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Silence ministers who back 13th Amendment: NFF

July 6 (DM) The NFF which is an ally of the government yesterday urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to silence ministers who make favourable comments on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and on power devolution. NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa told a news conference that the 13th Amendment was irrelevant as President Rajapaksa had given an assurance that it would not be implemented and that more..

Plan to Acquire MiG-29 Dropped

July 6 (Island) Sri Lanka has dropped a plan to acquire the Mikoyan MiG-29, a fourth generation multi-role jet fighter currently in service in over 30 countries. Well informed sources said that the government, despite severe financial constraints, wanted to order the Russian fighter to strengthen SLAF jet squadrons. Sources said that though they believed the available SLAF firepower was adequate to take on the LTTE in the East during war, a mega boost was needed ahead of the Vanni campaign. more..

Sabotage ruled out in Yal Devi fire

July 6 (SLBC) Minister Dalas Alahapperuma rules out a sabotage in the fire erupted in a compartment of Yaldevi train yesterday. An intensive investigation into the incident is now in progress. Expressing views to a programme in SLBC this morning the Minister said that he has ordered the officials to display the destination of buses of public transport service both in Sinhala and Tamil languages. more..

Sri Lankan students need 6 teachers, 16 more meals

July 6 (TOI) The Sri Lankan school at Yelahanka needs six teachers and 16 more meals per student for seven days a week. With restoration of normalcy in Sri Lanka set to take time, the school for refugee children is trying to maintain or even improve conditions for its students. It has planned to request large companies in the city to sponsor teachers and meals. more..

Indian fishermen go on strike

July 6 (Hindu) Various fishermen associations of Rameswaram announced an indefinite strike demanding the release of 20 fishermen, who were allegedly “detained” by the Sri Lankan Navy for entering its waters on Saturday. According to fishermen who returned to the shore on Sunday, Sri Lankan naval personnel surrounded five boats from Rameswaram when the crew members were fishing in the sea between Katchatheevu and Talaimannar on Saturday evening. more..

National Lawyers Association to oppose reactivation of Press Council

July 6 (DM) The UNP led National Lawyers Association said yesterday that it would fight against the reactivation of the Press Council that can jail journalists, charging that the government is moving towards a dictatorship. National Lawyers Association Colombo Branch President, Srinath Perera said that they would fight the reactivation of the council which was made defunct by the UNP government of 2002. more..

Two specialists from Cuba here with bacteria to combat Dengue

July 6 (DM) A stock of BTI (Bacillus Thurengenesis Israelenesis) bacteria from Cuba, used to combat the dengue mosquito, together with two microbiologists are expected in the country this week, a health ministry spokesman said yesterday. The airlifting of BTI initially hit a snag, as many countries are reluctant to provide transshipment or transit facilities and special arrangements are required to import it. more..

From the Sun God to the High King?

July 6 (LG) The singer is young and pretty. Her pose is one of veneration and her words worshipful. Around her, traditional dancers in colourful garb gyrate rhythmically. The ensemble seems apposite for a Pongu Tamil celebration with its overtones of leader deification. But this singer is Sinhala and the subject matter of her symbolism laden song is President Mahinda Rajapakse of Sri Lanka. more..

Prabhakaran lives on in TN, through books

July 6 (EB) Hero for many, villain for others, the enigma of our times, Vellupillai Prabhakaran continues to haunt the social and political space in Tamil Nadu with recently written books on him and the LTTE flying off the shelves in bookstores now. Several thousand copies of books on LTTE and Prabhakaran have been sold in the State in recent months, besides many works on the Tamil Eelam. more..

Surfers ride Sri Lanka's Arugam Bay waves again

July 6 (LBO) Arugam Bay in eastern Sri Lanka is coming to life after the end of a 30-year war in Sri Lanka cleared the way for surfers from around the world to ride its waves again. Hotels in the area were packed to capacity this week when surfers flocked to the town to take part in a contest dubbed 'Champion of Champions'. "We had a fantastic event. We've seen some great waves and spectacular surfing," more..

No welfare for Sri Lanka's Tamils

July 6 (AJ) The latter stages of the war in Sri Lanka have been carefully choreographed and hidden from the outside world, with the voices of victims silenced through fear and insecurity. There are allegations of war crimes, rape and torture, summary executions and prolonged bombardments by a government which, it is believed by human rights organisations, killed thousands of its own civilian citizens. more..

Presidential Secretary calls for spy units throughout public sector

July 6 (wsws) President Mahinda Rajapakse’s secretary, Lalith Weeratunga, who heads Sri Lanka’s civil service, has called for undercover intelligence units to be installed in every public sector workplace to spy on workers under the pretext of curbing corruption and inefficiency. Officers of the police cID would be deployed incognito, giving the government a “mole in every state department,” the Presidential Secretary proposed more..

War refugees kept in "welfare camps"

No unchecked power devolution: APRC Chief

July 6 (DM) Minister and All Party Representative Committee Chairman Tissa Vitharana said yesterday the APRC proposals for constitutional reforms include a National Land and Water Commission under the purview of the Central Government for the distribution and alienation of state land. Prof. Vitharana assured that there would be no absolute or unchecked power devolution to the periphery and more..

India offers US$100mn for Sri Lankan Tamils

July 6 (AFP) India on Monday offered 100 million dollars for the tens of thousands of Tamil civilians displaced by conflict in Sri Lanka. "I propose to allocate five billion rupees for the rehabilitation of the internally displaced people and the reconstruction of the northern and eastern areas of Sri Lanka," Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in his budget speech to parliament. more..

Key issues solution after vote -President

July 6 (Reuters) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who won a 25-year war with Tamil Tigers long viewed as unwinnable, said a political solution to the problems that helped fan the conflict must wait for presidential elections. The president, who had strong backing for his tough military approach from hard-line members of his ruling coalition, will have a tougher time getting them on board with a political solution if it involves significant concessions to the country's Tamil and other minorities, more..

Man wanted over violent acid attack break-in

July 7 (AAP) Police have released an image of a man wanted in connection with a violent Sydney home invasion in which caustic soda, a substance with similar effects to acid was poured in the faces of two Sri Lankan students. Jayasri Watawala, 22, and Chathurika Weerasinghe, 27, were at their Westmead home in Sydney's west on the night of May 17 when attacked. Police have said a group of up to five men forced their way into more..

Aaamer and Younis put Pakistan in sight of win

July 7 (CI) A fiery mid-afternoon spell from Mohammad Aamer and stable stock bowling from Younis Khan (yes, Younis Khan) rattled Sri Lanka's second innings, setting themselves 168 to win the Galle Test, in which pace bowlers had taken 23 of the 32 wickets to fall. History is on Sri Lanka's side (no team has scored more than 6 runs in the fourth innings to win a Galle Test and, if achieved, 168 would be the third-highest total in fourth innings here), more..

Sri Lanka rules out removing rice price controls

July 7 (LBO) Government which restricts the import of rice and has imposed high tariffs on substitute carbohydrates says 'price controls' on rice will remain, blaming a milling oligopoly for high prices. Minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara said the removal of price controls would create political problems. He was responding to a question at a business forum whether price control of rice is not conducive to the growth of the sector. more..

Poor footwork cost us - Bayliss

July 7 (CI) Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss blamed his batsmen's lack of footwork against the moving ball for his team's precarious position at the end of the third day of the first Test against Pakistan. "We didn't bat very well today. The boys will be the first to admit that," Bayliss said. "It doesn't matter where you play in the world, if the ball is moving and you are caught on the crease more..

Seam's perfect for Younis

July 7 (CI) A 17-year-old debutant running through some of the best batsmen in the world. A 35-year-old coming back from a ban and hitting a Test century as if nothing had changed in the interim. Dropped catches, run-outs, mini collapses, they were all some of the events that had 'Pakistan' written all over them. But who would have thought of Younis Khan, two wickets in Tests before this match, turning out to be the game-breaker with the ball on four occasions in one Test? more..

Indian Army to help de-mine Sri Lanka

July 7 (IANS) After providing medical services to thousands displaced by war, Indian soldiers will now go to Sri Lanka to help de-mine areas once held by the Tamil Tigers, it was announced Monday. The military personnel will be part of Indian experts who will assist authorities in Sri Lanka to detect and defuse thousands of mines laid by the LTTE, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told the media here. more..

Sri Lanka Official: Free Cuban Five

July 7 (Ahora) Deputy and minister Tissa Vitharana, president of the Committee of Representatives of All the Sri Lanka Parties, demanded immediate liberation of the five Cuban anti terrorists jailed for almost 11 years in the United States. We are profoundly upset over the US Supreme Court rejection of the appeal of The Five, expressed Vitharana, Science and Technology minister in a communique. more..

Caroline Anthony Pillai no more

July 7 (BBC) Veteran left wing political activist Caroline Anthony Pillai has passed away on Monday. Born in 1908 as Dona Caroline Rupasinghe Gunawardna in Boralugoda, she was a leading member of the left wing movement in Sri Lanka against British imperialism. She joined her brothers, Philip and Robert in forming the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) in colonial Ceylon and took a leading role in Suriya Mal movement against the British rulers. more..

Tigers 'may cause incidents'

July 7 (BBC) The Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has said he fears the defeated LTTE or Tamil Tiger rebels may try to stage what he called an incident in the country. LTTE’s propaganda machine was still working on raising funds, he said, and admitted that he feared that to this end, somebody might be planning “just one incident” to upset the world and show that the movement was still alive. But he said the authorities were on the lookout. more..

Gotabaya Rajapaksa , a true Sri Lankan

July 7 (LG) The layman analytic statement about the media in Sri Lankan need much consideration by the citizens. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa a citizen and a government servant of Sri Lanka has a point when he said to the Daily Mirror financial time’s journalist Ms. Cheranka Mendis: “The media is often thought of being over critical of the actions of government officials, politicians and even the private sector”. more..

'Give more democratic look for North and East'

July 7 (AT) Give more democratic look for the North and East. All political parties should be given a fair opportunity to function freely and fearlessly. The people know how to judge your performance during the period you serve as the President of the country, pointed out V. Anandasangaree. Anandasangaree in an letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa further said, more..

The law is a dangerous thing

July 7 (LG) A Dialogue on investigations. Written for the occasion of the commemoration of six months after the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge, a Sri Lankan journalist, on 8th January 2008. This is a discussion among several imaginary characters. These imaginary characters do not represent any living persons. The Characters: A journalist who is conducting the interview, a senior police officer who had agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, more..

Ensure fair price for coconut and loosen the draconian laws

July 7 (AT) While the government is not taking steps to get a fair price for coconut, Draconian laws enacted on the pretext of protecting the coconut industry are really killing the coconut industry and even encroached the rights of the coconut growers, while the government failed to ensure a fair price for coconut, said Parakrama Jayatilake, President, Coconut Growers Association of Sri Lanka (CGASL) more..

Interview with Bijayini Satpathy, Director of the Odissi Gurukul at Nrityagram

July 7 (GV) Bijayini Satpathy, for one of the world’s greatest living dancers, is disarmingly mischievous in person. And, as I have experienced with a few others closest to perfection in their chosen art, humble and approachable. She will readily admit to being quite mad and with a casual nonchalance say that she trains from dawn to dusk at Nrityagram. It is then you realise that this is no ordinary dancer, and Nrityagram no ordinary dance school. more..

Colombo underworld leader abducted while in hiding

July 7 (CT) The man said to be the present leader of the Colombo underworld has been abducted while in hiding in the Kuliyapitiya area, according to police sources. Identified as ‘Anamalu Imitiaz’, he was the leading figure in the Maligawatte Muslim underworld, and is wanted in connection with several murders, extortions and other criminal acts. He leads a group of around 100 followers under him armed with modern weaponry. more..

Person said to be Buddhist monk detained over sexual abuse charge

July 7 (CT) A person said to be a Buddhist monk and a young schoolboy have been detained further in Avissawella on the charge of sexually abusing two schoolgirls and three schoolboys. The suspects were produced before Ruwanwella magistrate Sudath N. Gopallwa and remanded until July 15. Their alleged victims were handed over to their parents at the court. more..

Bond called up for tour of Sri Lanka

July 7 (CI) Shane Bond is set to play his first international matches in nearly two years after being named in New Zealand's one-day squad to tour Sri Lanka in August and September. There was also a surprise recall for his fellow former ICL player Daryl Tuffey, who was chosen in the Test squad despite missing out on a central contract last month. In another strange selection move, the Auckland wicketkeeper Reece Young was picked as cover for Brendon McCullum in the 15-man squad more..

'We knew they would never lay down arms and start negotiating'

July 7 (Hindu) In this second part of an extended interview to The Hindu at Temple Trees in Colombo on June 30, President Mahinda Rajapaksa answers N. Ram’s questions on his outlook on the LTTE, his approach to it in peacetime and in armed conflict, and his assessment of its fighting capabilities and of Velupillai Prabakaran’s strategy during the endgame. The first part was published on July 6. more..

Change we have and change we must

July 7 (LG) Senator Obama became President of the US by playing on the word "change" during the election campaign. Americans are still debating, many months after his election, whether any real "change" has taken place in the American society, economy and politics. Our President and our Security Forces have delivered the "change" we wanted and badly needed. We are now one country without terrorism and terrorists’ claim to separatism. more..

Making mountain out of moll hill - SL style

July 7 (PSM) Much publicised surrender of weapons show by so called Muslim militants over the weekend has brought negative results on foreign investment, promotion of toursim and other developmet sectors in the eastern provincve, analyst said. "By making a carnival out of the sensitive event and announcing to the whole world of the presence of (non-existing) ‘extremist Muslim militant groups’, the government without doubt has scared off hundreds of potential investors, more..

Vavuniya new commercial hub!

July 7 (GDI) Vavuniya will soon become a model town. The Government plans to upgrade Vauniya town under the Government’s 180 day "Uthuru Vasanthaya" programme to restore it to its former commercial status. After restoration, the Vavuniya town will be a commercial hub and people could move about freely to exercise their day to day duties. These plans are mooted by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force MP Basil Rajapaksa is in-charge. more..

Registered Finance Companies to be listed in Stock Exchange

July 7 (GDI) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, which regulates Registered Finance Companies in Sri Lanka, has accepted in principle a proposal made by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) to list Registered Finance Companies in the Colombo Stock Exchange, Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, Channa de Silva said in a statement today (7). more..

'Internally displaced well looked after'

July 7 (GDI) The Government is rightfully discharging its responsibilities in providing all facilities to the people living in welfare camps in the north, Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake told parliament this morning during the motion to extend the state of emergency by a further month. He pointed out that the government was able to provide the best service to the inmates in camps while minimizing the problems faced by them. more..

Divining peace

July 7 (GV) This morning, as I was writing this column, I noticed a strange pattern of tea-leaves amongst the dregs of satiation. The pattern suggested that the Chief Executive’s term in office was out of his hands and largely defined by filial ambition. The languid leaves also suggested that the boundless aspirations of the gods of war physically closest to him posed the greatest danger to his legacy and life to boot. more..

Chief Minister Herath rushed to Colombo hospital

July 7 (GDI) Chief Minister of Sabaragamuwa Province Maheepala Herath who was injured in a road accident in Kurunegala with his wife this morning was rushed to Colombo Accident Service from the Kurunegala Hospital, hospital sources said. The chief minister and his wife sustained injuries in the accident, medical staff at the Kurunegala hospital said. more..

Setting the record straight: Challenges of internment for IDPs

July 7 (GV) I was surprised to see that a piece I wrote recently for Groundviews was mentioned prominently in two articles in the Island last Saturday and Sunday. Since the original article was not published in the Island, and since the rejoinders misrepresent my argument in various ways, I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. For those who would like to read the original article in full, it can be found here. more..

UPFA thugs at it in Uva

July 7 (LT) With the commencement of election campaign for the Uva PC election thugs of the UPFA have attacked and destroyed several election offices of the JVP in Monaragala District states media unit of the party. The election campaign office of the JVP at Sewanagala, Kadol Ara North was attacked by a group of UPFA thugs who had come in a van at 12.00 midnight on the 2nd of this month. more..

Family on hunger strike at Ministry of Health

July 7 (LT) The members of a family of a hospital employee are on a hunger strike demanding the low interest loan of ten months given to government servants. The strikers are the family of Warnakulasuriyage Nihal Fonseka, a sanitary labourer in Eye Hospital in Colombo. Mr. Warnakulasuriyage Nihal Fonseka says he has no house to live in or a land to build a house. more..

JAAF targets over $ 3.3 b turnover through apparel exports in 2009

July 7 (LNP) The Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) is targeting a turnover of over US$ 3.3 billion, through apparel exports this year. We expect a turnover of US$ five billion by the end of 2011. The performance of the apparel sector in the first quarter of 2009 was quite impressive. At present, orders for summer and winter look steady this year, but the SME sectors are going through a bit of a tough time. more..

Weerawansa's tergiversation and sophism

July 7 (LNP) Government spokesmen are like pavement hawkers plying their wares in Pettah by hollering and babbling many things simultaneously to confuse buyers out of their wits. The two media ministers` casuistry is a case in point. They are obfuscation personified, to say the least. Something one Yapa says this moment the other Yapa contradicts in a short while. more..

'Yal Devi fire costs CGR Rs.25 million'

July 7 (LT) The fire in Yal Devi train near Anuradhapura cost CGR Rs.25 million says Chairman of CGR P.P. Wijesekera. He said an investigation team of three senior officials of the CGR would be appointed today (7th) to investigate into the incident that occurred near Saliyapura station on the 5th to investigate the incident. In the fire the restaurant car of the train got completely destroyed and another 1st class compartment has been damaged said the Chairman. more..

Thilanga attacks Ranawaka to score Brownie points from President

July 7 (LNW) A senior official attached to the Presidential Media Unit told Lanka News Web that Western Provincial Councilor Thilanga Sumathipala, who is currently on a bad wicket with the President due to the revelation of a secret discussion he has had in Kandy with former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva on bringing him to politics, was trying to earn Brownie points from the President by attacking Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka. more..

Champika Ranawaka goes overseas

July 7 (LNW) Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka has left the country to avoid the media operation launched by several members of the government with the consent of the President, party sources said. Ranawaka is currently in London on tour for a few days. Ministers Dullas Alahapperuma, Mervyn Silva, Prasanna Ranatunga and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena launched an attack against the JHU, which is a key ally in the present administration, with the President’s consent. more..

A penumbral lunar eclipse today

July 7 (LP) A penumbral lunar eclipse will occur today (07) at moon rise said Consultant of Astronomy, Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies and Senior lecturer in Physics, University of Colombo, Dr Chandana Jayarathna speaking to Lankapuvath. The eclipse will begin as 02.03 pm today with the entering of the moon into the penumbra of the earth’s shadow and ends at 04.14 pm. more..