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We've started winning away from home - Mahela

Mar 22 (CI) Although Sri Lanka haven't won a Test in West Indies on their two previous tours in 1997 and 2003, Mahela Jayawardene is confident because he believes that Sri Lanka have begun to compete away from home in recent years. "It's a great challenge for us; we haven't toured West Indies that often. This is my second trip here [the Caribbean] on a full tour; this is a great opportunity to get that first series victory," more..

Treachery, Egotism and Myth in our politics

Mar 22 (GV) What do enlightened citizens make of the happenings in our country today- the antics of Dr Mervyn Silva, the failure of the IGP and the Polcie to arrest him or even question him and stop his path of inflicint terror on media personnel firstly on Rupavahini workers and now on Sirasa reporters? Any criticism of the government and its record of violations of human rights media freedom and norms of good governance is met with one answer by Government spokesman. more..

STF removed on 'Pillayan's request'

Mar 22 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka has accused the government of removing Special Task Force (STF) on the request of an armed militant group. The UNP said the move was an attempt to rig forthcoming eastern provincial council elections using paramilitary group lead by Pillayan. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told BBC Sandeshaya that the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP), widely known as Karuna faction, has demanded STF be removed from the east. more..

'I am not ready to join any party in which there is Mangala' -Hakeem

Mar 22 (LeN) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) General Secretary Hassan Ali said to Lanka-e-News that his party would come to a decision on the request to contest the Eastern Provincial Council election after consulting the organizers, local council representatives and cadres of the Province since SLMC withdrew from the government as the government did not resolve the problems of the people of the Eastern Province. more..

Who is behind the buzz against relocating STF?

Mar 22 (LR) In weekly media briefing of UNP, Mr. Lakshman Kiriella made big buzz on governments plan to relocate part of STF troop from Ampara district to Welioya and Kabithigollawa area. UNP try to convey a point that this move is due to a demand from TMVP. We all know that in the recent past, TMVP has joined hand with the government forces in the fight against LTTE terrorists. more..

LTTE attacking Indian fishermen, not Lankan Govt: SL Minister

Mar 22 (CO) Sri Lankan Minister for Highways Jayaraj Fernando today said the frequent attacks on Indian fishermen at the midsea were carried out by the banned LTTE and not by the Lankan Navy. In an informal chat with the newspersons here, he said it was only the LTTE, who attacked Indian fishermen. But they put the blame on Sri Lankan Navy to tarnish the image of Sri Lankan Government. more..

'International human rights monitors shouldn’t base their reports on hearsay and unverified findings'

Mar 22 (AT) Half of Sri Lanka’s trouble with the international community and its principal players like the United States can be attributed to periodic reports by internationally recognized human rights organizations findings on human rights practices and civil liberties based on hearsay, media reports which are not supported by cogent evidence, and observations and facts written by persons not domiciled on Sri Lankan soil which give distorted versions. more..

India’s dreaded RAW infiltrates into Sri Lanka’s London high commission and bars diplomats from meetings

Mar 22 (AT) The Sri Lanka High Commission in London has been infiltrated by agents working for India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and managing powerful person’s working in the High Commission to run affairs in the mission according to an agenda of the dreaded intelligence service, it is alleged. “The purpose of the infiltration is to impose India’s plan of devolution of power fully through so called peace agitators and more..

DJ Nihal's pilgrimage to India

Mar 22 (TO) I AM a Buddhist, not because I have read the collected writings of Richard Gere or discovered myself in a yoga commune in the Himalayas, but, rather prosaically, because my mother and father were raised as Sri Lankan Buddhists and that is the form of spirituality that I inherited. Having been to an Anglican primary school, Catholic university college, to Muslim, Sikh and Christian weddings in the past year alone, more..

Sri Lanka Honors Arthur C. Clarke

Mar 22 (AP) Students, space enthusiasts, politicians and Buddhist monks paid respects Friday to the late science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke died Wednesday at age 90 after suffering breathing problems. His remains were put on display for public viewing at his home in Colombo, the capital of his adopted country Sri Lanka. "He fascinated a lot of us into being interested in space and astronomy," said Kavan Ratnatunga, more..

11 sailors missing after Sri Lanka blast: military source

Mar 22 (AFP) A Sri Lankan navy craft was destroyed in a sea mine blast off the island's north-eastern coast Saturday, leaving at least 11 sailors missing, a military source said. Five sailors from the fast attack craft (FAC) were rescued by another boat patrolling the waters off the Tamil Tiger stronghold of Mullaitivu district, the source said. "A survivor said his FAC started taking in water after a huge explosion," said the source, who declined to be named. more..

Politics of gutter journalism

Mar 22 (SLW) Unable to cope with the pressure following daring disclosure in the Sri Lanka Guardian and the Sri Lanka Watch, the Asian Tribune published from a hellhole in Sweden by the disruptive K T Rajasingam has fired another salvo titled ‘India’s dreaded RAW infiltrates into Sri Lanka’s London High Commission and Bars Diplomats from meetings’. Once again KTR has let loose his hate campaign with the help of his anonymous Special Correspondent more..

British Labour MP Stephen Timms Supporter of LTTE Terrorists in UK

Mar 22 (LG) British Parliamentarian Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham representing the UK's Labour party had invited delegates from the Tamil community to join him at the seminar on the "Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka" today at the University of East London. It is said that when the guests of MP Stephen Timms arrived they were refused entry by the events organisers who were pro-LTTE supporters of the BTF (British Tamil Forum). more..

'People will begin to understand who Ranil is'

Mar 22 (LG) The people of Sri Lanka will understand the real greatness of Ranil Wickamasinghe soon when they are trapped by Mahinda, says Thalatha Athukorala in an interview with Sri Lanka Guardian at her residence in Colombo. She shared her clear ideas with us and her positives hopes for the next election. She comes from the Nivithigala electoral division as Member of Parliament after the passing away of the late Mr. Gamini Athukorala, General Secretary of the UNP. more..

Regarding some basic beliefs of Tamil Nationalism which have misled the Tamils

Mar 22 (LG) There has been a number of articles recently, e.g, Groundviews (Feb.22, 2008) on "Ethnos or Demos?- questioning Tamil nationalism, and various responses to it. Other news media have published other articles, e.g., that of Mr. Rohana Wasala, as well the comments made by the Island columnist Shanee, mainly touching on the Estate Indian citizenship act and its relatiuon to the Tamil question. more..

'Colombo Based Al Jazeera is a threat to Indian national security'

Mar 22 (LeN) Indian government, for some strange reasons, has stopped Al Jazeera English from down linking into India. They don't want to call it a ban, but that is exactly what it is. The official reason cited for the ban is that "Al Jazeera is a threat to national security!" Sri Lankan based Al Jazeera closely monitoring Indian Movement in South Asian Country. Reports say that Maldivian Islamic extremists are purchasing weapons from Indian criminal and terrorist groups while more..

Sri Lanka starts whale watching

Mar 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka is launching whale and dolphin watching tours in the island's Western and Southern waters in an effort to exploit a growing trend in eco-tourism, officials said. The joint venture between Walkers Tours, a unit of John Keells Holdings, and state-rn Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation (CFHC) is part of a government and industry effort to increase the economic contribution from the island's fisheries sector. more..

Mahinda Samarasinghe plays down British criticism

Mar 22 (LD) Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has challenged British Minister Mark Malloch-Brown for his criticism on violations of civil law and human rights in Sri Lanka, when he addressed the Seventh Session of the UN Human Rights Council. Samarasinghe said that Sri Lanka regretted the misconceived approach of Lord Brown as made clear by his statement, which also revealed a lack of appreciation for steps taken by Sri Lanka to protect human rights while dealing with terrorism. more..

President hopes Easter brings peace and harmony

Mar 22 (GDI) Easter has a very special place in the Christian calendar as the resurrection of Jesus Christ, while signifying his divinity has also shown mankind a path to the spiritual conquest of death, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in his Easter day message. Through Easter is seen the symbolism of renewal made possible to mankind with the all encompassing message of Christian love, which shows more..

Marked improvement in human rights situation - Foreign Ministry

Mar 22 (GDI) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stands by its statement that there has been a marked improvement in the human rights situation in Sri Lanka over the past year, as a result of the measures implemented by the Government. It is noted that the recent statement by the ICRC does not contradict this central assertion of a downward trend, states a Foreign Ministry press release. more..

16 new prefabricated flyovers in Colombo

Mar 22 (GDI) With the successful implementation of the flyover project at Peliyagoda, the Highways Ministry has decided to construct 16 new pre-fabricated flyovers in Colombo and suburbs to ease traffic congestion, Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said. The total cost of the project is estimated at pounds 75 million and will be implemented with British assistance. more..

Today is world Water day

Mar 22 (GDI) March 22nd is celebrated as World Water Day. The United Nations theme this year is 'Sanitation ', which links the Day to the on-going International Year of sanitation {2008} This year the Day will highlight issues relaying to sanitation worldwide, Between 1990 and 2004 more than 1,2 billion people worldwide have gained access to improved sanitation but still an estimated 2,6 billion people -including 980 million children are lagging behind more..

STF can do much- says military

Mar 22 (GDI) While rejecting the fabricated reports aimed at damaging national security and assisting the enemy the Government said that only 25 percent of the Special Task Force personal were transferred from the Ampara district and stressed that these changes are made mainly due to the security reasons and not on any personnel grounds. "The government is in the process of re-deploying security forces including army volunteer units and more..

Not Sinhala Terrorism: Clarification by Mano Ganesan

Mar 22 (AT) Mano Ganesan Leader of the Western Peoples Front has clarified his statement made to the Asian Tribune yesterday as follows: "while thanking you for publishing statement sent from my office, I wish to bring one error in your print. My statement does not refer to 'Sinhala Terrorism" . I was only giving the meaning that (Sinhala) fundamentalism has given birth to Tamil extremism and Tamil terrorism. more..

Locally built FAC sunk due to Sea Mine Explosion

Mar 22 (AT) A locally built Fast Attack Craft of the Sri Lanka Navy caught in an explosion and sank later as it started to take water in the wee hours today (22). Two Fast Attack Craft were deployed for routine patrol in the Eastern Seas off Nayaru. The locally built FAC which caught in the explosion made it difficult for the crew to maneuver it to a safe area. The crew later abandons the craft as it was not possible to maneuver the craft further. more..

TMVP leader Pillaiyan refutes UNP allegations

Mar 22 (AT) TMVP leader S. Chanthirakanthan alias Pillaiyan refuted the UNP Leaders audacious comments that TMVP was interfering in the security affairs of Sri Lanka. Facing certain ignominious electoral defeat in the forthcoming Provincial Council elections, they are spewing out some ‘cock and bull’ gibberish. Pillaiyan strongly denied Opposition Leaders canard that TMVP has requested the withdrawal of STF camps in the East. more..

Tamil Tiger informant arrested in Matara

Mar 22 (LNP) An intelligence operative of Tamil Tigers has been arrested by the Pitabaddara police in Matara this morning. According to the police sources the suspected Tamil youth has been gathering information on the VIPs and important locations in the South for the Tigers. The suspect had been conscripted to the terrorist outfit in 1994 and undergone 4 years of training on intelligence operations, said the police. more..

SLTB marks 50 years adding 100 new buses

Mar 22 (LNP) A 100 new buses will be added to the current fleet of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) before the forthcoming Sinhala and Hindu New Year festival, said Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. Our aim is to provide the best possible service to passengers during the festive season and beyond, said the Minister at the ceremony to mark the distribution of new 50 buses for new routes countrywide including the North and the East to mark the 50th anniversary of the SLTB more..

'War in North cannot be won': The President says to UNP MP

Mar 22 (LNP) The war in North cannot be won, the president Mahinda Rajapakse has told to a senior UNP MP whom the President contacted twice over the phone to invite him to join the government. The said UNP MP who represents an Upcountry electorate held a portfolio in former Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe`s cabinet. The President has said to the MP that the LTTE possesses an unbelievable stock of weapons and he has invited the MP to join him to watch a video on that subject. more..

Alarming increase in child abuse cases

Mar 22 (SAMN) The number of reported child abuse cases has increased alarmingly with National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) alone receiving more than 150 complaints during the first two months of this year. NCPA Chairman, Jagath Wellawatte said the number of reported cases has increased due to immense awareness programmes carried out throughout the past few years. more..

Betrayal says Sinhala groups

Mar 22 (SAMN) A North and East Sinhala Organisation Friday slammed the government for removing 10 STF camps from the East stating that it was the first step towards handing over the East to the TMVP. While charging that there is a move to remove a total of 40 military camps from the East, the North East Sinhala Organisation Secretary Sunil Aluthgamage said the government’s move was despicable. more..

Only 10 hrs rural water supply

Mar 22 (SAMN) The water services industry primarily consists of pipe borne water supply which mainly serves urban areas and some rural areas. The primary supplier of the pipe borne drinking water is the National Water Supply and Drainage Board . According to the available statistics, approximately 92% of the population had access to safe drinking water in 2005 and of that, only 39% had access to pipe borne water. more..

Launch of 'Deep South' tourism promo

Mar 22 (SAMN) The "Deep South" tourism promotion drive will be officially launched at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, on 25th March, 2008. It’s objective is to promote Hambantota District as a highly desirable tourist destination from an environmental, historical, social and economic perspective. The event is organized by the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) which has developed the slogan "Hambantota – Sri Lanka’s Deep South" to draw attention to the region as a whole. more..

Minister laments damage to developing nations’ environment

Mar 22 (DN) The damage to the environment in developing nations’ by the world’s richest countries is more than the entire debt of the developing countries to the developed world, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said in a statement. The Minister referred to the study saying that rich countries had inflicted a damage of US$ 2.3 trillion on developing countries as against the US$ 740 million damage by developing countries on the rich. more..

Sci-fi fans gather to remember the man who saw the future

Mar 22 (BT) A long, long way from the last resting place of the one who showed them the light, the faithful are gathering. As Arthur C Clarke is buried in his adopted home of Sri Lanka today, those who followed his words are meeting and remembering – at Heathrow. And these being fans of science fiction, they come in all shapes and sizes. They come as Klingons. They come as Daleks. They come to celebrate a genre that has produced a group of followers that are as strange as some of the storylines. more..

SriLankan Holidays’ offer for Mideast

Mar 22 (TA) SriLankan Holidays has launched “Island Breaks” offer for the Middle East, the company said in a statement. The firm will step up its presence in the Middle East, launching the first in a series of special holiday packages to visit the most popular holiday destinations in Asia, it added. The first in the series of special promotional offers planned for the Middle East region is the “Island Breaks” offer, a three-month campaign up to April 30 2008, to visit tropical Sri Lanka. more..

Libya seeks Lankan consultants for Tripoli health centre

Mar 22 (DN) The Libyan Government has sought Sri Lanka's assistance to man an ultra modern healthcare training centre in Tripoli, which also involves providing adequate training to its manpower. The latest decision by the Libyans to recruit consultants from Sri Lanka's health sector comes closely on the heels of its decision to open doors for Lankan migrant workers. more..

SLMC demands CM post as dowry for political marriage

Mar 22 (Island) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Deputy Secretary Nizam Kariappar yesterday said his party was ready to enter into an electoral pact with any party which would offer it the Chief Ministerial post after the forthcoming polls for the East. The SLMC leader Rauff Hakim had already had discussions with Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa and informed him of this stance, Kariapper told The Island yesterday. more..

Re-deployment of forces, police not political: Govt

Mar 22 (Island) The government is in the process of re-deploying security forces including army volunteer units and Police Special Task Force (STF) in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and the Weli Oya region to facilitate the ongoing offensive on the Jaffna, Vanni and Weli Oya fronts. The withdrawal of the STF from parts of the Ampara District for re-deployment in the North Central Province would be part of the overall security plan under which the three forces, too, would shift more..

Painter pays his last respects to his guru

Mar 22 (DM) A portrait of Science Fiction Guru, Sir Arthur C. Clarke placed by the side of his bier caught the attention of many mourners who filed past it. Later Sir Arthur’s friend, Nalaka Gunawardene was talking to us when the painter himself came to pay his last respects. The painter who was introduced to us was on a conversation with us and came up with a fascinating story behind the portrait. more..

Renounce killings, affirm life: Bishop

Mar 22 (DM) Colombo’s Anglican Bishop the Rt. Revd. Duleep de Chickera said yesterday the feast of Easter – being celebrated by millions of Christians tomorrow was an invitation to renounce lawlessness and affirm order, renounce killings and affirm life, renounce violence and affirm dialogue, renounce communalism and affirm pluralism. In a message to mark the event which is considered as the very foundation of Christianity Bishop Duleep said: more..

Steps to Safeguard Lankan Maids Soon

Mar 22 (AN) President Mahinda Rajapakse ordered the Foreign Employment Ministry to take effective steps in ending the recruitment and employment of Sri Lankan women as housemaids abroad before the end of this year. Lankan woman currently working overseas would not be affected. More than one million housemaids are currently deployed in the countries in the Middle East and a third of them are concentrated in the Kingdom. more..

Sci-fi "titan" Clarke buried in Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (Reuters) Visionary science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke was buried on Saturday in his adopted home of Sri Lanka, where the nation paused for an international "titan" it had adopted as its own. British-born Clarke, best known for his work on the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey", died aged 90 of respiratory complications and heart failure, which doctors linked to the post-polio syndrome that for years kept him wheelchair-bound. more..

Sri Lanka bombs Tiger rebels after navy boat sunk

Mar 22 (Reuters) Sri Lankan air force jets bombed rebel Tamil Tiger ground positions on Saturday after a navy patrol boat was sunk by a suspected rebel mine off the northeast coast, with 10 of the 16 crew missing and feared dead. Pro-Tamil sources said the Dvora fast attack boat was destroyed by a suicide squad of so-called black Tiger fighters, with three rebels killed in the sea clash. more..

An Easter message to the Nation

Mar 23 (TC) Easter is the Christian festival that celebrates the Raising of Christ after His death. This historic event known as the Resurrection, declares the defeat of all evil forces of greed, violence and destruction that culminated in the death of Christ, and proclaims a higher plane of life in which there is liberation from these evil tendencies. Consequently the celebration of Easter in our beloved Sri Lanka today, ravaged, and torn apart by the ruthless greed and violent machinations of evil persons, brings us hope. more..

Ship from Sri Lanka hits Bengal jetty

Mar 23 (IANS) A ship carrying containers and construction equipment from Sri Lanka lost control Saturday and hit a Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) jetty near here. No one was injured in the accident. 'The ship was coming from Colombo with heavy machineries and containers. On its way to Kolkata port, it lost control due to some technical problems and hit a jetty at Nurpur in South 24 Parganas district,' more..

IPL shadow over Sri Lanka's Pakistan tour

Mar 23 (CI) Pakistan's proposed series of ODIs with Sri Lanka has hit the rocks before even properly setting sail because of a probable clash of dates with the Indian Premier League (IPL). Though the PCB said it will ensure the best side available for the series - tacitly acknowledging there might be a clash - it appears likely the series will be postponed to protect the IPL, which will raise further questions about whether a window needs to be found in the international calendar for the league. more..

Arthur C. Clarke and us

Mar 23 (LR) The post colonial mentality has made many Sri Lankans to think that Sri Lanka is too small country to live and meet their aspirations. However Arthur C Clarke was a British born and he immigrated to Sri Lanka in 1956, where he lived until his death. When he decided to settle in Sri Lanka he was already a world renowned person as a science fiction author, inventor, and futurist. His staying in this tiny Island never seem hindering his scientific research and writings. more..

Two languages: For a better tomorrow

Mar 23 (FI) The right to use one’s own language within their own country is not only an internationally recognized human right; it is also an important issue that has led to protracted conflict in several countries. Language is a tool for communication and to acquire knowledge, but even more significantly it is the source of the ethnic identity and self pride of an individual or community. more..

Credibility of Batticaloa local authority polls amidst culture of fear

Mar 23 (TC) A proud claim by President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government during its military offensive in the Eastern province was that the armed forces were liberating Tamil civilians from the LTTE. The Rajapakse regime also boasted that no civilian was harmed when the security forces moved into the regions dominated by the tigers. Foreign affairs minister Rohitha Bogollagama stressed this point when addressing members of the diplomatic community to explain the military successes of the east. more..