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Chief Ministership of East: TMVP proposes compromise formula

May 16 (AT) The impasse prevailing in the East Chief Ministership stakes may cause the six members of the TMVP led by Pillaiyan to resign their seats. Asian Tribune has learnt that the TMVP has proposed that as a compromise, TMVP be given the Chief Ministership and another Ministership position, the Muslims be given two Ministership position and the post of Speaker, and the Sinhalese one Ministership and post of Deputy Speaker. more..

EP Chief Minister will be named tommorrow

May 16 (AT) The Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council will be named tomorrow. A special discussion in this regard was held this afternoon under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapakse. Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said with regard to the new Chief Minister what is important is not the individual but creating an environment where all communities can live freely. more..

Clean water, sanitation and shelter for 125,000 displaced persons

May 16 (ICRC) Several thousand Sri Lankans displaced by armed conflict currently need help obtaining safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and housing. Some have been displaced by recent fighting, while others have been forced to flee their homes in northern and eastern Sri Lanka several times over the past two decades. Since early 2007, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has enabled more than 125,000 people displaced within Sri Lanka more..

Domestic Workers Promised New Deal in Kuwait

May 16 (IPS) Will a new agreement between licensed labour recruiters in Sri Lanka and Kuwait protect the rights of domestic workers who face serious abuse in the Gulf state? No, says one of Sri Lanka’s biggest groups working for the welfare of migrant workers which pins responsibility on shadowy sub-agents who enlist thousands of women every year as foreign domestic workers. more..

Sri Lankan top firms in multi-million dollar property project

May 16 (LBO) Three of Sri Lanka's top companies have struck a deal to do a big property development project on prime property they own in the heart of the capital Colombo, the firms said Thursday. John Keells Holding (JKH), Associated Motorways (AMW) and Finlays Colombo have entered into an agreement to do a feasibility study for the combined development of their properties situated adjacent to each other. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

May 16 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition to construct a six-storey building to establish 12 wards, six male and six female, a medical intensive care unit, X-Ray room, scanning room, emergency laboratory, Endoscopy Room and rooms for Medical Officers on call in order to improve the quality of in-patient care provided by the hospital. more..

Sri Lanka welcomes India's decision to extend ban on LTTE

May 16 (PTI) Sri Lanka tonight welcomed India's decision to extend the ban on LTTE and described it as New Delhi's policy of not extending support to terrorism. "This is in keeping with India's tradition of having banned the LTTE and not endorsing the outfit's separatism and support for terrorism," sources in the Presidential secretariat told PTI. "Therefore this move by India is welcome," the sources said. more..

NPC: Vesak time appeal for respect for Human Rights

May 16 (TC) The killing of Maheswari Velayutham takes away from the political community another strong personality who headed the Forum for Human Dignity and was also closely associated with the EPDP, a former Tamil militant organisation that is now with the government. She had escaped previous assassination attempts and was aware of the threats to her life, but this did not dissuade her from continuing her work for the rights of the people in Sri Lanka. more..

Rajapaksa’s effort for consensus

May 16 (Hindu) The selection of the chief ministerial candidate of the UPFA to the newly constituted Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) has been delayed. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is in the process of reconciling the conflicting claims of TMVP leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan and M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, a former leader of the SLMC. According to sources, Mr. Rajapaksa who returned from London on Wednesday has initiated consultations with the stake holders. more..

'LTTE continues to use T.N. as a supply base'

May 16 (Hindu) The Centre has extended the ban on the LTTE as an unlawful association by two years. The notification to this effect was issued on Wednesday, according to a Home Ministry release here. The LTTE, an association based in Sri Lanka, has sympathisers, supporters and agents on Indian soil. The group’s objective for a separate homeland for all Tamils threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India, the notification said. more..

Sri Lanka: The war dividend

May 16 (TE) Wading into Trincomalee harbour early on May 10th, a line of poor fishermen received election-day gifts from both sides of Sri Lanka's nasty, 25-year-old civil war. From the government, dominated by the Sinhalese majority, the gift was of a day's work. The government of President Mahinda Rajapakse had lifted a two-year ban on entering the harbour, an important naval base, just before the poll. more..

Cumaratunga and the public sphere

May 16 (LG) The newspaper editorials that Munidasa Cumaratunga wrote, while he was the editor of the Lak Mini Pahana, have now been collected into a book under the title Lak Mini Pahan Kathu Vaki. This book serves to re-focus attention on the significant relationship between Cumaratunga and the public sphere. The term public sphere was popularised by the German social philosopher Jurgen Habermas, and is now widely used in academic discourse. more..

Church in Sri Lanka decries use of child soldiers

May 16 (ZO) The Church in Sri Lanka is reiterating its plea to leave children out of the forces fighting a civil war in the north of the island. The Justice and Peace Commission of the Diocese of Jaffna released a report today saying that both the Tamil Tigers and the Colombo security forces are guilty of recruiting child fighters. "Most joined the militancy without the knowledge of the parents, and making personal decisions, after more..

Let Pillayan be the Chief Minister

May 16 (AT) How long will the Sri Lankan politicians act in support of the LTTE propaganda carried out by them and their supporters amongst the foolish Sinhalese. These vermin portrays as the patriots but wittingly or unwittingly support the cause of separatism. It is clear that the breakup of JVP is due to this. Though the people may laugh at this proposition, JVP’s top hierarchy was the biggest supporter of the LTTE. more..

Jeyeraj Fernandopulle: Outstanding Statesman remembered in Toronto

May 16 (AT) Late jeyeraj Fernandopulle was eulogized at a special Special memorial service in Toronto organized by the Old Boya Association of Maris Stella College Negombo in Toronto. Chief Guest Consul General of Sri Lanka Bandula Jayasekara addressed the gathering and spoke about Fernandopulle’s scholarly intellectual abilities, vast contribution to the nation and his peace delegation work in Geneva. more..

President must weigh Pros and Cons fairly: Cabinet post for Pillaiyan, one way out

May 16 (AT) Several options are available to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to solve the deadlock regarding the Chief Ministership of the Eastern Provincial Council. The obvious one is to make Pillaiyan the Chief Minister, according to most observers. If not he should be offered a Cabinet post after nominating him to Parliament. Some observers already believe that a Muslim Minister from the East would be asked to resign and Pillaiyan nominated under the National List. more..

Chief Minister race still on, the swearing in ceremony is postponed

May 16 (AT) The swearing-in ceremony of the new Chief Minister for the eastern province scheduled to take place tomorrow before President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to be kept on the hold until a clear signal, a consensus is reached, the Presidential Secretariat said. According to the government sources, there is yet no consensus reached in the discussions between the Muslim Ministers and the President on who should be the Chief Minister. more..

Love Marriage, by VV Ganeshananthan

May 16 (TI) According to the film director Jean-Luc Godard, a story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end – but not necessarily in that order. Godard had an important point: reality is messy and making sense may require connecting the dots, as we do with this first novel. VV Ganeshananthan's subject is Sri Lanka, the paradise island torn apart by fratricidal conflict since 1983 (or beyond, if you want to look for older hatreds). more..

Is the Ant more stronger than the Elephant?

May 16 (MG) Can the Muslim representatives in the UFPA alliance who helped pull the carriage of victory of the government in the newly elected Eastern PC lay down the rules for the appointment of the CM. The reporting in the Morning Leader today that the Muslims members from the UPFA will not support Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan in the Eastern Provincial Council administration if appointed as chief minister by the government, will more..

'Muslims are on the edge of patience'

May 16 (LeN) SLMC Digamadulla district MP A.M.M. Naushad says that the government’s political campaign that divide the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people in the Eastern Province would result in as a serious ethnic conflict. He said that the Eastern Province that has a demographically distributed multitude of ethnicities was special and if the people’s right to elect their representatives were suppressed, they would turn to other alternative paths. more..

Pre-school education in the plantations

May 16 (LG) Recently the department of Early Childhood and Primary Education in the Faculty of Education of the Open University of Sri Lanka called for applications for a course of study entitled "Certificate in preschool education". This is a one year course of study for preschool teachers and for those interested in the field. As per the advertisement the course of study is to be conducted in the Sinhala medium in Colombo, Kandy, Kurunegala and Matara. more..

Provincial autonomy and the merger

May 16 (LG) A few years ago, the President of the country, in an attempt to solve the prevailing national conflict, thought it prudent and pragmatic to grant devolution of power (provincial autonomy) to all the provinces. He also decided to merge the Northern and Eastern provinces temporarily (as an interim measure). It must be recognised that at no time did the people in all the provinces make a demand for provincial autonomy, nor did the state seek the will of the people. more..

EPDP activists in Paris defy LTTE

May 16 (AT) Enraged moderate Tamils in Paris pasted photographs of Jaffna peace activist Ms Maheswary Velautham in front of several Tamil shops in La Chappelle area in the Paris capital to protest against the brutal killing of Ms Velautham by the Tamil Tigers. The activists, though only less than two dozens of youths, ignored the objections by the LTTE supporters and pasted posters of Ms Velautham on the shop windows of La Chappelle, known as little Jaffna. more..

Tea and Sympathy in the Great Nation of German for Ambassador Maduwegedera

May 16 (AT) Sri Lankan Ambassador in Germany Tikiri Bandara Maduwegedera got a sympathetic hearing and made the best use of it according to German Media. He told the unique story of the success achieved by one of the four largest tea exporters in the world, HEWA Tea. German media wrote endearingly of the ambassador and the Tea Company. Hewa tea, & More founded in 2003, in a small warehouse at Märkische Straße, reaped success quickly. more..

Threaten Villages to be fortified

May 16 (GDI) Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development plans to fortify and render support to the threatened villages and develop their infrastructure facilities says Minister of Nation Building S.M.Chandrasena. The Ministry intends to invest Rs 400 million to setup bunkers to defend these villages and provide security to villages under threat of frequent attacks by the LTTE. Accordingly Rs. 30.3mn have been allocated for village of Etha wetunu wewa where already 248 bunkers have been completed. more..

Racket of sending steel balls to LTTE revealed

May 16 (GDI) The Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) launched a full-scale investigation into a clandestine operation where steel balls concealed in 'Paint' containers were sent to the North. According to Police, these steel balls are used in manufacturing bombs to intensify the disaster caused by the explosion. The secret place located in Peliyagoda was a company registered for manufacturing paints and more..

Brandix support tree planting and environmental consciousness among young

May 16 (GDI) One of Sri Lanka’s top players in the Apparel industry Brandix, will help plant 5,000 trees and allocate Rs 1million to fund a water supply project, with it’s share of the proceeds of the “Colombo Vogue” lifestyle weekend, the company announced. The country’s largest apparel exporter mentioned that its role as platinum sponsor of the unique event would be geared to expand on its on-going environment and community related initiatives. more..

Short films compitition under the theme of Buddhism

May 16 (GDI) Asian Light Foundation and National Film Corporation have jointly taken steps to conduct an island-wide short - film competition to mark the Vesak festival of the year under the theme of Buddhism. Any competitors irrespective of their age, could forward their creations in any medium. Competitors could even forward more than one creation in DVD. Creation of this short film could be in black and white or colour, confined to 6-12 minutes. more..

Lankan children display their talents at cultural show

May 16 (GT) CHILDREN from the Sri Lankan community showcased their talents in culture and dance at a celebration held recently by the Sri Lankan Co-ordinating Committee and Sri Lankan embassy. Sri Lankan Ambassador S B Atugoda and his wife Ramya were the chief guests. Events such as singithi avurudu kumari, fancy dress and bursting the balloon attracted several competitors. more..

Mastermind behind attack on naval ship killed?

May 16 (LNP) It is reported that a senior leader of the LTTE s was killed in what is believed to be an SLAF strike in northern Sri Lanka. Lt. Col. Gadaffi, an experienced sea-tiger leader, who planned and executed LTTE s attack last week on a navy supply vessel anchored in Trincomale was believed to have been caught up in this air raid. Gadaffi was in charge of training suicide cadres of the sea tigers and was a close confidante of LTTE leader, Pirabakaran. more..

Iran to provide oil at US$ 110 per barrel to Sri Lanka

May 16 (LNP) Iran will provide oil at a concessionary rate of US$ 110 per barrel to Sri Lanka until July under the agreement signed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the Iranian Government. Speaking at the Weekly Cabinet Briefing, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said though oil prices are increasing in the world market, with this relief measure, the country has been able to save nearly U$$ 1,500 million under this agreement. more..

Sri Lanka strengthens security for upcoming Buddhist festival

May 16 (LNP) Starting from today until the 25th of May Sri Lanka Defence Ministry has enforced special security measures in the country for the upcoming Wesak festival, the Media Center for National Security said. Additional Police teams have been deployed at places that special religious activities are taking place during this period. The Police also urged the public to be vigilant about suspicious activities and more..

SLFEB to counter child trafficking

May 16 (SAMN) Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) Chief, Kingsley Ranawaka said Thursday the Bureau was in the process of mapping out an effective mechanism including amending its Act, to counter child trafficking in the form of teenagers being sent abroad on forged documents. The Chairman's comments came in the backdrop of the latest ruse, where six teenage girls were detected on the eve of their departure as house maids to Middle-East destinations. more..

Wesak to be celebrated on grand scale

May 16 (SAMN) Special security arrangements have been made by police to improve security within the City of Kandy for the upcoming Wesak week, when pilgrims in large numbers are expected to visit Kandy, Kandy police Headquarters said. “We have added more policemen, both uniformed and in mufti, to conduct search operations to detect any terrorist activities in the area,” police said. more..

UL, Mihin to merge commercial synergies

May 16 (SAMN) SriLankan Airlines and budget carrier Mihin Air will be run as two independent airlines merging commercial synergies, new SriLankan Airlines CEO Manoj Vaas Gunawardena said. He said that SriLankan will be carrying all the booked passengers of Mihin Air for May in the absence of aircraft but there were no booked passengers for June for the budget carrier yet. The strategy of the national carrier would be to have commercial cooperation between the two so that more..

UNP alleges Govt. trying to create rift

May 16 (SAMN) Several UNP frontliners of the Eastern Province Thursday charged that the government was creating an environment to whip up communalism by delaying the appointment of the Chief Minister and manipulating the TMVP to suit the purpose. UNP MP A. M. M. Noushard told a news conference that the government had set the Tamils against the Muslims in the run up to the Eastern Provincial council by promising the Chief Ministerial post both to M.L.M.Hizbullah and Pillayan. more..

Free eye clinic for public servants

May 16 (DN) Free eye examination will be available for public servants by Colombo Eye Hospital and the Eye Technicians School under the direction of Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, a Ministry spokesman said. He said this programme will take place right throughout the year covering all workers attached to all State institutions. Many workers do not go for an eye examination due to lack of time or money. more..

Gang kills former underworld member

May 16 (DN) A former underworld member and a drug addict was shot dead by unidentified gun men at Jummah Masjid Road in Maligawatte on Wednesday night, OIC Maligawatte IP E.H.M. Karunatilaka said. He was shot dead by two unidentified gangsters inside a pharmacy near Jummah Masjid Road around 7.30 a.m. "Two gangsters who walked into the pharmacy while he was purchasing some medicine, shot his head twice and fled from the area," more..

Lankan students trapped in quake hit China

May 16 (Island) Twenty five Sri Lankan students are among those stranded by the earthquake in Sichuan Province of China, Sri Lankan Ambassador in China Karunatilaka Amunugama told The Island yesterday. A Lankan medical student, Wasantha Mendis said that he with four other Lankan students escaped death by running out of the hostel when the buildings were falling apart. They are short of drinking water and were currently residing in tents, he said more..

Millions lie inactive in EPF due to lack of details

May 16 (Island) Failure to provide accurate details had hampered the process of re-registering hundreds of members of the Employees Provident Fund whose deposits running into millions of rupees are lying inactive in the Central Bank, Superintendent of EPF L. Y. Dharmasena said yesterday. Failure to provide the full name, postal address, previous employer, addresses and National Identity Card numbers by hundreds of EPF members had made more..

Motor cyclists using mobile phones to be trapped

May 16 (DM) Police yesterday warned that motorcyclists who used mobile phones attached to a pouch on their helmets could face legal action. Traffic Director SSP Lucky Peiris told the Daily Mirror that using a mobile phone while driving any vehicle was a punishable traffic offence and they included motorcycles too. “Mobile phones can divert one’s concentration and put a risk not only on the life of the driver or rider but also on the passengers and pedestrians,” more..

'We will develop Batti with global agencies'

May 16 (DM) The Batticaloa Municipal Council has identified key development projects for the district and have plans to begin work shortly, Batticaloa Mayor Sivageetha Prabhakaran, alias Padmini, said but acknowledged that all cannot be finished by the Council or the Government alone. Ms. Prabhakaran said she has already requested all UN Organisations to provide her with details of their mandate, in order to enable her to approach the most appropriate Organisation with the relevant project proposal, more..

Seven Sri Lankans arrested in Kupang

May 16 (JP) Police in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, are interrogating seven Sri Lankans suspected of being members of the Tamil Eelam separatist movement. Spokesman for the provincial police Comr. Marthen Radja said here recently the suspicion was based on a preliminary interrogation conducted by local immigration authorities. "They initially claimed to be Indian citizens, but later confessed to being Sri Lankans and members of the Tamil Tiger rebels," more..

Jets bomb Tamil rebel bases; Fighting kills 27 rebels, 2 soldiers

May 16 (AP) Sri Lankan fighter jets pounded two Tamil Tiger rebel bases deep in the northern jungles, and infantry clashes killed 27 rebels and two government soldiers, the military said Friday. The planes bombed a base of the Sea Tigers, the rebels' naval wing, in their de facto state in the north early Friday. Another airstrike on a rebel military base in the guerrilla stronghold of Mullaitivu took place overnight, he said. more..

Navy arrests 19 Indian fishermen

May 16 (IANS) The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 19 Indian fishermen on charges of poaching in Sri Lanka's territorial waters. The authorities here suspect the fishermen have also 'smuggled in something' for the Tamil Tigers. 'We have arrested 19 Indian fishermen with three dhows off Thalaimannar on Thursday. This time the issue is very serious because they were arrested while returning from the LTTE held territories such as Devil Point and Palaitivu,' more..

Nine dead, scores wounded in Sri Lanka suicide blast

May 16 (AFP) At least nine people were killed and 90 others wounded Friday in a Tamil Tiger suicide bombing near the official residence of Sri Lanka's president in the capital Colombo, officials said. Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said seven police officers and two civilians -- plus the attacker -- died in the massive blast, which was heard across the city. "Many civilians" were among those hurt and some were in a critical condition, he added. more..

Lanka Dissent hacked & disrupted

May 17 (LD) The 'Lanka Dissent' news website has been experiencing technical disruptions since this morning (May 16th), which we believe is a clear political attempt at silencing our dissenting voice against biased reporting. The LD editorial requests the freethinking public to consider this as yet another instance of grave violations of media freedom. Since the inception, our website has been facing threats from the government and other war mongering factions. more..

Jayasuriya included in Asia Cup squad

May 17 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya makes a return to the Sri Lanka squad for the Asia Cup in Pakistan after having been dropped for the one-dayers in the West Indies last month. Jayasuriya, who has retired from Tests, was included in the 15-member squad following the intervention of Gamini Lokuge, the country's sports minister, after selectors had left him out of the original squad. The selectors had met on Tuesday but the minister delayed ratifying the squad, more..

Tiger violence fixed Ranil in East (Part 02)

May 17 (LG) The post-election phase is developing into a more bizarre scene than anything that happened in the East during the election. Actually, the election took place under more reasonable conditions without any of the hysteria that is driving the opposition, the NGOs, the diplomats and pro-UNP media round the bend. To their astonishment, the Asian Election monitors commended the electoral process and praised the voters who participated in it. more..

Where does Sri Lanka’s Left go from here?

May 17 (LG) By entering a capitalist government that year and compromising on our non-racist policy we lost the support of the minorities as well as the respect of intellectuals. We lost our standing in the country’s politics as well as our identity. Having entered a capitalist government, we could not dissociate ourselves from its activities. Thus, we had to march in the government’s May Day rallies when government supporters vociferously yelled, racist slogans. more..