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New Jaffna Commander Assumes Office

Aug 29 (SLA) MAJOR General L.B.R Mark assumed office as Commander, Security Forces, Jaffna yesterday (28) after a brief ceremony, attended by religious dignitaries and senior Army and tri-service officers. Major General L.B.R Mark succeeds Major General G.P.R de Silva who assumed duties as Chief of Staff, Joint Staff-Office of the Chief of Defence Staff in Colombo. more..

Trinco district Muslim IDPs in quandary

Aug 29 (PSM) Muslim refugees who went on a fact finding mission to their deserted village called Uppooral at Eachchilampattai DS division in Trincomalee district were chased out by natives of this area with the connivance of officials of the Divisional Secretariat. These Muslim refugees have been living in Uppooral, since 1888 and some of them have land title deeds dated 1933. According to another source, 81 Muslim refugee families were more..

Underworld kingpin Fajji meets his end

Aug 29 (LP) One of underworld’s most wanted kingpins, Mohamed Faizal alias ‘Faji’ was killed in a shootout which occurred in the Maligawatta area, Colombo between the gang and the Police Special Task Force yesterday (28). It is reported that two of Fajji’s associates, Army Toji and Saadi were also killed in the cross fire which took place in a three storied building in the area. The house is also known to be the palatial residence of Fajji. more..

Dengue prevention campaigns should not rest

Aug 29 (LP) The number of dengue cases this year has reached 24,528 while the number of death toll has risen to 245. According to the Health Ministry Kandy was worst hit by dengue where there were 3,409 dengue cases reported. 35 people were killed due to dengue in the area as well said Ministry sources. The number of dengue cases in Colombo was 3,210 with a death toll of 30. The other parts of the country which had high numbers of more..

H C collapsed corridor under repair

Aug 29 (LP) A steering Committee is to be appointed immediately to take action to reconstruct part of the Colombo High Court (HC) Building at Hulftsdorp which collapsed on Thursday night (27) while repair and improvements to the roof were in progress. A part of nearly 30 metre extension of one of the two verandas on either sides of the High Court Building collapsed along with nearly 20 foot tall six pillars. A pillar has a diameter of nearly seven feet. more..

'The world is ready to share our Naval experience'

Aug 29 (MoD) The world is ready to share the experience of the Sri Lanka Navy's capability of defeating terrorism. The Sri Lanka Navy is considered one of the most powerful Naval troops in the world to have defeated and disabled the LTTE sea wing. Speaking at the ceremony in tribute of the gallant Naval personnel at the Navy Dockyard in Trincomalee, yesterday (Aug 28), more..

Resettlement of IDPs on a daily basis

Aug 29 (GDI) The government has accelerated the resettlement of the internally displaced with the victims being resettled in their former places on a daily basis in family groups. The process is being closely monitored by Basil Rajapaksa who spearheads the Northern Task Force. Over three thousand five hundred internally displaced persons were resettled today in the East, confirmed official sources. more..

Basil orders cancellation of interview to select next Ananda Principal

Aug 29 (LNW) A Cabinet decision arrived at on an order by Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapakse has resulted in the cancellation of the interview to select a principal for Ananda College scheduled for August 27. The decision was made at the Cabinet meeting held on the 26th on an order made by Basil. It is learnt that the acting principal of the College was not asked to attend the interview, which has resulted in the cancellation of the interview. more..

'Tamil people are imprisoned to prepare for an election mugging'

Aug 29 (LNW) Parliamentarian Mano Ganeshan alleged that the reason for not resettlig the people in IDP camps is because of the fact that 175,000 people have voting rights, which could be forcibly taken by the government at the next general and presidential election. The parliamentarian made this statement at a press conference held at Nippon Hotel on Wednesday (26). more..

Sri Lanka High Commissioner in Britain in a diplomatic muddle

Aug 29 (LNW) It is now one year since former Supreme Court Judge Nihal Jayasinghe assumed office as the Sri Lankan High Commission in Britain. During the one year period, the High Commissioner faced many difficulties due to mixing state diplomatic work with those that are not connected to it. However, he continues to further increase the mess created by him without looking at a way out. more..

Mahapola exhibition to resume

Aug 29 (CT) The Mahapola educational and trade fair will resume on the instructions of president Mahinda Rajapaksa, said Minister Bandula Gunawardena. The minister told ‘Colombo Today’ that the first exhibition would be held for five days from October 01 in Hambantota. Thereafter, it will be a monthly event including educational and trade stalls, musical and cultural items as well as sports and recreational opportunities. more..

'People will not be deceived by false propaganda of govt. regarding IMF loan'

Aug 29 (LT) All patriotic masses should rally to defeat the terrorist agenda being carried out by foreign forces including the IMF that brings more destruction than the atrocities of the LTTE terrorists says General Secretary of the Patriotic National Centre (PNC) MP Vijithe Herath. He further said the propaganda carried out by the government that a loan of US$2.6 million was obtained from the IMF without conditions is a blatant lie. more..

CEB employees prepare for joint continuous strike action

Aug 29 (LT) United Trade Union Front of the CEB has decided to join employees of banks, ports, Water Resources Board and Petroleum Corporation for a continuous strike action if solutions for their demands are not met within two weeks. As a result of the one day token strike action carried out by the United Trade Union Front of the CEB power supply in many areas in the island including several areas in Badulla, Monaragala and Kandy was interrupted. more..

Govt deeply regrets Erik Solheim's comments on SL

Aug 29 (GDI) The Government of Sri Lanka refers to the comments made by the Minister of Environment & International Development of the Norwegian Government, Erik Solheim, published in the ‘Aftenposten’ newspaper, a news release from the Foreign Ministry said today. It added "The Sri Lanka government deeply regrets the baseless comments contained therein and is perturbed by such statements being made by the Norwegian Minister against a friendly government. more..

A video of shame and outrage: Responses, positions and clarifications

Aug 29 (GV) The video broadcast Channel 4 last week generated a number of responses from the readership of Groundviews. Much has been written about the video, including this well thought out commentary in The Lede, the New York Times news blog. Of the many comments in response to it, this one and the Lede’s response to it stand out: Sinhala-Indian: I think this is Tiger Propaganda. more..

Arts, craftsand literary services in the Polonnaruwa era

Aug 29 (LG) The State Literary Festival will be celebrated in Polonnaruwa this year. Polonnaruwa or Pulathisipura, so named after Pulasthi, the grandfather of Rawana (2554-2517), whose capital was our second kingdom after the fall of Anuradhapura. If there was an enemy invasion from Rohana to Rajarata, Polonnaruwa provided a natural safeguard as it was surrounded by the Mahaweli. more..

The channels of distortion

Aug 29 (LG) For a few days last week the historic relationship or Transatlantic Alliance between the USA and UK came under heavy stress with the convicted, but not necessarily guilty, Lockerbie bomber being released from life imprisonment in a Scottish jail, on compassionate grounds, to spend the last few months of his life with his family in Libya. Influential sections of public opinion in the USA and UK seemed aghast at what was clearly an act of compassion on the part of more..

‘We can fulfill our potential’

Aug 29 (LG) “There was a major effort by some Western European states to secure a UN mandate from the Human Rights Council, for a War Crimes inquiry. These elements first tried to get a UN mandate under the guise of a humanitarian ceasefire and protection of civilians, to abort our final operations against the LTTE,” Dr. Dayan Jayathillake said in an exclusive interview more..

Remembering Thondaman

Aug 29 (LG) August 30 is the day when the people of Indian origin who migrated to Sri Lanka during the British colonial times and indeed many others touched by his friendship and courtesies - will once again remember and celebrate especially in the Plantation areas in Central Sri Lanka, the birthday of their Perum-thalaivar late Saumyamurthy Thondaman. This year remembering the late Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) supremo, trade union leader and more..

US Peace Institute invites charlatans and liars to promote peace in Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (LG) The Vadukoddai War launched officially by the Jaffna leadership on May 14, 1976 ended on May 18, 2009 in Nanthi Kadal lagoon, eliminating all hopes of achieving the goal of a separate state through military means. The military solution endorsed as Plan A in the Vadukoddai Resolution of 1976 backfired and the Tamil separatist who relied on the violence endorsed in it are licking their wounds, either in hideouts in Sri Lanka or in seminars abroad. more..

Absolute animalism

Aug 29 (LG) Sri Lankan government’s extra-judicial execution of Tamils has been brought to light by London-based Channel 4 News. The program gives clear evidence of how state terrorism has been conducted against a surrendered and innocent people. In the early months of this year, after heavy shelling and artillery attacks in civilian-populated areas in the Wanni, thousands of people had surrendered themselves to the Sri Lanka army in the absence of more..

Purchasing power

Aug 29 (LG) India and China are two stalls at a market. Sri Lanka is looking to spend. Both the Asian giants are doing their bit to court the customer. Before we blame the stalls for selling goods to Sri Lanka, let's ask how the little Sinhala state got hold of so much cash. This week, TamilNet featured an article on the role of Indian and Chinese Multi National Corporations (MNCs) in “reconstruction” efforts across the island. more..

'International assistance should aim for tangible results'

Aug 29 (LG) International assistance to Sri Lanka should aim for tangible results with the benefits rapidly to reach the people at grassroot level emphasised Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama during his meeting yesterday with Liam Fox, MP, Shadow Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom. Minister Bogollagama welcoming Dr. Fox on his second visit to Colombo this year thanked him for more..

Historic, religious splendour of low country

Aug 29 (DN) An event of great cultural and historic significance takes place annually in the hill capital of Sri Lanka in the month of Esala. This is followed by several such events right throughout the country. One such event is the historic Sri Dalada Perahera of Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte Raja Maha Viharaya held in memory of and to pay obeisance to the Sacred Tooth Relic as the kingdom of Kotte was once the abode of the Sacred Tooth Relic. more..

Textile and garment trading complex in Narahenpita

Aug 29 (DN) In a bid to provide a wider range of consumer items at concessionary rates to the public, the Government will shortly open its first and large scale Textile and Garment Trading Complex attached to the Dedicated Economic Center in Narahenpita. Minister Bandula Gunawardene told the Daily News that this complex would provide marketing facilities to local textile and garment manufacturers, importers, and suppliers of gift items manufactured across the country. more..

Administrative complex for Govt institutions

Aug 29 (DN) The Government has taken steps to construct an administrative complex for Government institutions which will house a large number of Government organisations that will come under the Hambantota harbour. The new building complex will also house offices that are to be demolished with the construction of the port. The administrative building is being constructed at a cost of Rs. 2,900 million on a 72-acre land in Siribopura, Gonnoruwa in Hambantota. more..

Seaports in ancient and medieval Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (DN) Sri Lanka lay at the intersection of the sea-lanes and trade routes that went across the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka had numerous bays and anchorages which provided safe anchorage for ships. Ships went to the Eastern ports during the southeast monsoon and to the Western ports during the northeast monsoon. These ports were also trade centers. Goods came along the rivers which joined the sea at these ports more..

Exporters lose Rs. 7 bn, consumers Rs. 4.7 bn

Aug 29 (Island) Sri Lankan exporters lose about Rs. 7 billion while consumers are burdened with additional costs amounting to about Rs. 4.7 billion each year because shipping lines levy arbitrary and anti-competitive surcharges on exports and imports. "There are about 11 different surcharges that are being levied by shipping lines and while freight rates have come down due to the global financial crisis and slump in global trade, these surcharges have been increasing," more..

EP Governor contradicts Hakeem

Aug 29 (Island) S. Amirthalingam, the Secretary to the Governor of the Eastern Province, in reference to the article titled "Resettled Muslim IDP’s chased out of Verugal – Hakeem" which appeared in The Island, has issued the following statement: Please refer to the article/Editorial which appeared in your esteemed News Paper, on chasing out approx 70 displaced Muslim families who were duly resettled in Verugal Divisional Secretary’s Division in the Trincomalee District. more..

SC restrains Mervin

Aug 29 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday restrained the Minister Mervin Silva from demolishing houses and boundary walls of certain residents of Jayanthi Mawatha, Kelaniya on the pretext of implementing a flood prevention programme. The Leader of the Opposition of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, the first petitioner S. Samaraweera, had said in his petition that Mervin Silva had wanted him to join the PA and leave the UNP. more..

'Strikes by workers for their demands affect public'

Aug 29 (DM) Strikes are a common scenario in Sri Lanka. Irrespective of the services they were providing, workers in all sectors tend to engage in strikes to obtain their demands. On the other hand workers face much economic hardship and they need appropriate salary increments on time. Strikes affect the day to day lives of the general public despite the fact that the workers have a right to demand. more..

Teenager’s assault case: Police officers given bail

Aug 29 (DM) Seeduwa Police Inspector and eight policemen who were remanded on charges of having brutally assaulted a 14-year-old boy and of having him stripped naked on National New Year’s Day were released on bail. Negombo Magistrate Jayani de Alwis granted bail to Inspector Sanjeewa Sampath, Sergeant K. Mudiyanse, Constables R. Bandara, C. Suriya Bandara, K. Gunaratne. Chinthaka Niroshan, S. Vithanage, K. Navaratne Bandara and police driver M. Wijayaratne. more..

Playing politics with IDP issue

Aug 29 (Island) The number of those shedding crocodile tears for the war displaced is on the rise. Captains of the Victim Industry are not alone in the game of marketing human suffering. They have not yet accounted for the funds they spent purportedly on various humanitarian projects in the conflict zone. Nothing remains of the results of their much advertised projects which gobbled up millions of dollars, pounds sterling etc except more..

Divisional Secretariats named as models

Aug 29 (DM) The Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare has named Gampaha, Kolonnawa and Homagama Divisional Secretariat Divisions as model Socialcare Secretariat Divisions (SSD) to provide Social Welfare. Accordingly, a workshop was held recently for the Divisional Secretaries, Social Officers including other relevant officials from these Secretariat Divisions. The meeting was presided by Secretary to the Social Services Ministry Mrs. V. Jegarasasingam. more..

Lanka thanks India for helping win war

Aug 29 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday thanked the Indian government for facilitating the acquisition of an off shore patrol vessel for the Sri Lanka Navy and said the goodwill gesture would strengthen bilateral relations and better cooperation between the two neighbouring countries. SLNS ‘Sayurala’ was commissioned at the Sri Lanka Navy Dockyard in Trincomalee yesterday. more..

'Sri Lanka to resettle refugees with Indian support'

Aug 29 (IANS) Sri Lanka will work for stronger ties with India and ensure the quick rehabilitation of Tamils displaced in the military conflict, Colombo’s high commissioner Romesh Jayasinghe said after he was named the new foreign secretary. “The Sri Lankan government stands for the return of IDPs to their homes, the quick completion of the demining process and the rehabilitation of those displaced by the conflict,” more..

Herath sets SL on course for clean sweep

Aug 29 (CI) New Zealand began their last innings of this series needing 494 to win or, more realistically, over four-and-a-half sessions to bat out a draw. They were again three down for less than 100, on a track whose bounce and spin suited Sri Lanka's spinners, and failed to forge partnerships. Sri Lanka remained the superior team, batting and bowling with far more skill. If Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene frustrated New Zealand in the morning, more..

Indian team coming to Sri Lanka to grill KP

Aug 29 (IT) India has decided to place an extradition request for LTTE leader Kumaran Padmanadan, alias KP, nabbed by Sri Lanka earlier this month. A CBI team will leave for Colombo in September to grill KP on the " larger conspiracy" behind the 1991 Rajiv Gandhi assassination. Sources in the ministry of home affairs ( MHA) said the multi- disciplinary monitoring agency (MDMA) under more..

P M Amza, the new deputy high commissioner in London

Aug 30 (AT) I met Ambassador Mr P.M. Amza, the newly appointed Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, last week on behalf of the Asian Tribune for a very candid conversation at the High Commission premises in Hyde Park Gardens, at the heart of the city of London. Mr Amza ushered me into his simple, but elegant office and made me feel at ease with his down-to-earth nature and of course, the radiant charm. more..

Karunanidhi asks for more relief for Tamils in Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (ANI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday asked the Central Government to ensure more help for Sri Lankan Tamils. "The relief and rehabilitation steps being provided to Sri Lankan Tamils are not enough, many of the Tamilians in Sri Lanka are facing hardships and struggling with rain and therefore we demand more attention of the government towards this issue," Karunanidhi told reporters in Chennai. more..

'Bemused' Moles counts the damage

Aug 30 (CI) For New Zealand, day four at the SSC was a case of no steps forward but six giant ones back - their batsmen again crumbled under pressure, repeating a series of mistakes that have dogged them all tour. Having lost five wickets for 51 runs in their first innings, New Zealand slipped to 182 for 6 in the face of an insurmountable target. It was a performance that left Andy Moles, the coach, shaking his head in disbelief. more..

'Two nineties are disappointing, I'll take the runs' - Jayawardene

Aug 30 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene's success at the SSC has become a creature of habit. This is, after all, a man who has averaged 79. 58 with 2467 runs in his 22 Tests at the venue. When he missed a century in the first innings by eight runs, there was an air of inevitability that Jayawardene would get there in the second innings, seeing as Sri Lanka would definitely try and bat New Zealand out of this Test. more..

Towards an Unjust Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (AT) There is no reason to keep displaced Tamils in camps, if they are non-combatants and have a place to go. An obvious, even a banal, truth in any pluralist democracy, but a groundbreaking pronouncement in today’s Sri Lanka, where the de facto incarceration of more than two hundred and fifty thousand Tamils is depicted and accepted as something unremarkably normal, a mere detail. Given that this revolutionary pronouncement was made by the Supreme Court more..

Another gobbledygook of Minister Yapa

Aug 30 (LG) When it comes to denials of accusations against Sri Lanka, Minister of Mass Media & Information, Anura Piriyadharshana Yapa is one of those in the forefront of the government to go straight on the offensive. Gibberish verbal dictums of anything at his disposal will be fired instantaneously in response. A lawyer by profession, on many occasions failed to understand the legal merits or idiocy of his comments. more..

I have the right not to answer, that’s democratic

Aug 30 (LB) Minister Piyasiri Wijenayaka who is embroiled in controversy over wasting public funds on his vehicle, says he is not a socialist. Q: You were accused of using a luxury vehicle paying a very high monthly rental after you became the minister. Isn’t this a clear case of misusing public funds? A: A Minister is entitled to three official vehicles in addition to the security back-up vehicle. more..

Immigration and Emigration Worldwide

Aug 30 (LG) Over 7000 people moved out of Africa 70,000 years ago, when Indian Arian migration took place 6000 years ago. After the world war Jewish immigration took place across Europe, due to the Holocaust and 20th century 20 million were resettled. Convention and Protocol on Refugees came into force in order to protect and regularise the refugees seeking asylum in host countries. They targeted rich countries with political interests and responsibilities and more..

Douglas Peiris- One of many crimes

Aug 30 (LG) This week, former Senior Superintendent of Police Douglas Peiris and three other police officers were found guilty at the Gampaha High Court of abduction of two young boys, who were brothers, with the intention to kill, and were sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment. This incident took place in 1989 in a period in which a large number of disappearances – estimated officially at 30,000 – took place. more..

Let’s talk about Aravinda

Aug 30 (CI) This message landed in my Facebook message box: “How good are u as an editor I wonder? Why don’t u ponder how really good the likes of Laxman and Sehwag are?” I wouldn’t say I am surprised by the feedback to my previous post. But a bit disappointed, yes, because the point I was trying to make seems to have been largely missed. My intent was not to put Thilan Samaraweera, or Sri Lanka batsmen, down. more..

Why your electricity bill skyrockets

Aug 30 (LB) The LECO (Lanka Electricity Company (Pvt.) Ltd management has defrauded millions of rupees belonging to the company by purchasing buildings and lands, paying inflated figures amounting to Rs.560 million. Meanwhile, a government valuer has been asked to assess whether these lands and buildings have been bought at higher than market-value prices. President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week sacked LECO chairman Champani Padmasekara for going abroad without Ministerial permission, more..

Of exams and the letter R

Aug 30 (LB) Here are some delightful snippets to bring a tear to your eye (either way): One: With a view to dramatically enhancing the quality of local exams – and because nobody in authority can be trusted to get it right – Sri Lanka is thinking of getting students to draft their own examination papers. It is now patently clear that even a Grade 5 pupil would do a better job than the provincial director education or the national department of examination. more..