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Czech NGO hands over bicycles for students in Eachchilampatai

Mar 12 (AN) The Czech humanitarian and development agency, People In Need (PIN), accompanied by local government representatives, school principals and students, handed over ninety two bicycles to students of T/Sri Shapaha Maha Vidalayam School in Eachchilampatai, in Trincomalee district. Thanks to donations made by the Czech people through public collection "SOS Sri Lanka", these students can once again get to school easily. more..

Liberating East & North - why it is so painful to LTTE

Mar 12 (IL) Any military movement to bring about peace is characterized by a set of clearly defined strategic objectives. In the recent past, the Sri Lankan security forces conducted operations in the East to liberate the civilians from clutches of the world's most dangerous terrorist group, the LTTE. The objective behind the whole operation was to let the people in the East enjoy the fruits of democracy while minimizing civilian and military casualties. more..

Replacing terrorist group with another - UNP

Mar 12 (BBC) United National Party (UNP) totally rejects the results of the local government polls in the Batticaloa district which President Mahinda Rajapaske has hailed as free and fair elections. In a statement issued on Monday, President Rajapakse thanked all the parties involved in conducting free and fair elections; what he called 'the successful implementation of the Government's policy of restoring democracy'. more..

Provincial Council elections for East in May

Mar 12 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has already decided to go for Provincial Council elections for the Eastern Province in May this year. Nominations will be called at the end of this month or middle of next month, the Construction and Engineering Services Minister Rajitha Senarathne told the Lankapuvath. Minister Senarathne said that the Batticaloa Local government election which ended last Monday once again proved the public’s need for the democracy. more..

Harrowing story of an escapee murdered by the LTTE

Mar 12 (LG) A 22 years old man was taken by the LTTE men for training in Vanni two months ago. The distraught man was unwilling to engage in fighting and had run away from the training camp a month ago. Within two days the man was captured and was put through the punishment process. He was held in a detention camp and was severely beaten for disobeying orders. Once again the man had run away two weeks ago from the LTTE training camp. more..

Is It An Election?

Mar 12 (LG) It is our duty as representatives our people to report our view to the Tamil speaking people, the Government of Sri Lanka and the international community, on the local elections that took place in the East yesterday. We wish to state that these elections were rigged by the Government of Sri Lanka in order to give the TMVP the majority. We cannot accept that these elections were conducted in free and fair manner giving the opportunity for our people to cast their vote freely. more..

Bruce Fein labours to Justify contractual payments from the LTTE Front

Mar 12 (LG) Bruce Fein a Harvard Graduate and a Reagan era Deputy Attorney General of Justice attached to The Lichfield Group who in an article published in the Washington Times dated February 3, 2004 fully endorsed the banning of terrorists including the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers. He subsequently offered his services effective October 1, 2006 to more..

Sri Lankan rebel leader indicted

Mar 12 (BBC) The Sri Lankan attorney general has formally indicted Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. He is accused with five others of the assassination of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar in 2005. The attorney general said that the case will be presented to the high court directly because of its importance. He said at least two witnesses, whose identities will be hidden, will give evidence at the trial. more..

Power cut extended in Jaffna

Mar 12 (TN) Sri Lanka Electricity Board (SLEB) Jaffna branch announced Tuesday an increase of the existing one hour power cut by 15 minutes due to reduction of electricity supply to Chunnaakam SLEB by Cool Air from Kaangkeasanththu’rai (KKS) from Tuesday. The cuts do not apply to the High Security Zones (HSZ) of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in the peninsula, the announcement said. The peninsula is divided into two supply areas, and a one hour power cut is imposed daily, more..

LRRP infiltration demolishes impregnable Tiger terrain myth

Mar 12 (TC) The war between the Government armed forces and the LTTE cadres has been conventional as well as unconventional. A significant feature of the unconventional war fought by the government is the deployment of deep penetration assassination squads, known as Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols (LRRP). TNA Parliamentarian Kittinan Sivanesan (51) was killed in a claymore mine explosion last week in the Kanagrayankulam region of the northern mainland, known as the Wanni. more..

Take back Kachatheevu: Elders

Mar 12 (Hindu) Expressing serious concern over the killing of a fisherman and arrests of a few others by the Sri Lankan Navy, the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday urged the Centre to take back the Kachatheevu island from Sri Lanka so that fishing could be made safer and easier for Indian fishermen. Raising the issue at zero hour, V. Narayanasamy (Congress) said, on March 5 one fisherman was killed and some others were injured when the Sri Lankan Navy personnel opened fire at them, more..

Liberation of East Completed, Overwhelming Response by People

Mar 12 (AT) The Liberation of the East from the clutches of LTTE terrorism is over. People overwhelmingly gave their mandate to the government, repudiating the canards and unfounded allegations heaped by anti-democratic forces and sections of the media. The people mirrored other ideas and showed that they wanted representative democracy. Tamil Tigers who de-stabilized their region have been driven out for good and separatism died a natural death. more..

Sri Lanka arrests six in connection with news Web site

Mar 12 (CPJ) Six people affiliated with the Sri Lankan news Web site OutreachSL have been detained by the Terrorist Investigation Division of the Sri Lankan police force in Colombo since last week, according to Agence France-Presse and local news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists urges the government of Sri Lanka to charge these journalists and media workers or release them from police custody. more..

Rajapakse family as well as we are responsible for making the country a failed state -Ranil

Mar 12 (LeN) Rajapakse family as well as all the governments that ruled the country are responsible for making the country a failed state, said the Opposition Leader and the leader of National Congress Ranil Wickramasinghe yesterday (10) at the launch of National Discourse Manifesto at Colombo New Town Hall. Mr. Wickramasinghe said that Sri Lanka now ranks first among the countries where the highest number of disappearances are reported and the sovereignty has dilapidated. more..

PAFFEREL worked for the government at Batticaloa mini poll, says UNP

Mar 12 (LeN) In the same way 700,000 votes of north were prevented in the 2005 Presidential through secret agreements with the LTTE, Mahinda Rajapakse regime came to agreements with the illegally armed Pillaiyan Group to win the local government election in Batticaloa and the PAFFEREL was blind to see the armed groups that were roaming freely before the eyes of the US Ambassador, said UNP Kandy district MP Lakshman Kiriella today (11). more..

Jayasuriya faces axe for West Indies series

Mar 12 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya faces being dropped from Sri Lanka's one-day squad for the three-match series against West Indies, starting next month. Cricinfo has learned the side has been picked - without Jayasuriya - and is awaiting ratification by the sports minister. The squad is also likely to be without Muttiah Muralitharan, the offspinner, and Lasith Malinga, the fast bowler. more..

A song dedicated to Muttiah Muralitharan by Alston Koch

Mar 12 (IL) Australian music star, Alston Koch who was born in Sri Lanka is storming the charts with a song dedicated to the world champion bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan. The Murali Song is doing well down under as well as the Asian Charts. It has been featured in three continents. Acclaimed as Asia's King of Pop in the late 70's when his hit song 'Disco lady' stood on the top of the charts for more than 8 weeks in three continents, more..

Politics of shame

Mar 12 (ML) The UNP and SLFP (M) led political front commenced a national consultation programme Monday, in a bid to build a broader front to tackle critical issues facing the country. Stating the people of this country were equally responsible for the crisis it is in today, the National Council promised to bring back lost values into politics by seeking the input of professionals in legal, administrative, medical and other sectors through a wide ranging process of national consultation and policy development. more..

The ballot in Batti

Mar 12 (ML) He only lacked a marching band to escort him to the polling booth. It was a confident Sivasuntharai Chandrakanthan better known as Pillayan, now the undisputed head of the TMVP who walked into the polling station at Vipulanandan School, Pethalai, Valaichchenei on Monday morning. "Now it is not a question of a victory, it is a question of how large our majority would be," a day earlier his PR manager, Azad Moulana told The Morning Leader more..

President wont budge on CC appointment

Mar 12 (ML) President Mahinda Rajapakse reiterated yesterday at a meeting with members from the civil society that he would not appoint the Constitutional Council (CC) until such time the parliamentary select committee submits its recommendations on the changes to be effected to the 17th amendment. At the meeting, which was attended by members representing the civil society, clergy and the business chambers, more..

Ketapearachchi takes fight to Somawansa

Mar 12 (ML) JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinge on Sunday threatened to take legal action against Sampath Dimuthu Ketapearachchi, an associate of JVP Colombo District parliamentarian Sunil Handunnetti for allegedly divulging internal party details to the media and thereby bringing disrepute to the party as well as the party leadership. Amerasinghe who participated in a political interview hosted by a private TV station on Sunday night lambasted more..

TMVP, Govt. must deliver for a brighter Batti

Mar 12 (BL) The TMVP emerged victors of the violence-free local government polls in the Batticaloa District to take control of all eight pradeshiya sabhas and the solitary Batticaloa Municipal Council, which it contested under the ruling UPFA. The stage is now set for unfettered development and the TMVP must rise to the occasion to deliver the goods, and prove it can work for the benefit of a hapless people, who have witnessed only violence and deprivation during the past two decades. more..

Tiger frontlines remote controlled from bunkers

Mar 12 (BL) Air raids and deep penetration units confine LTTE area leaders to command and control their fighting units from the safety of their bunkers, thus demoralising the cadres. The confrontations on the Wanni battlefield are intensifying by the day. As the LTTE loses strategic locations in Mannar and Madhu, advancing troops are gradually taking over Tiger bases. Even elements of the Radha regiment, that provide security to Tiger leader Prabhakaran, have begun to retreat. more..

India should impose economic sanctions on Sri Lanka – TNA

Mar 12 (BL) A Tamil Parliamentarian late last week urged India to immediately impose economic sanctions on Sri Lanka, while also reiterating that the LTTE will not be defeated by the Sri Lankan Government or the military. TNA MP, M.K. Sivajilingam told a hurriedly convened news conference in Chennai on Saturday that the Indian Government should not encourage the Sri Lankan military operation by supplying arms to Sri Lanka but instead, more..

Bonanza for Batti winners

Mar 12 (BL) In what appeared to be a mega election bonanza, the government has decided to grant a sum of Rs. 2 million for each local council member who secured victory in the controversial Batticaloa Local Authorities Elections, held on Monday. Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena announced the bonanza, which he claimed will be utilised by the Batticaloa local council members to develop their respective areas. more..

2008: The President and the People

Mar 12 (AHRC) President Mahinda Rajapakse’s New Year message to the nation requires consideration in relation to the prospect that he has held out to the people of this country for this year. This is what he has said: “We hope changes that would occur in this New Year will have a favourable impact on the lives of all our people. There is the expectation that we will come closer to overcoming the main problems that face us as a nation. more..

SLFP(M) forms Bhikkhu Front

Mar 12 (LG) The SLFP (M) yesterday formed its Bhikkhu Front and appointed office-bearers during its first convention held in Colombo. Ven Malambe Seelarathana Thera has been appointed the President of the Front while Ven. Kolonne Siri Shantha Vijaya Thera is its Secretary. Ven Seelarathana Wattala Amarawansa Thera has been appointed the Treasurer. Speaking to the media Ven Seelarathana Thera who currently holds several portfolios of the SLFP, more..

The origin of the problem

Mar 12 (LG) As we said last week the so-called national problem cannot be solved as we have not formulated the problem correctly. The problem, whatever it may be called, began in the eighteenth century with the Dutch importing agricultural labourers from South India for work in their tobacco cultivation. These people found "home" not only in Jaffna but in places such as Natal in South Africa. more..

Sri Lankan rebuff

Mar 12 (FI) SRI LANKA and Kosovo are continents apart literally. And yet no single event in the global sphere in recent years has caused such trepidation and discomfort in Sri Lanka as Kosovo’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence. The resounding rejection of Kosovo’s UDI by the government and a vast majority of civil society in the island is on a par with the consternation in Belgrade and Moscow over the development, and for good reasons. more..

LTTE ending use of child soldiers - US

Mar 12 (TN) The LTTE “is eliminating the recruitment and use of child soldiers,” the US State Department said this week in its annual human rights report. The LTTE had not complied with its promise to end the practice by end of 2007, but its policy of recruiting one person from each family targeted those 18 years or older, the report said. Sri Lankan government forces were complicit in conscripting children for the TMVP (Karuna Group), more..

British parliamentarians call for UK to rein in Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (TN) A group of Parliamentarians from all of Britain’s main political parties Tuesday condemned the assassination last week of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP K Sivanesan and, lamenting the recent exit of the international panel overseeing rights abuses probes in Sri Lanka, called on the UK government to take all possible steps to ensure that Government of Sri Lanka plays by accepted international rules. more..

Doing through Proxy for ‘We and We’

Mar 12 (SLW) “Sri Lankans are creative” is an egoistic statement, I was told. I therefore changed it into “Sinhala people are creative”. And then amended it to read as “Sinhala people are creative in deceiving”. Not all, one would say and I would agree. For its not all who could be school principals and not all school principals deceive the law. But some had, according to media reports that claimed, despite Supreme Court orders and Ministry circulars about admissions to Grade I, some principals have continued to loot parents. more..

High porn to high fraud and Lanka pride

Mar 12 (SLW) Sri Lanka never misses out on making news. Over 15 years ago, Michael Ondaatje won the prestigious “Booker’s Award” for his novel English Patient and Ondaatje though a Canadian was claimed a Sri Lankan being fortunate enough to have been born and schooled in old Ceylon. So are the few internationally reputed novelists who “were born” in Sri Lanka. Last week the media here added another Sri Lankan, a hot beauty, a grad student in Texas who was featured in the hot and porny NY mag the “Playboy” into this celebrity Sri Lankan list. more..

A game of wits from Mannar to Weli Oya

Mar 12 (SLW) Troops operating in Elanthivaan in Mannar have managed to kill 26 LTTE cadres on Monday. LTTE radio communications monitored last evening confirmed that 26 Tigers, mostly females were killed in the attack. The incident took place on 10th morning when experienced SLA units tricked a platoon of new LTTE recruits to return to their defences (8 bunkers) after they ran away fearing an early morning limited operation in the same area, leaving behind IEDs targeting SLA troops. more..

Golden Axis of Democratic In the East

Mar 12 (LG) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama addressing members of the Colombo based Diplomatic community on Wednesday (12 March 2008) said, “through the elections concluded on Monday Sri Lanka has continued to show to the local and international community that this government has a plan and will deliver on its promises to restore normalcy in the areas affected by the present conflict.” more..

UNP petitions elections chief against east polls

Mar 12 (LD) The UNP today (Mar. 12th) staged a major protest against the government and the Pillayan Group who are winners of Batticaloa local government polls, and urged the Elections Commissioner not to hold Provincial Council elections for the east. The protestors marched to the Elections Secretariat in Rajagiriya and handed over a petition to Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake this afternoon. more..

President wants 17th Amendment amended

Mar 12 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday assigned the Organization of Professionals Associations (OPA) to propose amendments to the 17th amendment, to depoliticize the Constitutional Council (CC). Accordingly, the new proposals will seek to replace members nominated by the Speaker to the Constitutional Council (CC) with representatives of civil society groups to represent a cross section of society and making it more people-oriented. more..

IFJ rejects govt.’s natl. media policy proposals

Mar 12 (LD) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has rejected the Sri Lankan government’s proposed national media policy in favour of a self-generated, self-regulated and independent framework that encompasses journalists from all sides of the nation’s conflict. According to the Free Media Movement (FMM), an IFJ affiliate, Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa refused to divulge details of the government’s policy but more..

Law and Society Trust – More Adventures with the Truth

Mar 12 (PISL) Human Rights should be a serious business, but the way in which some heavily funded NGOs approach it with regard to Sri Lanka suggests more a sense of theatre than genuine concern for people who suffer. The pattern has now become familiar, a comprehensive assault on the integrity of the government of Sri Lanka, delivered just in time for sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. This means every three months for the very rich, every six for those with less support. more..

Honouring the excellent and efficient health service

Mar 12 (GDI) Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition has taken steps for the first time, to conduct a ceremony to honour the excellent and efficient health service personnels. This awarding ceremony will be held under the patronage of H.E.the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on March 16 at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. Names have been proposed by all the medical institutions, more..

Batti result an emphatic statement by Eastern Tamils – Media Minister

Mar 12 (GDI) Minister of Mass Media and Information stated that the Batticoloa Local Government Election can be pointed out as an occasion where the Tamils in the East gave a clear verdict and expressed in no uncertain terms that they reject terrorism and welcome democracy and development. Addressing the media yesterday (11) Minister Yapa further stated that the people of the East have clearly approved the Government's approach. more..

Rs. 3,500 million drinking water scheme for Muttur

Mar 12 (GDI) Water Supply and Drainage Minister A. L. M. Athaullah recently laid the foundation stone to construct ar water supply scheme costing Rs. 3,500 million is to be constructed in Muttur to benefit 50,000 families. The project is jointly funded by the Government and the Asian Development Bank and is scheduled to be compoleted within two years, according to ministry sources. more..

Govt. denies torture is widespread in Lanka

Mar 12 (LNP) The Government asserts that widespread torture is not practised in Sri Lanka, as claimed in a report by a UN special envoy but, instead, is occasionally resorted to by over-zealous investigative personnel in pursuance of ascertaining the truth behind crime and in the collection of evidential material to launch prosecutions against perpetrators of crime. more..

A triumph for democracy

Mar 12 (LNP) Democracy has triumphed in the East. What is of import is not who has won the local government bodies in the Batticaloa District but the fact that the Karuna Group (TMVP) has entered the democratic mainstream and Monday s polls were peaceful and free and fair but for some minor incidents. Those who went all out to thwart that election by citing various reasons have had to eat their words. The voter turnout (56 per cent) was impressive. more..

Shortage of cancer, heart drugs

Mar 12 (SAMN) Cancer and heart patients have no option but to suffer in silence due to a shortage of drugs in the local market. For the past two months the Fivefu injection used for cancer patients and asprin for heart patients has not been available in the market. According to pharmacists there is also a shortage in the intra-uterine copper device used by females to prevent conception, Pregynyl injection used to increase fertility in females and Misoprostol, an abortion pill. more..

Laws to battle ‘junk food’ soon

Mar 12 (SAMN) With the mushrooming of food outlets and restaurants in Sri Lanka, strict laws will be introduced shortly to punish those who are providing and dealing with unhygienic food. Addressing a workshop titled `Junk Food Generation’ yesterday in Colombo, World Food and Agriculture Organization Advisor and former Chief Food and Drugs Inspector S. Nagiah said there are nearly 40,000 food outlets in the country and more than 60 per cent are hygienically unsafe. more..

TMVP to get APRC access

Mar 12 (SAMN) A day after the TMVP – the breakaway faction of the Karuna group – swept the Batticaloa local government polls on Monday, the government Tueday claimed the new party had full rights to participate at the All Party Representatives Conference (APRC). “The TMVP is now a recognised political party in the country and it has the full rights to participate at the APRC to find a solution for the decades long problem in the country,” more..

Polls a slap in the face for LTTE: JHU

Mar 12 (SAMN) The JHU Tuesday said that holding of the elections to the Batticalao Municipality and eight other local bodies was a fine reply to LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran and his henchmen in Colombo. "The Ranil-Hakeem combination tried to show the international community that the Batticaloa District elections were only an eye wash to show the world that everything is okay in Sri Lanka. But the duo was soundly beaten by the democratically conducted elections," more..

Gama Neguma activated islandwide

Mar 12 (DN) The Gama Neguma programme launched by the Nation Building and Infrastructure Development Ministry to build a new Sri Lanka in keeping with the Mahinda Chinthana manifesto will be extended to cover all Grama Niladhari divisions countrywide this year. A Ministry release said the Government has planned to continue this programme uninterrupted through 2008, 2009 and 2010 in three stages. more..

SLFP caters to people's welfare - PM

Mar 12 (DN) The SLFP has always catered to the people's welfare without subscribing to any foreign dogmas. The Eastern Province's liberation from the LTTE's clutches and conducting of local elections there portrayed its true democratic nature, said Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka. He made these observations addressing a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday to symbolise the handing over of membership cards to SLFP members in the Horana electorate who had renewed their membership in the party. more..