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Allow IDPs return home - France

July 27 (BBC) The French foreign ministry says the recently-approved $2.6 billion dollar IMF loan to Sri Lanka should be used to improve the plight of civilians severely affected by conflict. The French reiterated that displaced people should be allowed to return to their homes and humanitarian agencies should have unhindered access to them. On Friday, the IMF gave final approval to the loan, despite objections from human rights groups and more..

Undergrads help deprived students

July 27 (BBC) A group of university students in Sri Lanka have launched another education project to help deprived students in remote areas. The "Arunella" programme by the university students aimed at students from poor backgrounds in the eastern province has been in operation since last year. A programme to help children at Venrasanpura school, Kantale, was launched on Saturday. "We have been conducting seminars for bright A/L students and more..

'Little Aid' - Ambepusse Project

Sri Lanka 'pressure' over murders

July 27 (BBC) Relatives of murdered aid workers in Sri Lanka say they do not want to press for more compensation from the French charity that employed them. They say the Sri Lankan government has given them letters to sign seeking more money from Action Against Hunger. The authorities deny the letters exist, but the BBC has seen copies of them. There was an outcry when the 17 aid workers were killed in 2006. more..

Tamils gather to remember

July 27 (TS) Hundreds of Tamil Canadians descended on Queen's Park yesterday to call on the Canadian government to do more to help the estimated 300,000 displaced Tamils living in internment camps in Sri Lanka and to thank Canada for granting them refuge here. About 1,000 observed a moment of silence in memory of the Tamil victims of Black July, considered by many to be the start of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils in 1983. more..

Arms still being seized, says Colombo

July 27 (Hindu) The military on Sunday said troops engaged in search and combing operations in the north continue to recover large quantities of arms and ammunition left behind by the Tiger cadres. The Defence Ministry said among the items recovered in the last 24 hours were 22 T-56 weapons, 11,013 rounds of T-56 ammunition, 35 T-56 magazines, 21 anti-personnel mines, 11,500 detonators, 1,270 rounds of 12.7 mm ammunition and 834 rounds of Multi Purpose Machine Gun (MPMG) ammunition. more..

St John’s – wake-up to save lives

July 27 (AT) The St John Ambulance services appear to be more inclined to kill people than save them. A person wanted to move his wife who was in a critical condition from one hospital to another and he has contacted the St John’s Ambulance service on 2437744 and a voice answered and informed that once a call is given to 076805944 an ambulance would be sent to the point and a fee of Rs 1700 would be charged for the services. more..

President opens New Katugastota Bridge

July 27 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapakse declared open the new Katugastota Bridge this morning (26). The bridge, with four lanes, connects the Kandy town and the districts of Matale and Kurunegala. The new bridge is 130 metres in length and 20 metres wide. The total cost for the construction work of this bridge is Rs. 525million out of which 70% was borne by the Kingdom of Kuwait. The bridge was completed in less than four years will be a timely solution to the problem of traffic congestion in the city of Kandy. more..

Police curfew in Beruwala after deadly factional clash

July 27 (PSM) An indefinite police curfew has been imposed in parts of Beruwala (Mahagoda and Hettimulla) since this morning in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the deadly clash which took place between two Muslim groups in the area late on Friday night, police sources said. Rumor mongers are also warned to refrain from spreading rumours and help police to maintain law and order. more..

India recalls Alok Prasad

July 27 (LNW) The Indian Foreign Ministry has decided to recall Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Alok Prasad, who played a key role as the mediator in mustering India’s support during the war against the LTTE. Prasad has been asked to return to India within two months. Indian diplomatic sources say that current Indian High Commissioner in Malaysia, Arul Prasad, would be appointed to Sri Lanka afterwards. more..

Sri Lanka IMF program a framework for donor support: mission chief

July 27 (LBO) A 20-month IMF backed economic plan will boost Sri Lanka's reserves and provide a framework for donors to back post-war reconstruction, an official who led the mission to the island said. Though an immediate priority of the government was providing relief to refugees, reconstruction needs would grow over time, he said. "The IMF program would provide a framework in which the international donors can come in and more..

PMK wants proper rehabilitation of displaced Sri Lankan Tamils

July 27 (PTI) The PMK on Sunday appealed to the United Nations to take steps for proper rehabilitation of the internally displaced Sri Lankan Tamils in the island nation. PMK President G K Mani alleged that the displaced Tamils had been lodged in camps without adequate medical facility, food and shelter. Referring to the increase in prices of essential commodities in the state, he said that the party would launch an agitation in the first week of August demanding more..

Russia contributes US$500,000 for UNHCR humanitarian programmes in Sri Lanka

July 27 (RW) The government of the Russian Federation has generously contributed US$500,000 to the budget of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to be earmarked for UNHCR programmes in Sri Lanka aimed at addressing the current humanitarian needs in the country, and has expressed its hope that the funds would benefit Sri Lanka and its people. more..

Sri Lanka’s citizens will feel pinch of IMF loan

July 27 (National) Sri Lankans could be in for hard times after the government agreed with the International Monetary Fund to cut losses at state petroleum and power companies and reduce subsidies, which could trigger price hikes. The tough economic reforms, which also include curbing military spending, are contained in a “letter of intent” from the Sri Lanka government to the IMF, which sets out economic targets until 2011 in return for a loan. more..

Severe water shortage in IDP camps

July 27 (LNW) The UNHCR in a report released on July 21 stated the severe water shortage in the Menik Farm camp that houses 269,704 IDPs in Vavuniya has resulted in the people spending a long time to get some water. The report further stated that while each person in the camp is given only 10 litres of water each day, the situation has become worse due to the dry weather conditions experienced in the area. more..

Policy framework for reconciliation must address root causes of conflict

July 27 (TC) The war has ended. What next is the query on the minds of all Sri Lankans, more specifically a major concern to the Tamil community? The issues are clear and many options are available but which ones will the leadership take? An end of a war or conflict leads to many roads. The choice the State and the citizens take should be one that looks forward with hope for the future and not one that looks backward with anger and vengeance, more..

“Uthuru Wasanthaya” will cultivate fallow land in North

July 27 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to cultivate the fallow land in the North under the “Uthuru Wasanthaya” program and has agreed to grant the required seed paddy to farmers for cultivation. 4000 rupees will also be given to process each acre of paddy land. This decision was taken at the meeting of review progress of the Mullaitivu District. more..

A curious letter from a Tamil North American volunteer among the IDPs

July 27 (SLW) We picked this letter for its strange contents which should be obvious to our web surfers. Suresh Mather, obviously a North American citizen is now in Sri Lanka, and one can see, quite happy to be involved working for the IDPs. However, he opens up with a report of what he claimed as army fire 150 metres away with the armed sentries ducking for cover but he had no fear. He says no more about it and we are not even sure whether it is army fire or not. more..

TNA parliamentarians, a collection of confounding clowns

July 27 (SLW) An analytical review of the performance of the Tamil National Agency (TNA) parliamentarians ever since their elections will reveal the pathetic political paucity of their honour and integrity, if they have any of it in the first place. One need not go past the midnight hour to delve deep into how they conducted themselves, the various speeches they made in Parliament and outside, calls on New Delhi and Chennai and more..

Thus Spake JVP

July 27 (LG) The reasonable compensation for all families whose members have lost their lives in the (ethnic) war, financial and physical resources for areas battered by the war, shifting all members of individual IDP families into same camps, constitutional amendment to make Sinhalese, Tamil and English as the ‘national languages’ of Sri Lanka. If someone thought that these is the latest of reiterated demands of the TNA or some other Tamil political party, international NGO or political think-tank, it is not to be. more..

What’s happening to the once dignified Muslims in Sri Lanka ?

July 27 (LG) The recent killings of Muslims of the underworld like Amanula Imtiaz, Mohammed Nisthar, Mohammed Anwer an accomplice of Maligawatte Faji who is on the run and the existence of the underworld & Muslim anti-social elements have shocked the Muslim community in the island. In addition dozens of other groups calling themselves “Jihad” bearing arms have surfaced in the Eastern province, they too are involved in extortion, kidnappings, robbery and other anti –social practices. more..

The need for a renewed Tamil-Hindu politics in Sri Lanka

July 27 (LG) This week marks the 26th anniversary of the 1983 race riots in Sri Lanka. A lot has happened since then. We need ethnic reconciliation. Hinduism defined the Tamil identity in Sri Lankan history. The Saivite Hindu value system shaped Tamil politics before independence. This was epitomized in the careers of Arumuga Navalar, Muttucoomaraswamy, Ponnambalam Ramanathan, P. Arunachalam, Vythialingam Duraiswamy, Kandiah Vaithianathan, more..

The three stooges of terror

July 27 (LG) The Three Stooges – Moe Howard, Curly Howard and Larry Fine, were instrumental and key players in an American classic comedy act of the early to mid–20th century and best known for their silly antics of hitting each other uncontrollably in comedic haste. Their hallmark was physical slapstick comedy punctuated by quickly-delivered one-liners, within outrageous storylines to nowhere. more..

US assures cooperation for IDP welfare

July 27 (GDI) US Assistant Secretary of State for Refugees Eric Schwartz has pledged the fullest cooperation of the Government of USA in resettling the civilians who were displaced due to the terror acts of LTTE. Schwartz at a discussion with President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday at the President’s house in Kandy highly commended the relief efforts of the Government to the massive number of civilians temporarily housed at the transitional camps in the North. more..

'Upcountry rebuff opposition party'

July 27 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing a section of the upcountry community said the voters of the upcountry were once manipulated by the politicians to gain narrow political gains for the sake of staying in power. President speaking to a gathering of upcountry community in Kandy today emphasized that the present Government has tangibly addressed the needs and aspirations of the upcountry population while more..

Basil on Weli-Oya re-settlement

July 27 (GDI) Senior Presidential Advisor parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa said the resettlement of displaced families in Welioya divisional secretariat area will be completed before the 31st of August. Accordingly, the displaced families in Kalyanipura, Morawewa and Gajabapura villages will be resettled. A sum of 50 million rupees will be granted to Padaviya Pradeshiya Sabha to construct the road network in the area. more..

Kelaniya campus to re-open

July 27 (GDI) Academic sessions of the Kelaniya University that have temporarily been suspended, will commence from July 30. A communique by the university media unit stated that the decision was taken by Professor Sarath Amunugama, Vice Chancellor and the Committee of the Deans of Faculties. Students who have hostel facilities should report to their respective hostels by 5pm on July 29, Wednesday, the communique added.

Nilanga separates two young elephant cubs from its mother with the approval of President

July 27 (LT) Two tusked elephant cubs which were not even three years old have been taken away by force from the Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawela with the mediation of Diyawadana Nilame of the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy Nilanga Dela Bandara. About 50 personnel of the STF and Army had gone to the orphanage, forced the officials of the orphanage to anaesthetize the mother elephant and the two cubs and taken away the cubs. more..

Mahinda as "Maharajajaneni": constant lickers and variable arses

July 27 (TC) Servility and self serving sycophancy are not unknown to poor Sri Lanka: on the contrary, the Country, most regrettably, abounds with it. However, never till now have we had the misfortune to witness the horrible spectacle of a pack of sniveling sycophants in political office of various types with unconcealed ambitions to climb higher on the basis of nothing more noble than their ignoble sycophancy, heaping mortal and unforgivable insults on the person of the Head of State while more..

Kandy pageant in all its grandeur

July 27 (LP) The Kandy Esla Perahera will start parading the streets this evening (27) in full traditional gear. The Diyawadane Nilame and the Maligawa Authorities treat the pageant as one of the greatest festive occasions in the country. Since peace has dawned with the defeat of LTTE terrorism, there is less security threats this time, for the Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth Relic) which has been one of their main targets. more..

'CPA and other NGOs had no interest in next of kin of deceased'

July 27 (MoD) The justice Udalagama Presidential Commission (COI) report on human rights violations, in its recently released report, states that NGOs such as the Centre for Policy Alternatives and INFORM etc., "were more interested in satisfying their paymasters'', the foreign INGO ACF (....whose employees, 17 aid workers were shot and killed, which was one subject of the commission investigation....) "than securing compensation for the victims.'' more..

New scripture on Buddhist discipline written under ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’

July 27 (LT) The discipline of the government is so low there are doubts that the scriptures on discipline in Lord Buddha’s canonical teachings (Thripitaka) have been distorted and a separate statute written under ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ said JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake. he said, “Despite our state institutions being highly corrupt people had confidence in the examination system in the country. more..

Inaugural Air Force passenger flight to Palaly

July 27 (MoD) The inaugural passenger flight to Palaly at a concessionary tool off this morning, 27 July, from Colombo. Domestic flights for the convenience of passengers will also be destined Trincomalee and Sigiriya shortly. Flights to Jaffna will take off from Ratmalana on Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week in a Y-12 air craft of the Air Force. An information centre is also set up to provide flight details sources said. more..

Coke now into Cream Soda

July 27 (LNP) Coca Cola Beverages which has been launching new soft drinks in Sri Lanka in recent months last week announced the launch of Fanta Cream Soda the newest addition to the Fanta portfolio. Coke has now entered the Cream Soda category pioneered by Elephant House and later taken up by other players in the soft drinks industry. Coca Cola Beverages said that the new drink has been introduced after extensive research to suit the local palate. more..

Sri Lankan workers hard hit by export downturn

July 27 (wsws) The Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is among the industrial areas in Sri Lanka badly hit by the world recession. Several factories have been closed, resulting in thousands of layoffs. Some workers have been given notice that their jobs could go any time. Pay cuts and reductions in working hours have been ongoing. Just in first three months this year, 192,000 workers were laid off in Sri Lanka, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). more..

Opposition leader warns of nationwide protests

July 27 (CT) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has warned of nationwide protests against any government attempt to obtain a commercial loan once again from HSBC Bank. Despite the IMF already having approved a 2.5 billion US dollar loan, the government is planning for another credit facility from the private bank, he told a public rally in Dedigama on July 25. Mr. Wickremesinghe alleged the IMF loan has been obtained to pay for the previous borrowing from HSBC Bank and for the hedging deal. more..

APRC to conclude & draft proposal out this week

July 27 (PSM) 127th and 128th sessions of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) are to be held today and tomorrow. These two sessions are expected to be final sessions of the APRC. With these final two meetings, the long awaited final proposals and recommendations of the APRC will be submitted to President Mahinda Rajapaksa this week, APRC Chairman Prof. Tissa Vitharana told. more..

Private bus owners to request fare hike in writing

July 27 (CT) Private bus owners say they will request the National Transport Commission for a seven per cent fare hike from August 15. The request in writing will be sent today (July 27), president of their association Gamunu Wijeratne told ‘Colombo Today.’ According to him, the government had agreed for a fare hike from July 01, but that bus owners decided against it to ease burdens on the government. more..

Southern PC to be dissolved on August 04

July 27 (CT) The government has plans to dissolve the Southern Provincial Council on August 04, reports say. The Southern PC was originally intended to be dissolved on July 29. The polls for the Southern PC are expected to take place in October, reports said. Meanwhile, several powerful UNP politicians are to due to crossover and contest the election under the UPFA ticket. more..

Sri Lankans employed in Middle East to benefit from new measures

July 27 (CT) Three Middle Eastern countries have adopted several labour welfare measures that are expected to benefit Sri Lankans serving in these countries. Of these countries, the government in Kuwait will get directly involved in the recruitment of housemaids from Sri Lanka. According to the Bureau of Foreign Employment, a special company will monitor the recruitments, which will ensure that employers look after the wellbeing of the housemaids. more..

Colonial bridges in Kandy

July 27 (DN) Among these ancient bridges, the most famous were the Mawanella bridge, Gampola bridge, Peradeniya bridge and the Katugastota bridge. The last of the old bridges over the Mahaweli Ganga was the Katugastota bridge built during the times of Governor Henry Ward. This bridge linked roads coming to Kandy from Kurunegala and Matale. It also linked the route between the strategic trading harbour at Trincomalee. more..

Foreign fraudsters arrested

July 27 (DN) Several foreigners, engaged in defrauding Banks and unsuspecting wealthy locals after befriending them at local banks have been arrested by the Divulapitiya Police. Their modus operandi had been to enter local banks posing as foreign businessmen on the pretext changing Euros into local currency. Later, after being rejected by the management as they did not possess passports, they befriend customers engaged in large transactions by more..

A ‘scented’ gesture towards a green world

July 27 (DN) Wood is a renewable and sustainable energy resource which is considered environmentally friendly. Unlike fossil fuel, carbon dioxide released by burning wood is recycled by regenerating forests and does not permanently remain in the atmosphere. Wood production requires less energy than other material such as steel. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has forecasted that more..

'Political struggle will continue until Tamil aspirations are met'

July 27 (TN) "Tamil militancy was a part of the political struggle of the Tamil people to achieve the right to self-determination in the traditional homeland of the Tamil people in the northeast. The Sri Lanka government says that the armed struggle has been completely defeated. But the political struggle of Tamil people would go on till the legitimate political aspirations of the Tamil people are achieved," more..

Govt to spend Rs. 1 billion on Northern roads

July 27 (DN) The Sri Lanka Highways Ministry will spend one billion rupees this year to implement Stage I of the proposed strategy for the National Road Development Program in the Northern province, with the assistance of the security forces, said Director, Planning, Road Development Authority, H.M.K.G.G. Bandara. He was speaking on ‘Road Transport Requirement for the North and East’ at a seminar on ‘Reawakening of the North and the East’ at the Galadari Hotel recently. more..

Self sustaining villages as a vehicle for reconstruction

July 27 (Island) Three decades of militancy for dividing Sri Lanka and counter measures to hold it together as a single unit displaced thousands of people from their homesteads in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces to take refuge in temporary camps. With the recent mass exodus of people to escape for safety from the grips of LTTE, the humanitarian crisis intensified. After having overpowered militant threats against the civilian population, more..

Security tightened to thwart Tigers fleeing

July 27 (Island) Following reports of some LTTE cadres, held in welfare centres in the Vavuniya-Mannar region escaping to the South, in some instances with the connivance of security personnel, the government has strengthened security measures in the area. The army, too, has been deployed in support of the police, now tasked with apprehending the escapees. Well informed sources told The Island that on a directive given by Defence Secretary, more..

Just wearing Buddhist labels won't do

July 27 (DM) The bana salawa of the pansala situated about a kilometre away from the Perera residence was the venue for a bana desanawa by the well known Ven. Muttetuwegoda Mahinda Thera that Poya day evening. Mr Perera–the owner of the Wallside Restaurant and Bar–who was a dayakaya of the temple made it a point to attend the occasion with his family. He insisted that his two employees who were virtually part of the household to come along as well. more..

Ex military personnel elbow out political henchmen

July 27 (Island) The government has siganalled a significant change in its policy by the appointment of senior retired military officers and one serving military officer to head important offices generally reserved for political appointees. For the first time, the government has also appointed a retired service commander as Secretary to the Highways and Road Development Ministry. more..

No money for settling bills, Schools will be without electricity countrywide

July 27 (Island) The JVP said electricity would be disconnected in most schools islandwide as Provincial Councils and the government had not allocated funds for settling bills. JVP Western Provincial Councilor, Dumunda Nagamuwa told a press conference held at the JVP headquarters in Battaramulla up to now electricity supply to around 50 schools in the Hambantota district where President Mahinda Rajapaksa came from had been disconnected. more..