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Jaffna and the Northern Muslims

My vision for Our country

Apr 2 (GV) We have been conditioned by war for three decades, to accept violence as a means of resolving conflict. As heinous as the events that took place in July 1983 are, they do reflect at some level, that our society then was not ready to accept the deaths of 13 of “our own”. Thirty years on, we have been conditioned by a daily death toll, to accept even hundreds if not thousands of lives as a fair price to pay for the mere hope of a superficial peace. more..

Call for Sri Lanka Fonterra inquiry

Apr 2 (NZPA) A political party in Sri Lanka's ruling coalition wants an investigation into claims Fonterra and other imported milkpowders have been adulterated with non-dairy fats. "We need a select committee to examine these allegations and submit a report to Parliament," NFF president Wimal Weerawansa told the Daily Mirror newspaper. Fonterra Brands Lanka and Nestle Lanka last month filed four defamation cases and won an interim order more..

Sri Lanka: Human rights under Attack

Apr 2 (MW) As Sri Lanka’s long-drawn civil war is drawing to a close, human rights abuses by both the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE are reaching unprecedented proportions. In a telling commentary on the status of Sri Lanka’s human rights situation, the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions in December 2007 downgraded the accreditation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Sri Lanka after more..

Parliamentary Select Committee to probe pro–LTTE journalists

Apr 2 (AT) The Government has appointed a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the writings and the contributions of pro–LTTE Sri Lankan journalists who have been contributing articles to foreign Non Governmental Organisations which is detrimental to the interests of Sri Lanka. The Government is in receipt of the names of the Sri Lankan journalists who have contributed these articles and the findings will be made in a fortnight, he said. more..

CIMA vice president at CIMA Sri Lanka convocation

Apr 2 (AT) Associates, Fellows, Passed Finalists, Prize Winners – all received their certificates and gold medals at the biannual Convocation of the CIMA Sri Lanka Division, held at the BMICH, with George Glass, CIMA’s Global Vice President as the Chief Guest. There were 147 newly elected Associate and Fellow Members, 176 Passed Finalists and 13 Sri Lankan Prize Winners, including a Sri Lankan world prize winner at the November 2008 examination more..

The needs of the hour

Apr 2 (GV) Groundviews has raised a critical issue: “what is the most important issue facing the peoples of Sri Lanka in a ‘post-LTTE’ context and how can the State address it?” – an issue that I have, in a spirit of unwarranted optimism, converted from RED to BLUE. It may be possible to quarrel with Ahilan’s phrase, “Post-LTTE context.” The LTTE in the diaspora will still remain a player. more..

Long Divisions Multiplied

Hillary Clinton on her Telephone call to Mahinda Rajapakse

Apr 2 (TC) US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton , has written to US Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy about efforts undertaken by the US in helping resolve the humanitarian crisis prevailing in Sri Lanka and evolving a political settlement that would include all minority communities of Sri Lanka. Ms. Gilroy was a member of the US Congress group that wrote to the secretary of state earlier on the Sri Lankan situation. more..

Sri Lanka brain drain still key corporate concern

Apr 2 (LBO) The migration of skilled professionals remains a major concern for Sri Lanka's corporate sector, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said. Hasitha Wickremasinghe, an economist for the ADB in Sri Lanka, said a recent survey of the corporate sector by the bank had revealed brain drain was continuing unabated. The problem was identified by the bank as one of the key development challenges faced by the island. more..

'LTTE using suicide bombs to prevent civilians from leaving'

Apr 2 (TOI) With its back firmly to the wall, the LTTE is using suicide bombings to prevent entrapped Tamil civilians from leaving the areas still under the control of the Tigers, Sri Lankan high commissioner to India C R Jayasinghe said on Wednesday. Speaking to TOI, he said that the LTTE through such activities was stonewalling all attempts in the island nation to cull out a political solution, the space for which has been created by the military action. more..

The two sides of the story: Sri Lankan Genocide

Apr 2 (KARE) A rally to raise awareness about reported genocide in Sri Lanka was momentarily interrupted when supporters of the Sri Lankan government shared their side of the story. "They always show up;" Tamil supporter Ruban Ambrose said. "The Sri Lankan government is trying to suppress us." Ambrose was one of the 200 supporters who spent six hours peacefully protesting at the Capitol Wednesday about conditions in Sri Lanka, more..

Salu Sala employees will be resolved soon

Apr 2 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday directed relevant officials to take immediate measures to effect the payment of all arrears of salaries to the Salu Sala staff before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The President issued this directive at a meeting held at Temple Trees to resolve problems confronting the Salu Sala. The Salu Sala has encountered serious problems regarding its future existence owing to the wrong management decisions taken by more..

New Garment Factory open today in Sigiriya

Apr 2 (GDI) A new garment factory established by Air Force (Seva Wanitha Unit) is opened today by the President’s Secretary Lalith Weerathunge at the air force camp at Sigiriya. The idea of Chairperson Seva Wanitha Unit Nelum Goonathilake, this project is opened for families of disabled solders and who died in action. 20 members has been recruited for this garment factory from the families of security forces. more..

Postal votes of WPC will take place today and tomorrow

Apr 2 (GDI) Marking of postal votes of the western provincial council polls will take place today and tomorrow, the election secretariat said. 35 thousand 425 postal voters are eligible for voting at the polls in this year and all arrangements in this connection have already been concluded, sources said. It is compulsory for voters to furnish their national identity card or more..

UN envoy on invitation to Sri Lanka

Apr 2 (GDI) Walter Kaelin, UN Representative of the Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, has been invited by SL government for a brief visit. During his stay, UN Representative Kaelin will discuss future plans on IDPs with a top government delegation. The UN envoy is expected arrive in Sri Lanka on today(02), the UN Human Rights Council announced. more..

Higher Education Institute at Malabe

Apr 2 (GDI) South Asian Institute of Technology and Management has invested US$ 5 million for a Higher Education Institute in Sri Lanka. The institute facilities 1200 students will be established at the IT Park in Malabe. According to the agreement the institute will provide training in collaboration with the University of Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy in Russia. 5% of the scholarships will be also allocated for the students who more..

Applications called for degree in social work

Apr 2 (GDI) The application has called up for 2009 degree program in social work from suitably qualified students at the G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination held in 2008, media secretary to the Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare N. Edirisinghe told today (02). He pointed out that the National Institute of Social Development (NISD) is the only higher education institution awarding degrees and diplomas in professional social work. more..

South Asian regional meeting for environmental prosecutors

Apr 2 (GDI) Under the sponsorship of the United Nations Environmental Programme(UNEP),the Legal Unit of the Central Environmental Authority is organizing a South Asian Regional Meeting for Environmental Prosecutors on 4th ,5th and 6th May. To exchange views and experiences in successfully prosecuting those who violate environmental laws and to evaluate criminal environmental enforcement in the South Asian Region are primary objective of the meeting. more..

Summary of the cabinet decisions

Apr 2 (GDI) Cabinet approved a Memorandum submitted by the Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Janaka Bandara Tennakoon to assign the construction of internal access roads and drainage system to the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation & Development Corporation under the Hakmana Accelerated Development Project in accordance with the estimation of Rs.26,893,291.50 (without VAT) aubnittred by Sri Lanka Land Reclamation & development Corporation. more..

Govt. withdraws EB gazette – A ploy to plunder postal votes?

Apr 2 (LT) The cabinet last night decided not to implement conditions laid down in the special gazette that would terminate services of government employees who fail to get through the efficiency bar examination thrice. The President has told the ministers that he would not allow any condition that would curtail rights and privileges of government employees. more..

Conspiracy successful – TMVP involvement in Warsha’s murder erased

Apr 2 (LT) We pointed out that there were misgivings regarding the deaths of the two members of TMVP who were suspects of the murder of little Warsha’ who was killed after a ransom of Rs.3 million was demanded to start a radio channel for TMVP. They died while they were under police custody. We also raised suspicion that those deaths could be a part of a conspiracy to erase all suspicions that TMVP was involved in the abduction and killing of Warsha. more..

'Honour of military victories belong to heroic soldiers; not to UPFA that uses them to grab votes'

Apr 2 (LT) The military victories are achieved by heroic personnel of the Security Forces by sacrificing everything that could be sacrificed and as such the honour of such glorious achievements should go to personnel of the Security Forces but not to the government says Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. more..

Salu Sala employees to be sent on compulsory leave with full pay

Apr 2 (LT) 298 employees of ‘Salu Sala’ will be sent on compulsory leave with full pay for six months from next month says Minister of Textile Development Mahinda Rathnathileke. The minister said a programme for the employees to retire from service with compensation would be implemented during the next six months. The minister says 99% of the employees have expressed their desire to retire with compensation and more..

Talk about cancellation of PB gazette is a whopper

Apr 2 (LT) An announcement stated the cabinet that met yesterday decided to suspend the gazette notification of the Public Service Commission regarding Efficiency bar of state employees that was opposed by many trade unions and state employees. The headlines of all print and electronic media today are the news regarding the suspension of the conditions of this gazette notification by the cabinet. more..

Continue the bus service says Transport Commission

Apr 2 (LP) The National Transport Commission has made a request from all private bus owners to continue their service and to make complaints about organizations disturbing the process. Several private bus owners were on a protest campaign last 30th urging the National Transport Commission to withhold the measures introduced by the Commission in order to provide security and convenience for the passengers. more..

Japan awards scholarships to 13 Sri Lankan students

Apr 2 (LP) The Government of Japan has awarded higher education scholarships to thirteen Sri Lankan students under its Monbukagakusho Scholarship Scheme 2009. These scholarships were awarded under the categories of post graduate, undergraduate and college of technology. Selection of candidates was done through an examination and interview conducted jointly by the Japanese Embassy and the Ministry of Higher Education. more..

Navy rescues 149 civilians fleeing from LTTE Cluthces

Apr 2 (MoD) Sri Lanka Navy rescued 149 Tamil civilians who had been fleeing from the LTTE clutches in Mulaithivu on five occasions. The first group of 30 civilians was rescued on the 26th of March 2009 while the second group consisting of 55 civilians was rescued on the 29th March. The 3rd, 4th and 5th groups consisting of 10, 38 and 16 civilians respectively were rescued on the days of 30th and 31st of March and 1st of April. more..

Navy assists in the transportation of essential food and medicine to Mullaithivu

Apr 2 (MoD) Sri Lanka Navy assisted in the transportation of the essential food and medicine to Mullaithivu on board "MV City of Dublin" on the 01st of April 2009. MV City of Dublin carried a composition of mixed food commodities weighing well over 1029 metric tons in addition to urgently required medical items, emergency health kits and shelter kits. The essential cargo is to be handed over to the Government Agent in Mullaithive for more..

BoI chief dispells private medical college bogey

Apr 2 (AD) Though the ‘Mahinda Chintanaya’ does not encourage the establishment of private universities, the recently proposed private medical college is only a branch of a foreign private university, said Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BoI) chairman Dhammika Perera who was present at the Cabinet news briefing this morning. Explaining further, he said while Sri Lanka needed more doctors, more..

'No cuts in social welfare from IMF package'

Apr 2 (AT) There will not be any cuts in social welfare from the US $ 1.9 billion International Monetary Fund package, Deputy Finance Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama assured yesterday. He was addressing the post Cabinet press conference. He also said that the IMF Managing Director Dominic Strauss himself was a former Minister of Social Welfare in France and had assured that there will not be any cuts on the social welfare net. more..

Editor attacked with swards and knifes

Apr 2 (LeN) Editor of weekend news paper Vaara Ureikal, Mr. M.I. Rahmahetulla was attacked by gang armed with guns, long knifes and swards seriously injuring him around 10.45 pm today (1st April 2009). Mr. Rahmahetulla was working on the tomorrow's newspaper at his news paper office when the attack took place. The office is situated at ALS road, New Katthankudi in Batticloa district. 5 armed men came in a van and left in the same vehicle after the attack. more..

Police to remove unauthorized posters, billboards

Apr 2 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on the Central Environment Authority returnable on May 07, in respect of a writ application filed against erection of illegal banners, hoardings and posters. The Bench comprised Court of Appeal Justice Sathya Hettige (President) and Court of Appeal Justice Anil Gunaratne. The Centre for Environmental Justice (Guarantee) Limited filing the writ application cited more..

School attendance compulsory age 5-14

Apr 2 (DN) All children of Sri Lanka who are at the age group between 5-14 years should compulsorily attend schools for formal or non-formal education under the existing regulations of the Government. Consequently, all school principals have been instructed by the Education Ministry to look out for children who are at school going age who don't attend schools. With the help of Grama Niladharies, Divisional Secretaries and other responsible officers in the area, more..

Troops encircle over 200 Tigers

Apr 2 (DN) The entire Puthukudiyiruppu township and Iranapalai area came under Security Forces control last evening with 58 Division troops and 53 Division troops surrounding the last terrain controlled by the LTTE in the North East of Puthukudiyiruppu after capturing Pachchapulmudai junction the last supply route connected to the No Fire Zone from the mainland under 58 Division troops control. more..

Police hunt for naughty colleagues

Apr 2 (Island) Police are searching for an Inspector of Police, a Sub Inspector and a Constable attached to the Mirihana Police, following a complaint by a man that his sister had been sexually abused by the policemen. The woman has been subjected to a medical examination while the three policemen had still not reported to their station, Police said. The woman concerned, along with her elder sister had gone to the Mirihana Police Station on Monday and more..

PANOS disputes our report on PSC proceedings

Apr 2 (Island) Apropos our front-page news item titled "PANOS Chief fixes Lasantha posthumously" published on March 23, 2009, A. S. Panneerselvan, Executive Director, Panos South Asia issued the following statement: We bring to your notice that the report carries factual inaccuracies and therefore detrimental to the reputation of Panos and its country Representative Ms. Suvendrini Kakuchi. more..

President orders ‘budded’ vehicles be given to forces, police

Apr 2 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed the Customs to release all confiscated‘Budded’ Vehicles to the Armed Forces and the Police and to clean up the Port by expeditiously disposing through auctions billions of rupees if not millions in abandoned cargo lying in the port. The Presidential directive was to release to the Armed forces and the Police 40 to 50 ‘Budded’ vehicles confiscated in attempts to smuggle them in, in broken form. more..

Welcome to Colombo hold your nose!

Apr 2 (LNP) Mahatma Gandhi once said the best way to judge a nation was how its animals were treated. One may argue that a nation could also be judged by the way it handles its garbage. If that yardstick were to be adopted by any chance, where would Sri Lanka rank as a nation? The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind sweeping the streets of Colombo. Colombo has earned notoriety for its noisome stench. Garbage has a ubiquitous spread adding to its squalor. more..

Susanthika recieves her best Medal

Apr 2 (LNP) The motherhood is the most treasured moment for any woman, no matter what she had achieved in life before. One could go places and become a celebrity but the most cherished in a woman s life is becoming a mother. This is exactly what our sprint queen Susanthika Jayasinghe experienced on Tuesday when she gave birth to a baby boy, her ultimate goal after hanging her spikes last year after a distinguished international career since 1993. more..

Tiger technical chief killed, Prabha's son injured

Apr 2 (LNP) The LTTE`s technical wing chief S. Kirupakaran alias Madivalahan was confirmed killed following a confrontation with Sri Lankan security forces on the Mullaitivu battlefront recently, the Defence Ministry reported yesterday citing intercepted LTTE communications. According to available information, the LTTE has offered the self-styled 'Lt.Colonel' status to the slain terrorist on Tuesday (March 31). more..

Elections in Sri Lanka

LTTE won't release civilians to govt. areas

Apr 2 (DM) The LTTE's international leader Kumar Pathmanathan (alias KP) has reportedly told Sir John Holmes, the UN Undersecretary for Humanitarians Affairs, that the LTTE was not willing to release civilians into government held areas. KP had met Sir John recently, with Norway's facilitation, and discussed the issue. The UN humanitarian chief had requested the LTTE to release the civilians now trapped in a sliver of land between the sea and the lagoon in Mullaitivu. more..

Lands given to plantation companies 'go missing'

Apr 2 (DM) An extent of 21,006 hectares with an minimum estimated value of Rs. 710 billion vested with 23 regional plantation companies by the Land Reforms Commission are unaccounted for and untraceable, Minister DEW Gunasekara said. Minister Gunasekara, the Chairman of the Cabinet Sub-Committee inquired into the position of lands relating to the Land Reforms Commission (LRC) told the media yesterday that more..

E-Village concept brings good results

Apr 2 (DM) The E-Village programme, which was expanded in 2004 to cover remote areas in the Hambantota district, has been a great success. The programme initiated by the Ministry of Education with 13 computers at Nihiluwa Maha Vidyalaya expanded to several other schools in the district. In 2007, internet facilities were provided to Nihiluwa Maha Vidyalaya and by 2008 it was adjudged to have the best information technology unit more..

Sri Lanka credit card use, private credit down

Apr 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's private sector credit is shrinking with credit card users also falling for two straight months as an economic slowdown begins to bite, the latest official data show. Sri Lanka's private sector credit which peaked at 1,278 billion rupees in December 2008 fell to 1,264 billion rupees in January 2009. Credit card holders in the island had fallen for two straight months. more..

Navy check on sea cargo irks Customs

Apr 2 (ANN) The Sri Lanka Customs is unhappy with a presidential directive that for security purposes the Navy too would examine all sea cargo entering the country. The presidential directive was issued solely for security purposes, Director General of Customs (DCG) Sarath Jayatillkeke said yesterday. Customs sources are questioning whether this was a move to duplicate their duties or was solely for security reasons. more..

Eyewitness account from Sri Lanka

Apr 2 (AN) A partner NGO supported by Christian Aid UK-Ireland has gathered stories from people living in the "welfare centres" in northern Sri Lanka. Here are their accounts: "My husband was pushing me on a bicycle, searching for safe areas", says a disabled mother, paralysed from the waist down. "In the worst of the fighting we lost the bicycle - I was in a bad situation. Ultimately we all had to scatter and the family was separated. more..

Erik Solheim discusses Vanni civilians plight with LTTE

Apr 2 (TN) Erik Solheim, the Norwegian minister for international development and the topmost representative of the Norwegian facilitator discussed Wednesday evenng the plight of the civilians in Vanni with B. Nadesan, the head of the political wing of the LTTE. Revealing the details of the phone conversation that lasted for 30 minutes, S. Puleedevan, the director of LTTE's Peace Secretariat told more..

'LTTE can be 'finished' in 30 minutes'

Apr 2 (PTI) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake has said his forces can "finish" the LTTE in "half-an-hour", but was concerned the for the safety of the innocent civilians trapped in the last rebel-held area. "The Government can finish off terrorism completely within half an hour if it acted in an inhuman manner. Driving out terrorists (LTTE) from a very small bastion in the north has been time consuming because the Government is acting most humanely considering the safety of civilians held by LTTE as a human shield," more..