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The ‘Mrs’ does it again?

Mar 13 (DM) The wife of a leading Government Minister is said to be at it again, this time ensuring that the Minister’s media secretary was replaced with immediate effect, Daily Mirror learns. Just weeks earlier the Minister’s wife is alleged to have ensured the removal of the Minister’s co-ordinating officer, who like the media secretary was believed to have been very close to the Minister. The Minister is believed to have told the media secretary he was compelled to take the decision to remove him on the insistence of his wife and more..

Central bank to issue paper to mop up liquidity

Mar 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank is to issue its own securities for the first time since 2003 because it has almost run out of treasury bills and needs paper to sell to the money market in order to mop up excess liquidity. "The central bank is prepared to continue the absorption of liquidity by issuing its own securities under its open market operations," it said in a statement on Thursday. more..

Veteran has future - SL chief

Mar 13 (ECB) Sri Lanka chairman of selectors Ashantha De Mel insists veteran all-rounder Sanath Jayasuriya could still have an international future despite his omission from the one-day squad to tour West Indies next month. Jayasuriya retired from Test cricket in December in the hope of prolonging his one-day career but has endured a disappointing run since the World Cup. more..

Sri Lankan official in Riyadh to seek clemency for Rizana

Mar 13 (AN) Sri Lankan Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila arrived in Saudi Arabia yesterday to lobby on behalf of a Sri Lankan maid who was sentenced to beheading for the death of an infant in her care. “I came here to make a personal appeal to seek clemency from the parents of the infant who died in the hands of the teenaged maid,” Bhaila told Arab News on arrival at the King Khaled International Airport. more..

Ensure history records of 'Eelam' is maintained: Prabhakaran

Mar 13 (PTI) Charging the Sri Lankan government with "destroying evidence of Tamil history" in the country, LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran has said it was the duty of the authors and literateurs to ensure "the records exist." "Attempts are being made by the (Sri Lankan) security forces, through bombing and shelling, to destroy the wealth and properties of Tamils. Another community has started occupying their (Tamil) areas and more..

Floods threat to Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura

Mar 13 (Island) The heavy rains experienced in the past few days have threatened to cause floods in the Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura districts. The water levels in main reservoirs have risen to spill level and some spill gates have been opened. "All spill gates of the Rajanganaya Wewa, Kala Wewa and Nachchaduwa Wewa have been opened and if the rains continue there could be a flood situation," more..

President orders halt to sending maids overseas

Mar 13 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday directed the Foreign Employment Ministry to stop sending women as house maids to foreign countries from the end of this year. Instead, he wanted trained nurses and women trained in other skilled trades to be sent for foreign employment. These directions were spelt out by the President at a meeting at Temple Trees on Tuesday afternoon in which all Secretaries of Ministries participated. more..

Sri Lanka to raise power tariffs

Mar 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka would raise power tariffs from March 15 by slapping a 30 percent fuel recovery charge on most users and taking away subsidies now given to industries and religious institutions, a senior minister said. Power minister John Seneviratne said the Ceylon Electricity Board was projecting total expenses of 137.7 billion rupees and revenues of 94 billion rupees for 2008 with 109 billion rupees spent on thermal energy. more..

The time for legislating ‘inflation targeting’ has arrived

Mar 14 (LD) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka [CBSL] has responded to the criticism that the current high inflation in Sri Lanka is caused primarily by its ‘irresponsible money printing’ in a recent technical piece appearing both in the English and the vernacular press. It categorically stated that the CBSL is not printing money irresponsibly and therefore they are not responsible for the high inflation. more..

Is there an ethnic problem in Sri Lanka?

Mar 14 (LG) Recently in an interview Nilantha Ilangamuwa asked an Indian intellectual Dr. Geeta Madhavan to comment on the APRC proposals. The Foreign intellectuals and non-intellectuals seem to know more about political problems of Sri Lanka than the Sri Lankans themselves. The answer she gave was that "The APRC proposal has been seen per se as a political solution. However, it does not seem to address the core issues of the conflict and therefore seems to lack the very support it sought to garner. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Mar 14 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Urban Development & Sacred Area Development for the development and restoration of the proposed Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Viharaya, which has been declared a World Heritage Site. The National Physical Planning Department, which under the ministry, has allocated Rs. 30 million from its annual budget for 2008. more..

PMK, VCK flay Centre's stand on Sri Lankan issue

Mar 14 (PTI) The PMK and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), constituents of the DMK-led DPA in Tamil Nadu, on Thursday accused the Centre of functioning in contravention to Tamils' expectations on the Sri Lankan issue. "Tamils in India wanted an amicable solution to the ethnic crisis in the island nation. But the Union Government's activities are contrary to their expectations," PMK founder S Ramadoss and VCK general secretary Thol. more..

Sri Lankan military says 30 rebels killed in northern fighting

Mar 14 (AP) A wave of new fighting in northern Sri Lanka has left 30 Tamil rebels dead, the military said Thursday. Reports of battles have increased in recent months amid government promises to capture the rebels' de facto state in the north and crush the group by the end of the year. Diplomats and other observers say, however, that the army has faced more resistance than it expected. more..

Sri Lanka seek first Test win in the West Indies

Mar 14 (AFP) Sri Lanka left for a month-long tour of the West Indies on Thursday with captain Mahela Jayawardene determined to win his country's first Test match on Caribbean soil. "We are obviously looking to win the Test series and we stand a good chance of doing that," Jayawardene said ahead of the 15-man squad's departure. Sri Lanka had previously toured the West Indies in 1997 and 2003 with both series ending in 1-0 win for the hosts. more..

Elections planned in Ex-Tamil Tiger country

Mar 14 (IPS) Having secured local body polls in alliance with the armed TMVP, Sri Lanka’s ruling UPFA now plans to hold provincial elections in this eastern district, seized by the army from the militant LTTE 10 months ago. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told newspersons in Colombo on Wednesday that the plan to hold provincial elections was part of a road map to solve the ethnic conflict on the island, as promised when the government unilaterally abrogated its 1992 ceasefire agreement with the LTTE in January. more..

Statements in the UN on Torture in Sri Lanka

Mar 14 (TC) Disappearances are currently a global problem. Today disappearances are current in countries suffering from internal conflicts such as Colombia, Nepal, the Philippines, the Russian Federation and Sri Lanka. In the context of internal armed conflict we have received information that opposition forces have perpetrated acts that are analogous to disappearances such as in the case of Colombia, Nepal, the Russian Federation and Sri Lanka. more..

Statements on Human Rights in Sri Lanka at the UN

Mar 14 (TC) Extract of statement by Louise Arbour the High Commissioner for Human Rights: Since we met last December I have also been concerned by further acts of violence in Sri Lanka. Every effort is required to ensure the protection of civilians as military actions intensify in the north of the country. While the ceasefire agreement has now formally ended all parties are bound to respect human rights and international humanitarian law. more..

Tamil journalists arrested and beaten by Police acting on wrong information

Mar 14 (FI) Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the fate of five Tamil journalists arrested by anti-terrorist police in Colombo in the past six days and urges the Sri Lankan authorities to explain why they are being held. “The anti-terrorist police are accusing the journalists of receiving money from the Tamil Tiger rebels, but after investigating, we can confirm that the funds in question came from a German foundation and from Tamil exiles,” more..

Public Transport crisis feared in Jaffna peninsula

Mar 14 (TN) Sri Lanka Electricity Board (SLEB) which supplies fuel and oil to Jaffna Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has informed that it may have to suspend supplies to Jaffna SLTB if the arrears of 51 million rupees due is not paid, Koa’ndaavil SLTB head office sources said. Already 40 buses in the three depots of Jaffna SLTB are not functioning due to lack of spare tires, and if SLEB suspends supply the entire bus service may ground to a halt, more..

On a tea estate in Sri Lanka

Mar 14 (DNA) You can’t go to Sri Lanka and not have a cup of Ceylon Tea (mind you while the name of the country changed in 1972, the tea is still called Ceylon). I went to find out the place from where a good cuppa comes and educate myself on tea processing. I learned some new words like withering, rolling, fermenting (okay, I knew fermenting before) and took a stroll in the aromatic tea factory of Dambutenne where the workers greeted me with smiles and a steaming cup of Lipton. more..

New Mayor for 'Mahinda Chinthana'

Mar 14 (BBC) New Mayor of Battcaloa Municipal council has pledged to closely work with the ‘Nagenahira Navodaya' programme set up by the government to develop the East. “I have been closely working with MP Basil Rajapaksha in the 'Nagenahira Navodaya’ programme and we have submitted several develoment proposals programmes for our area.” said Sivageetha Prabhakaran, alias Padmini, the new Mayor. more..

The Bane of Privatization

Mar 14 (AT) The words of the Chief Justice, Mr. Sarath Silva has rightly castigated: “Those who profited from the corruption ridden transaction between the Government and Shell will burn in hell…. People are now suffering because the Chandrika Bandaranaike Government gave up the monopoly on Gas”. Bottomline I get reminded of the scathing remarks and decisions reached by Justice OSM Seneviratne as the Magistrate at Matara in 1960. more..

Bruce Fein's Desperate Dilemma

Mar 14 (AT) Not having made any impact or the slightest dent in the case for a Tamil Homeland for three months, famed attorney Bruce Fein is at the end of his tether mortified that he cannot justify the $90,000 Tamils for Justice (TFJ) contracted to pay him for the initial three months. No wonder Fein's ranting speak of a desperate man, who has to prove to his paymasters that he is worthy of being retained, for the next six months. more..

Hearing set for alleged Tamil Tiger conspirator

Mar 14 (MN) A Malton man charged in connection with a North American network that police allege provides weapons and other materials to a terrorist group in Sri Lanka has had a date set for his extradition hearing. According to Justice Canada officials, Ramanan Mylvaganam, 30, will appear June 10 before a Federal Court judge as American authorities attempt to have him brought to the U.S. to face charges. Mylvaganam is expected to fight extradition. more..

A Sinhala Buddhist Interpretation of God

Mar 14 (LG) I am interested in the concept of God from an epistemological point of view. My epistemology includes ontology as well and what follows is an interpretation of monotheism from a Sinhala Buddhist point of view. Even if none of the other Sinhala Buddhists agree with the interpretation given here it could be called a Sinhala Buddhist interpretation for the simple reason that it is based on what I have acquired from the Sinhala Buddhist culture. more..

Capt. Ranawaka bids adieu

Mar 14 (DW) The Sri Lanka Army's 58 Division is presently readjusting its lines in Adampan. The readjustments usually involve the straightening of the line for ease of command. The process takes time, but when complete, requires less men to defend the line while others move onto offensive operations. The defence-line around Adampan consists mostly of Trenches which have to be realigned by digging new trenches and fortifying them with logs and sandbags. more..

Are we a country of collapsed consciousness?

Mar 14 (SLW) Very disturbing indeed are some of the political observations and claims that are being made these days as to when the Tamils came to Sri Lanka, why, how and a numerous other challenging remarks as if the community is most unwelcome to be in Sri Lanka and it is better they go back to wherever they came from; immaterial from which nook and corner of the world! more..

'Reports submitted by international organization are part of an international conspiracy against Sri Lanka'

Mar 14 (LT) The nature and timing of the reports submitted by Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists, UN Human Rights Chief Louis Arbour, and UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowark seem to be a part of carefully planned strategy to implement R2P in Sri Lanka and halt military operations in order to save the LTTE stated Mr. Gomin Dayasiri at press conference organized by "Protect Lanka," more..

ISSE demonstration demands the release of jailed Iranian students

Mar 14 (wsws) The Sri Lankan chapter of the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) held a demonstration in Colombo on Monday demanding the immediate release of left-wing students jailed by the Iranian government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The demonstration was part of the ISSE’s international campaign to defend these students. On December 4, Iranian police arrested 33 students who demonstrated in commemoration of “Students’ Day”, which more..

No compensation in sight for Vaakarai, Champoor victims

Mar 14 (TN) Even after a lapse of one-and-a-half-year, the families of at least 100 civilians killed and 84 wounded in Vaakarai region of Batticaloa district during Sri Lanka Army offensive, are still waiting for their compensations from the Government. In the meantime, the families of the victims of previous SLA offensives before the Cease Fire Agreement, who were assured of their sanctioned compensations, complained that the authorities were still delaying their payments. more..

Mangalesh's cause of death uncertain

Mar 14 (SLW) Sea Tiger Leader Soosei's 2nd In-Command (2IC) Mangalesh has died in a Security Forces attack on the 8th. Mangalesh's transfer to Mannar was subsequent to a fallout with his Commander Soosei around 7 months ago. He was in charge of the Sea Tigers now deployed on land in defensive maneuvers in Adampan. DefenceWire has been investigating the exact cause of his death without much luck. more..

Eelam War Continues in Mannar

Mar 14 (SLW) The Sri Lanka Army has advanced 20kms into LTTE area in Mannar. The deepest infiltration of the 58 Division is into the Madhu sector where troops have closed in on the sacred Our Lady of Madhu Church. In other areas in Mannar, Vavuniya and Weli Oya, troops have advanced 2-10kms depending on the presence of booby traps and Tigers. The Army is strictly adhering to its motto "No Dying For Our Land, Let Them Die For Theirs". more..

Air Force bombs Mannar as ground troops make progress

Mar 14 (SLW) Fighter jets of the Sri Lanka Air Force bombed 3 LTTE bases in Eastern and Northern Mannar yesterday (12th) morning. Three locations identified as command bases, storage complexes and medical centers of the LTTE were bombed in the raids. Although the jets have hit the targets accurately, no information about LTTE casualties are available so far. Meanwhile SLA ground forces advancing towards LTTE held Wanni heartland made further inroads through LTTE defenses in the area. more..

Ambassador of Kuwait has started hunt down the staff members

Mar 14 (LeN) After 'Lanka-e-News' revealed the details of the national day party of the Sri Lanka Ambassador in Kuwait, he has taken action to dismiss at the end of month three minor employees including one driver for passing the said news item among colleagues. According to the Embassy information, the Ambassador has asked them to write letters indicating a Sri Lankan working in Kuwait company for many years initiated action to publish the said news item. more..

Danger! JVP is arming again

Mar 14 (LeN) JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said recently, "JVP will fight to the fall of last member if the Provincial Councils that lead the country towards separatism will be brought back. The Provincial Councils that are to be brought to North and East are not the same Provincial Councils that are in South. They will have land and police powers. More powers will be vested to raise foreign funds. We will fight against them." more..

Sri Lanka country music show to raise money for children

Mar 14 (LBO) Country music singers from the UK and Germany will perform at the annual 'Country Roads' concert this Sunday, the 16th in a series whose main aim is to raise funds for needy children. 'The Mavericks', a five-piece country music band from Germany and British folk singer Astrid Brooke will perform at the concert which will also feature local artistes including 'The Country Revival Band', 'Anno Domino' and 'Cosmic Rays'. more..

Sri Lanka committed to supply power: minister

Mar 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka is committed to keep power flowing through the country at market prices rather than rationing electricity to reduce losses and consumption, a senior minister said. "The government is committed to a policy of supplying electricity even at a high price, because the cost of having power cuts is greater" power minister John Seneviratne told reporters. more..

SLFP (M) condemns media repression

Mar 14 (LD) The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (Mahajana) Wing has accused the present government of curbing the media and suppressing criticism against it in order to hide its inability to solve the burning issues of the people. In a statement, SLFP (M) leader Mangala Samaraweera says that the detention of media personnel of the ‘Outreach’ website is part of this systematic repression of the media, and more..

5th Rupavahini employee attacked

Mar 14 (LD) In a continuing targeted intimidation of employees of state-owned Rupavahini Corporation, Anurasiri Hettige, an Assistant Director in charge of supplies, was rushed to the Colombo National Hospital after being attacked in the streets this morning. He has received eight stitches to his head, hospital sources say. He is the third SLRC staffer to be physically assaulted after Labour Minister Mervyn Silva stormed the institution and attacked its News Director in December last year. more..

Global fuel price hike, no reflection on local market

Mar 14 (GDI) Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development, A.H.M.Fowzie disclosed that though fuel price in the world market has been increased in the global market it would not reflect on the local market until the end of Sinhala and Tamil New Year. It was revealed that the price has been determined by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation depending on the price of fuel imported from the Global market and the value of the stock available. more..

Sri Lanka- EU Troika meeting next week

Mar 14 (GDI) The European Union Troika will arrive in Sri Lanka prior to the 7th European Commission-Sri Lanka Joint Commission to be held in Colombo in June this year. It will focus on continuing Sri Lanka-EU bilateral cooperation which commemorates 35 years this year. A joint media release issued on the visit of the EU Troika to Sri Lanka stated that the two sides will seek to further strengthen the bilateral relationship. more..

China to provide assistance to boost exports

Mar 14 (GDI) China will be providing more concessions in order to boost Sri Lankan exports to that country, according to the Deputy Director General of Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce of People's Republic of China Zhu Hong. Zhu Hong said that China is a huge market for Sri Lanka and already imports a large number of items from the island. more..

Contest Eastern PC elections under UPFA banner – Maithripala Sirisena

Mar 14 (GDI) SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena extended an open invitation yesterday (13) to all political parties willing to agree upon the policies of the UPFA to contest the forthcoming Eastern Province Provincial Council Elections under the UPFA banner. "Even an armed group ready to lay down their weapons and enter democratic process is welcome," the Minister told the weekly Cabinet press briefing yesterday. more..

Correcting the Misinformation of the Tamil Information Centre

Mar 14 (PISL) The report of the Tamil Information Centre to the United Nations Human Rights Council deserves some respect since it is specifically addressed to the Council. This distinguishes it from the productions from other interested organizations that appear with monotonous regularity to coincide with Council meetings, whilst avoiding acknowledgment of this crucial factor. more..

Cleaner Colombo for SAARC Summit

Mar 14 (SAMN) The Colombo city is to be cleaned up for the SAARC Summit, which is to be held in July this year. A crash programme to clean the city and give it a new look is to be implemented following a decision taken by the Mayor, Mohamed U. Emtiyaz at a discussion he had with his Deputy, S. Rajendran, Opposition Leader, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and several Municipal Councillors during the week. more..

Gang targetting Sri Lankan train commuters identified

Mar 14 (LNP) The Anuradhapura Police on Wednesday arrested a member of a gang that befriends train commuters and steals their valuables after drugging them. He was arrested at the Anuradhapura Railway station when Police searched the Uttaradevi train plying from Medwachiya to Anuradhapura. Police said the arrested man, from Galenbindunuwewa, had earlier served as a home guard. more..

Laksala online real time

Mar 14 (LNP) In keeping with the world trends in commercial ventures, Sri Lanka Handicraft Board better known as Laksala launched its website at a ceremony held on Tuesday at its premises. The investment on this project is Rs. 12 million. The use of information technology in the spheres of marketing and promotion will enable efficient functioning and thereby increase productivity and profitability, more..

Flog the thieves of poor man's rice

Mar 14 (LNP) It is not anti-government forces running riot at village fairs, disfiguring wayside walls with posters and launching signature campaigns that will bring down the Rajapaksa regime. They are essaying an ouster of the government in vain. They are shifting from issue to issue not knowing, as a clich goes, whether they are coming or going. The Opposition worthies should not sully their tender hands with paappa (wheat flour paste) or shout themselves hoarse at protests in the scorching sun to achieve that objective. more..

Food scarcity in the offing: Govt.

Mar 14 (SAMN) In an attempt to face a possible food scarcity in the country next year, Cabinet has decided to set up a Presidential Task Force to promote local foods. Agriculture Minister Maithripala Sirisena said it is speculated that there will be scarcity of food supply in the country by next year as India, Pakistan and various other Asian countries have decided to stop exporting their food stocks to other countries. more..

Lanka questions Swiss double standards

Mar 14 (SAMN) Sri Lanka’s envoy to Geneva, Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka has questioned Switzerland’s double standards of raising concerns at the UN Human Rights Council over the activities of the Karuna faction but at the same time permitting the LTTE to hold public functions on their soil. He was responding to a point raised by Switzerland, to Special Rapporteur Manfred Nowak on the issue of Karuna Amman, who at the moment was facing British Justice, and more..