30 (BBC) The President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has agreed to increase salaries of state workers by Rs. 1000 a month. The decision was made at a meeting with the representatives of state sector trade unions at the Temple trees on Monday. Addressing the meeting of representatives from 50 trade unions, the president admitted the need for a salary increase in the wake of skyrocketing cost of living (CoL). more..

Tweaking Mendis the right way

June 30 (CI) Cricket has changed. And one of the most unwanted changes is that it is now littered with too many robotic, over-coached, mechanical players. The change is not hard to see why: technology is better than before, it's easy to spot flaws in, say, a bowler's action even before he makes it to the highest level. The stakes in cricket are higher than before, and a pursuit for perfection at times leads to homogenisation of talent. more..

Bangladesh accepts invitation for SAARC

June 30 (GDI) The Minister of Foreign Affairs handed over the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Chief Advisor of Bangladesh Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed for the forthcoming SAARC Summit in Colombo. He also handed over the invitation to his counterpart Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury to the Council of Ministers Meeting in Colombo. The Bangladesh Chief Advisor upon receiving the invitation said that he was looking forward to attending the Summit and more..

Newly constructed Arugam Bay bridge to be opened today

June 30 (GDI) The newly constructed bridge at Arugam Bay will be declared open to Public from today (30). The bridge will connect Pottuvil, Arugam Bay and Panama in the Eastern Province. The bridge, constructed at a cost of US $ 10 million, will replace the old bridge over Arugam Bay which was severely damaged in the tsunami of 2004. The construction work of the bridge was done under the supervision of the USAID. more..

This salary increase is a ploy! We reject it! – Lal Kanthe

June 30 (LT) The Increase of salaries of state employees by Rs.1000/- is another ploy says President of National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) Parliamentarian Lal Kanthe. He said this when 'Lankatruth' asked him NTUC stand regarding the salary increase announced. Mr. Lal Kanthe said, "This salary increase is a ploy. In the last budget It had already been announced that an allowance of Rs.375/- would be paid. Hence they had added only Rs.625/- for the already due allowance of Rs.375" more..

When servants of the people become oppressors in Sri Lanka

June 30 (GV) In the Republic of Sri Lanka, sovereignty is in the people and is inalienable. We elect a President, Members of Parliament, and Provincial Councilors etc using the powers vested with the people to exercise and enjoy that sovereignty through them. But what is happening today is the reverse. We elect a bunch of people into office and instead of being the servants of the people, which is what they rightfully should be; they have all become our masters, more..

The Sri Lankan Voter

June 30 (GV) Most of our politicians are sanctimonious, bigoted, corrupt thugs; they are parasites sucking the blood out of our society. And yet I don’t blame them. I don’t like them, but I don’t blame them. I blame our voters, most of whom if given the chance to become politicians, would turn into sanctimonious, bigoted, bribe taking, scum sucking thugs themselves. George Carlin (may he rest in peace) said it best: “garbage in, garbage out: more..

The voice of an IDP single mother in Puttlam

June 30 (GV) “We lack road, water, and housing facilities. Our children are unable to attend school regularly as there is no proper transport service. We don’t have any facility and leading the same life even now as same as 18 years ago”. This is a cry of an Internally Displaced single mother from Jaffna, A. Shahula who chewed betel and shared her agony. She is living with her two kids in Saltern 2 welfare camp in Puttlam. more..

The Dead-End Formula of Neo-Liberal Economics

June 30 (GV) Although I teach economics at the University of Peradeniya for my bread and butter, I have been quite distant from the discipline for sometime and my readings on the subject has been quite limited to the two courses I teach at the university. My principal research work is on conflicts. Hence, it was not strange for people to call me oftentimes as a teacher attached to the Department of Politics. more..

CJ suggests permanent Quazi Court office in every district

June 30 (MG) Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva yesterday said the implementation of the Muslim Laws in Sri Lanka should be done in a methodical manner and there should be a permanent Quazi Court office in every district. He said already arrangements had been made to set up two Quazi Courts, at Kalmunai and Kandy, addressing the 58th Annual Convention of the All Ceylon YMMA conference yesterday at the Mahaweli Centre. more..

Archbishop asks catechists to teach true history of local Church

June 30 (UCAN) Catechists should include local Church history in their lessons so Catholic children will understand correctly their place in Sri Lankan society, says Archbishop Oswald Gomis of Colombo. Local people "ridicule" Sri Lankan Christians as "children" of Portuguese colonialists, and "this creates an inferiority complex among them," the prelate told about 2,000 catechists, Sunday-school teachers, clergy and Religious on June 18. more..

Sri Lanka tourism gets World Bank support

June 30 (LBO) The World Bank has agreed to provide funds to the Sri Lankan government for a tourism initiative among small entrepreneurs and rural communities, the Ministry of Tourism said in a statement. The assurance of support came after talks by Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda with Wold Bank officials in Washington DC, it said. "The bank was very receptive to supporting our efforts in enhancing standards and the quality of operations through capacity development for our SMEs and other tourism institutions and enterprises," more..

Sri Lanka inflation hits new high of 28.2 percent in June

June 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka consumer inflation in the capital Colombo accelerated to a new record of 28.2 percent in June 2008, from 26.2 percent in May, the government's statistics office said. In the 30 days to June prices rose 3.7 percent in the most widely watched Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI). The government changed the weights of the index and its base year after inflation hit 29.9 percent in April. more..

Sri Lanka economy expands 6.2 percent in 2008 first quarter

June 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economy expanded 6.2 percent in the first quarter of 2008, against 6.1 percent growth in the same period last year but slower than the 7.6 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2007, government data showed. The services sector grew by 6.4 percent bringing 60.1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Industry grew 6.0 percent bringing 27.3 percent of growth and agriculture grew 5.9 percent bringing 12.6 percent of the growth. more..

House ban on laptops to thwart LTTE infiltration

June 30 (LNP) Fearing the LTTE would use someone to smuggle in an explosive device to Parliament to carry out an assassination, the government has prohibited all members from bringing in electronic equipment into the House. Acting on the instructions of security services, Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara has informed ministers, deputy ministers and members of the unprecedented decision to prohibit laptops and similar equipment in Parliament. more..

BIA should be ready for nextgen aircraft

June 30 (LNP) Colombo Airport (BIA) is one of the best airports in the region but needs to expedite its expansion work to attract next generation airlines in the future, Qatar Airways (QA) Regional Manager Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and the Maldives Rajeewa Jayaweera said. He said that AirBus A 380 flight Super Jumbos one of the latest new generation high-density flight which will come into play in the future. more..

Gas price going up again

June 30 (LNP) The domestic cooking gas price is to be revised from midnight today according to the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA). The price revision had been requested by Shell and Laugfs gas companies and would be based on the pricing formula. Sources said the pricing committee of the CAA had finalized the new prices last week and these were submitted it to Chairman Rumi Marzook for a final decision today. more..

Confessions of a political hit man

June 30 (LNP) Splits in the JVP have a long history. On the very day it was founded, some of its prominent members voted with their feet. Since then it has experienced a number of debilitating desertions prior to the abortive 1971 insurrection and in its aftermath and following JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera`s humiliating defeat at the 1982 Presidential Election. All those crises in the JVP were consequent upon its inability to handle its failures which more..

Muslim Congress to go it alone?

June 30 (SAMN) The SLMC leadership is increasingly under pressure from the party’s grassroot level members to contest the upcoming provincial council election under its ‘tree’ symbol in Anuradhapura and Kegalle without aligning with a major political party, General Secretary, M.T. Hassan Ali said. The party had earlier decided to field their candidates on the UNP ticket for the election. more..

Govt. will fall if it stops war: NFF

June 30 (SAMN) The National Freedom Front (NFF) predicted Sunday that if and when the Mahinda Rajapaksa government takes one step back in its war against the LTTE, it would be the end of the government. Addressing the news briefing at its head office at Battaramulla, party leader, Wimal Weerawansa MP said the people had taken the unbearable cost of living in their stride as the government continued to prosecute the war. more..

Need to renovate damaged tanks

June 30 (SAMN) Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardane said that a sustainable solution can be found to the food shortage once the abandoned and damaged tanks were renovated. Gunawardane was speaking after handing over the Padukka Arukwatta water supply scheme constructed at a cost of Rs. 6 million for the benefit of 225 families in Arukwatta who underwent immense hardships owing to the shortage of drinking water. more..

44 arrested in Anti Narcotics Week raids

June 30 (SAMN) Excise Sleuths during a special detection week to coincide with World Anti-Narcotics day, have bared several rackets involving drug trafficking and illicit liquor sales following the arrest of 44 suspects. According to Excise sources 12 persons were arrested while being in possession of heroin, while two others have been taken into custody together with a large consignment of cannabis. more..

Drug smuggling declines

June 30 (DN) Sri Lanka Customs said drug trafficking and smuggling showed a slight decrease with the introduction of various rules and regulations by the Government. According to Customs sources, there is a sharp decrease in tobacco based food products which amounted to 6,582 Kg last year. The quantity of heroin detected last year was 5,682 g as against 8,534 g in 2006. “This is a slight decrease when compared to the corresponding period in 2006. more..

Sri Lanka's embassy in Saudi launches 'Insight' newsletter

June 30 (DN) The Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh launched a monthly newsletter dubbed INSIGHT to highlight Sri Lanka Saudi relations among Saudis, Sri Lankan and its well-wishers. This is the first time the mission is coming out with a newsletter to reach out target market to project Sri Lanka as a country that has plenty of things to offer, A.A.M. Marleen, the islands ambassador said, more..

Bank union calls for urgent action on fraud

June 30 (Island) The All Ceylon Bank Employees Union said an attempt was being made to remove Chairman of the Sanasa Development Bank in a bid to hush up a range of allegations levelled against the previous administration of the bank. Gamini Ratnasiri, the General Secretary of the Union said if the incumbent Chairman of the bank had been at fault over any irregularity he should be investigated. more..

Union slams Galle MC admin over worker’s suicide

June 30 (Island) The All Ceylon Government General Employees Union yesterday called for a thorough police probe into suicide of Senaka Mayadune (44), an employee of the Galle Municipal Council after his suspension without pay over the loss of a part of the heavy vehicle operated by him. The union’s secretary M. Wijeratne said Mayadunne had been suspended without conducting a proper investigation. more..

Porn suspect remanded

June 30 (DM) Anuradhapura Additional Mgistrate remanded a manager of a popular IT institute in Anurdhapura till July 7 for allegedly uploading pornographic and paedophile material to the internet. The Magistrate, Shivantha Manchanayaka ordered the Police to send the database of the computer used by the suspect to the Computer Technology Unit of the Colombo University for a report. more..

Court refuses injunction against suspension of SLRC producer

June 30 (DM) Colombo District Court refused the interim injunction sought by a programme producer of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) against the suspension of his service by the corporation’s chairman. District Judge Sisira Ratnayake refused the interim injunction in a case filed by Ravindra Munadinghe, an international award programme producer. Earlier the court has issued an enjoining order restraining a direction issued by more..

Sri Lanka mulls oil spill fund

June 30 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government is considering establishing a fund based on a levy charged from merchant vessels to handle emergencies caused by oil spills, a senior official said. Marine Pollution Prevention Authority (MPPA) chairman Ranjit Kularatne said the potential for oil spills caused by ship accidents is very high given the island's proximity to the main shipping route across the Indian Ocean. more..

2 dead in train derailment on Hikkaduwa Bridge

June 30 (LD) Two passengers died after the 'Rajarata Rejina' train derailed on a bridge between the Hikkaduwa and Seenigama Railway Stations around 12.40 pm today (June 30th), reports said. Around 20 passengers have fallen into the river and two have drowned, reports added. Five injured passengers were rushed to the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. more..

Fresh fighting kills 28 in Sri Lanka

June 30 (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers seized a large swath of Tamil Tiger rebel-held territory while scattered battles elsewhere in the embattled north killed 26 rebels and two soldiers, the military said Monday. Fighting has escalated in this Indian Ocean island in recent months. Government forces say they are steadily moving into rebel territory, capturing villages and small towns and causing heavy casualties among the insurgents. more..

LTTE can no more fight like a conventional army: army chief

June 30 (IANS) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas have 'lost their capability of fighting as a conventional army' because of the offensive the military is waging against them, army chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka said Monday. 'The LTTE has lost the capability of fighting as a conventional army. Although they are (still) fighting us, they (are) not in the same manner as was in the past. That type of resistance is not there anymore,' more..

Army chief says needs a year to beat Tigers

June 30 (AFP) SRI LANKA'S army chief said on Monday that his forces have wiped out the conventional military capability of the Tamil Tigers, but that they needed another year to totally defeat the rebels. Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said the LTTE guerrillas were no longer able to resist security forces using conventional tactics and were resorting to hit and run attacks. 'From about the beginning of the year, the LTTE has lost its conventional capability,' more..