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Farmers should not be affected: Minister

Sep 12 (SAMN) Minister of Nation Building S.M.Chandrasena told Parliament Thursday that the government should be cautious not to adversely affect ‘Chena cultivators’ when implementing forest conservation laws and regulations. Speaking during the debate on new environmental regulations, the Minister pointed out that the means of livelihood of many people in his constituency of Anuradhapura is chena cultivation. more..

Police arrest burglars after two years

Sep 12 (SAMN) In a rare instance the police in Nuwara Eliya recently arrested several suspects responsible for a multi-million house burglary which occurred in the area two years ago, and brought them before the law. Police arrested two males and a female responsible for the burglary in which Rs.5 million worth of items had been robbed in October 28, 2006 in Nuwara Eliya, Police were unable to apprehend the culprits for almost two years. more..

Monks should not engage in politics: UNP

Sep 12 (SAMN) UNP MP Gamini Jayawickrama Perera in Parliament, Thursday, called on the JHU monks to resign from their positions as MPs and hand them over to laymen. Perera said this during the debate on environmental laws. “Please hand over your MP positions to laymen and raise religious values and thereby work for the people instead of engaging in politics,” he said. He said he had told one monk that the monks had come to a hell as there would be pandemonium in the House: “ more..

Committee to look into low cost power purchase

Sep 12 (DN) Power and Energy Minister W. D. J. Seneviratna has appointed a three member committee chaired by Prof. R. A. Athalage of the University of avenues for Moratuwa to explore purchasing electricity units generated at the Kerawalapitiya Power Plant under the least cost basis. The construction of Kerawalapitiya Power Plant with a capacity of 300 MW has been completed in one year, to avoid the electricity crisis anticipated in 2009. more..

Value addition the hallmark

Sep 12 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa underscored the need to augment and consolidate the ‘Social Security’ mechanism of the working class, by value addition to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF). He pointed out that with the eradication of terrorism in total in the country, the right of every citizen of the land to engage in vocation or profession, of one’s choice sans fear nor discrimination and suspicion, would be ensured. more..

Diplomats to serve in Div. Secretariats prior to posting

Sep 12 (Island) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollogama has decided that in future all diplomats posted abroad will have to undergo a period of orientation at a Divisional Secretariat in order gain an understanding of the range of services, including Samurdhi Welfare and the various development programmes, provided by the government to the people at grass roots level. He emphasized the need for diplomats posted abroad to have a thorough knowledge of the country’s system of local administration and the day to day problems confronting the people. more..

Delay in GCE A/L script marking to cost Govt. additional Rs. 10 mn

Sep 12 (Island) The delay in GCE A/L answer script evaluation caused by a teachers’ boycott for 20 days over the Education Ministry’s failure to rectify their salary anomalies will cost the government an additional Rs. 10 million. The government spent Rs. 40 million annually for G.C.E. (A/L) paper marking. This time too, the same amount had been allocated, but teachers had not reported for paper marking duties. more..

Did a foreigner man the LTTE aircraft?

Sep 12 (DM) According to intercepted LTTE ground information, the two pilots of the LTTE air craft had continued to communicate with each other on their way back to Kilinochchi. But suddenly, one of the Tiger aircraft had lost contact with the other. Soon one of LTTE pilots had informed the LTTE in Kilinochchi, about losing communication with the other. The night was darker and cooler than it was the previous days, and more..

Three inmates killed in attempted jailbreak

Sep 12 (IANS) At least three prison inmates in Sri Lanka were shot dead by prison guards when they attempted to escape from a jail Friday, police said. According to police spokesman S.S.P. Ranjth Gunasekera, the three victims attempted the jailbreak after stabbing one of the prison guards at a jail in the southern Galle district Friday afternoon. Galle is located 116 km south of capital Colombo. more..

Cabinet opposes oil refinery pact

Sep 12 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has postponed taking up a cabinet paper pertaining to an agreement signed with an Iranian company for the improvement and expansion of the oil refinery in Sapugaskanda. The postponement came after several ministers voiced their strong opposition to the pact submitted by Petroleum Minister A.H.M. Fowzie. On August 26th, the day after the signing, 'Lanka Dissent' exposed that a loss amounting to millions of rupees would be incurred due to the agreement. more..

Defence Secretary says Sea Tigers are sunk

Sep 12 (DM) Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday that the Sea Tiger unit of the LTTE had now almost come to an end because of the Sri Lanka Navy. “There was a time when some overestimated the power of the Sea Tigers, but now we know they have no such power at all; our Navy has successfully countered the Sea Tiger power,” Mr. Rajapaksa said. more..

AHRC on Tissanayagam trial

Sep 12 (LD) Abandoning the absolute prohibition against the admissibility of confessions in criminal trials is similar to permitting stabbing in a boxing ring. This remark by the Asian Human Rights Commission comes in the wake of the indictment served against journalist J.S. Tissanayagam. AHRC said in a statement the Tissanayagam case raises a fundamental question about the different kinds of criminal trials offered to the accused under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and more..

'Siyatha' editor & 4 others resign in protest

Sep 12 (LD) The chief editor and four other editorial members of new Sinhala weekly 'Siyatha' have resigned in protest. They have tendered their resignations to chairman Roshantha Kariyapperuma and consultant Priyantha Kariyapperuma of Voice of Asia Ltd., which publishes the newspaper. The resigned journalists cited a continuing breach of ethics and agreements, denial of editorial independence and the absence of a cohesive advertisement policy for their decision. more..

ICRC transports 680 patients from north

Sep 12 (LD) The ICRC says it has transported over 100 ambulances, carrying almost 680 patients from the north to the government-controlled in August. ICRC said in a statement that its staff transported 62 bodies of fallen fighters across Omanthai crossing during the month. Last month, nearly 1,750 persons contacted ICRC with allegations concerning missing persons, arbitrary arrests, and unlawful killings or ill-treatment of civilians committed by weapon bearers, it said. more..

New MP sworn in

Sep 12 (LD) SLFP organizer for Aranayake Lalith Dissanayake was today sworn in before the speaker as a Member of Parliament. He filled the vacancy created following the resignation of JVP's Anuruddha Polgampola. A lawyer by profession, Mr. Dissanayake contested the recent election for Sabaragamuwa Province and polled 49,583 preferential votes. He was elected a provincial minister, from which position he resigned to accept the posting to parliament. more..

Call for PSC to probe CJ

Sep 12 (LD) Four Buddhist organizations have asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, 'Ravaya' reports. In a joint written request, they have called for an inquiry against the CJ, for having insulted Buddhism in the Supreme Court and to look into 100 questionable court rulings given by him. more..

Tiger chief honours suicide bombers who hit Sri Lanka base

Sep 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger chief has paid tribute to 10 suicide bombers who killed at least 15 people in an attack on a northern military base, a pro-rebel website said Friday. The elusive Velupillai Prabhakaran, 53, garlanded photographs of the "Black Tiger" suicide bombers at an undisclosed location in the northern Wanni region on Thursday, website reported. more..

Sri Lanka, relief officials discuss war aid

Sep 12 (AP) The government and international aid groups worked Friday to reach a deal to get emergency food aid to 160,000 civilians displaced by Sri Lanka's raging civil war in the wake of a ban on relief agencies in rebel-held areas. Despite the talks, aid groups and U.N. agencies began withdrawing their staff and equipment from the northern areas under Tamil Tiger control to comply with the government's order to leave the war zone. more..

'I somehow felt I would win the ICC award'

Sep 13 (IANS) Sri Lanka's new spin sensation Ajantha Mendis, who returned home Friday said he somehow felt that he would win the ICC award for the emerging player of the year. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) at an official function, here Friday, welcomed Mendis who made a sensational entry into the international cricket with 26 wickets in his debut Test series against India with an average of 18.38 a piece. more..

Ensure aid for affected in Sri Lanka: Raja tells UPA

Sep 13 (PTI) Expressing concern over the "grave" situation in the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka, CPI on Friday demanded that the Indian Government step in to ensure humanitarian aid for civilians in the context of the undeclared full-scale war of the Sri Lankan army against LTTE. Party National Secretary D Raja said the Centre should break its silence on the presence of Indian nationals, who are reportedly helping the Sri Lankan defence forces. more..

Sri Lanka power utility to start net metering

Sep 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's power distributors are to start net metering, where customers would be able to generate small amounts of renewable energy, 'export' to the national grid, and only pay for the 'net' amount of electricity used. A note to cabinet said the proposal would encourage customers to generate their own electricity through renewable sources of power such as solar, hydro or biomass in their own premises. more..

Sri Lanka starts mobile learning

Sep 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka is starting post-graduate university courses using broadband mobile links provided by Mobitel, a celco, to remotely lecture students, officials said. The mobile learning of 'mlearning' system was developed by the University of Colombo, Mobitel and the IT firm Microsoft. "This is a hybrid system of learning, which includes traditional learning through workshops, seminars, virtual classroom environment, e-learning and learning with the use of mobile phones," more..

Mullai Puthukudiyiruppu town bombed

Sep 13 (LG) I was awakened from my sleep by the roar of the planes. There were several bombers circling the Kilinochchi town, where I stay. I checked my watch and it was 4.00 a.m. I ran into the room where the water pump and the generator are kept. It is comparatively safer than my house as that room has a concrete roof. Luckily the planes vanished without dropping any bombs. I couldn’t believe it, as it is customary for a few bombs to be dropped at random. more..

Farmers in Vanni

Sep 13 (LG) The sudden displacement in Vanni forced many farmers to abandon their cultivation, effectively forcing them to give up a relatively large investment. Indeed, farmers from Nedunkerni, a good soil for vegetable farming, have lost lives to claymore attacks while attempting to salvage some of their farm produce. Rice farmers have lost lives to shelling while trying to harvest the rice. more..

Focus on Kachchativu

Sep 13 (LG) In her Public Interest Litigation Writ Petition, under Article 32 of the Constitution, Ms. Jayalalitha has appealed to the Supreme Court for an appropriate writ order or directive for declaring as unconstitutional the two agreements signed between India and Sri Lanka in 1974 and in 1976, under which the island of Kachchativu was ceded to Sri Lanka and the traditional fishing rights of Indian fishermen were given up. more..

Minister will be addressing LTTE front meeting

Sep 13 (LG) In the news published in the LTTE front websites LTTE front British Tamil Forum is holding a meeting at Zoroastrian Centre, 440 Alexandra Avenue, Harrow, Middlesex HA2 9T. Lord Malloch-Brown, Robert Evans MEP and Garath Thomas MP will be speaking at the meeting. The news also published part of the text of a letter that has been posted to many of the Tamil residences in the Harrow Borough Council from the office of Rt. Hon. Gareth Thomas MP (West Harrow) and more..

Buddhist Priest and the Law- Who or what should change the monk or the Law ?

Sep 13 (LG) Lord Buddha did not interfere into worldly affairs. He did not get involved with the laws of the kingdom. He knew the value of an army for a King-an army with good commanders and soldiers. When king Suddhodana complained to him that his soldiers leave the army to become monks, the Buddha made a rule that a soldier should not be ordained as a monk while still in military service. more..

Concern for education!

Sep 13 (LG) The governments in recent times have caused confusion in the field of education. The present government only worsens it rather than curing it. There is confusion at all levels of educations ranging from primary education to university education. The Ministry of Education is unable to even handle the simple issue of admission of students to grade one. The controversy that arose out of the admission of students to grade one had to be taken up at the Supreme Court for more..

'United Lanka or divided Lanka, govt. accountable'

Sep 13 (LG) TNA Jaffna district Parliamentarian told Parliament that whether the country stands united or divided it is in the hands of the government. He was addressing the House on the debate on the extension of emergency. The following is the text of his address in Parliament: If the government is committed to the policy that war is the only solution to the ethnic problem, then it must not be forgotten that the LTTE could also take up a similar stand. more..

Humanitarian organisations have key role to play

Sep 13 (LG) Sri Lanka is today facing a serious humanitarian crisis especially in the conflict zones in the northern Vanni region. This follows the escalation of military action by the government and LTTE and the government’s decision to order the immediate relocation of humanitarian workers in the area on the grounds that their safety can no longer be guaranteed. The government’s decision to discuss this matter, demonstrate flexibility, and more..

End in sight for tsunami housing efforts

Sep 13 (IFRC) By the end of 2008, the Red Cross Red Crescent aims to have built or contributed funding towards the construction of around 30,000 houses in the four years since the tsunami. With the housing programme in Sri Lanka entering its final phase, the construction of more than 19,000 houses has been completed with Red Cross Red Crescent support, and a further 11,000 homes are at various stages of construction. more..

Paris Hindus chose Ganesh pooja over LTTE diktat

Sep 13 (AT) Hindu devotees in their hundreds participated in the Ganesha pooja at the Hindu temple in Paris and broke thousands of coconuts as a part of ritual defying the orders issued by the Tamil Tigers 'not to waste money to break coconuts when the people in the north and east are displaced'. The trustees of Sri Manika Vinayakar Alayam denounced the Tamil Tigers for their attempts to interfere with Ganesha pooja from October 31 to September 3. more..

UNP agrees for reforms

Sep 13 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka says the Working Committee (WC) agreed for 14 proposals to reform the party on Thursday. UNP spokesman Gayantha Karunathilake told journalists in Colombo that there was no mention of changing the party leader in the WC meeting. Five UNP parliamentarians have called on leader Ranil Wickramasinghe to resign and pave the way for a new leader but the spokesman says it was not raised in the WC meeting. more..

200,000 IDPs 'expected' in Vavuniya

Sep 13 (BBC) Authorities in northern Sri Lanka say that they expect nearly 200,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) to arrive in Vavuniya in the near future. Vavuniya Acting Government Agent (GA), Nicolas Pillai, told BBC Sandeshaya that the authorities are prepared to provide facilities to IDPs arriving from the LTTE-held Vanni. "Not many people have arrived yet but we expect 150,000 -200,000 IDPs to arrive in soon," he told journalist Dinasena Ratugamage. more..

Corporate Scandals with Impunity

Sep 13 (GV) One of our top listed companies which was picked for a top award by a Business Magazine was recently faulted by the Supreme Court in the case filed by Mr Vasudeva Nanayakkara re the privatization of Lanka Marine Services. The bunkering business was a government monopoly carried out by a government owned company- Lanka Marine Services. The government had decided to privatize it but not before liberalizing the bunkering business which was to be done in one year. more..

Sethusamudram channel project likely to miss deadline

Sep 13 (IANS) The controversial Sethusamudram ship channel to link India's eastern and western coasts to avoid a 785-km detour around Sri Lanka is expected to overshoot its October deadline, as petitions against it are still pending in courts and only 25 percent of the work has been completed, officials said here. The Rs.242.7 billion ($6 billion) project aims to create a 167-km-long navigable channel more..

Pro-LTTE India

Sep 13 (AT) According to news reports of the 10th of September 2008, our air force has said that the lack of 3D radar has put the country in jeopardy and they are bitter about India forcing us to install their 2D radar that cannot see the height of the aircraft above the ground. They bitterly complain that if they had 3D radar that the Chinese were willing to provide, but was vetoed by India they could have easily destroyed the LTTE aircraft after it landed at the end of its bombing mission. more..

Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai hosted ‘Ifthar’

Sep 13 (AT) The Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai hosted ‘Ifthar’ (breaking fast) during the holy month of Ramadhan at the Chancery premise on 12th September 2008, in continuation of the practice of celebrating important festivals and observances associated with the four major religions practised in Sri Lanka such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. more..

Denying Coastline Access to the LTTE is Starving them of Weapons

Sep 13 (AT) In the last three months the Sri Lankan Security Forces have captured much of the coastline held by the Tamil Tigers. By denying coastline access to the LTTE, they are being starved out of their re-supply capability. These observations were made by Shanaka Jayasekara, at the World Summit on Counter Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel (8-11 Sept) hosted by the International Institute for Counter Terrorism, Israel. more..

IDPs urge foreign aid workers not to leave Vanni, block convoy

Sep 13 (TN) Internally Displaced Persons, who gathered Friday morning in front of the UNHCR office at Karadippoakku junction in Ki'linochchi, pleaded with the remaining officials of the UN and International NGOs not to leave Ki'linochchi as their presence was critical, not only for humanitarian assistance, but also to sustain a secure zone to escape what they feared in the coming days: Sri Lankan military's scorched earth policy in aerial and artillery bombardment. more..

Remove the shades of politics from your eyes

Sep 13 (SLW) We have been observing some disturbing trends in Sri Lanka, even among Sri Lankans abroad with regard to the ongoing 'Humanitarian Operation' in the North. Although the present government has made the war its exclusive domain and kept all the achievements made by young men on the battlefield to advance mostly its own political objectives, thus effectively cutting off any sharing of recent successes with opposition parties, more..

Sri Lanka in push towards equity, commodity futures

Sep 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka could introduce derivatives not only for equities but also commodities and services for which the island has natural advantages, a financial specialist who had conducted a study for securities watchdog said. Ajay Shah, an Indian-based specialist says Sri Lanka could start an equity index futures contract and futures in about half a dozen very liquid stocks, and also in tea and perhaps even freight. more..

BOI receives Superbrands status

Sep 13 (LP) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BoI), the autonomous statutory body for facilitating foreign direct investments, has been awarded the prestigious Superbrands status by the Superbrand Organisation under the Business-to-Business category. The Superbrands Organisation is an international organisation headquartered in London with operations in more than 30 countries. more..

'Palitha Kohona asks Canada to ban TRO - Canada'

Sep 13 (LG) We understand that Mr. Palitha Kohona, Foreign Secretary, Sri Lanka met you recently in Ottawa. It appears he has urged the Canadian government to ban the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization – Canada (TRO-Canada) in the same fashion as the LTTE and the WTM. He might have cited the ban imposed on TRO (USA) by US government as a precedent. The banning of LTTE in 2006 and WTM in June this year has criminalized the entire 300,000 strong Tamil Canadian community. more..

Buddhist Priest, and the Law- How to reconcile the two

Sep 13 (LG) If this confrontation between the Buddhsit Priests and the Law were to continue, we are in to see more of disrespect towards the Buddhists Priest and their being taken into courts even in handcuffs and treated like ordinary miscreants. This should not be allowed to happen and even at this stage the Buddhist hierarchy, and the Buddhist laity should wake up to the danger facing the Buddhist Priest hood. more..

16 Years old school girl assaulted and taken to courts on fabricated charges

Sep 13 (LG) On the 1st of September, Madushani Subasinghe, 16 Years old girl attending Bolana Central School, 11th Year grade student had been brutally assaulted with a wooden on to her legs, hands thighs, kept in the Police Station with her sister and her Sister’s two children for one whole night , without anything to eat or drink. As Madushani’s hands were benumbed Police Officers tied two pieces of reepers on to Madushani’s hands with a banian. more..

Thirunagar – Kilinochchi bombed. Private houses demolished

Sep 13 (LG) Today the pilots of the KFir bombers were more cordial than yesterday when I was put up at 4.00 a.m. Today (10.09.2008) the planes swerved over my house at low heights at 6.45 a.m. yesterday the bombers circled Kilinochchi at a height of over 35,000 feet. But today they were more daring and flew very low. I was sure that the target was going to be somewhere near the Kilinochchi town if not the town itself. more..

Unemployed graduates commence fasting campaign in Batticaloa

Sep 13 (LG) A fast-to-death campaign organized by the Association of Graduates of Eastern Province (AGEP), the third such campaign within the past three months, commenced Thursday morning outside Batticaloa district Zonal Education office. A protest rally attended by about 155 unemployed graduates supporting the fast began at 11:00 a.m. outside the private educational organization Vipulananda at Arasadi, and reached the Zonal Education office, more..

Tamil Tigers forcibly holding civilians in the Vanni as a human shield

Sep 13 (LG) The Tamil civilians living in the areas usurped by the Tamil Tiger Terrorists in the Mannar, Killinochchi and Mullativu districts have been held under the iron grip of the AK47 wielding killer cadres of the terror machine, devoid of the basic rights and freedoms which are the birth right of every human being. They were virtual slaves who were required to give up family members including underage children to be brainwashed and more..

'41 million allocated for school books'

Sep 13 (GDI) In line with the literacy month which falls on September, the Government has reserved Rs. 41 million for purchasing of books for state schools, Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha said. 329 National Schools and 31 ordinary schools will benefit from this move. Accordingly Rs.34.8 million has been allocated for 329 selected national schools and the balance Rs.6.2 million for 31 ordinary schools. more..