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NPC: Safeguarding civilians is primary calling of both parties

June 9 (TC) In recent days the region around Colombo has been subjected to bomb attacks suspected to be by the LTTE against civilian targets. The most recent was the claymore mine that targeted a bus on Friday in Moratuwa which killed at least 22 persons and injured over 70. This attack represented a step up in the technology utilized, as the bomb was set off by remote controlled means. more..

Sri Lankan Muslims donated three containers items to gaza

June 9 (MG) Sri Lankan Muslims have responded generously to the "Palestine Donation Campaign", initiated by the Sri Lanka Committee for Solidarity with Palestine and its partner organizations (Jama’ath-e-Islami, Al-Kafala, Al-Muslimath, Palestine friendship society and MFCD. The campaign was therefore completed successfully. The Donation sub-committee headed by the Sri Lanka Jama'ath-e-Islami, carried out a historic donation collection in Sri Lanka in order to send another country. more..

SLMC challenges TMVP to public debate on east

June 9 (MG) The SLMC yesterday challenged TMVP Leader and Eastern province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan to come for a public debate on the current situation in the East. This challenge was made by the party in a statement yesterday. The party said in the statement it is the people in the East who have lost the Eastern Provincial Council as they were brain washed with communalism. more..

Tigers back to the East?

June 9 (MG) Two separate incidents involving the LTTE were reported from the recently liberated eastern Province over the weekend. In one incident ten Muslims who had been abducted in Pothuvil area by an unidentified gang were released on Saturday. They told Pothuvil police that they were abducted by the LTTE and detained in a camp. Pothuvil police with the help of the security forces were conducting inquiries to trace the location of the camp. more..

Govt. should go for ceasefire – Lakshman Kiriella

June 9 (LD) The government should go for a ceasefire agreement immediately, as the continuing war would only irrevocably damage the future of Sri Lanka, says leader of the UNP media unit, MP Lakshman Kiriella. Speaking at a media briefing in Colombo today (June 09th), Mr. Kiriella said the Army camps that were refortified during the UNP regime are under threat at present. more..

Oil attack on JVP protest against assault

June 9 (LD) A protest organized by the JVP at Aarachchikattuwa town in Chilaw against yesterday's assault on a party demonstration at the same location, came under an engine oil attack today. As today’s protest was nearing its end, North Central Province councilor Sanath Nishantha and several others have arrived in the scene in a tipper and hurled engine oil at the protestors, JVP sources said. Subsequently, another group had thrown stones at the protestors. more..

Polonnaruwa milk plant commences operations tomorrow

June 9 (GDI) The Polonnaruwa milk products processing factory which had remained virtually closed is to get back to production with effect from June 10. This factory which had been producing the then famous "Perakum Condensed Milk" was privatized in 1980, and gradually ceased to function. With renewed interest in promoting local dairy farming especially in the face of the ever increasing prices of milk powder and other dairy products, more..

LTTE exploits Indian 'Parcel Offices' for smuggling

June 9 (GDI) The LTTE has exploited the Indian 'parcel offices' to smuggle contraband for the outfit, reports from Indian police officials informs. The tight security along the coastal belts of India has forced the supporters of the terrorist otufit to adopt into new ways and means to assist the LTTE in supplying items from India. The items are usually sent by parcel to Ramanathapuram from where they would be smuggled to the LTTE, an official of the Q-Branch, more..

What`s up the JVP`s sleeve?

June 9 (LNP) Whenever the Tigers fight their way into a cul-de-sac, they find an escape route through the southern political front. The Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was about to make mincemeat of the Tigers, when the JVP stepped up its terror campaign demanding that the Premadasa government send the Indian army back. The late President Ranasinghe Premadasa, who, too, had promised to do so, chose to use the LTTE against the IPKF. more..

Lankans beat Bangladesh 1-0 tops Group `B`

June 9 (LNP) Sri Lanka made their way to the semi final of the 7th SAFF Championship yesterday when they defeated Bangladesh in a hotly contested game at the Sugathadasa Stadium under lights, one goal to nil. This match was the best contested one in the Group B. Sri Lanka will now clash with Maldives who were placed runners-up in Group A. In the meantime Bhutan too qualified to play in the semi final against India, the Group A leaders, in Maldives. more..

Croatian muscle for Lankan Navy

June 9 (SAMN) Sri Lanka and Croatia are exploring the possibility of setting up a joint venture to build ships for the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN). Authoritative sources said Navy Commander Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda during a recent visit to Croatia had discussed the proposed venture which would also involve the Colombo Dockyard Limited (CDL). Karannagoda’s visit had been preceded by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake’s tour of Croatia, more..

Two PCs to be dissolved soon

June 9 (SAMN) The government is to dissolve the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils (PCs) next week and go for elections, informed sources said Sunday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had a meeting with the Chief Ministers of the two provinces and Provincial Ministers to seek their consent to declare elections to the councils. Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister, Mahipala Herath and North Central Chief Minister, Bertie Premalal Dissanayake had given their approval for an election at this stage, more..

JVP reiterates islandwide strike threat

June 9 (SAMN) The next couple of weeks would be very crucial for the economy as the unionists have come up with a menacing threat of a general strike. Key economic institutions in the public, private and estate sectors urged the government to take steps to avert a crisis. JVP trade union wing leader MP K.D. Lalkantha said Sunday they were going for a general strike in case the government did not agree to a Rs 5000 pay hike for all employees by June 16. more..

No private universities due to polices

June 9 (SAMN) Education Minister Susil Premajayanth has attributed the difficulties in setting up private universities to the present-day politics. Speaking at a function to distribute laptop computers among students selected from several schools, the minister said parents demanded to know from the government why no private universities could be set up. more..

Moves to remove CTB, private bus fare anomalies

June 9 (DN) Moves are under way to remove bus fare anomalies between private and CTB busses. The Government was compelled to increase the price of fuel following a sudden increase in the world crude oil price, Transport Ministry sources said. The Government granted permission to increase private bus fares by 27.2 per cent and CTB bus fares by 17 per cent following the crude oil price hike. more..

Rs 25 million for co-op movement in Jaffna

June 9 (DN) Rs. 25 million will be channelled to strengthen the Jaffna co-operative machinery, Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda said. The funds will be utilised to improve the co-operatives to ensure quality service to customers at competitive prices on par with private sector, a Ministry release said. Minister made these remarks when he met representatives from Point Pedro Multi-purpose Co-operative Society of Jaffna, more..

SPC discontinues medicine supply to navy

June 9 (Island) Controversy surrounds a decision by the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) to stop the supply of medicine to the Navy over the non-payment of bills. The navy said the SPC’s decision had caused a serious disruption at medical facilities where officers and men were denied proper treatment. The SPC said that the navy had failed to settle bills for several years. The navy said the officers and men must not be denied medical facilities. more..

'Lanka confident of tapping USD 9 billion Fund to enhance food production'

June 9 (Island) The government yesterday expressed confidence that it would be able to secure World Bank assistance to increase food production to overcome what Agrarian Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena called an impending food crisis. Sirisena said the World Bank had allocated USD 9 billion for this purpose against the backdrop of the recent Rome meeting, where the international community discussed ways and means of meeting the challenge. more..

Tsunami relief material in Mayor’s official residence

June 9 (DM) The crisis-ridden Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is in for another fiasco with the recovery of Rs. 3.5 million worth of tsunami relief material donated by the US government in Mayor’s official residence in Marcus Fernando Mawatha Colombo. The stock of material which contained boots, bed sheets, blankets and jackets were found on Sunday evening at his residence while another stock was found at another building which belonged to the CMC. more..

Polgolla tragedy: Driver, conductor remanded

June 9 (DM) The driver and the conductor of the ill-fated Polgolla bus were produced in court and remanded for neglecting their responsibility to check the bags and parcels of the passengers, Police Media Spokesman, Ranjith Gunasekara said. Transport Minister, Dullas Alahapperuma said the ministry had earlier issued circulars providing guidelines to the bus operators on security measures. more..

Turkey condemns terrorist attack in Sri Lanka

June 9 (TZ) The Turkish Foreign Ministry has condemned a terrorist attack in Sri Lanka that killed 21 people and injured 47 others on Friday. The ministry stated on Monday that Turkey was deeply concerned over the terrorist attack that was staged in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. Turkey offered its condolences to relatives of victims as well as to the Sri Lankan government.

Education fair to guide future minds

June 9 (LBO) An education fair to guide post-secondary education students find appropriate opportunities for further studies which are oriented to current economic needs will kick off on June 27, its organizers said. The 'Future Minds' national education and carrier exhibition will be on for three days at the BMICH. The Junior Old Boys Association of Nalanda College, which is organizing the exhibition, says a World Bank study has found that net tertiary education enrolment in Sri Lanka is about 11 percent. more..

Fighting dirty in Sri Lanka

June 9 (AT) A series of bomb blasts in buses and trains in southern Sri Lanka in recent weeks has drawn attention to the increased targeting of civilians by the LTTE. While the terrorist acts of the LTTE have been widely reported, the Lankan government's targeting and terrorizing of civilians - Tamil and Sinhalese - has gone by largely unnoticed in the international media. On Friday, 20 people were killed and over 80 injured when a roadside bomb hit a bus in the capital Colombo during morning rush hour. more..

War fears drag shares down 0.3 pct

June 10 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares dipped 0.3 percent on Monday as growing concern over deteriorating security following a string of bombings kept investors away. The Colombo All-Share index .CSE fell 6.93 points or 0.28 percent to 2,492.68. "There were security concerns among investors, there is caution on trading at this moment," said Hussain Ghani, assistant director at Asia Securities. more..

Eco-tourism saves Sri Lanka’s elephants

June 10 (AB) Eco-tourism in Sri Lanka is thriving according to the SLTPB as is evident from a series of sustainable tourism projects in the island nation. A case in point is Sri Lanka's elephant orphanage at Pinnawela which is breeding elephants in captivity in a sprawling 25-acre coconut plantation. "The elephant population in Sri Lanka was being decimated to near extinction by the natural loss of their habitat, the hunting due to the lucrative ivory trade and lack of proper management," more..

Bandula Warnapura joins ACC

June 10 (YS) Bandula Warnapura, the former Sri Lankan captain, has been appointed development manager of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). Warnapura will continue his current position as director of operations with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) till the end of this month, before relocating to Malaysia. "I got an offer from the ACC for the development manager's post which was almost the same work that I had been doing with SLC," Warnapura said. more..

Youth Unrest and Inter-group Conflict

June 10 (LG) Two considerations provide the main impulse for this study. The first of these is the scant attention that is paid in existing scholarly writings to the connection between ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and the phenomenon of ‘youth unrest’, despite the importance accorded in many recent works on major political turbulences elsewhere in the world to the demographic and sociological characteristics of the youth. more..

Govt condemns Ganeshan’s irresponsible statement

June 10 (GDI) Presidential Secretariat has expressed regret over the statement made by Mr. Mano Ganeshan calling Tamil people of the north and east to keep out of Colombo. Presidential Secretariat issuing a statement said “it is regretted that Mr. Ganeshan, by this statement, has thought it fit to create unnecessary fear among the Tamil community, which by design or not, can only further the cause of those seeking to promote communal hatred,” more..

Protest as president in London

June 10 (BBC) The Amnesty International (AI) has expressed hope that Sri Lanka president would take measures to protect human rights as international concern increases on rights violations. South Asia director of the AI, Sam Zarifi, said the government should understand that Sri Lanka is ‘not forgotten’ by the international community. The AI organised a demonstration in front of Commonwealth Secretariat in London protesting human rights violations in Sri Lanka. more..

The Conference of Major Religious Superiors

June 10 (PISL) It is reported that the Conference of Major Religious Superiors (CMRS) in Sri Lanka has joined a chorus of calls for ‘a political dialogue to meaningfully resolve the ethnic problem and bring peace to Sri Lanka.’ This could have been seen as a positive step had the chorus been heard five years ago, when the LTTE first withdrew from negotiations. It might even have been helpful two years ago when, more..

Sri Lanka mesmerises UNESCO ambassadors

June 10 (AT) A group of UNESCO Ambassadors who toured Sri Lanka were totally mesmerised and overwhelmed by the breath taking scenic beauty, rich culture and tradition and boundless hospitality of the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Those who took part in the tour included 16 top level Ambassadors and Delegates from the Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in Paris and they toured the enchanted Island nation from 2 – 8 June 2008. more..

The Importance of Symbolism in Solving the Sri Lankan Conflict

June 10 (AT) Chanthirakanthan Sivanesathurai, the new Chief Minister of the Eastern province is very likely a man with hope but also a man in a hurry, probably a disappointed man as well. His transformation from being a terrorist to a democratic leader, has generated little interest in the world media that continues to peddle news feeds fed to them by the LTTE. While the likes of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness featured in every conceivable world news program and more..

Heart-renching story of an underage young Tamil girl forcefully recruited by LTTE

June 10 (AT) The Sri Lanka Army's 59th Division in Mannar North under the command of Brigadier S De Silva went yesterday on the offensive in Alankulam. At 4.25 a.m. troops approached the LTTE bunker line and opened fire at the Tiger cadres who retaliated. At the same time another batch of soldiers infiltrated the ditch line where the ditches are 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep with an earth bund of 7 feet high. more..

Sangaree vs. Douglas, more diggings

June 10 (AT) In response to the battery of charges leveled recently by V. Anandasangaree, President of the Tamil United Liberation Front, Minister Douglas Devananda has come up with his very brief response. He has said that all the allegations that Anandasangaree has leveled against him in his in a two-part letter were nothing new. They were the remnants of the mud that was slung at him over the years; some of those charges were decades old. more..

President Rajapakse gets a rousing welcome at 10 Downing Street

June 10 (AT) The British Prime minister Gordon Brown gave a rousing welcome to the visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the British Prime minister’s official residence at No.10 Downing Street, London. The Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived at the official residence of the British Prime Minister accompanied by his Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. more..

Social Devastation

June 10 (AT) The Tigers have stepped up their bombing campaign in the South. Apart from killing scores of innocent civilians, the LTTE’s horrendous attacks will also impact disastrously on the economy and on the living standards of the populace. Amidst these barbarous bombings and other disasters which are becoming the daily fare of Sri Lankans, there exists another trend, less visible to the naked eye, but far more dangerous to the future of this country and her people. more..

Burning Memories of a historic library

June 10 (TS) The CDs of a short film Burning Memories released during the first week of this month here has touched the hearts of film lovers, students and Tamil writers, even though its focus is only on a lifeless building, which was burnt during the anti-Tamil riots in Sri Lanka in 1981. The building was a library, which stored ancient and rare collection of Tamil literature, some of them not available in Tamil Nadu itself. more..

Creating Colombo FC

June 10 (AZ) The thought of football challenging cricket as the number one sport in Sri Lanka may be one far from reality, but for Saif Yusoof and the players of Colombo FC, a dream needs to start somewhere. While the Afghanistan national squad held a training session during the 2008 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship in Colombo, another emerging team were going through their pre-season paces on the far side of the field. more..

President meets Tory leader David Cameron

June 10 (AZ) President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka met David Cameron, Britain’s Leader of Opposition yesterday June 09, in the Opposition Leader’s office in Westminster London. Sri Lanka’s terrorist menace and the country’s developmental activities in the Eastern Province after democracy has been re-introduced in to the area and Sri Lanka’s trade relations with the European Union were among issues of bilateral interests believed to have been discussed at the meeting. more..

War IDPs

June 10 (GV) The IDPs from Trincomalee District are scattered, in the Ampara District. There are few from the Mannar District too. Some are willing to return to their original places, some do not. These families prefer to live here. Some have bought small pieces of lands. These families need to be assisted to construct permanent houses here. Few organizations are assisting for the construction, still a section of families are left off. more..

Rajapaksa brothers vs. Wickramasingha brothers

June 10 (LR) “Rajapaksa Sahodara Samagama” (Rajapaksa brothers) and “Madamulana Chintanaya” (Philosophy of Madamulana) have been political slogans by UNP against Mahinda Rajapaksa government for quite some time. It is interesting to see the behaviour of Ranil’s brother Shan Wickramasinghe who is the owner of Telsahn Media Network (TNL). Prince Tissa played a key role supporting Dutugamunu in the war against South Indian invader Elara by boosting agriculture in the Eastern province. more..

Caritas empowers village widows plagued by 'Social Death'

June 10 (UCAN) Irene Gomis claims that her in-laws wish she had also died when her husband succumbed to cancer three years ago. The mother of three children has been ostracized ever since he passed away. "I did not die with my husband ...I still live for my children's sake," the 39-year-old Buddhist told about 50 widows on May 21 in Polpithigama, a farming village in Kurunegala diocese, 90 kilometers northwest of Colombo. more..

Emirates to start first A380 services to Americas

June 10 (LBO) Dubai-based Emirates is starting the first ever commercial Airbus A380 service to the Americas with a 14-hour non-stop flight to New York from August 01, the airline said. Air travellers will be able to experience Emirates Airline’s state-of-the-art A380 aircraft for the first time on 1st August, when the airline launches its first A380 commercial service from Dubai to New York JFK. more..

Civilians become cannon fodder in Sri Lanka

June 10 (AS) Murderous attacks on civilians in Sri Lanka appear to be on the increase with several bombings in the last few days in and around Colombo, the capital. The latest attack came last Friday and killed at least 21 people who were travelling on a bus. Twice that many were injured, the numbers including woman and children alike. The bomb itself was a claymore set on the side of the road and detonated by remote control as the bus passed by. more..

Farmers reject president’s boast of helping rural communities

June 10 (wsws) Speaking at a May Day rally in Dehiattakandiya, a remote rural town, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse claimed that his government had helped farmers to “stand on their own feet”. He claimed: “We have proved that this soil can be nourished by farming. Now the farmers are controlling the prices, not the rice millers as in the past.” Rajapakse’s speech was a pitch to rural voters just over a week before elections were held in the Eastern Province. more..

Relating Bhavana to daily Life

June 10 (LG) Man comprises of mind and body. Modern medical science is now according an important place to the mind, but the Buddha over 2,500 years ago emphasised the invaluable role of the mind. In fact the opening lines of the Dhammapada, a collection of important sayings of the Buddha, state that the mind is the forerunner of all states of being, mind is supreme, mind made are they. more..

A socialist program for teachers’ wage struggle

June 10 (wsws) With spiraling prices devastating the living conditions of all workers, thousands of public sector teachers are expected to join Wednesday’s and Thursday’s two-day sick leave campaign called by three Sri Lankan unions to demand the rectification of salary anomalies. As long ago as last September, more than 200,000 teachers—Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim alike—participated in a one-day strike for the same demand, cutting across ethnic lines and more..

Muslim party re-emerges with a new name

June 10 (MG) The Muslim United Liberation Front (MULF), re-emerges with a change in its name as “Muslim Liberation Front”, and wooed to fight for the rights of the Muslim community. Speaking in a media conference organized by MLF today at Hotel Nipon, the leader of the party Mr. S.M. Niyas said that the party will aggressively voice for the grievances of the community, which was not addressed properly by the existing Muslim political parties. more..

'Rajapakse government sliding towards dictatorial frenzy'

June 10 (LT) Attacking democratic campaigns, attacking and threatening the media, bringing state institutions under the control of their lackeys only means that the present Rajapakse government is wading towards a dictatorial frenzy of the J.R. Jayawaradene type says Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Mr. Dissanayake said this at a press conference held in Colombo yesterday to condemn the attack carried out by government goons against more..

'Atmosphere is conducive for an Indian intervention'

June 10 (LT) LTTE has indicated that they are ready for talks with the government of Sri Lanka and atmosphere is conducive for an Indian intervention says Minister of Community Development and Social Inequity Eradication P. Chandrasekaran. Addressing a press conference in Tiruchi Minister Chandrasekeran, who says he is on a mission to meet political leaders in Tamil Nadu and New Delhi to create an atmosphere for India to play a role in the national question in Sri Lanka, states more..