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Travel clamp for people in North

June 8 (SAMN) Civilians in the North will be required to obtain Police passes to travel to Colombo or other areas in the south under new security measures introduced by the government in the wake of the recent bomb attacks in Colombo and the outstations. This requirement will apply to those living in the districts of Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, police sources said, adding that those wishing to travel will be required to make a written application to more..

Govt. won't disarm paramilitary groups

June 8 (SAMN) The government has indicated that it will not disarm paramilitary groups and allow them to be slaughtered by the LTTE. The government's policy on the disarming of paramilitary groups was reflected in a response to the religious superiors of the CMRS (Conference of Major Religious Superiors) on Friday by Secretary-General, Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha. more..

JVP vows to short circuit power bill

June 8 (SAMN) The JVP Saturday vowed to disrupt parliamentary proceedings and even defeat the government if it presented the Sri Lanka Electricity Draft Bill in parliament for approval. The proposed Bill, to be taken up in Parliament on June 17 envisages doing away with the monopoly enjoyed by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and inviting the partnership of the private sector in power generation and distribution. more..

Threat of disease now looms

June 8 (SAMN) Flood waters which displaced nearly 300,000 persons and left 27 dead in its wake last week are receding. However, health officials have raised fears of a possibility of an outbreak of water-borne diseases on an epidemic scale. Dr. Sudath Pieris Epidemiologist, of the Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit said there was a threat of diseases like Typhoid, diarrhoea, Hepatitis A and Leptopirosis (rat fever) spreading. more..

Sonar case hits stormy waters

June 8 (SL) The Sri Lanka Navy and the SLPA are at loggerheads over a recent sonar procurement, and the nature of the dispute could compromise national security. We are highlighting the matter in the national interest, so that the President, as Defence Minister, can take appropriate action, and not earn the ire of being branded as 'traitors' by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse. more..

Taking cover under the war and threat of losing GSP Plus

June 8 (SL) While Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse declared war on the media and opened another human rights front for President Mahinda Rajapakse to deal with at a time Sri Lanka was dangerously close to losing the GSP Plus facility over its rights record, the opposition turned the heat on by taking to the streets last week over the rising cost of living and media freedom issues vowing to fight on until the administration is brought to its knees. more..

Internal split a govt. bogey says UNP

June 8 (SL) The UNP has accused the government of attempting to divert the masses' attention from its failures by spreading falsehoods of an internal crisis within the party and moves to oust the leadership. UNP Parliamentarians Ravi Karunanayake, Johnston Fernando and Lakshman Seneviratne have said that the government that is now losing face with the people has resorted to the only option left to save itself - to divert the attention of the public by making false statements that the UNP was faced with a crisis. more..

Wimal and Nandana clash over

June 8 (SL) Wimal Weerawansa closed the chapter of his life in the JVP after claiming to the country that he has now entered a new political path. Weerawansa together with JVP defector Nandana Gunathileka formed a new political party, the National Freedom Front (NFF). However, Weerawansa's political life and family life with wife Shirsha "Sashi" Udayanthi are intertwined. Sashi proved this fact with her behaviour at the ceremony held to launch the NFF. more..

Recalling Moratuwa’s claymore calamity

June 8 (LB) Death cries mingled with screaming and wailing rent the air while onlookers raised cries of bombayak, bombayak as the passenger bus No.29 Sri 1885 was blown up in a claymore mine explosion just a few hundred metres from the University of Moratuwa. The bus which was caught in the blast moved forward for nearly 50 metres and then came to an automatic halt. As the bus came to a halt there were about 25 passngers bleeding in the bus, more..

No liquor... and no water, either!

June 8 (LB) They threw a peduru party on May 30, after the chief ministers’ meeting in Badulla. Eastern Province Chief Minister Pillayan joined ministers and officials of all other provincial councils at the Pelagahatenna Management Training Centre in Passara to make merry. Liquor flowed freely but Pillayan put his foot down and said no to booze. Taking up a one-and-a-half litre bottle of soda, he went around the room filling the glasses of all chief ministers with the beverage. more..

Conserve fuel or perish fast

June 8 (LB) There is no way out - fuel prices aren’t going anywhere but up. The government is groping around for solutions and some proposals have proved more complicated than the problem. For instance, a suggestion to reduce the number of school days from five to four a week was shot down by cabinet last week as impractical. But other ideas are being looked at. more..

Twin horror

June 8 (LB) Last week, we cautioned that the explosion which ripped through a crowded compartment of the Maradana-Panadura train was only the tip of the iceberg of a much larger terror plot. Then the regular recovery of explosives was disturbing proof that Tiger cells in the city are far from being dismantled. Our warnings have sadly come true at a heavy cost of lives as two deadly explosions on Friday killed twenty three and injured over a hundred. more..

Nourishing the nation

June 8 (SO) Health is wealth - “Arogya paraman dhanan” - the simple yet deep truth that will never fade away from this earth. Health is precious. It is a phenomenon where you value it when you loose it. With the slightest mistake a person will lose his or her health instantly. Though we always see this in a very personal angle the issue can create devastations to a country if not properly taken care of. more..

Lanka better off to eliminate child labour

June 8 (SO) Sri Lanka can eliminate child labour since it has a favourable environment to do so compared to other regional countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, said the former Chairman, National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) and Adviser NCPA Dr. Hiranthi Wijemanne. She said that eliminating child labour should be everyone’s business. In Sri Lanka over half of the children who work are below 15 years and 95 per cent of them are from the rural areas, she said. more..

Drive against mosquitoes in flood-hit areas

June 8 (SO) An islandwide program to clear mosquito breeding grounds in flood affected areas will be launched by the Health Ministry from tomorrow. The Health Ministry will seek the assistance of all Divisional Secretariats, Pradeshiya Sabhas, hospitals and health centres in the country to make the program a success. Schoolchildren in flood affected areas will assist the Health Ministry’s mosquito eradication program following a request by Minister De Silva from Zonal Educational Divisions. more..

Law has become an expensive commodity

June 8 (SO) Deputy Minister of Justice and Law Reforms Vadivel Puthirasigamoney, addressing a seminar on Security of the People and Law Enforcement said that the law in this country has become an expensive commodity, which the common man find it extremely difficult to reach. He said only those who are able to pay high fees and retain eminent counsel could reach justice. Hence, he said that legal awareness programs should be promoted among the masses to dispense justice and fairplay among all. more..

CPC, Mihin lock horns

June 8 (NS) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Mihin Lanka have locked horns over the non-payment of debts. Casting a dampener on Mihin Lanka’s plans to resume flights in July after acquiring aircraft on a lease basis, CPC Chairman Asantha de Mel said the CPC would not supply fuel any further to Mihin Lanka until the budget carrier pays for the fuel it obtained earlier on credit. “Mihin Lanka owes the CPC around Rs. 645 million. more..

Enough time for GSP+, says GL

June 8 (NS) There would be no delay in the submission of the written application to the European Union (EU) for the renewal of GSP+ tariff concessionary scheme, International Trade Minister Professor G.L. Peiris told The Nation. “There are 15 countries that are presently benefiting from the EU’s GSP+ and none of them has submitted their written applications yet. There is no point in submitting the application prematurely,” Minister Peiris said. more..

UNP’s strategies going nowhere

June 8 (NS) For many months now, the opposition United National Party (UNP) has been trying to get its act together. It hoped for a revival of its fortunes with the Eastern provincial elections but it was not to be, allegations of vote rigging notwithstanding. And now, the country’s major opposition party has launched a series of campaigns against the government, hoping to capture the imagination of the masses. more..

UNP’s internal conflict escalates

June 8 (NS) The internal conflict within the UNP took another twist when plans to appoint S.B. Dissanayake as the deputy leader of the party surfaced. The move has created much dissension among the top ranks in the party. There is a strong belief among the faction that supports former MP Dissanayake that the Human Rights Commission in Geneva would favourably respond to the HR case filed by Dissanayake to win back his civic rights. more..

As war in the North heightens India to play more proactive role in Sri Lanka

June 8 (Island) India is to play a more proactive role in Sri Lanka with the war in the North gathering momentum and frequency of LTTE bomb explosions in the South increasing. Political sources said that the Indian invitation extended to Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to visit Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi was aimed at forging a Sri Lankan consensus on resolving the country’s long drawn out ethnic conflict. more..

Jeyaraj’s widow debunks JVP theory on assassination

June 8 (Island) Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, the widow of slain government frontline minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle yesterday said there was no doubt the LTTE had assassinated her husband. "There was absolutely no doubt about the LTTE’s hand," Mrs. Fernandopulle told The Sunday Island yesterday, regretting the JVP had felt it be advantageous to raise an issue for political gain. more..

Make credit pass in English compulsory for campus admission - ACUET

June 8 (Island) The All Ceylon Union of English Teachers (ACUET) has proposed that a credit pass in English or any other foreign language be made compulsory for admission to a University. In a letter to the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Secretary General of ACUET, Stanley Perera proposed that some research be done to assess the amount of reading material available on the national languages at university level in various subjects. more..

Fuel consumption must be sharply cut says CPC chief

June 8 (Island) As the country struggled to come to terms with escalating prices of essential items including food and services, CPC Chairman Asantha de Mel yesterday warned of an economic catastrophe unless tangible action was taken immediately to cut down on fuel consumption sharply. Failure to address this issue and continuation of subsidies would be disastrous, he said. more..

Rajiv probe leads CBI to Germany

June 8 (TT) Even after 17 years, the CBI has not left its pursuit to unravel the conspiracy behind the killing of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and recently an agency team was here seeking banking details of alleged LTTE financier Kumaran Padmanathan. Diplomatic sources here said that CBI Director Vijay Shanker held talks with his German counterpart and Federal agency Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) chief Jorg Ziercke. more..

Weapons not enough to fight militancy in Sri Lanka, says President

June 8 (PTI) Acknowledging the contribution of Sri Lanka's armed forces in fighting "international terrorism", President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said giving democratic rights to the Tamils in LTTE strongholds was vital for ending militancy in the region. "Our War Heroes are fighting with sacrifice of their lives to mark a full stop in Sri Lanka to international terrorism," Rajapaksa said, more..

Sri Lankans live on the edge as rebels turn war on civilians

June 8 (AFP) Each time Indika Jayawickrema uses public transport, his wife Chamindri anxiously waits for a telephone call to let her know he has safely reached his destination. His journey is one that has become more risky recently as a wave of bomb attacks targeting civilians sweeps through Sri Lanka, which is in the midst of 36-year-old civil war. "With a 10,000 rupee (93 dollar) monthly pay, an infant and a wife to maintain, I can only afford the bus," more..

'IPL is the world's best tournament'

June 9 (IANS) Hailing the opportunity to open with Sachin Tendulkar at the recently concluded Indian Premier League as "a big achievement", Sri Lanka's dashing opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya has said he had "learnt a lot" from the maestro. "I found that even after being in the game for a long time I still had a lot to learn by talking to Sachin. His cricket knowledge was amazing," Jayasuriya said more..

Sri Lanka: Nationalisms at war

June 9 (HN) Nationalism is a double-edged sword. It is a benign yet potent force when it is expressed as a sense of belonging to a community of people defined by a territory and the history that goes with it. But when it is expressed as a sense of community of a shared ethnicity, religion or imagined history it often becomes corrosive and divisive. Unfortunately nationalism is increasingly defined in terms of the latter and recent instances abound. more..

Govt henchmen attacked on JVP protest campaign

June 9 (LG) A protest campaign held by the JVP at Arachchikattuwa in Chilaw District against the escalating prices of essential commodities was attacked by a gang of thugs lead by Sanath Nishanthe, member of the government party of North western Provincial Council, in this morning. According to the JVP sources, North Central Provincial Councilor from the party Sithara Nonis organized the demonstration to urge the government to bring down the high cost of commodities. more..

Over 40 kgs of ammunition unearthed in Tamil Nadu

June 9 (LG) Over 40 kgs of ammunition used for AK 47 and 3.3 model pistols were seized by police on SIPCOT campus near Gummudipundi yesterday. Investigations are on to assert whether the ammunition was kept for supply to LTTE, as a refugee camp was located nearby. Police said there were many scrap melting units on SIPCOT campus. The units were used to segregate the metal which was mostly imported through ships. more..

Kandy lamissi to Beijing

June 9 (LG) Twenty three year old Thilini Jayasinghe is a product of Mahamaya College, Kandy who has been shortlisted to take part in the Olympics in Beijing. Jayasinghe is the first ever woman shuttler in Sri Lanka to take part in Olympics. She had a feeling that participating in Olympics would be out of bound for her since she was not within the required ranking of the World Badminton Federation. more..

Wanted a Code of Conduct for Tsars, Commissars and Press Barons

June 9 (LG) Two Lake House journalists Sanath Balasuriya and Poddala Jayantha, president and secretary of the Working Journalists' Union respectively, made a giant leap for Sri Lankan journalism when they stood their ground and defended their right to criticise the government before Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse and Chairman, Lake House, Bandula Padmakumara. Taken by Padmakumara before Rajapakse they were told that as 'state employees' they had no right to criticise the government and more..

Is JVP same as UNP?

June 9 (LG) Wimal Weerawansa made an emotional speech at the Parliament revealing that he has been discriminated against by the party. JVP (former) Propaganda Secretary in a press conference said that the JVP has fallen to forces of imperialism. Meanwhile,. eleven MPs led by Kalutara District MP Piyasiri Wijenayake, called a news conference in support of the statement made by Weerawansa earlier in the day in Parliament. more..

70000 Fishermen 'loose livelihood'

June 9 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government says that fishermen’s difficulties will continue till the war continues. The problems faced by the fishermen in the north will go on till the war in the country continues says Minister for Social Development and Member Douglas Devananda. While admitting that the fishermen are facing severe difficulties in Jaffna area, he says the solution to their issues is linked with the war in the country. more..

Government to the defence of Military- President

June 9 (BBC) Sri Lankan military is not only engaged in battling terrorism but also to protect and safe guard the human rights says the President of Sri Lanka. Addressing the public at the National War Heroes Day celebration, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the government have a right to reply to the allegations made against Sri Lankan security forces. The National War Heroes Day celebration was held at the grounds near the parliament in Sri Jayawardhanapura, Kotte. more..

'COI lacks funding'- Commissioner

June 9 (BBC) The president's fund has not provided the funding to facilitate video conferencing to obtain evidence from the witnesses living abroad says the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) investigating serious human rights abuses. Chairman of the commission retired Justice Nissanka Udalagama told BBC Sandeshaya that the President Fund has informed the commission that it will not provide the money at present for video conferencing. more..

Main challenge country now faces is to identify strategies employed by LTTE - NLF

June 9 (AT) The National Freedom Front which headed by former JVP members points out that the main challenge the country now faces is to correctly identify strategies employed by the LTTE due to its severe defeat and respond to these strategies appropriating. The party points out that the present moment is not a suitable occasion to act based on various other agendas. more..

Sri Lankan Expatriates Worldwide Commemorate Ranaviru

June 9 (AT) June 7th is National Ranaviru Remembrance day in Sri Lanka. On this day, a very solemn National Ranaviru Commemoration Ceremony is held with the incumbent President participating as the Chief Guest. Rana Viru Seva Authority was formed in the year 2000 by President Chandrika Kumaratunga and she declared June 7th as the Ranaviru Commemoration Day. more..

Sinnah Jeyam reveals of Pillaiyan’s Vow

June 9 (AT) Nagalingham Thiraviyam, also called Sinnah Jeyam, said that Chanthirakanthan Sivanesathurai, alias Pillaiyan vowed not to marry and settle in life, until the LTTE is chased out of the East. Sinnah Jeyam, one of the senior commanders of the TVMP and also one of the three elected members of the East Provincial Council from the Batticaloa district, when contacted said that it was Chanthirakanthan who was mainly responsible for organizing and building up the TMVP as a democratic organization. more..

President arrives in London for Commonwealth Summit

June 9 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in London this morning to participate at a special Commonwealth Summit where a group of leaders will discuss reform of international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The summit, to be chaired by Gordon Brown will take place at the Marlborough House, London on June 9 and 10. The meeting will focus on practical steps which Commonwealth member states can take to achieve reform and coherence of global institutions. more..

Sri Lanka is seized by terror -Ranil

June 9 (AA) Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Sunday said the frequent bomb attacks on civilians demonstrated that the war against terror had failed in Sri Lanka, even as the Mahinda Rajapakse government has been claiming gains over the Tamil Tigers in the northern battlefronts. Referring to the spurt in bomb blasts across the war-ravaged island, Mr Wickremesinghe said only a responsive government would be able to contain terrorism but the Rajapakse regime fell short in meeting the challenge. more..

Latest fighting kills 20 rebels, 6 soldiers

June 9 (AP) Government troops attacked Tamil Tiger rebels across Sri Lanka's northern front lines Sunday, triggering a battle that killed 20 of the separatist guerrillas and six soldiers, the military said. Soldiers pushed into rebel-held territory in the northern Welioya area and attacked insurgents, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara. The ensuing battle killed 20 guerrillas and six soldiers, Nanayakkara said. He said 35 rebels and 18 soldiers were wounded. more..

UN urges greater protection of civilians after bombs kill 24

June 9 (IRIN) The UN has renewed calls for increased protection of unarmed civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law after two attacks on 6 June targeted civilian buses, eight hours apart, leaving 24 dead and more than 80 injured. In the first attack, a bus full of morning commuters was hit at around 7.30am by a Claymore mine-type explosion at Katubedda, a suburb 15km south of the capital, Colombo. more..

Port terminal concession re-offered by July: official

June 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka has re-appointed project committees to award a container terminal concession to expand Colombo port, with fresh bids expected to be called by end-July, a top official said. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) plans to market the new terminal "aggressively", its chairman Saliya Wickramasuriya said. "The SLPA board will meet soon to discuss our requirements for the proposed offering and how to market it effectively to international players," he said. more..

Peace waiting for a chance in war-torn Sri Lanka

June 9 (Dawn) It has been nearly three weeks since former LTTE member Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, now the deputy leader of the pro-government paramilitary-cum-political group, the TMVP, was appointed chief minister of the war-scarred eastern province of Sri Lanka. Home to a majority of Muslim population, the east has seen much violence since this controversial appointment by President Mahinda Rajapakse, with at least 15 Muslims abducted and around eight killed triggering clashes more..

RSF: Restore trust to the government’s relations with the press

June 9 (TC) Reporters Without Borders condemns a defence ministry campaign against independent news media, especially journalists who cover military affairs. The ministry’s website is carrying virulent attacks on journalists critical of the government, accusing them of being in cahoots with the “terrorist enemy,” the Tamil Tiger rebels. “While the civil war continues to claim innocent victims in both communities, more..

Two more bombs kill 25 civilians in Sri Lanka

June 9 (wsws) Two bomb blasts targeting buses in Sri Lanka killed at least 25 people and injured around 100 more last Friday. They were the fourth and fifth explosions to occur within a week in the southern parts of the island. One bomb hit a bus travelling from Kottawa to Mt. Lavinia at about 7:30 a.m., between the University of Moratuwa and Katubedda junction in the southern suburbs of Colombo. more..

Talking to Tamil Nadu: Talking to Colombo

June 9 (LG) Two statements in twice as many days from the LTTE and therein lies an irony. The first one is an appeal to the people of Tamil Nadu, in neighbouring India, for the "people to rise in solidarity with our cause". The second one is an insistence on the Sri Lankan Government facilitating Norway's revived facilitation if the LTTE has to return to the negotiations table. more..

Time to tame Terrorism

June 9 (LG) The two bomb attacks by the LTTE on the 06th June 2008, on innocent unarmed civilians travelling in buses at Katubedda near Colombo, and at Polgolla near Kandy, which killed and injured scores of people, we fervently hope, will not be soon forgotten as yet another statistic in the crowded catalogue of atrocities committed by the terror organisation to date. The purpose of writing this is to more..