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Bread provided to hungry displaced in Sri Lanka

July 5 (WFP) WFP and its humanitarian partners recently provided another lifeline to tens of thousands of people who have fled the recent conflict in Sri Lanka. Thanks to a coordinated initiative between the government, NGOs and the business community, three of Sri Lanka’s largest bakeries baked fresh bread for the hungry displaced using ingredients from WFP’s food basket. more..

IPKF failed in mission as it spurned army help: General

July 5 (EB) General Cyril Ranatunga, chief of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) and Defence Secretary when the IPKF was in Sri Lanka, says that one of the main reasons why the IPKF did not succeed in its mission to restore peace in the island was that it was over confident and unwilling to accept the assistance of the more experienced Sri Lankan army. “The Indians thought they knew everything. more..

292 is a good total on this pitch - Paranavitana

July 5 (CI) Sri Lanka were bowled out for 292 on the first day in Galle and their top scorer, opener Tharanga Paranavitana, who spent three hours on his 72, said the conditions were not ideal for batting. "There was dampness on the wicket and the ball seamed the whole day," Paranavitana said. "It was not easy batting on this wicket. I stuck to my basics so I was able to score runs." Paranavitana reached his maiden Test half-century from 67 balls more..

Samaraweera's bullet in safe keeping

July 5 (PA) Sri Lanka batsman Thilan Samaraweera has kept the "lucky" bullet which injured him in the attack in Lahore. The middle-order batsman was shot in the thigh when the team bus was ambushed by heavily armed terrorist gunmen on its way to the Gaddafi Stadium during the second Test in Lahore in March. Samaraweera was the worst hit, and his injury kept him bed-ridden for six weeks after surgery to remove the bullet more..

Why heart attacks are common in Sri Lanka

July 5 (LG) Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) is the biggest killer in Sri Lankan and more and more young Sri Lankans (those below 40 years) are getting heart attacks because they do not live with nature, eat bad food and eat at the wrong time in the night. It is not surprising that Sri Lankans are getting heart attacks about ten to twenty years before people in the West. This is due to a number of reasons. more..

Black July: Tamils vow to rise again

July 5 (LG) This year while commemorating the victims of Black July ’83, the Tamils are without a leadership and Sri Lanka continues to hold nearly 300,000 Tamils in internment camps while detaining over 10,000 youths in undisclosed locations under severe torture by Sri Lankan State armed forces. The Tamils’ this year vow is to continue the path of LTTE through political means to secure the right to self-determination, more..

Dr D.S. Bandarage - Father of modern management in Sri Lanka passed away

July 5 (LG) During the 50s Dr Bandarage was appointed as the Personnel Manager of Shell Company of Ceylon (one of the four multinational companies operating in Sri Lanka at the time). Afterwards, he worked as Personnel Manager at Lever Bros (now Unilever) for several decades, and retired as its General Manager. These are major watershed appointments in the Sri Lankan management arena because more..

Home Grown solution

July 5 (LG) The foundation for a stable and everlasting “Home Grown Solution” was laid down on 2nd July 2009, at Temple Trees with the participation of 23 political parties in which UNP,JVP, and TNA too participated- the crucial and decisive political groups in the country. President Rajapaksa brought peace in nearly three years by crushing LTTE the most powerful and feared terrorist outfit. It was almost a miracle and nobody believed the crush of LTTE until it was physically eliminated. more..

The Northern election - a Referendum on belongingness

July 5 (LG) If there is anything pretenders and terrorists tremble in complete terror, it is multiparty elections. In a multiparty election, the outcome is just a small element; the election itself is a manifestation of the acceptance of belongingness to a country, its legal and democratic system and social values. Sri Lanka is Asia’s oldest democracy. It is only natural that Sri Lankans get excited over elections. more..

Armed groups handover weapons

July 5 (BBC) Arms groups in Kathankudi, Batticaloa have handed their weapons to the authorities on Saturday. Through the Association of Muslim Mosques in the Eastern Province illegal weapons were handed over to the police at a ceremony held at Meera Jumma Mosque in Kanthankudi. An amnesty given by the police to handover all illegal weapons in Eastern Province ended on Saturday. T56, SMG, 303 rifles and shot guns were among the weapons. more..

Interview with Somawansa Amarasinghe

July 5 (GV) I spoke with the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe for his take on constitutional reform. During the course of our interview, Mr. Amarasinghe came out strongly in favour of the rights of all minorities, the need to meaningfully look into the well-being of Tamils interned in IDP camps and the importance of a secular State. more..

Sri Lanka's disregard for public opinion

July 5 (UPI) India’s Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram has expressed displeasure at steps taken by the Sri Lankan government to rehabilitate internally displaced Sri Lankan Tamils. Addressing the media in his constituency of Sivakasi in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu recently, he said, “I am not happy over the steps taken so far by Sri Lanka to rehabilitate the Tamils who have become refugees in their own country. The efforts are not enough." more..

The hedging web

July 5 (SL) As the date for the final submissions in the latest Supreme Court action instigated by public-interest litigator Nihal Sri Ameresekere, nears, Sri Lanka’s International Trade Minister appears to have missed an opportunity to discuss the arbitration issue surrounding the “Hedging deals” matter with his British counterpart Lord Mervyn Davies. Lord Mervyn Davies, Prof. G.L. Peiris’ counterpart in Britain – is a former head of Standard Chartered Bank and significant shareholder to boot. more..

Tax hikes to boost declining revenue

July 5 (SL) Economists have warned of further tax increases by the government to boost its declining revenue. The government’s drive to boost its revenue portfolio would result in burdening the masses with yet another round of price hikes to the already high commodity prices. The decline in government revenue economists say, would further balloon the current account deficit. Economist Dr. Harsha de Silva says the government due to the decline in its earnings on more..

Heritage Sites face delisting threat

July 5 (SL) Sri Lanka’s management of its UNESCO declared heritage sites is under serious question with the latest controversy revolving round Sri Lanka’s last declared site, the Golden Temple of Dambulla, popularly known as the Ran Giri Dambulu Vihara. With the Paris based World Heritage Centre expressing strong concerns about unauthorised modifications to the Galle Fort and its ramparts complete with the construction of a pavilion that more..

Country needs 300,000 security personnel

July 5 (SL) SLFP Vice President and National Integration and Reconciliation Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan said that 600 former LTTE cadres from the east had already joined the security forces and several others were to join in the future. In an interview with The Sunday Leader, Muralitharan said the country needed 300,000 security forces personnel to ensure law and order in the country. more..

Let’s enjoy the clown show, entrance free

July 5 (LB) Sri Lanka now has 50 ministers, 38 non cabinet ministers and 19 deputy ministers. That is 107, for those who can’t count. If this gaggle of ample-bellied geese does not fix this country, nobody will. We have got to learn to expect more from our cabinet. More work, more efficiency, ingenuity, innovativeness, honesty, integrity and dedication. As it is, ministers, non cabinet ministers and deputies materialise out of thin air every quarter, more..

Champika under fire for being anti national!

July 5 (LB) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has shelled JHU's Champika Ranawaka on Thursday (3) at a meeting at Temple Trees. This fracas is supposed to have taken place when Minister Ranawaka presented the action plan of the National Council for Sustainable Development and the Haritha Lanka Programme. It is reported that the president was furious and was visibly agitated. He thundered against the Minister and his officials and more..

Bribes and coils keep dengue alive

July 5 (LB) While senior health officials in Sri Lanka argue that had we used the Cuban bacterium BTi (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) when the dengue epidemic erupted, we could have saved hundreds of lives, there are rumours that senior officials in the ministry of health are being bribed to stop BTi: reason being the impact of the BTi can destroy mosquitoe altogether and thereby kill the coil industry recording daily trading in millions to nothing. more..

Lanka’s dangerous politics of half truths

July 5 (LB) On 15th June S. Pathmanathan, the most prominent of surviving members of the LTTE announced the establishment of a Provisional Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (PTG), pointing to the danger to the ‘very physical survival of Tamils’ and the absence of ‘political space to articulate their legitimate political aspirations’ in Lanka. This was followed the next day by V. Rudrakumaran, heading the committee of 13 leading advocates of more..

Lasantha murder: No police progress despite President promise

July 5 (TW) Six months after the murder of The Sunday Leader’s Founder Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge police investigations into the killing are reported to have made no progress whatsoever. Further, on consecutive occasions when the Wickrematunge murder case was being heard at the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate’s Court police representatives failed to make an appearance forcing the postponement of the hearings. more..

'Prisoner exchange treaty with Sri Lanka not in force'

July 5 (Miadhu) The treaty signed between Maldives and Sri Lanka to exchange prisoners is not in force, foreign minister Dr. Ahmed Shaheed has said. Foreign minister Shaheed made the statement speaking at a news conference held at Fasavees Maalum on Thursday. Dr. Shaheed said even though the treaty was signed between the two countries in 2008, the treaty will only come in to force when the People’s Majlis endorse it. more..

Expensive Lanka Male’ airfares

July 5 (Miadhu) Recent report in Miadhu about the not so amazing airfares offered by Srilankan airlines on its Male’ Colombo sector merits appreciation. Many people have long wondered why airfares for this very short distance are so expensive. Sri Lanka has been one of our closest neighbors with whom the people of Maldives have enjoyed long-standing cordial relations. Sri Lanka has always been a generous supporter and partner of our development and many other needs from time immemorial. more..

Sri Lanka: The Shame of July 1983

July 5 (AT) ”Unite as one team of patriots as it is not the time to concentrate on differences but on equalities. We must forge unity, understanding and affection for the future “President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the inauguration of the Committee on Development and Reconciliation in Colombo on the 2nd July 2009. These are not the words of a warlord brimming with a sense of military conquest. They are the words of a leader of a Nation who has liberated all his citizens from the cancer of terrorism, more..

Bad Moon Rising

July 5 (LG) The Rajapaksa administration won the war by riding the lion; it cannot implement the 13th Amendment in full (let alone 13th Amendment plus) without disembarking from the lion. And lions, just like tigers, are man eating beasts. Having won the war by harnessing Sinhala supremacism, will the regime now do a volte face? Can it? According to the official statement by the External Affairs Minister of India, the high powered Lankan delegation which more..

The Journey of a Journalist (Part 1)

July 5 (LG) My great ambition as a 15-year-old child was to become "one of the outstanding statesmen of the world" and to go overseas to "get acquainted with foreigners and their ways of life." These revelations appeared in a regular "What I want to be" children’s feature published in a Colombo daily on April 1, 1955. The story, which carried a one-column photo of mine, called me an "ambitious lad" whose more..

Human rights issue haunts ruling regime

July 5 (LG) The root cause of conflict in the political domain can be traced to material inadequacies in the economic base. History has seen great victors, adulated by the masses, men who stand up as granite pillars, only to collapse, due to failure to substantiate their existence with economic benefits to the masses. It is an unforgiving law that reduces political and military victories to nothing, as economic expansion is stalled due to the inability to make hard decisions. more..

Sri Lanka’s astro-politics

July 5 (LG) The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings…’ These immortal words put into the mouth of Cassius the Roman conspirator, by William Shakespeare, many centuries later, will be very much with all those associated with the stargazer, Chandrasiri Bandara, who is reported to be languishing in the Fourth Floor of the Criminal Investigations Department. more..

Draining state fund by Minister Bogollagama

July 5 (LG) The Institute is affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is managed by a Board of Management, chaired by the Hon. Rohitha Bogollagama, M. P. Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Board includes Air Chief Marshall Donald Perera, Mr. Chandra Fernando(the retired IGP who is a favourite nominee of the Minister), Dr. Upananda Vidanapathirana, Dr. Jayatissa de Costa(the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission), Mrs. Suganthie Kadirgamar, more..

Consensus on languages

July 5 (LG) A little-known fact that the JVP is supportive of a policy where Sinhala, Tamil and English should be made national languages emerged at a recent discussion in Colombo. It was an interesting revelation, which many observers say provides a different face of the JVP which has been involved in two attempts to overthrow the government through armed rebellion before giving up violence and entering the democratic framework. more..

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

July 5 (LG) The Times’ report, which came after the official visit of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to Sri Lanka, quoted two UN officials saying that Ban was aware of the death of 20,000 Tamil civilians. This report, along with a video clipping, raised a furore in the international arena, particularly among western nations which demanded a probe on the ‘war crimes’ of Sri Lanka. The UNHRC demand was rejected by the Sri Lankan government. more..

Campaign against 13th amendment is self-destructive and counter-productive

July 5 (TC) No lesser than the desire of the minority communities to feel equal members of the Sri Lankan community, the Sri Lankan state has a dire need to redeem itself in the eyes of its own citizens, 300,000 of whom now languishing in the heavily guarded camps, rather misfittingly named welfare villages. That is where a political solution comes into place if the hard earned military gains are more..

'Muslims don’t need separate politics'

July 5 (SO) Minister of Social Service, Health, Ports and IT Education of the Eastern Provincial Council and National Organiser of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress, M. L. A. M. Hisbullah said that Muslims did not need a separate political party but instead should remain part of the mainstream political parties, to achieve their political aspirations and legitimate rights. more..

Parliament spends Rs.11million daily and throws away 2000 meals a month

July 5 (LT) It has been revealed that Parliament throws away 2000 main meals and 1500 desserts in a month. This is revealed in an investigation carried out by Auditor General’s Department. The investigation has revealed that the cost exceeds the estimated funds due to unregulated expenses, waste of food and inefficiency in internal administrative structure of the Parliament kitchen. more..

Tamil expats take LTTE’s henchmen to task

July 5 (SO) Plans for a ‘Transnational State’ by the now defunct LTTE - their henchmen such as Kumaran Pathmanathan and V. Rudrakumar came under severe criticism by a majority of Sri Lankan Tamil expatriates according to the DAN (Dish Asia Network) TV station based in Paris. The Chairman of DAN S.S. Kuganathan told the Sunday Observer that a survey was conducted by his television on the collapse of the LTTE and more..

Uthuru Wasanthaya heralds new era for North

July 5 (SO) The `Uthuru Wasanthaya' or the Northern Spring is in full swing. For the Presidential Task Force for the Northern Development Chaired by Basil Rajapaksa (M.P.), implementing a mega project is not just one directed from Colombo. Identifying priorities is the key factor in properly implementing such a mega project. Without depending on secondary information the Task Force meets local government authorities, more..

Is Central Bank the real “Bottleneck” delaying IMF loan to Sri Lanka?

July 5 (TC) Ever since the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) publicly acknowledged that it has sought a stand-by credit facility of USD 1.9 billion from the IMF on March 04, 2009 there have been anxiety and rumors abound among the general public (both within the country as well as in the diaspora), politicians (both local and foreign), policy makers, independent researchers, civil society organisations (especially human rights organisations), and more..

Four-pronged operation against crime

July 5 (SO) Police have launched a four-pronged operation to prevent crime on a directive by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said IGP Jayantha Wickramaratna. The police chief told the Sunday Observer that the President had instructed him to make use of the same resources used to eradicate LTTE terrorism to deal with crime. The program to eradicate crime aims at four main areas namely organised crime, day to day unorganised crime, illicit liquor and narcotics and traffic crime. more..

Crucial JHU-Govt. meeting

July 5 (NS) The JHU will meet the President tomorrow to discuss about the 13th Amendment claimed inside party sources. The party has decided not to make any statements about the 13th Amendment until they meet the President. “Our stance on the 13th Amendment has not changed, but as a part of the government we think that we should talk to the President about the matter. We will announce the decision after the discussion on Monday,” more..

'We’re not racists, we are socialists'

July 5 (NS) Last week the JVP participated in the Development and Reconciliation Committee (DRC) summoned by the President and many speculated that they might be changing their stance on devolution and the implementation of the 13th Amendment like some of the other early opponents of the Amendment. The Nation met JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake to learn if the party stands by their original claims. more..

President ‘de-mines’ alliance thinking

July 5 (NS) The statement made by Environment Minister Patali ChampIka Ranawaka, a JHU front-liner, at a media briefing in Colombo on July 2, that his party would quit the government, if it made a move to fully implement the 13th Amendment, created a sensation in political circles last week. Minister Ranawaka’s statement immediately drew critical responses from Minister Mervyn Silva and Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga. more..

Test firing of political missiles?

July 5 (NS) There appears to be never a dull moment in the Sri Lankan political theatre. Just when campaigning began in earnest for the Uva Provincial polls, where one would have believed that interest would remain focussd there, events in distant Colombo began to take centre stage yet again. The first tremors of the impending quake came in the form of announcements from the JHU, that it would, using all means at its disposal, oppose the 13th Amendment as a means of Devolving Power. more..

Forty extortion victims?

July 5 (Island) The police investigating a large scale extortion racket that surfaced on a VIP’s complaint have received 16 complaints so far though the actual number of victims is believed to be about 40. A senior police official said that four of the extortionists were serving prison terms at Welikada for narcotic offenses and robbery. The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) is likely to take them to custody on detention orders to facilitate the investigation, more..

George Master’s daughter visits her father at the CID

July 5 (Island) The daughter of George Pancharatnam, better known as George Master, the LTTE’s one-time media spokesman, visited her father at the CID last week. Domiciled in Australia, Gayathri Jude arrived in Sri Lanka last week with her husband and two children to see her father who is being held by the CID following his surrender to the army during the height of the military thrust against the LTTE. more..

NFF softens stance on 13th Amendment

July 5 (Island) National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, one of the fiercest critics of 13th Amendment to the Constitution, yesterday said that this wasn’t the time either to repeal the amendment or implement it. Meanwhile Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told The Sunday Island that any political proposal outside the 13th Amendment would be subjected to a referendum. more..

Hot stories from the General’s book launch

July 5 (Island) Last Wednesday’s launch of Gen. Cyril Ranatunga’s autobiography was a scintillating event replete with anecdotes and stories of the long war now ended. The best of them related to President J.R. Jayewardene’s son, Ravi, who served as his father’s security consultant, proposing that all the firing pins be removed from the rifles of the honour guard to be lined up for Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to review on that famous occasion when a seaman slammed Gandhi with his rifle butt. more..

Presidential poll likely in January

July 5 (ST) With a separatist war now behind him, President Mahinda Rajapaksa appears poised to engage personally on many a political and economic war. That he is flexing his presidential muscles somewhat toughly on a number of these issues confronting his administration became more evident this week. On Thursday, he took the bold step of shifting Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda, one of 17 UNP political 'pole vaulters' to be the Minister of Justice and Law Reforms. more..

Men beneath the wings

July 5 (ST) Many were the times that they carried out sorties into the theatres of war where the battle was raging, not only to hit at specific terrorist targets but also to land amidst the thick fighting to evacuate their brother soldiers. Theirs were also those vital photographs, taken both day and night, that helped attack Tiger strongholds without harming innocent civilians. In the other parts of the country, away from the battleground, as they zoom overhead like tiny specks, more..

Food mafia in Dambulla

July 5 (ST) Politically-backed traders at the Dambulla Economic Centre are buying increasing supplies of vegetables from the farmers of the liberated Northern Province forcing growers elsewhere to throw their produce to the animals as prices are artificially manipulated. Dambulla dominates nearly 65 percent of the vegetable market and it is from here that vegetable are dispatched to Colombo, and other main towns in the southern parts of the country. more..

Dengue crisis bigger than Bti

July 5 (ST) Cuba is to send some experts to Sri Lanka for discussions and relevant studies with authorities after which a decision would be taken over the type of ‘bug’ or bacteria needed against the dengue menace which has caused the deaths of 163 and affected nearly 15,000 others. Two Cuban experts are expected soon, said a high-level Health Ministry source, explaining that once that happens, the bacteria – Bacillus thuringiensis sub-species israelensis (Bti) more..