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Sri Lanka builders oppose unsolicited bids

Mar 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's construction industry is pressing for clear rules covering unsolicited bids for infrastructure to promote competition and ensure transparency in the business. Provisions to deal with unsolicited bids - which seem to be becoming more common in the island - have been included in new draft legislation proposed by the construction industry to the government. more..

'Frankenstein' franchise in Batticaloa - TNA MP

Mar 7 (TN) "Ceylon was the first country in Asia to receive universal adult enfranchisement as early as in 1931. Even though many at that time eulogized it, from the very beginning, it was doomed as it was implemented in a country where the voting was communal. The Tamils boycotted the first elections. The curse continued and has become a Frankenstein monster in Batticaloa today. People are terrified at the thought of elections and would feel greatly relieved without it," more..

Sri Lanka Bawa award attracts bus terminus, car showroom

Mar 7 (LBO) A bus terminus in rural Sri Lanka, a car showroom in the capital Colombo and a lowland forest visitor centre are vying for a million rupee award given in the name of Sri Lanka's famed architect Geoffrey Bawa, officials said. The winner will be chosen after an on site technical review and a final assessment by a group judges, the Geoffrey Bawa Trust, which is running the award program said. more..

The minorities have suffered enough!

Mar 7 (LG) What has really gone wrong with Sri Lanka? A nation that practices high religious values is heading towards irredeemable decay. A nation that solely believed in majority rule has alienated the minorities and this has caused far reaching collateral consequences for the masses of the country. In Sri Lanka companionate Buddhism has turned to confrontational one. Hinduism practiced by majority Tamils have to live with eternal violence as their way of life. more..

Free Trade & National Sovereignty

Mar 7 (LG) Introduction of open economic policies in 1977 transformed Sri Lanka’s economy in an irreversible manner. Import substitution industries established over several decades collapsed within a short period of time. An estimated 200,000 handlooms scattered all over the country disappeared within a few years following import liberalisation and the establishment of garment factories in the newly established Free Trade Zones. more..

Nations, States & Hybrid Intellectuals

Mar 7 (LG) Thank Kuweni Achchi and the Yakshas that I am not an intellectual in the western tradition. As at present in Sri Lanka only those who follow the western tradition are considered to be intellectuals and this implies that I am not an intellectual. If I were to follow the intellectuals in this country I would have been debating whether the Sinhalas are a nation, race or an ethnic community hybrid or otherwise. more..

Foreign Ministry: Snakes or parasites?

Mar 7 (LG) In the sad saga of the destruction of Ceylon/Sri Lanka by partisan politics, the foreign ministry has evaded notice for a long time—until the non-traditional approaches of Rajiv Wijesinghe and Dayan Jayatileka. The late professors W.S. Karunaratne and Ediriweera Sarachchandra were ambassadors but the foreign service establishment did not and could not openly engage in bad-mouthing them. more..

China Extends Agriculture Cooperation to Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (LG) “As a result of the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture Cooperation between Sri Lanka and China signed during the visit of H E the President to China in 2007, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences (CAAMS) is sending a high level delegation to Sri Lanka to assist in improving agriculture research and technology to enhance agriculture output in Sri Lanka,” more..

Sri Lanka to hold retail fuel prices till end March

Mar 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-owned petroleum utility aims to hold retail fuel prices at current levels for the time being despite crude oil prices hitting record highs, its chairman Ashantha de Mel said. Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is hoping income from oil futures hedging and its refinery resuming production after a shut down for maintenance would enable it to avoid a price hike. more..

Report of HRW & resignation of IIGEP are part of a sinister move against Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (LT) Recent report released by Human Rights Watch accusing GoSL and security Forces of being responsible for widespread abductions and disappearances and “The International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP)” deciding to terminate its operations in Sri Lanka are a part of a sinister exercise against sovereignty of Sri Lanka point out political analysts. more..

Campaigning for east polls end tonight

Mar 7 (LD) Campaigning for local government polls in Batticaloa ends at midnight today (Mar. 07th). Voters in the district will elect 101 representatives for nine local bodies, from among 831 candidates fielded by six political parties and 22 independent groups. A total of 270,471 voters is eligible to exercise their franchise from Batticaloa Municipal Council and the Pradeshiya Sabhas of Eravurpattu, Koralepattu, Koralepattu North, Manmunai South, Eravilpattu, Manmunaipattu, Manmunai West and Manmunai East. more..

Media Conference on Environmental Pollution

Mar 7 (LD) Gampaha District Committee of the National Alliance for Protection of Natural Resouces and Human Rights Alliance has organized a media conference over environmental pollution that is taking place in an and around Ekala, Jaela due to various industrial projects that has been establihsed without any respect for environmetal safegurds. This conference will be held on the 8th March at 9.00am at Manawa Himikum Piyasa at St. Anthony's Road, Kanuwana Jaela. more..

'LTTE terrrorism faced by Sri Lanaka is a global problem'

Mar 7 (AT) Sri Lankan Ambassador Bernard Goonetelleke interviewd by Masha Wickremasinghe of WCCA TV Massachsetts, expressed the view that the global community has done many things. In the first instance, they have recognized the LTTE for what it is, recognized the Tamil Relief Organization (TRO) and front organizations for what they are, and banned or curtailed their activities that contribute to death the destruction in Sri Lanka. more..

TNA MP Sivanesan was summoned to Kilinochchi by LTTE for secret meeting

Mar 7 (AT) Tamil analysts in Sri Lanka believe that K. Sivanesan, Member of Parliament (MP) of the LTTE-backed Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was killed by the Tamil Tigers. The LTTE has summoned Mr Sivanesan and another TNA MP for a briefing on Wednesday. According to political circles only Mr Sivenesan was free to go to Mankulam. The LTTE summons TNA MPs from time to time and instruct them on the stands they should take in Parliament debates and media interviews. more..

Navy officer Bandara felicitated in NY and Washinton DC

Mar 7 (GDI) In appreciation of the bravery and prompt action taken by Navy Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Bandara that averted a large-scale carnage and mayhem at the Sunday fair in Anuradhapura on the 10th of February 2008, the Sri Lankan Community in America hosted him at a felicitation ceremony in New York and Washinton DC. One ceremony had been held in New York on Saturday March 1st where Mr. Bandara was awarded a special plaque by more..

Expectation high for calm Local Government Election in Batticoloa

Mar 7 (GDI) All possible precautionary measures to hold a calm Local Government Election in Batticaloa on Monday (10) have being taken by the Batticoloa Police, said DIG Nanayakkara speaking to the Government Official News Portrayal, According to DIG Nanayakkara there have been only 28 complaints reported since campaigning commenced. Of these 28 complaints 18 have been settled, while the others are still being investigated. more..

Former MP M.H. Amit passes away

Mar 7 (GDI) M. H. Amit, former Member of Parliament and close political associate of the late T.B. Jayah, passed away yesterday at the age of 94. The Janaza took place at the Dehiwela Muslim Burial Grounds. Amit was appointed a UNP National List Member of Parliament following the 1989 General election. A delegate of the All Ceylon Muslim League which appeared before the Donoughmore Commission and Soulbury Commission, Amit was a strong believer of a united Ceylon and more..

Demonstration and meeting in Sri Lanka to protest prosecution of Iranian students

Mar 7 (WSWS) The Socialist Equality Party and its student organization, the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) will hold a demonstration and a public meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to protest the Iranian government’s detention and prosecution of more than 40 left-wing students. The demonstration is part of an international campaign initiated by the ISSE. more..

The Mandate and Duties of the Peace Secretariat

Mar 7 (PISL) The Peace Secretariat is amused at recent attempts to denigrate its role, through releases attributed to a range of sources. With regard to the ICES issue where wild allegations were made in one newspaper, and were then repeated by a letter in another that purported to comment on a release by the Free Media Movement, the Peace Secretariat has made clear what occurred through the publication of the statement it made to the CID. more..

Using the United Nations to Fulfil NGO Agendas

Mar 7 (PISL) Once again the silly season is upon us, with Human Rights Watch unleashing yet another statement about Sri Lanka, timed to coincide with the March meeting of the Human Rights Council. This time indeed the campaign has been protracted, with a previous HRW statement now appearing on the website of OCHA, supposedly the UN’s Office for Coordinating Humanitarian Assistance. more..

Direct air links improve trade between Sri Lanka and Thailand

Mar 7 (LNP) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake on Tuesday stressed the importance of having direct airlinks between countries. Addressing a delegation of senior officers of the Royal Thai Airforce he said that direct air links between Sri Lanka and Thailand had helped tremendously to improve trade ties between the two countries. `In an era where the world is developing rapidly in every sphere, Sri Lanka cannot afford to work in isolation. more..

Richard Pieris sells 49% of its newspaper business

Mar 7 (LNP) A London-based financier, Nilanka Rajapaksa, has bought 49 per cent of Rivira Media Corporation Ltd., a member of the Richard Pieris Group of Companies, fuelling speculation that the deal had the backing of the government. Well informed sources said the deal had been struck after Richard Pieris Chairman, Dr. Sena Yaddehige, concluded weeks of confidential negotiations and finalized the Rs 100 million transaction under which control still remains with Richard Pieris. more..

Responsibility lost in a jungle of rights

Mar 7 (LNP) Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, would spin in his grave if he knew about the conduct of some physicians in this blessed land. Yesterday, we reported that a specialist doctor in Ratnapura had allegedly given a trainee nurse an injection by way of punishment for a mistake she had made. The nurse is said to have been warded following that jab of wrath. The nurses unions are on the warpath demanding stern against the doctor. more..

IIGEP move may tarnish SL’s image: UNP

Mar 7 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP yesterday warned the withdrawal of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) from Sri Lanka could be the first step towards Sri Lanka getting isolated internationally. UNP frontliner Lakshman Kiriella, commenting on the IIGEP withdrawal said the situation arose as a result of the government ignoring Human Rights international treaties which Sri Lanka had signed and was bound to implement. more..

Mihin pulls out of three destinations

Mar 7 (SAMN) Mihin Lanka which launched flights to six destinations in South India, East Asia and the Middle East has now been compelled to reduce them to three destinations from April with flights in South India already been suspended. The two weekly flights now in operation to Bangkok will be suspended from the end of this month. The airline now operates flights only to Singapore, Bangkok, Maldives and Dubai, more..

Police find hi-tech equipment

Mar 7 (SAMN) The Medawachchiya Police Thursday took into custody 12,000 cartridge caps and several other war related items from a three wheeler and a house at Ithirigollewa. When Police signalled a three wheeler to stop near the Karipithkada junction, its four occupants had jumped out and bolted. Police managed to arrest three of them. On examination, Police recovered, in addition to the cartridge caps, three digital telescopes, more..

MR orders to delay action against CMC

Mar 7 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed Western Province Chief Minister Reginald Cooray to delay action against the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) till the sittings of the Andrew Silva Commission probing the conduct of officers of the crisis stricken council is over. According to reliable sources the President had given this instruction through the phone during the discussion he had with SLFP members of the CMC. more..

More stations on Batticaloa - Polonnaruwa line

Mar 7 (DN) A train service between Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa not operated in the last few years due to terrorist activity, will be re-commenced by the Government under the Nagenahira Navodaya programme. Fulfilling another pledge in the Mahinda Chinthana to upgrade infrastructure facilities like transport in the liberated areas, this step would vastly cater to the community needs of the Eastern Province. more..

Lankapuvath website: Bringing Lankan image to the world

Mar 7 (DN) The website of Lankapuvath, Sri Lanka’s National News Agency and the only local news agency in the country, was launched on Wednesday in Colombo by Mass Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Media Minister Laksman Yapa Abeywardhana. The website comprises three separate websites in Sinhala, Tamil and English along with audio and video clips. more..

Plea for realistic salary for WP teachers of differently abled ignored

Mar 7 (Island) While politicians and NGOs preached on women’s rights regularly and hold extravagant functions to mark the annual International Women’s Day on March 8 (tomorrow), a group of teachers, mostly women who had been employed as teacher assistants by the Western Provincial Council to educate differently abled children, had been paid a mere Rs 3,000 monthly allowance. more..

Real drama at Regal hot topic at premier showing at Savoy

Mar 7 (Island) A simmering battle to obtain the Wijendra cinema, Anuradhapura to screen their films, between the producers of Hatharadenama Surayo and Siri Raja Siri, recently came to a head at the premier screening of the remake of 1979 classic Hatharadenama Surayo at Regal. The original had starred Gamini Fonseka, Vijaya Kumaratunga and Malini Fonseka. more..

UNP to take education crisis to the streets

Mar 7 (DM) While charging that the new circular on grade one admissions violated the Constitution, the main opposition UNP yesterday warned of street protests against it soon. UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told a news conference that the new circular issued by the Education Ministry violated Section 14 of the Constitution which recognizes the right of a citizen to get employment in any part of the country. more..

Eminent lawyers represent army at inquiry into NGO worker killings

Mar 7 (DM) Two eminent lawyers S.L.Gunasekara and Gomin Dayasiri have come forward to appear on behalf of the Sri Lanka Army at the public inquiry on the killing of 17 aid workers of the French NGO ‘Action Against Hunger’ before the Commission Investigating Serious Violations of Human Rights (COI), a source of the Commission said yesterday. Last Monday the CoI began the public inquiry into the killing of 17 aid workers in Muttur on August 26, 2006 that shocked the world. more..

Tamils targeted by security rules

Mar 7 (UPI) Last week a resident of Kandy, Sri Lanka, sent an email to many people asking for advice about the legality of security measures recently introduced in the city, which is located in the hilly central part of the country. The measures appear to be targeting the Tamil population. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Summit is scheduled to be held in Kandy from July 27-Aug. 3 this year, to be followed by the popular Buddhist festival, the Esala Perahera. more..

Sri Lanka army claims more gains

Mar 7 (BBC) The Sri Lankan military says it has killed some 40 Tamil Tiger rebels in recent days in fighting that has also left four soldiers dead. The figures cannot be verified as the government does not allow journalists or independent observers into the battle zones. The government says it is making gains against the Tigers in the fighting in the north of the island. Last year they drove the Tigers from their strongholds in the east. more..

Sri Lanka: Understudied, misunderstood

Mar 7 (TT) Sri Lanka: The Pearl of the Indian Ocean. One of the most understudied and misunderstood nations of the world, which is home to about 19.3 million people, great cultural diversity, and the LTTE. Whatever the global community knows today of Sri Lanka, if at all, is mainly for two reasons: LTTE and Buddhism. For the past two decades, the country has been plagued with ethnic tensions and armed conflict between the forces of the predominantly Sinhalese government and the LTTE, more..

Military says 38 rebels, 4 soldiers killed in Sri Lanka fighting

Mar 7 (AP) Government forces and ethnic Tamil rebels fought fierce battles across northern Sri Lanka that killed 38 guerrillas and four soldiers, the military said Friday. Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Both sides in the conflict have been accused of greatly exaggerating enemy casualties while underreporting their own. more..

Anti-India campaign will not be tolerated says Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (PTI) Making it clear that it will not tolerate any anti-India campaign in the country, the Sri Lankan government has said New Delhi has stood firmly behind it during critical times. "We will not tolerate any action that is against India's interest. They (India) have helped us whenever the need arose. They are our close friend," Sri Lankan Port Development Minister Dilan Perera told Parliament. more..

Murali, my son-in-law

Mar 8 (RN) On December 3, 2007, when Sri Lankan off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan bowled Paul Collingwood for 45 shortly before lunch on the third day of the first Test against England, he became the highest wicket taker in the world. He overtook the record of 708 Test wickets, held by Australian legend Shane Warne. Also Read: Murali defies critics to recapture record When the news reached Chennai, the happiest person was Dr Nitya Ramamurthy, his mother-in-law. more..

Sri Lanka CPC looks for lubricant partner

Mar 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is looking for a joint venture partner to start a lubricant retailing business, a senior government minister said. Information minister Anura Yapa said the ministry of petroleum has told Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers that lubricants would be sold under the brand Ceypetco. CPC old lubricant blending plant was sold to Caltex (now Chevron) with monopoly protection but the business was later liberalized. more..

TNA condemns Sivanesan killing

Mar 8 (TN) The TNA in a statement issued Friday strongly condemned the killing of its Jaffna district parliamentarian K.Sivanesan on Thursday at Maangku'lam along A9 highway. TNA has been expressing its deepest sorrow and distress over the killing of Mr. Sivanesan in a claymore explosion, the statement added. "Mr. Sivanesan worked hard for the emancipation of the Tamil people, against social injustice and for the development of co-operative movement. more..

Norway condemns assassination of Sivanesan MP

Mar 8 (TN) The Norwegian government on Friday condemned the killing of Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament K. Sivanesan of the TNA and his driver Periyannan Maheshwararajah, following a claymore attack in the Vanni on 6 March 2008. "Attacks on members of Parliament are seriously undermining Sri Lanka’s democratic traditions and institutions. A political solution to the conflict is vital, to put an end to the spiral of violence," the Norwegian statement said. more..

Shortage of tires cripple Jaffna transport services

Mar 8 (TN) Transport services run by Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) in Jaffna peninsula may stall completely if the acute shortage of tires continues without timely replenishment, SLTB officials in Jaffna peninsula said wednesday. Though request for spares had been made to the relevant authorities in Colombo two months ago nothing has been done to meet the urgent requirements, they added. more..

MP Assassination & Future of the Tamils

Mar 8 (LG) On behalf of EROS we condemn the horrific killing of TNA MP Mr K. Sivanesan who died as a result of a claymore attack. Our heartfelt condolences go to his family who he leaves behind. Our condolences also go to the family of his driver Periyannan Maheswararajah, 27, father of one, from Cheddiku'lam, Vavuniyaa. This culture of targeting and killing politicians whether they are Tamil or Sinhalese is never ending and more..

Holy Church used as LTTE’s fighting base

Mar 8 (LG) “One more form of highest acts of sacrilege was reported from the newly captured Parappakandal area when the terrorists, as all evidence pointed to, has used a Catholic Church as their base of terrorist operations against the troops,” according to Sri Lanka Army. Persuading Army troops to launch counter attacks on the Church where the terrorist fire on the Security Forces is initiated has been one of their ulterior motives enabling the LTTE to project a massive worldwide propaganda against the Sri Lankan Forces, Army said. more..

Ministry of social services organizes special Women's day programme

Mar 8 (GDI) The Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare organized a special programme to commemorate International Women's Day with the concurrence of the Deputy Minister of Social Services, Lionel Premasiri and the Management of Navaloka Hospitals. Addressing the media the Deputy Minister explained that five Sri Lankan women who had made exceptional contribution in different fields will be recognized and honoured as part of the overall programme. more..

Summery of Cabinet decisions

Mar 8 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Minister of Mass Media and Information for a National Media Policy in order to fulfill a long-felt need of the media industry in the country. This task was completed by a 22-member committee appointed by the Minister, comprising of eminent journalists, academics and professionals in the media sector. more..

Sri Lanka's silent war

Mar 8 (GU) Here in Pettah, the maze of roads is dense, each street lined with small shops and stalls, the pavements covered in goods for sale. I mount the metal stairs to a back office above a shop. The room is quiet and windowless, lit by a neon strip light. Jasemin has been waiting here since 2pm with her 18-month-old boy, Shekina. There are others too; families and women with their kids mostly. She takes her place on a chair between me and the translator. more..

IIGEP’s quitting is no surprise, but what next?

Mar 8 (AHRC) The announcement by the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) that they are quitting the Presidential Commission of Inquiry comes as no surprise at all. The surprise is as to why the IIGEP agreed to be part of this process in the first place. The Presidential Commission was so obviously an eye-wash and the IIGEP was only called upon to give respectability to a very deliberate design to subvert the process of law for which purpose alone this Commission was appointed. more..

Investigations not credible -Maheswaran Family

Mar 8 (BBC) Counsel representing the interest of the slain parliamentarian T. Maheswaran’s family requested the police to investigate the allegations made by the MP’s brother in an interview to BBC Sandeshaya. The slain MPs brother Thyagarajah Maheswaran told Sandeshaya that the police are trying to conclude that his brother was assassinated by the LTTE while he was convinced that the Tamil tigers did not have a hand in the Killing. more..