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Nanny goes missing from Chesham home

Jan 24 (BFP) A NANNY has gone missing from her home in Chesham. Hemalatha Jayasinghege, 53, was last seen at the house in Berkeley Avenue she works at as a nanny at about midday yesterday. Police are concerned as the Sri Lankan speaks very little English. She is described as around 5ft tall, medium to heavy build with dark haor which she often ties up. more..

Mixed signals of horror from Wanni

Jan 24 (LG) It is a fact that the LTTE-held area has shrunk to a part of the Mullaitivu District and continuing to shrivel at a rapid rate. Fears are now emerging that the Tigers may resort to a last desperate attempt and cause a bloodbath of 300,000 people of Wanni they are currently holding hostage. They are the only hope they have to bring about a halt of the army from mopping up what is left of the LTTE-held area. more..

Ministry of Constitutional Affairs joins Burghof to promote federalism

Jan 24 (LT) According to the Select Committee report under the chairmanship of Vijitha Herath the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs together with the Burghof Foundation (BF) has taken measures to undermine unitary state of Sri Lanka and promote federalism. The findings of the committee reveal attempts of the ministry with the participation of the INGO to brainwash the people to change their vision to the thinking of federalism as a solution for the national question. more..

A diploma course in marine engineering launched

Jan 24 (LP) A Diploma Course in Marine Engineering for Engineering Cadets has been launched by Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) as a collaborative professional and higher educational course. It is conducted as a 3 year study course directing students in both theoretical and practical training given in international vessels at times, under fullest supervision of CSC. more..

Army deserters used to commit crime: UNP

Jan 24 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP charged Friday that some ministers were tarnishing the image of the security forces by engaging army deserters to commit various criminal acts. Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera told parliament during the debate on the Ranaviru Seva Authority Amendment Bill that some ministers even induced senior officers of the security forces to carry out acts of violence. more..

British high commissioner visits South Eastern University

Jan 24 (MG) The British High Commissioner Peter Hays visited the South Eastern University in Oluvil on Wednesday the 21st instant to meet the students doing post graduate studies on ‘Conflict Resolutions and Peace Preparedness’ at this university. The British High Commission funded this programme affiliated to the Bradford University of London. more..

Waters Edge residents want their lands

Jan 24 (SAMN) Eight residents whose lands were allocated for Waters Edge Golf Club filed motions in the Supreme Court claiming their original lands or alternative lands subsequent to the court order to return the lands to government. Mahinda Perera, Chandrika Amerasinghe, Lilawathie Perera, Anula Perera and four others filing a motion to the court complained that Urban Development Authority (UDA) which acquired their land failed to give them alternative lands. more..

Journalists will soon need VIP security

Jan 24 (SAMN) Very soon journalists too would have to be provided with VIP security and armed escorts if the attacks on mediamen continue at this rate, JVP Colombo District MP Sunil Handunnetti told Parliament Friday. Handunnetti, expressing his views on a point of order raised by UNP Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake, on Friday’s attack on Rivira Editor Upali Tennakoon, said that media has come under attack, threat, and intimidation in a short period of time. more..

Nation indebted to parents of war heroes

Jan 24 (SAMN) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris stated that the whole nation is indebted to the parents and the families that offered their children, their most precious possession, to protect the motherland and those families should be honoured and felicitated by all, irrespective of one’s political leanings and party affiliations. He further stated that the world-wide belief that terrorism cannot be defeated by military means has been proven a myth by the Sri Lankan war heroes. more..

New standards for luxury, semi-luxury bus services

Jan 24 (DN) The National Transport Commission (NTC) will introduce new standards to luxury and semi-luxury bus services to attract more passengers to these services. Under the new program, the semi-luxury service will also be renamed 'Seat Reservation Service' while the luxury service will be renamed 'Air Conditioned Service', a NTC release said. The standards for buses deployed on the semi-luxury service will be as follows: more..

Ex-allrounder comes full circle

Jan 24 (DM) Former Sri Lanka allrounder Kumara Dharmasena will enter a new phase in his blossoming retirement when he makes his on-field umpiring debut in international cricket at the second One-Day International between India and Sri Lanka in Colombo on January 31. When he steps out Dharmasena will become the youngest ever international umpire from Sri Lanka and more..

Thondaman promises UPFA unconditional support

Jan 24 (Island) The CWC will give its unconditional support to the UPFA to regain power of the Central Provincial Council at the Provincial Council election, CWC leader Youth Improvement and Social Welfare Minister Arumugam Thondaman told the media. The plantation sector communities of the Central Province are contented with the services and facilities provided to their upliftment by the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, Thondaman said more..

Anura’s valet seeks legal advice

Jan 24 (Island) One of the late Anura Banadaranaike’s valets, Wasantha Samarasekera is exploring the possibility of seeking legal recourse to secure what he says is lawfully his. An angry Samarasekera says although Mr. Bandaranaike had gifted him one and quarter acres of Horagolla land and Rs. 200,000 in the former minister’s last will and testament, he is yet to benefit from the late MP’s generosity. He has already consulted lawyers. more..

Tamils protest Sri Lankan turmoil

Jan 24 (BG) Roughly 200 protesters from the ethnic Tamil minority held signs outside the Indian embassy and the US State Department yesterday to call attention to the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka, where tens of thousands of children are in danger of being hurt or killed in fighting between the Sri Lankan military and Tamil rebels. "The government is now comfortable that they can wipe out the Tamils," said Siva Sivalogan, more..

Akashi wants UNP, TNA to support APRC

Jan 24 (DM) The President’s Media Unit yesterday quoted visiting Japanese Envoy Yasushi Akashi as telling the President that he would call on the UNP and the Northern Tamil parties to support the government in its effort to bring peace and harmony to the country through the All Party Conference process. The Media Unit in a statement quoted Mr. Akashi as saying Sri Lanka government was reaping the attractive benefits of defeating terrorism and more..

'Prabhakaran will be arrested if he goes to India'

Jan 24 (PTI) Tiger supremo V Prabhakaran will be arrested if he escapes to India owing to tight security in the neighbouring country, the LTTE breakaway faction leader Karuna Amman has said. At this juncture, however, it is very difficult for Prabhakaran to flee to any country, Karuna, who was sworn in as an MP in October last year, told reporters responding to a query about reports that the LTTE chief may have escaped to Malaysia. more..

Elephant in the Tigers' tale

Jan 24 (TW) Velupillai Prabhakaran was no mouse in October 1988. The chief of the LTTE was a shrewd strategist challenging the Indian Peace IPKF sent by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi to contain militancy in Sri Lanka. The IPKF captured the land routes of the Tigers. Then they took Wanni, Jaffna and Kilinochchi. At Nitikaikulam, they cornered Prabhakaran. Sensing his end was near, he turned tail and escaped through a 7km tunnel into a forest near Mullaiteevu. more..

Meditation teacher to deliver sermons

Jan 24 (DN) World renowned meditation teacher Ajahn Brahmavamso is here to deliver sermons on the Eightfold Path and conduct guided meditation at several centres during a five-day stay in Sri Lanka. In addition to two programs in Colombo - one at Navarangahala on January 25 and the other at the BMICH on January 28, he will visit several monasteries in the outskirts of Colombo and outstations. more..

US lawyer wants Lankan leaders tried for genocide

Jan 24 (TOI) Defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa could go down in history as the first United States citizen to be tried for genocide, if Bruce Fein, a former US deputy associate attorney general has his way. Fein, who is also a counsel for the Tamils Against Genocide group, told a gathering in the city on Friday that he would move the US justice and state departments next week invoking Section 1091 of the Federal Criminal Code of Genocide statute against Gotabhaya, more..

US condemns attacks on journalists

Jan 24 (DPA) The United States late Friday condemned a series of attacks and threats against the media in Sri Lanka, and called on the government to protect its citizens. 'These serious reports are disturbing indicators of the deteriorating atmosphere for media independence in Sri Lanka,' Robert A Wood, acting spokesman for the US State Department, said in a statement. The department noted how vital an independent press is to a democracy, and more..

Soldiers seize rebel camp in north

Jan 24 (AP) Sri Lankan troops seized another Tamil Tiger training camp as government forces pressed ahead with their offensive against the separatist rebels in the island's north, the military said Saturday. The military has said it has won a string of major victories in recent months, including the capture of the Tamil Tigers' administrative capital of Kilinochchi, and that it has effectively boxed the remaining rebels into a pocket of land in the northeast. more..

Sri Lankan govt. assures press freedom

Jan 24 (PTI) The Sri Lankan government assured non-interference in press freedom and "systematic" probe into incidents of assault on media as Parliament was rocked over the attack on a newspaper editor and his wife in the capital. The Chief Editor of the Sinhala weekly 'Rivira', Upali Thennakoon and his wife were badly injured by motorcycle-borne attackers near his residence on Friday, the latest in a string of violent incidents targeting the media in the island nation. more..

Prabakharan vanishes in army assault on last stronghold

Jan 24 (Times) It was 8.35pm on Wednesday when a Sri Lankan navy ship spotted what looked like the lights of a small aircraft flying at high altitude over Mullaitivu – the last outpost of the Tamil Tigers. When the air force reported the same thing there was a buzz of excitement at military HQ. Commanders knew that after 25 years of conflict Vellupillai Prabakharan, the Tigers’ leader, was facing defeat, with government forces closing in on all sides. more..

Nepal, Sri Lanka sign revised ASA

Jan 25 (NN) Nepal and Sri Lanka signed on Friday the revised new Air Services Agreement (ASA) in order to start direct flights between Kathmandu and Colombo. After the agreement to this effect, the two countries will again have air connectivity after a hiatus of some ten years. Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA), Ramchandra Man Singh and GN Vithanage, secretary at the Port and Aviation Ministry of Sri Lanka inked the revised agreement more..

SEP opposes government’s ban on LTTE

Jan 25 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) warns that the government's ban on the LTTE is the preparation for a crackdown on political opponents and more broadly the working class, young people and the oppressed. Far from the army's recent advances against the LTTE paving the way for peace and prosperity, President Mahinda Rajapakse is preparing to use the methods of militarism to deal with the opposition being generated by the island's mounting economic and social problems. more..

The Breadwinner or the Nurturing Mother

Jan 25 (GV) Sri Lanka boasts about the foreign exchange income earned through the labour of our women overseas. Yet, we do not place much importance to the social cost of this. Sri Lanka will face a major epidemic of social misfits into the future as so many children are growing up in a motherless home. Intuitively, we all know the crucial role a mother plays in a home. Now, science is proving this further. more..

Constitutional ministry seeks federal solutions?

Jan 25 (AT) The Select Committee report under the chairmanship of Vijitha Herath traced the origins of the relationship between the Burghof Foundation (BF) and the Ministry of Constitutional affairs which resulted in two agreements of 2001 and 2006 which was the central issue examined by the parliamentarians at a Select Committee. The first Agreement of 2001 was during the period of Chandrika Kumaranatunga where G.L.Pieris was the Minister and more..

Caught between the Tigers and the tanks

Jan 25 (G&M) Every day, the women get up in the cool of early morning and walk a few kilometres north to the heavily fortified checkpoint that stands between them and their families. And every day a kindly staffer from the International Committee of the Red Cross tells them that they still cannot cross. So they turn away from the barbed wire and stacks of sandbags and camouflage and walk back into town, where they squat in the shade of the main government office, more..

Sri Lanka rebels explode walls of reservoir

Jan 25 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels used explosives to blast through the walls of a reservoir on Saturday in an attempt to stall advancing Sri Lankan government troops, the military said. The military claims to have won a string of major victories in recent months, including the capture of the Tamil Tiger administrative capital of Kilinochchi, effectively boxing the rebels into a pocket of land in the northeast. more..

Sri Lanka maul Pakistan to win series

Jan 25 (CI) It was over before the thousands of fans at the Gaddafi Stadium could blink. Sri Lanka inflicted one of the biggest annihilations in one-day internationals and trampled over Pakistan to post a 234-run win and take the series 2-1. It was the hosts' largest margin of defeat in ODIs: they were dismissed for 75 in reply to Sri Lanka's 309. more..

Murali eyeing revenge against India

Jan 25 (PTI) After becoming only the second bowler in international cricket to take 500 one-day wickets and help his team thrash Pakistan in the third ODI, Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan on Saturday warned Indian batsmen of a tough challenge when they visit Sri Lanka next week. "India is one of the best sides in the world and I am looking forward to playing against them and get revenge as the last time they beat us in the one-day series," Murali said more..

Ten Sports secures Sri Lanka TV rights

Jan 25 (CI) Ten Sports has successfully secured the broadcasting rights for cricket in Sri Lanka for the next four years from 2009 to 2013. Following a Supreme Court order to renegotiate the deal with Ten Sports, the minister of sports has done so on behalf of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). The estimated figure, it is reliably learnt, is somewhere in the region of US$65 million which is nearly $13m more than the second addendum more..

Meeting held for Honorary Consuls representing Sri Lanka abroad

Jan 25 (AT) Forty one Honorary Consuls from different regions of the world participated in a symposium organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the direction of Foreign Minister Rohitha Boggollagama which was held from 19-21 January 2009. This symposium was inaugurated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In his address to the Honorary Consuls the President spoke of the challenges faced by the government to restore peace and more..

Sri Lanka – Need for a major national overhaul

Jan 25 (TC) In Sri Lanka, the LTTE has been driven into the Mullaitivu district and is being besieged by the Sri Lankan armed forces. An estimated 250,000 Tamils civilians trapped- some of their choice, but the majority as captives of the LTTE- in this area are living in hell amidst the war, without adequate shelter, food and other services. Their lot is heart wrenching. The government and sections of Sinhalese are celebrating with undisguised glee the recovery of more..

"Iwasuwa Ethi" - Ranil

Jan 25 (MN) Ranil Wickramasinghe, in an effort to capitalize on the death of one of the finest journalists, Lasantha Wickramatunge, has stated at a meeting “Iwasuwa Athi” meaning that he has come to the end of his patience. This is a new phrase which is being used by Wickramasinghe, was obviously acquired from the UNP’s rebel group which would have used it very liberally during their effort to get rid of him from the party leadership. more..

Putting the lid on dissent and a cover-up in the making

Jan 25 (SL) Whilst the government was taking pains to shift the public opinion building against it at the outrageous murder of The Sunday Leader Editor, Lasantha Wickrematunge on January 8 in close proximity to a high security zone, it does not take a rocket scientist to identify the swift diversionary tactics at play, with the attack carried out on Rivira Editor Upali Tennakoon on Friday morning. more..

The exorbitant cost of 'cheap power'

Jan 25 (SL) The pledge to provide electricity to consumers at a cheaper rate following the commissioning of the Kerawalapitiya Combined-Cycle Gas-Turbine (KCCGT) has become a pipe dream given the additional costs the CEB would have to incur due to some mind boggling decisions and the technology used for power generation in the plant. Officials in the implementation of the KCCGT project have ignored warnings by energy experts since 2006. more..

NFF's bizarre take on the media attacks

Jan 25 (SL) That the media is currently being suppressed is no longer a statement limited to the opposition political, media and civil rights organisations. It is a fact accepted by even government ministers although no public statements have been made on the matter. It is learnt that many ministers and members of the government have expressed their displeasure at the arson attack on Sirasa and the assassination of The Sunday Leader Editor in Chief, Lasantha Wickrematunge. more..

Mihin loses Rs. 83 mn in three weeks

Jan 25 (SL) Since its re-launch on January 1, Mihin Lanka has made some serious waves in the national pocketbook: think a tsunami hitting the Treasury coffers with unprecedented force. The airline has surpassed the expectations of all its opponents, by losing a record sum of money in just 23 days. The airline has lost Rs. 83 million in its operations insofar. With over a week left to go before January is over, Mihin Lanka is well on its way to losing over Rs. 100 million in its first month of operations more..

Underwater games some girls play

Jan 25 (SL) With incriminating medical proof that young water polo players from a leading Colombo school were physically harassed by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) women's team, the reasons for delaying the completion of inquiries despite evidence remains a mystery. Eleven water polo players of Visakha Vidyalaya Colombo on November 14, 2008 wrote to the school administration complaining that they were subjected to physical harassment during the National Water Polo Games held more..

Israel frothing over Dayan statement

Jan 25 (LB) Despite the damage control measures that have been taken, the government fears Israel would withdraw crucial military assistance to Sri Lanka after Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Dayan Jayatilleka made a scathing attack on Israel over the attacks on Gaza strip. Israel last week sent an envoy to Sri Lanka to lodge its strongest protest against a statement made by Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Dayan Jayatilleka which was seen as a direct attack on the Israeli state. more..

More journos exit

Jan 25 (LB) Four more journalists have fled the country last week fearing for their lives. They are Sanath Balasuriya and Poddala Jayantha of Lake House, Sunanda Deshapriya and Uvindu Kurukulasuriya of the Free Media Movement. Last week Upul Joseph Fernando of the Lankadeepa, Rathnapala Gamage of Lankadeepa, and Chevan Daniel of MTV left the country. In addition, Iqbal Athas, Keith Noyahr, Namal Perera and Anuruddha Lokuhappuarachchi had already left the country. more..

Flyovers at flying speed

Jan 25 (LB) Many flyovers have been constructed in the recent past. More are expected to be put together in Colombo. Meanwhile, the Kelaniya flyover established a world record for being the swiftest assembled prefabricated flyover constructed in 60 days. However, the viability and safety of the structures are in question. The latest flyover at Nugegoda was also completed in record time, a month ahead of schedule. more..

Tamil Tigers face extinction

Jan 25 (MI) The Tamil Tigers are on the run, and the Sri Lankan army is hot on their heels. “We have surrounded them on all sides,” said the triumphant army chief, Lieutenant-General Sarath Fonseka. “The only option for them is to jump into the sea because they still have 40km of coastline.” That would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Until recently, most analysts and even Sri Lankan leaders had viewed the conflict as a no-win situation. more..

Police department says no to arrests

Jan 25 (LB) The Police Department has failed to carry out instructions sent out by the Elections Commissioner to arrest powerful politicians who were misusing public assets in the election campaigns in the Central and North Western provinces. Opposition parties and NGO’s which monitor provincial council elections said that the Police department deliberately keeps silent over the use of public assets by powerful politicians in the government. more..

Life And Style: India’s Buddhists

Jan 25 (MS) There is a growing movement to revive Buddhism where it was born. Over 50 years ago, the author of India’s constitution, B R Ambedkar, set in motion a Buddhist socio-political movement which many believe is now ready to fructify through Mayawati, chief minister of northern Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. Both Ambedkar and Mayawati come from India’s so-called ‘untouchable’ caste, better known as Dalits (the broken people). more..

Sri Lanka's other war keeps media on the run

Jan 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka is in the grip of its biggest military offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels, but the country's journalists are also facing an unprecedented battle of their own. Unidentified attackers stabbed weekly newspaper editor Upali Tennakoon and smashed his car as he drove to work Friday in the latest in a string of violent attacks against journalists in Sri Lanka. The attack against Tennakoon, chief editor of the privately-owned Rivira weekly, more..

Sangaree: Visit Sri Lanka to save the Tamils from the clutches of Tamil Tigers

Jan 25 (AT) In an open letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, TULF Leader V. Anandasangaree, has questioned why Karunanidhi did not visit Sri Lanka and see for himself the situation that fastly unravels in the country. He said in that letter Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse has openly extended an invitation to him to visit and asked what is preventing him from doing so. more..

Estonian Sri Lankan Confab: Endeavour to build relationship at people to people level

Jan 25 (AT) An ambitious Estonian VIP of repute - Dr. Kaido Kotkas has shown a keen interest in establishing friendly relationship with Sri Lanka.Dr. Kaido Kotkas of Estonia. Dr. Kaido, a medical doctor and a humanist, who believes in peace and harmony has indicated that he feels that Estonia and Sri Lanka has to establish friendly contacts and hence build bilateral relationship on governmental level. more..

Suspected LTTE operative lands at Rameswaram, flees

Jan 25 (Hindu) A Sri Lankan, suspected to be an operative of the LTTE, landed in a fibreglass boat on the Serankottai shore in Rameswaram and fled into the casuarina groves. According to an eyewitness, a fisherman of Serankottai, the man, aged between 35 to 40 years, was wearing a black shirt and carried baggage. He did not answer questions on his identity. On receiving information, police rushed to the spot and seized the boat. more..