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Sri Lanka energy expert warns against LNG push

Mar 16 (LBO) A veteran energy analyst has warned against forces outside the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) that are pushing for more expensive natural gas generators with only one cheap coal fired plant being partially built. Tilak Siyambalapitiya, a former generation planner who is now an energy consultant, says state-run CEB's current high costs and over-dependence on diesel generators is a direct result of outside political interference that subverted the utility's coal generation efforts. more..

No improvement in police during 2007 - NPC

Mar 16 (LD) The National Police Commission (NPC) has reported no improvement in efficiency in the Police Department in 2007, 'Ravaya' reports. According to Director (Public Complaints) of the NPC J. Paranamana, there had been 1,940 complaints against the police last year. He says that 477 of them are related to the misuse of powers, and also include 225 incidents of partiality. The head office and the nine provincial offices of the NPC had received these complaints during the year. more..

President inquires about seniority of HC judges

Mar 16 (LD) The President has reportedly inquired from the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) about the seniority of judges serving in the High Court, before he fills a vacancy in the Court of Appeal. Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has nominated Chairman of the CA Justice K. Sripavan to the SC position earlier held by Justice Nihal Jayasinghe. Justice Chandra Ekanayake is tipped to get the CA chair, while her replacement in the CA is HC judge Upali Abeyratne. more..

Defence Sec.'s wife ignored at Temple Trees function

Mar 16 (LD) Anoma Rajapaksa, the wife of the Defence Secretary, had reportedly been sidelined and not given her due place at a function at Temple Trees on March 13th to felicitate mothers of war heroes, 'Ravaya' reports. According to sources at the Presidential Secretariat, top defence officials have expressed their displeasure over the relegation of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's wife. more..

Get gun positions around Madhu Church removed! – Forces ask Bishop of Mannar

Mar 16 (LT) Security Forces have asked Bishop of Mannar Rasappu Joseph to get the mortar and artillery positions deployed by tiger terrorists within Madhu Church premises removed. Tiger terrorists deployed heavy gun positions around Madhu church a few weeks ago to thwart the forward march of the Security Forces. Madhu Church and the adjacent area has been declared a demilitarized area and more..

Ganesalingan presented with literary award

Mar 16 (Hindu) Art and literature should have a scientific orientation, reflect reality and should not be based solely in imagination, Sri Lankan Tamil writer Se. Ganesalingan has said. Delivering the acceptance speech at a function held here on Saturday to receive the SKM Ilakkiya Virudhu from Erode Tamil Ilakkiya Peravai Arakkattalai, the author of over 60 books, said literature should have a scientific temper. more..

Value added products from mineral resources

Mar 16 (SO) The mineral resources which are exported to Japan USA and Europe as raw materials are now being partly retained to manufacture value added products. Minister of Industrial Development, Kumar Welgama has instructed Lanka Mineral Sands Company Ltd (LMSC) to go ahead with the manufacture of value added products such as Titarian metals and bullet proof glasses. more..

TMVP submits 16 names as heads of local bodies

Mar 16 (SO) The Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal party (TMVP)which secured a landslide victory at the Local Government polls in the Batticaloa district last week has submitted the list of names of sixteen of its elected members including a woman candidate to be appointed as Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the eight Pradeshiya Sabha local bodies in the Batticaloa district. more..

No solace for Borella shanty dwellers

Mar 16 (SO) At first glance, Ramya seems like any bubbling one-year-old baby with a cherubic smile and charming gurgles. However, behind those baby eyes lurk a dark secret. She is battling a blood infection and her health condition is worsening daily, says the Community Doctor, Dr. M. A. G. S. Rathnawardena. Baby Ramya lives in a 5x5 shanty which she shares with her family close to the railway track. more..

New Lottery to construct Weerawila airport

Mar 16 (SO) The National Lotteries Board (NLB) launched the New Airport lottery to raise funds to construct the Weerawila airport. The NLB introduced lotteries such as Mahajana Sampatha, Govi Setha, Sewana and Jayawiru to support livelihood development projects since it was set up in 1963. Chairman NLB, Upali Liyanage said "for every 10,000 tickets sold, we will draw a winner and this will increase the chances of winning." more..

UNP-SLMC marriage for PC polls in east

Mar 16 (NS) The country’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) is expected to make a final decision on Tuesday as to whether it will contest the forthcoming Eastern Province provincial council elections. According to UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, the general perception is that the party will contest the election. “The UNP Working Committee will meet on March 18 to make a final decision on the matter,” he said. more..

Hakeem rushes to east as govt. begins poaching

Mar 16 (NS) With the impending provincial council election in the east, Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa has begun to woo possible high-flying provincial council candidates from both the SLMC and the JVP. Highly-placed political sources said that during last week, Rajapaksa, had met with several senior SLMC provincial councillors from the east and promised them many goodies if they were to join the government and contest the forthcoming elections, scheduled for May 10, under the SLFP. more..

Batticaloa polls — dress rehearsal for real drama

Mar 16 (NS) A cartoonist in a national newspaper, reflecting on last week’s local government polls in the Eastern Province, depicted the TMVP as a trained dog jumping through three rings of fire held by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The dog was through the first ring of local government elections and running towards the second ring, the Provincial Council polls while Rajapaksa had another ring, the General Elections, concealed in his hand. more..

Eastern elections,UNP and the Attanayake fiasco

Mar 16 (NS) The people of Batticaloa braved the polls held for nine local bodies in the area on the 10th of March which marked a departure from gun culture to civilian rule. It was a rather difficult time for the people. Nevertheless, they braved the stormy period to embrace something better than, the rule of the gun. The main opposition UNP called the elections, a manipulation of the government; to hand it over to one terror group after securing it from another. more..

Malik Samarawickeme Vs Tissa Attanayake

Mar 16 (Island) An interesting event that took place last week was that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga turned up for the SLFP executive committee meeting on Thursday. She was present apparently in her capacity as the acting head of the Attanagalla Balamandalaya. The president who had arrived late for the meeting had been disoriented at seeing her and had been at a loss as to what to say. more..

Wanni Tigers face severe food shortage

Mar 16 (Island) The security forces are now engaged in conducting operations to "liberate" the people of the Wanni from the grip of the Tiger terrorists. In the past few months the Security Forces have been making steady progress by launching attacks relentlessly against Tiger terrorist strongholds to "liberate" the Wanni people from terrorist control. It has been confirmed by many independent reports the Tigers have sustained heavy casualties by the advancing troops. more..

Security cover for TV staff at risk

Mar 16 (Island) A comprehensive security cover for Rupavahini employees, under threat following a series of attacks by unidentified goons, was discussed at a top level conference chaired by Police chief Victor Perera last Friday. Certain employees who were identified and categorized as those facing a greater degree of threat were singled out for enhanced security, a top police official said. more..

GL lobbies EU in Brussels on GSP Plus

Mar 16 (Island) Export Development and International Trade Minister G.L. Peiris last week had important meetings in Brussels with leading European Union (EU) officials including Peter Mendelson, the Trade Commissioner and Benita Ferrero-Waldener, the EU’s Commissioner for External Relations. Peiris, who is increasingly devoting a major share of his time and efforts at ensuring the extension of the GSP+ agreement giving Sri Lanka made garments preferential entry into EU markets, more..

JVP wants 17th Amendment before Eastern PC polls

Mar 16 (ST) The JVP has listed a series of demands if it is to consider contesting the forthcoming Provincial Council elections to the Eastern Province, a frontline MP of the party told The Sunday Times yesterday. Anura Kumar Dissanayake said the demands included that the 17th Amendment to the Constitution be implemented well ahead of the May 10 elections so that the Constitutional Council would be in operation by then and more..

LTTE, JVP use common claws against India

Mar 16 (ST) That politics make strange bedfellows is an old adage or cliché. In Sri Lanka's fast changing political order, strange but true, the saying assumes different meanings at different times. The current one is somewhat paradoxical. However, though literally not on the same bed, the LTTE and the JVP are on the same side in their opposition to neighbouring India. On Monday, the LTTE declared it was "deeply hurt" by the welcome extended to Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, by the Government of India, more..

Prabha reappears, seemingly very much in command

Mar 16 (ST) Troops of the Army's mechanised infantry backed by battle tanks and armoured carriers made a foray this week into a stretch of Tiger guerrilla positions south of Muhamalai. They stayed on the ground for a long period, at least over three hours. There was, however, no confrontation. Was the Army testing the ground? A young officer who was part of the team said he believed the guerrillas would have shifted their positions further backwards. more..

TN, Kerala have LTTE pockets: M K Narayanan

Mar 16 (PTI) Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been asked to closely monitor the activities of Tamil Tigers as both states had "presence of small LTTE pockets", National Security Adviser M K Naryanan said on Sunday. Central intelligence agencies were aware of "the presence of small LTTE pockets and their counterparts in the two states have been asked to closely monitor such activities," Narayanan told reporters. more..

India should intervene and end war in Lanka: Tamil MP

Mar 16 (PTI) Appealing to India to "intervene immediately and put an end to the war", a senior Sri Lankan Tamil MP has alleged that the island nation's army plans to capture the LTTE-held Vanni area, which could result in a huge loss of lives. "Sri Lankan military is planning a major attack to capture Vanni from the Tamil Tigers. Their plan is to bring the Tamil area from Mohamalai forward defense line up to Paranthan close to Kilinochchi (the LTTE headquarters) under their control," more..

Elephants are falling victim to an improvised explosive, Hakka Patas

Mar 16 (ST) Elephants are generally animals on the move, but this bull elephant frequenting Suriyawewa stood lethargically in one place. A team from the Hambantota Wildlife Conservation Unit called in by villagers to check it out, found it showing signs of uneasiness. Soon it collapsed. The wildlife ranger of Hambantota H.M. Abeykoon and veterinary surgeon for the region Dr. Suhada Jayawardena tried giving water to the animal. more..

Anura Bandaranaike passes away

Mar 16 (AT) Leading Parliamentarian Anura Solomon Dias Bandaranaike passed away a short while ago after a prolonged illeness. He died of heart attack on Sunday. His body is still laying at his Colombo's residence [Visumpaya]. Meanwhile President Mahindha Rajapaksha has instructed his officials to make arrangements for late Parliamentarian's final rites. more..

Sri Lanka's military says 30 killed in recent fighting in the north

Mar 16 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a roadside bomb Sunday in northern Sri Lanka, killing one soldier, while a police officer was fatally shot elsewhere taking the death toll from two days of violence to 30, the military said. Separatist rebels ambushed a motorized rickshaw with a roadside bomb early Sunday in Vavuniya district, killing one soldier and wounding four others, the military said in a statement. more..

Korea Invited to Sri Lanka for Oil Development in

Mar 17 (KT) When the Sri Lankan ambassador met his President last month in Colombo with a handful of Korean journalists, he discussed the situation of the oil reserve off Sri Lanka's west coast to the President. Ambassador Asitha Perera talked about the "energy diplomacy" that was seriously taken up by the Korean government, and asked the President to have Korea share one of the six oil blocks that were open to foreign bids. more..

Jayasuriya denies having met the Prez

Mar 17 (Rediff) Veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya on Friday denied having sought Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's intervention for his inclusion in the ODI team to the West Indies. "It is completely false to say that I went to meet the President to seek his support to get back into the team. I cannot understand how or why a malicious story like that came up," Jayasuriya said. "The last time I spoke to the President was before I went to Australia," he said. more..

Jayawardene backs young team

Mar 17 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, believes the West Indies tour will be a great opportunity for the younger players in the squad to make a mark. Jayawardene is leading a relatively inexperienced team - only five from their 15-member party have played Tests in the West Indies. "We've got some youngsters coming through the set-up now so it's going to be a very good experience for those guys and West Indies is a very good side so we're definitely looking forward to the challenge," more..

Battle of the Blues ends in draw

Mar 17 (CI) Rain proved to be a spoiler in what could have been an exciting finish to the 129th Battle of the Blues schools-cricket encounter between Royal College and St. Thomas' College played at the SSC grounds on Saturday. A sporting declaration by Royal left the Thomians a target of 244 to chase in a minimum of 71 overs in the fourth innings. After a cautious start, the Thomians took up the challenge with their openers Jehan Thahir and Fahim Saleem posting an unbroken stand of 59 off 20.1 overs before rain put an end to more..

Anura B 'mistaken' on JVP

Mar 17 (BBC) Anura Bandaranaike helped to get the support of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) in forming a government without being aware of the true nature of the JVP says Sunethra Bandaranaike. The eldest sister of the former parliamentarian said that the move to get JVP support was an opportunist political step in order to gain power. Sunethra Bandaranaike told BBC Sandeshaya that every politician is an opportunist when it comes to gain power. more..

The Government must uphold the Rule of Law

Mar 17 (GV) The Rupavahini workers are being assaulted by goons. The workers allege that it is all the work of a Minister who stormed into their office a few weeks ago and intimidated their bosses for not publicizing his political speech. It is the fifth such attack and the politicized Police Force or Farce, seem to be in slumber. Hitherto it has been the Tamil and Muslim community that was at the receiving end of a murderous bunch cloaked with authority. more..

Sri Lanka must redeem itself from racist mania

Mar 17 (LG) There was a time, and what a time it was, when we took the Night Mail from Jaffna to Colombo with a pack of drumsticks wrapped in fresh banana stem folds and even a bottle of virgin gingili oil from Pirampathai and later Anaicottai and at times even a box of delicious karuthakkolumban mangoes. Some would of course be for relatives, some to our dear Sinhala colleagues, neighbours and friends and some of course for pandankaraya purposes. more..

Unity for the West but division for Sri Lanka?

Mar 17 (AT) The allegation against the President Mahinda Rajapakse that there was an agreement between him and the LTTE to enforce an election boycott in the North and East was levelled by the right-wing opposition, the UNP. This party is well known for its closeness to right-wing politics of USA and its allies. If Mahinda Rajapakse had that much of power to mobilize the LTTE against the UNP, USA would have chosen him instead of Ranil Wickramasinghe as their Representative in Sri Lanka. more..

LTTE ready for talks if Lankan govt halts attacks

Mar 17 (PTI) The Tamil Tigers have expressed readiness to hold talks with the government here if it halted the military operations against them, but warned that the offer should not be seen as 'any desperation' on their part to stop the war. "The LTTE is prepared to commence negotiations with the Sri Lankan government if the government security forces are ordered to halt their military operations. It was the government which started the war," more..

The Wolves (Part 02)

Mar 17 (LG) The Army officer then attacked the youth. He had a big baton in his hand. It broke the Tamil’s head. They brought Kumar forward. The shaking head signalled. Kumar, too, was pushed into the group of ‘Tamil terrorists’. Someone who was watching all this from a distance was shouting out in Sinhala. It was a face known to him, that of Summanathasa, who had once studied with him, who was standing there and shouting, “He is not a terrorist”. more..

Sinhala Intellectual Traditions

Mar 17 (LG) The nationalist movement lacked abstract general theories based on the national or "jathika chinthanaya" from the very beginning. That does not mean that there were no theories based on the "jathika chinthanaya", as there were concrete theories applicable to specific instances. In fact the "jathika chinthanaya" does not encourage abstract general theories as Sinhala Buddhist culture does not provide a fertile ground for abstract creations. more..

Time to Resurrect Him

Mar 17 (LG) Religion should humanize people. Enable them to live together. To recognize each other's similarities. Respect each other's differences. Affirm each other's rights. Religion should create unity not uniformity. It should embrace people's diversity and connectedness, their individuality and commonality, their uniqueness and oneness. Religion should equalize not marginalize. Harmonize not imperialize. Inspire people to empathize not demonize. more..

Whither democracy?

Mar 17 (LG) In spite of the fact that we belong to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, with law and order, a necessity for good governance, and having all resources at our command to maintain law and order, we are unfortunately unable to quell and control crimes and criminals — only handful of them seem to rule and thrive on robbery, and thuggery. The question is, why is democracy being challenged with impunity, in that democracy has been transformed into a government of thugs, for the thugs and by the thugs, more..

Central bank is creating inflation: economist

Mar 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank is accountable for inflation and claims of 'cost push' factors for rising prices cannot be accepted when well managed countries are reporting single digit price increases, an economist has said. "Inflation is a purely monetary phenomenon," lead economist of LirneAsia Harsha de Silva, who is a strong advocate of low inflation, told members of the island's Chamber of Industries earlier this month. more..

Many heads to roll at the controversial Sri Lanka High Commission in London in spring cleaning

Mar 17 (AT) Sri Lanka’s London High Commission, which has become a center of controversy, will be cleaned up by transferring many responsible diplomats out of London as a step to clean up the place during Spring, Foreign Ministry sources said. “Very many heads will roll; the High Commission will start functioning under a newly appointed Head of Mission,” sources said. more..

Ahmadinejad to visit Sri Lanka in April

Mar 17 (TT) Iranian President Ahmadinejad reportedly is to visit the projects developed with the help of Iran, particularly the water power plant project in Uma Oya. The Iranian government agreed to invest 1.9 billion dollars in Sri Lanka’s projects, following President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to Tehran in November 2007. Rajapaksa discussed regional and international issues including Palestine and expansion of bilateral ties between Tehran and Colombo over his trip. more..

Rev. Tibet S Mahinda was a true internationalist! – Wimal Weerawansa

Mar 17 (LT) Rev. Tibet S. Mahinda Thero was a genuine internationalist Just as Ernesto Che Guera was an internationalist said Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa , General Secretary of Patriotic National Movement (PNM). He pointed out that Rev. Mahinda, a Sikkim national came to Sri Lanka, took the name ‘Tibet S. Mahinda’ and got himself fully engrossed in the national struggle. more..

President takes Mervin Silva's arms to suppress the Rupavahini workers

Mar 17 (LeN) Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) authorities banned entry to around 600 workers of SLRC into their workplace allowing only selected workers to enter the premises. The workers say that the authorities have taken this action following the orders given by the President to the Chairman and the Director General in a special discussion held at Temple Trees yesterday (16). more..

'I will not fall down since I hail from grassroots level' -Thissa says to Ranil openly

Mar 17 (LeN) "I slept on a mat on the floor of Sirikotha for the sake of politics. Therefore, I cannot be pushed to floor. I work for the party and the leadership facing any problem," UNP General Secretary Thissa Aththanayaka has said to his leader Ranil Wickramasinghe openly when they met for a discussion on March 11. Newspapers on March 03 and 04 gave wide publicity to the story of an internal conflict in the UNP more..

Ramani tells to the Foreign Minister how the ambassador took revenge from her

Mar 17 (LeN) Ms. Herath Mudiyanselage Sala Ramani of Amugoda, Elpitiya, the female house worker who was sent back home suddenly while serving in the official residence of Sri Lanka ambassador of Netherlands submitted a description of the intimidations and injustices she underwent to the Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama through an affidavit. Ms. Ramani said that she was unable to meet the Minister on March 12 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since the Minister was in a meeting. more..

Sarath Munasinghe passes away

Mar 17 (LD) Former military spokesman, Major General Sarath Munasinghe passed away in a private hospital this morning (Mar. 17th). He was a contemporary of the present SLA chief Sarath Fonseka and former SLA chief Shantha Kottegoda. After retiring from the Army, Munasinghe entered the field of politics as a district organizer of the UNP in the Polgahawela electorate. After being elected as a parliamentarian of the Kurunegala district in the 2000 elections, he was also appointed as Deputy Speaker. more..

Anura’s remains taken to Parliament

Mar 17 (LD) The remains of the late veteran politician Anura Bandaranaike will be taken to the Parliament Complex this morning (17) around 11.30 a.m for MPs to pay their last respects. After two hours, it will be taken to the Bandaranaike ancestral home in Horagolla. The funeral will take place on March 19th. Anura Bandaranaike passed away last afternoon (Mar. 16th) in his Visumpaya residence. more..

Journalists’ house ransacked

Mar 17 (LD) Lakbima journalist Sunethra Athugalpura and her husband Sirasa News Producer Sashi Kumara have become the latest victims of intimidations against media personnel after an unidentified gang ransacked their house in Kelaniya last night (Mar. 16th). Though the house was ransacked, nothing was reported as stolen. However, Mr. Kumara said that as nothing was stolen, it was a sole act of intimidation and that they couldn’t pin the blame on anyone. more..

Thug threatened SLRC under state suppression too

Mar 17 (LD) After being continuously intimidated by thugs, the state owned Rupavahini Corporation is being victimized by the state suppression as well, reports say. Demanding for a stop to these attacks, the trade unions of the SLRC went on strike after calling for the intervention of the President. The trade unions had warned the government that they would go on strike from today (Mar. 17th), if their grievances were not addressed. more..