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Court orders to arrest suspects in Kottawa shooting episode

Sep 20 (LD) The judiciary ruled that there is no reason to justify the incident where an army motorcycle squad fired at a speeding van in Kottawa on September 09th, killing the driver. Homagama Additional District Court Judge, Ranga Wimalasena directed the Homagama HQI on September 17th to produce all suspects of the case before courts two days later. On receiving a call through 119, the army motorcycle squad that was operating in the area has chased and more..

Resigned P.B. to sign oil pact - Ravaya

Sep 20 (LD) Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, is to sign a oil pact with Iran despite resigning from his post as Secretary of the Treasury after the Supreme Court found him guilty of wrongdoing in the privatization of Lanka Marine Services Ltd, ‘the Ravaya’ reports. Dr. Jayasundara, accompanied by the Chairman of the CPC - Asantha De Mel and Mr. M.U. Samaranayake are to leave on September 22nd, it adds. more..

Complete issuing of IDs to estate workers before Dec 31

Sep 20 (DN) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka directed the authorities to complete the issuing of National Identity Cards to estate workers before December 31 at a conference at his office recently. Ministers Karu Jayasuriya and Arumugan Thondaman together with internal Administration Ministry Secretary Dr. U. Vidanapathirana, Registrar General E.M. Gunasekera, Deputy Registrar General N. Sathasiva Iyer and more..

The Bishop of Mannar, Devil and the Deep Blue Sea...

Sep 20 (DN) All religions of faith on this Earth have preached to praise good deeds. Today, good deeds are rare everywhere. To conduct or perform good deeds, seems not an easy task. Be it Catholics, or Christians of other Denominations, the liberation of a Holy Shrine is the better of the best or vice versa, of a good deed. At such times, the duty of the Clergy and Laity, is to hold hands together, to praise those who performed that good deed. more..

Lionel quits NSCC for plum diplomatic post

Sep 20 (Island) Amidst the teachers’ battle against the Salaries and Cadre Commission over the undue delay in rectifying their salary anomalies, Lionel Fernando, Co-Chairman of the Commission is leaving to take up a plum diplomatic post in Europe. Well informed sources said that Fernando, who had been at the helm of Sri Lanka’s missions in Malaysia and the Netherlands, during the PA administration, would take over the mission in Paris. His appointment has been finalised. more..

CPC unable to reduce fuel prices as oil was purchased under hedging system

Sep 20 (Island) The hedging system adopted in the past when the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) purchased fuel prevents it from reducing the prices of petrol and diesel immediately despite the world oil prices plummeting to around 90 dollars a barrel from about the 145 dollars it fetched a couple of months ago, a high ranking CPC source said. Under the system of hedging a large quantity of oil is bought at a fixed price when importers feel that the prices keep escalating. more..

Dr. Johnpulle seeking Rs. 50 mn as compensation

Sep 20 (DM) Well known physician Dr. Raja Johnpulle filed a fundamental rights application in the Supreme Court yesterday seeking Rs. 50 million as compensation for the damage caused to his house and property allegedly by UPFA supporters under the protection of police. Dr. Johnpulle cited North Central Province Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake, IGP Jayantha Wicremaratne, MP Duminda Dissanayake, more..

Where have all the peace lobbyists gone?

Sep 20 (DM) Some thirty months ago the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was seemingly pleading with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for peace talks. The rebels considered by many as the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world was not heeding the pleas and were going on with its killing spree - the victims of which were mainly the members of the security forces. more..

Supplies to Tamil rebel areas firmly in Gov't hands

Sep 20 (IPS) With the United Nations and other international humanitarian agencies vacating the Tamil rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi, now under army siege, the onus of maintaining essential supplies to tens of thousands of civilians in the area called the Vanni has fallen on the government. "We will have to work harder now to get the supplies in, there is no shortage yet, but if the World Food Programme (WFP) convoys get delayed then we will have problems," more..

Labour MP Keith Vaz faces sleaze inquiry

Sep 20 (MO) A senior Labour MP is facing demands for a sleaze inquiry after intervening in a court case on behalf of a party donor. Keith Vaz, chairman of the influential home affairs select committee, urged the High Court to delay proceedings involving a friend from whom he and his family had received lavish hospitality. We can reveal that the friend - controversial lawyer Shahrokh Mireskandari - was on the brink of losing a long-running legal costs battle with an airline when Mr Vaz intervened. more..

Sri Lanka battles kill 26 rebels, 1 soldier

Sep 20 (AP) Government soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels fought a series of battles across Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northern region, killing 26 rebels and one soldier, the military said Saturday. Fighting on the Indian Ocean island has escalated in recent weeks with government forces sweeping deep into rebel-held territory, capturing insurgent bases and threatening to overrun the Tamil Tigers' administrative capital at Kilinochchi. more..

President to meet SLC, players to sort out IPL issue

Sep 21 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to meet Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials and the players, who are refusing to tour England for a Test series due to clash of dates with the cash-rich Indian Premier League. SLC Chairman Arjuna Ranatunga has written to players asking them to skip matches of IPL 2009 that coincides with the Sri Lankan tour of England, the players have contended they have already committed to play for the Indian tournament. more..

Laksham K blasts Environmental Ministry

Sep 21 (SLW) Lakshman Kiriella, UNP M.P. speaking to the media today (16 Sep), at the UNP media unit lamented that Buddhist prelates are being imprisoned because of the inefficiency and laziness of the environmental Ministry. Even after the Supreme Court gave a ruling in 2005 to the Ministry to formulate regulations, as the existing laws on noise pollution are not clear, the Environmental Ministry and its Central environmental authority have not taken any action. more..

Misinformation surrounding gas attack

Sep 21 (SLW) On the 16th of this month, 16 soldiers of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) deployed on the frontline were evacuated from the battlefield after they showed signs of breathing difficulty. Initially it looked as if the tigers had used a chemical weapon on the advancing troops. It was later revealed that what the tigers used was CS gas, a non lethal agent that is even used in riot control. more..

Aba: A Distortion of Historical Probabilities

Sep 21 (LG) Aba is a brilliant production as could be expected from its exceptionally capable director Jackson Anthony - a man held in high esteem for his many and varied talents. Yet the film carries a few distortions of historical probabilities that needs to be critically evaluated. These relate mainly to Pandukabaya’s ancestry and the character Cittaraja and therefore this note will be confined to those aspects of the film. more..

Wanni Tigers plan massive fast unto death against the government

Sep 21 (LG) Certain sources close to the LTTE reveal a deadly plan the Wanni terrorists are hatching to trap the people of this region into a major fast unto death demonstration virtually at gun point. This appears to be an immediate reaction to the orders of the government for all non-governmental persons to leave the area. Thursday September 18 all humanitarian and other NGOs with the exception of the ICRC pulled out of the Wanni region more..

UK’s obligation to make amends!

Sep 21 (LG) Tamil people are furious over the views expressed by a senior British Minister over the Lankan Tamil issue for his suggestions are like a doctor prescribing Paracetomol instead of curative medicine to a patient suffering from a serious ailment. It is Lord Malloch Brown, the Minister in charge of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, who is referred to. more..

Find solution to the problems of the unemployed!

Sep 21 (LG) The principal reason why people struggle to cope up with the price hike is the lack of purchasing power. Many are unemployed and there are no avenues for employment. As a result people don’t have purchasing power and they face economic problems. According to statistics, 4 00 0037 people are unemployed excluding the unemployed in the north. If the unemployed in the north is included, this number can be more. more..

'Other boards should let ICL players play'

Sep 21 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket's decision to lift the domestic ban on five of its ICL cricketers is a "strong message" to other national boards, according to Marvan Atapattu, the former Sri Lankan captain. Atapattu, who plays for the ICL's Delhi Giants, said the decision will lead to a situation where Sri Lankan cricketers can play for their country and choose between the unauthorised cricket league and the IPL. more..

Cut it off and kill it

Sep 21 (TC) A patriot would feel a thrilled quickening of the heart at the news that a spearhead of the Sri Lankan armed forces is nearing Kilinochchi. A traitor would not. A realist would know that there’s a long way to go before the war is won and many a pitfall to avoid. A fool would not. I am in no position to venture an opinion as to whether our Wanni offensive has reached a point of irreversibility, and we have checkmated the LTTE. more..

People of the North and Police Registration

Sep 21 (TW) Amidst the continuing tensed situation in the country, Tamils being looked at suspiciously and detained for questioning is a continuing saga today; particularly those traveling to the capital from the North undergo severe hardship. Due to this Tamils arriving in Colombo carry on their day to day activities in fear. People of the North travel to Colombo seeking many essential services in capital Colombo that are otherwise unavailable to them. more..

No reports on Vanni food shortage-ICRC

Sep 21 (BBC) The International Red Cross in Colombo (ICRC) says that there have not been reports on food supply shortages in the vanni where fighting has intensified between government security forces and the Tamil Tigers. “The food supplys are there and we are constantly monitoring the situation” said Alexandra Matijevic spokesperson of the ICRC. However she cautioned that health of the displaced could be a concern with the on coming monsoon rains. more..

'Sri Lanka needs low inflation, good institutions and governance to grow'

Sep 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs good institutions, governance and economic tranquility that come with low inflation to grow, senior economists said, at a time when the island is suffering from the highest inflation in its history. The head of the Sri Lanka Economic Association (SLEA) A D V de S Indraratna said often the question was asked whether high inflation was inevitable with high growth. more..

Sri Lanka gets closer to de-politicizing oil prices

Sep 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka is getting closer to de-politicizing fuel pricing with the main opposition getting ready to take the issue to courts and the island's consumer minister speaking in favour of a price formula. A transparent price formula allows people to see how much taxes the government is charging, how much profits petroleum utilities are making and how much some fuel users are being overcharged to pay for populist vote-buying of politicians. more..

Canadian government biased towards ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka

Sep 21 (IL) Canada is home to 400,000 ethnic Tamils subsequent to their fleeing for safety when the Sri Lankan state failed to address their grievances and protect them. Canada has chosen to remain a spectator while the relatives and friends of the 400,000 Canadian Tamils in Sri Lanka seek international intervention with the view to justice for the atrocities inflicted upon the people in the North and East of Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan Government. more..

Between the Hammer and the Anvil

Sep 21 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapakse has declared that Killinochchi will be taken by the end of the year. In the last couple of weeks the Tigers have begun to resist the Lankan offensive in earnest. It is not in the nature of the LTTE to surrender; further retreat is becoming increasingly impossible, geographically, politically and militarily. Therefore the Tigers are likely to continue with their resistance until either Vellupillai Pirapaharan is dead or a new stalemate is achieved. more..

Caught in the Middle

Sep 21 (AT) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse is not only the President’s brother (in an administration which seems to place an unnatural premium on family connections); he is also the military czar of the Rajapakse administration, the man who is directing the war effort. Therefore his public pronouncements, especially on matters of national security, must be taken extremely seriously. more..

U.S. declining interest in Sri Lanka an opportunity to ......

Sep 21 (AT) The declining United States interest in Sri Lanka is clearly reflected in the just released FY 2009 International Affairs Congressional Budget which is scheduled go into effect beginning October this year paving the way for the current Rajapaksa administration to charter a new course under an indigenous politico-military-economic agenda upholding the old Cuban revolutionary slogan “To Live in Bondage is to Live in Dishonor and Ignominy”. more..

India's Sri Lanka policy a comedy

Sep 21 (AT) How does one define India's anti-terrorism law? On September 18 Sindh Today reported that a special tribunal had asked Delhi to justify its renewal of the ban imposed on the LTTE. According to the report Justice Vikramjit Sen had asked the central government to produce fresh evidence against the Tigers so as to have the ban on the group extended by another two years. more..

Govt. opposes limiting president’s powers

Sep 21 (LD) Implementation of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution has met with further setback, following the ruling UPFA’s opposition to limiting the president’s powers to appoint members to independent commissions, ‘Ravaya’ reports. The PSC, chaired by Minister Dew Gunasekara, had met for the 15th occasion on the 11th of September. The meeting has ended without agreement, even on the date for the next round of talks, the newspaper said. more..

Rs. 11.5 infrastructure development project for N&E

Sep 21 (GDI) Infrastructure development programmes costing over Rs.11.5 billion targetting the Eastern and North Central Provinces will be inaugurated at Kantale in Trincomalee District next Monday. The official inauguration will be held with the participation of the acting Minister of Highways, Basil Rajapaksa and parliamentarian Najeeb Abdul Majeed. This programme includes construction and upgrading of several highways and roads from the East to the North Central region. more..

A General on the loose

Sep 21 (SL) It is with a great deal of apprehension that one is compelled to acknowledge today that the lives of the 162,000 soldiers serving in the Sri Lanka Army are being made the subject of a numbers game. The Army Commander, Lt. General Sarath Fonseka was last week quoted in the Sunday Times telling his senior officers that 11,000 Tigers have been killed since July 2006 and that 4,000 remain. more..

International danger signs for Govt. as war reaches decisive stage

Sep 21 (SL) While the government forged ahead with its war in the north notching up more military successes even as it blacked out communication, prohibited travel and ejected all UN and NGO activity on a Defence Ministry directive, President Mahinda Rajapakse was left to handle the political fall out of the war as best he could. Amidst frantic pleas and peaceful protests by thousands of war affected civilians for UN and INGO officials not to evacuate, more..

TMVP puts TNA on the backfoot

Sep 21 (SL) The silence of the TNA has during recent times raised several questions in the minds of the Tamils as to what their future would be, especially with the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) rapidly increasing its dominance over the Tamil areas in the east. The activities of the TNA in the north and east have been limited due to various reasons during the past couple of years mostly due to lack of security and threats. more..

World heritage tampered at will

Sep 21 (SL) As Sri Lanka's world heritage in Galle is tampered at will, a reactive monitoring mission by UNESCO, the UN cultural body to report on the site's 'Old Town and its Fortifications' has recommended immediate mitigation measures and the subsequent removal of the cricket stadium and the rejection of the current harbour proposal in order to preserve the universally valued site. more..

IDPs boil in the Vavuniya pot

Sep 21 (LB) While the government waits for civilians to quit LTTE territory en masse, civil society organisations warn that there is not enough shelter, food, water, sanitation or health care in Vavuniya to meet the needs of so many displaced persons. “The six transit camps so far identified (in Vavuniya) can only accommodate approximately 300 persons each - that is, 1800 persons in total,” said a report on Vavuniya and Wanni more..

PB sent home to avoid clash with judiciary

Sep 21 (LB) President Mahinda Rajapaksa finally accepted the resignation of Secretary to the Treasury, Dr P B Jayasunda, after Chief Justice Sarath Silva had insistently questioned the non-removal of the treasury secretary. President Rajapaksa had informed the cabinet that he had decided to accept the letter of resignation of the treasury secretary in order to prevent any clash with the judiciary. more..

Tigers pull out the gas

Sep 21 (LB) In the early hours of Monday, units of the Special Forces, armed with Light Anti-Tank Weapons, Rocket Propelled Grenades and Light Machine Guns were ready for a daring mission. They stormed a heavily fortified trench line of the LTTE on the bund of the Akkarayankulam tank, taking the defending Tiger cadres by surprise and dislodging them from a stretch of 4 kilometres of the guerrilla defence line. more..

Mervyn challenged by underworld in kelaniya

Sep 21 (LB) Doctor’ Mervyn Silva is in the line of fire. Silva, who is the Minister of Labour and Chief Organiser of the SLFP in Kelaniya, is said to have been targeted by an underworld gang in a shooting incident at the home of his coordinating secretary. This happened last week and left one person dead. The killing took place at the home of Amal Rodrigo in Kirimatiyagara. Rodrigo is Mervyn Silva’s coordinating secretary. more..

Government firming relations with LTTE breakaways

Sep 21 (LNP) The breakaway LTTE Karuna-Pillayan faction seems to be rapidly strengthening its position with President Mahinda Rajapaka s government promoting one time separatists as its partners. Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, alias Pillayan, Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council, last week joined a government delegation led by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake to Tokyo as the Vanni war entered a critical stage with more..

UK Api Wenuwen Api campaign gathers momentum

Sep 21 (LNP) The Api Wenuwen Api fund raising campaign in the United Kingdom is gathering momentum with donations pouring in, Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe, Defence Adviser at the Sri Lanka, High Commission in London, said last week. This project has been launched in UK in collaboration with the Defence Ministry and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka with the aim of building 50,000 houses for serving tri-service personnel. more..

Mass registration drive today

Sep 21 (SAMN) The mass registration drive aimed at registering people who have lived less than five years in the Western Province is to take place today, amidst claims and counter claims about the controversial registration which has been termed, ‘census of Tamils living in the capital.’ Unregistered citizens who have been resident in Colombo for less than five years have been requested to arrive at more..

Foreign Ministry expenditure slashed

Sep 21 (SAMN) The government has slashed the Foreign Ministry’s budget by as much as one third of the present expenditure, with immediate effect, Acting Foreign Minister Hussain Bhaila confirmed Saturday. The Treasury has directed that all diplomatic missions abroad should cut down expenses by 30 per cent with immediate effect. The cost-cutting exercise includes expenses incurred by the Foreign Ministry in Colombo. more..

Dress rehearsal for ‘moral police’

Sep 21 (SAMN) The 'Moral Police' has been summoned to enforce a 'Censorship' on photographs in newspapers and Magazines and pictures in the electronic media, in a fresh effort to reduce what they call sexual crime against children and women in the country. Under the crackdown initially, the Police Children and Women Bureau will warn newspapers and magazines over what they perceive as 'Obscene’ photographs. more..

Pardoning SB: MR to decide shortly

Sep 21 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to consider the pardoning of UNP National Organiser S.B. Dissanayake, soon after his return from the Annual General Meeting of the United Nations. Presidential Advisor A.H.M. Azwer said the President will be giving considerable thought to pardoning Dissanayake, in deference to the request made by Asgiriya Chapter Mahanayake Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera last Tuesday (16). more..

SriLankan relaxes rules for Islamic travellers

Sep 21 (SO) SriLankan Airlines has made arrangements for the convenience of passengers of Islamic faith, during the annual Ramadan fasting period which is tentatively expected to conclude on October 1. A limited quantity of dates, fruits and other food items will be allowed to be carried on board the flights to enable the passengers to break their fast at the exact time of 'ifthar', in the evenings. more..

Bus conductor sets correct precedence

Sep 21 (SO) An explosion inside a crowded Sri Lanka Transport Bus (SLTB) bus with schoolchildren and office workers would have spelled disaster if not for alertness shown by the bus conductor who guessed that the parcel wrapped in wax paper lying underneath the bus seat was a lethal bomb planted by terrorists to wipe out the passengers. The bus conductor did not panic and he promptly informed the bus driver about the discovery. more..

'Decision to reduce fuel prices will be made known shortly'

Sep 21 (SO) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), Chairman Ashantha de Mel denied certain media reports over an immediate price reduction of petrol, diesel and kerosene and said that the government's decision in this regard will be announced within the next two weeks. "Although the CPC has large stocks of fuel for future needs, we are not in a position to grant an immediate price reduction," he said. more..

Posh people worst litter bugs

Sep 21 (SO) ‘Keep our city green and clean’ is a small notice near the curb of a busy junction in Colombo. But nobody seems to pay attention to it because there is litter strewn almost under the very board. Every morning, on our way to work or school, we see the roadside cleaners laboriously picking and sweeping rubbish and disposing it in their collection boxes. However, everybody litters just after the cleaners do their jobs thinking that more..

Mangala’s ‘Grand Alliance’ a non-starter?

Sep 21 (NS) With the main parties not being invited to join the ‘Grand Alliance’ proposed by the SLFP(M), it is fast turning into a ‘Grand Farce.’ The JVP, SLMC and the CWC told The Nation that they had not been contacted to form such a front. Rather, SLMC and the CWC with the assistance of other minority parties were in the process of forming a ‘Minority Alliance’ instead. more..