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“Tamils are being persecuted in Sri Lanka is bunkum”- George Masters Daughter

July 7 (LP) 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..

Police recover LTTE weapons from Batticaloa and Trincomalee

July 7 (LP) In search operations conducted on information received by the Batticaloa Police, they recovered several war items from near the Red Bridge area in Valachchena area yesterday (06). According to the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) Police found a Charger weighing 20kg, 02 Claymore Mines weighing 2kg and 1 kg respectively and a Wire roll. The war items were buried in the area. more..

Wimal attacks Champika

July 7 (LNW) National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader Wimal Weerawansa told the media that either members of the government who are expressing contradicting views on the 13th amendment should keep quiet or the President needed to silence them. He said there was no need to make comments that would put the government on an unstable footing by speaking about an amendment that is no longer valid. more..

LTTE computer engineer arrested

July 7 (CT) Police in Colombo have arrested a computer engineer of the LTTE who is said to have spread false propaganda against Sri Lanka via the internet. The suspect, a resident of Kilinochchi, has graduated from University of Moratuwa. On information received from him, police have sought Interpol assistance to nab two other computer engineers in Germany and Belgium. The suspect in custody had been operating from Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu areas during more..

J'pura Campus threatened by dengue

July 7 (CT) Around 20 people living near Sri Jayewardenepura University have been hospitalized with dengue fever, reports say. People of the area say that the neighborhood, which houses unhealthy boarding places, is a haven for mosquitoes. They say that health officials have not even inspected the area during the dengue eradication programmes that were launched island wide recently. more..

LTTE east leader Swarnam committed suicide, says his wife

july 7 (CT) LTTE Leader for eastern province Swarnam had committed suicide by swallowing cyanide, his wife has told the police. Swarnam’s wife was arrested by the CID on July 03 from a welfare camp in Vavuniya. According to his wife, Swarnam suffered serious injuries in fighting that had left him paralyzed and he has committed suicide while receiving treatment. more..

Special committee to solve Colombo’s garbage woes

july 7 (DN) A special committee tasked with finding out new strategies and solutions to overcome the garbage problem in the Colombo city has been appointed by Municipality Commissioner Bhadrani Jayawardana. The committee has been advised to come out with a viable mechanism which would ensure the speedy collection of garbage in all six administrative zones in Colombo. more..

'79 charges of corruption against ministers'

July 7 (DM) The UNP said there were more than 1,400 charges of corruption against various government officials and 79 of them were against ministers. Western Provincial Council opposition leader Rosy Senanayake told a news conference the clean-up of corruption should start from cabinet level. She expressed these views against the backdrop of Minister Rajitha Senaratne having said that corruption in all sectors would be cleaned up soon. more..

Yal Devi - way to prosperity

july 7 (DN) Recently at a meeting held at BMICH pertaining to development program for North sending Yal Devi up to Kankesanthurai was discussed. Some members inquired as to whether this suggestion is beneficial especially when our railway department is running at a loss. Northern Line was considered as the most profitable line in the past. Yal Devi was started in 1956 in addition to two night services (Mail and Express). more..

'Consume local food products and save $ 1,700m annually'

july 7 (DN) Sri Lanka can save US$ 1,700 million in foreign exchange annually if people consume local food products and there would be no need to depend on foreign loans, Chairman Maubima Lanka Foundation Ariyaseela Wickramanayake told Daily News Business. He said that Sri Lanka has lost a large number of job opportunities in the field of agriculture because the country imports what could be produced locally. more..

Specialised care for displaced children

july 7 (DN) The Government has laid emphasis on the protection and care of conflict affected and displaced children by deploying teams consisting of specialized personnel from the fields of health, child care, law enforcement etc. to address their emotional, physical, psychological and social needs. National Child Protection Authority Chairman Jagath Wellawatta said these teams are to carry out assessment programs and address short-term and long-term needs, more..

Age and Language at Law College

July 7 (Island) A couple of days back there was a news item to say that a decision had been taken to fix 30 as the upper age limit for entrance to the Law College. One imaginable reason for this decision could be to prevent the legal profession getting overcrowded. If that was so, that objective could have been directly achieved by reducing the annual intake to an appropriate level all round. Why drag in age? more..

Docs to down steths today

July 7 (Island) Around 14,000 doctors attached to the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) will launch a one-day token strike today in protest against a list of postings of post-interns prepared by the Health Ministry. The GMOA alleges that the post-interns’ appointment list has many irregularities. GMOA spokesman Dr.Upul Gunasekera told The Island that the Ministry of Health had acted in contravention of the rights of doctors. more..

Jaffna farmers rank second despite war climate

July 7 (Island) Despite the north of Sri Lanka being effected by a war which lasted three decades the Jaffna farmer took second place next to Hambantota in obtaining loans provided by the participatory banks in the Krushi Navodaya loan scheme during 2008. The Krushi Navodaya Loan Scheme was introduced by the Government to meet the capital requirement of small farmers islandwide empowering them to acquire their agricultural inputs on time at an affordable cost. more..

Sri Lanka rejects refugee camp allegations

Sri Lanka central bank chilling forecast comes true 59 years later

July 7 (LBO) As Sri Lanka leaves behind its latest balance of payments crisis, and perhaps the highest inflation in its history, it may be a shock for some to discover that all this was predicted in a remarkable essay written 59 years ago this July. Most readers of The Thrift Column by fuss-budget are now familiar with the way Sri Lanka's monetary law has made it very easy for the state to mis-use the central bank as a 'cookie jar' to print money and more..

Persistency and some gambling work wonders

July 7 (CI) Let's put this Sri Lankan win into perspective. Coming into this match, they had won three Tests in the absence of Muttiah Muralitharan since he made his debut. Coming into this Test Chaminda Vaas was overlooked, sparking rumours about the end of his Test career. Lasith Malinga was not deemed to be physically fit enough for five straight days of cricket. Dilhara Fernando had been his usual inconsistent self. more..

5 injured in clash between foreigners and locals

July 7 (DM) Five men including a foreigner were injured and hospitalized during a brawl between a group of residents and a group of foreigners working at an electrification scheme in the Talgahapitiya area in Bingiriya on Sunday night. It is alleged that the group of foreigners had created a rowdy scene after consuming liquor at a Chinese restaurant in the area and had assaulted the villagers. more..

Workers who abducted and threatened boss charged

July 7 (Gulf) Eleven penniless and angry workers have been charged with locking up their boss and threatening to kill him if he didn't give them Dh139,000 in unpaid salaries. Records quoted the Indian boss alleging that the 11 suspects (four Indians and seven Sri Lankans) kidnapped him from his office in Naif and locked him up in a house in Satwa. The supposed claimant, M.A., testified that some suspects kidnapped him, others beat him up while more..

Mendis joins South Australia for Twenty20

July 7 (CI) Australia's state cricketers are in for a rapid lesson in handling world-class spin after Sri Lanka's mystery tweaker Ajantha Mendis signed for South Australia in next season's Twenty20 competition. But the Redbacks players will be equally tested on the field with the news that Victoria are close to securing Mendis' record-holding team-mate Muttiah Muralitharan. more..

Sri Lanka coconut cultivators ask for freedom

July 7 (LBO) Sri Lankan coconut cultivators have demanded they be allowed to sell land on which growing coconuts has become unremunerative as nut prices have fallen. Parakrama Jayatilleke, chairman of the Coconut Growers Association, said the low price of nuts and high costs, especially of fertilizer, had thrown cultivators who were mostly poor farmers, into great difficulty. more..

Dehiwela flyover construction begins

July 7 (DM) A new traffic plan will come into effect from today (07) up to November for vehicles passing the Dehiwela area in order to ease the traffic congestion that could occur due to the construction of the flyover bridge at Dehiwela. The Highways and Road Development Ministry requests the public to use several alternative roads during construction. The flyover been built to ease the traffic congestion will eanable 40,000 vehicle to pass everyday in two lanes. more..

Election campaign hotting up in the North

July 7 (Island) The Tamil Diaspora is keen on the outcome of the first polls to be held in the North after the defeat of the LTTE which is a three pronged campaign involving the UPFA,ITAK and the TULF to wrest control of the two key local bodies in the Northern Province, Jaffna Municipality and the Vavuniya Urban Council, Tamil sources living abroad said. When contacted the Leader of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC), Minister Rishard A.Badhuideen who is more..

Doctors end strike after meeting with president Rajapaksa

July 7 (CT) Government doctors called off their one-day strike this afternoon after a meeting with president Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to reports, the president has assured them to address their concerns over internship appointments, and the union action ended around 2.00 pm. Mr. Rajapaksa has advised health secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilake to prepare a new list of internship appointments in consultation with the doctors. more..

BIA public viewing gallery to reopen soon

July 7 (DM) The public viewing gallery of the Bandaranaike International Airport is expected to be reopened next week, airport sources said yesterday. The viewing gallery was closed in July 2001 July after the LTTE launched an attack on the airport. Meanwhile the government had also decided to renovate a number of domestic airports including Ratmalana and Trincomalee and some in the Jaffna peninsula. more..

Sri Lanka to buy Israeli Super Dvora boats

July 7 (SP) Sri Lanka is buying six Israeli Super Dvora Mk III patrol boats. This model first entered service five years ago, and have been a great success. The 86 foot boats can operate in as little as four feet of water, thus they are useful for landing, or picking up, commandos. The boats are armed with a multibarrel 20mm cannon, or a single barrel 25-30mm cannon and a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. There is a crew of nine. more..

Sri Lanka bowlers pull off improbable win

July 7 (CI) During a collapse of Pakistani proportions, the incredible Galle Test took a complete U-turn and decisively went Sri Lanka's way. Pakistan started the day needing 97 with eight wickets in hand after Salman Butt and first-innings centurion Mohammad Yousuf had looked good negotiating the last half hour yesterday. But Thilan Thushara and Rangana Herath bowled exceptional spells of varied left-arm bowling to more..

Combing operation against LTTE

July 8 (PTI) A massive combing operation was on Tuesday launched by Tamil Nadu police aided by intelligence and Coast Guard personnel in nearby islands and all the coastal districts of the state to verify whether any LTTE militant had infiltrated into the areas in the aftermath of the outfit's defeat in Sri Lanka. The operations, ordered by the Union Home Ministry, were being carried out jointly by the state police, including the Coastal Security Group and "Q" Branch, more..

Media Minister and Energy MInister head COPE and PAC

July 8 (GDI) Power and Energy Minister, John Seneviratne and Media Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa were today elected uncontested as Chairmen of the Committee on Publice Enterprises (COPE) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for the current year. The Government and Opposition both expressed satisfaction over the manner the two ministers transparently conducted the affairs of the two most important committees in parliament. more..

President calls for report on doctors transfers and internships appointments

July 8 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today requested Health Ministry officials to conduct a proper evaluation with regard to transfers of doctors and internship appointments and submit a report to him on those issues. The President made these directives at a meeting at Temple Trees to discuss problems that have surfaced with regard to transfers of doctors and internship appointments. more..

Bank profits under pressure-Fitch

July 8 (LBO) Commercial banks are likely to experience a slowdown in growth and profitability pressures from fresh asset quality problems, Fitch Ratings said. Banks are likely to focus on preserving balance sheet quality rather than seeking growth, at a time of global recession and domestic economic slowdown, the rating agency said in a report. An economic revival with the end of the war is likely to offer growth opportunities only in the medium term, it said. more..

Security in the east relaxed

July 8 (BBC) Sri Lanka authorities have taken steps to relax the security measures in the east by removing major road blocks and check points. At least 15 major road blocks and check points in the east were already removed by the authorities. Many of the check points were in Batticaloa - Colombo road. Some other check points in Polonnaruwa district have also been removed. A traveller expressed relief that the security measures are gradually been relaxed. more..

Lanka acts against dengue fever

July 8 (BBC) The government is threatening to jail people who do not clean up water puddles on their property, in an effort to combat a big rise in cases of dengue fever. The disease is spread by mosquitoes, which breed on stagnant water. The government says more than 160 people have died from dengue fever this year - more than double the number for all of last year. The GMOA said there is a sense of alarm in Sri Lanka as a result a high mortality rate in relation to the infection rate. more..

Veena Sikri on the global financial crisis

Sri Lanka extends state of emergency

July 8 (AP) Sri Lanka's parliament extended a state of emergency on Tuesday as the government seeks to eliminate the remnants of the Tamil rebel force some two months after declaring an end to a decades-long civil war. The measures, which will in place for another month, gives the military and police wide-ranging powers to arrest terrorist suspects and detain them indefinitely. more..

Herath makes most of his chance

July 8 (CI) Sri Lanka's match-winning left-arm spinner Rangana Herath said that the one over he bowled at the end of the third day confirmed that his side would have an outside chance of winning. "Yesterday I bowled one over and I managed to get turn and bounce. That one over made the difference to open the bowling with me today," said Herath who spun Sri Lanka to an astonishing 50-run win taking a career-best 4 for 15 off 11.3 overs. more..

5 Sri Lankans detained in Aceh ready to go home

July 8 (JG) Five Sri Lankans who were detained in Aceh after being stranded on their way to seek asylum in Australia have agreed to voluntary repatriation and were sent to Jakarta on Tuesday to begin their journey home. Suryo Santoso, chief of the Meulaboh Immigration Office, said on Tuesday that the fate of another 42 Sri Lankans held in West Aceh district’s Meulaboh Prison — though not as prisoners — might hinge on how the first five are treated back in Sri Lanka. more..

King orders food aid for Sri Lankans

July 8 (SG) King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has ordered food aid and other forms of assistance be sent to Sri Lanka to help the government face the current humanitarian difficulties in the country as a result of the displacement of tens of thousands of people from their homes. A statement from the Ministry of Finance Tuesday said that two Saudi Arabian Airlines aircraft transporting aid would leave for the Sri Lankan capital Colombo this week.

Only 13th amendment for now, says Lankan envoy

July 8 (AT) Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India C Romesh Jayasinghe said here on Tuesday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was committed to a political solution despite the elimination of the LTTE, would for now give effect to the 13th amendment of the Constitution on devolution of powers to the Tamil provinces. Obviously referring to Mr Rajapaksa’s promise that he would give the Tamils “13th amendment plus” once terrorism was eradicated, more..

Sri Lanka – Kuwait concluded investment promotion and protection agreement

July 8 (AT) Sri Lanka and Kuwait has successfully concluded Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA). This will be Sri Lanka’s first ever IPPA with a Gulf Country (GCC) which includes Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. It is recalled that earlier, discussions held by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa with Kuwait leaders during his official visit to Kuwait in May 2007, more..

'Yesterday’s Tigers to be trained for today’s jobs'

July 8 (AT) True to its word, the Rajapaksa government has chalked out plans for the rehabilitation of Tigers who had surrendered before and after the end of Wanni War. “Yesterday’s Tigers will be trained for Today’s jobs. Prabhakaran taught them how to handle weapons and kill people. We will train them in skills that make them get jobs, why not, even overseas’, more..

Relief material from MV Ali on way to Lanka

July 8 (TOI) The 62-day saga of mercy mission ship MV Captain Ali came to an end as the cargo on board the ship was shifted to another ship, Cape Colorado, which set sail to Colombo from here on Tuesday. "MV Ali, which set sail to Kolkata on Sunday, has been sold. The cargo was transferred to another European vessel, Cape Colorado, which will arrive in Colombo on Wednesday night," more..

U.S. diplomat for Asia says he is passionte about Sri Lanka

July 8 (IL) Robert Blake, recently confirmed as the new assistant secretary of state for south and central Asian affairs, told a gathering of a Sri Lankan group here that the country must quickly carry out a three-step plan for reconciling with its displaced Tamil population. "Every American who has worked or served in Sri Lanka is touched by that country,” Blake told the Serendipity Group, more..

Tamil group drops lawsuit that sought to halt IMF loan for Sri Lanka

July 8 (IL) The group Tamils Against Genocide has quietly dropped a federal lawsuit it filed against U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and a top U.S. International Monetary Fund official in an effort to stop an IMF loan for Sri Lanka. The group did not give a reason for filing a notice of voluntary dismissal on June 19. TAG’s attorney, Bruce Fein, had promised to use the lawsuit against Geithner and Meg Lundsager, the U.S. executive director at the IMF, to more..

Call for a metamorphosis from a 'well frog' to a 'tree frog'

July 8 (TC) It is time to leave this Sinhala Diasporic purging of "patriotism" that serves no purpose for Sri Lanka , today or tomorrow. For most out there, it’s sort of a past time to lick their "run away guilt". Away from their kith and kin and living in a comfort zone. Away from abductions, torture, extra judicial killings, arbitrary arrests, uncertain detentions, death threats, barricades, high security zones, more..

Politicing to implement 13th Amendment, with a fox in the chicken coop

July 8 (SLW) The Supreme Court which was led by the President’s friend upto a month ago, Sarath Silva, has crossed paths with the GoSL on several fronts ranging from the business dealings of the government and the abuse of human rights. There has been contempt for the law by the President and his minions, even though the Supreme Court ruled in his favour during the Tsunami Funds scandal – Helping Hambantota. more..

The first steps to restoring tamil confidence

July 8 (SLW) The end of the war has not brought Tamil alienation to an end. This is not surprising because the Tamil people had grievances about their place in Sri Lanka even before the war began. In fact the ground for the war was laid by the failure of successive Sri Lankan governments to address their grievances. The war itself brought to the fore a whole host of new grievances, the worst being the personal vulnerability of their lives and property. more..

‘Not a single Tamil house was attacked, not a single Tamil humiliated’

July 8 (Hindu) In this concluding part of an extended interview to The Hindu on June 30, President Mahinda Rajapaksa answers N. Ram’s questions on concerns over what is perceived as triumphalism, the power of Sri Lanka’s executive presidency, assaults and pressures on the news media, personal friendships, and relations with India. The first and second parts of the interview were published on July 6 and 7. more..

National Literary Arts Festival on grand scale

July 8 (GDI) All Sri Lankan art will be geared to pomp and pageantry adding splendor and glamor to give life to literature when the National Literary Arts festival gets underway at Royal College, Polonnaruwa, North Central Province during the first week of September. The Minister of Cutural Affairs and National Heritage, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene is spearheading the activities of the festival. more..

For firmer and finer International Relations

July 8 (LG) Current trends in international affairs are changing faster in relating to Sri Lanka. What are the most important trends relating to Sri Lanka in the recent past? The recent victory of Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council is remarkable convincing and unique. It has shown a clear polarization a demarcation and the current world trend which is obviously not static. more..