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'Sri Lanka-UN Good Cooperation'

Apr 3 (AT) Speaking to reporters at the United Nations after the inaugural meeting of the UN Security Council under the Mexican Presidency, the Permanent Representative of Mexico Ambassador Claude Heller told reporters that Sri Lanka is not on the Security Council agenda and that Council members have nevertheless received good cooperation from the Government of Sri Lanka to share information about the humanitarian situation resulting from the LTTE’s holding Tamil civilians trapped in the safe zone. more..

Absolute support for Govt’s efforts to eradicate the scourge of terrorism from the soil of Sri Lanka - Canadian Tamils

Apr 3 (AT) The Executive board members of Canadian Tamils for Peace and Democracy today voted unanimously in favour of an emergency resolution put forward declaring absolute support to the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa to eradicate Terrorism in Srilanka. The resolution, requests the President to undertake "whatever actions deemed necessary" to crush Terrorism and putforth a reasonable political solution to Tamils. more..

Striking busmen back on the roads

Apr 3 (LG) The striking private bus operators will be back at work today. According to the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Federation, the strikers will abandon the strike action carried out over the past few days and return to work bringing the road transport services back to normal. “This decision was arrived at following a meeting held with Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Minister of Road Passenger Transport,” more..

'Only 18,000 out of 180,000 A/L passed select to universities'

Apr 3 (LeN) "While media says that 300,000 have lost jobs, 8000 jobs were created in the Board of Investment sector alone within the past three months. While 15 factories were closed since May 2008 to January 2009, 93 factories were opened," said Board of Investment Chairman Dhammika Perera addressing a news conference held in the auditorium of the Ministry of Media yesterday (02). more..

US envoy to SL likely to succeed Boucher

Apr 3 (Rediff) Foreign Service Officer Robert Orris Blake, Jr, who is currently the United States' Ambassador to Sri Lanka, before which he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in New Delhi from 2003 to 2006, is the top contender for the post of the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, currently held by diplomat Richard Boucher. more..

Hundreds smuggled to Iraq

Apr 3 (DN) A large number of people had been trafficked mainly to Iraq via middle east destinations, on the promise of lucrative job opportunities in US military camps, the Daily News reliably learns according to ongoing investigations. According to authorities, considering the details unearthed by sleuths, the case is emerging as the biggest of it’s kind in recent times. According to sources one agent had charged at least Rs. 250,000 each from more..

Telecom facilities for Vavuniya welfare camps, villages

Apr 3 (DN) The Government yesterday decided to provide telecommunication facilities to welfare camps and villages in Vavuniya within 48 hours. Addressing the media at the Presidential Secretariat, Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said these civilians would soon be able to be in touch with their relatives in Sri Lanka and abroad. more..

Infant's death: 12 year old in custody

Apr 3 (DN) The Police on Wednesday found a body of an infant suspected to have been put into a well by a 12 year old housemaid in Pankolagolla in the Galewela Police division. According to Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekera, the body of two month old Gayama Dilhani was seen floating in a well by residents. The infant's body was taken out by the police in the presence of Galewela Magistrate R. Ranaweera. more..

Garbage problem will be solved – CMC

Apr 3 (Island) Colombo Municipal Council Special Commissioner Hewaheta Sumanapala yesterday assured city residents that he would take prompt action to ensure that garbage lying on the streets of Colombo would be removed to a 15-acre land belonging to the Urban Development Authority in Peliyagoda Sumanapala who is also the Local Government Commissioner for the Western Province was appointed on a Presidential directive following an Interim report by more..

Asylum seekers stranded while Customs dithered

Apr 3 (TW) A boatload of suspected asylum seekers was left stranded on a reef for almost five days while Australian authorities dithered over how to deal with them. Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus confirmed yesterday that a Customs vessel was sent to assist a boat carrying almost 50 people that had run aground on a reef in the Torres Strait. It is understood the boat ran aground on Saturday, yet those on board were transferred to Customs vessel Roebuck Bay on Wednesday. more..

'Sri Lanka's '09 growth to hit 7-yr low'

Apr 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's lowered its 2009 economic growth forecast to a seven-year low of less than 5 percent, due to global recession and the lingering impact of tight monetary policy, a central bank official said on Friday. Nandalal Weerasinghe, the central bank's chief economist, said both factors had persuaded the central bank to trim its earlier forecast of 5.0-5.5 percent. "Our guess is it will be less than 5 percent," Weerasinghe told Reuters. more..

Thirteenth Amendment

Silver trays go missing from Parliament

Apr 3 (Island) Parliament administration has commenced an investigation into the six missing silver trays brought for religious rituals to be performed at the new sacred Bo sapling brought from the Anuradhapura Sri Maha Bodhi and planted in the Parliament premises. These trays were presented by former Deputy Speaker Geethanjana Gunawardena who is also a Minister in the present Government. more..

'Do not stop immunising your children'

Apr 3 (Island) The Government Medical Officers’ Association urged parents to continue immunising their children against German measles and other diseases which could affect the child’s life. Spokesman for the Government Medical Officers’ Association, Dr. Upul Gunasekara said they advocate the programme as doctors as it was the only way to prevent tetanus, rubella, polio and other diseases which has an impact on a child’s entire life. more..

Two Indian pharma cos sued for 'inferior supply of medicines'

Apr 3 (PB) The Court of Appeal in Sri Lanka has issued notices to two Chennai-based pharmaceutical manufacturers and their local agent in Sri Lanka on a writ petition seeking suspension of their registration to supply drugs to the Sri Lankan Health Department. The petitioner Arushan Raninkumar, a businessman, complained that the Director General of Health Services, had failed to take action to more..

Struggling to cope with terrorism’s heartless tragedy

Apr 3 (DM) Dusk had slowly crept over the rural township of Padaviya and the residents had got back to their homes. The hospital which is located at the northern tip of the Anuradhapura district is buzzing with activity these days. The doctors are seen rushing through the wards checking up on the patients checking their bed tickets, prescribing medication for some while some others are moved to other wards depending on their particular needs. more..

World body assessing heritage sites

Apr 3 (DM) The Vice President of the Organisation of World Heritage sites Harry Brinkman who is in Kandy has said that the historic city can get all the support it requires from the world organization to maintain the heritage cites in the area. Mr. Brinkman said that he would be in Kandy for a couple of days and look into the sites in city to get an overall view of the heritage sites in the area. more..

Sri Lanka relaxes export support criteria

apr 3 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government is ready to be flexible on export earnings criteria in a support package for exporters to help them weather the economic recession, a senior finance ministry official said. S R Attygalle, director-general of fiscal policy of the finance ministry, said the government is ready to be flexible on the export earnings criteria in a recently announced stimulus package. more..

Britain probes ‘aid ship’ heading for Wanni

Apr 3 (DM) The Sri Lanka High Commission in London has raised serious concerns with the British authorities over a humanitarian aid ship scheduled to set sail from Britain next week, to deliver aid to the thousands of civilians trapped in the No Fire Zone in the Wanni. The ship will carry over 2000 metric tonnes of food and medical aid for the civilians, collected by British politicians and celebrities, various British Tamil charities and UK based organization ‘Act Now.’ more..

Two top LTTE leaders among 47 killed

Apr 3 (PTI) Intensifying their offensive to push the Tamil Tigers out of their last stretch of land, the Sri Lankan troops on Friday killed at least 47 rebels, including two top commanders and captured a strategic area in Pudukudiyirippu, officials said on Friday. Two top LTTE commanders, Gobith and Amuthab, who headed a special unit named after Prabhakaran's son "Charles Antony," were killed in fierce fighting in which troops wrested the village of Anandapuram, more..

Time ticking down for rebel leader

Apr 3 (AP) He has been the No. 1 target of Sri Lanka's military for 25 years. Now, Velupillai Prabhakaran's fate _ capture, death, flight _ is key to how the endgame in the island's civil war unfolds. The ruthless leader of the Tamil Tiger separatists and his remaining fighters are widely believed to be trapped in a dwindling patch of jungle and beach as government forces close in to end the conflict that has killed 70,000. more..

Lanka – Qatar Investment Protection Agreement to be signed soon

Apr 4 (AT) Sri Lanka and Qatar today discussed a series of far reaching bilateral issues with the prospect of Investment Protection Agreement and a Defence Cooperation Agreement to be signed between the two countries shortly. The Agreements will be signed shortly by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Emir of Qatar His Royal Highness Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani during the latter’s state visit to Sri Lanka in the offing. more..

Civilian "Human Shields" only weapon left for LTTE

Apr 4 (TC) The haunted eyes of the grandfather who had just escaped from the Tamil Tigers at their most furious betrayed the horror he had left behind him. "I want to live, not die, and that's why I have come here with my family," he said. The exhausted businessman was safe in a Sri Lankan army base after weeks trapped with 150,000 other civilians in a seven-square-mile strip of land on Sri Lanka 's northeast coast, short of food and fresh water and incessantly pounded by shells. more..

Sri Lanka state textile firm to be revived

Apr 4 (LBO) Lanka Salusala, a partly operational Sri Lankan state textile firm which is overstaffed and debt ridden, is to be closed down and re-started as a new business entity. Textile development minister Mahinda Rathnathilaka said the firm will be revived as there are many legal issues relating to its liquidation. "We are looking to register it soon as a fully state-owned textile company," he said. Salusala has 298 workers and they have not been paid for the last three months. more..

National flags and the symbolism of accomodating minorities

Apr 4 (GV) This is a reaction to Saman’s comment on the article The Needs of the Hour by Professor Michael Roberts. Saman says that Sri Lanka flag has accommodated minorities, and asks: “looking at other world flags, interesting to see how many countries have been so inclusive… (oh yes.. british, india, malaysia…???)” I will briefly explain about the British, Indian, and Malaysian flag issue he has raised to show that more..

Where we are and where to?

Apr 4 (GV) “War is the highest form of struggle for resolving contradictions, when they have developed to a certain stage, between classes, nations, states, or political groups, and it has existed ever since the emergence of private property and of classes” said Mao. Thus, a civil war in Sri Lanka which is a capitalist economy with its strong feudal remnants is to preserve the class interests, privileges and benefits of the ruling elite. more..

Clock ticking for trapped civilians - UK

Apr 4 (Reuters) Civilians trapped in the rapidly shrinking war zone in northeastern Sri Lanka face a humanitarian crisis unless combatants agree to an immediate pause in fighting to let them escape, Britain's aid ministry said on Friday. With Sri Lankan troops battling Tamil Tiger rebels and trying to bring a decisive end to Asia's longest-running civil war, the DFID said time was running out for up to 150,000 civilians cornered in a coastal strip the government has designated a no-fire zone. more..

'LTTE infiltrators' killed in Ampara

Apr 4 (BBC) At least eleven Tamil Tiger rebels were killed by the police Special Task Force (STF) in Lahugala, Ampara district, police said. Journalist Wasantha Chandrapala reporting for BBC Sandeshaya says that three women are among those killed by the STF. Hundreds of people were gathered in front of the Kotiyagala police post as the bodies were brought, he said. The Defence Ministry website said that 13 bodies were found after a battle with a group of LTTE members infiltrated Panama area. more..

Sri Lanka athletes sentenced

Apr 4 (BBC) Three national athletes were sentenced for their involvement in human smuggling. Prasanna Sampath Amarasekara, Lalani Shanthi and Geetha Nandani were given ten-year suspended sentences by the Colombo Fort magistrate. The athletes, who pleaded guilty for the charge of running a human trafficking racket, were also ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 100,000 each. Bandara Ekanayake, the counsel for the accused, said that his clients did not wish to prolong the hearing by entering a not guilty plea. more..

CaFFE confirms ‘Lankatruth’ report on ‘virtuous’ campaign of Gamanpila

Apr 4 (LT) Lankatruth’ reported on the 1st that UPFA candidate for the Western PC election Udaya Gammanpila was making use of the properties of Central Environmental Authority for his election campaign with the support of a director of the authority who is a close relative of Mr. Gammanpila. Confirming our report CaFFE, which is involved in monitoring election violations, has accused Mr. Gammanpila of using state property in his election campaign. more..

Supreme Court decides to examine graduates’ fundamental rights case

Apr 4 (LT) The fundamental rights petition filed regarding violation of vocational rights of more than 50000 graduates recruited to state service in 1999 and 2005 was filed in Supreme Court on the 2nd April (yesterday) and would be inquired before a tribunal consisting of Supreme Court Judges J.A.N. de Silva, K. Sri Pawan and S.I. Iman states General Secretary of the union Chandana Sooriyarachchi. more..

'We'll develop our area with the aid of our Diaspora siblings'

Apr 4 (LG) Amidst a huge financial deficit the development works in the Northern Province are being taken forward as a result of our striving and untiring efforts, said Social Services and Social Welfare Minister, Douglas Devananda. The Minister stated this responding to the requests put forwarded to him by the representatives of the public organizations who had a meeting with the Minister in his Vavuniya Office today. more..

Ceasefire before political engagement

Tamil national struggle in Sri Lanka - Where did it go wrong? Part III

Apr 4 (LG) The political devastation caused to this country by Black July of 1983 is much worse than the destruction caused by the Tsunami. It was a gruesome and an unfortunate event which provided a reasonable guise to the violent Eelam struggle. Black July was the reason for sympathy at an international level for the Ealam struggle despite its violent and utopian nature. It is this incident which spurred neighbouring India to interfere in the problem. more..

Buddhist sensitivities: Will UNP ever learn?

Apr 4 (AT) They say those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to relive it. It appears that the UNP under Ranil Wickremesinghe virtually mirrors the UNP of 1955-56 on more than one issue concerning the Sinhala majority. When the Buddhist Commission Report of 1956 was republished in 2006, addressing those present at the re-launching ceremony at Ananda College Colombo, Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara said that the UNP should take a fresh look at this report. more..

Adyapana 2009 – 'Study today for a better tomorrow'

Apr 4 (AT) Sri Lanka’s most advanced and leading higher educational exhibition, “Adyapana” for the fourth consecutive year is scheduled to be held from 16 to 18th October 2009 at Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre and is organized by Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (Pvt) Ltd. It will be held under the theme "Study Today for a Better Tomorrow" and it will act as a guidance to the students and parents to select appropriate study and more..

Make NGO’s stay on track

Apr 4 (AT) As international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) continue to multiply in geometrical proportions, there is an increasing need to monitor their activities. At last count, there were over 48,000 international NGOs worldwide-- and growing. Unfortunately, most of them lack transparency and accountability. Sri Lanka has been a happy hunting ground for NGOs-- both during the tsunami and during the current war in the north. more..

Hilton gets deaf and blind children to paint Easter Eggs

Apr 4 (AT) Hilton Colombo could be classified as the foremost luxury hotel in the metropolitan Colombo and it is usual and customary to celebrate every festivity to keep its clientele entertained to the utmost, be it Sinhala and Hindu New Year, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc. Hilton also made it a custom to turn some of these festivities to have a flavour and part of their corporate social responsibility. more..

Ban ‘deeply distressed’ at plight of civilians in northern Sri Lanka

Apr 4 (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated the need to protect civilians trapped in the area of conflict between the Government and Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka, voicing concern at reports of heavy casualties, restrictions on movement and forced recruitment, especially of children. “The Secretary-General is deeply distressed by continuing reports from the Vanni region of Sri Lanka that civilians are at extreme risk, with heavy casualties, and more..

International Mine Action Day

Rupee looks for direction amid IMF talks

Apr 4 (LBO) The Sri Lanka rupee held steady against the US dollar in intra-day trading around 116.00 rupees Friday days after an International Monetary Fund mission wrapped up talks in Colombo, and a bailout expected within weeks. "An IMF mission is back to Washington and continues discussions with the authorities on the latest economic developments and the economic program to be supported by the IMF to improve the country's balance of payment conditions," more..

Prasanna Ranatunga does bull in china shop act at Kiribathgoda school

Apr 4 (LT) A list of 80 children consisting of those who had failed the entrance examination and who have not sent in their applications have been sent for admissions for the grade one classes at Viharamaha Devi College at Kiribathgoda by the Ministry of Education when already admissions had been completed. As the list has been sent on the mediation of Minister of Labour Mervin Silva the Principal of the school has been pressurized to admit the students. more..

On the spot report from LTTE controlled Territory in the Wanni

Apr 4 (TC) ICRC is evacuating wounded and sick to Trincomalee by ship. At the same time International Community in general and ICRC in particular should put pressure on Sri Lankan government to stop shelling civilian targets and killing and wounding hundreds of civilians daily and allow sufficient food, medicines and non food items to be brought from the South. A doctor in the Mathalan hospital told me that they had to do a cesarean operation on a wounded pregnant woman. more..

Sri Lanka on State Department's radar

Apr 4 (CPJ) The dire situation for journalists in Sri Lanka who have fallen out of favor with the government has not gone unnoticed at the U.S. State Department. On March 23, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a letter to Senator Robert Casey, who chaired the Senate Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Sri Lanka on February 24. Seven senators had written to her about their concerns in Sri Lanka after the meeting. more..

Tianjin to provide more economic and technical assistance to Sri Lanka

Apr 4 (LG) Fruitful discussions were held with the Mayor of Tianjin, Mr. Huang Xingguo when Ambassador Amunugama paid a courtesy call on the Mayor on 31st March 2009. During this meeting, Ambassador Amunugama highlighted the recent developments in strengthening cooperation with Tianjin and appreciated the support extended by the officers and institutions of Tianjin. more..

Priest accused of helping LTTE to recruit

Apr 4 (LG) A group of parents who came over to the military side late last month had complained that a priest in the ‘no fire zone’ in Mullaitivu, had helped the LTTE to forcibly recruit several hundred underage children. According to one mother, parents had sent some 600 children to a Catholic Church located in Walayarmadam, Priest accused of helping LTTE to recruit just south of Puthumatalan, to protect the children against recruitment by the LTTE. more..

Lester at Ninety: Changing the course of Sinhala cinema

Apr 4 (DM) Lester James Peries, Sri Lanka’s foremost film director turns ninety tomorrow. This writer being an avid fan of the maestro from his schooldays, pens this column, as homage to the nonagenarian. The man who changed the course of Sinhala cinema has in a remarkable career spanning six decades, become a national icon identified with the cinema sphere. more..

Rev. Jesse Jackson does a Desmond Tutu

Apr 4 (LG) Last year Rev Desmond Tutu pleaded for UN intervention in Sri Lanka for human rights violation and canvassing to oust Sri Lanka from UJ Human Rights Council. This was his plea “ Sir, We call upon the UK Government to press for an urgent Security Council resolution on the situation in northern Sri Lanka, with the view to dispatching a fact-finding mission there under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, more..

How to prevent a Tiger resurgence

Apr 4 (LG) With the conventional phase of the ongoing war fast winding down to a very satisfactory conclusion, the principal overriding national question to be answered will be : How did Sri Lanka come so near to being divided into two states at the hands of a ruthless terrorist outfit that secured physical control over more than 15,000 sq. km. of land, in a long-standing insurrection against a succession of democratically elected governments ? more..

Global warming and the Eelam struggle

Apr 4 (LG) While the political calamity in Sri Lanka has raged for the last thirty years, new calamities like the issues of global warming and the recent financial crisis have besieged the world. Since much of the national focus in Sri Lanka is on the internal war, and the search for a political solution intensifies, it is becoming more and more imperative that these new factors of wider concern such as global warming and the financial crisis are more..