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The Govt. which promised to develop Farmers is developing its Ministers and Mudalalis

Mar 19 (SLW) Anuradhapura UNP M.P. , P. Harrison , speaking to the Media at the UNP media unit today (18 Mar) recalled how the voters of his agriculture based electorate were bamboozled by the President at elections promising to give manure at Rs.350.00 per bag among other grandiose promises to the Agriculture community. They voted the Peoples alliance into power solely on these promises. more..

Internal and external conflicts further isolate Sri Lanka from neighbors

Mar 19 (IL) Internal conflicts and external conflicts have caused trouble for Sri Lanka for decades. The weak and inadequate response of Sri Lanka's political leadership in addressing and resolving these conflicts has made Sri Lanka unpopular among its neighbors. Sri Lanka needs leadership, led by new blood, with determination and courage to prevent Sri Lanka's reputation from worsening. more..

Man accused of fundraising for Tamil Tigers gets bail

Mar 19 (CP) The first man in Canada to be charged with terrorist financing for his alleged efforts to raise money for the Tamil Tigers was given bail in Vancouver today. Forty-five-year-old Prapaharan Thambithurai, a Toronto-area man, was released on $25,000 bail. He left provincial court refusing to comment on his case, but as he stepped into a car, he chastised the media for paying so much attention to his case while past atrocities against Tamils have been ignored. more..

Sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke dies at 90

Mar 19 (Reuters) Pioneering science fiction writer and visionary Sir Arthur C. Clarke, best known for his novel "2001: A Space Odyssey" and his towering influence on the genre, has died in Sri Lanka. He was 90. "He has passed away. He had a cardio-respiratory attack," said Rohan de Silva, his personal secretary. British-born Clarke wrote more than 80 books and hundreds of short stories and articles during a career that spanned some seven decades. more..

Editorials: Human rights in Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (VoA) The U.S. State Department's newly released annual report on worldwide human rights practices says the Sri Lankan government’s respect for human rights continued to decline in 2007, due in part to the escalation of armed conflict with the insurgent LTTE. It says that while ethnic Tamils compose about sixteen percent of the overall population, “the overwhelming majority of victims of human rights violations, such as killings and disappearances, were young male Tamils.” more..

Caste of mind and the social organisation of Sri Lanka since the 9th century AD

Mar 19 (SLW) These days there are discussions about democracy, rule of law and human rights as alien to Sri Lanka and that there should be a return to a “paradise” that existed prior to the capture of the country by colonial powers. Despite of natural appeal to anti-colonial sentiment the pre-colonial Sri Lanka was far from a paradise. (This of course does not detract from the condemnation of the colonial domination and its repression of all local people). more..

TNA to boycott Eastern PC elections - MP

Mar 19 (TN) The TNA will not contest in the forthcoming Provincial Council elections for the Eastern Province as the alliance "steadfastly opposed the de-merger of the North Eastern Provincial Council (NEPC) in January 2007 by the Government of Sri Lanka," Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarian S. Jeyanandamoorthy told TamilNet Tuesday. "We do not want to fall prey to the policy of divide and rule of the Sri Lankan government," more..

SLFP organizer at Bandaragama beats up teachers

Mar 19 (LT) Mr. Dharshana Pushpakumara, a candidate from Sri Lanka Teachers’ Services Union (SLTSU) contesting the Education Department Cooperative Society elections to be held on the 29th of this month and Mr. Dharshana Chandrasekera, zonal secretary of SLTSU have been beaten up by a gang lead by Mr. Tudor Dayaratane, SLFP Organizer for Bandaragama electorate, two police officers acting as his unofficial bodyguards, Nimal Chandraratne, more..

Country militarized immensely, says Major General Janaka Perera

Mar 19 (LeN) The Chairman of the 'Lakjaya' Foundation Major General Janaka C. Perera said that in a time all Army seniors were skeptical about retaining Jaffna, he was the only person who said Jaffna could be protected. In return, then Army Commander Daluwaththa carried tales to the President Chandrika Kumarathunga stating that he was in a conspiracy with the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe. more..

HR & R2P

Mar 19 (LG) The thesis on right to protect is in the final analysis based on the concept of so called human rights (HR). As we have said there are no human rights as such but individual rights as against the state and may be as against other individuals. The concept began to evolve with the renaissance or the modernity in the fifteenth century in Europe. It is not quite clear as to the origin of the concept of modernity but it is obvious that the name given modernity stems from the arrogance of the western mind. more..

International relations in ancient and medieval Lanka

Mar 19 (LG) Sri Lanka was known to many countries in ancient and medieval times. It pursued an active foreign policy and established links with many foreign countries. Sri Lanka is mentioned in Greek and Roman writings dating from the third century BC by Kalisthenes, Oneskritus, Megasthenes, Strabo, and Pliny. Sri Lanka was included in the map of Asia, drawn in 150 AD by Ptolemy. The first recorded encounter between Rome and Sri Lanka took place during the reign of Claudius (41-54 AD) in Rome. more..

Is Kosovo the way for Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (LG) Declaration of independence by Kosovo on February 17th, 2008 and its recognition, almost immediately, by the international community has sent ripples among the countries with restive regions. The problem is not so much with the Kosovo declaring independence but with the way the international community has backed the insurgency and succeeded in separating the province from its parent country. more..

JVP 'appreciated' 88-89 crackdown

Mar 19 (BBC) Senior leaders of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has appreciated the work of armed forces during the late 80s, a retired senior army officer said. Maj. Gen. (retd.) Janaka Perera told BBC Sandeshaya that many JVP leaders were misinformed of the activities of Sri Lanka armed forces to defeat JVP uprising in late 80s. Over 60,000 people, majority of them Sinhala youths, were killed during the second uprising of the JVP. more..

UNP appoints committee to decide on east polls

Mar 19 (LD) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has tasked a specially-appointed committee with deciding on whether the party should contest the forthcoming elections for the eastern province. The party’s politburo meeting yesterday (Mar. 18th) saw the appointment of this committee that comprises party Chairman Rukman Senanayake, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, Kabir Hashim and Wajira Abeywardena. more..

JVP to contest EP polls

Mar 19 (LD) The JVP has decided to contest the upcoming Provincial Council elections in the Eastern Province. JVP MP Anura Dissanayake said the JVP will field a team consisting of Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim candidates. The JVP, who did not contest the local government elections held for Batticaloa District recently, is of the opinion that the Provincial Council system is a white elephant. more..

Lightning kills 3, injures 4

Mar 19 (LD) Three teenagers were killed and four others injured when lightning struck them yesterday (Mar. 18th) in Kotadeniyawa, Gampaha. Police said that the youths were returning home after attending training at a youth centre when the lightning struck. The injured were admitted to the Gampaha hospital for treatment. Meanwhile, the Department of Meteorology says people should take precautions to avoid being struck by lightning considering the weather experienced during the past few days. more..

National solid waste management programme to be launched

Mar 19 (GDI) A National solid waste management programme will be lunched in Sri Lanka under an initiative of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The programme ‘Pilisara’ will be inaugurated by the President on March 24th. Chairman of the Central Environment Authority (CEA) Udaya Gammanpila stated that the prime target of the project was to find a suitable solution to the garbage problem. more..

Anura's death: President's condolence message

Mar 19 (GDI) Anura Bandaranaike left an indelible mark on Sri Lankan democracy and I believe to describe him in those terms and not as a long-time friend and close political associate is the highest honour I can bestow on him. The news of his demise at an age and time so unsuited for a passing such as this brought immense sadness to me. In fact it caused me great shock. We were close, but this does not mean of course that we did not have political disagreements. We did. more..

EU demands access to Wanni

Mar 19 (LNP) A visiting high level EU delegation has insisted that the government allow the Co-chairs and the Norwegian facilitators to travel to the Wanni to meet the LTTE to deliver key messages -- including a request to resume the peace process, to observe humanitarian access and to respect human rights. The Daily Mirror, however, learns the government had asserted it was not possible to provide immediate access to the Wanni to any diplomat owing to the prevailing security situation in the areas controlled by the LTTE, which is under attack by the military. more..

US Ambassador discusses security matters with Sri Lanka Army Chief

Mar 19 (LNP) US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Robert Blake today called on Army Chief Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka and discussed current security developments and bilateral military issues and training programmes. The US envoy during his cordial exchange of views raised inquiries into the conduct of military operations in Wanni to liberate the masses from LTTE terrorist grip and also the measures, more..

Govt. gives in to CPC unions’ demand

Mar 19 (SAMN) The government Tuesday gave in to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) unions’ demands to avert today’s strike following a hastily arranged meeting between the top CPC administration and the unions. Petroleum unions earlier planned to cripple fuel distribution for five days beginning today (19) to pressure the government not to increase the LIOC (Lanka Indian Oil Company) role in the Sri Lankan market. more..

Govt.’s silence on HR violation: JVP

Mar 19 (SAMN) The JVP said yesterday in Parliament that the government had indirectly supported the allegation that Sri Lanka was a country where human rights were blatantly violated, since it remained silent over the attack on Rupavahini employees by a government minister and his goons. Making a special statement on the issue JVP parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawansa said that some international elements were inimical to the country and more..

Govt. removes fags, booze from CoL

Mar 19 (SAMN) Today marks the first occasion since Sri Lanka started collecting cost of living data in the 1950s that a mandated price increase on cigarettes will have no impact on inflation, a leading economist stated yesterday. Dr. Harsha De Silva, the lead economist at Lirneasia observed that this was because the Government has removed expenditure on alcohol and tobacco from the New Colombo Consumer Price Index based on its “matata tita” programme. more..

SLMC MP petitions against his expulsion

Mar 19 (SAMN) SLMC Ampara MP S. Nijamudeen filed a petition in the Supreme Court Tuesday challenging his expulsion from the party. MP Nijamudeen cited Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), party leader Rauff Hakeem, SLMC General Secretary Hassan Ali, United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and three others as respondents. The petitioner complained that he had been expelled from the party for voting with the present government at the last budget proposals. more..

President likens Eastern victory to universal franchise

Mar 19 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday likened the democratic exercise in Batticaloa at the recently concluded election to the country obtaining universal franchise for the first time. The President reiterated that with the successful conclusion of the local polls in Batticaloa, the main focus was directed not only with regard to the Eastern polity but also to the international arena. more..

CC only after Select Committee report - PM

Mar 19 (DN) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka yesterday told Parliament that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided not to appoint the Constitutional Council (CC) until he receives the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee that is going into the matter. The Premier was responding to a statement made by the Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera regarding the Government alleged failure to appoint the CC under the 17th Amendment. more..

Teachers, friends take kids for a ride

Mar 19 (Island) Thirty school children, 28 of them girls under 12 years of age and two boys of over 12 years had been taken for, what their parents said was a ride by two teachers and three of their friends. They had been taken for what was claimed to be a physical education tour to Thailand. This has become the talk of the town in Kandy. Parents of these children, attending three leading schools in the Kandy District, have told representatives of the Presidential Investigation Unit that they parted with Rs 80,000 per child, more..

Cashew Corp. Deputy Chairman behind bars for assaulting journalist inside cop shop

Mar 19 (Island) Against the backdrop of a violent campaign against Rupavahini workers, following an unprecedented incident involving Minister Mervyn Silva and gangsters at the Rupavahini Corporation on December 27, 2007, a political appointee found guilty of attacking a journalist has been sentenced to a one-year term of RI. Priyanath Mahiman Peiris, the Deputy Chairman of the Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation, has been given a one-year jail sentence for more..

Captured troops in good health: ICRC

Mar 19 (DM) Five security forces personnel in LTTE captivity – four sailors and one soldier – are in good health, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said after visiting them in the Wanni which had come under almost daily air and ground attacks by the military. A Red Cross delegation had met the captives on March 7 and handed over letters and packs of food sent by their families, an ICRC official said yesterday. more..

SLFP members avoid CBK?

Mar 19 (DM) Bringing the remains of Former Speaker Anura Bandaranaike to the Parliament on Monday became a talking point in the House yesterday with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe informing that none of the SLFP MPs spoke to Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge the sister of the late leader to condole with her. Mr. Wcikremesinghe made this point when Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle criticized him for more..

Democracy has taken root in the East, same will happen in the North soon -President

Mar 19 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday spoke glowingly of democracy taking roots in the East. He said that it reminded everyone of the manner Sri Lankan obtained universal franchise for the first time. The President reiterated that with the successful conclusion of the local polls in Batticaloa, the main focus was directed not only with regard to the Eastern polity but also to the international arena. more..

All the parties in UPFA, including TMVP to contest under betel symbol – Basil

Mar 19 (AT) Mahinda Rajapaksa government’s strongman Basil is confident that the TMVP and many other parties will contest the Eastern Provincial Council elections under the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA). He says that the TMVP is already a member of the Alliance and all constituent parties could contest under the UPFA symbol of betel leaf. Following are the excerpts from the interview with UPFA Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa: more..

CPI assails security ties with Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (PTI) The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Tuesday urged New Delhi to be transparent in its security-related dealings with Sri Lanka, especially in providing “secret” training to its soldiers. Colombo had also violated several international conventions by allegedly laying mines in the Palk Straits, the sea boundary with India, but the government had remained quiet on these aspects, said CPI Member D. Raja in the Rajya Sabha during zero hour. more..

Herath leads Lanka bowling after batsman end run feast

Mar 19 (AFP) Sri Lanka's bowlers had a decent work-out, after their batsmen, led by Tillakeratne Dilshan, plundered more easy runs against the Guyana Cricket Board President's XI on Tuesday at the Guyana National Stadium. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath captured five wickets for 67 runs from 19 overs and Thilan Thushara took two for 31 from 10 overs, as the GCB President's XI were dismissed for 248 more..

Sri Lankan Hindu campaigns for hoisting Nandi flag

Mar 19 (IANS) A Sri Lankan Hindu activist is campaigning to create awareness about the ancient Nandi (sacred bull) flag and revive the practice of hoisting it at religious functions and temple festivals. 'Muslims raise the Islamic flag, the Buddhist raise theirs, but Hindus do not hoist any though they have the Nandi flag,' says Sinnadurai Dhanapalaa, senior vice president of the Colombo branch of the World Saiva Council. more..

Sri Lankan military says 35 rebels, two soldiers killed in fighting

Mar 19 (AP) Battles, roadside bombings and artillery attacks across the front lines of Sri Lanka's civil war killed 35 ethnic Tamil rebels and two soldiers, the military said Wednesday. The combatants were killed in at least 17 different confrontations Tuesday along the front lines of the civil war. In the worst of the fighting, five rebel fighters were killed and 11 soldiers injured during a battle in the war-torn district of Mannar more..

EU committed to close ties with Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (IANS) The European Union (EU) is committed to maintaining bilateral ties with Sri Lanka, a statement from the 27-nation bloc has said. A delegation of senior officials from the EU visited Sri Lanka March 16-18, to discuss concerns over the current situation in the country, according to EuAsiaNews. A statement issued by the EU presidency Tuesday noted that the EU and Sri Lanka have deep economic, political and cultural ties. more..

ICRC deplores misleading public use of its confidential findings on disappearances

Mar 19 (ICRC) In the statement, issued on 15 March in response to the United States Department of State's 2007 country report on human rights, the Foreign Ministry said that the ICRC "confirmed a distinct downward trend in disappearances and unexplained killings (...) during the second and third quarters of 2007". The Foreign Ministry cited an "improvement on the ground" based notably on ICRC observations. more..

LTTE told to seek India's help to put off provincial polls

Mar 19 (PTI) Pro-rebel MPs in Sri Lanka have urged the LTTE to seek India's help in "putting off" provincial elections to be held in the island's east on May 10, saying the poll results would not be a true reflection of the people's choice as they would be "rigged". The proposal was made by 13 MPs of the TNA during talks with LTTE political head P Nadesan when they met to pay their last respects to slain TNA lawmaker K Sivanesan, who was killed in a roadside bomb attack on March 6 in Wanni. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines chases Indians

Mar 20 (LBO) Sri Lankan Airlines, already the biggest foreign carrier to India with over 100 flights a week, says it is intensifying efforts to attract Indians to fly its network and bring them to its hub in Colombo. More than 100,000 Indians visited Sri Lanka in 2007, with authorities expecting volume to double in the next two years. In February the airline had offered discounted fares for Indian travellers below the age 27 provided they stayed in the island for three days. more..

Sri Lanka builds bunker storage, new fuel pipelines

Mar 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka is converting a part of a tank farm to store bunkers or ship fuel and build new pipelines to reduce supply disruptions in a plan that will also see new fuel supply lines being built for power stations, an official said. State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is planning to enter the bunker market soon with a private joint venture partner, who will supply barges allowing it to service ships in the open sea. more..

Scientists and writers pay tribute to Arthur C Clarke

Mar 20 (GU) Arthur C Clarke, the pioneering science fiction author and technological visionary best known for the novel and film 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died at his home in Sri Lanka, aged 90. Clarke, who wrote more than 100 books in a career spanning seven decades, died of heart failure linked to the post-polio syndrome that had kept him wheelchair-bound for years. His forecasts often earned him derision from peers and social commentators. more..

A war without end

Mar 20 (UPI) The difficulties encountered by the Sri Lankan government in the battlefields of the north have recently induced its spokespersons, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa to extend the time frame for the successful conclusion of the war. Nevertheless, there appears to be a majority agreement that the government has been remarkably successful in prosecuting the war against the LTTE and needs more time to complete its mission of destroying it. more..

Terror financing suspect headed local non-profit group

Mar 20 (VS) A 44-year-old Ontario man facing Canada's first terrorism financing charge once headed a Vancouver non-profit organization that Canada's intelligence service alleges was a front for the illegal Tamil Tigers. Prapaharan Thambithurai was ordered released from custody Tuesday on $25,000 cash bail after he was arrested in New Westminster last Friday. He is accused of collecting money from ethnic Tamils in Metro Vancouver that was destined for the LTTE, which Canada considers a foreign terrorist organization. more..

Arthur C. Clarke: Much more than a science-fiction writer

Mar 20 (AP) Even in death Arthur C. Clarke would not compromise his vision. The famed science fiction writer, who once denigrated religion as "a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species," left written instructions that his funeral be completely secular, according to his aides. "Absolutely no religious rites of any kind, relating to any religious faith, should be associated with my funeral," he wrote. more..

Sri Lanka has gained nothing by signing international HR agreements – JVP

Mar 20 (LT) What has Sri Lanka gained by signing a large number of international agreements on defending human rights asked JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe when he met representatives of the European Union. Reminding that Ms. Angela Kane, UNOs Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, after a tour to Batticaloa in the Eastern Province, had said that human rights affairs in Sri Lanka was in a reasonably good condition, more..

Govt Pandangkarayas playing hell in foreign missions

Mar 20 (LG) Unprecedented levels of hullabaloos are spawning in some of the Sri Lankan foreign missions due to government decision to appoint pandankarayas (stooges) to important positions. Persons well versant in manipulative politics and engaged in the Sri Lankan sewer media are being awarded embassy positions by the government. These persons have very little knowledge or experience in public administration and are proving that they have no clues about subscribing to confidentiality conduct. more..

Why are the JHU monks silent?

Mar 20 (LG) The venerable JHU monks seem to have sealed their lips on important matters confronting this country today. In fact it appears that the JHU’s lay politicians have taken control of the party and it is the voices of these laymen that are heard whenever something is said by the JHU. The main slogan of the monks during their election campaign in 2004 was that they were going to parliament in order to establish a righteous state (Dharmarajya) before they retire from parliament and politics in 2010. more..

2 outsiders for the scholarships offered by Bangladesh

Mar 20 (LeN) It is learnt that two outsiders were nominated for the scholarships offered by the Bangladesh Government by deleting the 5 nominees selected by the Ministry of Higher Education. Bangladesh Government has offered 5 scholarships for medical students for MBBS degree, and Ministry of Higher Education has called for applications and selected 5 suitable applicants after several interviews and forwarded their names for approval from Foreign Ministry. more..

Anura bids farewell

Mar 20 (BBC) Senior SLFP parliamentarian Anura Bandaranaike was laid to rest at his ancestral home in Horagolla on Wednesday. Ministers and parliamentarians were gathered to pay the last respect to the former speaker of the parliament and the former minister. Mr. Bandaranaike held many portfolios in SLFP and UNP led governments. He was also appointed as the leader of the opposition during president JR Jayawardene's term in early 80s. more..