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'No assistance from security sections to take goods collected for IDPs'

July 2 (LT) The goods, including food stuff, collected by the members of the JVP to be distributed among IDPs in camps in Vavuniya are still held over in Anuradhapura as necessary assistance from the security sections to hand them over to the District Secretary of Vavuniya has not been received yet says JVP MP Ranaweera Pathirana. He said the Ministry of Defense has still not responded to a letter written asking for permission to transport the goods to Vavuniya. more..

Priest attempting to take abroad CDs discrediting govt. & forces remanded

July 2 (LT) A priest arrested at Katunayake Airport attempting to take abroad CDs suspected to contain material that would falsely implicate Sri Lanka government of carrying out genocide against Tamil population in Sri Lanka has been remanded until the 15th by Colombo Additional Magistrate. The terrorist monitoring unit has informed the Judge that the priest, Shanthe Nihal Fernando of Moratuwa, is an active member of an NGO and more..

Czech Republic keen on investing in Sri Lanka

July 2 (LNP) With the dawn of peace the Czech Republic has indicated its willingness to invest in Sri Lanka and a twelve-member delegation from the Czech Republic is now in Sri Lanka. The delegation is mainly looking at assisting the Sri Lankan Government in infrastructure development. The delegation held discussions with the BOI yesterday and will discuss further the investment areas where Czech entrepreneurs are interested in, more..

Of that star-crossed stargazer

July 2 (LNP) Superstition, it is said, is the religion of feeble minds. That may explain why most politicians are inveterate believers in occult practices. If one thought it was political leaders who ran this country, one thought wrong. Politicians rule the country and astrologers lead politicians by the nose! A few years ago, it was reported that a minister of a previous government had got into a gunny bag full of gingerly in the buff at the behest of an astrologer to neutralise the malefic effects of a bad planetary combination. more..

Lankans completed a successful first day at the first Asian Youth Games

July 2 (LNP) Lankans completed a successful first day with a class show at the first Asian Youth Games which is now in progress in Singapore. Sri Lankan cagers came up with an excellent performances, winning all three games they faced yesterday and qualified play in the quarter finals of the 1st AYG. The Lankan boys trounced Nepal 33-11 in their Group B 3 on 3 basketball match in the morning. more..

'It’s people that should be united not parties'

July 2 (LT) Next Prabakaran will emerge from an IDP camp if immediate action is not taken regarding displaced persons in camps said JVP MP Tilvin Silva. He said by the 18th of last month the tiger terrorist organization, the main obstacle for the national unity in the country, was defeated and since then a month and a half has passed but the government is marking time carrying out unnecessary dialogues without even taking initial steps to develop national unity. more..

Sewerage disposal gets top priority

July 2 (DN) The Colombo city’s century old sewerage disposal system has been taxed to the limit by the population explosion of the city and would have posed a danger as much as the terrorist problem. The Greater Colombo sewerage management project to be commenced now needs improvement, Local Government and Provincial Council Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon said yesterday. The Minister made this observation at a function at more..

Negotiations under way for their release

July 2 (DN) Sri Lankan High Commission in Canberra yesterday confirmed that the pirates who seized the cargo ship MV Charelle with seven Sri Lankans including the captain on board has started negotiations with the ship owners based in New Zealand for the release of its crew. This cargo ship was seized by the Somalian pirates off the Omani coast on June 12 soon after it left Handramout port. more..

The story of Mother Courage

July 2 (DN) The 65-year-old woman seemingly had nothing special about her. She looked ordinary, with silvery hair complementing her life of over three scores but the glow in her eyes said she was a cut above the rest. R.Karunawathi in Nellikulama in Anuradhapura had a reason to be proud. Being a mother of seven she possessed the courage to send all her six sons and husband to the warfront which she believes “the duty” towards the country. more..

Sixteen (A)H1N1 patients so far

July 2 (DN) The total number of (A)H1N1 patients detected when they entered Sri Lanka is 16 and none of them are from Sri Lanka. They had all come to Sri Lanka from other countries. Only six patients are receiving treatment at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Angoda and all other patients numbering 10 are completely cured and discharged. There are four other patients to be diagnosed shortly, IDH, more..

Ministerial Changes in Sri Lanka

July 2 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has appointed Minister Milinda Moragoda, who was the Minister of Tourism as the Minister of Justice and law Reform. He took oaths this morning. He fills in the vacancy created by the recently demised Amarasiri Dodangoda who was the Minister of Justice and Law Reform. Sources revealed that Ministry of Tourism is to be allocated to Nandana Gunatilake of the NFF headed by Wimal Weerawansa. more..

Caesarian section in Sri Lanka on the rise

July 2 (CT) Caesarian section among Sri Lanka women have increased rapidly in the last few years, Minster of Health, Nimal Siripala De Silva has said. The minister was addressing an event that saw the release of a Family Health Bureau study report on a safe pregnancy. Noting that 15,175 Caesarian section have been reported from government hospitals in 2007 which is 3.1% of the total births or 350,000, the minister said that the statistic is comparatively high to that of other countries. more..

SLMC files case challenging rejection of its Jaffna nominations

July 2 (CT) The SLMC has challenged in court the rejection of its nominations for the Jaffna municipal council at the upcoming local government polls for the north. The party’s acting general secretary Nizam Kariappar today (Jul. 01) filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking an order that invalidates the rejection. The respondents include the elections commissioner and the Jaffna returning officer. more..

UNP to sue its MPs appointed SLFP organizers

July 2 (CT) The United National Party will seek legal action against UNP parliamentarians who have crossed over and obtained electoral organizer posts of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake said. He said that crossing over and obtaining SLFP organizer posts after being elected as a parliamentarian under the UNP ticket amounts to a violation of the party constitution. more..

Petrol up by Rs. 10, Diesel by Rs. 3, Kerosene by 1,

July 2 (Island) The government has increased fuel prices with effect from midnight Wednesday (July 01). CPC Chairman Brigadier (retd) Asoka Thoradeniya, who yesterday morning told The Island that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had turned down a request to increase fuel prices and wanted the Government to bear any loss, last night said that a litre of Petrol 90 Octain had been increased by Rs. 10 and Octain 95 by Rs. 15, diesel by Rs 3 and kerosene by Rs. 1. more..

Govt to pursue economic policy based on rural development

July 2 (Island) Japan’s Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi said Sri Lanka should have a freer trade regime, liberalise its capital account and urged the government to take steps to create an enabling environment for the private sector to contribute towards development activities. "The private sector should be engaged to develop agriculture, fisheries and the environment and the government should expeditiously remove all obstacles from their path. more..

Triple murder in Horana

July 2 (Island) A father, mother and their 25-year-old daughter were chopped to death on Tuesday night in Poruwandanda, Horana. It is suspected that a person involved in an incident of rape involving the murdered daughter over 10 years ago could have been behind this gruesome murder. The rape case was due to come up in Court yesterday(Wednesday). Police went in search of the suspect in the rape case yesterday morning but he had disappeared from home. more..

Aceh inspires Sri Lankan peace mission

July 2 (JP) The 2005 Aceh peace pact has provided inspiration for Sri Lanka in its handling of social reintegration issues after its 26-year war with the Tamil Tigers. The pact had encouraged the Sri Lankan government to "learn from and share experiences *with Indonesia*," on how to overcome problems in keeping peace. Bansil Rajapaksa, arrived in Aceh on Wednesday for a two-day fact-finding mission for this purpose. more..

Attacks on Media: Yapa regrets police inaction

July 2 (Island) Dismissing criticism on the failure on the part of the Media Ministry to prevent a continuing wave of attacks on the media, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that they had done everything possible to protect the media. He said that though the situation with regard to attacks on the media had been brought to the notice of the police and army action hadn’t been taken in this regard. more..

No special regiments for ex-rebels: Govt.

July 2 (DM) The Government yesterday said that there will be no room for ‘alien regiments’ within the armed forces, for former rebel cadres as suggested by some former militant leaders who are now politicians. Responding to a question raised by a journalist on the remarks allegedly made by Minister Vinyagamoorthy Muralitharan to the effect that ex-LTTE cadres who fled the militant movement with him would be absorbed into the Army as a special regiment more..

‘Refrain from making conflicting statements’

July 2 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has firmly told constituent party leaders on Tuesday to refrain from making conflicting statements on the ethnic problem and the devolution of power as it would be detrimental to his plans to resolve the problem through a political dialogue, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said. “The issue of finding a solution to the ethnic problem and bringing durable peace to the country is my job. more..

Wildlife in N-E should be protected: Minister

July 2 (DM) Environment and Natural Resources Ministry stressed the importance of Wildlife Conservation in the now liberated North and East. Minister, Champika Ranawaka said that the war was over and the Environment Ministry and Wildlife Conservation Department must ensure that these areas were protected. “The North and East received very little protection in the past. We are now in a position to safeguard these areas. It is our duty,” he said. more..

TNA attends All Party Committee meeting

July 2 (GDI) In a dramatic turn in national politics towards a better political understanding to sit at a table as one people to discuss burning issues of communities, the TNA will today participate at the Development & Reconciliation Committee established and headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. This is the first time that the TNA broke the ice to search for a solution for the Tamil people in a manner in which is most welcome, more..

“Urge Sri Lankan Govt to release the 4 Tamil doctors”

July 2 (Hindu) Medical college students and doctors here organised a human chain on Gandhiji Road on Wednesday appealing to the Central Government to urge Sri Lankan Government to release four Tamil doctors arrested by the Lankan police “just because they gave treatment to wounded Sri Lankan Tamils during the recent war.” The doctors in custody are Thambimuthu Sathyamurthy, Durairaja Vasantha Raja, Veerakathi Shanmugha Raja and Ilanchezhiya Pallavan. more..

Twenty20 finalists gear up for Test battle

July 2 (AFP) Pakistan and Sri Lanka make an emotional return to Test cricket on Saturday, almost four months to the day after a militant attack halted their last contest. The three-Test series is the first between the two nations since armed gunmen fired on the Sri Lankan team bus while the players were on their way to resume a Test match in the Pakistani city of Lahore on March 3. Seven Sri Lankan cricketers were injured and more..

It’s Kachchativu again

July 2 (EB) The ceding of the island of Kachchativu to Sri Lanka, consequent to the signing of the India-Sri Lanka Maritime Boundary Agreement in 1974 and the travails undergone by the Tamil Nadu fishermen in the Palk Bay region were media headlines recently. The reported construction of a watchtower and a military base in Kachchativu by Sri Lankan government naturally prompted the Tamil Nadu chief minister to write to the prime minister to immediately investigate the veracity of the report. more..

Sri Lanka's public interest litigation under spotlight

July 2 (LBO) Many of the safeguards guaranteed by Sri Lanka's laws of evidence were missing in recent fundamental rights petitions where private parties were involved, and there was a reliance on third party accounts, a senior lawyer said. Senior lawyer K Kanag-Isvaran said the articles 10 to 15 of Sri Lanka's constitution guaranteed the fundamental rights of citizens. Some of the rights were also available to non-citizens. more..

Sri Lanka: view from the ground

July 2 (LMD) Even those Sri Lankans, including Tamils, who were dubious about their government’s decision to pursue the military option against the LTTE, are relieved that the venture appears successful. They also are surprised at the reaction to the victory by nations such as the US, the UK, India and Israel, and the sharp criticism about civilian casualties and displaced people. om Sri Lanka, it feels as if the Tamil diaspora in the UK, Canada, US and Australia has overly influenced the media in those places. more..

MR says IDPs can seek asylum

July 2 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the Cabinet meeting that he would not mind Canada and the European countries giving asylum to the internally displaced persons. However, the President said that he could not send IDPs to India anymore because that country was not willing to accommodate them. “Canada has pledged to accept any number of IDPs. I do not mind these countries putting up visa offices in the welfare camps to facilitate people willing to leave the country,” more..

President vows to implement political solution

July 2 (ANN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa wouldn’t tolerate any dissent within his government to proposed devolution of power to the provinces on the basis of 13th Amendment to the Constitution, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said at a press conference at the Information Department. The President had emphasised that he wouldn’t give in to pressure from any party, he said. more..

Operation Liberation One

July 3 (LG) There were many considerations for the selection of Vadamarachchi. It was selected after hours of meticulous planning and a lot of afterthought. Since assuming duties as General Officer Commanding of the JOC, many operations were conducted in various areas and the war was fought in many fronts with several groups of terrorists, ranging from EPRLF, PLOTE, LTTE, TELO and EROS. more..

Law to protect the whistleblowers is a must

July 3 (LG) In Sri Lanka, persecution of whistleblowers, who refused to give into illegal demands of the politicians is a matter for concern, particularly when the developed nations have addressed this issue with a adequate safeguard to protect the whistle blowers. In the UK, Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, provides legal protection to workers who are victimized by employers for "blowing the whistle" about wrongdoing at work. more..

Summary of cabinet decisions

July 3 (GDI) Telecasting documentaries and news footages by the Government Film unit over Sri Lanka Telecom Peo TV: Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadarshana Yapa to telecast Department of Government Information owned documentaries and news footages over Sri Lanka Telecom Peo TV and to channel revenues secured by advertising for production of documentaries and news footages through the Deposit Account. more..

Govt. determined to buy 70,000MT of ‘Yala' harvest

July 3 (GDI) Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) expects to buy paddy in the forthcoming ‘Yala’ season at the same price PMB stipulated in the ‘Maha’ season in the years 2008/2009. Extending a helping hand, PMB requests farmers to sell 10% of their harvest (500 Kg per hectare) at the same price they sold in the ‘Maha’ season 2009. As to PMB calculations, if the guaranteed price during ‘Yala’ season 2009 could be fixed at a price level between Rupees 28 – 30, more..

Sri Lankan tea gaining lost momentum

July 3 (GDI) Sri Lanka Tea continued to enjoy strong demand in the high grown market with the tea bag sector forcing prices of smaller grades further up. The low grown market is expected to remain strong despite a slightly increased offering in the future owing to good demand from the Middle East prior to the Ramadan season, weekly auction reports reveal. In the Low Grown Leafy Category high priced Pekoes were firm while the others appreciated by Rs. 10-15 USC. more..

Two baby elephants to Malwathu and Asgiri chapters

July 3 (GDI) Ministry of Sports and Public Recreation decided to bequeath two baby elephants from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage to Rajamaha Viharayas under both Malwathu and Asgiri chapters. “Malwathu Asgiri chapters are centers of social, cultural and religious renaissance in Sri Lanka, and there is a severe shortage of tamed elephants which faithfully taken part in religious processions for many years, “ more..

Army chief after war flies to Jaffna

July 3 (MoD) General Sarath Fonseka, Commander of the Army made his first visit to the Jaffna Security Forces Headquarters Thursday (2) morning upon successful end of the Eelam War that brought about immense destruction to the country. Major General Mendaka Samarasinghe, Commander Security Forces Headquarters, Jaffna received him on arrival and conducted him to the Headquarters premises more..

Mathews eyes third-seamer's slot

July 3 (CI) Angelo Mathews, who made a name for himself playing for Sri Lanka in the ICC World Twenty20, has said his intentions of shaping into a genuine allrounder motivated him to focus more on his bowling. Mathews capped a run-heavy domestic season with a call-up to the Test squad - for the first time in his career - in the series against Pakistan and is now eyeing the third seamer's slot in Galle, the venue of the first Test. more..

Sri Lanka face wicketkeeper puzzle in first test

July 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka face a selection dilemma over their wicketkeeper as they gear-up for a tough three-test series against Pakistan starting in Galle on Saturday. Pakistan, buoyed by their recent win in the ICC World Twenty20 and strengthened by the return of rebel stars, pose a stern test to Kumar Sangakkara in his first test series as captain. With regular wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene out with a fractured finger, more..

Plea for Sri Lanka Tamil refugees

July 3 (BBC) A new group of eminent Tamil people in Sri Lanka has made a plea for those held in government camps to be given a timetable for their release. The group said people were yearning to be released from their confinement. The camps still house nearly 300,000 Tamils displaced in the final stages of the war which ended in May. The Group of Concerned Tamils in Sri Lanka says Tamil voices are being stilled and members of the minority were nervous of speaking out. more..

There should be a timeframe for discussions – JVP

July 3 (LT) A meeting of the ‘All Party Committee for Development and Reconciliation’ convened by President Mahinda Rajapakse was held today. Mr. Anura Kumara Dissanayake who participated in the meeting representing the JVP has made a statement at the meeting and has issued it to the media. We produce his statement: We value measures taken to conduct a discussion of political parties of Sri Lanka for a dialogue of this nature. more..

Return of the Colombians

July 3 (AT) All those in Colombo are not Colombians. It is only the superficial superlatives; some Colombians have sprung like jack in the box to become ardent Mahindians. There are still many in Colombo who stand on principle, refined to the core, constructively critical, tolerating no nonsense. Colombians come -lately with giddy minds, in search of upward mobility proselytized in their hunt to be associated with the winner looking for possible advancement in silence or in secret, more..

Are we doing enough things correctly to prevent epidemics?

July 3 (LG) For a country like Sri Lanka, in the tropical belt of the earth, mosquito borne diseases are a common occurrence. Already few diseases like malaria, filariasis, dengue and chikungunea (Ross River Fever) are established and have become endemic in the country. Some new and more dangerous diseases may also be introduced due to the presence of the mosquitoe vectors in the country and quick air travel from other parts of the world where these diseases occur. more..

Dr Badiuddin Mahmud commemoration

Tigers’ Eelam: Nothing ‘Hindu’ or ‘Tamil’ about it – (Part II )

July 3 (LG) The LTTE has many organizations in the name of Tamil, which act as fronts, indulging clandestinely in fund-raising and arms purchasing. When the FBI arrested some pro-LTTE activists in New York and New Jersey areas two years ago, the US authorities identified and cited the various proxy organizations of the LTTE in their criminal complaint in the district court in Brooklyn. more..

Ties with India unique: Bogollagama

July 3 (Hindu) Mindful of New Delhi’s concerns about Beijing’s increasingly close strategic relationship with Colombo, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Thursday stressed that Sri Lanka’s growing ties with China had no bearing on the country’s “unique” relationship with India. He described Sri Lanka’s relationship with the two countries as “two tracks on a railway-line running independently”. more..

U.S. Embassy fabricates non-existent political violence in Sri Lanka: To benefit its diplomats wallets

July 3 (AT) The June 26 ‘Travel Warning’ issued by the United States Department of State, a highly fabricated internal political violence and crime and safety report on Sri Lanka, has dual effect: The report justifies the earlier State Department-classified “Hardship and Dangerous” category to which the Colombo American Embassy and its Foreign Service Officers were listed for the continued 20% additional special pay increase. more..

Sub-plots and storylines

July 3 (CI) Pakistan didn't go to any war memorial on their way to Sri Lanka. Nor was their former coach hired before the series by their hosts. Umar Gul hasn't been talking about Mahela Jayawardene's technical faults - so no chance of Jayawardene telling Gul to Bring It On. And no one should expect a sea of green from Pakistan to fly over India for three weeks of cricket and partying in Sri Lanka. more..

Responses and clarifications on Sri Lanka: Is the war really over?

July 3 (GV) Though several comments made on my article were not directly related to the topic, I wish to respond to some of the issues that have been raised. The lop-sided comments about the JVP do neither take into account the context nor the causes for their insurrections. Political violence in Sri Lanka cannot be properly understood without recognizing its complex relationship with the socio-political establishment. more..

'Sri Lanka loan depends on Executive Board'

July 3 (LBO) The award of a stand by loan for Sri Lanka by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is awaiting approval of its executive board, which is yet to set a date to consider the loan, an official said. "But discussions are continuing, and the finalization of the program, as with any other program, would of course depend on the Executive Board," IMF spokesperson Caroline Atkinson told reporters in Washington. more..