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Tsunami research programme in Germany for Lankan scientists

Sep 23 (DN) Researchers from 11 Indian Ocean littoral states have begun training tsunami detection techniques in the northern German port city of Bremerhaven, a project official disclosed on Monday. With the Weser River as their classroom, the specialists in particular are learning to use surveying equipment used for taking measurements of the seabed. On board the research vessel Uthoern, the scientists from Thailand, Sri Lanka, Madagascar the Maledives and more..

Big swindler vanishes with millions of clients’ cash

Sep 23 (Island) Mirihana police are in search of businessman, who ran a successful English tuition class and an unregistered finance company which offered tempting interest rates, far above those given by other financial institutions, over numerous complaints from investors that they had been swindled. The tution master had moved with the elite and VIPs as a part of his modus operandi to impress would be investors. more..

Infrastructural development goes on apace

Sep 23 (Island) The Government which is engaged in a accelerated programme of infrastructural development in newly liberated areas of the North and East yesterday, commenced work on the new highway linking Kantalai, Trincomalee and Seruwawila with aid to the tune of Rs. 2500 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the French Government, Presidential Secretariat sources said yesterday. more..

Solicits sex for a quick job

Sep 23 (DM) In one of the bizarre events reported from the Department of Registrar of Persons, a chief clerk was arrested by the Bribery Commission for allegedly soliciting sex as bribe to issue a National Identity Card quickly. The suspect was nabbed at his office yesterday morning by a special bribery commission team while taking a cash bribe of Rs. 2000 from a female applicant and also requesting her to come out with him. more..

Star players linked with secret ICL talks

Sep 23 (DM) Though uncertainty hangs over Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) decision to revoke the ban on Indian Cricket League (ICL) players, several key young Sri Lanka cricketers are reportedly negotiating with ICL organisers to take part in the next ICL season starting on October 10. Several talented youngsters such as Malinga Bandara, Gayan Wijekoon, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Anil Rideegammanagedara, Danuka Pathirana and Bathiya Perera are among the players reportedly linked with ICL negotiations, more..

Lankan fishing crew held

Sep 23 (ENS) The Coast Guard apprehended a Sri Lankan fishing boat near the Andhra coast on Sunday night under the Maritime Zones of India Act 1981 for fishing inside the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone without licence or permit. Sources said the Coast Guard ship, Sucheta Kripalani, escorted the Lankan boat, Leheru, bearing registration number 1 MULA-0088 and its six crew members to Chennai. more..

Indian Propagandist of the LTTE

Sep 23 (AT) In an article published quite widely in the Indian press and also picked up by the Sri Lankan press on 12th September 2008, Mr. B Raman analyses the recent attack by the LTTE on the Sri Lankan army’s Northern base at Vavuniya. The Article while admitting that the LTTE has lost badly in the war(what he terms as a war of attrition), his article seemed designed to prop up the credibility of the LTTE than to decipher what may have really happened from empirical evidence. more..

No truth in the news report on the denial of US visa to Douglas Devananda

Sep 23 (AT) There is no truth in the news reports by a section of the media in Sri Lanka that Minister Douglas Devananda has been denied US Visa. It was a mischievous canard, a source in the Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said. The source told “Asian Tribune” that there was a delay on the part of Minister Douglas Devananda to make the application to the US Embassy. more..

Military says fighting kills 25 rebels

Sep 23 (AP) Air force jets pounded three rebel targets in northern Sri Lanka on Tuesday, following scattered battles that killed 25 Tamil Tiger fighters, the military said. The new violence came amid weeks of escalating fighting as government forces push deep into rebel-held territory and close in on the Tamil Tigers' administrative capital in the town of Kilinochchi. The military launched a series of airstrikes Tuesday afternoon on gathering points for rebel fighters in the Kilinochchi district, more..

'Al Qaeda learnt from LTTE'

Sep 23 (IANS) The latest devastating suicide bombing in Pakistan shows that Al Qaeda has learnt bomb making from the Tamil Tigers, says a visiting Sri Lankan minister. 'The Pakistani bomb is very similar in style to Colombo's Central Bank truck bomb (of 1996),' said Foreign Employment Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. He said that the massive bomb that killed 53 people at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad Saturday showed Al Qaeda learnt the technology from the LTTE. more..

Tamil Nadu leaders seek Indian intervention in Sri Lanka

Sep 23 (IANS) Tamil Nadu political leaders K. Veeramani and Thol Thirumavalavan courted arrest along with over 300 supporters here Tuesday to demand India’s intervention in Sri Lanka. ‘The (central government) should immediately intervene in the Tamils’ issue in Sri Lanka and desist from assisting the Sinhala regime in Colombo in its military misadventure,’ Dravida Kazhagam leader Veeramani told reporters before being arrested. more..

Tamil Tiger defector admits relief used for weapons

Sep 23 (NP) A former commander of Tamil Tigers has admitted the guerrillas used money meant for humanitarian aid to buy weapons. Col. Karuna Amman said in an interview the rebels routinely bought arms with donations from abroad that were meant to help civilians in guerrilla-held areas. He called Canada the No. 1 one source of external income for the guerrillas, who are fighting for independence for Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority. more..

Inside Sri Lanka: Part 3 (Trincomalee)

Sep 23 (NP) Hundreds of thousands have fled Sri Lanka's civil war, many of them to Canada. While the war zone has been off limits to journalists, the National Post's Stewart Bell recently toured the front lines just as the conflict appears headed for a decisive showdown. This is the third of a six-part series. Supreme Commander Pillaiyan has spent most of his life wearing the jungle camouflage uniform of the Tamil Tigers. more..

Sri Lanka aviation industry targets young people

Sep 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's aviation industry, including the Air Force, civil aviation authorities and flying schools, are putting themselves on display in Colombo this week vying for the attention of young people, organizers of an aero exhibition said. The aero exhibition will open on September 24 for school children and be open to the aviation loving general public on September 25 at the Royal College junior ground in Colombo, more..

British Sinhalese and Tamils pray for peace in Sri Lanka

Sep 24 (LG) “Christian faith united different communities to share their religious beliefs and to pray for peace in war torn Sri Lanka. I was glad to support such an important Christian push for an end to such a bloody strife,” said the Independent Member of the British Parliament, Mr Andrew Pelling who attended a United Churches event in Croydon, Surrey on Sunday. more..

War against terrorism and Tamil Diaspora

Sep 24 (LG) In an interview with the media, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa expressed his confidence of victory and that the progress made had been a little faster than originally planned. To fight the war correctly, it is necessary to get an analysis (of the situation confronting the forces and the battle plan) from the service commanders, the Secretary explained. more..

Need for safe haven for civilians in active conflict zones

Sep 24 (LG) We are an organisation in the UK with members of professional standing who seek to represent the cause of the Tamils of Sri Lanka and to rebut misrepresentations and falsehoods about their struggle. We are writing to request your urgent attention and action to stop the unfolding disaster of death and human misery of displaced Tamil people due to the current on-going war in the North more..

Entry denied for food lorries again at Omanthai checkpoint

Sep 24 (TW) Colombo based Tamil daily Virakesari reported today Sep 23rd, of lorries carrying food items being denied entry at Sri Lanka military’s checkpoint in Omanthai. The report further said: The authorities in Vavuniya said entry was refused at the Omanthai crossing even though senior government officials recently concluded several essential and relief products will have to be sent to meet the needs of Kilinochchi district by Tuesday Sep 23. more..

Unitary state, Federalism and 'Devolution of Power'

Sep 24 (AT) Those who are obsessed with what is termed as a ‘Tamil problem’ in Sri lanka is fervently advocating what they call ‘devolution of power’ to the peripheries as a solution to this problem they perceive. The veneration and faith, some of these disciples of ‘devolution’ have placed upon their ‘solution’ is such that they do not hesitate to consider for a moment whether this would solve or exacerbate the current problems the country is facing, in its realistic nature and content. more..

Remembering Former President D.B. Wijetunga

Sep 24 (AT) The country is mourning the loss of President Wijetunga. He was a towering figure from the Central Province who rose to prominence in national political scene in the 80s and early 90s. As an academic working at University of Peradeniya domiciled at Panideniya, which belonged to Udunuwara electorate that President Wijetunga represented in the parliament, I had occasion to learn about him during the 70s and 80s. more..

'Pain' of Sri Lanka aid pullout

Sep 24 (BBC) Fears of a humanitarian crisis are mounting in northern Sri Lanka as troops press ahead with an offensive to capture territory from Tamil rebels. A week ago the UN and other agencies pulled out of the area, where more than 200,000 people are displaced by fighting. Here one aid worker describes how hard it was to leave. During my last weeks in Kilinochchi there was a foreboding sense of a massive army approaching from the south-west. more..

SLA hands over LTTE bodies

Sep 24 (BBC) The Sri Lankan army says it's handed over the bodies of thirteen Tamil Tiger rebels to members of the group in the north of the country. The military says the rebels were killed in recent clashes in Murugandi, Kilinochchi in the northern region. The bodies were handed over via the International Committee of the Red Cross. There's been no comment yet from the Tamil Tigers. more..

The curse of being a Tamil in Colombo

Sep 24 (ML) Last Sunday, Tamils who had come to Colombo and the Western Province during the last five years had to go to their respective police stations to ‘re-register’ themselves. The police said that they were doing this for the purpose of a census and there was no need for the Tamil people to worry. But for Tamils, the mere fact that they have to go to a police station is enough to cause worry. more..

Relocated UN agencies still to resume work

Sep 24 (ML) None of the 13 UN and other international humanitarian agencies that relocated out of the Wanni on September 16 have recommenced work. "No (work has recommenced since the relocation), but there is a very strong possibility that the WFP convoys will recommence soon," UN Spokesperson Gordon Weiss told The Morning Leader. "The government is keen to ensure that the items get into the Wanni," he said. more..

The CJ shows the way for good governance

Sep 24 (ML) While President Rajapakse was in New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly sessions, back in Sri Lanka vital issues were being debated before the Supreme Court that may see the present administration in a tailspin as Rajapakse goes head to head with a defiant judiciary determined to ensure the rule of law. By no means a resignation of honour the belated resignation last Wednesday of more..

Govt. admits to Mihin losses

Sep 24 (ML) Ports and Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapakse yesterday admitted in parliament that the so called budget airline, Mihin Air had sustained a colossal loss of Rs. 3,200 million since its inception but pledged to make it financially viable with the implementation of a new corporate plan that comes into effect this December. The financial status of the controversial domestic carrier, Mihin Air, was taken up for a two and a half hour long adjournment debate in parliament more..

Parliament on fire over fuel

Sep 24 (BL) The opposition political parties in Parliament yesterday criticised the Government for imposing a new tax on petrol and diesel when there should be a reduction in prices in tandem with global decline. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed that the government is imposing taxes without passing off the benefits of low international oil prices to the public. “The price of oil has been in the US $ 90 region for several weeks now. more..

Sri Lanka hits new low in corruption index

Sep 24 (BL) Lack of transparency in political finance and poor Parliamentary oversight were quoted as the key governance problems in Sri Lank in the newly released Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2008. Sri Lanka’s score remains unchanged from the previous year, but the rank has deteriorated by two to 94. However, Sri Lanka’s ranking peaked in 2002 with a score of 3.7 but gradually declined to 3.5 two years later. It has since hovered around the 3.1 mark. more..

Should we torture the little ones?

Sep 24 (BL) Let me congratulate the five little ones – Anjana Sajini, Mihindini Amasha, Don Mehesha, Shimani Umesha and Pasupathan - for their creditable performance in the August 2008 Year 5 scholarship examination. The first three topped the exam result with 183 marks out of the total of 200 marks. Shimani came second with 182 marks and Pasupathan came first in the Tamil medium with 176 marks. more..

PBJ a pawn of the President: UNP

Sep 24 (BL) The UNP yesterday criticised the Government’s decision to appoint Dr. P.B. Jayasundera as a Presidential Advisor saying it was inadvisable to do so at a time when he had been found guilty by the Supreme Court of financial misconduct. UNP MP, Lakshman Kiriella firmly said that the government had decided to make this appointment to ensure Dr. Jayasundera keeps mum, since he has been involved in many of the dubious deals carried out by the administration. more..

150 Poor families provided with free dry rations by MFCD

Sep 24 (MG) “There are only a small minority among the community who could afford a well cared for life.The majority of them just manage to meet their day to day needs by doing manual jobs. It is to bring equality among all members of the community that the religion Islam has made fasting and zakath compulsory during the holy month of Ramazan” stated Mr.Siraj Mashoor, CEO of MFCD while addressing a function for more..

28 Muslims further remanded till 26th

Sep 24 (MG) 28 Muslims arrested by Moneragala Police are further remanded till 26th September by the Moneragala magistrate. Three or four batches of Muslim youth were arrested two weeks back on an allegation of supplying of provisions to LTTE. They were produced before the magistrate on 12th September and remanded till 19th September. According to reliable information the victims were beaten by the Police before they were produced. more..

LTTE prepares for final push before Kilinochchi falls

Sep 24 (DW) Signs are the LTTE is planning for one last massive push before the Army breaks through to Kilinochchi. A number of counter attack teams have been assembled under LTTE leader Lawrence in the general area Akkarayan. Fighting could start any moment now between these teams and the 57 Division. Sources indicated to DefenceWire that if this push is successfully beaten back, there is nothing standing in the way of the Army reaching Kilinochchi. more..

National transportation policies open for public comments

Sep 24 (LP) The Ministry of Transport has released the draft containing the policies of the Ministry today (24). Minister of Transportaion Dallas Alahapperuma said that the draft is available in all institutions attached to the Ministry and the public is requested to comment and to bring up new proposals as well. more..

In Sri Lanka there are no Second Class citizens

Sep 24 (LG) The terrorism is like a disease. It eats into a nation like a disease that grows into the body through nerves, vessels and arteries. If early action to eliminate one or the other is not taken, the whole system will soon be affected, and then to get rid of it a systematic unceasing effort has to be made with all available resources until the whole system is cleansed of the cause that lead to one or the other. more..

The truth and other casualties of war

Sep 24 (LG) The truth, it is often said, is the first casualty of war. Winston Churchill adopted the strategy of ‘wrapping up the truth in a bodyguard of lies’ in World War II to win his ‘war of deception.’ Raw, bald facts need not be blurted out by warring factions in their attempts to win wars. Nonetheless, credibility is all important to win the confidence of one’s own side and also be seriously considered by the enemy. more..

Trafficking of under aged girls of the East for foreign employment

Sep 24 (LP) The number of under aged girls sent abroad for employment shows an upward trend especially in the East. Speaking to Lankapuvath the Chairman of Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFB) Mr Kinsley Ranawake mentioned that three complaints regarding the issue have been made during the past few weeks. The racket was carried out by some employment agencies. more..

Jaffna University Sinhala medium u'grads to be enrolled in other universities

Sep 24 (GDI) Undergraduates enrolled to pursue their higher studies in the Sinhala medium at the Eastern and Jaffna universities will be re-admitted to other universities, Minister of Higher Education Wishwa Warnapala said. The Minister said that although the deans of certain faculties in other universities were opposing the move due to the scarcity of available facilities to enroll these students to their universities the UGC has intervened to settled the matter. more..

President meets Commonwealth Secretary-General

Sep 24 (GDI) While asserting that terrorism has to be defeated through military means, President Mahinda Rajapaksa pointed out today (24) that the solution to the national issue must necessarily be political. President Rajapaksa made these observations during a meeting with the Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma on the sidelines of the 63rd Sessions of the United Nations currently in progress in New York. more..

'Mihin Air set to take wing again in December'

Sep 24 (GDI) The Government will take steps to resume operations of the budget airline, "Mihin Air" by December this year utilizing state-owned aircrafts purchased from China, said Minister of Ports and Aviation, Chamal Rajapaksa in Parliament yesterday (23). Minister Rajapaksa responding to questions raised by the opposition said that this budget airline was launched with the pure intention of serving the people, and there were concessions given to passengers. more..

President to address UN today

Sep 24 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be addressing the 63rd Session of the United Nations in New York this morning (24). The President's speech will focus on several key issues of global interest including the food crisis, food security and global terrorism, among other issues, according to sources. more..

Cop arrested for abusing mentally retarded woman

Sep 24 (LNP) The Womens and Childrens Bureau of the Galle Police arrested a Police Constable, alleged to have sexually abused a 32-year-old mentally retarded woman. The PC attached to the Galle Police is from Hikkaduwa and is a married man with a child. Following information that the suspect PC committed the offence on the mentally retarded neighbour, inquiries were conducted by the Galle Police and he was arrested. more..

JVP protests high fuel prices

Sep 24 (LD) Demanding an immediate reduction in local fuel prices, the JVP staged a protest at Lipton Circus in Colombo this afternoon. The one hour long agitation began at 12.00 noon under the two main slogans 'bring down fuel prices' and 'provide concessions to the public'. Several JVP MPs, including Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Vijitha Herath, K.D. Lal Kantha, S.K. Subasinghe and Sunil Handunnetti, and a large number of party activists participated. more..

Doctor accused of rape & murder attempts suicide

Sep 24 (LD) A doctor, who is in police custody over the rape and murder of a girl at Negombo Hospital last November, had again attempted suicide. He had consumed a poison and was admitted to Negombo Hospital, from where he was transferred to Colombo National Hospital in serious condition. The suspect had earlier attempted to strangle himself at his cell at Negombo Prison. more..

LH journalists surround chairman's room

Sep 24 (LD) Journalists at Lake House have surrounded the chairman's office to demand the continuation of a Rs. 5,000 payment for them to buy books, reports said. Since 2002, journalists at the institution had been paid the allowance every September, which is 'literary month'. They could buy books from booksellers named by Lake House and the money, up to Rs. 5,000, is reimbursed. more..

Court allows 5 orgs. in case against Mervyn Silva

Sep 24 (LD) Five media and voluntary organizations have been allowed to intervene and make submissions in a fundamental rights petition filed by MTV Channel Ltd. and one of its cameramen against Labour Minister Mervyn Silva. The Supreme Court today took up the petition that alleges a group including Minister Silva had assaulted and snatched the video camera of Newsfirst cameraman Varuna Sampath during the opening of a flyover at Kelaniya. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket clarifies stand on ICL players

Sep 24 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has revised its stance on ICL cricketers playing domestic cricket after a meeting with the sports minister Gamini Lokuge. The board clarified that the approval, given by the interim committee, to ICL players last week to play domestic matches was limited to the "upcoming Premier League Cricket Tournament 2008 only". "All ICL contracted cricketers will not be permitted to represent teams at district, provincial and international level," more..

Rivals SSC-NCC clash in final

Sep 24 (CI) Main rivals Singhalese SC and Nondescripts CC qualified to meet in the Under-23 Division 1 final starting September 26 when they secured victories in their respective semi-final matches over the weekend. SSC brought to an end the successful run of the Schools Under-20 side when they won by eight wickets at the Nondescripts Cricket Club. Both sides were shot out for low totals in the first innings, Schools Under-20 scoring 115 and SSC 146. more..

Milk production in A’pura exceeds 3 million litres a month

Sep 24 (DN) The milk production in the Anruadhapura district reached 3 million litres a month. According to statistics of the Provincial Animal Production and Health authorities, the Anuradhapura district has ben placed as the second largest milk producing district in the country. The milk production programme being implemented in the district has achieved highly encouraging results. more..

Minister urges common platform to deal with IDPs

Sep 24 (DN) The Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe launching an international conference on protracted displacements due to conflict yesterday, emphasised the need to bring in all relevant national and international actors on a common policy platform to ensure consensus and a co-ordinated approach in finding durable solutions. more..