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CPS to improve security and welfare of children

Sep 25 (DN) Child Protection is a Universal need. The vulnerability of the young had existed in every society throughout the human history. The standards of care in theory are universal in application and developed mostly by the United Nations and its specialised agency UNICEF, said The Child Protection Society CPS President S. S. Wijeratne addressing the 80th Annual General meeting of the society held at the BMICH recently. more..

'Health status of Lankans on par with developed nations'

Sep 25 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his election manifesto `Mahinda Chinthanaya' made a commitment to the people of Sri Lanka to ensure the successful progression of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Chairman of the Executive Board of the WHO and Healthcare and Nutrition Minister of Sri Lanka Nimal Siripala De Silva said. He was addressing the United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions on Millennium Development Goals held in New York today (25th). more..

Corruption, negligence accusations against

Sep 25 (Island) The Western Province Health Director’s Office has received several complaints against the top administration of the Negombo Base Hospital-a premier health institution regarding the death of six infants and cut injuries to four babies during caesarean section in July and August. The hospital management had been accused of negligence and a senior doctor had been accused of promoting private practice at the expense of both the hospital and its patients. more..

TMVP accommodated in ICRC programme for combatants

Sep 25 (Island) The breakaway LTTE faction, headed by ‘Colonel’ Karuna, has been accommodated in an ongoing ICRC programme to enhance respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) among combatants in Sri Lanka. Before Karuna broke away from the Tigers in March 2004, the ICRC had conducted IHL classes for the LTTE. Well informed sources said that the TMVP, which obtained political recognition early this year, would benefit from the ICRC recognition. more..

No minister to answer questions: Opposition

Sep 25 (DM) The absence of a minister to answer oral questions in Parliament drew flak from Opposition MPs yesterday. SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem was the first to take up the issue in the House. Mr. Hakeem said some questions were technical in nature, and therefore the subject ministers should have been present to answer them without expecting the Chief Government Whip to do it on their behalf. more..

Manager’s appointment becomes unmanageable

Sep 25 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Interim Committee members who met yesterday couldn’t finalise a manager for the Sri Lanka team for the Canada Cup Twenty20 tournament to be held in Toronto next month. The SLC Media Manager announced last night that the Interim Committee had decided to nominate SLC Chairman Arjuna Ranatunga’s brother Nishantha Ranatunga as the Manager but an interim committee member said that they did not arrive at such a decision at yesterday’s meeting. more..

Basil & Anura fight at COPE meeting

Sep 25 (LD) Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa and JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake were involved in a heated argument at a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises yesterday. The situation had reportedly erupted after JVP's Sunil Handunnetti, backed by his colleagues and Dayasiri Jayasekara of the UNP, asked how the Acting General Manager of the Water Supply and Drainage Board could sign letters in the capacity of General Manager. more..

Athugala suspends ‘Alakamandawa’

Sep 25 (LD) Questions have been raised over the sudden halt of popular ‘Alakamandawa’ programme of state-run Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation following a directive by Chairman Ariyarathna Athugala. Speaking to ‘Lankadissent’ a senior SLRC media man said on condition of anonymity that the programme had been stopped without prior notice, after it featured Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, a film and teledrama producer disliked by the chairman. more..

Lanka not signing defence pact with Pakistan

Sep 25 (ANN) Denying that Sri Lanka is on the verge of signing a defence pact with Pakistan, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said his government was friendly with all nations. Responding to questions during a meeting with the Foreign Correspondents Association, Rajapaksa said that there was no agreement to boost military cooperation between the two countries. "There is no pact, we maintain friendly ties with all countries." more..

Sri Lankans told to skip England tour in favour of IPL

Sep 25 (GU) Sri Lanka sports minister Gamini Lokuge has ordered Sri Lanka Cricket to allow its top players to skip the tour of England next year and instead play in the Indian Premier League. The England and Wales Cricket Board announced in July that Sri Lanka would play two Tests and three one-day internationals on a tour in April and May 2009. However, the dates clash with the second edition of the IPL and top Sri Lankan players including more..

Help for embattled civilians missing

Sep 25 (IPS) An estimated 230,000 people are in dire need of assistance in the northern areas of Sri Lanka that remain under the control of Tamil separatist rebels, according to international humanitarian agencies. Civilians have been fleeing the fighting since June from in and around the area known as the Vanni, where the militant LTTE has its stronghold. But tens of thousands remain trapped as the Sri Lankan army closes in and fighting intensifies. more..

Lanka govt tells media to beware of ads from 'deceitful' cos

Sep 25 (PTI) The government has told newspapers and other related bodies to be cautious while accepting advertisements from fraudulent finance companies, which syphon off funds of common people, to keep them under close scrutiny. The speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament W J M Lokubandara cautioned the media bodies to be alert while providing publicity space for finance companies that may operate to defraud the people of their precious earnings. more..

Military says northern fighting kills 25

Sep 25 (AP) Sri Lankan air force jets attacked a group of rebel troops Thursday as heavy fighting along the front lines of Sri Lanka's civil war killed 24 rebels and one government soldier, the military said. The new fighting was part of a resurgent government offensive that has captured large swaths of territory from the rebels in recent weeks amid a government pledge to crush the Tamil Tigers and end the 25-year-old civil war this year. more..

Govt wants to grow its own marijuana

Sep 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government wants to grow its own marijuana. Facing a lack of the fresh weed for use in traditional Ayurvedic medical preparations, the government ministry responsible wants to be excepted from laws that have made marijuana illegal on the Indian Ocean island since the 1890s. The Ministry of Indigenous Medicine this month broached a plan to grow 4,000 kg a year of marijuana, also known as cannabis, on a proposed 20 acre farm. more..

Inside Sri Lanka (Part 5): A life given over to war

Sep 25 (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 fifth of a six-part series. Brigadier Mohan K. Jayawardena is sitting at his wooden desk, a framed portrait of the President on the wall behind him, when a loud boom rattles his office. more..

Let us be on the guard

Sep 26 (LG) Prabakaran may be down but he is not dead. Until he continues to live, the cold-blooded terrorist in him continues to live too. Prabakaran has comprehensively lost the East and half of his pride with it, and is progressively losing the other half too by losing the remaining land that he once ruled with terror in the North. The mythical “Eelam” that he promised to the world has ceased to exist in every form that one can imagine. more..

Lankan refugees in TN

Sep 26 (LG) The Eelam war in Sri Lanka is entering a decisive phase. A string of defeats by the LTTE has exposed its vulnerability to sustain the war for a long time to come. On the other hand, some spectacular victories by the Sri Lankan armed forces suggest that the Northern provinces would soon be amalgamated into the Sri Lankan State. If and when that happens, it remains to be seen what kind of devolution of power the Sinhala government offers to its Tamil citizens that have been waging a war for it for over two decades now. more..

Children`s march to promote peace nationwide

Sep 26 (LG) In the wake of continuing attacks on Christians across India, children in the predominantly Buddhist Sri Lanka are on a massive initiative targeting nationwide to build peace, harmony and good will in a country ravaged by war, violence, apathy and insecurity for over 35 years. To mark 50 years of service for youth in the island, Don Bosco Society Sri Lanka along with the Chefs Guild of Lanka are sponsoring a 100-member Buddhist children`s band from more..

The truth and other casualties of war- A reply

Sep 26 (LG) It is strange that Sonali Samarasinghe wrote to Sri Lanka Guardian on the 24 September,2008 on Truth and lies, in her article "The truth and other Casualties of war ". There are many types of lies. Sonali Samarasinghe had been subject to one, but denied by the other as the truth. Therefore, we can assume that, lies and truths are like the two sides of the same coin. The media is not an example of the purity of truth. more..

Sri Lanka: A classic example of a classic statement

Sep 26 (LG) Addressing the Human Rights Council, 08 September 2008, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethen Pillay (Navi Pillay) stated: “Genocide is the ultimate form of discrimination”. So succinctly put, this will go down as a classic to posterity for its stark truth and pith to be often quoted. While calling for the focus on the prevention of genocide she stressed the need to “break the cycles of violence, the mobilization of fear, and the political exploitation of difference—ethnic, racial and religious difference”. more..

Lessons from the Past – Lessons to Remember

Sep 26 (LG) Canada one the World best democracy has declared federal elections and the Leaders of all Political parties are participating in election campaigns. As everyone knows Canada is a front-runner on war against Terrorism, there are certain security concern arises for our National leaders who are on election campaign and particularly the leaders who are pioneers in advocating freedom and democracy and in particular who muscle against Terrorist outfits in Canada. more..

Somnath Chattergy’s good suggestion!

Sep 26 (LG) It has become necessary these days to comment frequently on the conduct of people’s representatives. Somnath Chattergy, the Speaker of Indian Lok Sabha, has made a suggestion that the people must have the right to recall their representatives if they do not function properly in and out of parliament. He further stated that the representatives of the people must conduct themselves with decorum both inside and outside parliament and more..

Peace the only option to alleviate human tragedy!

Sep 26 (LG) Waler Kellin, UN special representative, has stressed that a permanent solution should be found to the problems of the IDP. He has pointed that the displacement of civilians can be stopped when permanent peace is achieved. 1000’s of IDPs are living in temporary camps. It is difficult to fulfill the basic needs o the IDPs since many thousands have been displaced. These people are fully dependent on the relief. more..

Karunanithy blunders!

Sep 26 (LG) Dr.Ramadas, the Leader of Pattali Makkal Katchi, has very vociferously demanded that Dr.Karunanithy, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister should not observe calculated silence over the acts of genocide committed by the government of Sri Lanka against Lankan Tamils without any concern for innocent lives. He further demanded that Dr.Karunanithy must demand the Indian central government to caution the Lankan government for its genocidal acts against the Tamil people. more..

Eyewitness to desecration of temple arrested under fabricated charges - UPF Minister

Sep 26 (TN) Sri Lankan police in Grandpass, Colombo, arrested last Thursday a 29-year-old Tamil man who is the main eyewitness to the desecration of a Hindu temple by a Buddhist monk at de-Mel Watte in Colombo on 03 September. Up-Country People's Front parliamentarian and a Deputy Minister in UPFA, P. Rathakrishnan has condemned the act as a move by the police to intimidate a key witness. The Tamil community viewed the arrest as a fabricated charge, he said. more..

Sri Lanka Congratulates newly elected Japanese PM

Sep 26 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his message congratulating the newly elected Prime Minister of Japan, Taro Aso, said that he is confident that the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation that Sri Lanka and Japan have enjoyed for long years will continue to flourish during the tenure of the new Prime Minster. "I look forward to a fruitful and sustained dialogue with a view to further consolidating the relations between our two countries," President Rajapaksa said in his statement. more..

National Olympic Committee moves to New headquarters

Sep 26 (GDI) The National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Sri Lanka moved to a new headquarters building near the old Race Course. The office complex was commissioned today (25). Construction work on the complex began last year and it has been built at a cost of over Rs. 157 million. The International Olympic Committee has contributed Rs. 15 million and the Asian Olympic Committee Rs. 22 million towards covering this cost while the balance amount was borne by the Sri Lanka Olympic Committee. more..

'HR issues addressed even while being threatened by terrorism'

Sep 26 (GDI) Deputy Solicitor-General Yasantha Kodagoda, while refuting the unfair allegations by human rights advocates during the panel discussion and interactive dialogue on missing persons at the 9th Session of the Human Rights Council on Monday (22), pointed outSri Lanka has a well functioning and vibrant Supreme Court which engages judiciously in the promotion and protection of human rights. more..

Thirty seven civilians escape LTTE's open prison

Sep 26 (GDI) Thirty seven civilians from Mullaittivu fleeing the LTTE, arrived in Pulmoddai in two boats seeking the protection of the Security Forces yesterday (25), defence sources said. This is the latest batch arriving from the Mullaittivu area seeking government protection. In May a group of eleven civilians who had escaped from LTTE areas in Mullaittiuvu reported to the Pulmodadai Security Forces. more..

Central Bank names and shames 6 fraudulent finance operators

Sep 26 (GDI) The Central Bank has deemed that the following six organizations and individuals are engaged in fraudulent financial operations: Okanda Finance Ltd, Sakwithi Ranasinghe (House Construction Pvt. Ltd), Piyadasa Ratnayake, Nadini Finance Ltd, D.K Udayasiri and Sriyawi Homes and Lands Investments. According to the Central Bank notice these individuals and institutions are not authorized to conduct finance business by accepting money from more..

More job opportunities for skilled workers in Europe

Sep 26 (GDI) Following the successful completion of his tour of Europe, the Minister of Foreign Employment and Welfare, Keheliya Rambukwella said that there is good potential in Europe for Sri Lankans to work as migrants. As a result of the negotiations held with the authorities of several European nations, Sri Lanka will be entering into MoUs with Poland and Romania before the end of the year and with France in January. more..

O.P.D. of the Borella Ayurvedic Hospital declared open today

Sep 26 (GDI) The Out Patients' Department (OPD) of the Borella Ayurvedic Teaching Hospital will be declared open today. Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake will be the Chief Guest of the open ceremony patronage by Minister of Indigenous Medicine Tissa Karaliyadda. Rs. 217.4 million have been spent for the construction work of the OPD, Ministry sources said. Similarly steps have been taken to upgrade the Borella Ayurveda Hospital in three phases. more..

Turkish President applauds Sri Lanka's stand on terrorism

Sep 26 (GDI) The President of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, in discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaka on the sidelines of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly, praised the determination of the Sri Lankan Government to eliminate terrorism, which he described as "an example to other countries that are also battered by terrorism". more..

Sri Lanka urges Commonwealth to take practical steps to combat terrorism

Sep 26 (GDI) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has called on the Commonwealth to move forward to evolve more practical measures to combat terrorism and draw from its wealth of experience to enhance the Commonwealth Plan of Action on Terrorism. He made this call in his intervention during the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers' meeting held yesterday in New York on the sidelines of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly. more..

LTTE ‘radar point' destroyed

Sep 26 (Hindu) The Air Force on Thursday claimed it launched a night-time air assault at an LTTE radar point located along the coast of Nagavanthurai, Poonaryn in the north, on Wednesday night at 10 pm. It said the target was neutralised in the precision raid. On Thursday, jets pounded LTTE reinforcements in the Akkarayankulam area. The strike targeted an LTTE gathering north of Akkarayankulam Tank bund. more..

Catholic 'Miracle' shrine attracts multitude of Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics

Sep 26 (UCAN) A reported miracle cure at a coastal shrine 60 years ago launched a devotion that continues to draw tens of thousands of people to celebrate the shrine's annual feast day. More than 150,000 Buddhists, Catholics and Hindus came to the shrine of the Holy Cross, situated in the middle of a cemetery near the town of Marawila, on Sept. 14, feast day of the Holy Cross. The shrine, a simple structure open on two sides with a large crucifix, more..

Torture victim shot dead while seeking justice

Sep 26 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) regrets to inform you that a torture victim as well as a complainant in a bribery case against the police was assassinated by unidentified gunmen while driving with his son on 20 September 2008. Before this assassination took place, the victim had repeatedly asked relevant authorities for protection for his family. However, his requests were ignored. more..

Custodial death in Negombo; prime witness assaulted by jailors

Sep 26 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that an inmate died in Negombo prison after being assaulted by jail guards on 4 July 2008. While the investigation was being conducted, Miswar, the prime witness in the case was attacked by jail guards who did not want him to come before the court as a witness. He then went into hiding for fear of further assault. more..

The AHRC writes to judges in Negombo

Sep 26 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission is taking this unusual step of writing to members of the judiciary only because of the extraordinary circumstances of threats that are being faced by persons who come to your courts in search of justice. While the normal recourse for protection for such persons would be to request the police to grant protection to complainants and witnesses this has become impossible due to the fact that it is police officers themselves that are making the threats. more..

Buddha bonanza at Sri Lanka exhibition

Sep 26 (DY) The words "Sri Lanka" conjure up visions of beautiful beaches and stunning scenery. But the images of the tsunami that resulted from the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake, coupled with the ongoing conflict between the government and Tamil separatist groups, tend to overshadow the history and culture of this island nation located off the southern tip of India. A new exhibition of the country's art, Cultural Heritage of Sri Lanka--The Land of Serendipity, more..

The 29th National Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka

Sep 26 (AT) The 29th National Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) is scheduled to be held on the 10th and 11th October at Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo and the ceremonial inauguration of the sessions is scheduled for the 9th October, under the patronage of Alok Prasad, High Commissioner of INdia in Sri Lanka with Rajan Asirwatham, former Precedent partner, KPMG Ford Rhodes Thornton & C as keynote speaker. more..

Sri Lanka Army to launch a full scale offensive in the Tiger-heartland shortly

Sep 26 (AT) Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka said that Sri Lankan ground troops will attack Kilinochchi town from next week with the support of the Air Force. Army Commander said this while addressing a book launch ceremony held at the National Library service board auditorium, in Colombo, yesterday. He told the gatherings that at the moment troops were located four km from Kilinochchi town. more..

US State Department’s Boucher and LTTE in same Frequency

Sep 26 (AT) U.S. State Department’s South and Central Asian Affairs assistant secretary Richard Boucher in a September 24 statement said: “We're placing a lot of emphasis right now on the protection of human rights for civilians who are caught in the fighting, and the democratic government's responsibility for extending - for respecting and extending human rights protection to the people in the areas that they take over.” more..

Farewell to President Wijetunge

Sep 26 (BBC) The funeral of former President D.B. Wijetunga was held on Thursday at the Kandy Municipal Grounds in Getambe under state patronage. The remains of the former president Wijetunge was taken to the Parliament Complex in the morning. The government and opposition parliamentarians paying their last respect praised President Wijetunge for his humanitarian qualities describing him as a compassionate and considerate leader. more..

'Convene all-party meeting on Sri Lanka'

Sep 26 (Hindu) Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss has urged Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to immediately convene an all-party meeting to pass a resolution to condemn the Sri Lankan government for the attacks on the ethnic Tamils, and express solidarity with the oppressed people there. The situation on the island threatens to eliminate the entire Tamil race, and collective action is required to protect them, Dr. Ramadoss told reporters at Thailapuram on Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka aims to meet Asia's demand for technology graduates

Sep 26 (VoA) Sri Lanka hopes to take advantage of the growing regional demand for information technology graduates. A new training institute opens next year to provide skilled graduates to meet increasing demand. Ron Corben recently visited Colombo and has this report for VOA. On the outskirts of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, construction is fast progressing on a new $5.7 million information technology and management institute. more..

Sri Lanka conscious of 'collateral' damage in offensive: FM

Sep 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka government troops are wary of any "collateral" damage as they move closer to dismantling the Tamil Tigers' de facto state, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told AFP at the UN Thursday. "We are trying to defeat terrorism and to that extent, whatever engagement is confined," said Bogollagama, speaking at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. "That's why we are very conscious of the collateral and the humanitarian aspect," more..

Minorities can't demand in Sri Lanka Army Chief

Sep 26 (LNP) Insisting that the minorities of this country should not make undue demands, Army Chief Sarath Fonseka yesterday said he believed the ongoing war would end in less than a year. `The national leadership basically is determined to solve this problem. The task given to us is to eradicate terrorism. If we have the same commitment one more year, the LTTE`s destiny is, I think, decided,` more..

Troops getting closer to A9 Road

Sep 26 (LNP) 57 Division gets closer to Kokavil, Task Force 2 heads towards Mankulam. The military said troops operating in Kilinochchi and North of Vavuniya are getting closer to the A9 Road from the West. Troops of the 57 Division were getting closer to Kokavil and troops of Task Force 2 are heading towards Mankulam. The Ministry said troops attacked two LTTE bunkers situated in the west of Akkarayankulam on Wednesday afternoon and confirmed both bunkers were destroyed. more..

Docs threaten to cripple Vavuniya

Sep 26 (LNP) Contrary to claims by the Health Ministry, the Vavuniya General Hospital was not equipped to meet the challenging task of providing health care to thousands of people seeking refuge in government-held areas, GMOA spokesperson Dr. Upul Gunasekera said yesterday. He said the medical staff of the premier health institution in the region struck work for four hours from 8 a. m. to 12 noon yesterday to pressure the Health Ministry to ensure adequate transport facilities to doctors serving there. more..