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Uprooted families in Jaffna, still waiting action plan for resettlement

Sep 9 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials who met the committee appointed by the Colombo Supreme Court to explore the possibility of resettling uprooted people from the High Security Zone (HSZ) of the SLA, told the committee on Friday that more than 600 families, outside the HSZ and the adjoining no-man zone, have been resettled, including the data as part of the uprooted families within the HSZ. more..

Sri Lanka court gives JKH bunker unit till Sept 12 to vacate

Sep 9 (LBO) Supreme Court has given the bunkering unit of John Keells Holdings (JKH) till September 12 to vacate a tank farm, and the company has been ordered to pay compensation to workers, lawyers said. Lanka Marine Services (LMS), a unit of JKH, was ordered by court to hand over a land containing a tank farm to Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), following a ruling in which the group was faulted over the privatization of the bunkering unit. more..

Treasure hunting Army major remanded

Sep 9 (LD) A major in the Army has been arrested along with a sub inspector, a businessman and six others on a charge of having hunted for treasure in the Kavudulla forest reserve in Polonnaruwa. The major is attached to Minneriya Army Camp and the SI to Kantale Police. Hingurakgoda Magistrate Indika Shehan Attanayake remanded the suspects till September 17th. more..

Police refute it is protecting criminals

Sep 9 (LD) Police have refuted allegations that it was protecting criminals. Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara said, "Police do not protect wrongdoers. Police have not gone to the dog. A few dogs have crept into the Police," he told 'Divaina.' He was commenting on recent media reports that the police were responsible for certain sexual abuse incidents and had also protected criminals. more..

Berty unleashing more terror - Janaka Perera

Sep 9 (LD) Berty Premalal Dissanayake, who won power through violence and malpractice, and Duminda Dissanayake, his minister son, are continuing to target political opponents in the North Central Province, alleged provincial opposition leader Janaka Perera. Speaking to the media in Anuradhapura today (Sept. 08th), Maj. Gen. Perera claimed many UNP activists and supporters have been victimized by the ruling politician. more..

Promoting separation contravenes the oath to uphold the constitution

Sep 9 (AT) Allegation of Parliamentarians threatening to ‘beat’ Selvam Adaikalanathan MP whenever he raises issues of Tamils, was flatly refuted by Dinesh Gunawardene. Chief Government Whip. Also the Chief Government Whip pointed out that Selvam Adaikalanathan as well as all the Members including the TNA Members of Parliament, have subscribed to an oath of allegiance to uphold the constitution and defend the unitary state of Sri Lanka. more..

My Daughter the Terrorist – NAT bares the role played by the Norwegian Government

Sep 9 (AT) Norwegian Against Terrorism bares the role played by Norwegian Government in funding and assisting in the production of the LTTE propaganda film – My Daughter the Terrorist. In its recent monthly report, NAT revealed that Norwegian Government in 2005 funded Ms. Beate Arnestad , the producer of the LTTE propaganda film, Norwegian Kroner 250,000 (US Dollars 50,000). more..

One held for smuggling heroin to Sri Lanka

Sep 9 (TOI) Officials from the Chennai unit of the Narcotic Control Bureau on Saturday arrested a man in Kanyakumari for helping smuggle heroin to Sri Lanka. The man hailed from Madhya Pradesh. According to NCB sources, based on a tip-off that attempts would be made to smuggle heroin to Sri Lanka by boat, officials increased surveillance and a suspicious-looking man with a travelling bag was nabbed. more..

Mathivathani Pirabakaran and Children in South Africa

Sep 9 (LG) Sources close to the LTTE confirm that LTTE supremo Velupillai Pirabakaran’s wife Mathivathani Pirabakaran and their two children have migrated to South Africa using the sea route. The couple’s eldest daughter Dwaraka and the youngest son have joined the mother in the voyage. Their eldest son Charles Anthony is said to be remaining in Vanni and helping the father in the military operational matters. more..

An appeal to the Maha Nayake’s to stand firm against extremist monks

Sep 9 (LG) The news that Maha Nayake of Asgiriya Chapter Ven Udugama Sri Buddharakitha Thero is staking firm on a principal issue of Buddhist monks respecting the judiciary is a welcome news and set to guide the extremist monks to respect the laws of the land in the island nation of Sri Lanka. The Maha Nayake has very appropriately said: ‘both monks and lay persons must respect the judiciary and its hallowed traditions to ensure discipline in the country’. more..

Foreign Minister frisked by police?

Sep 9 (LG) Further to an article by Namini Wijedasa (An Echo Of Nullius Filius) about foreign Minister Bogollagama's antics and escapades, there is amusement at the highest circles in Sri Lanka, that the minister was thoroughly frisked by the Italian police during the World Food Summit in Rome, earlier this year. According to these sources, the summit was for heads of state, but it seems the Sri Lankan foreign minister managed to gain access into the meeting after having been frisked by the Italian police. more..

'UN abandons principles of Right to Protect in Sri Lanka'

Sep 9 (LG) According to a UN report “LTTE is unlikely to allow substantial outflow of population from the Wanni” even though there is internal pressure mounting, as the war intensifies, for a mass exodus from the theatre of war in the Wanni. This is recorded in the minutes circulated by the UN after a meeting with INGOs and NGOs held recently at Habarana. The minutes were circulated last week by Head, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Zola Dowell. more..

Massive Protest against LTTE Terrorism in Switzerland

Sep 9 (LG) Nearly 1000 Anti LTTE protesters gathered in Bern Switzerland to protest against LTTE activities in Switzerland on the 6th of September. The Sinhala and Tamil Diaspora against the LTTE activities in Switzerland were joined by Sri Lankan patriots from Italy, France and Germany. The well-attended protest against LTTE terrorism was held on Saturday starting from 13.00 to 17.00 hrs, in front of the parliament in Bern, Switzerland. more..

Two Truths in Buddhism

Sep 9 (LG) Theravada Buddhism had described two Truths; Absolute Truth (Paramatha Sathya) and Conventional Truth (Sammuti Sathya). Nagarjuna Thera of the Mahayana Tradition also identified two truths, but his theory was different from that of Theravada Buddhism. Are there, in fact, two types of Truth in Theravada Buddhism? Do these two Truths vary in degree? Is Absolute Truth superior in anyway to the Conventional Truth? more..

Of Peace, Polls, Budget and Parliament

Sep 9 (LG) Voting is over, long live voting. Though President Mahinda Rajapaksa has announced that he does not intend to slap a snap polls to Parliament ahead of time, riding the wave of the twin Provincial Council poll victories in North-Central and Sabaragamuva, it is no guarantee that there would not be other polls elsewhere in the country. Rather than winning or losing elections, political parties and their leaderships have begun making polls a diversionary tactic to keep off 'marauders' from power. more..

Traditional rice helps beat soil salination

Sep 9 (IRIN) Rohana Rosairo has hung a sprig of paddy rice over his front door, a good omen for prosperity from the first harvest he reaped a few weeks ago from a long unused field. Rosairo's field, across a dirt track from his home, was just a mass of weeds until April when he cleared the plot and planted seed paddy. "My father used to grow rice here, but he stopped a long time ago," he said. High salinity levels had made growing rice difficult. more..

Sri Lanka bars foreign aid workers from rebel area

Sep 9 (AP) The Sri Lankan government said Monday it is barring all foreign aid workers and many local staff from rebel-held areas in the north because of the raging civil war there. The decision came as the government stepped up its offensive aimed at crushing the Tamil Tiger rebel group and capturing its de facto state after a quarter century of civil war. With the fighting escalating, aid groups have expressed concern for the welfare of the tens of thousands of civilians who have more..

'Racket' to swindle migrant workers

Sep 9 (BBC) An organised group of people are defrauding returning migrant workers from Middle East pretending to be offering lottery money, authorities said. The group has urged the returning workers to hand over a lump sum before getting their lottery money, Chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB), Kingsley Ranawaka, told BBC Sandeshaya. The group, he said, has visited the workers who have recently arrived in Sri Lanka and told that they were entitled to Rs. 390,000 pay out under Sahana Insurance policy. more..

Sri Lanka prosperity index find wide divisions and gains

Sep 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's most prosperous conditions are found in the Western province followed by the central and southern province, while the Northern province trails behind, an index devised by the Central Bank has found. Officials say the index goes beyond traditional measures like economic growth to find out what makes people feel happy and prosperous. Central Bank deputy governor W A Wijewardene says researchers turned to philosophers to find out what made people feel happy. more..

9 injured in Colombo blast

Sep 9 (LD) A minor explosion in Colombo injured nine people this evening (Sept. 08th), police and hospital sources said. The victims, all men and two in critical condition, are receiving treatment at Colombo National Hospital, said its director Dr. Hector Weerasinghe. SSP of the area Premalal Ranagala said the blast at Gas Works Street, Pettah around 9.30 pm appeared to have been caused by a hand grenade. more..

SC orders teacher unions to start paper marking

Sep 9 (LD) The Supreme Court ordered teacher unions today (Sept. 08th) to begin the marking of answer script of G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination immediately. Taking up a petition challenging the boycott by teachers, the SC also ordered the Education Secretary to grant a salary increment and formulate a promotion mechanism for teachers without delay. more..

Woman journalist shot & injured

Sep 9 (LD) A woman journalist was shot and wounded in Batticaloa this evening (Sept. 08th), police said. The victim, Radhika Devakumar was admitted to Teaching Hospital of the area with injuries to her stomach, chest and back. According to police, unidentified assailants had ambushed and shot the journalist near her home at Kattankudy around 7.45 pm. Ms. Devakumar, 45, is the former media coordinator for Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, TMVP leader and chief minister of east province.

PSC asked for probing CJ

Sep 9 (LD) The president has been asked in writing to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, says a Buddhist monk. Ven. Galagodatte Gnanasara Thera, Director of the National Observation Centre against Unethical Conversions, said the CJ had demeaned the Buddhist clergy in a recent ruling, and verdicts had been questionable in around 100 cases heard by him. more..

'Machan' wins Venice sidebar prize

Sep 9 (VAO) "Machan," a Sri-Lanka-set caper marking the directorial debut of "The Full Monty" producer Uberto Pasolini, has won the Europa Cinemas Label prize as best pic in the Venice fest's Venice Days section. Pasolini's pic, about an ingenious group of slum dwelling Sri Lankans who pretend to be the national handball team in order to get a visa to enter Germany, will now receive support by the Europa Cinemas exhibitors. more..

Historic artifact exhibition in Tokyo

Sep 9 (LD) An exhibition on Sri Lanka artifacts depicting the rich cultural heritage of the country will be held at the Tokyo National Museum from September 17th - November 30th, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene said yesterday (Sept. 05th). The exhibition follows a series of discussions between former Japanese ambassador in Sri Lanka Akio Suda and the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. more..

Sri Lanka situation grim: NGOs’ panel

Sep 9 (Hindu) The report on the ground situation in the north and east by the Sri Lanka Inter-Agency Standing Committee Country Team, a consortium of international and national NGOs, paints a grim picture of the security situation and status of internally displaced persons (IDPs). The report came amid air raids on “LTTE targets” and claims by the military that at least 22 LTTE cadre were killed and 21 injured in fighting. more..

Tiger rebels stage another air attack

Sep 9 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels Tuesday staged another air strike in the island's north and carried out a long-range artillery barrage, local residents and officials said. Residents in Vavuniya, 256 kilometres north of the capital Colombo, said they saw anti-aircraft fire illuminating the night sky while huge blasts were also heard in the de facto frontier town. "We heard the noise of a light aircraft," a resident said by telephone. more..

Sri Lanka military says jets shot down rebel plane

Sep 9 (AP) The Sri Lankan military says its fighter jets have shot down a small plane used by the Tamil Tiger rebels. The destruction of the plane would be a major morale boost for the military. The rebels have frustrated the military with numerous attacks by their small fleet of aircraft. The military has never before been able to shoot down one of the planes. The rebel aircraft tried to attack a government air base early Tuesday morning when it was driven off by anti-aircraft fire. more..

Sri Lanka says shoots down rebel plane after raid

Sep 9 (Reuters) Sri Lankan jets shot down a Tamil Tiger plane after the rebels launched a pre-dawn bombing raid on a military base near the northern frontline on Tuesday, the military said. It is the first downing of a plane belonging to the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) since they debuted their air wing with a surprise attack on a military airfield in the capital Colombo in March 2007, the military said. more..

Tamils in Sri Lanka: Time to ponder a new future

Sep 9 (TC) We, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, have reached a defining moment once again in our post-independence history. What we want to be as a people vis-a- vis the other peoples and what the other peoples want to be vis- a- vis us, will define what the future holds for us in Sri Lanka. Our position in the socio-politico-economic life in Sri Lanka is currently defined in terms of terrorism and terror, instead that of hapless victims of pernicious majoritarianism. more..

Restrictions on travel!

Sep 9 (LG) Former Parliamentarian and the President of the All Ceylon Congress Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy has protested against the restrictions placed on travel to and from Jaffna district. In a letter addressed to Major. General Chandrasiri, Jaffna Commander, he states that the restrictions are unfair. According to the restrictions, nobody could leave the Jaffna district without the permission of the army. more..

Virakesari’s appeal on behalf of the non-combatants of Vanni!

Sep 9 (LG) Rev.Fr.Saudarnayakam said that he is perturbed over the fate of the Vanni people and the sufferings which the people are going to face in the future. Prior to his interview being published, there had been an incident in which 5 people including 2 children were killed. Reports say that 97, 644 families have been displaced - 29,934 families from Mualaitheevu, 39,274 families from killinochchi, 17, 030 families from Vavuniya North and 11, 406 families from Mannar. more..

Internal strife in the UNP

Sep 9 (LG) No leader of the UNP has ever faced any agitations against his leadership as in the case of Ranil Wickremasingha at present. When the UNP lost the elections in 1970, one of the then leaders of the LSSP Colvin R. de Silva stated that they had driven the last nail into the coffin of the UNP. But, from that defeat the UNP rose up and obtained 5/6 th majority in the Parliament during the 1977 July general elections. more..

Being a Tamil is Tissanayagam’s only crime

Sep 9 (LG) The Sri Lankan Government is at war with journalists who report the truth. They had to find a scapegoat to teach a lesson, to the media that expose their numerous human rights crimes, through the facade of a judicial process. They have to portray those independent journalists as terrorists, and who is a better terrorist in Sri Lanka than a Tamil. The simple fact is that Tissanayagam is a Tamil and therefore a terrorist. more..

'A bikkhu shows deference on to the Buddha, the Dhamma and an elder bikkhu'

Sep 9 (GDI) It is a disgrace for the entire nation if it is a crime for a bikkhu to chant pirith, something that is done with the purpose of blessing the nation and if that bikkhu was imprisoned as a result, Rev. Ellawala Medananda Thero said in Parliament. "We respect the Judiciary, but drafting legislation is done through the Parliament. Laws are formed and enforced to ensure the betterment of the public not for their evil," more..

Ministry approval necessary for religious constructions

Sep 9 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed relevant officials to make is necessary to obtain approval from the Ministry of Religious Affairs for religious constructions. Accordingly, the Secretary to the Ministry of Religious Affairs will issue guidelines with the approval of his Minister requesting the relevant parties involved in constructing such religious places such as temples, kovils, churches and mosques to first obtain permission from the Ministry. more..

Major LTTE attack on Vavuniya Base thwarted

Sep 9 (GDI) Security forces have thwarted a major LTTE offensive on the Vavuniya Military Base and completely routed the enemy, Ministry of Defence said. Ten LTTE carders were killed in today's pre-dawn attack launched by the LTTE terrorists who, in addition to deploying ground forces and firing artillery at the camp also sent two light aircraft to participate in the attack. The Air Force, supported by anti-aircraft fire forced the LTTE pilots to turn back. more..

Colombo may become colder than Kandy

Sep 9 (LNP) A senior scientist attached to thr National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) predicted yesterday that Colombo could become colder than Kandy in the future. He also predicted that Sri Lanka also could face a flood disaster as in the Uttar Pradesh in India where thousands were rendered homeless when dams broke. The Scientist, H.G.S. Ariyaratne yesterday attributed changes in the weather pattern and the global warming. more..

Rat fever on the increase in Sri Lanka

Sep 9 (LNP) The Epidemiology Unit said there was a considerable increase in leptospyrosis (rat fever) cases this year. The unit reported 3,960 cases from twelve districts compared to 2,195 cases reported in 2007. Deputy Director General (Public Health) Dr. Sarath Mahipala warned there was an outbreak of the epidemic and that 118 deaths from sixteen hospitals in the country had been reported due to the disease. more..

`I am the State`

Sep 9 (LNP) Our experience with the executive presidency has always been bitter except during a brief period when we had President D. B. Wijetunga as a stopgap measure after the untimely demise of President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993. The father of the executive presidency, J. R. Jayewardene, managed to secure state power only when he was long in the tooth. With a five-sixths majority in Parliament and intoxicated with power, he made no bones about his desire to say, `I am the State` al la Louis XIV. more..

South Africa seeks all-party solution

Sep 9 (SAMN) South Africa has called for the establishment of an inclusive process where various Tamil viewpoints could be represented to form a final political solution to the ongoing conflict. These views were expressed to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) Chairman and Minister, Tissa Vitharana during a visit to South Africa where he briefed South African leaders on the APRC process and the conflict in Sri Lanka. more..

SC orders immediate salary increment for teachers

Sep 9 (DN) The Supreme Court as an interim relief yesterday ordered the Education Ministry to pay the teachers a salary increment immediately until the teachers are placed on proper salary scales, yesterday. The Court directed the Secretary to the President and the Secretary to the Education Ministry to work out the cost of the salary increments to be paid. The Court in principle recognised that there is a salary anomaly with regard to more..

Rubber in Polonnaruwa and Eastern Province?

Sep 9 (DN) Plantation Industries Minister D.M. Jayaratne instructed Rubber Development Department officials to launch tests to find out if rubber could be cultivated in Polonnaruwa and the Eastern Province. Tests in Anuradhapura earlier had revealed that rubber cultivation could be carried out in Mihintale and Galenbindunuwewa. Accordingly, a 150-acre rubber cultivation is to be launched in the Mihintale area with Government help. more..

Five UNP MPs threaten to sit as independent group

Sep 9 (Island) A group of five UNP Parliamentarians has decided to work as an independent group in Parliament if the party is not reorganized according to the proposals they have submitted to the leadership, UNP sources said yesterday (8). The five UNP members demanded for party reforms and a change of policy at a recent working committee meeting of the UNP saying that the party had no future if it continued with its present policies. more..

Over 50,000 female sex workers pose big threat

Sep 9 (Island) The presence of about 50,000 female sex workers in the country has immensely contributed to the increased prevalence of venereal diseases such as gonorrhia and syphilis and it is generally feared that this situation could aggravate HIV AIDS which is comparatively very low in Sri Lanka when compared to other South Asian countries, the Health Ministry said. more..

Introduce election laws to ensure free and fair polls: PAFFREL

Sep 9 (DM) The People’s Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) slammed the political parties yesterday for what he cited ‘their reluctance and lethargy’ in introducing election law reforms to ensure free and fair elections. The local election monitoring watch is also planning to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the other political party leaders in a month’s time to request them to activate the independent elections commission immediately. more..

Tamil language training for police service

Sep 9 (DM) In a bid to implement the State Language Policy, the State Language Commission is to commence Tamil language training programmes for police service in the coming weeks. The State Language Commission yesterday announced that in a bid to create awareness on implanting the State Language Policy, the training programmes will be held targeting selected government official attached to the police service. more..

Sri Lanka to build premium tourism zone; offers 14 islands

Sep 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to offer a new tourism zone for development in Kalpitiya in the country's north western coast, which has 14 islands in which to build eco-friendly resorts, officials said. The Kalpitiya Integrated Tourism Development Project (KITRP), and nearby islets in the Puttalam area will be built as a premium destination, Sri Lanka's tourist promotion office said. "We will promote Kalpitiya as a destination," more..

Sri Lanka has digital president: ITU chief

Sep 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka has a 'digital president' who is strongly backing the spread of information communications technology (ICT) in the country, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) chief Toure Hamadoun said. "A sound regulatory environment is key for market growth," Hamadoun told an Asia Pacific GSM Association meeting in Colombo. "For that you will need a strong backing from the leaders and the President. And I know for sure you have here a digital president." more..

Basil as Kotte seat organizer

Sep 9 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint his brother and National list MP Basil Rajapaksa as SLFP organizer for the Kotte electorate, a senior official of the SLFP headquarters said. The official said that though MP Rajapaksa was to contest the next general election from the East, the President wanted him to take up the organizer role in Colombo which is lacking in a SLFP leadership. more..