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Police arrested 45 suspects on Friday Bus bomb

June 7 (AT) Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara said 45 suspects have been arrested on Friday’s bus bomb in Katubedda. "They are under interrogation, he said. Meanwhile Deputy Inspector General of Police Western Province South Division C.D. Wickremarathne said three special teams have been deployed for the investigation activities. Director of the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital Dr. Wilfred Kumarasiri said 21 persons have been killed by the claymore mine attack more..

Hilton Colombo offers 21 scholarships to locals

June 7 (AT) In their quest to help the local community Hilton Hotel Colombo offers 21 scholarships to the students of Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM), to further their professional knowledge. William Costley, General Manager, Hilton Colombo at a special function congratulated the selected SLITHM students for their being selected for the scholarships as this is a very special career programme they are imparting. more..

Monument dedicated to War Heroes to be unveiled today

June 7 (GDI) In line with the National War Heroes Day which falls today (07) a ceremony dedicated to commemorate and salute the fallen heroes will be held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake at the Parliament Complex today (07). ‘Ranaviru Day’ signifies the nation’s highest tribute to those who have made the supreme sacrifice for the Motherland and concludes a month of commemoration starting on May 7. more..

Japan seeks oil returns for Sri Lanka's borrowings

June 7 (LD) 'Irida Lanka' reports that Japan has sought a contract for providing technical expertise in Sri Lanka's bid to explore for oil along its coast, in return for the huge borrowings it had given to the island. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has made the proposal to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at talks on the sidelines of the World Food Summit in Rome on June 03rd. more..

Mangala blames govt. inabilities to high cost of living

June 7 (LD) Leader of the SLFP Mahajana Wing Mangala Samaraweera has blamed the rampant waste, corruption and misadministration of the present regime for the unbearable cost of living that had reached its highest ever levels. He said that high world market prices were not the reason for the exorbitant commodity prices in the local market. Mr. Samaraweera was speaking at an event to beseech gods against the public suffering due to war and hunger. more..

Ranil wants political solution if govt. continues with war

June 7 (LD) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has urged the government to go for a political solution immediately if was not in a position to end the war and provide concessions to the people. Speaking at a function at the Kolonnawa Urban Council just prior to his India visit, he alleged the present regime of misleading the public about the war. "This government is telling that the war will be over today or tomorrow and is asking the people to tighten their belts. more..

Land to India from displaced-filled Sampur

June 7 (LD) The government has agreed to grant thousands of acres of land from Sampur in Trincomalee to India for the construction of a special economic zone, 'Irida Lanka' reports. Sampur is an area which is presently housing many displaced people in welfare camps, following recent hostilities in the eastern province. Previously, the government had said that the people of the east would be resettled in their homes after the liberation of the province from the LTTE. more..

Govt. accused of hate campaigning against UNP

June 7 (LD) Three UNP MPs have accused the government of carrying out hate propaganda against their party in an attempt to cover up its inabilities and wrongs. Johnston Fernando, Ravi Karunanayake and Lakshman Seneviratne leveled the charge while giving interviews to 'Irudina' newspaper. The present regime is plotting an internal power struggle in the UNP to take public's attention away from its quagmire of inefficiency, corruption and terror, they said. more..

JHU urges govt. to destroy LTTE network in Colombo

June 7 (LD) The Jathika Hela Urumaya says the continuing spate of bomb attacks in the south is indicative of the presence of a strong LTTE network in Colombo, and calls for its elimination through a reinforced army and police intelligence network and more raids against it. The statement signed by JHU Secretary Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera says that blasts upto the one at Katubedda in Moratuwa today (June 06th) make it clear that Prabhakaran was engaged in an inhuman game with the innocent unarmed civilians of the country. more..

Chief Ministers to seek land & police powers at court

June 7 (LD) Provincial chief ministers are to resort to legal action in a bid to seek land and police powers for their regions, the JVP-backed 'Irida Lanka' reports in its banner headline story. An Indian chief minister who was in the island recently had assisted in drafting the proposal, the newspaper said. As the first step, the North Central Provincial Council has included in its agenda the moving of a related motion at its meeting on June 10th. more..

Double disaster

June 7 (SAMN) Chaos, fear and panic shattered the country Friday after twin bus bombings, one south of Colombo and the other close to the hill capital Kandy, left more than 20 killed and 100 injured. In the aftermath of the first blast at Katubedde in Moratuwa, south of Colombo around 7:30 Friday morning a temporary police curfew was imposed and a massive search operation launched in the area. more..

Rival Muslim groups clash in Puttalam

June 7 (SAMN) A mini-battle flared up between two rival political groups in Puttalam Friday afternoon as the two factions living in separate camps for Internally Displaced People (IDP) attacked each other in several areas. The clash began when a large number of supporters of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishad Badurdeen protested against an event presided by SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem in the Madurankuliya area. more..

SL unhappy with UN Special Rapporteur

June 7 (SAMN) Sri Lanka joined India, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Philippines, Bangladesh and Algeria in the Human Rights Council supporting the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, while expressing concerns with regard to the execution of the mandate by the present mandate holder Prof. Philip Alston. more..

Laptops for rural schools: Susil

June 7 (SAMN) The Education Minister said opening up of private universities would have been a reality if there were no protests by political parties and various others. Minister Susil Premajayantha said this when addressing a ceremony on Thursday at Hotel Hilton where ‘One Laptop Per Child Foundation’ (OLPC) came forward to handover 900 Laptops for school children in the rural areas to upgrade the IT knowledge of students. more..

New methodology for social services in Jaffna - Minister Devananda

June 7 (DN) The overall situation prevalent in Jaffna is quite different to what prevails in the other districts. As such the activities that used to be carried out in the past cannot be performed in the same way said Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda. “In Jaffna district, a complete change, needs to be brought about in methodology, of doing things to fall in line with present situation,” more..

Demarcation of special lanes for buses

June 7 (DN) The system of demarcating special lanes for buses to be introduced by the National Transport Commission will be implemented on a trial basis tomorrow at 6.00 a.m. on Bauddhaloka Mawatha from Thunmulla roundabout to Bambalapitiya Junction and from there along Galle Road up to Vajira Road Junction as its first stage, SSP Traffic (Colombo) V.T. Sundaralingam said. Buses leaving Colombo should pass through Thunmulla roundabout, Bullers Road and Bambalapitiya junction to Galle road and more..

Ministers, Govt. employees consume 75% of fuel used

June 7 (DM) The main opposition UNP charged in Parliament yesterday that 75% of the fuel used in the country was consumed by Ministers and the public sector employees while state institutions owe Rs. 44 billion to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). These disclosures were made in the House yesterday by the Kurunegala District UNP MP, Dayasiri Jayasekera and Colombo District MP, Ravi Karunanayake during the debate on the regulation on introducing a Cess levy for unfinished leather goods. more..

Govt. delayed O’level students’ textbooks: JVP

June 7 (DM) The JVP in Parliament yesterday said students who are to sit the Ordinary Level Examination in December are facing severe difficulties at the moment due to the failure on the part of the government to deliver textbooks in time and the inclusion lessons in textbooks not relevant to the syllabus. JVP parliamentary group leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, told the House that the government has introduced this new syllabus for secondary education in 2007. more..

Most air conditioned buildings lack proper ventilation

June 7 (Island) More than 80 per cent of the air conditioned buildings in Colombo, including some of the well known hotels, do not have a proper ventilation system. The shortcoming was exposed after a recent study done by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority. Sustainable Energy Authority Chairman Ananda S. Gunasekera told The Island yesterday that they were now in a position to impose a strict code on buildings that are not environmentally friendly. more..

Govt trying to pass legislation to sell CEB – JVP

June 7 (Island) The JVP yesterday accused the Government of trying to pass new legislation to sell out electricity generation and distribution to the private sector and threatened that they would disrupt sittings if the Bill is taken before the Parliament. "It had earlier been planned to take the Bill on Friday the sixth before Parliament. The Ceylon Electricity Board unions threatened to black out the entire country and now presenting the Bill had been put off until 17th of this month. more..

Sri Lankan 'food security' cannot be taken in isolation: economists

June 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka should have a holistic approach to avert the threat of the household food security of the vulnerable groups due to the prevailing food crisis, officials and economists have said. "Remedial measures are not in the area of agriculture alone. It is in the area of managing our economy in a manner that we can cope with this crisis," Nimal Sandaratne, a senior Sri Lankan economist, said. more..

JVP to take legal action against India being given land in Sampur

June 7 (LT) The JVP has decided to take legal action against the government’s decision to give a large extent of land in Sampur to India said a spokesman for the party. He said already party’s legal section has been asked to take action regarding this. The spokesman said the government is preparing to hand over thousands of acres of land to India while thousands of Tamil and Muslim people who lived in Sampur and more..

Rizana case once again bounces back to Dawdami Court

June 7 (AN) Rizana Nafeek, the young Sri Lankan housekeeper who was found guilty and sentenced to beheading on a charge of murdering an infant in her care, will go back on Monday for a fourth time to the court that sentenced her. The high court of Al-Dawdami, about 220km west of Riyadh, will once again hear oral arguments in the case after the Supreme Judicial Council sent the case back to the provincial high court, more..

LTTE wants India's help to stop military opts

June 7 (PTI) The LTTE, engaged in fierce gun-battles with security forces in the island nation's embattled north, want India to intervene to halt the clashes between the warring sides, a leading daily here has claimed. "As the LTTE is currently facing a series of setbacks in the (rebel stronghold of) Wanni warfront with senior LTTE military leaders killed by the security forces, the LTTE is once again seeking India's help to stop the ongoing military operations," the Daily Mirror said. more..

Teacher severely beats a student once again

June 7 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been informed that a boy, who had been previously beaten by his teacher, was taken to a hospital for his injuries after having been beaten once again. The father of the boy has already made a complaint to the police, but they, instead of conducting a thorough investigation contrary to their own regulations, referred the case for mediation. more..

Police continuously detain and torture a man arrested without charge

June 7 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you that a man has been continuously detained without any charge after having been illegally arrested on 31 May 2008. The victim, who is presently detained at the Theldeniya Police Station, was arrested on the pretext that he had connections with a terrorist group but the police detaining him do not have any evidence. more..

52 arrested in Sri Lanka bus blasts that killed 23

June 7 (AP) Sri Lanka's police have arrested 52 suspects in twin bus bombings that killed 23 passengers and wounded dozens, the military said Saturday. 51 suspects were picked up around Moratuwa, a suburb of Colombo where a roadside bomb ripped through a bus Friday, killing 21 passengers. Another suspect was arrested in Kandy, a central district where a second blast tore through another bus the same day, killing two passengers, he said. more..

'Sinister move' of Colombo disrupting Tamil contiguity at Kokku'laay - TNA MP

June 8 (TN) The Sri Lankan government's cabinet decision on Thursday to bring Kokku'laay, the Tamil coastal village of Northern Province under the administration of the Sinhala dominated Padavi Sripura division of Eastern Province is a "sinister move, officialising the separation of the Tamil contiguity of the North and East," said Tamil parliamentarian Selvam Adaikkalanathan on Saturday. more..

Portrait of an uncommon lady

June 8 (LG) Why have I not written about my mother when she was so exceptional? When I have about my father? So, at 75, its time for me to put it "write". In the 1920s "mixed marriages" were quite unexceptional amongst the emerging intellectual elite. My eldest paternal uncle, from rural Kalegana, Galle, boldly followed his heart. My father followed, marrying a Presbyterian Burgher girl. Kalegana seethed, but Seeya, and Achchi, accepted the inevitable. more..

Stoning From Glass House

June 8 (LG) The Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe when he addressed the members of the Eastern Provincial Councilors yesterday (04) stated that the media has the right to criticize military matters and those who do cannot be considered as "traitors". He also stated that the real "traitors" are those who abandoned their Units, Battalions and the Army and left the country for the United States of America while the others stayed behind and more..

Save the street trees

June 8 (LG) Have you ever looked at the trees beautifully waving their branches, alongside the streets in Colombo, Kandy or any other big city and admired their splendor while walking past them? Most probably not. We unashamedly walk past these trees without even putting a glance to check whether the trees are growing well or not. Most of us forget the fact that these street trees are our best friends. more..

‘Theney hatiyata aney’

June 8 (LG) The debacle of our paddy cultivation demands pragmatic economic policies to make life easy for our citizens. Former President Premadasa realised this fact and set up the Janasaviya apparatus inspite of objections from the World Bank. Former President Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga boldly strengthened Janasaviya into Samurdhi which appears to be the ideal way for a quicker solution to the problems of the rural poor. more..

The real Ranil

June 8 (LG) My memory flashes back to the Bonjean Memorial Hall at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo, where I was lined up as an A’ Level student with my fellow Josephian’s to receive prizes at the Annual Josephian Prize Day, in the year 1981, 27 years ago. In walked our Chief Guest, youthful, unassuming and elegantly clad, Minister of Education, Ranil Wickremesinghe. During his address to us, I vividly remember how he emphasized the value of youth, and how well he enunciated that the youth of today are the future of Sri Lanka. more..

'Sri Lankan war heroes will be remembered as fighters against international terrorism'

June 8 (AT) The Sri Lankan war heroes who are fighting to safeguard a parliamentary democracy from Fascist agents of terror will be also remembered as heroes fighting to put a stop to international terrorism said President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka. Celebrating the national War Heroes Day near the parliamentary complex in the historic Jayawardhanapura near Colombo, June 7, the President said, more..

Please Save the Children!

June 8 (AT) The worst thing about abuse, and especially child abuse, is that on most occasions the crimes are perpetrated by people the victim’s look to for love and protection and indeed those who profess to love and protect their victims, look after their interests fight for their ‘birthright’, redress their ‘grievances’ and deliver their ‘aspirations’. Like Prabhakaran and his Baby Brigade. It is a phenomenon that is not entirely limited to child abuse of course. more..

SLA desperate to capture Vanni and the LTTE, Jaffna

June 8 (IL) The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) is desperate for a quick military victory and will want to achieve that by capturing the LTTE-held Vanni region. However, the LTTE continues to make things difficult for the SLA as they continue to fight on all four-fronts, namely: Mannaar in the west; Vavuniyaa in the south; Manalaaru (Welioya) in the east; and, Muhamaalai in the north. more..

Don't visit Colombo, Ganeson tells Tamils of NorthEast

June 8 (FI) Mano Ganeson, leader of Western People’s Front (WPF) and the Convener of Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC) said in a media release Saturday, has appealed to the Tamil civilians travelling from NorthEast to stay away from Colombo and the South as both areas are "unsafe and insecure for Tamil civilians." Full text of the media release follows: Capitol Colombo and south in general are unsafe and insecure for Tamil civilians traveling from north and eastern provinces. more..

Democracy, Human Rights and Peace

June 8 (FI) Last month (May 2008) was momentous as the happenings indicated clearly the political nature of the crisis in Sri Lanka that has its roots in the unscrupulous opportunistic politics of rival political parties since the mid 1950s, when the contest for power became the main feature of the democratic process. Their main concern while in government focused on consolidating the power gained and when more..

Bruce Fein threaten to sue the Rajapakse regime for defamation

June 8 (LG) I was pained to discover that you have been deceived by your spies and informants about the Bruce Fein Project (BFP) and Tamils for Justice (TFJ) in posting the polemic, "Bruce Fein—A Carrion Bird of LTTE Terrorism." You might wish to consider discharging your intelligence network to save your Ministry a treasure trove of money with no loss in information because everything done by Tamils for Justice is disclosed on its website free of charge. more..

Demonstration in front of the Commonwealth Secretariat

June 8 (LG) A mass demonstration has been organized by the Tamil democratic activists in the UK on 10 (Tuesday) June 2008 in front of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 9HX to condemn the visit of President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse who will be participating in the Inter Parliamentary Union Meeting. The demonstration has been organized by the Group for Justice and Equality and in its statement widely distributed in London the group more..

Call to all political leaders to wakeup to save the Country

June 8 (LG) The Tamil United Liberation Front very strongly condemns the LTTE for causing the death of 22 innocent civilians and also for causing grievous injuries to over sixty others by targeting a crowded bus – with a claymore mine. This is the third major incident in a week and the sixth in one month, taking a toll of 112 lives and injuring over 348 innocent people. How many more such incidents will take place God only knows? more..

Engineering ethics, Sampoor power and civilian trauma

June 8 (LG) When we passed out as engineers in the early 1970s, it had been impressed upon us that an engineer was not only a decision maker, but also fully responsible to the community at large for his actions. Those of us at Peradeniya were confident that our faculty gave us the best possible training in the world and we would do her proud in anywhere we served. At the Engineering Students’ Union we were able to discuss communally divisive issues, like language-wise standardisation, amicably. more..

Memorial meeting condemn LTTE murder

June 8 (LG) A memorial meeting for the murdered human rights campaigner Maheswary Valautham was held on 7th Of June 2008 – Saturday, Quakers Meeting House, Bush Road, Wanstead, London, E11 3AU. Over one hundred prominent Tamil activists including LTTE sympathisers participated in the meeting. Speakers after speakers condemned the murder and blamed the LTTE bandits for her death and urged the importance of ending the guns dictating the politics in Sri Lanka. more..

Govt. appoints 6 outsiders to foreign diplomatic missions

June 8 (LD) The government has reportedly decided to give overseas diplomatic postings to six outsiders to the foreign and diplomatic services, including a brother of Minister Maithripala Sirisena. According to 'Ravaya' newspaper, the cabinet has decided on April 25th to appoint these persons. S.N. Sanjiva Perera and Sanjiva Jayawardena are to be sent as Third Secretaries at the Sri Lankan embassies in New York and Berlin. more..

Welfare items for troops from JVP's decentralized allocations

June 8 (LD) Several JVP MPs and provincial councilors have distributed welfare items among security forces personnel by using funds from their decentralized allocations for 2007. Among the items given to the 224 Brigade Headquarters at Sinhapura, 223 Brigade Headquarters at Welioya, 211 Brigade Headquarters at Janakapura, 59 Brigade and the STF camp at Yakawewa, Kebithigollewa are electric lamps, wires, CDMA telephones and office equipment. more..

Heart patients in peril as essential drug not available

June 8 (LD) Heart patients seeking treatment at leading state hospitals are severely inconvenienced due to the non-availability of the essential but costly amiodarone tablet, 'Ravaya' reports quoting Secretary of the Government Medical Officers Association Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya. Prescribed for irregular heartbeat, this drug is sold in the local market at between Rs. 55 and Rs. 65 per tablet, he said. more..

'Elections in Sri Lanka to be held according to schedule'

June 8 (AT) Elections in Sri Lanka will be held according to the schedule. There is no need to advance the date of any elections. Minister Mithripala Srisena , General Secretary of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party speaking to Asian Tribune said that there is no need for the Government to change the schedules of the elections in the country. He said that the elections for almost all the seven Provincial Councils will be held in 2009, according to the schedule. more..

Visa process made easy for senior foreigners

June 8 (GDI) A special resident visa scheme will be introduced to the senior foreign nationals expecting live in Sri Lanka after their retirement, the Government announced. Accordingly the Government has given the approval to the Department of Immigration and Emigration to implement the new visa scheme to the foreign nationals on arrival to the island. The Department expects its new scheme would attract more senior foreign nationals to the country with more..

Enemy's days are numbered - Army Chief

June 8 (GDI) Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka said yesterday that his troops on the Welioya front were making rapid progress and there was a high degree of confidence among them that they would be able to completely vanquish the enemy. The 59th Division on the offensive on the Vanni East had been able to gradually turn the battle to its advantage after a series of major engagements in the general area north of Janakapura, quoting Army Chief a local news paper reported on Sunday (08). more..

Sri Lankan unions want Harry as Chairman

June 8 (LNP) Several SriLankan Airlines unions are lobbying for the re-appointment of Mr. Harry Jayawardena as the Chairman of the national carrier and have met Ports and Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapakse in this connection. Six trade unions claimed that the incumbent SriLankan Chairman, Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera, had indicated that he could devote only `one hour of his time` a day to the airline as he was tied up at the Treasury. more..