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Errant INGO manager ordered out

Sep 28 (NS) In the latest twist to the controversy over an INGO staffer threatening to quit his organisation and remain in Kilinochchi, flouting a Defence Ministry directive, the aid worker embroiled in the controversy returned to Vavuniya on Friday (26) afternoon and he has been ordered to leave the country. ZOA Country Director Bernard Jaspers Faijer told The Nation that the aid worker in question, and the only international staffer in the region, was its Kilinochchi Programme Manager, who was an Italian passport holder. more..

Military effort only a means to…

Sep 28 (NS) Even as Commander-in-Chief President Mahinda Rajapaksa returns to the island, following his historic address at the 63rd annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Sri Lankan armed forces this week will enter into a critical stage in their ferocious battle to retake the LTTE’s Wanni heartland up north. As far as politicians and the public go, all eyes are on the northern theatres of battle, more..

Judiciary steering nation on right path

Sep 28 (NS) Rising fuel prices often hit the headlines, but this week, it was falling fuel prices that captured the front pages with the opposition United National Party (UNP) filing a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court, alleging that the benefits of lower prices were not being passed on to the consumer by the Government. This type of public interest litigation has increased in recent times, and this is indeed welcome. more..

Surprise turn in flour mill case with retrial ordered

Sep 28 (Island) The JVP’s case against the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the Dubai-based Serendib Flour Mills (Private) Limited over the setting up of a flour mill in the Prince Vijaya Quay (PVQ) in the Colombo port has taken a surprise turn with Appeal Court judges, S. Sriskandarajah and Upali Abeyrathne who had heard the controversial case calling for a re-trial. The case is now expected to be taken up in December. more..

Elections boss tells his staff: Prepare for local poll in Jaffna

Sep 28 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake has directed that preparations be made to conduct the Local Elections in the Jaffna District towards the end of this year, as envisaged by the Government. He has instructed Assistant Commissioner of Elections for Jaffna P. Kuhanathan to start laying the ground work for the poll, seen as a vital step in efforts to restore democracy in the North. more..

Is the Wild Life Department protecting it’s property or giving it away?

Sep 28 (Island) On Monday the 22nd September, about a hundred or more people came with axes knives and other cutting instruments and proceeded to cut trees in what is known as the Dahaiyyagala Elephant Corridor which is situated on the north east of the Uda Walawe National park. This corridor runs through this sanctuary of Dahaiyygala to the mineral and salt deposits found in the proposed Bogahapattiya Sanctuary north of Veli Oya and was declared so by gazette notification more..

Over 4,000 diddled by Sakvithi scam, total desposits still unclear

Sep 28 (Island) The police investigating a massive financial fraud committed by a person who called himself Deshamanya Sakvithi Ranasinghe Sir are in a dilemma over the action to be taken against Edwin Ariyadasa, a prominent media personality who had functioned as the joint director of S. R. Property Sharing Investment (Private) Limited, set up by the suspected conman. more..

Battle moves from New York to Wanni

Sep 28 (ST) It was a week where the Government was engaged in wars on two different fronts. The latest one is the diplomatic war fought this week thousands of miles away, in the Big Apple or New York. Instead of artillery or multi-barrel rockets, this was with the use of words and deeds. The other, of course, is the ongoing military campaign in the Wanni. Reports of the imminent fall of Kilinochchi, the centre of political power for guerrillas of the LTTE, have generated national euphoria. more..

Critical phase of Eelam War IV begins this week

Sep 28 (ST) Troops now on the doorstep of Tiger guerrilla strongholds in the Wanni carried out a series of probes into their enemy positions this week. This was whilst directing artillery fire at their targets. Among the reasons for the caution that somewhat slowed down hectic military activity was to allow civilians who had converged on Kilinochchi to move out to secure areas. more..

Spotlight on Lanka at UNHRC sessions

Sep 28 (ST) Sri Lanka figured in the general debate of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva with the European Union and several countries expressing concern about the humanitarian situation in the north and several NGOs calling for UN intervention. However Sri Lanka’s representative, Human Rights Ministry Secretary Rajiva Wijesinha, said the best assistance the international community could offer was to persuade the LTTE to let the people go to government-controlled areas. more..

Yet another white van abduction

Sep 28 (ST) A 35-year-old resident of Sri Saranankara Road, in Kohuwala, was allegedly abducted on September 19 by a group of armed men dressed in civilian clothes. The missing person is Subramaniam Sritharan. According to Mr. Sritharan’s brother, Mr. Nagapusanan, a white van stopped outside a catering service in Kohuwela, where Mr. Sritharan was working. Four men got out of the vehicle and demanded that Mr. Sritharan and a colleague get into the van, saying they were being “taken in for questioning”. more..

1 dies in brawl at sentry point

Sep 28 (LD) A drunken youth who had tried to grab a firearm from a navy sentry in Wattala, died when the weapon went off accident, said the Defence Ministry in its website. The incident that had occurred this morning at Preethipura beach in Uswetakeiyyawa also left four others injured. The youth along with several others were under the influence of alcohol and had assaulted the sentry when they were informed to vacate the area, on security concerns, more..

Tuk-tuk drivers turn life-savers

Sep 28 (IRIN) Knotting bandages, carefully lifting an injured person and applying pressure to a bleeding wound are not usually all in a day’s work for tuk-tuk drivers. But a pre-hospital care training programme will make thousands of scooter taxi drivers throughout Sri Lanka proficient in first-aid procedures that could help save lives and prevent disabilities, according to health professionals. more..

Another Indian fisherman killed allegedly by Sri Lankan navy

Sep 28 (IANS) The fishing community declared a general strike here following the alleged killing of a fisherman by Sri Lankan navy Sunday, the police said. Eyewitnesses Doraiswamy, Rajendran and Lingam told the police that a flotilla of Indian boats was subjected to indiscriminate strafing by the island’s navy near Aachchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka in the mid-1970s. more..

Anti-corruption activist's house bombed

Sep 28 (LBO) The house of a top Sri Lankan anti-corruption activist who is also a lawyer who has appeared on behalf of victims of human rights abuses and torture has been bombed last night, police said. A grenade had been thrown into the house of J C Weliamuna, who heads the Sri Lanka chapter of Transparency International. The corruption watchdog found that Sri Lanka was the 92 worst corrupt nation in the world, in a report released earlier this month. more..

Suicide bomb kills civilian, wounds 8 in Sri Lanka

Sep 28 (AP) A suspected Tamil Tiger rebel suicide bomber blew up near a vehicle carrying police in a northern Sri Lankan town Sunday, killing a civilian and wounding eight others. Four police in the vehicle, three soldiers on duty nearby and a civilian bystander were wounded in the blast in the town of Vavuniya. Nanayakkara said it was still unknown whether the bomber, who was also killed, was a man or a woman. more..

Dedicated media need bouquet not brick-bat!

Sep 29 (LG) The struggle demanding justice and life with honour has reached a crucial juncture in the isle of Sri Lanka. It is remarkable that the Tamils all over – in this country and abroad – are a source of strength and courage to this struggle. But, it cannot be denied that a historic responsibility is cast on the shoulders of the media. It may be the media based in the Tamil homeland, Colombo, abroad or in the websites. more..

President’s speech in Tamil has made all the Sri Lankan Tamils happy and proud

Sep 29 (LG) The recent visit by the President, Mahinda Rajapakse to the United Nations and his speech in Tamil has made all the Sri Lankan Tamils happy and proud. There was a joy among the Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka at the way our President honored the Tamils, and every Sri Lankan Tamil is thankful to the President for the respect and fame he brought to the Tamil language and its people in the International Forum. more..

Ensuring people’s security, a moral duty

Sep 29 (LG) In view of the sufferings of the innocent civilians following the war, there have been several demands from all quarters that the non combatants caught up in the ensuing war in Vanni should be saved and that they should be helped. Richard Boucher has stated that it is the duty of a democratically elected government to protect and respect human rights of its citizens. more..

Politicians as rogues and rogues as politicians

Sep 29 (LG) Transport Minister Dulles Alahapperuma's recent statement about politicians and state institutions being corrupt is not news. Sri Lankan politicians being corrupt is now accepted as a fact of life as sex and what the birds and the bees do. But this comment coming from an aspiring politician is quite a surprise. Of course the Minister has stressed that all politicians and state institutions are not corrupt. more..

WHO sounds an alarm bell on dengue!

Sep 29 (LG) World Health Organization has sounded an alarm bell that nearly two billion people in the Asia-Pacific region will be at risk from dengue fever unless governments do more to fight the debilitating disease. A dengue epidemic swept across the region between 1991and 2004. It peaked with 350,000 cases in 1998 according to WHO statistics. Of the 2.5 billion people at risk globally, 1.8 billion live in the Western Pacific. more..

President Rajapaksa must fire Sarath Fonseka forthwith

Sep 29 (LG) If Major General Sarath Fonseka is not aware that Sri Lanka is the homeland of the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays and Burghers and whoever to whom it has been home for generations, he must be relieved of his duties straightaway and sent to grass; even court martial proceedings commenced against him. A forces man has no right whatsoever to make a political statement especially of this nature. more..

'Help' protect rights defenders

Sep 29 (BBC) A leading human rights watchdog has urged UN and Sri Lanka's judicial bodies to help protect human rights defenders in Sri Lanka. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has appealed to the Supreme Court, judiciary and the Bar Association (BASL) in Sri Lanka to actively get involved in the protection of lawyers following a grenade attack on the house of the head of Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) on Saturday evening. more..

FM briefs counterparts in New York on Sri Lankan situation

Sep 29 (GDI) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama meeting with his counterparts on the sidelines of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, briefed them on the situation in Sri Lanka, especially with respect to the ongoing action to rid the country of terrorism, the developments in the Eastern Province and Sri Lanka's commitment to all UN resolutions with respect to humanitarian issues. more..

Ethnocentric military dictatorship in the making in Colombo - Vanni MP

Sep 29 (TN) Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian for Vanni, Selvam Adaikkalanathan, who blamed Sri Lanka Army commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka for his Sinhala ethnocentric comments to a Canadian paper, said Sunday that the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as Commander-in-Chief and the Executive President, should instruct the SLA commander to apologise for the statement. more..

When Rabannetuma performed, Londoners cheered in with thunderous applause

Sep 29 (AT) More than 1800 Londoners heartily cheered and applauded when the performers of the Sri Lanka tri-forces cultural extravaganza’s miraculous and spectacular act of smooth balancing the several spinning flat plate like circular hand drums called “rabanas” on sticks was staged at Troxy Theatre in East London, United Kingdom. The intently spell binding magical act by three young service personnel, more..

CPA statement on the recent comments by General Sarath Fonseka

Sep 29 (TC) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is deeply concerned by and strongly disapproves of statements made by the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army, General Sarath Fonseka, in an interview with Stewart Bell of the National Post newspaper of Canada, published on 23rd September 2008. In this interview, General Fonseka has made some disquieting observations of a highly political nature. more..

Sri Lanka denies attacking Rameswaram fishermen around Katchativu

Sep 29 (AT) Sri Lanka Navy has no part in the shooting of Rameshwaram fishermen, but it might be the work of LTTE. Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai has categorically denied that Sri Lanka Navy was not involved in attacking Indian fishermen from Rameshwaram near Katchativu, in which a fisherman lost his life. The statement released by the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission In Chennai said, "The attention of the Mission was drawn to the news items in the media more..

Lanka: AIADMK, Left share platform

Sep 29 (TS) In a swift and shrewd political move that will bring the AIADMK and Left leaders on a common platform and lay the foundation for a possible alliance, AIADMK supremo Ms Jayalalitha has conveyed that her party would support the CPI fast to condemn the “Centre's assistance to the Sri Lankan government's genocidal war against Tamils”. As the civil war in the island nation is slowly, but steadily moving to the centre stage of Tamil Nadu politics, more..

Sri Lanka to start Foreign Employment Academy

Sep 29 (AT) Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare is planning to set up a Foreign Employment Academy to train Sri Lankans for employment in the foreign countries, especially in Europe and in the North American countries. Dr. Keheliya Rambukwelle, Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare said that already he has obtained the cabinet approval for the Foreign Employment Academy, which will provide basic professional training to Sri Lankans willing to go for employments in the foreign countries. more..

Lionel Fernando – the new Sri Lanka's Ambassador to France

Sep 29 (AT) Lionel Fernando will be the new Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France. He is expected to assume duties shortly. Fernando has had an outstanding career as Secretary to the Ministry of Media, Tourism and Aviation, Secretary to the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador in the Netherlands, Chairperson Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation & Governor of the North East Province. He has been also Secretary, Ministry of Civil Defence and Commissioner General of Rehabilitation and Essential Services. more..

Kandamby and Herath script memorable win

Sep 29 (CI) The series already wrapped up 3-1, Sri Lanka A finished their tour of South Africa with a backs-to-the-wall win over the hosts in game five in Benoni. Set a stiff target of 295 - thanks to centuries from Alviro Petersen and Vaughn van Jaarsveld - Sri Lanka were boosted by a stellar unbeaten 128 from their captain Thilina Kandamby and 88 not out from Rangana Herath. The two bailed out Sri Lanka from a precarious 94 for 6, more..

Fighting intensifies as Sri Lankan army advances on LTTE stronghold

Sep 29 (wsws) Heavy fighting is taking place in northern Sri Lanka as government forces advance toward the town of Kilinochchi, which has functioned as the political and military headquarters of the LTTE for the past decade. Its fall to the army would be not only a significant military setback to the LTTE but also a blow to its political ambitions for a separate Tamil statelet. more..

Pillayan in action for big bucks in East (Updated)

Sep 29 (LG) An administration of the Hingurana Distilleries (pvt)ltd had given to three million rupees bribe to Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Chivanesathuri Chandrasekaran aka Pillayan last week, our reliable source informs. "He sent one of his colleagues Jeganathan (not his real name) to meet Nishantha one of an administration members of the Company and they handed over 7,00,000.00 as a first step of bribe before Chief Minister and his three member's visit to Japan", more..

IDP Voices - Balu Selvanayagam

Sep 29 (LG) We were living in Andankulam in Mannar. We displaced to Madhu but later we were told to go back to Andankulam by the LTTE. Sometime later, from Ankankulam we displaced to Periyamadu and from there we displaced to Iluppakkadavai. From there because of shelling we displaced Paliyaru. From there we again displaced to Kanesapuram. From Kanesapuram we displaced to Anaivilunthan. From there we displaced yet again to Murippu in Kilinochchi. more..

Sri Lanka: Can the Tamil Tigers save the Tamils?

Sep 29 (LG) AS, I write this Government forces are closing in on the last bit of territory held by the LTTE in the Vanni. Everyone was expecting the LTTE to pull a rabbit out of their hat and turn the tide. Other than throwing a few canisters of CS gas they have not produced anything to prove that they can fight the Sri Lankan forces. There is hardly time left either for the LTTE to inspire confidence among the cadres to keep on fighting. more..

What does the Tamil Diaspora want to do in its current predicament?

Sep 29 (LG) What does the Tamil Diaspora want to do in its current predicament? Incidentally, are those who appear to domineer as the spokesman the true representatives of the Diaspora? Very many academics and intellectuals, in addition to a large number of professionals who were forced to flee by the events of 1977 and 1983, have closely followed and solidly supported the separation movement for years. more..

Japan Funds Agro Well Project in Anuradhapura District

Sep 29 (GDI) The Government of Japan will help construct 15 Agro wells, enabling the farmers in the Maddyama Nuwaragampalatha DS division in the Anuradhapura District to engage in their cultivation throughout the year. The project is to be implemented by the "Women's Development Society" and the grant contract was signed last week between Kaoru Shimazaki, Chargé ď Affaires of The Embassy of Japan, and Wijitha Basnayake, Chairperson of the "Women's Development Society," more..

US Ambassador says 'honoured' to meet paramilitary leader

Sep 29 (TN) US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Robert O' Blake says he was honoured to meet the leader of the Army-backed paramilitary group TMVP which Human Rights Watch has condemend for widespread human rights abuses in the eastern province - of which Pillayan was appointed chief minister. Mr. Blake said he is "pleased that [Pillayan] assured me he too is committed to demobilizing the paramilitaries" more..

Jayalalitha seeks fresh talks in Sri Lanka

Sep 29 (LNP) In a significant move amid the building momentum in Tamil Nadu where Tamil leaders are voicing their support to the Tamils as the Sri Lankan forces intensified their attacks in the Vanni, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the Leader of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, J. Jayalalitha, Saturday extended her support to a fasting campaign being organised by the Communist Party of India (CPI). more..

Sakvithi scam: Police record 1,023 complaints

Sep 29 (LNP) The probe on the major financial scam involving English tutor Sakvithi Ranasinghe continued to bare more sordid details with fresh complaints received by yesterday raising the number of duped depositors to 1,000 with deposits alone accounting for more than Rs. 600 million. Police had recorded 1,023 complaints with the single biggest loss recorded during the day amounting to Rs.14 million. more..

LTTE deploys more reserves to save Kilinochchi

Sep 29 (DW) The Army had closed in on the Mankulam-Iranamadu road (A-9) by last evening. In some areas, the former gap of 1km to the A-9 has been reduced to 300m due to ongoing operations. Fighting is ongoing in Kokavil area where LTTE units are being gradually encircled by troops. Commanders have taken steps to maintain safe passage for civilians along the A-9. The 58 Division has also been gradually eating away at LTTE resistance along the Nachchikuda-Akkarayan road. more..

Ratha Regiment DPU leader killed

Sep 29 (DW) Last month, the LTTE sent a team of 37 'Ratha Regiment' cadres to infiltrate the eastern region through Weli Oya defences. The team was detected at Konketiyawa by a Civil Defence Force member. The Tigers, dressed in Army uniforms, had inquired from the CDF member in Sinhala, the directions to their destination arousing suspicion. The CDF member then ran away from the team narrowly escaping death and alerted the Army, CDF and the police of the infiltration. more..

Sri Lanka is full of variety for visitors

Sep 29 (SM) From an elephant orphanage to one of the world’s most cultural cities, Sri Lanka has it all. And, as STUART JAMIESON discovers, there’s a distinctly green theme to the latest tourism initiatives. THE memories, as they say, will last you a lifetime. For once it’s not the usual holiday hotspot hyperbole, but a simple truth in this natural paradise. Sri Lanka is one of the most varied places you can imagine, and all compacted into a country roughly the size of Ireland. more..

Apollo hospital in test tube baby services

Sep 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Apollo Hospitals is seeing interest for fertility treatment services from the Middle East, Maldives, Canada and USA in addition to Sri Lanka, where an ageing population is stimulating demand, officials said. Ajith Jayaratna, chairman of Lanka Hospitals Corporation which owns Apollo hospitals in Colombo said around 15 percent of the world population was sub-fertile, and the figures were expected to double by 2050. more..

Sri Lanka northern cement plant eyed by India's Ramco

Sep 29 (LBO) India's Madras Cements has joined the fray to revive a defunct cement plant in northern Sri Lanka, which government officials say can be done only after the military captures Tamil Tiger strongholds in the region. Madras Cements, part of the Ramco Group, a well known business group in South India, has submitted a proposal to revive the Kankesanturai plant to the Industrial Development Ministry, officials said. more..

Sri Lanka throwing good money after bad?

Sep 29 (LBO) "Mihin Air was started with pure intentions. It was active for 13 months. There were shortcomings in management. The CEO was removed. The Board was asked to resign. "After study, we are taking steps to make the organization profitable. Over the 13 months, 215,617 passengers have travelled on this airline. There were revenues of 2.4 million rupees. "But there were unnecessary expenditures. There were losses of 3,200 million rupees. more..

AHRC calls for probe on Weliamuna attack

Sep 29 (LD) The AHRC has called on the Sri Lankan government to thoroughly investigate the grenade attach on the home of human rights lawyer J.C. Weliamuna. AHRC said in a statement that last night at 11:40 pm in Colombo, Sri Lanka a grenade was thrown inside the house of the leading lawyer J.C. Weliamuna, who is the Executive Director of Transparency International in Sri Lanka, and a well- known human rights lawyer. more..

UNP condemns Army chief's remarks

Sep 29 (LD) The UNP has condemned the statement made to a Canadian newspaper by Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka regarding minority communities. The UNP organized a media briefing at the Opposition Leader's Office in Colombo this morning, where MPs from Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities spoke. One of them, Kabir Hashim, said his Muslim community was having very close ties, even blood relationships, with the majority Sinhalese. more..

Illicit liquor death toll 19

Sep 29 (LD) The death toll from illicit liquor poisoning at Weliveriya in Gampaha has risen to 19. Sixty-five others are receiving treatment at hospitals. Director of Gampaha Hospital, Dr. Dhammika Mayadunne said that two out of nine under their care were in critical condition. Investigations have revealed that the alcohol had contained ethyl, a toxic alcoholic substitute. The victims have died after this chemical caused extreme damage to their neurological systems. more..