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Sri Lankan government threatens Tamil parliamentarians

Jun 16 (wsws) The government last week threatened to strip four Tamil parliamentarians of their seats by turning down their request for leave. Coming in the wake of the army’s defeat of the separatist LTTE, the threat is a further sign that President Mahinda Rajapakse intends to stamp out any political opposition. The issue arose when the TNA forwarded leave applications of four of its MPs—Selvam Adaikalanathan, Selvarajah Gajendran, more..

Special Classes for A/L students in IDP camps

Jun 16 (GDI) Following a directive by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Government has initiated a special educational programme for the students of displaced families, who are sitting for the G.C.E. Advanced Level examination this year(2009). He stated that under this program Minister of Resettlement and Relief Services Rishard Bathiudeen gave away reading material, uniforms and stationery to 700 A\L students in the welfare camps in Vavuniya. more..

TID arrests pharmacist with LTTE links

Jun 16 (GDI) The Terrorist Investigating Department (TID) arrested an owner of a pharmacy believed to be a supporter of the LTTE in Wellawatte this morning, Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekera told The suspect, Selvanyagm Balachandran is the owner of Neelam Pharmacy at Perera Lane , Wellawatta. The TID seized 32 varieties of medical items worth Rs.2.4 million which were to be handed over to the LTTE, he further said. more..

More Facilities for welfare Camps

Jun 16 (GDI) Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition, Nimal Siripala De Silva yesterday opened a State Pharmaceuticals Corporation outlet at the Ananda Coomaraswamy Welfare Centre in Settikulam, our special correspondent in the North, Chaminda Upul reported. A new hospital was opened at the Welfare Centre Zone III yesterday and a ward complex was also opened at the Settikulam Base Hospital by the Health Minister. more..

'Sri Lanka I just visited is more dynamic'

Jun 16 (GDI) SL government is unwavering in civilian welfare and there are no unnecessary roadblocks to the planned resettlement of war displaced masses living in IDP welfare centers. “The government ensured speedy resettlement of these civilians to ease agonies they are undergoing living away from their own villages,” Sri Lanka ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya said. Jaliya Wickramasuriya was addressing a gathering at Georgia State University. more..

Who really wanted Tamil Eelam and why?

Jun 16 (AT) More and more we are made to wonder the connotations behind the quest for a Tamil Eelam. Was it an ideology that was not meant to go beyond conceptual phase, was it a past time for those who had everything in life and wanted a little excitement, was it a seed planted to create regional and sub-regional discord and friction and create the necessity for western interference, more..

Dairy farming in 70 key villages of the North

Jun 16 (GDI) Dairy farming will be promoted in 70 key villages across the North, and the dramatic program is expected to grow steadily, supplying more milk to the North under Vadakkin Vasantham project. The project expects dairy farmers to be major participants in the Government’s development efforts in the North, and, milk will be made part of the daily diet of the North. “We will set up 15 villages each in Mannar, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitvu. more..

President congratulates Dr. Ahmedinejad

Jun 16 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa congratulated Dr. Mahmoud Ahmedinejad who was re-elected as President of Iran. 'The Government and the people of Sri Lanka join me in congratulating you on your re-election as the President of Iran and this is joyous news to us since we consider you as a close of friend of our country', the President said in his message. more..

Tourism to boom in North East Sri Lanka

Jun 16 (AT) The hotel trade in Sri Lanka have earmarked tremendous opportunities in tourism in the North and East of Sri Lanka after the elimination of Velupillai Prabhakaran and the LTTESpecial emphasis is being focused on reconstruction and development of hotels in the North and East which were damaged and neglected due to LTTE terrorism. Sri Lanka Tourism authorities are expected to tour these two provinces shortly, more..

UTHR Report – ‘Separate the Chaff from the Wheat’

Jun 16 (AT) The defeat of the LTTE which is a cause for universal celebration, as it uprooted the number one terrorist organization and opened up a new era in Sri Lankan history, has been marred by certain countries, Tamil diaspora, Human Rights Activists & Organizations, various interested Institutions and so on. The latest to join the line is the University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR). more..

Breaking the deadlock through transnational governance

Jun 16 (TN) The need of the time now is the metamorphosis of the existing infrastructure into a democratic and inclusive transnational government of Eezham Tamils to strengthen the diaspora socially, economically and culturally; to achieve the goal of independence and sovereignty of Eezham Tamils in the home country and to meet the international challenges internationally. more..

An Eye clinic in Kaththankudi

Jun 16 (LP) An eye clinic was established in Kaththankudi in Batticaloa on Sunday (14). The programme was initiated by Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan said the Ministry of Defence. The eye clinic was established for the betterment of the innocent civilians of the North and east who were victims of Tsunami and terrorism. The eye clinic will be conducted till the 18th of June for 05 days. more..

Police bully ‘Lanka Irida’

Jun 16 (LT) According to reports police has pressurized ‘Lanka Irida’ for its news article published in its issue of 14th June that stated the houses completed on "Api Wenuwen Api" Housing Project for war heroes were sold to them. The government collected funds from masses to construct houses for soldiers under this project and new taxes too were introduced alleging it was necessary to provide facilities to war heroes. more..

Moonshiners poison Buddhist priest

Jun 16 (LT) Ven. Alahara Seelananda Thero of Alagama Abhinawaramaya at Akkaragallava, who had protested against the illicit liquor producers at Alahara, Pollonnaruwa has passed away at Kandy Hospital. He was 25 years old at the time of his death. The Buddhist priest had been offered a poison added curry of dhal on the 8th and the priest may have died of partaking of the poisoned meal suspect police. more..

'Govt. should have a strong backbone to defeat terrorism'

Jun 16 (LT) “The country’s victory is not complete. Separatism has achieved a considerable victory. Separatism still exists in the country. Security Forces were able to defeat terrorism. Now the government should have a backbone to defeat separatism,” said Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe addressing a rally held under the theme “Tiger terrorists have been defeated; this is the path to bring victory to the Motherland” more..

Biggest racket of sending artifacts busted

Jun 16 (LT) The Bio Diversity Protection Unit of the Customs cracked the biggest ever attempt to smuggle out artifacts from this country. The 74 pieces of artifacts which included priceless Buddha statues belonging to 19th Century Kandyan era were confiscated and were sent to the Department of Archeology. Among the large stock of priceless artifacts were statues of Buddha and other deities made of brass, silver and copper, more..

Prabhakaran's diary found in Sri Lanka

Jun 16 (LNP) The police have recovered a Year 2008 Diary, believed to be that of the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, from a bag belonging to a soldier on Sunday, police sources said yesterday. The diary contains vital information including an LTTE plan of an attack on the Independence Day celebrations in 2008. Details of all other attacks carried out by the LTTE during the year had also been recorded in the diary, investigators said. more..

Tourism industry targets tremendous growth

Jun 16 (LNP) The tourism industry is one of the main industries which can expect tremendous growth and most hoteliers foresee opportunities especially in the Northern and Eastern provinces to invest and capture a market share in these areas. President, Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, Srilal Mitthapala told Daily News Business, that they have already signed and committed for the next season and most of the rooms have been already sold. more..

What's wrong with Sinhalese helping Tamils?

Jun 16 (LNP) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) seems to have lost its bearings since the decimation of the LTTE. Rudderless and adrift in the choppy seas of politics, it is now trying to align itself with New Delhi. Aware that nothing pleases India more than supplication, it is begging for India`s involvement in Sri Lanka`s rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes in a bigger way. more..

Sri Lanka must not be complacent against Kiwis

Jun 16 (LNP) The Sri Lankans are tipped to enter the semi-finals of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, but to make doubly certain they must beat the New Zealanders in their final Super Eight match, here tomorrow. Led by Kumar Sangakkara, the Lankans did well to beat the Pakistanis easily, but had to huff and puff to down Ireland in their second game. The Lankans trouble against Ireland started when they lost their dashing opener Tillakaratne Dilshan in the second ball of the match more..

President’s Myanmar visit pays dividends

Jun 16 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on a two-day state visit to Myanmar had discussions with senior leaders of Myanmar including State Peace and Development Council Chairman Senior General Than Shwe and Prime Minister General Thein Sein. During the meeting President Rajapaksa recalled his previous visit to Myanmar as the then Prime Minister in 2004 to participate in the World Buddhist Conference in Yangoon. more..

Crackdown on visa overstayers

Jun 16 (DN) Sri Lanka is set to take a tough stand on illegal immigrants on its soil, with a major crackdown in the offing to nab overstaying foreigners. Already 97 deportations have taken place in recent times, but according to sources, the number could be as high as 37,000. The Immigration and Emigration Department Investigation Unit Head, W. Devendraraja said that they had intensified raids to nab overstayers in a bid to curb the increase of illegal immigrants. more..

Reviving education in the North

Jun 16 (DN) It would be an understatement to say that the three decade long ethnic conflict caused disruption to the eduction sector in the North. Not only was there no conducive climate for schools to function normally but the dislocation of civilian life was such that continuity could not be maintained in the schooling life of a child. Now that the chief cause for this disruption has been eliminated, no time should be lost in providing the opportunity to restore school life of the children of the North. more..

'Lanka can adopt Korean model'

Jun 16 (DN) Sri Lanka should now adopt a development model similar to the Korean model to achieve high economic growth with the end of the war, Republic of Korea Ambassador Choi Kichul said. “Korea took 60 years to develop the economy following the Korean war, Therefore, Sri Lanka has now crushed LTTE terrorism after 26 years. It is high time to adopt a strong economic model similar to the Korean model to achieve rapid growth,” more..

Tigers planned to attack 2008 Independence Day celebrations

Jun 16 (ANN) The police have recovered a Year 2008 Diary, believed to be that of the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, from a bag belonging to a soldier on Sunday, police sources said Monday. The diary contains vital information including an LTTE plan of an attack on the Independence Day celebrations in 2008. Details of all other attacks carried out by the LTTE during the year had also been recorded in the diary, investigators said. more..

TNA MP Shivanathan Kishore to act independent

Jun 16 (CT) TNA MP Shivanathan Kishore, who refrained from voting at the vote on the emergency vote, says his party has decided to conduct a disciplinary inquiry against him. The MP has told the media that as a representative of the people elected by their vote, he would act independently hereafter. He has also said that serving the Tamil people cannot be done while staying in foreign countries. more..

British & Norwegian diplomats refused visit to Jaffna

Jun 16 (CT) Defence authorities have rejected a request by British and Norwegian diplomats in Colombo, Sri Lanka to allow them visit the Jaffna peninsula, 'Divaina' reports. It has been revealed that the reason behind this request was to visit IDP camps in Jaffna, the newspaper says. It adds that government has learnt that Norwegian media has recently accused the Sri Lankan government of not providing adequate facilities for the displaced persons.

Suspect in 8 murders killed in shootout with police

Jun 16 (CT) A man, wanted in connection with eight murders, has been killed in a shootout with police in Kotte this morning (June 16). According to police, the dead man has been identified as 'Bada Mahinda.' He and three of his accomplices, all armed, had been travelling in a car when they were stopped at a police checkpoint on a tip off that it was transporting weapons. more..

Susil to hand over UPFA nominations for Jaffna MC polls

Jun 16 (Island) UPFA General Secretary Minister Susil Premjayanth will personally hand over the list of nomination of the Alliance for the forthcoming Jaffna Municipal Council elections, at the Jaffna Kachcheri on Thursday, since the UPFA had failed to hand over the list before the deadline which was 72 hours prior to the acceptance of nominations as required by the Local Authority Elections Ordinance. more..

JCPSM ready for healthy fight

Jun 16 (Island) The Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine warned that they would resist efforts by certain factions in the health sector to foil development efforts for them and the nursing category by preventing further intakes for courses offered by the Allied Health Sciences Faculty (AHSF). President of the JCPSM Ravi Kumudesh said yesterday that they would carry out a joint battle to safeguard the right to professional education in the fields of PSM and nursing. more..

Govt. plans survey in the North to solve land problems

Jun 16 (Island) The government has undertaken a comprehensive and speedy survey of lands in the North to resettle people and sort out problems relating to ownership, Government sources said yesterday. Minister of Lands and Land Development Jeevan Kumaratunga told The Island that on the advice of President Mahinda Rajapaksa priority will be given to the distribution of agricultural land, among farmers and more..

Bloody brawl after sports meet leads to closure of two faculties

Jun 16 (Island) An argument at the annual inter faculty sports meet of the Sabaragamuwa University developed into a bloody brawl resulting in the faculties of Management Studies and Applied Sciences being closed indefinitely to prevent further clashes, University authorities said yesterday. Five undergraduates have been hospitalized after the clashes in which student groups used clubs and bottles of sand. more..

Fears of armed groups’ threat to elections

Jun 16 (DM) The main opposition UNP yesterday charged that certain armed groups were unleashing violence against some of its members who hoped to contest the elections to the Jaffna Municipal Council and the Vavuniya Pradeshiya Sabha. Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane denied the existence of such problems. He said the government had not prevented political parties from electioneering. more..

Vital Commission winds up half way

Jun 16 (DM) The much talked about Presidential Commission appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2007 to investigate serious violations of human rights wound on Sunday without completing its mandate as no more extensions was granted. The Commission which functioned from the BMICH lasted for one year and five months. The eight-member Commission headed by former Supreme Court Judge Nissanka Udalagama was set up amid more..

Traffic Police to strictly enforce new road rules

Jun 16 (DM) Based on the recently enacted Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2008 which also allows for the confiscation of vehicles, the traffic police will strictly enforce the law against those violating road rules, Traffic Headquarters Inspector Janaka Senadeera said. He said strict action would be taken against those driving or riding without a valid licence, a revenue licence and insurance certificates or those in possession of forged documents. more..

LTTE suicide cadres still in Colombo

Jun 16 (DM) At least 26 LTTE suicide cadres who entered the Colombo City prior to the death of the LTTE leadership are still at large, while four of them were taken into custody by the special police teams. A senior police officer revealed that according to intelligence reports these cadres have entered the city few weeks before the LTTE was entirely eliminated in the North with the death of its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. more..

Tamil Tigers will form new body to pursue self-rule

Jun 16 (BN) Tamil Tiger rebels are creating a committee to continue a campaign for self-rule, the group’s head of international relations said today, a month after it was defeated in battle and its leader was killed. “It is time now for us to move forward with our political vision towards our freedom, bearing in mind the practical realities in our homeland,” Selvarasa Pathmanathan said in a recorded statement sent by e-mail. more..

Sri Lankans still at risk from unregulated financial firms: officials

Jun 16 (LBO) Sri Lankan depositors should be more vigilant as hundreds of smaller unregulated financial firms are still in existence despite the collapse of a few high profile firms, officials said. "Those who invested in unregulated companies will not get their money back because there is no money to give. Going to courts will not solve anything," chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Udayasri Kariyawasam said. more..

Former golf clubhouse viable under state management: official

Jun 16 (LBO) The clubhouse of a golf course which was ordered in to state hands by court over corruption charges is operating as a hotel and starting to generate profits, an official said. The Water's Edge golf course in Colombo was ordered returned to the state and its clubhouse is now run by the country's Urban Development Authority. The golf course itself was being allowed to return to the wild as a water retention wetland. more..

Canada to remain 'involved' with Sri Lanka on Tamils despite visa denial

Jun 16 (IANS) Despite Colombo's refusal to give visa to its parliamentary secretary Deepak Obhral, Canada said Monday it will continue to engage Sri Lanka on the Tamil issue and work to rehabilitate Tamils displaced by the conflict. Indian-origin parliamentary secretary Deepak Obhrai, who was denied visa by the Sri Lankan High Commission here last week, said Canada remained committed to more..

'Sri Lanka's east returns to normalcy'

Jun 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's once troubled Eastern Province has reached near normalcy with a drastic drop of disappearances of people and fewer security road blocks, a one-man commission reported here Tuesday. The retired judge Mahanama Thilakaratna, who heads a one-man commission of Inquiry to look into disappearances, abductions and murders, told reporters that rights violations in the Eastern Province had recorded a drop of around 90 to 95 percent this year compared with Jan-May period of 2008. more..

Central bank cut rates to boost post-war recovery

Jun 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka cut its main policy discount rate by 50 basis points to 11.00 percent to boost credit and support post war economic recovery, amid muted inflation, the Central Bank said. The defeat of Tamil Tigers last month has raised expectations of post war reconstruction and recovery. "The renewed business confidence and investor perceptions along with reconstruction and development work already embarked on more..

Sri Lanka rights abuse probe ends abruptly

Jun 16 (AP) A Sri Lankan government investigation into human rights abuses during its war with Tamil Tiger rebels has been disbanded with more than half of its cases unresolved, an official said Tuesday. The decision came as the government brushed off demands for an international investigation into the final ferocious battles of the war, which ended last month after the military routed the rebels in an offensive the U.N. says killed more than 7,000 civilians. more..

MP murder probe 'inadequate'

Jun 17 (BBC) Police investigations into the murder of a Tamil MP are ‘unsatisfactory’ says a presidential commission of inquiry into serious human rights violations. Former High Court Judge Mahanama Thilakaratne, president of the presidential commission of inquiry (CoI), told BBC Sandeshaya that police have filed charges against two soldiers on killing Joseph Pararajasingham, MP, without finding any evidence. more..

I say it again, that is ‘to be rich is glorious’ – Dr. Sarath Amunugama

Jun 17 (GDI) For the Chinese, crisis seemed something that you shouldn’t waste. Crisis offered the essential catalyst that forced you towards innovation and it’s a sort of a concession to break your local mindset and go into the future. When the government enterprises are in deep crisis, Chinese authorities are adamant on dividends they pay back to the country. If not, the government orders to close the shop and go. more..

FM addresses investors in Myanmar

Jun 17 (GDI) Addressing a high powered business delegation in Myanmar, visiting Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rohitha Bogollagama stressed the need for regular interaction, especially between the business communities of the two countries in order to enhance awareness of business opportunities between the two countries. Minister Bogollagama addressing the large gathering of nearly 500 delegates noted with emphasis that more..

'Our region is enriched with a huge human resource base'

Jun 17 (GDI) 'As nations that are living in the same region, the challenges and problems faced by us are similar. Collectively we have a huge human resource base which is an enormous strength. However, we have a long way to go where the level of our per capita incomes is concerned, said Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake inaugurating the more..

Sri Lanka's Dutch envoy intervenes over cooking gas pricing: minister

Jun 17 (LBO) The Netherland's envoy to Sri Lanka has raised concerns about the government pricing of liquefied petroleum gas of top Dutch firm Shell Gas, consumer affairs minister Bandula Gunewardene said. In Sri Lanka cooking gas prices are raised on a delayed bi-monthly formula which was ordered by the island's Supreme Court. Minister Gunewardene said the Dutch envoy has expressed his unhappiness at the way gas was priced. more..

Central bank delays Seylan Bank sale

Jun 17 (LBO) Central bank which offered a third stake of Seylan Bank to a private investor has not awarded it to the sold bidder by Lanka Orix Leasing Company (LOLC) by the previously set deadline of June 16. "The process for the selection of the strategic partner for Seylan Bank PLC is yet in progress," the Central Bank said in a statement Tuesday. "The Central Bank will make an announcement in this connection once the final decision is made by the Monetary Board." more..

A full report of the IDPs in Sri Lanka

Jun 17 (LeN) The total number of internally displaced persons in the temporary refugee camps is 262,632. Of them, 134,464 are women and 128,168 are men. In 2008, the number of IDPs was 1874 and the number increased to 287, 598 by May 11. Of them, 1537 have been sent to live with relatives and in homes for elders. The majority of the IDPs, 253,875, came to the government controlled area along land routes whilst 8729 came in boats. more..