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Ravi exposes Somawansa

Mar 14 (SAMN) Commenting on aTV talk show involving JVP leader Somawansa Amerasinghe, UNP Colombo District Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake told a recent meeting of UNP branch organiders at Kotte, that while Amerasinghe’s son was studying in a university in England, he and his party were disrupting the university education in this country. "This show was one of the best jokes telecast and I am sure viewers would like a repeat telecast of this show", Karunanayake said. more..

Largest wage package under present regime, say TUs

Mar 14 (DN) Trade Unions yesterday emphasised that the biggest wage hikes in the public service history was granted under the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. They pointed out that two years ago the minimum wage of a State sector employees was fixed at Rs. 7,848 and at present it has been raised to Rs. 11,730. While raising the wages in this unprecedented fashion the Government also made the largest number of recruitment to the State sector, they add. more..

More than 100,000 jobs for skilled Lankans in Middle East

Mar 14 (DN) Minister of Foreign Employment and Welfare Keheliya Rambukwella during his current tour of the Middle East, has been able to garner the support from several countries to secure more than 100,000 jobs for skilled manpower, in addition to better protocol on migrant worker rights and welfare. The Minister is currently touring the region to promote Sri Lanka as a viable source for quality skilled labour, more..

Mega Co-op fraud jolts govt

Mar 14 (Island) A sizeable stock of 20,000 metric tons of rice recently imported from India, to be sold through the countrywide network of Co-operatives, had been sold to Pettah wholesale market, authoritative sources said. The sources said India had facilitated the speedy transportation of the stock of rice following Sri Lanka’s urgent appeal. Regrettably, the bulk of the stock had ended up at the Pettah wholesale market with more..

National Schools’ director to find a school for every child

Mar 14 (Island) Crisis in admission of Children to Grade I classes would be resolved by Wednesday (19), Director, National Schools, Srilal Nonis said in Kandy yesterday (13). The Director met the group of parents joining a Sathyakriya protest campaign at the entrance to the Provincial Education Office to pledge that steps would be taken to find a school for every child seeking admission to year one. more..

SC opinion sought on international covenant

Mar 14 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sought the opinion of the Supreme Court on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act. A panel of five judges, comprising Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva, Justices N.G.Amaratunga, Saleem Marsoof, Andrew Somawansa and Jagath Balapatabendi, will take this matter up on Monday (17). Sri Lanka is a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), more..

Rat fever fast spreading in WP

Mar 14 (DM) The health authorities say the rat fever (Lepto Spirosis) is fast spreading in the Western Province. Hundred and fifteen patients were found during the last two months. Forty-seven of them were from the Kalutara District, 41 from the Gampaha District and 27 were from the Colombo District. Patients were found from Bandaragama, Matugama, Madurawala, Bulathsinhala and Horana in the Kalutara District. more..

The LTTE has to blame itself for the present state

Mar 14 (DH) In accusing India of having committed “yet another historic blunder” by giving a state welcome to Sri Lankan army chief Sarath Fonseka after the island government has abrogated the ceasefire and the armed forces have launched an all-out offensive, the LTTE has shown its despair. In its view, India made the first blunder in using the IPKF to enforce the peace agreement between the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President J R Jayewardene in 1987. more..

Is he Singaporean?

Mar 14 (ENP) HE is the Singapore link to terrorist group LTTE, the Sri Lankan government alleges. I am a Singaporean who lost my passport, Muththusami Ilankoowan contends. Depending on who is right - two different pictures of Muththusami emerge. Sri Lankan's national security spokesman Lakshman Hulugalle told The New Paper: 'Muththusami is a Sri Lankan who had worked in Singapore.' more..

Fighting across northern Sri Lanka kills 28 Tamil rebels

Mar 14 (AP) Gunbattles between government soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels across Sri Lanka's embattled north killed 28 guerrillas, the military said Friday. Fresh fighting along the front lines in the northern Vavauiya district Thursday killed 14 rebels, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara. In the nearby Mannar district, soldiers attacked rebels across the front lines and killed 11 insurgents, while in the northeastern Welioya region, three more rebels were killed, more..

Democracy for Killinochchi soon, President pledges

Mar 14 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing a ceremony at the presentation of documents pertaining to financial assistance to the Maha Sangha of the Eastern Province at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday said that the people in Killinochchi will soon be bale to enjoy democracy just like those in the East, recently liberated from the clutches of terrorism. more..

India meddling in Sri Lanka affairs, says JVP

Mar 14 (IANS) A leader of Sri Lanka's third largest political party asserts that India is again interfering in the country's affairs by forcing Colombo to devolve powers to minorities. Vijitha Herath of the Sinhala-Marxist JVP also said in an interview here that India's backing for a power sharing formula amounted to giving ideological backing to the Tamil Tigers. 'Indian ideas on devolution are indirect support to the LTTE ideology,'IANS more..

State television stops live programs in protest

Mar 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run television service, Rupavahini, has suspended live programs other than news broadcasts in protest against an attack on one of their employees Friday morning, television workers said. Anurasiri Hettige, a trade union official, had been attacked with a metal bar in the Kottikawatte area of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo earlier in the day in the latest in a series of attacks against television workers. more..

Tigers and Elections

Mar 15 (WSJ) As Sri Lanka's civil war approaches its 25th year, the government is trying to move its military offensive into a new phase: elections. Municipal polls in the majority-Tamil eastern province Monday were far from perfect, but symbolically, they represented a big step forward. The question now is whether the government can keep the momentum going and hold freer and fairer provincial elections next month. more..

Sri Lanka needs ‘agricultural renaissance’

Mar 15 (OW) Who is responsible for your right to food? The right to food is one of the priority fundamental human rights. Food is the number one concern of human kind. Health is a close second. These two are closely inter-related. Adequate nutrition is a determinant of health. The state is certainly responsible for your right to food. Sri Lanka has long been cited by development economists and public health specialists as a model low-income country which achieved extraordinary more..

Women's issues key to peace in Sri Lanka

Mar 15 (AJ) Churches have played an important part in supporting human rights in Sri Lanka, where a drawn-out civil war has recently gained new energy, according to a former member of the board of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. “The (Roman) Catholic church is very active in raising human rights concerns. The Anglican bishop there, Duleep de Chickera, is extra good. He has spoken out against the war,” said Kumudini (Kumi) Samuel, who served on the PWRDF committee and board from 1997 to 2005. more..

Sri Lanka, ADB holding talks to remove terminal deadlock

Mar 15 (LBO) The Asian Development Bank and Sri Lanka are holding talks to modify an agreement to avoid further delays in starting work on a bank-funded breakwater for a new port, a senior ADB official said. "The breakwater contract is time critical in that if it is not awarded soon the project would lose one full construction season and this would delay completion of the project," said Richard Vokes, ADB country director for Sri Lanka. more..

JVP trade union warns of major strike action by working class

Mar 15 (LD) A JVP-led trade union says it will convene the entire working class to major strike action to protest the barbaric repression against them by President Mahinda Rajapaksa who rode to power on their backs. Without stopping at repressing the people, the present regime is now trying to murder them by cutting off their heads, Secretary of the All Ceylon Trade Union Federation and MP Piyasiri Wijenayake told the media in Colombo today (Mar. 14th). more..

IGP worried about attacks on SLRC staff even after talks with Gotabhaya

Mar 15 (LD) Trades unions of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation have warned of a combined major work stoppage if the president does not intervene and ensure the safety of SLRC employees. Barely 18 hours had elapsed after trade unions discussed the matter with the Defence Secretary when the latest attack on SLRC’s Assistant Director (Supplies) Arunasiri Hettige occurred, the Rupavahini Corporation Trade Unions Alliance told the media in Colombo this evening (Mar. 14th). more..

SL Minister implicated in bribe attempt to silence massacre witness

Mar 15 (TN) The inquiry into the massacre of five Trincomalee students took a dramatic turn Thursday when an exiled medical practitioner father of one of the student victims, in a video conference before the Commission of Inquiry (CoI), revealed that a prominent Cabinet Minister in Mahinda Rajapaksa's government, after the massacre, had proposed to offer a house in Colombo to the family if they were willing to "forget that mistake had taken place." more..

International response to Sri Lanka war after the end of CFA

Mar 15 (FI) The European Union’s decision to renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) plus scheme provided for Sri Lanka’s exports for another three years from January 2009, despite its adverse reaction to the ending of the ceasefire agreement (CFA) by Sri Lanka government. (The GSP plus concession enables Sri Lanka to export its goods and products to the EU at reduced or exempted tax and duty levies.) more..

Caste of mind and the 'silly season'

Mar 15 (AHRC) In a recent statement by the Secretary to the Peace Secretariat, he refers to a series of criticism made against the Sri Lankan government on human rights violations during a period he calls the "silly season." What he has found silly are the reports of Human Rights Watch and the decision of IIGEP to quit their role of monitoring the Presidential Commission's observance of international norms and standards on human rights. more..

Sri Lanka slams US on rights report

Mar 15 (IANS) Sri Lanka Friday slammed the US State Department's report on the human rights situation in the island, saying that it was based on "hearsay, innuendo and exaggeration" and charged that it had thrown a "life line" to the Tamil Tiger terrorists. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama summoned US Ambassador Robert Blake to register his country's "serious" concerns about the report, which he said, was a "litany of unsubstantiated allegations, innuendo and vituperative exaggerations". more..

Conspiracies Against President Rajapakse & Family

Mar 15 (ML) There are many reports in the news media these days about LTTE attempts to harm President Rajapakse, First Lady and family utilizing different contacts working closely with President Rajapakse or his family. “There is no smoke without fire” and it might just be prudent, to take heed and be cautious for the sake of the entire nation and the patriotic/ national interests of this country. more..

Lazy Rice “cuts & pastes”, Blake where were you?

Mar 15 (CP) The U.S Department of State on March 11 2008 issued a series of Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in the year 2007. In its report on Sri Lanka, it projects the nation as a virulent violator of human rights. In seeking an expert’s opinion on the Report, The Colombo Post spoke to an eminent Mass Media and International Rights expert, renown amongst the academic circles in Sri Lanka. Due to the sensitivity of the subject, he chose to maintain his anonymity. more..

PCB confident Ranatunga will accept ODI proposal

Mar 15 (IN) National cricket bosses will host Sri Lanka’s board chief Arjuna Ranatunga next week in Lahore to discuss a number of issues ranging from this summer’s Asia Cup to be a proposed one-day series between the two countries, writes Khalid Hussain. Ranatunga, a former Sri Lanka captain who is also the chief of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on March 20.During his visit, Ranatunga will meet top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials including the PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf. more..

Book Review: Mahaweli Meadow

Mar 15 (IL) The title of this book refers to Ganga Langa Uyana which is the ancestral property of Devika Amarasekera, the daughter of a wealthy Colombo family who is a student at the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya in the late 1950s. Devika meets Tony Fonseca, another student, who comes from a modest home in Colombo 6 and is therefore not her social equal. After an initial antagonism that generates sparks between them, they fall deeply and irreversibly in love. more..

Anandasangaree snubs TNA Parliamentarian Sri Kantha for unsolicited advice

Mar 15 (AT) Anandasangaree reaffirms that K.Sivanesan the TNA parliamentarian was slain by LTTE and not by the Deep penetrating Force of the Sri Lanka Army. He categorically rejected the allegation that the Deep penetrating Force of the Sri Lanka Army was responsible for the slaying of Kiddnar Sivanesan, MP who was killed 20 kilometers inside Vanni when he travelled in a car on 6th March. more..

Sri Lanka at Lions Club Anniversary at the UN

Mar 15 (AT) Sri Lanka took a leading role in the 30th Annual Lions Day with the United Nations held on 14th March at the UN Headquarters in New York, as this year’s event was presided by a Sri Lankan, Mahendra Amarasuriya, President of the International Association of Lions Clubs for 2007-2008, with the patronage of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations. more..

LTTE Regiments: Charles Anthony

Mar 15 (SLW) The Charles Anthony is the LTTE's first conventional regiment (Padai Pirivu). The number one in the above insignia probably explains its seniority. The emblem has a significant criss-cross of LTTE's earliest rapid-fire gun, the Sub Machine Gun. The Regiment was commanded by many famous LTTE 'Commanders' including 'Col' Swarnam, 'Col' Nagulan and 'Lt. Col' Nakulan. more..

Peace cartel, the charade is over!

Mar 15 (LG) "The Charade Comes Apart" is the heading of the first section of the latest report of the UTHR(J). Seeing it, a very graphic Sinhala expression came to mind - neva happuwa - rammed the ship. Karuna rammed the peace ship and derailed the gravy train, which he says ran only up to Vavuniya. Pirabhakaran is worshipped by his devotees inside and outside the LTTE, as the Suriya Thevan - Sun God. more..

Re-incarnation of Marxist Bogey

Mar 15 (LG) The ‘goni-billa’ is raising its spooky head again. "Religion is the opium of the masses’ - Marx said - they say. This was the lethal weapon the capitalists and their handmaids constantly used to keep socialists at bay. Socialist measures which were emasculated and ruined by politicians and some scheming conservative bureaucrats, have been confined to the dust bin of history by subtle propaganda designed to discredit them and more..

Divorce among SL Muslims

Mar 15 (LG) Islam, according to its teachings, does not approve of divorce. However, it is permitted more as an exception to the rule "Expel them [women] not from their houses nor let them go forth unless they commit open immorality. . ."[Holy Quran - Surah 65]. "Of all the acts permitted by law" said the Holy Prophet Muhammad [Sal] "divorce is the most hateful in the sight of Allah" [Abu Daud’ Sunan,xiii 3]. more..

The Mega Cabinet in Sri Lanka: Perceptions and Implications

Mar 15 (LG) This is the first report on 'Mega Cabinet in Sri Lanka: Perceptions and Implications' published under the 'Ministerial Expenditure Monitoring' programme conducted by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL). This report provides an analysis based on the findings of the programme to date on expenditure involved in maintaining a large cabinet in Sri Lanka within the current political and economic context. more..

Mob attacks Parameshwari’s family

Mar 15 (LG) An armed mob stormed the house of former Mawubima journalist Parameshwari Munusami in Gampola last night and assaulted her family causing serious injuries to her father and sister. The gang reportedly armed with clubs had stormed the house and attacked the residents around 8.30 pm. They had surrounded the house preventing the injured family members from being taken to hospital. more..

Sri Lankan architects eying Indian tourism boom

Mar 15 (LBO) Sri Lankan architects are finding new opportunities designing hotels for India's booming leisure sector as an intensifying conflict delayed projects at home, a top architect said. "We have not had too many opportunities in Sri Lanka," says Channa Daswatte, who now spends more time in India than at home. "With the onset of hostilities between the government and the LTTE (Tamil Tiger guerillas) most of those projects have been shelved." more..

Sri Lanka could gain more in next phase of trade liberalization

Mar 15 (LBO) A new study on a south Asian regional trade deal has said Sri Lanka will gain more in the next phase of liberalisation but the island's private sector representatives have expressed scepticism about the outcome. The study on the benefits of the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) found that since 1991 the potential for intra-regional trade has increased with an improvement in 'complementarities' among the three major trading partners, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankan spinner gets suspended jail sentence

Mar 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi on Saturday was handed a four-year suspended jail sentence for driving carelessly and killing a woman pedestrian in 2003. Judge M.N.A Gaffoor also ordered the cricketer to pay a fine of 500,000 rupees (4,716 US dollars) that would go to two charities. Lokuarachchi, 25, pleaded guilty to killing the pedestrian and injuring her son in a late-night car crash in August 2003. more..

SEP general secretary pays tribute to Keerthi Balasuriya

Mar 15 (wsws) The International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) and the World Socialist Web Site will hold a meeting in Paris on March 16 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of Keerthi Balasuriya, general secretary of the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL), the predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party of Sri Lanka, and a leader of the ICFI. more..

New Era dawns in the Eastern Province

Mar 15 (PISL) The successful holding of local Govt. elections in Batticaloa (eight Pradeshiya Sabhas and Batticaloa Municipal Council) on March 10 vindicates the decision of President Mahinda Rajapakse to hold free elections and restore democracy in the Eastern Province soon after its liberation from the yoke of terrorism. A decade and a half have passed since people in the East voted at a local Govt. election. more..

Chandrika criticizes Mahinda at Temple Trees meeting

Mar 15 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been roundly criticized by his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunga over the manner in which the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is adopting resolutions at its Central Committee. Kumaratunga attended yesterday's CC meeting at Temple Trees on an official invitation as patron of the party and very clearly made her view known. It was her very first participation at a discussion chaired by her successor, sources said. more..

Former TRC chief claims irregularities

Mar 15 (LD) Former Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRC) Themiya Hurulle has claimed irregularities and political intervention in the issuance of broadcasting licenses and radio frequencies from January 01st 2005 to date, ‘Ravaya’ reports. In a letter to the Auditor General on March 07th, Hurulle has called for a correct assessment of the losses suffered due to these deals and the publication of the same for the information of the general public. more..

Sri Lanka demands consistent and proportionate expositions from UN

Mar 15 (GDI) Yasantha Kodagoda, Deputy Solicitor General and member of the Government Delegation to the UN Human Rights Council, exercising his Right of Reply, urged the UN body to act in good faith, objectively, consistently and be proportionate in all expositions and not entertain hidden or political agendas. He was speaking under the agenda item 'Urgent situations warranting the attention of the Human Rights Council' and more..

Numerous inaccuracies in US state Dept. report- Human Rights Ministry

Mar 15 (GDI) The Disaster Management and Human Rights Ministry said yesterday (14) the US State Department Report on Sri Lanka contains numerous inaccuracies and paints a lopsided picture of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. The US State Department's 2007 Country Report on Human Rights Practices was issued on Tuesday. The full statement is given below: The Ministry welcomes objective and impartial comment - more..

Govt gravely concerned by attacks on SLRC employers

Mar 15 (GDI) The Government has expressed its grave concern about the recent and repeated attacks directed at the employees of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC). Anusha Palpita, Director of Government Information stated in a media release that while the Government has taken every action to ensure the security of media personnel, the Government is greatly surprised at the savage act of thuggery perpetrated on Mr. Anurasiri Hettige, President of the SLRC Employees Union, more..

Pakistani Senate delegation visits President

Mar 15 (GDI) A Pakistani delegation comprising of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Senate paid a courtesy call today (14th) on President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The delegation is led by Senator Mushaid Hussain Sayed (Chairman) who is being accompanied by ten others. During their discussion, the Senators told the President that the long standing cordial relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan should continue despite changes in the Government of Pakistan. more..

US State Dept. Report an extraordinary rendition of events – Dayan Jayatilleka

Mar 15 (GDI) Responding to questions raised during a panel discussion titled `War, Peace and Human Rights: Sri Lanka after the Eastern Elections', was held yesterday (March 14) on the sidelines of the Seventh Session of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka said that the recent report by the US State Department on Sri Lanka was 'extraordinary rendition of events'. more..

IOM helps renovate tsunami-affected school building

Mar 15 (GDI) The International Organization Migration (IOM), through its Care and Maintenance Programme, following the request made by the authorities of the Methodist College, Dehiwela, has stepped in to renovate a tsunami affected school building. Accordingly the play area, classrooms, the laboratory and the staff room were renovated while sanitation facilities were upgraded and a new canteen constructed through the programme. more..

Sri Lanka nears MiG-29 purchase

Mar 15 (LNP) Sri Lanka is in advanced talks with Russia over the procurement of five MiG-29 fighter aircraft, the head of the country`s state-owned procurement agency has said. Jayantha Wickramasinghe, chief executive officer of Lanka Logistics and Technologies Limited (the company created by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence in 2007 to procure equipment for the armed forces), said that the acquisition of four MiG-29SMs and one MiG-29UB was `well under way`. more..

President says government not responsible for attacks on media people

Mar 15 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that the government cannot take the responsibility for the threats against media arising from certain individuals behavior. However, he said that the government will take all actions to protect the media freedom. He made these comments speaking at an award ceremony this evening at President s office in Colombo. Speaking further he said that Sri Lanka has the media freedom at the highest level despite the claims of certain media watchdogs. more..