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Tamils slam human rights violations in Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (TT) More than 300 people protested outside the Indian consulate in Durban this week over ethnic violence and human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Members of the Tamil Co-ordinating Committee of SA (TCC) voiced their opposition to violence between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. They also called on the Indian government to stop military aid to the Sri Lankan government. more..

Flooding hits Sri Lanka, slows civil war pace

Mar 23 (Reuters) Heavy rains in Sri Lanka have killed eight people and affected more than 340,000 others while restricting military gains over rebels in the country's worsening civil war, the military said on Sunday. Unusually heavy torrential rains have caused widespread flooding and landslides in eastern agricultural and rice-growing areas, as well as in the north where the military has launched a fresh offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

'No evidence for Clarke child sex allegations'

Mar 23 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities said Sunday that the British-born sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke had been cleared of decade-old paedophile allegations before his death last week. Clarke was buried Saturday in Colombo, where he had lived since 1956. Obituary writers have resurrected the 1998 accusations that he had sex with young boys in his adopted country Sri Lanka. more..

Tigers' deep sea mines pose new threat to Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (IANS) The Tamil Tigers' deep sea underwater capability demonstrated off the eastern Sri Lankan coast Saturday might have added a new dimension to the military conflict, The Sunday Times said. The navy could be facing a new challenge in the coming months if the Tamil guerrillas continue to attack Sri Lankan vessels with sea mines or human torpedoes, the weekly paper said. more..

Lukewarm advertising for Sri Lanka Test

Mar 24 (NN) MEDIA PROMOTION of the Test series between West Indies and Sri Lanka has been visibly lacking. It has meant that the build-up to the series has been uncharacteristically low-key. Maybe, it was one of the reasons why the Guyana National Stadium was less than half full yesterday for the start of the ground's historic first Test match and the first Test in the Caribbean since Cricket World Cup 2007. more..

Practice game was big help - Warnapura

Mar 24 (CI) Sri Lanka opener Malinda Warnapura, who cracked his maiden Test century on the first day, said that playing a practice game at the same ground just before the Test worked to his advantage. He made 132 and 50 without being dismissed in a three-day game against a Guyana President's Select XI. "It helped us a lot to adjust to the conditions. It was much easier batting against the new ball on this pitch, since it was coming on to the bat nicely," he said. more..

Boosting capacity in “psychological first aid”

Mar 24 (IRIN) When school teacher M. Shihama was put in charge of a class of unruly slow learners earlier this year, her heart sank. “At first, I was reluctant to take them on,” said the social science teacher at Al-Falah high school in Negombo in the western Gampaha District, fearing they were just troublemakers “But then I found that the children were actually miserable because they had been told they weren’t as good as the others." more..

Nedumaran, supporters held for supporting Tamil Tigers

Mar 24 (CO) Tamil nationalist leader Pazha Nedumaran and at least 164 members of his outfit were held here Saturday for staging a demonstration in support of the Tamil Tigers and against the Sri Lankan and Indian governments. They were released at night. Nedumaran and members of his Tamil Desiya Iyakkam (Tamil nationalist movement) including a dozen women, had raised slogans in favour of the banned LTTE and for a "Tamil eelam" (Tamil nation). more..

Jayawardene and Vaas shut out sloppy Windies

Mar 24 (CI) Sri Lanka's quest for a first Test win in the Caribbean took shape in a manner they've mastered back on home soil: put up the runs, session by session, and hand it over to two experienced bowlers. A distinctly subcontinental surface at the Providence Stadium allowed Mahela Jayawardene his first hundred against West Indies and Chaminda Vaas a second fifty in as many innings before Sri Lanka declared on 476 for 8. more..

Destroyed East villages, MP chronicles history

Mar 24 (TN) "Population of Sinhalese in the East was a mere 0.53 percent in 1827 but due to systematic colonisation and subsequent establishment of military camps along the borders of traditional Tamil areas, Sinhala settlers encroached into more than 25 percent of land owned by Tamils," said Maavai Senathirajah, Jaffna district TNA parliamentarian, addressing, as the chief guest, to a gathering in Colombo Saturday on the occasion of the release of a book "Destroyed Tamil villages," more..

SAARC: Please don’t use my money for bloated egos to wine and dine

Mar 24 (LG) We understand that in excess of Rs. 2.5 billion will be spent on hosting the SAARC Summit in Colombo soon. Naturally, VVIPs in this country - some whose egos are soaring higher than the cost of living- would love to be in the limelight. However, since all this money being spent is eventually yours and mine, we probably cannot be faulted for asking a few questions. more..

Can we live without killing others?

Mar 24 (LG) One often hears that man is the most advanced living being on earth, but it is obvious that man’s achievements are nothing compared to the psychological achievements of every other insect, fish, bird or animal. They know how to live without psychological divisions, psychological fragmentation as Sinhalese, Tamils, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians etc. Take this tiny island of Sri Lanka for instance. more..

Tribute to a friend, officer and gentleman

Mar 24 (LG) It has been a camaraderie spanning into five decades; it began at Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala and weathered the heavy fighting in the northern battle front. In those distant late fifties, young Sarath Munasinghe and I were students of Maliyadeva College. He was one year senior to me in college, yet our friendship blossomed as we took part in many a sport in which Maliyadeva prides itself. more..

Kadu, Hadu & Wadu English

Mar 24 (LG) We have a set of so called educated people who cannot look beyond their English noses. They think that they think when in fact they do not think. They might object to the last sentence thinking that it is not logical, however, even then they are not thinking as they only repeat some rule that they were drilled into believe while at the schools that they were supposed to have an education. It is the so-called education that is given in our countries that have become a bane in our societies. more..

LTTE's terror seminar on Ethnic Conflict

Mar 24 (SLW) The front runners of the LTTE in London under a so-called structure of Global Peace Support Group held a two day international seminar on ‘Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka’ on 22 and 23 March 2008. The organisers faced serious difficulties in holding the event as the Vice Chancellor of East London University intervened to cancel the hall bookings following some serious representations to him by some students of the University and opposing factions that the seminar is an LTTE event. more..

Sri Lanka should liberalize edible oil imports: coconut exporters

Mar 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exporters of value added coconut products are asking to authorities to free edible oil imports, so that profits from oil milling would fall, freeing more nuts for other industries. Sri Lanka's coconut milk powder, coconut cream and desiccated coconut producers have been found their cost of production increasing nut prices, but have been finding it difficult to compete in the international market. more..

The 13th Amendment, Anti-Indianism & Sri Lanka’s Security Imperatives

Mar 24 (AT) One of the most laughably absurd of all the criticisms directed against the incumbent administration, is that its commitment to the full and immediate implementation of the 13th amendment which makes for provincial autonomy, is somehow a betrayal of the election mandate of President Rajapakse as contained in his manifesto. This criticism, levelled by radical ultranationalists, betrays triple ignorance: more..

Anandasangaree urges to disarm all armed groups

Mar 24 (AT) The role of the Government in the coming election for the East Provincial Council should be that of an umpire. In the election, Government should encourage every political party including that belongs to the ruling party and Independent Groups to stake their claims. V. Anandasangaree, in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapakse wrote that while the Government functioning like an umpire, it must protect all democratic norms including dis-arming all armed groups. more..

Have they stumbled across a new species of a Mountain Deer endemic to Sri Lanka in Horton Plains?

Mar 24 (AT) Latest reports by a wild life photographer and a naturalist indicate that they may have either discovered a very rare new species or a sub species of a Mountain Mouse Deer, known as Meeminna in Sinhalese , endemic to Sri Lanka. The renowned wild life photographer and specialist Gehan de Silva Wijeyratne and naturalist Nadeera Weerasinghe have for the first time encountered the alleged new species of the mammal in the Horton Place National Park, the report said. more..

Twenty-four Sri Lankans in a pilgrimage to Buddhagaya meet with an accident

Mar 24 (LeN) Twenty-four Sri Lankan pilgrims were injured when the bus they were travelling capsized on the road seven kilometers away from Buddhagaya. Rev. Pelawaththe Sivali Thero of Maha Bodhi Society said that the condition of the ten of the injured was critical. More Pilgrims were from Hambanthota, Ambalanthota. The accident took place around 1.00 PM yesterday (22) when the pilgrims were travelling from Rajagahanuwara to Buddhagaya. more..

Life unbearable; A wave of agitations to topple the government begins April 03

Mar 24 (LeN) UNP has planned a countrywide series of agitations against the the unbearable cost of living since April 03 until the government is overthrown. All local council members of the UNP were summoned to Colombo yesterday (22) to make them aware of the campaign that has been planned to hold on electorate level concurrently. UNP MPs and the electoral organizers as well participated in the discussion held in Sri Lanka Exhibition and Conference Center, Colombo since 3 PM to 10 PM. more..

TNA to boycott eastern PC polls

Mar 24 (BBC) The main political party representing the Tamils in Sri Lanka say the party will not contest for the eastern provincial elections. TNA parliamentarian MK Sivajilingam told BBC Sandeshaya that the party is to officially announce their policy within the next few days. A separate administration for the eastern province was announced after the Supreme Court ruling that the temporary merger of the north and the east has violated the constitution. more..

Pillayan TMVP’s Chief Minister candidate

Mar 24 (LD) The TMVP has nominated its leader Sivaneshathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan as candidate for chief minister at the forthcoming eastern provincial council polls. As in the recent local government polls for the Batticaloa district, the TMVP will contest in alliance with the UPFA. Therefore, there is a possibility, that the UPFA too, will endorse Pillayan as the common choice for chief ministerial candidate. more..

Police officers assigned for east election duties transferred

Mar 24 (LD) Three top police officers in the eastern province, including the ASP in charge of elections, have been transferred after the nomination dates for the elections there were fixed. The Police Headquarters had transferred ASP (Elections) S.A. Jayashantha to the Police Higher Training School, Trincomalee HQI M.M.C. Bandara to the Police Training School in Kalutara, and OIC Kinniya Police Chaminda Lakmal Perera to the Moneragala Police Division. more..

Police in major search operations to raise public awareness

Mar 24 (LD) The Police, assisted by the Civil Defence Force, carried out a major search operation in all areas, except those in the north and the east, yesterday (Mar. 23rd), according to police sources. The searches covered all vehicles, trains, lodges, rest houses, hotels as well as houses, shops and groceries in these areas. The police also raised awareness among the people on measures to ensure public safety. more..

Sri Lankan student appreciative of college experience at Mountain State

Mar 24 (RH) Malik Ahamed is Mountain State University’s only international student from Sri Lanka. “I’m a senior and should graduate this year, so there will be none left after me,” he said. Ahamed says his experience at a small, rural university is one he will never forget. “On my first day at MSU, I remember feeling quite nervous about not knowing anyone and thinking to myself whether I will fit in,” he said. more..

MPs for Bill to re-merge provinces

Mar 24 (Hindu) Three members of Sri Lanka Parliament, owing allegiance to the TNA, have sought the help of Indian political parties in the re-merger of the northern and eastern provinces through a Bill. The MPs, N. Srikantha, Selvam Adaikalanathan and M.K. Sivajilingam, told reporters here on Sunday that Sri Lankan Government’s move to conduct polls in the eastern province amounted to a ‘blatant’ violation of the Indo-Sri Lankan accord. more..

Lankan Tamil couple held at airport

Mar 24 (Hindu) A Sri Lankan Tamil couple was held at the airport here by immigration sleuths on Sunday after it was found that they had fraudulently obtained Indian passports and attempted to fly to Colombo using the document. S. Muthulingam (60) and his wife M. Maheswari (44) were later handed over to the Airport police. Airport sources said Muthulingam landed in India through Rameswaram in 1984 and settled down in Madurai. more..

Prof. Peiris briefs Britain on Sri Lankan situation

Mar 24 (GDI) Export Development and International Trade Minister Professor G.L. Peiris in a series of meetings with members of the British Government as well as leading personalities in the Opposition outlined the steps taken by the Government in straddling the economy and the political situation, despite the continuing challenge of terrorism and pointed out the need for understanding of Sri Lanka's position in that context. more..

SLTB employees to get an increased CoL allowance

Mar 24 (GDI) The Government will take steps to increase the cost of living allowance granted for the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) employees, along with the Sinhala/Hindu New year bonus granted for them, Minister of Transport, Dallas Alahapperuma said. The Minister also stated that the Government was aware that the SLTB employees were not paid their salaries in certain depots. more..

President instructs on future security arrangements in Katharagama

Mar 24 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa held a discussion with the Army and Police Chiefs of the Katharagama area on the security situation in the area yesterday (23rd), during which he delivered instructions on future security arrangements in Katharagama. During the visit, he also paid homage to Kiriwehera in Katharagama and later participated in a special Bodhi Pooja at Ashtapala Bodhiya. more..

Prime Minister in a historic visit to Israel

Mar 24 (GDI) Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wickramanayake is now on a historic visit to Israel; the first ever visit to the country by a Sri Lankan premier. Prime Minister Wickramanayake is scheduled to conduct a tour of Jerusalem today (24th) and is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres. He will also travel to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. more..

Biggest waste management project launched today

Mar 24 (GDI) The largest waste management project of Sri Lanka , encompassing all its Local Governments and Provincial councils, will be inaugurated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat today. The Treasury has released Rs.600 million for the project. The Government of Korea has pledged Rs. 400 million as aid for the project, the Director General of Central Environment Authority(CEA) Pasan Gunasena said. more..

SLTB to increase number of School Buses to 550

Mar 24 (GDI) Ministry of Transport will take steps to increase the number of school buses to 550 when the next school term starts, Minister of Transport, Dallas Alahapperuma said. The Minister also stated that parents who send their children in school buses after buying the monthly concessionary season tickets for 30 or 40 rupees a few years back now had to send children in school vans paying 3000 to 4000 rupees monthly. more..

Rs. 2,500 m development drive for South

Mar 24 (GDI) Southern Province development is to be expedited, with the Government allocating Rs. 2,500 m for a mega development drive for rural villages, according to the Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development. The money is to be utilised in 2,122 identified Grama Niladhari Divisions in three districts, under the Gama Neguma programme which is expected to be completed before year end, targetting infrastructure development, more..

The country will never prosper by nurturing the LTTE - Dinesh Gunawardane

Mar 24 (GDI) Addressing the District Convention of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP), in Kurunegala recently, Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development, Dinesh Gunawardane said that it was a futile exercise to nurture separatist and terrorist elements who attempt to destroy the unity and sovereignty of the country. more..

Canada receives Sri Lanka's backing

Mar 24 (CI) Arjuna Ranatunga, the CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket, has held talks with Canadian Cricket Association officials about how his board could assist the development of the sport in the country. According to local media reports, a formal deal is about to be signed between the two boards while Ranatunga, who was in Canada on a short visit, agreed to back Canada's national side. more..

SB walks out of UNP meeting

Mar 24 (LNP) The UNP National Organiser S. B. Dissanayake walked out of a meeting held at UNP Headquarters Saturday evening. It was a meeting of all UNP Local Government representatives. The speakers at the meeting were Tissa Attanayake, Vajira Abeywardene, Rukman Senanayake and Major Jayavi Fernando, who spoke on the war. The crowd became restless during Rukman`s speech and the speech made by Major Jayavi Fernando. more..

Pakistan prepared to support Sri Lanka when needed

Mar 24 (LNP) Pakistan s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Air Vice Marshal Shahzad Aslam Chaudhry has emphasised that his country is geared to support Sri Lanka when required. The High Commissioner made this reference participating in a ceremony organised to mark Pakistan s 68th Independence Day. It was held at the Pakistan s High Commissioner s official residence in Colombo. Pakistan was founded as an independent state after a political struggle on 14th August 1947. more..

Sri Lanka can make brain drain a brain gain

Mar 24 (LNP) At a time when skilled labour migration and brain drain is happening, Sri Lanka can make brain drain an opportunity in the medium term to have brain gains. Countries like the Philippines and India have done this. Therefore having good HR practices and sharing them with others will facilitate support to the HRD efforts of Sri Lanka. Former President Institute of Personnel Management Janaka Kumarasinghe told the Daily News at an interview about the Young HR Minds Award 2008 initiated by the Institute. more..

Nuwara Eliya experience ice rain

Mar 24 (LNP) Nuwara-Eliya district has been experiencing torrential rains over the past three weeks and at some places it had rained ice. Labukela, Kudaoya, Mahagastota, Nanuoya and Abewela had experienced ice rains and in the vicinity of Nuwara-Eliya on the plains ice cubes could be seen during the past few days. According people, a thick fog with coldness had also caused problems to people living in Nuwara-Eliya and this weather condition could affect the festive season in Nuwara-Eliya. more..

Regaining East: JVP wants credit

Mar 24 (SAMN) The JVP now faced with the daunting task of battling a UPFA-TMVP alliance at the forthcoming polls to the Eastern Provincial Council, Sunday said the government wouldn’t have any moral right to take credit for the liberation of the Eastern Province. The JVP politburo, in a statement released over the weekend said security forces and police should be credited with the magnificent battlefield victories which brought Tigers to their knees in the East. more..

Sea-wave power plant soon in Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (SAMN) While consumers and industries reel under the dark clouds of electricity hikes, the silver lining to this gloomy situation could literally be crashing at our shores. An Israeli firm in a bid to promote wave power as an alternative energy source has submitted proposals to the Ministry of Power and Energy to construct a unique sea-wave power plant. SDE Energy, a Tel Aviv manufacturing company, is awaiting the official green light to more..

School Admissions: Quota for politicians

Mar 24 (SAMN) The proposed national policy on Grade One school admissions will be presented to the Cabinet for its approval shortly. It is learnt that there has been a proposal that MPs and Provincial Councillors be given a quota of one percent. The National Education Commission (NEC) is expected to take a final decision on this proposal at a meeting to be held Tuesday. more..

House modernisation project in low gear

Mar 24 (SAMN) A grandiose plan initiated during UNP’s Joseph Michael Perera’s tenure as the Speaker early 2003 has hardly made progress with both the House and donors unable to meet their objectives, informed sources said. According to a copy of the blue print of the project, the then Speaker had officially sought the backing and advice of Members to the project in July 2003. more..

3,000 kidney patients at Medawachchiya hospital

Mar 24 (DN) The Medawachchiya district hospital has registered 3,000 kidney patients at their clinic, a spokesman for the hospital told a progress review meeting. This progress review meeting was held at the PDHS office in Anuradhapura on Saturday. Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva instructed officials to give 10 dialysis machines and a new ward complex to the Medawachchiya hospital soon. more..

Poverty alleviation through sustainable agriculture - New CTC Chairman

Mar 24 (DN) Ceylon Tobacco Co PLC’s new Chairman, Jayampathi Divale Bandaranayake will amalgamate his responsibilities, fully conscious of the sensitivities and emotions associated with the tobacco trade. He succeeds Ken Balendra who steps down from the CTC Board after nine years as Director of which the last five years has been as its Chairman. The transition will be effected tomorrow (25) after the Annual General Meeting. more..

Special allowances heavy burden on public sector

Mar 24 (Island) Although the proposal is unlikely to find favour with politicians and trade unions, Kariyawasam, the former Chairman of Bank of Ceylon, in his critical report on the loss making commercial enterprise asserted the Treasury needed to look into the entire gamut of allowances. While substantially increasing electricity rates with effect from this month to cover growing losses, the CEB has yet to implement an action plan to cut down on waste, corruption and irregularities, more..

President took prompt action against VAT refund offenders- Siyambalapitiya

Mar 24 (Island) Though a number of politicians in the Op position were trying to shift the blame for the billion rupee Value Added Tax fraud in the Inland Revenue Department on the government, assuming that the government was trying to shield those responsible for it, President Mahinda Rajapakse as the Minister of Finance had taken prompt action to get the CID to investigate the fraud as soon as the Public Accounts Committee and the Auditor General’s reports on it was out, more..

Public service to be depoliticized through competitive exam: Karu

Mar 24 (DM) The Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry has decided to recruit public servants only through a competitive examination and an interview that follows, Minister Karu Jayasuriya said. “The idea is to depoliticize the public service. It is well known that the political meddling in recruitments, transfers and promotions have heavily contributed to the inefficiency and low productivity in the state sector. more..