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Govt takes over Wickramarachchi Ayurveda hospital

Mar 12 (Island) The Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Hospital, affiliated to the Kelaniya University, was taken over by the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine recently. This move was to facilitate popular demand by the university students and the experts in the sector due to inadequate facilities and funding, the Minister of Indigenous Medicine Tissa Karalliyadda said at the ceremony to mark the take over. more..

Growth rate at 6% despite Inflation – CEB

Mar 12 (Island) Although inflation was running high, an economic growth of 6 per cent had been achieved for three consecutive years, from 2005 to 2007, for the first time in the country’s history and that too despite a worldwide recession, Director Economic Research Central Bank of Sri Lanka Dr. P. Nandalal Weerasinghe told The Island. The prices of fish and vegetables had come down in comparison to the same period last year as production had increased during the recent months. more..

Senseless and foolish decisions debased legal education, says CJ

Mar 12 (DM) Senseless and foolish decisions taken by politicians in the 90’s debased legal standards in Sri Lanka, said Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. He referred to the request of the president of the Law Students’ Union in his welcome address, regarding the move to reintroduce English as the medium of instruction for legal studies, who said that the CJ should not be influenced by politics when making this move. more..

Lanka crisis a 'concern' for India

Mar 12 (HT) With the India-US nuclear deal going out of official hands into the sphere of politics, the spiraling violence in Sri Lanka has emerged as a major concern for Indian policy makers. Officials used Lankan Army chief Maj Gen Sarath Fonseka's recent visit to reiterate their advice on the need for the government in Colombo to move towards a political solution to the decades-old ethnic crisis by devolving power. more..

TMVP boats roar in Batticaloa

Mar 12 (DM) The TMVP, the new born political party, swept the polls in the Batticaloa district by clinching power in eight of the nine local bodies. The party which contested under the ‘boat’ symbol, fielded its candidates for the Batticaloa Municipal Council under the UPFA's betel symbol and won it by securing 11 of the 19 seats. TMVP's Sivageetha Prabhakaran, daughter of slain MP Rajan Sathyamurthi obtained the highest number of preferential votes on behalf of her party. more..

Sri Lanka tourism drops in February on violence

Mar 12 (Reuters) Escalating violence in Sri Lanka's 25-year civil war hit tourism in February, largely because Europeans stayed away, officials said on Wednesday. Figures from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority showed that the number of tourists visiting the Indian Ocean island fell in February by 5.8 percent from a year earlier. Arrivals dropped to 40,551 from 43,551 in the same month of 2007, the authority said. more..

United States impeaches Sri Lanka on human rights and governance

Mar 12 (AT) In its 2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released here Tuesday March 11 in the State Department, graced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the United States in its report on Sri Lanka totally condemned, criticized and, in fact, impeached its human rights record and the style of governance highlighting that “the overwhelming majority of victims of human rights violations, such as killings and disappearances, were young male Tamils”. more..

Battles kill 28 Tamil rebels, 1 soldier in northern Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (AP) New fighting erupted between government forces and separatist Tamil rebels along the front lines of the civil war in northern Sri Lanka, killing at least 28 guerrillas and one soldier, the military said Wednesday. Reports of fighting have increased in recent months amid government promises to capture the Tamil Tiger rebels' de facto state in the north and to crush the group by the end of the year. more..

Proposed Taiwan Referendum -- Sri Lanka expresses serious concerns

Mar 13 (GDI) The Foreign Ministry, in a media statement released today (12), expressed concerns on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka regarding the proposed 'referandum' that Taiwan intends to hold on March 22, 2008 with the intention of 'seeking independence'. The Government of Sri Lanka is seriously concerned about the attempts by Taiwan to hold a so-called referendum on the pretext of seeking independence and joining the UN under the name of Taiwan, on 22nd March. more..

Sri Lanka designers to vie for lingerie top slot

Mar 13 (LBO) Budding Sri Lankan fashion designers would have a chance to pitch their creativity in a global competition, Triumph International, a top European lingerie label that uses Sri Lanka as a manufacturing base has said. The 30 eligible contestants were chosen from the fashion department at the university of Moratuwa and Academy of design in Colombo who will take part in the national competition held in May this year by Triumph's local office. more..

Have Sri Lankans lost their appetite for change?

Mar 13 (LG) I originally sat down to write this blog in late January, planning to reflect on a symbolic period for Sri Lanka and the region. The end of January marked 60 years since the death of Indian freedom hero Mahatma Gandhi, and the beginning of February was the 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence. Maybe it was just me, but I sensed some sort of hope and anticipation in the air. more..

Freedom and Terrorism

Mar 13 (LG) The President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a public rally held in Ratnapura, said that ‘some sections of the media were attacking him and the government claiming that it was curbing media freedom, but in fact, these media institutions were speaking for the LTTE’. He requested the media not to betray the government in that manner and assured that he would never kneel down before the foreign countries. more..

Sangakkara's 285 hands Nondescripts victory

Mar 13 (CI) Sri Lanka's top-order batsmen, blamed for the team's dismal showing in the recently-concluded Commonwealth Bank Series, showed outstanding form ahead of their tour of the Caribbean in the Premier League competition matches played over the weekend. Leading the run parade was top-ranked Test batsman Kumar Sangakkara who carved out the season's highest score of 285 for Nondescripts against Moors at Maitland Place. more..

LTTE's criticism of India shows outfit is becoming weak: Lanka

Mar 13 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said the LTTE's outburst against India in the wake of the recent visit of the island nation's Army Chief to the neighbouring country was indicative of the outfit's deteriorating strength. "We don't bother to what LTTE says (on India) as it is a terrorist organisation. This only shows that they (LTTE) are becoming weak," Foreign Minister Rohithat Bogollagama told reporters here. more..

A philosophical backdrop to theory of life in the universe

Mar 13 (AT) The world’s chief exponent of the theory that tells life began in deep space and reached earth riding on comets said the philosophical backdrop for his theory was provided by Buddhism. “In the 1970’s it was generally believed that the Earth must be the centre of life in the whole universe, an antithesis of Buddhist cosmology of course,” said the Cardiff University Mathematician and Astronomer Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe in an interview with this writer. more..

Smokescreen arguments defend bandit democracy

Mar 13 (AHRC) As the Human Rights Council meeting was in session the spokesmen for the Sri Lankan government have been quite busy, judging by the number of statements circulated through the internet that are trying to paint a picture of Sri Lanka as a great democracy and that all the critics of the government are agents of terrorism. One may dismiss all such statements purely as quixotic endeavours. more..

Paffrel certifies as to relatively peaceful environment at the Batticaloa elections

Mar 13 (AT) Local Government elections in the Batticaloa District on March 10, 2008 took place in a peaceful environment. People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) monitors and international monitors of the Nonviolent Peace force in the field reported only minor incidents and relatively quiet environment at the polls. The voter turnout was in excess of 56 percent and the elections were keenly contested in several areas. more..

Prayathna People’s Movement condemns killings of MPs

Mar 13 (AT) The Prayathna People’s Movement condemned the killings of the three parliamentarians this year, but has failed to pin the blame on the suspected killers - the LTTE, instead expressed concerns that the killings must be stopped and urged to solve the political conflict through dialogue. In a press statement, Prayathna People’s Movement said it has been reported that nine persons have been made (to) disappear during the months of January and February this year. more..

Sri Lanka's commitment to it industry lauded internationally

Mar 13 (AT) The Government of Sri Lanka has proven its commitment to the IT industry by developing a forward-looking National ICT Plan and is committed to building the necessary infrastructure to enable connectivity, while undertaking regulatory reform, and developing human resources to meet future ICT needs said Ranjit Jayasooriya, Sri Lanka Ambassador in Sweden. He was addressing at the Business Linkage Programme for Sri Lanka IT Companies visiting Sweden held in the Embassy, more..

Malaysian government concerned about non-reciprocity by Sri Lanka in diplomatic affairs

Mar 13 (AT) Malaysia is dismayed that Sri Lanka has not thought it fit to have a full-fledged diplomat appointed as High Commissioner there even though Malaysia has done so for years. For the last one and half years Shanika Dissanayaka, Charge d' Affaires has acted as High Commissioner. She is a relatively a junior career diplomat and her role in a multi-racial country like Malaysia, which is one of the leading economic Tigers of Asia, more..

Sri Lankan paramilitary leader convicted in Britain

Mar 13 (wsws) A British court case against Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, alias Karuna, the former leader of the TMVP, has shed further light on the collaboration between the Sri Lankan government and various paramilitaries in the resumed war against the LTTE. The TMVP, originally known as the Karuna group, is a breakaway faction of the LTTE and based in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka ambassadors of Netherlands, UK and Kuwait will be punished if found guilty; FM

Mar 13 (LeN) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received a number of complaints against the Sri Lanka ambassadors of Netherlands, Britain and Kuwait, they are investigated and disciplinary action will be taken if they are found guilty, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama. He made these comments at a press conference held today (12) at Foreign Ministry in response to a question to Lanka-e-News representative. more..

15 Questions for Sri Lanka Ambassador in Kuwait

Mar 13 (LeN) We are happy to hear that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is making an investigation into the so called "official reception" of the Sri Lanka Ambassador in Kuwait. More importantly, there is no official statement from the Ambassador accepting or denying facts in the lankaenews article. Instead, he has started sending letters to every newspaper under fictitious names to white wash his image. more..

Sri Lanka loses Rs. 70 billion due to President's decision to suspend emigration of housemaids

Mar 13 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday (11) instructed the Ministry of Foreign Employment to stop women going abroad for housemaid jobs since the end of this year. The President instructed not to send women to slave labor of the foreigners and send them only for trained labor such as nursing and health service etc. The President gave these instructions at a meeting of the secretaries of all Ministries held in Temple Trees. more..

Bruce Fein & the Debate

Mar 13 (LG) Bruce Fein, has openly challenged the Sri Lankan Ambassador Bernard Goonethilaka for a debate on legitimacy of Tamil Separatism in Sri Lanka. First of all, this is a good opportunity for Sri Lankans to confront people like Bruce Fein who openly support the LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka with lies and deceit, and expose them to the whole world. On the other hand, such a debate should not be taken lightly, as more..

Father Jeyanesan collecting more funds in Canada

Mar 13 (LG) The Non-Roman Rev Father Sellathurai Jeyanesan against whom an arrest warrant was issued recently by a court in Sri Lanka is busy collecting more funds in Canada especially among the Sri Lankan Tamil community in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada. At a recent meeting held in Scarborough, otherwise known as "Little Jaffna", and presided over by Mr Jayasingh David a former principal of the Nuffield Deaf and Blind School in Jaffna and a close relative of Father Jeyanesan, more..

Need For Increased Alertness Against LTTE

Mar 13 (LG) An official statement issued by the headquarters of the LTTE on March 11,2008 (text annexed) on the high-profile visit of Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka, the chief of the Sri Lankan army and the architect of the successful counter-terrorism operations by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, to India in the first week of March,2008, is an indicator of the desperation of the LTTE and its bitterness against the Government of India. more..

'President Rajapaksha always depending on illicit pacts with terrorists'

Mar 13 (LG) General Secretary of the UNP ,Tissa Attanayake, addressing the Medias on today morning, recalled the Govt.‘s promise to the world at the peace negotiations in Geneva , when Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said all terror groups shall be disarmed. But, after returning to Sri Lanka, the Govt. began supporting and nurturing the LTTE breakaway terror group, the Karuna or now, the Pillayan group who are as bad or worse than the LTTE . more..

Right to protect! whom? (Terrorists?)

Mar 13 (LG) This is an answer for the article written by Mr. Bruce Fein under the heading of “Tamil Statehood?” and the conversation took place after that. Mr. Fein’s article signals LTTE separatist agenda on Sri Lanka has reached another stage. While it’s terrorist wing massacring innocent civilians throughout Sri Lanka the LTTE lobby in United States is trying to mislead Americans using false information. more..

Woman mayor for Batticaloa

Mar 13 (LD) The Batticaloa Municipal Council is to get a woman mayor, Ms. S. Padmini who polled the highest number of preferential votes at recent elections. S. Krishnanandaraja alias Pradeep Master will be her deputy. The Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP), to which both belong, has decided the appointments. They contested the March 10th polls on the ticket of the UPFA following an election deal between the two parties. more..

Warrant issued on Deputy Minister Faizer Mustafa

Mar 13 (LD) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court has issued warrants on Deputy Minister of Tourism Faizer Mustafa and another person who are the complainants in a case that has been filed against the Royal Colombo Golf Course. Additional Magistrate Sujatha Alahapperuma yesterday issued the warrants after the two failed to appear before the court. The case is based on a complaint to the Borella Police that activities of the golf course have become a trouble for residents living in the vicinity. more..

UNP to contest east PC polls if held in free & fair manner

Mar 13 (LD) The United National Party says it will contest provincial council elections in the east, only if the polls are conducted in a free and fair manner and devoid of violence. Speaking to the media in Colombo today (Mar. 13th), UNP’s National Organizer S.B. Dissanayake urged the government to ensure fair elections in the eastern province. more..

'Mahinda Failed in the East than Ranil'

Mar 13 (LG) S.B. Dissanayake asked why shouldn’t UNP contest Batticaloa elections when it could have registered a facile victory in Batticaloa going by the last Presidential elections results: UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe secured almost 12 lakhs votes whereas President Rajapakse could only poll 27808 votes in the East! The UNP was not prepared to play into the hands of the Govt.’s machinations aimed at only winning elections by the foulest means collaborating with another terror group more..

New administrative officers to be absorbed into regional institutions

Mar 13 (GDI) Newly recruited officers of the administrative service will be absorbed into regional institutions following a directive from the President. The President had instructed that this be done at a special discussion held at Temple Trees, yesterday (12), with several ministers including Ministers Mithripala Sirisena, Chamal Rajapaksa and the officials of Southern Province. During the meeting the President discussed at length the development activities launched in the Hambantota district more..

Social Services Department celebrates International Women's Day

Mar 13 (GDI) The Social Services Department celebrated International Women's Day yesterday (12), at the island on the Beira Lake, by Gangaramaya Temple. The Deputy Minister Lionel Premasiri, the Secretary and officials of the Ministry organized the function in association with the private sector, with the Navaloka Group of Companies taking the lead. The Secretary to the Ministry, Mrs V.Jegarajasingham, in an interesting and informative speech delivered in Sinhala said more..

Deputy Solicitor General responds to Amnesty International

Mar 13 (GDI) The report prepared by the Amnesty International neglected the Government's policy of open and constructive engagement with the International Community and International Human Rights bodies, charged Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando is a statement issued yesterday. "The report titled 'SRI LANKA – SILIENCING DISSENT' is based on alleged threats to the media and media freedom," said Mr. Shavindra, more..

State Tele award festival - 2007

Mar 13 (GDI) Department of Cultural Affairs has taken steps to conduct “State Tele Award Festival – 2007” for the third consecutive year at State level with the objective of honouring efficient and talent television programs creators. This award festival will be held under the patronage of Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wickramanayake at the BMICH, Colombo 07, at 6 pm on March 17. more..

Civilians continue to flee LTTE held areas

Mar 13 (GDI) Despite heavy pressure from the LTTE terrorist to refrain from entering into Government controlled areas, 20 Tamil civilians sought protection from security forces at the Pallimunai and Pesalai security points in Mannar, defences sources said on Wednesday (12). According to the escapees who arrived in boats, constant fear of harassments, abductions and forcible recruitment carried out by more..

LTTE attempt to retake Ilanthiven repulsed

Mar 13 (LNP) The LTTE on Monday made an abortive bid to regain Ilanthiven on the Mannar front. Their assault ended in disaster with the loss of at least 26 cadres when the army repulsed their attack at around 9.30 a.m. on Monday. Earlier, troops captured Ilanthiven in the wee hours of the morning. `LTTE radio intercepts revealed that a large number of women cadres were killed and injured in the confrontation,` the Media Centre for National Security said more..

Sri Lanka tops South East Asia in Malaria control

Mar 13 (LNP) Sri Lanka has won kudos as being the first among all South East Asian countries which had successfully controlled the Malaria epidemic. Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said. The sources said that in 2007 Sri Lanka recorded only 196 Malaria patients down from 591 in 2006. The number of Malaria patients recorded in Sri Lanka in 2005 was 1640. No patient has died from Malaria in Sri Lanka after the year 2000. more..

When political pots and kettles disparage one another

Mar 13 (LNP) The Batticaloa mini polls have left the government cock-a-hoop, the NGO fraternity crestfallen, the LTTE irate and the UNP disappointed. The government has every good reason to preen itself on the polls outcome both politically and militarily. It has gained a tremendous boost for its southern political project by clearing the Eastern Province and successfully conducting an election in Batticaloa, besides bagging the Batticaloa Municipal Council. more..

UNP rocks boat in East

Mar 13 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP yesterday called on the Elections Commissioner not to hold the Provincial Council Election in the East and handed over a petition to him against the local government polls in the Batticaloa District.UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake who handed over the petition together with MPs John Amaratunga, Ravi Karunanayake, Dayasiri Jayasekera and Lakshman Seneviratne said they requested the Elections Commissioner not to hold the Provincial Council elections in the East. more..

Batti polls rape of democracy: LTTE

Mar 13 (SAMN) The LTTE Tuesday charged that the local government election in Batticaloa was a rape of democracy. LTTE military spokesperson Rasiah Illanthirayan said Batticaloa was disgraced due to the whole election process, which was not conducted democratically. "I’m a son of Batticaloa. Baytticaloa has been defiled and disgraced by this regime with the support of the paramilitary," Illanthirayan said. more..

Spoilt votes sign of dissent: Monitors

Mar 13 (SAMN) The rejection of 10 percent of votes cast at the local Government poll in Batticaloa is an indication of the people’s dissatisfaction over the election, PAFFREL said. PAFFREL Chairman Kingsley Rodrigo told the Daily Mirror that people had deliberately spoilt their ballot papers Mr. Rodrigo said generally, the rejection of less than six percent of the votes could be expected at any election, but the percentage reported at this election was above the normal average. more..

Lanka delegation attends US Congress

Mar 13 (SAMN) The 56th National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event held by the US Congress as a prelude to the commencement of the new congressional year was held last month at the Hilton, Washington. As customary, this year too the breakfast was attended by the political leadership of the US government including President George W. Bush, the Vice President, Members of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, more..

Rice price down in two weeks

Mar 13 (DN) The price of rice will go down within the next two weeks in the local market, Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services Ministry Secretary Dr. R.M.K. Rathnayake said. The price of rice will decrease with the beginning of the peak harvesting season of the largest local paddy production area in Mahaweli H region in Polonnaruwa, Aranaganwila, Dehiattakandiya and Mahiyanganaya from March 15, he said. more..

UNP would never return to power - JVP Leader

Mar 13 (DN) Sri Lanka would have ended up in division by now with a state of Eelam in the North if Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected President at the last Presidential election. Therefore, the JVP has no regrets for having enabled President Mahinda Rajapaksa to win the last Presidential election said JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. The JVP Leader said so addressing a party rally held near the Kandy Central Market on Monday, March 10. more..

Torrential rain floods Batticaloa, Ampaarai

Mar 13 (TN) Continuous heavy rain fall for more than a week has resulted in flooding of low lying areas in Batticaloa and Ampaarai districts, officials said. Poaratheevupattu and Vellaave'li areas have been worst hit by the flood, and parts of many key roads have become impassable, according to officials. Kampiyankaddu River has risen up to six feet from its usual depth of two feet, burst its banks and submerged the road between Mandoor and Aaanaikaddiyave'li disrupting traveling along the road. more..

JVP will take to the streets if PC powers given to North

Mar 13 (Island) The JVP will take to the streets along with the masses if Provincial Council powers are conferred to the North under the 13th amendment, JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe warned the Government on Tuesday. Addressing a rally at the Kandy Central Market premises, he said there was no necessity for the party to take up arms for any struggle since it is backed by thousands of patriots. more..

Customs nab 4 cars, 10 motorcycles in one container

Mar 13 (DM) The Customs at the Colombo Port, yesterday, arrested a Sri Lankan returning from Japan who attempted to smuggle in four cars, 10 motorcycles and household goods worth over Rs.25 million, all packed into one container and declared as personal baggage. The person who had recently returned to the country from Japan after one half years, had brought down a 40-foot container which he claimed contained his personal belongings. more..