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JHU wants new Authority to control abuse of animals

Feb 27 (PSM) JHU has taken steps to establish a National Animal Welfare Authority with the aim of preventing cruelty to animals and to ensure their welfare, according to a bill the JHU has tabled in Parliament. The said Bill was presented by JHU parliamentarian the Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thera and also seeks to recognize a duty to care on the part of those in charge of animals to treat them humanely and ensure their well-being. more..

WPC polls on April 25

Feb 27 (GDI) The Western Provincial Council election will be held on April 25. The poll will take place at 2,299 polling stations – 834 in Colombo district, 942 in Gampaha district and 523 in Kalutara district. There are 1,560,593 registered voters in the Colombo district, 1,458,295 in Gampaha and 801,326 in Kalutara, Elections Chief Dayananda Dissanayake announced. "As in the recently concluded North Western Provincial Council elections, we will annul the polls and go for a fresh election in the event of more..

'New Electricity Act gives more powers to consumers'

Feb 27 (GDI) The new Sri Lanka Electricity Act would give more powers to consumers; none of the earlier Acts gave powers to the consumers. Minister of Power and Energy W D J Seneviratne said at a press conference held at the Ministry of Power and Energy in Colombo. "We don’t have anything in our agenda that would lead to privatization. I assure you that none would be thrown out of work," he said more..

More strength for Lanka, Russia ties

Feb 27 (GDI) A delegation from the Russian University of Friendship between People better known as the Patrice Lumumba People's Friendship University called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday (26). President Rajapaksa said the university named after Patrice Lumumba, an outstanding leader of the African people who fought against colonialism and imperialism, carried a valuable message to the entire world. more..

Govt to boost paddy farmers in Bandaragama

Feb 27 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to give a boost for the paddy farmers in the Bandaragama electorate. Number self-employment projects were launched in the Bulathsinhala, Palinda Nuwara and Walallawita Divisional Secretariats. Special focus was laid on the dredging of irrigation canals in the Bandaragama Divisional Secretariat Division enabling more than 400 farmers to engage farming in paddy lands which had been left abandoned for a number of years. more..

Menon to discuss humanitarian situation with President

Feb 27 (GDI) Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon is expected to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss the humanitarian situation in the north amidst concerns being raised in India over the plight of civilians caught up in the conflict. Foreign Ministry sources stated that Mr. Menon will also speak on Sri Lanka’s stance on a political solution to the ongoing conflict and will urge the government to ensure the safety of the civilians trapped in the north. more..

At the gates of the grand finale of Eelam War IV

Feb 27 (GV) Teams from the 58 Division spearheaded by Commandos managed to enter the main built-up area of the Puthukudirippu Town last afternoon but the Town could not be completely cleared due to stiff resistance from small teams of hardcore LTTE fighters who are moving about and engaging the Army in hit-and-run waves even as we speak. Fighting is raging in visible-range as infantry units fight almost face-to-face with the Tigers at times. more..

A Fein Imbalance

Feb 27 (PISL) TamilNet seems to be working overtime now on disinformation, with claims that the cause of its leader has been taken up by the highest in the world. Most recently it has attributed to the British Foreign Secretary – and from a Sri Lankan expatriate point of view you cannot go higher than that – some strange views on genocide and Sri Lanka. more..

Lankan-ness Vs the Tamilness: thoughts of A.J. Canagaratne

Feb 27 (TN) Is it possible in today's context to be both a Tamil and a Sri Lankan? I think it is, provided our leaders are statesmen enough to treat all communities as equal and guarantee this equality both in practice and constitutionally. Only time will tell whether the Sinhala political leadership can stop playing games of one-upmanship and indulging in political manoeuvring. It's high time they stop being fixated on a unitary state and think along the lines of a fully federal set-up to more..

Situation report (Feb 27) by SLA

Feb 27 (SLA) REMINDING the civilized world that Tiger terrorism is no longer an intractable phenomenon, valiant troops continued their dig into remaining VANNI Tiger strongholds in the past twenty-four hours ending Friday (27) mid-noon. 55, 58, 59 Division troops as well as those of the Task Force - III and IV fighting and clearing the general areas of AMPALAWANPOKKANAI, MULLIAVALAI, east of PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU, CHALAI and THERUMURIKKANDI areas had several rounds of fighting throughout Thursday (26). more..

Navy rescues 59 Tamil Civilians fleeing from LTTE Clutches

Feb 27 (MoD) Sri Lanka Navy rescued 59 Tamil civilians who were fleeing from the LTTE clutches in five fiber glass dinghies on the 26th February 2009 in the North-eastern seas. The group consisting of 42 adults (21 males and 21 females) and 17 children was struggling in the perilous sea waving white flags to draw the Navy’s attention when the Naval vessels came to their rescue around 08.30 a.m. more..

Heavy fighting in Puthukudiirippu; terrorists flee leaving behind their arms

Feb 27 (MoD) Intense fighting reported in general area Ampalavanpokkanai and Puthukkudiyiruppu, yesterday, 26 February, as troops of 58 Division further gained control over more LTTE hiding areas pushing LTTE terrorists further into Puthukkudiyiruppu built-up. Infantrymen of 10 Sri Lanka Light Infantry (10 SLLI) serving under 581 Brigade have confronted with LTTE terrorists in general area Ampalavanpokkani in morning hours inflicting heavy damages to the enemy. more..

Rs. 2 bn BOI Sri Lankan textile company to go public

Feb 27 (LNP) South Asia Textiles Limited, a BOI company will soon list in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission Channa De Silva said. `South Asia Textiles is a Singaporean owned company and has been in Sri Lanka for about five years. It is a sizable company with an estimated value exceeding Rs. 2 billion. `They hope to list in two months time and they hope to raise a substantial amount through the equity issue,` more..

Tigers, toads and twerps

Feb 27 (LNP) We have in this country some kind of toads (gembas) which love to live indoor. Even if they are swept out, they land facing the houses where they have lived. Humans are also said to have animalistic traits. They have foxes and lions among them. Similarly, there are gembas in the diplomatic community. These ambassadorial gembas cannot wean themselves from Sri Lankan affairs even after they retire. more..

'JVP undergrads threatened me with death'

Feb 27 (Island) Science Faculty Dean of the Kelaniya University Prof. Nalin de Silva told The Island that pro - JVP students in the university had threatened him with death. He had lodged a complaint at the Kiribathgoda police station. The Kelaniya University was closed indefinitely on Wednesday (25) due a students clash between the Arts Faculty and Science Faculty students. more..

'Sri Lanka regime’s respect for human rights declined'

Feb 27 (AT) Leaving aside usual rhetoric against Sri Lanka’s terrorist outfit LTTE by the United States State Department the Annual Human Rights Report for 2008 has discovered that the "The government used paramilitary groups to assist its military forces in fighting the LTTE." Then the Report, largely prepared in the Chancery of the American Embassy in Sri Lanka and released at a ceremony at the State Department in Washington 25 February, more..

CMC to clean up Anderson Flats

Feb 27 (DN) Colombo Municipal Commissioner (CMC) Indrani Jayawardena yesterday said she will direct the Council's health , engineering and solid waste departments to attend to the much needed waste and sewerage clearance problems at the Anderson Flats in Narahenpita, Colombo. She said this following an inquiry made by the Daily News into the Council's waste management activities at Narahenpita in keeping with the CMC's mandatory role to keep the city clean. more..

Migrant birds throng Nuwara Eliya

Feb 27 (DN) Beautiful and rare migrant birds such as the European Cuckoo, the Hanging Lorakeet, White Bellied Drongo, Chrimson Backed Woodpecker, Jordon Chlorophies, Blackheaded Oriole, Palm Squirrel and wagtails are currently seen in Nuwara Eliya. Several other bird species are also seen in the Kotmale and Pundaluoya areas and they mostly frequent the Meddecumbra and Eaton estate areas, where even two leopard cubs were seen by the estate workers recently. more..

WPF, SLMC sever ties with UNP, form new alliance

Feb 27 (Island) The SLMC and the Western People’s Front (WPF) had broken ranks with the UNP and forged a new alliance to contest the forthcoming Western Provincial Council elections, political sources said yesterday. The General Secretary of the SLMC M. T. Hassen Ali, MP, confirming the alliance formed with the UNP by way of an MOU in 2002, said that the change of heart was to preserve the party identity and was not to desert the UNP when the latter was losing. more..

Kotelawala given ten days for depositor payback

Feb 27 (DM) A fortnight after the earlier court hearing of the Golden Key Credit Card Co. Ltd., yesterday the Mount Lavinia Magistrate Court ordered to remand the Ceylinco Consolidation Founder Chairman Dr. Lalith Kotelawala till March 7 over the misappropriation of Rupees 26 billion of deposits of the Golden Key Credit Card Company. This happened to be Sri Lanka’s largest ever financial fraud which even exceeded the value of the Sri Lankan VAT scam more..

Prabhakaran, senior LTTE leaders fighting the last battle

Feb 27 (DM) As the Sri Lanka Army speeds up its advance into the remaining 63 square kilometres of land controlled by the LTTE its chief Velupillai Prabhakaran had reportedly told his senior leader that he would not leave the country and would fight the military until his death. According to the civilians and the LTTE cadres who had surrendered to the military it has been revealed that most of the senior level leaders such as more..

'Re-double our efforts to combat the terrorism individually and collectively'

Feb 27 (AT) "We, in the region of South Asia, today face several common challenges. Common challenges require collective responses. Terrorism is such a challenge and it requires our immediate and united attention due to the impact it has on all of us, in one way or another" said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the SAARC Foreign Ministers Conference in Colombo today. more..

Group of Indo-Americans seek Indian intervention in Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (PTI) Concerned over the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, a group of Indians in the US have circulated a petition asking New Delhi to take "urgent and effective" action to stop the "unfolding humanitarian disaster" in the island nation. The group, comprising Indian citizens and non-resident Indians, has invited signatures on the petition that is posted on the Internet and is addressed to Indian Ambassador to the UN, Nirupam Sen. more..

UN Security Council to be briefed on Sri Lanka situation by Sir John Holmes

Feb 27 (TC) On 27 February, the Council is expecting a briefing by John Holmes, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, on the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka . This briefing follows his 19 – 21 February visit to Sri Lanka . It will take place in closed consultations under “Other Matters”, following a briefing on the Peacebuilding Support Office. more..

Sri Lanka editor arrest criticised

Feb 27 (BBC) A journalist watchdog has criticised Sri Lanka's government over the arrest of a Tamil-language newspaper editor. The Committee to Protect Journalists said the detention of Nadesapillai Vidyatharan was repression of media outlets critical of the government. Officials said he was arrested in connection with an air raid by Tamil Tiger rebels on the capital, Colombo. Campaigners say Sri Lanka is fast becoming one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. more..

Fitch cuts Sri Lanka outlook

Feb 27 (Reuters) Fitch Ratings downgraded Sri Lanka's outlook on Friday over worries about its external finance position and the rupee currency hit a new all-time low. But Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said banks were giving "unwarranted signals" to manipulate the currency market and said that Sri Lanka was comfortable it would overcome its current foreign exchange challenges. The rating agency cut the outlook on Sri Lanka's long-term foreign and more..

Inflation rate drops to lowest in 3 years

Feb 27 (BN) Sri Lanka’s inflation slowed more than economists expected to the lowest in three years, making it more likely the central bank will cut interest rates to bolster the island’s economic growth. Consumer prices in the capital Colombo rose 7.6 percent in February from a year earlier, after increasing 10.7 percent in January, the statistics agency said on its website today. That was the lowest reading since January 2006, when inflation was 7.3 percent. more..

Up to 85,000 people to flee Sri Lanka war

Feb 28 (Reuters) Up to 85,000 civilians trapped in northeastern Sri Lanka could flee the war zone in coming weeks as the army closes in on rebel-held territory, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday. The Sri Lankan government has allocated 300 acres of land where the UNHCR can receive up to 42,000 people by the end of next week, spokesman William Spindler said, citing the need to double the space to accommodate uprooted people in the region. more..

Strike in Maharagama Cancer Hospital

Feb 28 (LT) Employees of Cancer Hospital at Maharagama are on strike demanding the arrest of those who assaulted a lady doctor and two employees. A group of people who had come with a patient had assaulted the doctor and the employees. The patients in the hospital have been severely inconvenienced due to the strike. Dr. Upul Gunasekera said the trade union action has been taken on an incident where a specialist lady doctor and two employees of the hospital were assaulted. more..

Army says rebels fired at fleeing civilians

Feb 28 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan Army said on Friday that at least four civilians were injured when the rebel LTTE fired at them on Thursday in the last hold of the rebels in the northeast coast of the country. Army officials said two children and two women were injured in the shooting Thursday when a group of civilians attempted to leave the clutches of the rebels and reach the Army's 58 division in Mullaittivu. more..

'Sri Lanka may open liquidity facility for finance companies'

Feb 28 (LBO) Central bank may open a liquidity facility as a last resort, in a bailout package for troubled finance and leasing companies which has a 4.2 billion rupee fiscal component, officials said. The central bank credit facility, called its 'long and medium term fund', was last used in the 1980s to bailout finance companies. "Medium and long term credit fund is a facility that enables the Central Bank to provide some funds from its annual profits," more..

Lanka mulls Dambulla as CT venue

Feb 28 (UNI) In a bid to stake a stronger claim for the hosting rights of the Champions Trophy, Sri Lanka has offered to stage the entire tournament at Dambulla instead of Colombo to ease security apprehensions. "Sri Lankan authorities have conveyed to the ICC that they can host the entire tournament at Dambulla instead of Colombo if any partcipating country shows any releuctance to play in the capital due to security concerns," more..

Sri Lankan rebels lose more land

Feb 28 (AP) Government forces drove deeper into the Tamil Tigers' dwindling stronghold, confining the rebel group that once controlled a vast swath of northern Sri Lanka to an area smaller than Manhattan, the military said Friday. The government has said it is on the verge of destroying the rebels and ending the Indian Ocean island nation's quarter-century civil war. more..

India can help end civilian killings

Feb 28 (IPS) As Sri Lanka’s armed forces battle the LTTE in their last stronghold, the island country’s influential neighbour, India, is weighing diplomatic options to goad President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government to save civilians trapped in the war zone. The number of civilians is estimated to be as high as 200,000 to 250,000. Many have been displaced by the war five or even 12 times over. Currently, according to the best estimates, 25 to 35 people are being killed every day. more..

Other nations could learn from Sri Lanka Navy’s fight against the Tamil Tigers

Feb 28 (Janes) Tim Fish, IHS Jane’s maritime reporter, visited Sri Lanka in January to examine the Sri Lanka Navy’s contribution to the defeat by government forces of the LTTE – a contribution that has been almost completely ignored by western media outlets. In a feature for Jane’s Navy International, Tim Fish reports: “ Bringing the conflict to a conclusion after 30 years of war would not have been possible without the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN)”. more..

Sea route opened to reach hungry in Sri Lanka

Feb 28 (WFP) A sea route to deliver WFP relief food to thousands of people in Sri Lanka was opened recently, providing a major boost to efforts to reach hungry people displaced by the recent escalation of hostilities in the region. Some 40 metric tons of WFP food - enough to feed some 80,000 people for a day - was delivered by sea to the government-designated safe zone in the Vanni on February 26. Another ship is planned at the weekend. more..

International appeal for safety of Civilians

Feb 28 (BBC) UNHCR has requested the government to allocate more land for the Internally Displaced thousands who may cross over to government controled areas. "So far over thirty six thousand people have crossed over" Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Resettlement & Disaster Relief Services told the BBC. "UNHCR is urging the government to continue to make necessary preparations to receive and accommodate the large numbers expected in the coming weeks or months," more..

Lunstead, Casey and the Rest

Feb 28 (AT) Lunstead is the man who openly sent a direct warning to the LTTE on television that the outfit should either talk with the government and come to a settlement or face the much superior forces of the government and be defeated. I personally saw him say this on television and he cannot deny it. Soon after he made that statement he went missing. I thought that Bush had sent him to Iran as punishment. more..

Akasa Kusum gets Jury Award at Asian Film Festival in France

Feb 28 (AT) Prasanna Vithanage’s latest film Akasa Kusum (Flowers of the Sky) received a special Jury Award at the prestigious 15th Festival International des d’Asie in Vesoul in France. Vithanage personally received the award from the Festival Director Jean-Marc Therouanne on February 14 after the film was screened to a packed audience at the Majestic Theatre, the largest cinema hall in Vesoul. more..

Sri Lanka's internally displaced people

Into Cold War

Feb 28 (AT) Those foreign funded NGOs and their legion of paid mercenaries are drawing new initiatives to keep them in business with the collapse of their sponsored terrorists. Those thriving on armchair terrorism require fresh issues to attract foreign funding to continue with their life style and livelihood - return to the drawing board to fabricate fresh blue prints to attract more dollars. The cash flow will become a trickle unless Sri Lanka is disgraced. more..

Statement by John Holmes to the UN Security Council

Feb 28 (TC) Thank you, Mr. President, for this opportunity to brief the Council on my recent visit to Sri Lanka. As you know, the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka has deteriorated significantly over the last few months, in particular since the beginning of this year. As Sri Lankan Government forces have advanced deep into the Vanni area, which had been under the control of LTTE, almost all the civilian population has been progressively displaced along with the LTTE. more..

This is a grave blow to Democracy -UNP

Feb 28 (LG) The UNP records its strong protest against the anti Democratic action of the Govt. in the arrest of ‘Sudar Oli’ Editor N. Vidyadaran, the United National Front, a main opposition in Sri Lanka said in a press statement. According to the statement, “if the Govt. suspects that he has been assisting the LTTE or had terrorist connections , there is a legal procedure to follow for the Govt. It could have legally and duly arrested him and produced to the Courts. more..

Gloves on at UN to beat mounting pressures of Tiger lobbies

Feb 28 (LG) Pressure is mounting at the UN to put the humanitarian crisis in Mullativu – the last outpost of the Tamil Tigers -- on the agenda of the Security Council. The objective is to get the Security Council to call for a ceasefire. Pro-Tiger NGOs and lobbies, and also the noted Mathew R. Lee, the only blogger given accreditation at UN, (more about him later) are button holing delegates and urging them to put Sri Lanka on the Security Council agenda at today’s meeting. more..

Siva Pasupathy’s role as former AG

Feb 28 (LG) This is an extract of a media release by socalled Australians for Human Rights of the Voiceless headed by former AG Sivapasupathy who had free education up to graduation and rose up to be the AG (Discrimination against majority Sinhalese ?) and may be still drawing Sri Lankan pension. He is one of the most ungrateful sons of Sri Lanka. Quote An Australian Human Rights Organisation, Australians for Human Rights of the Voiceless headed by Hon Shiva Pasupati, more..

Unscrupulous gymnastics of a “Legal” professional

Feb 28 (LG) A great service of unimaginable value has been rendered by some legal saints who stand for sanctity of human rights and civil liberty by simplifying the process of answering such questions. The methodology is so simple; unbelievably simple. Only problem is that the answer generates utmost revulsion in any decent person and increases the bank account of the creators of this simple method. more..

'Poor has their own right to higher education'

Feb 28 (GDI) Avenues of higher education should be available even to the poorest of the poor, Higher Education Minister Prof. Wiswa Warnapala said. He was addressing the Higher Education Conference of the Asia Pacific Region attended by Higher Education Ministers and education specialists in New Delhi, recently. India lauded the proposals and recommendations of Minister Prof. Wiswa Warnapala for more..

The subtle terror of the International Relief Organizations

Feb 28 (LG) The war against the LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka is heading towards its bloody end. The Sri Lankan security forces, as united and, thanks to Chinese and Pakistani arms deliveries, strong in numbers as never before, have corralled the last still-fighting cadres of the LTTE in a 72 square kilometer patch of their utopian state of Tamil Eelam. As thousands of civilians wait, caught between the fronts, for the next development, yet another dilemma becomes more and more clear: more..

UN nods ‘fight to the finish’

Feb 28 (TN) The position taken by UN Security Council Friday indicating no go beyond ‘hearing’, and the considerate briefing of John Holmes largely endorsing and trusting Colombo’s agenda and assurances for civilians, are read between the lines by international political observers as a ‘knowing wink’ at Colombo to pursue its offensive. Alternatively, the UN stance either paves way for intervention by interested powers outside of the UN or more..

Jaffna University student union appeals to government

Feb 28 (TN) Jaffna University Students Union (JUSU) extended an appeal to the government of Sri Lanka to enable Jaffna University students from Vanni held in the detention camps in Government controlled areas to continue their studies in Jaffna University, in a press report Friday. JUSU also said that though it has been said in the media that a group of Vanni students held in the detention camps had been flown to Jaffna to continue studies so far none of them had come to Jaffna University. more..