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'I'll decide if I want to continue opening'

Aug 22 (CT) Tillakaratne Dilshan has said that he will review his experimental role as an opener and decide which batting position is better suited to him. Though he is accustomed to opening in the one-dayers, Sri Lanka had decided to promote him to the top of the order for the first time in the ongoing Galle Test, where he responded with typically aggressive knocks of 92 an unbeaten 123. more..

Vehicle of Prabhakaran's bodyguard found from TNA MP's official home

Aug 22 (CT) A van that had belonged to the personal bodyguard of Velupillai Prabhakaran has surfaced from TNA MP S. Jeyanandamurthi’s official home at parliamentarians’ residential complex in Madiwela, Kotte, ‘Divaina’ reports. The newspaper says that intelligence officials, aided by Mirihana Special Police Division, raided the house NO: C 16 on August 19 following a tip off. more..

Pope Benedict fulfills dream of armless young Sri Lankan

Aug 22 (CNA) Rajiv Janine is an 18 year-old Sri Lankan who was left without his arms after a train accident. On Wednesday he fulfilled his dream of meeting Pope Benedict XVI and receiving his blessing after yesterday’s general audience. Rajiv told the Holy Father his story and asked for a special blessing for his brother, who will soon be ordained to the priesthood, and for his sister who is a nun in the Philippines. more..

Vicar general refutes reports of Church division

Aug 22 (UCAN) An official of Mannar diocese in northern Sri Lanka has denied reports of division within the local Church after several priests stayed away from a major celebration at the country's premier Marian shrine. The priests were showing solidarity with Tamil civilians including priests and nuns confined in government camps, Father Anthony Victor Sosai explained to UCA News. more..

Truths and Myths of IMF Loan

Aug 22 (AT) Although it is a remarkable achievement that Sri Lanka’s government and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka have been enthusiastically able to pursue International Money Fund to obtain the approval of US $ 2.6 billion credit facilities for structural adjustments and to rescue the economy of Sri Lanka, it is observed that many misconceptions on this credit facility are spreading in the country despite the truth of it. more..

Tamil film industry blasts Lankan Minister

Aug 22 (AT) The Tamil Film Industry has blasted a Sri Lankan Minister over his charge that Rajnikanth’s movies were funded indirectly by the LTTE. The Minister had mentioned, in an interview to Asian Tribune, that the LTTE funded production of some Tamil films. “The money was not directly sent. Millions and millions of US dollars were given to a London based Sri Lankan Tamil. more..

Urban Development Minister on Tsunami resettlement

Aug 22 (GDI) Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told parliament today that all people, other than those in the northern and eastern provinces, affected by the tsunami, have been already resettled. Responding to a query raised by UNP member Ravi Karunanayake , the minister further said resettlement of tsunami victims in the eastern province has now commenced. The government has provided 64,814 houses for those hit by the natural disaster. more..

Sri Lanka to train Pakistani army

Aug 22 (BBC) Sri Lanka's army has said it will be happy to give training to members of the Pakistani military. It says Islamabad has requested the training because of the country's success in defeating the Tamil Tigers. In May, the government announced the end to a decades-long war with the rebel group. The army's new commander told the BBC that Pakistan had already asked if it could send its military cadets to train in counter-insurgency operations. more..

Man accused of molesting his 2 daughters

Aug 22 (CT) A man already in remand custody over the alleged molesting of his 18-year-old daughter has also been accused by his younger offspring of sexual abuse. The second daughter, aged 15 years, had complained to Wellawa police against her father, aged 40 years. The suspect was produced again before Kurunegala chief magistrate Ajith Wasantha Kumara and remanded further. more..

Modernization of milking industry

Aug 22 (GDI) A new computerized network with a data base of all the dairy cattle available in dairy farms owned by the National Livestock Development Board will be set up in an attempt to streamline the local diary industry, Chairman of the National Livestock Development Board, Dr. C. Pathiraja told Factors such as the age, history, sexuality, quality of the milk, number of milking from each cow will be included in the data base. more..

A New Battle for Ceylon

Aug 22 (Forbes) A group of 43 businessmen from Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital city, were shocked to see the devastation when they landed in Jaffna in early July. Returning after three decades, they remembered this palm-fringed peninsula surrounded by blue lagoons had once been a thriving hub for industry. As many as 750 small factories churned out everything from household articles to export items in the 1970s. Now, they were all gone. more..

Rudrakumaran’s role to promote LTTE contravenes US ‘Material Support’ laws

Aug 22 (AT) The New York immigration lawyer Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, a Sri Lanka born, United States citizen, for more than a decade has been propagating the agenda of LTTE a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the U.S. under several federal laws ratified by the Congress. Mr. Rudrakumaran, despite Tamil Tiger outfit being designated a FTO, strongly believes that it is a liberation movement to more..

Call to Sri Lanka to resolve the abduction of Selvarasa Pathmanathan

Aug 22 (LG) The United States Tamil Political Action Council vehemently condemns the illegal act of the Sri Lanka government and its military outfits for the abduction and deportation of Mr. Selvarasa Pathmanathan, the newly appointed Secretary General of the post-conflict LTTE. We join human rights activists all over the world who have voiced their protest at the high handed actions of the Sri Lanka government, more..

Methods of Marx, Kant and Buddha

Aug 22 (LG) I have been asked to compare and contrast the methods of understanding reality as given by these great thinkers. What do we mean by the methods of understanding reality? It could mean a technique or instrument that can be used to investigate and search. On the other hand it could mean an ability or a principle working within the human mind that enables us to understand reality. more..

English and IT in border villages

Mud-slinger virtuoso and NGO hack champion Pinto

Aug 22 (LG) Pinto is pathetic. She shrieks and preens as if the Queen is reacting to the realization that she too defecates in the morning, just like everybody else. I think it’s good for all and sundry’s general health, most of all hers, that her bloated balloon got pricked thus; with her head getting too large for her own good, one of these days she might have hurt herself. more..

HRW sees floods as manna from heaven

Aug 22 (LG) Rain is a blessing not only for the drought stricken farmers in several states of India. It is an even bigger blessing for Human Rights Watch (HRW). Last week we discussed how Amnesty International made its latest attack on Sri Lanka with a call to unlock the gates of the IDP relief villages in Vavuniya, to take the focus away from the arrest of KP, the most wanted figure in the LTTE after Prabhakaran. more..

Runaway Christian convert to stay in Florida for bow, judge rules

Aug 22 (FOX) A 17-year-old runaway who claims she fled her Muslim family's home in Ohio because she feared becoming the victim of an "honor killing" will stay in Florida — temporarily — a judge ruled Friday. Rifqa Bary, a Christian convert whose parents are Muslim immigrants from Sri Lanka, will remain in foster care in Florida until another hearing is held Sept. 3. more..

Detention of Tamil civilians to continue indefinitely

Aug 22 (wsws) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse reiterated on Monday that up to 300,000 Tamil civilians who fled the fighting in the final days of the country’s protracted civil war will remain incarcerated indefinitely. Their detention in squalid camps near Vavuniya and Jaffna as de facto prisoners of war is a flagrant abuse of democratic rights. It is now three months since army overran the last stronghold of the separatist LTTE more..

Public, private sponsors for Northern rail development

Aug 22 (GDI) Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma announced in parliament that the Government has found public and private sector sponsors to construct 29 railway stations at a cost of Rs. 420 million on the Northern Railway line. The work on the Omanthai railway station has already commenced and the railway track is now being restored, he said. more..

Adequate health facilities to IDPs

Aug 22 (GDI) The Health Ministry has provided adequate health facilities to all Internally Displaced Persons in welfare camps, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva claimed. All children have been vaccinated with necessary vaccinations early this month as special medical teams dispatched from Colombo successfully completed that mission. The IDPs, the minister said were provided with fresh drinking water with medical attention round the clock. more..

Jaffna schools to be developed

Aug 22 (GDI) The government has given priority to develop all schools in the Jaffna peninsula at a cost of Rs.1035 million. Education Minister, Susil Premjayanth told Parliament that thirty one schools in the peninsula would be developed under the 'Isuru School' programme. Of the total funds, Rs.32.5 million each for twenty one selected schools as they need more funds for reconstruction and development work. more..

Power generation plan before 2018

Aug 22 (GDI) The government has designed an effective power generation plan for the country to be achieved before 2018. The target is to achieve 5,400 mega watt by 2018 to ensure power generation and distribution stability to satisfy consumers at reasonable rates. The Norochcholai power plant phase one is due to add 300MW to the national grid to meet the increasing demand. more..

Mobile phone ban not for teachers- Education Ministry clarifies

Aug 22 (GDI) The Ministry of Education clarifies that the ban imposed on using mobile phones during the schools hours will not be applicable for teachers and said that teachers are allowed to take mobile phones into school. However the Ministry advises teachers not to use them during class sessions. The Ministry of Education recently issued a circular prohibiting student of government and approved private schools from bringing mobile phones to schools. more..

Ramazan Fasting begins today

Aug 22 (PSM) The month long Ramazan fasting period for Muslims begins today as the new moon has been sighted over Sri Lanka last evening, the Colombo Grand Mosque said. In some other countries, the Muslims started fasting yesterday depending on the sighting of the moon in the respective countries. Meanwhile, the govt. has requested all private sector employers to grant appropriate leave to all Muslim employees to enable them to engage in Ramazan prayers. more..

Super luxury in prison for SSP’s raging wife

Aug 22 (LT) Shyamalee Priyadharshanee Perera, wife of SSP Vas Gunawardene who was remanded at Welikada Prison as a suspect of abducting and assaulting Nipuna Ramanayake, a student of SLIIT at Malabe is having luxury facilities in the women’s section of the prison state sources in the prison. She has been given a luxury room and is treated as an executive in the prison say these sources. more..

Though President announces all are equal before the law ,SSP’s wife gets special treatment negating the law

Aug 22 (UNP) SSP Vaas Gunawardena’s wife, Shyamalee Priyadharshini Perera was given special preferential treatment at the prison yesterday (21 Aug) , when she was remanded over the alleged assault , abduction and illegal detention of IT student Nipuna Ramanayake.. The prime suspect in the case is SSP’s son who is already in remand prison. more..

'Inaugural ceremony spending Rs.26 million held to please Iranian President'

Aug 22 (LT) Rs.26 million has been spent for the inaugural ceremony for the ‘Uma Oya’ Project which was done even before a feasibility study was carried out. Rs.8.5 million has been spent on advertisements and media reports; Rs.2.9 million for refreshment; Rs.1.6 million for cultural shows and Rs.5.5 million for renovating roads, repairing of buildings and decorations while two memorial towers had also been constructed at a cost of Rs.5.5 million. more..

Kotalawela fixed deposit scam : 9 Depositors commit suicide

Aug 22 (LeN) The depositors who had deposited Rs. 55 billion with the Ceylinco group of Companies, the Golden Key, Sriram,and F and G staged demonstration this morning in front of the Fort railway station today (21Aug) demanding the Govt. to get back their monies. Later, they began marching in the direction of the President’s House. The protestors who tried to go to the Temple Trees to hand over a petition to the President more..

CEB Chairman’s Internet Bill is a shocking Rs. 80,000 !

Aug 22 (LeN) It was revealed in Parliament, by JVP M.P. Gamini Ratnayake that the Ceylon electricity Board (CEB) Chairman’s internet bill for last month was a colossal Rs. 80,000.00 ! The CEB had also to foot the Chairman’s Ambepussa rest house Bill owed by him to the rest House. The CEB Chairman had also purchased 26 Jeeps at Rs. 7.5 million and allotted three of them for himself, Mr.Ratnayake further alleged. more..

Minister admits effects of global crisis in SL economy

Aug 22 (LT) Chief Government Whip, Dinesh Gunawardena admitted in Parliament yesterday that Sri Lanka’s economy has been effected by the global economic crisis. He said the Treasury had to obtain an overdraft of Rs. 38,188 million from Bank of Ceylon due to shortfall of revenue from taxes and levies on foreign trade and domestic taxes, as a result of decrease in imports value-wise and more..

Govt. says it has a million mouths to feed in IDP camps

Aug 22 (Island) Rejecting allegations that internally displaced Northern Tamils, were suffering in refugee camps, the government said yesterday that it has to feed a million mouths each day. Minister G. L. Peiris, asked about Opposition allegations that 280,000 IDP’s had to put up with inhuman conditions, said that it was easy to criticize, but the government was doing a tough job under trying circumstances. more..

National program for children with special needs

Aug 22 (DN) For over 25 years the National Child Health Program under Health Ministry has been focusing on identifying children with developmental problems using Public Health Midwives (PHM) who have been monitoring the milestones of children. This method has to some extent helped to identify children who were found to be slow in achieving targeted milestones in the process of growing up and who were thereafter referred to the area Medical Officer of Health (MOH) and more..

Celebrating bi-centenary of Customs

Aug 22 (DN) The maritime silk route, which ran parallel to the ancient Silk Route from Persia to China, operated through the Sri Lanka’s historic Manthota port. Thousands of vessels undertook this perilous sea voyage on the Maritime silk route said to have anchored at the Manthota Port in this beautiful little island known as Ceylon and officials called ‘Mahaputu Laddan’ had collected taxes from the ship’s crew, so says the ‘Tam’ inscriptions at the Mannar Kachcheri. more..

Park and Ride project re-launched

Aug 22 (DN) The re-launch of Cityliner premium bus service 'Park and Ride' in Colombo was held yesterday. Chairman, National Transport Commission (NTC), Prof. Amal S. Kumarage said Park and Ride in Colombo, will operate from September 1 from Moratuwa to Colombo. It will operate 24 turns for the two way service daily at a reasonable price. Cityliner has already allocated six buses for this project. more..

Grants for housing

Aug 22 (DN) Labour Relations and Manpower Minister Athauda Seneviratne told Parliament yesterday that employees who contribute to the Employees’ Provident fund (EPF) can withdraw upto 30 percent of their savings for the purpose of constructing houses. Tabling the Employees’ Provident Fund (Special Provisions) Amendment Bill, the Minister said this will be provided as a grant and not as a loan to facilitate employees to build houses. more..

Vitarana laments step-motherly treatment

Aug 22 (Island) Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitarana yesterday told Parliament that he regretted that the Treasury does not release enough funds for his ministry. Since 2005, there were huge differences between the amounts of money allocated to the Ministry of Science and Technology from the budget and the amounts actually received, he said. In 2005 Budget Rs. 1,134,132,000/- had been allocated but more..

Govt. borrowed Rs. 38,188 million from Bank of Ceylon

Aug 22 (Island) The government had obtained a Rs. 38,188 million overdraft from the Treasury account maintained at the Bank of Ceylon's Taprobrane Branch in Colombo as at January 30, this year, Parliament was told yesterday. This was an increase of Rs. 35,300 million from Rs. 2,888 million of overdrafts as at December 31, 2008, Chief Government Whip, Dinesh Gunawardena said. The Minister was responding to a question raised by JVP MP Premasiri Manage. more..

Case filed against Nedumaran for pro LTTE meeting

Aug 22 (TOI) The city police have registered a case against Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran, who had organised a meeting here on Thursday, for allegedly violating the terms and conditions on which police permission was given to the meeting held at Aminjikarai. The police have cited Nedumaran and a few others' in the FIR as accused. PMK founder S Ramadoss and MDMK general secretary Vaiko were the main leaders who participated in more..

Lanka Teacher Services Union object to Media Minister’s irresponsible statement

Aug 22 (LNW) The Lanka Teacher Services Union said that Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena had made suspicious and irresponsible statements with regard to the A/Level biology test paper at a media briefing held at the Media Ministry on the 19th. A press statement issued by the Union’s Secretary, Mahinda Jayasinghe says that Minister Abeywardena referring to the incident related to more..

External degree produce ineffective graduates

Aug 22 (DM) The Minister of Higher Education Prof. Viswa Warnapala yesterday berated the External Degree Programmes being conducted by local universities saying they produced ineffective graduates who ended up protesting and demanding Government jobs. “Half baked, incompetent and non-intellectual graduates are produced through external degree programmes. We want to stop these; they are the ones that come to the Fort Railway station and demand jobs,” more..

Hela Urumaya not contesting southern province election

Aug 22 (DM) Jathika Hela Urumaya MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera said his party would not contest the Southern Provincial Council election. Despite being in alliance with the ruling UPFA, the JHU contested at the earlier elections. This time the JHU will not contest, he added. Meanwhile two Independent groups contesting the Southern Provincial Council election handed in their deposits at more..

Open warrant on Yasmin Mohamed

Aug 22 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate Nishantha Hapuarachchi issued an open warrant yesterday for the arrest of Yasmin Ilham Mohamed who was named as a suspect in the F&G Property Developers PLC case. Yasmin is alleged to have absconded, as she had failed to present herself in court and to the police. The suspect is being pursued in relation to the alleged fraud committed on the monies of the depositors of F&G Property Developers PLC. more..

A trip to Sri Lanka's Tamil country

Aug 22 (BBC) A sudden phone call gave the BBC's Sri Lanka correspondent Charles Haviland rare access to the the war-battered north of the island. He saw Tamils languishing in a vast refugee camp - but also scenes of ethnic harmony at a Catholic shrine. You do not expect, in northern Sri Lanka, to encounter a red double-decker London bus, but there it was, trundling along in front of us. more..

Actress Susantha Chandramali to contest the SPC election from Hambantota

Aug 22 (LNW) SLFP sources said that actress Susantha Chandramali would contest the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council election from the Hambantota District. The President has decided to field Susantha from the Mulkirigala electorate and has already taken steps to promote her in the area. Actress Anarakali Ajarasha is to contest from the Matara District at the provincial election. more..

Lake House writes off Rs. 50 million

Aug 22 (LNW) The Lake House borad of directors through form D/2/03/08 has cancelled an advance payment of Rs. 50 million paid to a US company through a Bank of Ceylon letter of credit to purchase 6 printing machines for the institution. It is reproted that the transaction had to be cancelled due to the inability to receive the files related to the matter, which were in the possession of the late parliamentarian Sripathi Sooriyarachchi, who at the time was the legal advisor to Lake House. more..

Central bank in offbeat IMF-style deal with US fund

Aug 22 (LBO) Central Bank has acquired 875 million US dollars from a large US fund in an offbeat deal effectively by-passing the domestic money system that boosts forex reserves without creating domestic inflationary or exchange rate pressure. But the by-pass also meant that the money is not available for Sri Lanka's cash-strapped finance ministry which has posted record deficits in the current account of the national budget never seen in the island's history. more..

Restriction on fishing will continue in Jaffna peninsula – SLN

Aug 22 (TN) Jaffna Government Agent, K. Ganesh, quoting Northern Region Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Admiral, sent a circular to local media Friday informing that the fishing restriction imposed in areas close to SLN base in Kaangkeasanththu’rai, Sri Lanka Army (SLA) High Security Zones (HSZ) and areas along the runways and flight routes of aircrafts will continue. Detailed information about the places where fishing restriction is in force, more..

Colombo hotels' rates jaked up

Aug 22 (DM) Like the Seven Ages of man, there are various stages of gratifying desires that an ordinary human being goes through in life. Some people live their lives to the fullest from the word go. Others either do not succumb to cupidity, covetousness, concupiscence etc as a matter of policy or unwillingly practise self-denial in keeping with their public image and religiosity. more..

Sri Lanka complete 202-run win over New Zealand

Aug 22 (CI) With the rain clouds staying away and the Galle sky clear, Sri Lanka romped to victory in the first Test, finishing off proceedings mid-afternoon. The New Zealand tail offered far more resistance than the top order - Daniel Vettori led the way with a brave 67 - but with the spinners coming into their own after early breakthroughs from Thilan Thushara, Sri Lanka eased to a 202-run win. more..