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UNP says govt. hiding truth on north offensives

Sep 9 (LD) UNP MP Lakshman Seneviratne told Parliament today that the government was attempting to cover up the real situation of the northern military offensives. Commenting on this morning's air raid by the LTTE in Vavuniya, he said the area, claimed to have been liberated, was still not secure. Participating in the emergency debate, he wanted to know the purpose of buying fighter jets, since they failed to prevent LTTE aircraft from getting away after the air raids. more..

155 soldiers died in terrorist attacks in Aug.

Sep 9 (LD) Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake says 155 military personnel were killed and 983 others wounded in terrorist attacks during August this year. Moving a motion to extend the state of emergency by a further month, Mr. Wickremanayake told the House today (Sept. 09th) that four civilians also died and 50 others sustained injuries in these attacks. The military should have the legal backing to wipe out terrorism, he said, more..

More politicos to get pay hikes

Sep 9 (SAMN) Governors, Chief Ministers and Members of the eight Provincial Councils are in line for a pay hike from next year after the expected salary increase for judicial officers and Parliamentarians, a Local Government and Provincial Council source said Monday. “There will be a snowballing effect when the salaries of judicial officers are raised as their salaries are linked to those of lawmakers. The salaries of provincial councillors are also linked to those of Parliamentarians, more..

New political party formed

Sep 9 (SAMN) The Eksath Lanka Peramuna (ELP) a new political party which is going to be a non-registered one that does not have the intention of contesting any election, was formed as an initiative of the North East Sinhala Organisation, in Colombo Monday. Propaganda Secretary of the Party who is also the General Secretary of North East Sinhala Organisation, Sunil Aluthge told its first convention that ELP will be converted into a large political force which will control the whole political machinery of the country. more..

Two Indian radar technicians wounded in LTTE attack

Sep 9 (IANS) Two Indian radar technicians were wounded when Tamil Tiger rebels launched a major pre-dawn assault “coordinated with artillery fire and an air raid” on a key military base in Sri Lanka’s northern Vavuniya town Tuesday, Indian authorities here said.”Two Indian technicians, who are here in Sri Lanka for some time for routine servicing and maintenance of radars, have suffered injuries during the Tuesday attack on the Vavuniya military base,” more..

ICRC stays, UN leaves Vanni

Sep 9 (BBC) United Nations say that it is withdrawing from LTTE held territory in northern Sri Lanka. The UN statement issued from Colombo on Tuesday came after the Sri Lankan government ordered the withdrawal on all foreign and local aid workers to leave LTTE-held Vanni. "About 70 offices from five operational UN agencies will eventually be moving out of Kilinochchi," UN spokesman in Colombo Gordon Weiss, told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

Pakistan-Sri Lanka series unlikely

Sep 10 (CI) Plans for a proposed one-day series in Sri Lanka involving Pakistan later this month took a hit with broadcasters quoting low figures to secure television rights for the event. With a proposed tri-series involving the two teams and South Africa also shelved, it seems unlikely that Pakistan will be play any international cricket in the fixture gap created by the postponement of the Champions Trophy. more..

Brandix Seeduwa Factory achieves world 1st in eco-friendly manufacture

Sep 10 (F2F) Sri Lanka’s apparel sector inspiration Brandix has achieved a world first across all sectors, with its Green Factory in Seeduwa becoming the first apparel manufacturing facility in the world to be rated Platinum under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). more..

27 Indian youth arrested in Colombo for overstaying

Sep 10 (IANS) Sri Lankan Immigration officials arrested a batch of 27 Indian youth here during the weekend for staying on though their visas have expired, a senior official said Monday. Sri Lanka's Immigration and Emigration assistant controller William Deivendrarajah said the Indians were sent to Sri Lanka allegedly by a foreign employment agent in India and were arrested at a lodge at Maradana here for overstaying in the country. more..

Australian intervention urged in Sri Lanka

Sep 10 (ABC) The Australian government has been asked to intervene following an order by the Sri Lankan government for aid workers to leave the country's northern war zone. Colombo says it can not guarantee the safety of aid workers as it launches an aggressive battle to oust the rebel Tamil Tigers. The government is trying to avoid a repeat of the 2006 massacre of 17 local aid workers employed by a French aid agency. more..

LTTE, ULFA source of arms for Naxals: Report

Sep 10 (ZN) Left-wing extremists are spreading their presence to as many as 22 states with the Maoists even approaching banned groups like LTTE and ULFA for arms procurement, an intelligence report has claimed. The report, submitted to the Union Home Ministry, said Maoists were aiming at "liberating" 35 per cent of country's territory by the end of next year, according to official sources. more..

Troops surround rebel Hq - NGOs ordered out

Sep 10 (IPS) Saying it was keen to avoid a repeat of the August 2006 massacre of 17 local workers of a French aid agency, the government has ordered all non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to leave the Tamil separatist stronghold of northern Vanni, now under military siege. The Sri Lankan army has now, according to official reports, ringed Kilinochchi, the headquarters of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the reclusive leader of the LTTE. more..

ICRC steps up aid effort for displaced people in the Vanni

Sep 10 (ICRC) The displacement of civilians in the Vanni – in parts of Killinochi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya districts under the control of the LTTE – continued in August as tens of thousands of people fled intensifying fighting between government forces and the LTTE. Both residents and those already displaced moved towards Kilinochchi town and Mulaitivu district, seeking refuge in schools, with relatives and in dedicated sites. more..

'Give benefit of fall in crude oil prices to masses'

Sep 10 (LT) As the price of crude oil in the world market has come down from US$140 to between US$106 and 108 the benefit of the reduction in prices should be given to masses states JVP Parliamentarian Lal Kanthe in a letter to Minister of Petroleum & Petroleum Resources Development A.H.M. Fouzy. Full text of the letter: In the recent past the price of crude oil in the world market took an upward trend. more..

Jayasuriya to play for Dolphins

Sep 10 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya, the Sri Lankan batsman, has been signed by the Dolphins, the Kwa Zulu-Natal-based franchise, to play on the South African domestic circuit for two seasons for the reported fee of R1.5 million (US$ 190,000). Jayasuriya confirmed he had signed a contract with the Dolphins but refused to reveal his fee. "I'm bound by my contract not to make any statements about the financial side of the deal," more..

A Farewell to an Officer and a Gentleman: Colonel H.H. Lawrence De Silva

Sep 10 (IL) Col. Lawrence De Silva passed away last Sunday after a brief illness at the age of 66. He joined the Nalanda College as a science teacher in 1967 and served there as the Chemistry teacher for O/Ls classes until he retired from teaching to join the Sri Lanka Army to serve as the 1st Commanding Officer of the 11th Gajaba Regiment in 1984. Since then he served in the North and east until his retirement from the SL Army. more..

Heavy losses in Sri Lanka clash

Sep 10 (BBC) Sri Lanka's military says 12 soldiers and a policemen have been killed during a Tamil Tiger attack on a base in the northern area of Vavuniya. The Tigers say 10 of their suicide fighters were killed in the raid. The government says a Tiger plane was shot down, a claim which the rebel group has denied. Meanwhile, the UN says its staff will begin leaving rebel-held territory this week, after a government order banning foreign aid workers from the area. more..

Sri Lanka sends flood relief to Nepal

Sep 10 (RW) The Government of Sri Lanka as a mark of solidarity with the people of Nepal has donated a sum of US$ 25,000 as relief assistance for victims of the recent floods in that country, according to a media release from the Foreign Ministry. A cheque for this amount was accordingly handed over to Rt.Hon. Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister of Nepal by Mr. Ranawaeera Banda, Charge d' Affaires of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Kathmandu last Saturday (06). more..

Sri Lanka: War far from over

Sep 10 (ISN) The LTTE have suffered a series of reverses on the battlefield over the past year. First, in July 2007, they lost control of the multi-ethnic eastern province to the Sri Lankan government. Now, the country's military is at the rebel group's doorstep in the north, making rapid advances into LTTE-controlled territory. The rebels have lost several top leaders and hundreds of cadres over the past year. In addition, their conventional military capability is being systematically destroyed. more..

13th Amendment – Bottom line of Tamil’s Aspiration

Sep 10 (LG) Sri Lanka Guardian has picked up a paragraph from the said article and highlighted it as a prelude, which inter alia states that “Douglas Devananda and Anandasangaaree are still hanging on to the dying SJVC paradigm and it was Col. Karuna who made the revolutionary break-away”. This statement of the writer reveals that he is not aware of the contents of the proposal submitted by the TMVP, the party lead by Col. Karuna, to the APRC. more..

The Politics of Winning The Wanni

Sep 10 (LG) Fascists launch a final surge before they lose wars. The Kamikaze pilots were a last card against the US fleet. The Nazis developed the Tiger tank, launched the V-1 and V-2 rockets and fought the Battle of the Bulge in the closing stages of the war, when they had already lost in the strategic sense. The battle of Iwo Jima is the classic model of a fanatical, suicidal, dug–in fighting force defending its home turf against a final onslaught. more..

The last battle and nationalism

Sep 10 (LG) There is a growing opinion that the last battle is being fought in the north. It was the LTTE that popularized this usage of language. This was in 2004, well before the present phase of war. At that time the Ceasefire Agreement was in existence. But it was coming under increasing stress. The government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe which had signed the agreement had been sacked by President Chandrika Kumaratunga and defeated in the general election that followed. more..

World Literacy Day

Sep 10 (LG) “Literacy is the best remedy”. “Literacy is a human right” These are the slogans of the current year’s Literacy Day. The world is observing the International Literacy Day on Monday. Established in 1965 by the UNESCO, the International Literacy Day is observed every year, on this day. Especially dedicated to the cause of literacy, the World Literacy Day is observed with the aim to spread the message of literacy among children and youth living across the world. more..

Civilians trapped as war closes in

Sep 10 (ML) With military engagements intensifying in the north, focus is now shifting towards Kilinochchi and Mulaithivu as the defence forces continue to capture areas that were under the Liberation Tigers not so long ago. And while the battle cries intensify civilians on the other hand find themselves trapped with no escape corridor in sight. The government last week emphasised on the need for a humanitarian corridor to pave the way for civilians to move out of the Tiger controlled areas. more..

JVP wants govt. to explain Kachchativu

Sep 10 (ML) JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake called upon the government to inform parliament the steps taken to legally secure the now disputed Kachchativu island. Making a special statement in parliament yesterday, Dissanayake warned that Jeyalalitha Jeyaram has filed legal action before an Indian court to secure the legal ownership of the island. more..

When Wanni Security Forces HQs came under attack

Sep 10 (ML) Given the fractured nature of the conflict, both the government and the Tigers keep putting out contradicting reports on military operations. It was the case yesterday as well, after the attack on the Wanni Security Forces Headquarters in Vavuniya. While one side said that it held the upper hand, the other dismissed the claims and said it came out tops. For our readers’ information we reproduce below how yesterday’s attack was reported by different outlets. more..

11 dead in LTTE attack on Vavuniya Camp

Sep 10 (ML) Ten soldiers and one policeman were killed and 31 service personnel injured in yesterday’s pre-dawn attack launched by the LTTE on the Security Forces Wanni Headquarters in Vavuniya, it is learned. The injured included two Indian nationals who were in the camp to train the forces personnel in the use of the Indian made Indra radar system. Ten Tiger suicide cadres who were involved in the ground attack were also killed, it is learned. more..

Ban voices alarm at increased violence in northern Sri Lanka

Sep 10 (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed deep concern over escalating violence in northern Sri Lanka and the humanitarian impact of the clashes on civilians. The South Asian nation’s Government has requested that United Nations relief workers relocate from areas witnessing conflict. In a statement, Mr. Ban “reminds all concerned of their responsibility to take active steps to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of civilians, more..

Vavuniya attack reveals Indian ‘duplicity’ in Sri Lanka

Sep 10 (TW) The attack on Tuesday september 9th in Vavuniya has revealed the ‘duplicity’ of the Government of India, P. Nedumaran, President of the World Tamil Confederation (Ulaga Tamilar Peramaipuu) said in a statement today. The news of the attack, destroying the radar equipment given by India to Sri Lanka and also injuring two of the Indian military officilas operating them vividly shows the duplicity, he added in the statement. more..

Sri Lanka becomes top South Asian reformer in 2008: IFC study

Sep 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been rated the top South Asian reformer in an annual business regulation study by the World Bank group, with a new company law and credit information improvements boosting its scores. 'Doing Business 2009', a study by World Bank's private sector financier, International Finance Corporation, said Sri Lanka strengthened the rights of creditors with a new company law. more..

Sri Lanka tops salary hike chart

Sep 10 (LNP) Sri Lanka tops the projected salary increases at 17 per cent in pay hikes followed by India at 16 per cent, Indonesia at 12.7 per cent, Vietnam at 12.4 per cent, Bangladesh at 11.9 per cent and Pakistan at 11.1 per cent, it emerged yesterday. China emerges seventh with a projected salary hike of 11 per cent, trailed by Cambodia at 9.8 per cent, the Philippines at 9 per cent, South Korea at 8 per cent, Thailand at 7.5 per cent and Malaysia at 7 per cent, HR Business Solutions said. more..

Sri Lanka worlds Fastest Aging Population

Sep 10 (LNP) In the latest indepth study report on Sri Lanka s aging population, the World Bank announced yesterday that country is rated as the fastest aging population in the south Asia and it s time for the policy makers take the matter seriously. In its report the world bank warned that Sri Lanka will face a massive social challenge to provide income, health and other types of support to its elderly population in just over two decades. more..

Raise the sail, all hands to oars and make speed!

Sep 10 (LNP) Nothing has exposed the government`s ineptitude and inefficiency more than the crisis in the education sector. There seems to be no end to its bungling which it seems to specialise in. Education has become an unholy mess from school admissions to university entrance. The situation is no better in universities. The Supreme Court had to intervene to clean the mess of school admissions. more..

Don`t blind the eye available to look into the Tamil question in Sinhalese point of view

Sep 10 (LNP) Western People`s Front (WPF) MP Mano Ganeshan made a sentimental appeal at a press briefing today (09) not to make him the last Tamil MP who speaks the Tamil question in Sinhalese. He indirectly stated that via interrogations by Terrorism Investigation Department (TID), he is projected through certain media as a person who has links with the LTTE and that is a threat to his life. more..

Three Sri Lankan Ayurvedic treatment centers in Australia

Sep 10 (GDI) The Ministry of Indigenous Medicine has taken steps to set up three Ayurvedic centers in Perth, Melbourne, and Canberra in Australia, in response to continuous requests made by Sri Lankan community living in these cities. These treatment centers will get the service of Ayurvedic doctors including specialists and a well trained staff while the medicines required will be provided by the Ministry. The centers will be managed by Sri Lankans in Australia. more..

'We have a people-centric Foreign Policy'

Sep 10 (GDI) Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rohitha Bogollagama has emphasized the need for diplomats who are posted abroad to represent Sri Lanka, to have a thorough knowledge of the country's system of local administration and the day to day problems confronting the people. Hence, he has decided that all Heads of Mission and Foreign Service officers should serve a period of orientation attached to a District Secretariat, prior to their departure, in more..

No let up in the mission to eradicate terrorism -- PM

Sep 10 (GDI) The Government is not planning to let the LTTE terrorise the people of the country forever, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake told Parliament today (09). Opening the debate on the Emergency Vote, the Prime Minister said that the LTTE which bragged that it was the saviour of the Tamil people is today forcibly employing these innocent civilians as a human shield, unable to withstand the determined forward march of the heroic troops, more..

'Recently liberated Thannimurippu rich in archaeological artifacts'

Sep 10 (GDI) JHU Member of Parliament, Ven. Ellawala Medananda Thero revealed in Parliament today that the area surrounding the Thannimuruppu Wewa, recently liberated from the grip of terrorism by the security forces, is an important archaeological site. Participating in the debate on the Emergency Vote, Ven. Medananda said that there is evidence to believe that the said area is what was earlier referred to as Thurindamale. more..

Hot air over first air-to-air attack

Sep 10 (BL) The Sri Lanka Air Force yesterday claimed that it had destroyed the first LTTE aircraft during the Tigers’ pre-dawn attempted air raid on the SLAF Base in Vavuniya last morning. Addressing a press briefing, Air Force officials said that pilots had confirmed the plane had gone down over the jungles of Mullaitivu. Ten LTTE cadres were killed while 11 soldiers died and 15 suffered injuries during the major attack on the more..

Two journalists with profound insight

Sep 10 (BL) I wish to comment this week on the two articles written last week of two sensible journalists by two prominent commentators. I also wish to mention only two different aspects of their expertise. Last Wednesday, D.B.S. Jeyaraj wrote of Navamani’s former editor M.P.M. Azhar, who died on August 28, aged 62. Jeyaraj was junior to Azhar in age and in the profession. Both were about one-and-a-half-decades younger to me. more..

Doing Business Global Rankings: Lanka still a reformer and lags behind the world

Sep 10 (BL) Though being first to liberalise its economy in South Asia, Sri Lanka still remains a reformer whilst lagging behind some of the regional countries and others in the latest global ranking on ease of doing business. Sri Lanka was ranked the leading reformer in South Asia by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation Doing Business 2009 rankings but is placed only at 102, behind Maldives (69), Pakistan (77) and more..

Mervyn defends IGP, says Police doing a good job

Sep 10 (BL) The IGP is a good officer and no MP should criticise him, Minister Mervyn Silva told Parliament yesterday amidst much heckling by his fellow Parliamentarians. He added that the Police have done their best to implement the law and apprehend the culprits. “We depend a lot on the Police. They give us protection”, he said. “The current IGP is a good person. One can settle disputes by talking to him,” he added. more..

Suicide rate declines in Sri Lanka

Sep 10 (SAMN) Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Sri Lanka is among the countries with a high suicide rate, but according to official sources the rate has come down from 47 suicides per 100,000 people in 1995 to 22 in 2006 (available data). An alarming 70,000 people have committed suicide from 1990 to 2000 with an estimated 14 million reported attempts to end their lives, a research in 2005 has also revealed. more..

Everything in order in magnetic survey

Sep 10 (SAMN) The National Geological Survey and Mines Bureau yesterday dismissed allegations that it has plans to handover the mineral deposits to India by unfair means. The National Geological Survey and Mines Bureau Director Dr. O.K. Dissanayake told the Daily Mirror that three options have been looked into to carry out the air bone magnetic survey and to recover deposits. more..

Ten more botanical gardens by 2016

Sep 10 (SAMN) The first phase of the Hambantota Botanical Gardens will be completed in 2010. This is the first botanical garden to be set up in the dry zone. It will be on 300 acres. Under the Mahinda Chinthanaya policy document 10 botanical gardens will be established by 2016. This is the first time the government has included the development of botanical gardens in a national plan. more..

Govt. to discipline bus crews

Sep 10 (SAMN) Chairman of the National Transport Commission (NTC) Prof Amal Kumarage said that the Government was firm in its decision to discipline and bring some uniformity among bus crews and would not hesitate to cancel the licenses of Private Bus Operators who fail to send their employees to be trained in various aspects of discipline while on duty. He said that since some private bus operators had failed to heed six or seven warnings since January 2008, the route licences of certain Private Bus Operators were cancelled. more..

UN, INGOs to relocate operations to Vavuniya

Sep 10 (DN) Chair of the Consultative committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA) and Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe informed the CCHA that the Defence Secretary had communicated a decision by the Government of Sri Lanka that all UN agencies and INGOs working in the Wanni should relocate their humanitarian and development operations to Vavuniya with immediate effect for the safety of personnel and property at a more..

China, India urged to increase investments in Lanka

Sep 10 (DN) Sri Lanka has asked China and India to undertake huge investments in the country taking advantage of its strategic location that would economically benefit both the countries. Sri Lanka is looking to China and India to be investment leaders in the island nation, Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Sarath Amunugama said while speaking to a Chinese business delegation. more..

TMVP seeks help of Tamil Diaspora to solve ethnic problem

Sep 10 (Island) The TMVP is calling for suggestions from the Tamil Diaspora in western countries on how Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict can be resolved, TMVP spokesman Azad Mowlana said yesterday. Batticaloa Mayoress Mrs Sivageetha Prabhakaran and spokesman Azad Mowlana are the two representatives of the TMVP to the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC). They had participated in three sittings Chaired by Prof. Minister Tissa Vitharna. more..

Education Ministry speeds up promotions, recruitment

Sep 10 (Island) The Ministry of Education has expedited the promotion of the officers in the Sri Lanka Educational Administrative Service (SLEAS), Sri Lanka Teacher Educators’ Service (SLTES) and the Sri Lanka Principals’ Service (SLPS) and also recruitment to these services. On the recommendation of the Education Ministry, the Public Service Commission has promoted 22 SLEAS officers as principals and deputy principals of government teachers’ Colleges and more..