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Sri Lankan envoy visits Windsor

May 5 (WS) The Sri Lankan Windsor community gathered together Saturday night to celebrate the new year and welcome Toronto's consul general for Sri Lanka to the area. Consul General Bandula Jayasekera, who was just recently appointed to the position in March, arrived in Windsor and met with MP's Brian Masse and Joe Comartin to discuss various issues. "It was an extremely productive meeting," said Jayasekera. more..

Inland fisheries industry thrives in A'pura

May 5 (DN) With the commencement of the renovation and rehabilitation of a large number of major medium and small scale tanks in the Anuradhapura district, the potentiality is being created for the elevation of inland fisheries industry. Presently there are several numbers of Donor assisted programmes to develop irrigated agriculture sector in the North Central Province being funded by the JBIC World Bank, CARE plan Sri Lanka and local bodies. more..

Student Inventors to USA

May 5 (DN) Three Sri Lankan students are to participate at the world's largest pre-college science competition , Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) to be held in May 2008 in Atlanta, USA. They were nominated for this event by the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) following the results of Junior Inventor of the Year (JIY) 2007 where they won various awards at the Sri Lanka Science and Engineering Fair (SLSEF). more..

Two teenagers killed in accident, bus torched

May 5 (DM) Two teenagers riding a motorcycle were killed on the spot at Mudukattuwa in Marawila when their motorcycle collided with a Colombo – Puttalam private bus last evening, police said. The two boys identified as Awantha Milan 16 and the other aged 11 were rushed to the Marawila Base Hospital but hospital authorities said they were already dead at the time of admission. more..

SLCPI releases Code of Conduct for marketing Pharmaceuticals

May 5 (DM) The Sri Lanka Chamber for the Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) has released its 3rd edition of Code of Conduct for Pharmaceutical Marketing and presented it to the Healthcare Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva recently at the BMICH. The new code which was a long felt need in streamlining the pharmaceutical trade in the country contains legislature which could see its members expelled from the chamber if they were found guilty of unethical marketing practices. more..

Ratnapura docs to strike in protest against JVP male nurse

May 5 (Island) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) would cripple Ratnapura hospital today (5) to pressure the Health Ministry to punish a male nurse who had been accused of abusing a lady doctor during ward rounds last week. The GMOA would also seek President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s intervention as the Health Ministry had turned a blind eye to the hospital nurse’s high handed action, Dr. Upul Gunasekara told The Island. more..

Online distance higher education on fast track

May 5 (Island) The government entered into partnerships with 13 higher education institutes from the public and private sectors to promote online distance learning. "US $ 1.5 million has been allocated (out of a US $60 million loan facility from the ADB to the government to establish distance learning centres island-wide) and will be disbursed as grants to partner institutes (PI) to initiate the development of online degree and diploma programmes," more..

Central bank responds to IMF letter

May 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank, which earlier protested an International Monetary Fund study on external impacts on inflation, has welcomed comments by a top IMF official based on results which were further disaggregated. "The CBSL is thankful to the IMF for issuing an explanation in this regard as it would provide a more clear interpretation of the results of the Working Paper," the Central Bank said referring to an IMF letter sent to Lanka Business Online. more..

Central bank suppressing interest rates: researcher

May 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank is keeping interest rates suppressed and below the inflation rate to reduce government borrowing costs and maintain a high growth rate that presents a 'rosy' picture, a researcher says. "Galloping inflation is also due to suppression of the interest rate by the government," says Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, principal researcher of the Point Pedro Institute of Development, more..

Sri Lanka rebels say 11 troops killed

May 5 (AFP) Separatist rebels said they killed 11 government troops and wounded 20 during clashes in northern Sri Lanka on Monday. The LTTE said they killed the soldiers while beating back the fresh attempt by the army to break through rebel defence lines in Jaffna. Elsewhere, the Tigers raided a navy post in Mannar district in the north early Monday, killing eight personnel and seizing arms and ammunition, rebel military spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan said. more..

Tamil terror group's manuel revealed

May 5 (NP) Inside the school auditorium, the Tamil Tiger flag had been raised in a solemn ceremony and the audience of 600 people had heard a taped address from the terrorist group's leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. Then an undercover RCMP officer watched as "a Caucasian male" approached the podium. "The male praised [Foreign Affairs Minister] Maxime Bernier and spoke about the position of the government, which is to favour the nonviolence, diplomatic solutions to the conflict, etc.," more..

Outcry as Sri Lanka's defence chief urges censorship

May 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main media rights group on Monday voiced alarm after the island's hawkish defence chief reportedly branded some journalists "traitors" and called for sweeping censorship. The Free Media Movement said Gotabhaya Rajapakse, who has long demanded strict controls on how news organisations are allowed to cover the war with Tamil Tiger rebels, "must be held accountable for his words and reigned in." more..

Speaker yet to be informed about Kiitulgoda's extension

May 6 (LD) Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara says he is yet to be informed whether the term of acting Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Kitulgoda has been extended. Speaking to 'Lanka Dissent', Mr. Lokubandara said however, that Mr. Kitulgoda's service could be extended every 14 days. When contacted, the acting Secretary General of Parliament said he has received an extensive of service, noting that he would be on duty when the House begins sittings tomorrow (May 05th). more..

55 incidents of poll violence in east - LPW

May 6 (LD) Lanka Polls Watch has reported receiving 55 incidents of poll-related violence in the east. These incidents have taken place from the day nominations were handed in, LPW said. It said all three districts to the May 10th election are facing a grave situation. LPW said in statement that 24 of these incidents were from Batticaloa, followed by 14 from Ampara and 17 from Trincomalee. The UNP has lodged 34 of the complaints, while the JVP made 12 complaints, more..

Mahinda 'lost' voters' confidence

May 6 (BBC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political ally says Rajapaksa government has lost confidence of the voters within two and a half years. The JVP says the government unleashes violence in the east to win the local polls as the authorities are aware of the voters’ feelings. JVP parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake questioned the reasons for government’s urgency to conduct eastern Provincial Council (PC) elections if the security situation is not conducive for elections. more..

Witness 'threatened' by officials

May 6 (BBC) The aid workers who were murdered in Muttur were alive in the morning on the fateful day, a witness told the Commission of Inquiry (CoI). A Catholic priest who wished to anonymous told the CoI that he saw the workers in the morning on 04 August, 2006. The CoI has commenced public hearings over the killing of 17 aid workers of Paris based Action Against Hunger (ACF) in Muttur. The witness was cross questioned by counsel appeared for the interests of Sri Lanka Army, Gomin Dayasiri. more..

FMM protests Gotabhaya's 'threats'

May 6 (BBC) The Free Media Movement (FMM) in Sri Lanka has strongly protested threatening remarks by the powerful Defence Secretary. In an interview with a state-run television station, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has called on the government to ban independent media that publish “harmful” stories towards security forces. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s younger brother has described the journalists who report on the casualty figures of war as “traitors” of the nation. more..

Lanka crush Bangladesh

May 6 (DS) Bangladesh failed to keep the momentum as they suffered an eight-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the Women's Asia Cup at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium yesterday. Bangladesh bounced back brilliantly from a huge 182-run defeat in the opening match against defending champions India when they pulled off a historic four-wicket victory against Pakistan in the next game but their poor batting let them down in the third and last game of the first leg. more..

LTTE: Rising Desperation

May 6 (ICT) Two light aircrafts of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) carried out an air attack on the security forces (SFs) forward positions in Welioya, 280-kilometre northeast of Colombo in the morning of April 27, 2008, but no injuries or damages were caused in the ‘air raid’, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara disclosed, adding, "The LTTE planes have returned safely to their hideouts in the Wanni after dropping three bombs." more..

Justice and peace: a reply by the AHRC Chairperson

May 6 (AHRC) The secretary general, SCOPP, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, has written a letter regarding several comments on peace and justice written by the Asian Human Rights Commission and signed by its Executive Director Basil Fernando dated May 2, 2008. The Chairperson of the AHRC, John Joseph Clancey has sent a reply to the SCOPP’s Secretary General’s letter. more..

SRI LANKA: Reply to Pachoris

May 6 (AHRC) We refer to the column written by Pachoris in the Sunday Leader edition of May 4th. Now for readers outside Sri Lanka Pachoris means liar. Therefore, we will refer to the columnist in the future as Mr. Liar, as this is his chosen title. The column is a sort of ‘fool’s column’ and of course, there is justification for such columns, either for satire or just for fun by way of writing humorous nonsense. So, for our reply we take this column in that lighter spirit. more..

Fiat on evictions

May 6 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on Monday ruled that evictions should not take place unless in accordance with the law and accompanied by a judicial order. The order was issued by a three-member bench headed by the Chief Justice following a fundamental rights application filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives and its executive director Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu on the mass eviction of Tamils from Colombo in June last. more..

Sri Lankan general calls on Tariq and Kayani

May 6 (IN) Commander of Sri Lankan Army Lieutenant General G.S.C Fonseka called on Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Tariq Majid and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, here Monday, says an ISPR press release. He exchanged views with the Joint Chief of Staff Committee chairman on matters of mutual military relations between the two countries and other subjects of common interest during his visit to Joint Staff Headquarters. more..

Sri Lanka to start building new port on east coast

May 6 (LBO) Construction work on a new port in Oluvil on Sri Lanka's east coast is to start on Tuesday as part of government efforts to revive the region's economy, the Port Ministry said in a statement Monday. The main objective of the project is to develop a harbour with appropriate shore facilities to cater to general cargo vessels required to supply the current needs of the area, including costal passenger transport, it said. more..

Sri Lanka highways authority funds drained by overstaffing: official

May 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's road development bureaucracy is hugely overstaffed and a drain on public funds and unable to effectively maintain the island's road network, a senior government official says. Sirisena Amarasekera, secretary, ministry of highways and road development, says there are around 10,000 people, including maintenance workers, in highway and road development institutions in the island to manage 11,000 kilometres of highways. more..

SEP/ISSE holds May Day meeting in Colombo

May 6 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) of Sri Lanka and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) marked international workers’ day with a strong meeting at Colombo’s New Town Hall on May 1. Around 200 people including workers, young people, students and professionals from Colombo attended, along with others from southern and northwestern provinces and the island’s central plantation districts. more..

'Govt. moves would make people in the East continue to become victims of terrorism'

May 6 (LT) The people in the East would be further victimized by terrorism as a result of the undemocratic acts of the government in the provincial council election in the East says JVP Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Mr. Dissanayake said, “The people in the East should reap the benefits of the victories of heroic Security Forces in the East by liberating that province. more..

Eastern election can lead to new discontents

May 6 (LG) Those visiting Trincomalee in the east even for a short time would be impressed by the evidence of developmental work taking place that is changing the landscape. The most obvious work that is being done is the reconstruction of the road network. Large tracts of the highway connecting the town to Colombo are partially closed off on one side, as the road is being widened and resurfaced. This gives rise to clouds of red dust and to slow moving traffic. more..

Eastern election, Northern task Force

May 6 (LG) In his soaring ‘rap on race’ – his initial response to the Jeremiah Wright controversy – a speech that should be studied by every reflective Sri Lankan (I watched it twice myself, having read the text once), Barack Obama drew his fundamental demarcation from his former pastor. He said that Rev Wright’s main error was in assuming that racism in America was endemic and in failing to recognise that US society was capable of change for the better; of evolution. more..

JVP Member under TMVP attack

May 6 (LG) A group of JVP supporters who were engaged in election propaganda work at Thirukkovil area in Ampara district were an attacked by a group of armed supporters of Pillayan group at about 3.00 p.m. yesterday (5th). R. Sundaram who was among the supporters of the JVP who were attacked was severely beaten up by the Pillayan supporters had to be admitted to Ampare Hospital. more..

Muslims should accept the Reality of the SLMC

May 6 (MG) The government needs to address the Muslim issue more directly, instead of merely manipulating their concerns for political advantage. However, that requires a comprehensive plan to develop a political settlement to the conflict, which at present is a very distant possibility. The LTTE missed a significant opportunity during the ceasefire to address Muslim historical grievances seriously and right past wrongs. more..

Ranil's helicopter emergency-landed at Mahiyangaya

May 6 (MG) The helicopter in which Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe was returning to Colombo from Eastern Provincial Council election campaigning in Batticaloa was emergency-landed a due to a technical fault last evening (05) at Mahiyanganaya esplanade. The helicopter belongs to Sri Lanka Air Force. Mr. Wickramasinghe went to Mahiyanganaya police station after the helicopter was landed. more..

SLMC tells Muslims to consider May 10 polls a referendum on NE

May 6 (MG) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress has asked the Muslim community in the East to consider the May 10 Eastern Provincial Council polls as a Referendum on the "arbitary demerger" of the NorthEast. SLMC General Secretary M. T. Hassen Ali yesterday said it was only after the Senior advisor to the President (MP) Basil Rajapaksa declared that this election was a Referendum, did the SLMC too decide to request the voters to consider it so. more..

Ferial’s vehicle attacked by Athaullah supporters

May 6 (MG) Minister Ferial Ashraff’s vehicle was reportedly attacked by Minister Athaullah’s supporters in Akkaraipattu last evening when she was engaged in the election campaign. Ms. Ashraff told that the incident was a ‘Manapa Yudda(War on preferential votes. “These types of incidents are common during elections and there is nothing to worry about,” she said. She said the incident was a minor one and no harm was done to her. more..

CAFFE files FR petition against unauthorized use of arms

May 6 (LD) Mr. Shiral Lakthilaka, Attorney-at-Law and Executive committee member of CAFFE (Campaign for Free and Fair Elections) has filed a Fundamental Rights application in the Supreme Court today (05th May) seeking to take steps to prevent use of arms by unauthorized persons. Commissioner of Elections, Defense Secretary, Inspector General of Police, DIG Eastern Province, Leader of the TMVP and AG were made respondents in this case. more..

Doctors' strike disrupts Ratnapura Hospital

May 6 (LD) Functions of the Ratnapura General Hospital have been disrupted over a dispute between doctors and nursing officers. By noon yesterday (Apr. 04th), doctors at three more wards housing patients who are to undergo surgery refrained from their duties, rendering all four such facilities at the hospital inoperative. According to hospital director Dr. Bulathge Ananda Jayalal, these patients have been transferred to other hospitals. more..

CPA welcomes SC order on evictions

May 6 (LD) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) welcomes the Supreme Court order stating that future evictions should not take place unless in accordance with the law and with a judicial order. The order was by a three-member bench headed by the Chief Justice in the fundamental rights application filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives and its Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu on the mass scale eviction of Tamils from Colombo that took place on the 7th of June 2007. more..

Eastern Polls: campaigning to end at midnight tomorrow

May 6 (GDI) Campaigning for the Eastern Provincial Council Elections, scheduled to be held on May 10 will end at midnight on Wednesday (7th), sources from the Elections Department told The Eastern PC Elections are being held for the first time in two decades following the recent liberation of that province from the clutches of the LTTE. In March, local government elections were held in the Batticaloa District. more..

'Sea sand as solution to sand-mining crisis'

May 6 (GDI) The attention of the Government has been drawn towards the utilization of sea sand in place of river sand for the construction industry, Construction and Engineering Services Minister Rajitha Senaratne said last week. Currently the construction industry is reeling from an acute shortage of sand due to the ban on river sand mining and Minister Senaratne said that Government and private sector constructors must be urged to use sea sand in place of river sand for construction work. more..

Nagenahira Navodaya to provide fillip to Eastern schools

May 6 (GDI) The Education Ministry has launched a programme to improve the quality of Primary and Secondary Education in schools and other institutions in the East under the Nagenahira Navodaya programme, under which six schools in each of the three districts in the Eastern Province would be developed. Under this programme, named "Isuru Schools Programme", already Rs. 28 million had been allocated to Vivekananda Maha Vidyalaya, more..

Rs. 5,400 m allocated for Ampara development

May 6 (GDI) The Government has allocated Rs. 5,400 million for livelihood development activities of low income families in the Ampara district under the Samurdhi Development Programme, according to Rohitha Abeygunawardena, Minister of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development. Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena, speaking at an awareness workshop attended by Samurdhi Managers, Development Officers and Samurdhi Society Chairmen in Ampara, more..

New Ministry Secretaries appointed

May 6 (GDI) New appointments have been made by President Mahinda Rajapakse to posts of Secretaries to Ministries. These appointments came into effect yesterday (5). Accordingly Thosapala Hewage, Secretary to the Ministry of Enterprise Development, has been posted as the new Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Aviation, D.T.G. Collure who was earlier Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Aviation is now the Secretary to the Ministry of Transport, and W.A. Nihal Somaweera, more..

SC bans eviction of Tamils from Colombo

May 6 (LD) The Supreme Court yesterday declared the eviction of Tamils from Colombo or preventing them from entering and staying in any part of the city were an infringement of fundamental rights and should not be repeated in future unless in accordance with the law and with a judicial order. The SC bench comprising Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Justices Andrew Somawansa and Jagath Balapatabendi heard the FR petition filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and more..

'Voters in the East have a choice of keeping it or hand it back to terrorists'

May 6 (AT) Two leading intellectuals of the country, Professor Mrs. Malini Endagama and author Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera said if the pro-government forces did not win the Eastern Provincial Council elections there is a potential danger of the province being once again subjugated by terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. The two intellectuals said there is a danger of the opposition forces once again reaching agreements with LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran if they happen to win. more..

Doctors close four surgical wards

May 6 (LNP) The GMOA has yesterday closed four surgical wards at the Ranapura General Hospital in protest against the failure of the Health Ministry to take disciplinary action against the male nurse who was abusive to a lady doctor. The GMOA said it would not close medical wards under any circumstances as the Ratnapura district is flooded and a large number of patients were beginning to rush to the hospital with dengue, ckickungunaya and dysentery. more..

Hello, hello Mr. IGP

May 6 (LNP) Fighting the scourge of narcotics still remains an uphill task despite the government s much advertised Mathata Thitha programme to rid the country of drugs. Links between politicians and drug barons are far from severed and even the police, we reckon, are not geared to achieve that ambitious yet noble goal. The police drug busters who function as a tooth battalion in war against narcotics continue to get a raw deal from their departmental bosses and politicians. more..

Inter School cricket tournaments - Future will be Fifty-50 for juniors

May 6 (LNP) The Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association has decided to shift back to its tested format of Limited overs tournaments in a bid to propel junior cricketers to fight for a result instead of dragging on the games, to earn points in Inter School Junior tournaments. For the last several years, the Under-15 and Under-17 tournaments were held as innings matches where the teams future depended on the amount of points they earn in each match. more..

Lanka rejects US charges

May 6 (SAMN) Sri Lanka said Monday allegations against the government, included in the US State Department country report on terrorism released last week, were a sad effort to divert attention –but the US said it was standing by its report. Foreign Ministry Secretary Palitha Kohana said he believed the US report was not accurate. “This is an attempt by the US to divert attention from the issue at hand, when it is the LTTE that is banned as a terrorist organisation in more than 27 countries, including the US”. more..

New railway station opened in East

May 6 (SAMN) UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe handed over the East to the LTTE, but now the UPFA, after liberating the East, has gifted it to its "inheritors", and the transport problems faced by the people in the East will be solved gradually, Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said after opening a new railway station at Ganthalawa recently. Minister Alahapperuma said that people travelling from the Trincomalee station would be able to reach Colombo via more..

New courses for universities from UN

May 6 (SAMN) The United Nations (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs is to introduce South Asian Regional Courses on ‘Global Governance and South Asian Development’ to Sri Lankan universities, the Ministry of Higher Education said. This was announced at a meeting with Minister Prof. Wiswa Warnapala and Dr. Adil Khan, the chief of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. more..