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JVP agitates against escalating COL!

June 5 (LT) A protest campaign against the administrators leading luxury lives while burdening the masses with high cost of living was held by the JVP at Nugegoda today (4th) afternoon. More than thousand had participated carrying placards and shouting slogans against the escalating prices and the government’s failure to bring down the prices of essential goods. Some of the slogans displayed were: Stop squandering and fraud! Bring down cost of living! more..

Price increases of commodities was due to the taxes imposed by the govt - Tilvin Silva

June 5 (LT) General Secretary of the JVP, Mr. Tilvin Silva said that the reason for the drastic price increases of commodities is not the price increase of fuel in the world market, but the excessive tax imposed on all commodities by the government. In his comments Mr. Tilvin Silva said that the government is trying to conceal their impotence, inability and wrong political policies saying that price increases in the world market prompted price increases of fuel in Sri Lanka. more..

"SOBA" Exhibition to celebrate World Environment Day

June 5 (GDI) The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources will hold an exhibition to commemorate World Environment Day at the Vihara Maha Devi Park in Colombo on the 4th and 5th of June. Named 'Soba', this will be an ideal opportunity for institutions and individuals to showcase their efforts in conservation through their products and services. Priority has given to promote traditional Sri Lankan events at the exhibition more..

CM 'cannot force' arrests

June 5 (BBC) Police authorities say fourteen people have been taken into custody in the Kathankudi area in Batticaloa for burning tyres during a protest. Speaking to Sandeshaya, police spokesperson SSP Ranjith Gunesekera said that the protest was launched after two street tradesmen were taken into custody. "Two people were selling Tambili in a restricted area were arrested. The Muslim residents in the area held a protest against the arrest." more..

Time to act under Article 157A of the Constitution

June 5 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing a group of newspaper editors and heads of electronic media institutions at Temple Trees last week has clearly expressed his determination to crush LTTE terrorism once and for all. No amount of terror strikes or “any other pressure” would stand in his way and the on-going military campaign would be conducted to a successful conclusion, he said asking the LTTE to target him and not innocent civilians. more..

Cinnamon growers and exporters team up to tap the potential world cinnamon market

June 5 (AT) Though there are so many - politicians, economists and planners speak of the potentials, economy and development, when one visualizes what is actually happening in the country, it is apparent that none of them are concerned about the potentials in the country, economy or development. Since independence even those which brought foreign exchange - the cash crops such as tea, coconut and rubber have been neglected and more..

Blast damaged hotel gets state help

June 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist promotion office had given a million rupees to re-build an old tourist hotel that damaged in a Tamil Tiger bomb blast, the ministry of tourism said. The Hotel Nippon, in the Slave Island area, was damaged in a blast in January. The tourism ministry said the hotel had historical value. Soon after the explosion deputy tourism minister who had visited the site had promised financial assistance to re-build the hotel. more..

Japan is to join with Sri Lanka in oil and gas exploration

June 5 (AT) The Prime Minister of Japan has suggested ministerial level consultations between Sri Lanka and Japan on oil and gas exploration by Japan in Sri Lanka and on the settlement of loans from Japan to Sri Lanka. The Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda made this suggestion when he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday (03 June) on the sidelines of the World Conference on Food Security convened by the Food and Agricultural Organization at Rome. more..

Govt. shouldn't make irresponsible statements, Ranil advises

June 5 (LD) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has advised government ministers and top officials against making statements that Sri Lanka could do without the GSP+ concession. Instead of making such irresponsible statements, the government should first submit its application for the renewal of the tariff exemption, he said. more..

Sri Lankan Response to the Report of Mr. Walter Kälin

June 5 (PISL) The Eighth Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council is currently being held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. During the Interactive dialogue held today on the reports of the UN Special Rapporteurs, Sri Lanka responded to the report Walter Kälin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons. more..

Hundreds of thousands displaced by severe Sri Lankan floods

June 5 (wsws) Floods and landslides caused by heavy monsoonal rains in Sri Lanka’s southern and western provinces have forced nearly 400,000 people from their homes. The official death toll had reached 20 by Wednesday. The meteorological forecasts are for more rain and flooding in the coming days. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake has instructed government authorities to provide relief for the victims. more..

From Perumal's council to Pillayan's council

June 5 (MG) People in the Eastern Province especially the Muslims might be wondering as to what is the difference between the time when the LTTE held parts of the province and now, after the province was retrieved from the clutches of the LTTE. Earlier the LTTE ruled only some parts of Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee districts whereas now the armed cadres who were some times back members of the LTTE in the name of TMVP are wielding their power in the areas where earlier they could not tread as well. more..

Pilleyan calls for unity

June 5 (MG) Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan in his inaugural speech at the maiden session of the Provincial Council yesterday strongly urged his colleagues to shed all differences and unite to transform the multi-ethnic East into a prime example of a pluralist democracy based on ethnic harmony. The Chief Minister said democracy in the East was gained at a price with thousands of lives being lost to a conflict which plagued the Province for over two decades. more..

Another challenge from within against UNP leadership

June 5 (LD) Several prominent UNP figures have launched a secret mission to replace the party leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe with someone who can effectively challenge the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, ‘Lanka Dissent’ reliably learns. This group is of the view that the UNP seems incapable of gaining power under the present leadership, and its choice at the helm is party chairman Rukman Senanayake. more..

Parliament convenes sans President

June 5 (LD) After a month long prorogation, Sri Lanka’s sixth Parliament commenced at 10 a.m. today, without the participation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. As it is customary for the President to read the policy statement at the opening of a Parliaments session, his absence today will be singular. Therefore, Parliament will commence as in a normal day, and the Prime Minister, Rathnasiri Wickremenayake is to propose to extend the State of Emergency. more..

Ranil raises breach of privilege after obstruction by mobs

June 5 (LD) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe raised a breach of privilege with Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara after mobs obstructed his path while he was on his way to Parliament this morning (June 05th). Noting that strong punishment should be given to perpetrators if a people's representative is prevented from attending sittings, Mr. Lokubandara said he would refer the matter to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee. more..

BMC head office closed due to 'security reasons'

June 5 (LD) The Colombo head office of the Building Material Corporation at no: 541, Sangharaja Mawatha has been temporarily closed owing to 'security reasons.' The closure by the BMC chairman on the advice of the Minister of Trade, Marketing Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs came a day after a protest by its employees. The chairman has reportedly notified all employees through the BMC's acting security manager not to report for duty until further notice and that their salaries would be paid on time. more..

Straitjacketing Mr Puleedevan

June 5 (PISL) The Peace Secretariat is deeply worried about the story, current in several media outlets including in India, that the Head of the LTTE Peace Secretariat has been placed under arrest by the LTTE hierarchy. Though I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I have been assured by my colleagues that Mr Puleedevan was always willing to engage. I was also told by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission that he laughed a lot, and I have always felt that a man with a sense of humour would be worth talking to. more..

Sri Lanka- European Commission Joint Commission will provide forum for effective dialogue

June 5 (AT) President of the European Commission (EC), Jose Manuel Barroso has expressed hope that the forthcoming to be held in Colombo from 9-11 June 2008 would provide a forum for a meaningful dialogue. President Barroso made this observation when he received the credentials of Sri Lanka’s new Ambassador to the European Union Ravinatha Aryasinha at the Commission headquarters in Brussels on 29 May 2008. more..

'Profits cannot be taken to the grave'

June 5 (AT) What should be the corporate sector's obligation to society? This was one of the matters that the Isira Radio Channel focused on this week during its daily analysis of news events. Isira and Teleshan Network Limited (TNL) Chairman Shan Wickremesinghe raised this issue in response to the press publicity given to annual profits of the John Keell's Holdings Limited. more..

Self-employed can also contribute to EPF – Athauda Seneviratne

June 5 (GDI) Minister of Labour Relations and Manpower, Athauda Seneviratne, told the Official Government News Portal,, today (June 5) that steps are underway to enable those who are self-employed to contribute to the Employees Provident Fund. It is expected that this measure would bring great relief to the self-employed after once they are no longer able to engage in productive activities due to old age. more..

Cabinet Sub Committee to find ways to minimise flood-threat

June 5 (GDI) Mass Media and Information Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa announced that a Cabinet Sub Committee will be appointed soon to prepare a sustainable flood-prevention programme. Meanwhile, Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Minister of Nation Building said that the amount allocated for each flood victim per day has been increased from Rs. 70 to Rs 100 and that the allocation for rebuilding a damaged house has been raised from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 100,000. more..

'Early application for GSP + privileges disadvantageous'

June 5 (GDI) Minister of Export Development and International Trade, Prog. G.L. Peiris said that Sri Lanka has not applied for GSP + privileges and that certain allegations made by the United National Part in this regard are without foundation. Speaking at the Cabinet Press Briefing this morning (June 4), Minister Peiris said that the deadline for requesting such privileges is October 31 adn that find decisions in this regard are to be announced on December 15. more..

UGC increases university enrollment by 2200 this year

June 5 (GDI) The University Grants Commission (UGC) will shortly announce the names of those selected to universities among candidates who have satisfied the minimum requirements for admission at the G.C.E. (A/L) Examination held in August 2007 and have applied for admission, it was announced yesterday (04). Prof. Gamini Samaranayake, Chairman of the UGC, in releasing the cut off marks for new entrants (2007 A/L) to the university system stated that more..

Sri Lanka welcomes report on right to education

June 5 (GDI) Mr. O.L. Ameer Ajwad, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva under agenda item 3 during the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education at the 8th Session of the Human Rights Council, yesterday, reiterated Sri Lanka's commitment to a rights-based approach to education and further elaborated the country's long-standing tradition of ensuring that each and every child has access to and obtains a decent education. more..

One arrested in Dehiwala railway blast

June 5 (LNP) Director General of the Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle said the arrest of a suspect who supported a terrorist to unleash a massive destruction in Wellawatte, was a victory achieved by security forces. Mr. Hulugalle said the terrorists could not carry out the explosion as they desired as the country and the people are fortunate. All information with regard to main suspect has come to light. more..

S.B. vows never to join SLFP

June 5 (LNP) National organizer of the UNP S.B. Dissanayake has vowed that he would never leave the UNP and join the SLFP. Mr. Dissanayake, who is presently in Japan, was responding to `Lanka Dissent` inquiries about talks in political circles that he was going to join the government soon after his return to the country. He added that such speculations were mere fabrications by the collapsing Rajapaksa regime, which no one even dreams about of joining now.

JVP gives Govt. a month to up private sector pay

June 5 (LNP) The pro-JVP Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) yesterday gave the government month s deadline to increase private sector salaries. If not, they threatened an islandwide strike in the first week of July and warned it would be similar to the one launched in 1982. President of the ICEU, JVP MP Wasantha Samarasinghe told the media yesterday that the government had agreed to increase private sector salaries by 25 per cent. more..

Battling terrorism: Time to discard mindless shibboleths

June 5 (LNP) There is bad news for terrorists and their apologists, wherever they may be living, killing and propagating lies. The myth that terrorism cannot be dealt with militarily is being demolished systematically and even the western media is coming to terms with reality that terrorists are not invincible, in spite of a long held threadbare view to the contrary, which has unfortunately come to influence the policy of some states battling terrorism. more..

SC goes Green for Environment Day

June 5 (SAMN) Standard Chartered Bank turned into a forest of activity this World Environment Day as each of its employees took home a sapling of a Sri Lankan fruit tree. It was a reminder to all of them of the Bank’s commitment to encourage each of its staff to make a real and sustainable contribution to the environment they live in. The Bank has saved the felling of 387 full grown trees, the use of 40,014 litres of oil required to turn wood into paper, more..

Central Bank rejects S&P claims

June 5 (SAMN) The Central Bank said Wednesday that claims by Standard and Poor's credit rating agency about the country's fiscal indicators were totally wrong and misleading. "This is completely a wrong and weak analysis, without analysing the data properly," Nandalal Weerasinghe, the chief economist and director of the economic research department at the Central Bank told Thomson Reuters. more..

Cabinet shoots down school hours cut

June 5 (SAMN) The Cabinet Wednesday opposed the proposal for cutting down the number of weekly school days from five to four. The Cabinet which met without President Mahinda Rajapaksa discussed this proposal put forward by the President earlier as a measure to cut down on the use of fuel under the present circumstances. The President requested the Cabinet Ministers to come up with their own ideas on this matter. more..

Ratnatunga appointed to WAN board

June 5 (SAMN) The Editor-in-chief of The Sunday Times, Sinha Ratnatunga, has been appointed to the board of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) at the Annual General Meeting held during the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum in Göteborg, Sweden on Wednesday. Gavin O’Reilly, the Chief Operating Officer of Ireland-based Independent News & Media PLC, was re-elected President of the Association for a third term of two years. more..

Hakeem vows to fight government in EP

June 5 (SAMN) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem told journalists after being sworn in as a member of the Eastern Provincial Council yesterday, that his party would fight against the Government for cheating the people and running away from finding a permanent solution to the national issue. Mr. Hakeem said he and the other members decided to contest the election to oppose the Government which has not been able to come up with a political solution to the national issue. more..

Lankan deposits lakhs in fake currency

June 5 (TOI) The city police on Tuesday arrested two Sri Lankan Tamils, including a businessman, for allegedly depositing fake currency ‘worth' Rs 4.5 lakh in two branches of a private bank. According to the police, Prince (28), who arrived in the city from Sri Lanka on May 31, had deposited the fake currency in denominations of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500. On verification, bank official found that the currencies were fake. more..

Bomber escapes despite a chase

June 5 (DM) In a dramatic turn of events the person who was suspected of having planted the bomb on the rail track at Dehiwala yesterday morning and detonated it using a remote control device managed to escape even after several concerned people gave chase to nab him. Residents of Ebenezer Place had seen a suspicious man running with a bag towards Galle Road following the explosion. more..

The pavement belongs to the public

June 5 (DM) The Sri Jayawardhanapura-Kotte Municipal Council has warned it will take action against private establishments which have placed various illegal obstructions along pavements in Rajagiriya and Nugegoda areas affecting the free movement of pedestrians who have to use it. According to the Municipal Council it has received several complaints by leading schools in the Nugegoda area alleging that school children have often been abused verbally and more..

New fighting kills 35 rebels, 1 soldier in embattled north

June 5 (AP) A wave of new fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels across the Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northern region killed 35 guerrillas and one soldier, the military said Thursday. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the latest battles took place Wednesday in the Vavuniya, Mannar, Welioya and Jaffna areas bordering the rebels' de facto state in the north. more..

Media Minister commends Chandrakanthan's statement

June 5 (GDI) Mass Media and Information Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa commended highly a statement issued by the new Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, who said that for 15 years he was misled and that today he has chosen a different path and was ready to work for the people of the Eastern Province. The minister said that it was indeed heartening and a welcome sign that more..

Tamil Tigers say 10 govt soldiers killed in fighting

June 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers said Thursday they killed 10 government soldiers and wounded 18 others in the latest heavy fighting in the north of the island. The LTTE said their fighters beat back an army attempt to break their forward defence lines near Vavuniya during a six-hour battle on Wednesday. "The Sri Lanka army had suffered casualties, at least 10 killed and more than 18 wounded," more..

Defence ministry lashes out at war reporting

June 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka's defence ministry has launched scathing attacks against journalists critical of its war against Tamil rebels, labelling them "cowboy defence analysts" and "enemies of the state." In two commentaries published on its website, the ministry also railed against what it said was "crap" being written about its escalating effort to eject the Tamil Tigers from the island's north. more..

Apollo Hospital eyes medical tourism, cosmetic surgery markets

June 6 (LBO) The Lanka Hospitals Corporation, which own's Colombo's Apollo Hospital, said it is targeting medical tourism in a big way, along with cosmetic surgery, and hopes to turn profitable in the next financial year. The hospital, whose ownership changed in October 2006 with tycoon Harry Jayewardena buying a controlling stake, said a rights issue of shares helped settle debt and reduce interest costs. more..

Sri Lanka in push for German visitors

June 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka is hosting a workshop and familiarization tour for more than 100 German travel agents in a bid to lure more visitors, the island's tourist promotion office said. "This indeed provides an opportunity for us to showcase and push our products and services in the German market, where we have seen a set back in the recent past," chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Renton de Alwis said. more..

Media groups call for end to 'war on journalists'

June 6 (LBO) Sri Lankan and international media right groups Thursday said they were outraged by recent military criticism of journalists covering the war and urged the government to stop what they called its 'hate campaign'. The Free Media Movement (FMM) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to which it is affiliated said a recent editorial on the Ministry of Defence website that was critical of defence reporting in the media was an unwarranted attack on journalists. more..

Daily allowance handed over to flood victims has been Increased

June 6 (AT) The daily allowance handed over to flood victims has been increased to 100 Rupees from 70 Rupees. Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa made these remarks at a meeting to convey cabinet decisions in Colombo today. Compensation provided to repair houses damaged by floods has been increased to one hundred thousand rupees from fifty thousand rupees. A ministerial sub committee under the leadership of Prime Minister has been appointed to prepare a long term plan to prevent disasters caused by floods and other natural calamities. more..

Chamber of Construction Industry of Sri Lanka on Ocean resources

June 6 (AT) Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka organizes seminar on ocean resources to educate local contractors and related industrialists. The CEO of the Chamber, Dakshitha Talgodapitiya says the chamber has recognized vast potential for exploitation of Ocean resources and the need to ensure its optimum utilization particularly at a time Sri Lanka is going through an economic crisis. more..

Britain to send Sri Lankan visa forms to Chennai

June 6 (IANS) The British high commission here has decided to transfer some Sri Lankan visa applications to its mission in Chennai from June 9, it was announced Thursday. 'The British high commission is transferring some visa processes to the deputy high commission in Chennai as part of the UK Border Agency's new business model,' the statement said. Stressing that all visa applications would continue to be made at the British visa application centre in Colombo, more..

Protesters call Ranil 'The Traitor'

June 6 (BBC) Government supporters protested near the Parliamant on Thursday against Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe. A large number of supporters of the government participated in the protest calling Wickremasinghe "a traitor". The protest was organised to coincide with the opening of parliament after the prorogation. They carried placards of Ranil Wicremasinghe, and various caricatures of LTTE leader Velupilai Prabhakaran. more..

Lawyers protest COI decision

June 6 (BBC) Lawyers protested against the decision made by the Presidential Commission of Investigation (COI) to suspend the use of a video link to gather evidence. The video links were established in order to obtain evidence from eyewitnesses living away from Sri Lanka. The facility was abandoned after an international expert panel appointed to monitor investigations by the COI terminated their activities. more..

Sri Lanka tea prices seen recovering

June 6 (LBO) Sri Lankan tea prices appear to have bottomed out with widespread demand returning to the Colombo auctions which have been enjoying a strong market this year, brokers said. "There was improved wide spread demand," Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said in a report on this week's auction. "For the second consecutive week prices continued to move up quite substantially, notwithstanding the large volumes and relatively uninteresting quality." more..