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Fiscal officers prevented from sealing building occupied by EPDP

Mar 26 (LD) Fiscal officers were prevented from carrying out a court directive to seal a building at Park Road in Colombo, which the EPDP uses as its head office, sources said. Sampath Bank had obtained the order from the Colombo District Court to seize the building after its owner had failed to save the property that had been mortgaged. The EPDP had been occupying the premises on lease basis without the knowledge of this situation, sources said. more..

New police posts to be set up in the South

Mar 26 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed the Police authorities to establish new police posts in South subsequent to a discussion held yesterday (25). The discussion focused on the need to create greater rapport among Police, the public and political representatives as a prerequisite for building a law-abiding society. The President also discussed problems faced by the police including more..

Foreign Minister leaves for Egypt to attend AMED

Mar 26 (GDI) Minister of Foreign Affaires, Rohitha Bogollagama will leave for Egypt to attend the Second Ministerial Meeting of the Asia Middle East Dialogue (AMED). The meeting will take place from 5th – 6th April 2008 at Sharam El Sheikh. AMED is a high profile Summit which is expected to be attended by nearly 20 Ministers of Foreign Affairs, mainly from Asia and the Middle East as well as more..

Greater focus on renewable energy

Mar 26 (GDI) The increasingly unbearable cost of fossil fuels burdening the country has forced Sri Lanka to increase the contribution of non-conventional and renewable energy to 10% from the current level of 4% by 2017,Power and Energy Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said recently, addressing Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC) 2008, in Washington D.C, USA. more..

Tough measures to combat garbage problem

Mar 26 (GDI) The Environment and Natural Resources Ministry is set to issue guidelines to ensure that garbage is collected before 6 am from roadsides and street corners in the city, Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka revealed at the launch of the National Solid Waste Management Programme, "Pilisaru" which seeks to make Sri Lanka a country free of solid waste by 2012. more..

The state of Human Rights in Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (PISL) Since Sri Lanka is to be subject in a few weeks to the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council, it has been the subject of a spate of attacks by many organizations with interests in this subject. Though many of them repeat the same points, with more or less exaggeration and unwarranted generalization, it is sadly necessary to respond in detail to as many of them as possible. more..

It's school admissions stupid!

Mar 26 (LNP) The national policy on Grade One school admissions is in the news again. It is being presented to the Cabinet at long last, we are told. After it passes muster at that level, it will be presented to Parliament. But, from what is reported in the press about the new policy, one cannot be sanguine about a lasting solution being found. A strategy to tackle the problem has to go way beyond juggling with percentages and quotas, more..

Ranil predicts black New Year

Mar 26 (SAMN) Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Tuesday said Sri Lankans would experience a “black national New Year” in April due to the sky rocketing cost of living which would prevent the people from celebrating the event. Addressing the launch of the ‘Janabala Sena ‘protest campaign at party head quarters ‘Siri Kotha’ Wickremesinghe said the people would have to sacrifice New Year festivities for the first time since 1977. more..

Talks Thursday to avert rice shortage

Mar 26 (SAMN) The government is to hold a discussion Thursday (27) to decide on measures to be taken to prevent a possible rice shortage and a price hike in the market. The discussion has been called by the Finance Ministry and will include officials from the Consumer Affairs and Agriculture Ministries as well as other stakeholders including rice mill owners and traders. more..

Nothing done to trace missing children

Mar 26 (SAMN) The killer wave that crashed down on the shores of Sri Lanka with its destructive fury on December 26, 2004 wasn’t merciful enough even to spare the young and the innocent. It not only left a trail of over 40,000 dead bodies, but an equal number of ‘living-dead’ who are still lost amidst the memories of their missing loved ones. But the parents of some missing children claim in unison that neither the government nor the police had spared even a trifling interest in locating their missing children. more..

Gains lost if housemaids banned

Mar 26 (SAMN) Sri Lanka’s gains in poverty reduction may be lost if the government goes ahead with a plan to stop sending housemaids to the Middle East (ME) from next year, an academic warned. Colombo University’s Demography Department Head Professor Indralal De Silva speaking at a seminar on demographics at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on Monday (March 24) said that 65% of those who obtained employment overseas last year were women, of whom 80% got jobs as housemaids. more..

Emirates pull out, no hinder

Mar 26 (DN) SriLankan airlines will function smoothly with effect from March 31 even after the Emirates management pulls out from alliance, said Head of Worldwide Passenger Sales, SriLankan, Manoj Gunawardena. He said however they gained valuable knowledge from the Emirates management which was with the airline for a decade. He said this experience gained from Emirates would help them to carry on the operations smoothly and more..

National security: Media must act responsibly

Mar 26 (DN) Defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday that the responsibility of the media is vital when they report on national security and other important issues affecting the country. Addressing the media at the weekly security news briefing, Minister Rambukwella said certain media institutions had sought to discredit Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka by portraying him as making political statements. more..

Prisons Commissioner under probe

Mar 26 (Island) An investigation has been launched into the conduct of a Commissioner of the Welikada Prisons, alleged to have been involved in providing ‘comfort’ to key suspects of grievous crimes like the murder of the High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya, Commissioner General of Prisons Vajira Abeygunawardena told The Island yesterday (25). The suspect Commissioner of Prisons is alleged to have provided special privileges to some suspects detained at the Welikada Prison, more..

Drugs go a waste at A’pura hospital

Mar 26 (Island) While there was a severe shortage of drugs at most government hospitals, the Anuradhapura hospital authorities had kept a large stock in its stores unused and had ordered new supplies for use in the hospital. The Health Ministry has conducted investigation into the severe drug shortage at Anuradhapura Teaching hospital and found that large stocks of required drugs ordered by the previous consultant were lying unused at the regional drug stores. more..

Sri Lanka hopes for resolution on Tibet issue

Mar 26 (DM) Sri Lanka has expressed hope that the issue concerning Tibet will be resolved amicably. A statement by the Foreign Ministry said that the Government of Sri Lanka wishes to reaffirm its adherence to the “One China Policy” and the territorial integrity of China. The statement said Sri Lanka sincerely hopes that normalcy will return to the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China and further wishes that the disturbances will be brought to an end amicably more..

‘MedEx 2008’ for a healthier tomorrow

Mar 26 (DM) Recognizing its potential to widen its reach after 26 years, the Faculty of Medicine Colombo will once again be organizing an inimitable Medical Exhibition – ‘Med Ex 2008’to be held at the BMICH from today to April 1, MedEx 2008 is shaping up to be the most comprehensive medical exhibition this country has ever seen. As the undisputed leaders in medical education in Sri Lanka with the best facilities and the most qualified staff, more..

British MP Liam Fox in Lanka to promote political consensus

Mar 26 (LD) British Parliamentarian Liam Fox is in Sri Lanka to seek a political consensus between the government and opposition parties, following an invitation extended by the Ministry of Foreign. Today (Mar. 26th), Fox will hold discussions with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and Government Peace Secretariat head Dr. Rajiva Wijesinghe. more..

Newly resettled IDPs dream of life without war

Mar 26 (IRIN) The last 18 years of Kanavathipillai Thangarasa’s life have been in constant flux. The 62-year-old man and his family have been displaced from their home on numerous occasions since 1990 by fighting in eastern Sri Lanka between government forces and the LTTE. In 1991, his 15-year-old son disappeared while travelling to the capital, Colombo, 330km from his native village Vavunathivu in Batticaloa District. more..

Two Sri Lanka police killed escorting Japanese

Mar 26 (Reuters) Two Sri Lankan police were killed on Wednesday while escorting Japanese aid workers and three civilians were killed in crossfire between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels. The two police were killed and seven others, including three civilians, were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded at the rear of a Japanese aid convoy visiting an agricultural irrigation project in Vavunathivu, northeast of Colombo. more..

As fighting flares in civil war, key Buddhist shuns nonviolence

Mar 26 (WP) Draped in his burnt-orange robe, Athurliye Rathana strolled onto the veranda of a posh hotel here one recent evening and an entire wedding party adorned in fine silks knelt as one, in a gesture of respect and honor to one of the country's best-known monks. "I guess I'm popular," said a slightly surprised Rathana, 45, rubbing his shaved head. more..

New Sri Lankan envoy presents credentials to President Michel

Mar 27 (NO) Present during the ceremony was Foreign Affairs Minister Patrick Pillay, and Sri Lanka’s consular agent in Seychelles, Radley Weber. H.E. Rajakaruna, who was welcomed to State House by a guard of honour, also called on Vice-President Joseph Belmont, and plans to hold discussions with the Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Patrick Herminie, as well as ministers and other senior government officials. more..

Getting the mixed message right

Mar 27 (UPI) The Indian government has been making pronouncements that have a repetitive air about them. The gist of the message is that India does not believe there is a military solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Most recently this position has been articulated by both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Indian Defense Ministry. Both have said that only a political solution that is acceptable to all sectors of the people, more..

Coconut output seen falling sharply

Mar 27 (FP) The country’s coconut export industry is currently facing a crisis due to shortage of coconuts and major exporters say that they have incurred a loss of Rs. 1.5 billion in foreign exchange during the January-March period. Senior members of the Coconut Products Traders Association said that export of coconut products has come to a standstill and they are on the verge of losing international market share. more..

Sri Lankan vegetable oil exporters warn of impending closure tariff

Mar 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka based makers of vanaspati ghee or hydrogenated vegetable oil who exported to India under a free trade deal said they faced closure after India slashed duty on imported vegetable oils. India dropped import duty on palm oil on March 20 to in a bid to check rising domestic prices, making Sri Lankan manufactured palm oil based vanaspati no longer competitive, more..

'JHU to Contest under UPFA Banner, will Respect Democratic Verdict of the People'

Mar 27 (AT) In an interview with the Asian Tribune Narendra Gunatillake, Secretary, International affairs and member of Central Committee of Jathika Hela Urumaya (National Heritage Party JHU), expressed the view that they were contesting the Provincial Council elections in the East under the UPFA banner and Betel Leaf symbol. We are a democratic party and will abide by the decision of the people. more..

People are with TMVP, we will win with ease - Azad Moulana

Mar 27 (AT) TMVP predicted that they will win 17 seats with ease, out of a total of 35 in the forthcoming elections for the East Provincial Council. Azad Moulana spokesperson for TMVP told Asian Tribune, "The people in the East are with us. We are the voice of the newly liberated East and people trust us and they are confident that we will whole-heartedly work for them. That is why I say we will hands-down win 17 seats in the East Provincial Council Election." more..

The difference between now and then in Eelam War

Mar 27 (SLW) The main fighting in the West Coast, as of now, is concentrated in the outskirts of Adampan and Pallaikuli. Other areas like Uylankulam entry-exit point and Sirikulam are almost entirely under Security Forces control. Brief skirmishes continue in Parappakandal and Giant's Tank West (8 GW) and East, Mud Spill and Ittikandal to the west (not shown in map). The above map indicates the small tanks scattered across the terrain. more..

Keep the pledges or be kicked out

Mar 27 (LG) The subject of national security may be classified into territorial security, health security, income security and energy security. Minister Bandula Gunewardena appears to be unconcerned about the plight of the citizens who do not have a regular income to meet the increasing cost of living. That does not mean that those who have a regular income are in any way better off. more..

India worried by Sri Lanka arms buying

Mar 27 (IANS) India said Wednesday that it wanted Sri Lanka to treat Tamils with dignity and also voiced concern that Colombo's arms purchases may upset New Delhi's 'pre-eminent position' in South Asia. 'We are facing a situation where the ceasefire (in Sri Lanka) could collapse. This could lead to a flashpoint,' National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan said while delivering the 25th Air Chief Marshal P.C. Lal memorial lecture here. more..

Impeachment of Public Officials

Mar 27 (GV) The history of democracy is a history of evolution. In Britain the King was the Head of the Executive. There was the legal principle that ‘the king can do no wrong’. It was a Royal Prerogative to appoint Ministers and officials and dismiss them at his will and pleasure. But Parliament got the King to agree to the principle of ‘no taxation without representation’. more..

Police allegedly fabricated charges against a man and his family members

Mar 27 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Baduraliya police allegedly fabricated charges against a man and his family members on 8 March 2008 in Sri Lanka. Police took one family member to police custody and forced him to sign a statement, which he never made. Later all four family members were charged with obstruction of police duties. more..

Sri Lanka: Fidel Castro Figure Extolled

Mar 27 (PL) Politicians and intellectuals from Sri Lanka highlighted the figure and work of Fidel Castro, his contribution to the advancement of poor and developing countries. The solidarity act in which speakers tackled the issue "Aporte y Significado de la Obra de Fidel Castro para el Tercer Mundo" was held at Mattugama Auditorium, in Kalutara district, south Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka create history in the Caribbean

Mar 27 (CI) In their fifth attempt, Sri Lanka finally earned their first Test win in the West Indies at the Providence Stadium, which was hosting its maiden Test. Dwayne Bravo and Ramnaresh Sarwan fought hard in the first session on the final day, and West Indies went into lunch having lost only Bravo, and still in with a good chance of saving the Test. However, the visitors came back strongly in the next two sessions; more..

Pakistan rice exporters to flood the Sri Lankan market with Basmathi rice

Mar 27 (AT) A team of Pakistani rice exporters will visit Sri Lanka to meet the rice importers and government Minister and officials in an attempt to ease the import of Pakistani rice to Sri Lanka. Abdul Baseer, Vice Chairman of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan said they were prepared to supply 6000 tons of rice to Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka government is encouraging rice imports from Pakistan to Sri Lanka to flood the market with the rice and keep the prices down. more..

Overbooked hotels force change in India's tour itinerary

Mar 27 (CI) A shortage of hotel rooms in Colombo because of an international political summit has forced a change in the itinerary for India's tour to Sri Lanka in July-August. India will now play the first Test, which starts in July 23, at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) Ground in Colombo, while the second will be played in Galle from July 31. In the original schedule, Galle was to host the first Test, with the second at the SSC. more..

Should SLA make a move on EPS?

Mar 27 (SLW) Elephant pass (EPS), known for its impregnable defences comprising sophisticated chain linked plexi glass blended by natural defences fell to the offensive LTTE ceaseless waves III formations on the 21st of April 2000. Since then Tamil Tigers have flooded into the Jaffna peninsula. EPS till 2000 remained as a permamnent impregnable cork to the Tamil Tigers alowing SLA maintain supremacy over the thin neck of land dominating all land communications between the LTTE's Wanni bases and Jaffna. more..

LTTE's latest nightmare - the MiG 29

Mar 27 (SLW) The Sri Lanka Air Force is planning to soon purchase a fleet of MiG 29 Fighters from Russia. This article is an independent analysis of the aircrafts background and capability. In the 70s the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau was given the task to develop an Air superiority fighter to counter the the F16 Falcon and it produced the MiG29, which still remains a powerful fast and agile dog fighter/air superiority fighter. more..

Jaffna people are treated by the Sri Lanka military – Jaffna MPs

Mar 27 (LG) “Jaffna people are treated by the Sri Lanka military worse than slaves, in the most humiliating and terrifying style”, said the Jaffna Members of Parliament who are in touch with their electorate people by phone. They said they are unable to even visit their electorate due to death threats against them. These MPs described the conditions facing their people as follows. more..

Gun point democracy

Mar 27 (LG) The Boxing-day Tsunami has devastated many parts of Sri Lanka, particularly the East and the North of the Tamil territories. This writer had returned from abroad to the eastern town of Batticaloa soon after this disaster for some humanitarian work. He was listening to the National news on the radio one morning. What he heard shook him. The state news broadcast was that the Tiger leader Mr V Prabaharan has died in the tsunami. more..

Sri Lankan doctor to set up free eye bank in Sialkot

Mar 27 (TP) Sri Lankan eye specialists will set up the Eye Bank, an international standard hospital, at Sialkot for providing free treatment including the transplantation of Cornea to poor, said Dr APS Abi Suriya here on Wednesday. Dr Suriya, a leading eye specialist, was talking to newsman after inaugurating the free cornea transplantation camp at Aleem Welfare Hospital. more..

Vaas stands tall to seal tight success

Mar 27 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene praised his bowlers as they wrapped up an historic first Test win in the West Indies with only 16 minutes remaining on the final day. Chaminda Vaas led the march with 5 for 61 as the hosts were dismissed 121 short of their unlikely target of 437. "We had a challenge when we came and that was to win a Test match in the West Indies and we have achieved that," Jayawardene said. more..

Vavuniyaa MP requests relief for rain affected farmers

Mar 27 (TN) Vavuniyaa district TNA parliamentarian Mr.Sivasakthi Aanandan appealed to the Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Services to compensate farmers of the districts of Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannaar and Vavuniyaa for the loss of their crops due to the recent torrential rain. Many of the affected farmers depend on the income from the crops, and are under severe economic hardship, the MP said in his appeal. more..

Division in UNP widens with election for Eastern PC

Mar 27 (LT) The UNP is splintering into several more fragments with the strain of selections for nominations of the Eastern Provincial Council election say internal sources of the party. The latest example of the disintegration of the UNP was when Parliamentarian Abdul Cader held a media briefing and severely denounced party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe for not appointing a Muslim leader for the coordination work of the Eastern Provincial Council election work. more..

Fishermen escape tiger clutches after 13 months

Mar 27 (LT) Eight Sinhalese fishermen who had braved to escape tiger terrorists’ hold in Vishvamadhu, in Mullaitivu were saved by Sri Lanka Army today (26th). According to defense sources in Vavuniya, a group of people were detected by troops inside a jungle patch 3 Km east of Omanthai Entry Exit point trying to come out of the jungle under heavy small arm fire by tiger terrorists. Troops acting immediately beat off the terrorists and managed to rescue 8 people alive. more..

Pillaiyan clashes with the government even before the nominations

Mar 27 (LeN) A conflict between the government and the Pillaiyan Group is developing due to the Chief Minister nomination of the Eastern Provincial Council. Lanka-e-News learns that the beginning of the clash draws back to the ceremonious swearing in of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulihal (TMVP) and United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) local government representatives before the President Mahinda Rajapakse on March 18 at the Temple Trees. more..

"Frame charges against those who are suspected as 'Sinhala Tigers' or release them"

Mar 27 (LeN) Counsel Manjula Pathiraja appearing for the 21 suspected 'Sinhala Tigers' who have been remanded since more than a year, appealed from the No: 08 Magistrate Courts today (26) to remind the Attorney General to frame charges against them if there are any. The counsel made this request when the suspects were produced before Magistrate Poornima Paranagamage by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). more..

'We have doubts over the benevolence of those who need Pillaiyan Group disarmed'

Mar 27 (LeN) India is consolidating power in the sensitive economic nerve centers of Sri Lanka in the guise of aiding war and it will face the same pathetic fate the West faced in their efforts to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka, says Wimal Weerawansa, the General Secretary of the Patriotic National Movement. Addressing a press briefing held today (26) Mr. Weerawansa further said, more..

'India is playing the role of crafty defender'

Mar 27 (LT) India is playing the role of a crafty defender says General Secretary of Patriotic National Movement (PNM) Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa. Speaking at a media meeting held in Colombo today Mr. Weerawansa said India is using the national question in Sri Lanka for its economic benefits. He said no country should be paid ransom on behalf of the war carried out to defeat tiger terrorism. more..

Sri Lanka trade deficit doubles in January

Mar 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's trade deficit doubled to 610.8 million US dollars in January as a surge in oil and capital goods imports outpaced gains from an agricultural commodity boom, government data showed. The trade deficit grew 104.6 percent with petroleum imports rocketing to 302.1 million dollars in January 2008 from just 54.2 million a year ago. But there were no crude oil shipments last January, more..