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CJ vows to continue tto ensure justice on judiciary salaries

June 10 (LD) Alleging a conspiracy to oust him, Chief Justice Sarath N Silva yesterday (June 09th) vowed to stay on till the salary anomaly issue of the judiciary was resolved. The CJ was considering a fundamental rights petition demanding a salary increase for the judges. He said he would not retire from office as long as the issue of anomalies in the salary of the judiciary continued to exist. more..

Dilan asks JHU not to stop Muslim tsunami housing in Digawapi

June 10 (LD) In a letter to the leader of the JHU Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera, Minister of Justice and Port Development Dilan Perera expresses hope that the JHU will be blessed with the wisdom to abandon their effort to stop the resettlement of Muslims in a tsunami housing development project in Digawapi. It is common knowledge that the Muslim masses in the East suffered the worst from the tsunami disaster, Minister Perera says, more..

Negotiations the only way out - Mangala

June 10 (LD) With the public turning against the Rajapakse administration and increasingly blaming the government for the skyrocketing cost of living, The Sunday Leader interviewed one of the chief architects of President Mahinda Rajapakse's rise to power, SLFP (M) Convener and former senior minister Mangala Samaraweera. more..

North Central & Sabaragamuwa PCs dissolved

June 10 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa dissolved the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils at midnight yesterday (June 09th). The ex chief ministers Berty Premalal Dissanayake and Mahipala Herath said that the gazette notification announcing the dissolution has been sent to the Government Printer. With the dissolution of the two PCs, positions of chief ministers and councilors of the two bodies were abolished. more..

UNESCO stresses the importance of preserving cultural sites

June 10 (GDI) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka appreciated the assistance extended to Sri Lanka by UNESCO particularly in the cultural heritage field when he met with a team of UNESCO delegation arrived in the island to tour 5 of the 7 UNESCO Heritage sites. On an invitation extended by Minister Susil Premajayantha a team of 16 delegates from the Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in Paris, more..

Minister of Transport and Railways moves to protect commuters

June 10 (GDI) Minister of Transport Dullas Alahapperuma proposes to recruit nearly 600 retired security persons to be deployed as security staff for the Ceylon Transport Board and the Railway in view of the prevailing security threats and recent explosions in public transport services carried out by the LTTE that claimed a number of civilian lives. Of these, 440 will be used for vigilance in the buses while the rest will be deployed in the railway. more..

Press Release

June 10 (GDI) Britiain's Opposition Leader, David Cameron, said that his country appreciates the challenges Sri Lanka is facing and the efforts being made as a democracy confronted with terrorism and is keen to understand the related problems and look at how to best assist. Mr. Cameron expressed these views when he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa in London, where the latter is attending a mini summit of Commonwealth Heads of State to discuss more..

President, Malaysian Deputy Premier discuss bilateral issues in London

June 10 (GDI) Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak, called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (June 9) in London. Both leaders are here to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The two leaders discussed a range of global issues affecting both Countries, in particular the rise in fuel prices and the food crisis and the strategies that have been adopted domestically to address these issues. more..

Policeman helping LTTE bomber arrested

June 10 (LNP) A special police team arrested a policeman who is said to have had close dealings with the LTTE suspect Jadheesan Balasubramaniam who was arrested on in connection with the bomb blast on the railway line at Dehiwala last week. The policeman attached to the Wellawatte Police Station is a resident of Kobeigane, in Kurunegala and had very close connections with the LTTE suspect Jadheesan Balasubramaniam, who was arrested by the police at the Irattaperiyakulam in a bus bound for Vavunia last week, more..

Seven hundred personnel to ease tension in Batticaloa

June 10 (LNP) Deputy Inspector General in charge of Batticaloa M.P.G. Samarakoon says that 700 troops will be deployed in Batticaloa next week to avoid clashes between Tamils and Muslims and to build up trust among the communities. Special Correspondent Ravi Chandralal yesterday morning (09) at Batticaloa Vipulananda Road office, DIG Samarakoon who had assumed duty on June 01 said that he made a plan after discussing with the Chief Minister Chandrakanthan, Army seniors, religious and civil leaders. more..

We have rice at 60 rupees a kilo Bndula

June 10 (LNP) Consumers could buy Nadu and Kekulu rice at Rs. 60.00 from Lak Sathosa and co-operative outlets countrywide and the government was trying to help the public servants to get rice at the same price through their welfare societies in their respective institutions, Minister of Trade Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs Bandula Gunawardana told The Island yesterday (9). The problem of high rice prices prevailed mainly in the Western Province. more..

Thugs, torturers and universities

June 10 (LNP) As predators lurk around watering-holes in the jungle, looking for easy prey, so do perverts in undergraduates` garb, when batches of freshers come in. Beasts may be forgiven for behaving in that manner, as they have no other way of neutralising pangs of hunger. They don`t derive any sadistic pleasure from hunting. Have we ever seen a lion or a tiger, after a sumptuous meal, chase an animal for the fun of it? Never! more..

Conspiracy to oust CJ?

June 10 (SAMN) Chief Justice (CJ) Sarath N Silva Monday raised alarm over a conspiracy to oust him but vowed to stay on till the salary anomaly issue of the judiciary was resolved. Announcing the conspiracy move at the hearing of a fundamental rights violation petition for salary increase for the judges the CJ said he would not retire from office as long as the issue of anomalies in the salary of the judiciary continued to exist and asserted that he would expose all wrongdoers before he stepped down. more..

Warrant to arrest butterfly collector

June 10 (SAMN) Mount Lavinia Additional Magistrate, Ms. Dharshika Wimalasiri issued a warrant to arrest a collector of protected species of butterflies and moths who had allegedly collected and killed butterflies and moths and retained them to be used as exhibits. The suspect was alleged to have killed the butterflies and moths and preserved them for display. more..

‘The JVP attacked us first’

June 10 (SAMN) Chairman Pradeshiya Sabha, Arachchikattuwa Jagath Samantha (UPFA) said Monday he had urged the police to act on a complaint about a threat to his life. "I had made that against the JVP and I want the police to investigate it first," he said over the telephone from his hospital bed. He accused the JVP of having attacked him and some traders thus prompting them to act in self-defence. He said his double cab had been damaged in the attack. more..

Demonstrations would not do: PM

June 10 (SAMN) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka charged that protests, demonstrations and pickets would not make any impact on the rising oil prices in the world market and that the government could also do nothing in this regard. The Prime Minister, addressing an award ceremony of the Ingrin Institute of Printing and Graphics held at the BMICH Monday, said that people should think about the security of the country no matter what they would lose. more..

Children's home chief matron remanded for cruelty to children

June 10 (DN) A Chief Matron of a private children's home at Madapatha, Piliyandala found guilty of cruelty to children and brutally assaulting inmates of the children's home, was remanded by Panadura Provincial High Court Judge Malanee Gunaratne pending the sentence when the court receives the previous convictions report. Matilda Samaraweera was indicted by the Attorney General with causing severe harassment to inmates of the children's home while more..

Probe on how Jeyaraj assassination photos reached Tigers' in minutes

June 10 (DN) Intelligence services have uncovered details regarding a secret media network which relays both details and pictures of every Tiger attack in the South to the LTTE hierarchy within a short span after the incident. According to intelligence services, this network had been able to relay information and pictures on Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle's assassination to local Tiger leaders and others residing abroad, within minutes of the suicide blast. more..

Flood affected children to get new school books

June 10 (Island) Flood affected school children in the Kalutara District numbering about 40,000 who had lost their school books would get new school text books, new school uniform material and exercise books. School children in most villages and towns of the district had been affected by floods and as son as the statistics of the number of children were available, they would be provided with the necessary items, he said. more..

Centre to assess mental health

June 10 (Island) The Peter and Mabel Cooray Assessment Centre, for people with Learning disability and Mental Health Disorders at the Cooray Maternity Hospital, Wadduwa was opened recently by Professor Sheila Hollins. Though Sri Lanka has one of the best Health Services in South East Asia, facilities to treat mental health cases lagged far behind those of other specialised medical services. Most of the facilities are concentrated in and around the academic centres. more..

Teachers to fall sick from tomorrow

June 10 (DM) Teachers will launch a two-day sick note campaign from tomorrow urging the government to implement an upward revision of their salary scales and issue the relevant circular with immediate effect. Association of Educational Professionals Secretary Wasantha Dharmasiri told the Daily Mirror yesterday that the government was dragging its feet on the problem for several years and therefore teachers would not tolerate the situation any longer. more..

Galle faction gangs-up to oppose Dharmadasa

June 10 (DM) A faction of cricket administrators in Galle have decided to gang up and contest the incumbent president of the Galle Cricket Club Jayantha Dharmadasa who was also the former Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee chairman after they realised the game was becoming extinct in the region, the Daily Mirror learns. Dharmadasa held sway in Galle for more than five years but will face opposition to his continued stint at an election of office bearers on June 22. more..

Fighting kills another 20: military

June 10 (AFP) Fighting across Sri Lanka's embattled northern region left at least 18 Tamil Tigers and two soldiers dead, the defence ministry said Tuesday. Monday's fighting in the regions of Mannar and Vavuniya also wounded 10 Tiger rebels and 18 government troopers, the ministry said. However, the LTTE said they killed 26 soldiers during Monday's clashes in the two areas. The rebels said 20 soldiers were also killed in ground battles in Mannar on Sunday. more..

Tamil Tigers warn Sri Lanka against new offensive

June 10 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan army will face heavy losses if it launches an offensive into rebel territory to capture the Tamil Tigers northern stronghold, a rebel leader said on Tuesday. "Sri Lanka armed forces are losing a lot of soldiers ... many more will come if they inched into the LTTE territory," S. Puleedeven, Secretary General of the LTTE's Peace Secretariat, told Reuters in an interview. more..

Sri Lankan Minister claims LTTE open to talks

June 10 (Hindu) India should play the role of a mediator to end the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, Minister for Community Development and Social Inequity Eradication P. Chandrasekaran has said. Claiming to be on a mission to meet political leaders in Tamil Nadu and New Delhi to create an atmosphere conducive for Indian intervention, Mr. Chandrasekaran said he had received positive signals from the LTTE to indicate that it would be open to talks. more..

Sri Lanka rebel group claims bombing responsibility

June 10 (Reuters) A little known Sri Lankan rebel group claimed responsibility on Tuesday for recent bomb attacks on transport vehicles as revenge for what it said were government attacks and aerial bombings on innocent Tamil civilians. The military has blamed Tamil Tiger rebels for a series of train and bus blasts in capital Colombo and central Sri Lanka in which at least 32 people were killed and over 100 wounded. more..

Sri Lanka not ready for peace moves: Tamil Tigers

June 10 (Reuters) Tamil Tigers accused the Sri Lankan government on Tuesday of denying international mediators access to the rebels and said Colombo was not ready for peace talks. In an exclusive telephone interview with Reuters, S. Puleedevan, Secretary General of the rebels' Peace Secretariat, also said 20,000 civilians had been displaced in the government's latest offensive against the Tiger's northern stronghold. more..

Rajiv plotter mercy petition in court

June 11 (NT) The Madras High Court on Tuesday will hear a petition seeking early release of Nalini Sriharan - one of the plotters in the killing of ex-premier Rajiv Gandhi. She has spent the past 17 years at prison in Tamilnadu for sheltering the suicide bomber and several others who worked to kill him. The petition points out that her behaviour during imprisonment has been good and she should be freed soon. more..

Sri Lankan leaders seek meeting with Manmohan Singh

June 11 (ZN) Senior leaders of eastern Sri Lanka, including Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, want to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to the island nation for the Saarc Summit to discuss with him developmental issues confronting their region. Apart from Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, senior minister in Eastern Provincial Council M L A M Hisbullah would seek a meeting with Singh, who is scheduled to attend the SAARC summit beginning late next month. more..

LOLC launches Shari'ah compliant financing

June 11 (MG) Lanka ORIX Leasing Company PLC (LOLC), an innovative Financial Solutions provider in Sri Lanka launched a range of Shari'ah complaint financial products (financing done in accordance with Islamic Principles) yesterday. The company pioneered Leasing and Factoring to the Sri Lankan financial services sector and continues to make a vital contribution towards the growth of this sector. more..

Mayumi Raheem on course for Olympics

June 11 (MG) Sri Lanka's swimming sensation Mayumi Raheem is well set to qualify as a wildcard entry for the Beijing Olympic Games in August following a series of outstanding performances in the recent past. The final trial to select the second swimmer who will represent the country at the Olympic Games will take place on June 13 at the Sugathadasa Stadium pool under the supervision of the three member special committee appointed by the Minister of Sports and Recreation Gamini Lokuge. more..

Intervention allowed & Stay order extended in JHU case

June 11 (MG) Counsel for the Petitioner-JHU stated to Court that this housing project is not related to post Tsunami, but it is a continuation of aggressive settlements of Muslims by the 7th Respondent - Minister of Housing earlier initiated by her husband late Mr.Ashraff. Tsunami is a cover used to continue the illegal settlements of Muslims in state lands in Ampara distirct. more..

Teacher trade unions allege govt.'s bankruptcy

June 11 (LD) Teacher trade unions have vehemently condemned the government decision to close all state-run schools in the next two days, instead of addressing issues of teachers, including the existence of salary anomalies, which the government has acknowledged. Despite demands for the publication of a circular for the elimination of these anomalies, the present regime had killed time since last year by giving various timeframes, the trade unions allege. more..

Broad front to restore democracy – JVP

June 11 (LD) The JVP will form a broad front in collaboration with political parties, civil movements and media organizations to urge the government to reinstate the fast deteriorating democracy in the country, JVP Parliamentary Group leader, Anura Kumara Dissanayake says. Noting that the JVP has already began official discussions on the matter with political parties, civil society movements, the JVP MP urged all parties valuing democracy to join hands in this effort. more..

JVP to challenge dissolution of 2 PCs

June 11 (LT) The JVP would take legal action against the government’s decision to dissolve North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils says Information Secretary of the JVP Vijithe Herath. There should be an acute financial or administrative breakdown for a provincial council to be dissolved said Mr. Herath and pointed out that dissolving PCs without such a situation was illegal. more..

JVP accuses govt. incited Tamil-Muslim hatred thro' East polls

June 11 (LD) Propaganda Secretary of the JVP Vijitha Herath has alleged that the polls for the Eastern Provincial Council had been conducted to serve petty political objectives of the present regime as well as to fulfill the intentions of India. He also accused the government of provoking racial hatred that raised its head among Tamil and Muslim communities as a result of the election. more..

JVP campaigns in support of farmers

June 11 (LG) The JVP distributed handouts at the Colombo Fort Railway Station to raise public awareness on alleged government attempts to curtail the fertilizer subsidy. Leader of the JVP's Farmers Organization S.K. Subasinghe led the campaign, where it was noted that farmers would face further trouble if the decision is implemented. A similar campaign by the party's Parliamentary Group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday, protested against the planned increase in train fares. more..

Schools closed ahead of strike

June 11 (BBC) The Ministry of Education say they are closing thousands of government schools for two days because of possible security concerns. The schools will be closed during a teachers strike, which is due to start on Wednesday. This decision was taken taking into consideration the risks associated with the teacher trade union action, Eduction Ministry said. Nearly ten-thousand schools will be affected. more..

"Stop violence" - urge Londoners

June 11 (BBC) Section of Tamil and Sinhala diaspora gathered at a London street on Tuesday called upon the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to stop violence while President Mahinda Rajapakse was attending the Conference of Commonwealth Heads of State. The protests were coincided with the Conference of Commonwealth Heads of State which met at the Marlborough House to discuss reform of World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). more..

Finland to continue assisting Sri Lanka

June 11 (AT) Finnish President expressed her country’s desire to continue assisting Sri Lanka. Tarja Halonen, the President of the Republic of Finland said that Finland expects a peaceful settlement of the on going conflict in Sri Lanka. This was revealed by the Finnish President to Ambassador Jayasooriya. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Sweden R.P.Jayasooriya who is concurrently accredited to Finland, presented his credentials to Tarja Halonen, more..

2007 electoral list will be used for the North-Central Provincial Council election

June 11 (AT) The electoral list of the year 2007 will be used for the North Central provincial council election which is to be held in future. According to the District Secretary of Anuradhapura H.M.K.Herath that the preparations of the electoral list have already been completed. The district secretary said that more youth will have the opportunity to vote in the election. The provincial councils of North-Central and Sabaragmuwa were dissolved last midnight. more..

Sri Lankans converge in front of Marlborough House, to support Mahinda

June 11 (AT) Hundreds of Sri Lankan expatriates converged at Marlborough Palace in London where the Commonwelth Mini Summit was held to greet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and protest against the LTTE terrorism brazenly practiced against civilians. Assembled in front of the meeting hall members of nearly ten organizations were waving noisy slogans, waving colorful lion flags, and holding placards greeting the Presidents anti-terrorist activities. more..

Commonwealth Leaders issue Statement on Reform of International Institutions

June 11 (GDI) The Commonwealth Heads of State who met in London over the last two days to discuss the reform of international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund issued a 15 point statement outlining the essence of their deliberations and positions taken thereafter. The full statement is as follows: Commonwealth Heads of Government, representing one third of humanity and more..

Development assistance should not come with strings – President

June 11 (GDI) Reform of International Institutions in London earlier today said that development assistance is often combined with political and global objectives of the donor or development partner and that this created difficulties for the recipients as insufficient attention was paid to ground conditions in recipient countries. more..

UNP calls on Govt. to give CoL allowance

June 11 (ML) The UNP yesterday called on the government to provide the public servants the increased cost of living (CoL) allowance and the arrears of Rs.15, 000 immediately. UNP Spokesperson MP Gayantha Karunathilake at a media briefing held in Colombo yesterday urged the government to pay the promised CoL allowance for the public servants as they have found it extremely difficult to face the rising CoL. more..

PM unaware of new media laws

June 11 (ML) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said on Monday that he was not aware of any steps taken by the government to introduce new regulations to control the media. The Prime Minister made this observation when he met representatives of five media organisations, namely the Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association, Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Union and Free Media Movement on Monday. more..

Bulletproof Benzes and starving farmers

June 11 (ML) As expected, the government has been sufficiently emboldened by political ‘victories’ in the Eastern Provincial Council election to try and replicate the results in the other provincial councils. It was predictable that the President would first choose to dissolve the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provincial Councils, as the ruling party functions as a minority in both councils. more..

The media at a time of war

June 11 (ML) During the Second World War the German people tuned into the BBC for war news rather than their own radio managed by Goebbels who broadcast war propaganda as news. People under Communist rule listened to Radio Free Europe. Recently the Secretary of Defence summoned the President and Secretary of the Sri Lanka Journalists’ Association and gave them a piece of his mind which the journalists have said were indirect threats to their lives. more..

Soft loans to boost terrorism battered Small and Medium hotels

June 11 (BL) The government yesterday announced small and medium tourism sector will receive financial and promotional assistance to refurbish their properties. Funding sourced from the European Investment Bank will be extended through DFCC and Bank of Ceylon. The Plan of Action to support Small and Medium Enterprises was approved by Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda after the industry members met the Minister to set-up the eligibility criteria for the sector. more..

UNP, JVP fire fresh salvo at Govt.

June 11 (BL) The main opposition the UNP and firebrand leftist party the JVP yesterday fired fresh salvos separately at the Government for its decision to dissolve two Provincial Councils and go for polls, a move which has triggered a series of allegations. United National Party condemned the government’s decision, to hold Provincial Council (PC) Elections separately and demanded the Government, to hold all nine PC elections, together. more..