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'Destruction govt. caused to petroleum sector is not second to destruction caused by Prabakaran'

Jun 17 (LT) The destruction the government has caused the petroleum sector through its corrupt agreements and transactions is not second to the destruction caused by Velupillai Prabakaran to this country states Parliamentarian Bimal Rathnayake, President of People’s Movement to Safeguard Petroleum Resources (PMSPR). Speaking at a seminar organized by PMSPR under the theme ‘Broiled Oil’ more..

Sri Lanka march to semi-finals in style

Jun 17 (CI) Sri Lanka's bowlers once again made up for their batsmen's inability to post a large total by slicing through New Zealand at Trent Bridge and cementing their spot in the semi-finals of the World Twenty20. New Zealand challenged the target of 159 briefly but Ajantha Mendis turned the game Sri Lanka's way by dismissing Ross Taylor and Scott Styris within the space of four balls. more..

Sri Lanka detects first H1N1 flu case

Jun 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has identified its first case of the H1N1 flu virus in a young patient who arrived from Australia over the weekend, the government said on Tuesday. "We have detected the first swine flu case in Sri Lanka. He is an 8-year-old Sri Lankan living in Australia. He has come to Sri Lanka via Singapore with a family of five. Only he has tested positively for H1N1 and is being treated," more..

'Protecting human rights has long been an essential value in Sri Lankan culture'

Jun 17 (IL) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, assured a capacity Georgia State University library crowd that his nation’s recent victory over the LTTE terrorists will ensure human rights and prosperity for all Sri Lankans, especially those harmed by a quarter century of conflict. “Sri Lanka has no record of inflicting misery on fellow human beings for the purpose of empire building, more..

Keep the victories coming

Jun 17 (LG) Listening to people talk since the vote in the Human Rights Council, anybody would think that Sri Lanka’s approach to international relations was now clear. Newspapers have been full of praise for Dayan Jayatilleka and the principles he has been advocating. If they were genuinely convinced, I’d be delighted. I’ve always believed that a foreign policy based on solidarity with neighbours and more..

The solution (Part II)

Jun 17 (LG) The British who created the Tamil ethnic group did not have a clear idea as to what a nation was. That is why they called both the Sinhalas and Tamils as nations whether majority or minority. The infamous Leghorn Minute refers to two nations the Tamils who came from present Tamil Nadu and the Sinhala nation that had origins in Siam, or Thailand. The Minute is wrong on both counts but the Tamil racists even today hang on to the two nation concept perhaps more..

Lankan McCarthyism?

Jun 17 (LG) Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, his Deputy Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha and Ambassador in Geneva Dayan Jayatilleka performed brilliantly to thwart attempts by some Western nations to drag the Sri Lanka’s President and Defence Establishment before a War Crimes Tribunal. This special session of the Human Rights Council was called solely to pillory a sovereign member state, on not credibly substantiated charges, more..

Sri Lanka take unorthodox route to success

Jun 17 (CI) Cricket lovers everywhere haven't had enough of Tillakaratne Dilshan's audacious scoop over the wicketkeeper yet and they are already being treated to a second unconventional shot from another Sri Lankan batsman. Mahela Jayawardene took innovation in batting to a higher plane by playing a reverse sweep with the back of his bat against Jacob Oram during the Super Eights match versus New Zealand at Trent Bridge. more..

New Zealand flounder against Mendis

Jun 17 (CI) With all the technology now used to analyse cricket it's amazing that anything remains a mystery, but it appears no amount of slow-motion replays and computer programmes can help batsmen unravel the skills of Ajantha Mendis. Another magical spell, this time of 3 for 9, ended a promising start to New Zealand's run-chase even though Daniel Vettori was adamant his players knew what was coming at them. more..

Private sector shuns credit, CB steps in

Jun 17 (BL) In a move to stem the worsening poor demand for borrowing by private sector and bring down interest rates as well as step up flow of credit thereby stimulate the economy the Central Bank yesterday cut its policy rates. Central Bank said as the private sector plays a key role in determining the economic prospects, it is imperative that sufficient credit is available to the private sector. more..

Dr. Jemilah Mahmood’s Interview on Malaysiakini on Sri Lanka

Jun 17 (Mercy) Recently, MERCY Malaysia conducted an email interview with online news portal Malaysiakini on our work in Sri Lanka. Please find the full Question-and-Answer session with our President, Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood, below: 1. How many Malaysians are working in Sri Lanka via MERCY Malaysia? At present, there are six MERCY Malaysia representatives in Menik Farm, Cheddikulam, Vavuniya more..

Buy ‘a ticket from the heart’ and book a seat to Jaffna

Jun 17 (BL) The government this week launched an ambitious campaign to raise Rs. 14 billion required to construct the Yal Devi railway track from Vavuniya to Kankesanthurai (KKS) within the next two years through ‘Uthuru Mithuru’ – a ticket from the heart’. The ticket which costs Rs. 1,000 each is valid for a one way trip aboard the Yal Devi from Colombo to Jaffna on any day once the train begins its 394 km journey, expected to take place within the next two years. more..

Ranil-Karu toss as UNP’s next Presidential candidate?

Jun 17 (BL) Despite calls from dissident quarters asking UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down from contesting any future Presidential Elections, the party would not change its stance of fielding its incumbent leader. UNP MP, Lakshman Seneviratne speaking to The Bottom Line said that there was no change in the party standing that the present Party Leader would contest as its next Presidential candidate. more..

Fear of income tax keeps rural investors away

Jun 17 (BL) Stating that the fear of income taxes deter the rural investors from investing in the structured financial system of the country, Mass Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa called on a simplified structure to attract them. He said that the rural dweller has funds that are left unutilised or put into the many money making schemes that are unregulated and offer no protection. more..

Sri Lankan envoy in Chennai moves to London, Krishnamoorhty to succeed

Jun 17 (AT) Two Sri Lankan envoys, connected with Chennai, past and present, are on transfers by the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka, the posting to be effected from 1st of August. Mr. P. M. Amza, who is Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, has been cross posted to London., after his completion of three year service in Chennai. He is likely to leave soon to take on the new post of deputy high commissioner in London on August 1. more..

Lankan plan to set up military base in Katchatheevu flayed

Jun 17 (EB) Chief Minister M Karunanidhi expressed serious concern over the proposal of Sri Lankan government to set up a military base and a watch tower in Katchatheevu. Besides, he urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take immediate steps to stop the attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by Lankan Navy. The Chief Minister, in his letter to the Prime Minister, more..

Dr. Brian Seneviratne: A Humanright (LTTE) Activist

Jun 17 (AT) Dr. Brian Seneviratne, an ethnic Sri Lankan Sinhalese expatriate and a consultant physician living in Brisbane, Australia. He is, of course, a proud cousin of the former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga. He has been a so-called self-proclaimed human right activist and was a friend of Mr. Kandasamy, a human right activist who was cold bloodily killed by LTTE during its terror against the voices of human rights in Jaffna. more..

Ex-Voice of Tigers broadcaster speaks out

Jun 17 (AT) Ramalingam Rajeev had a childhood dream – that of becoming a broadcaster, and the only opportunity he got many years later was to work for the LTTE’s radio network – the Voice of Tigers (VoT). He took it on to realise his dream but was soon a disillusioned young man in view of the manner in which this radio station operated. Rajeev is now at the Kathirgamar Transitional Relief Village in Cheddikulam, more..

The Ramayana trail continues to attract visitors from India

Jun 17 (TB) The Ramayana Trail of Sri Lanka revolves round the Ramayana, the great epic of Asia, which has an unshakable hold on the beliefs of a vast multitude of Asia’s population. Over 50 sites associated with the Ramayana, are located within Sri Lanka, with around 12 of them being sites with archeological evidence. The rest of the sites are largely based on unwavering faith and traditional beliefs. more..

Finding a path to reconciliation - analysis

Jun 17 (IRIN) Sri Lanka has a historic chance to heal deep ethnic rifts in the country after the civil war and the government should seize the opportunity to follow up on its promises of reconciliation, analysts say. On 19 May, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared victory over the separatist LTTE, ending a 26-year war that has left thousands dead and many thousands more displaced. more..

US nominee says Sri Lanka must help Tamils

Jun 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka needs to reach out to its Tamil minority and improve conditions for hundreds of thousands of displaced after defeating Tiger rebels, the nominee to be the next US ambassador said Tuesday. Patricia Butenis, testifying in a Senate confirmation hearing, said she would also press Sri Lanka to bring to justice those responsible for extrajudicial killings and attacks on the media. more..

'Dividends of liberation will accrue soon to people in the North'

Jun 17 (GDI) Senior Advisor to the President and Chairman, Presidential Task Force for the Development of the North, Basil Rajapaksa, MP, said that while offering a political solution to the peoples of the North who have been liberated from the grip of terrorism, steps are being taken to develop the province according to home-grown strategy by the name of ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ (Northern Spring). more..

The return of Blondie

Jun 17 (CI) Q: Why did you cut your hair? A: I was out of cricket for more than a year due as I was injured, so I cut it. But I'm growing back my hair. I miss it. I'm getting it back. Q: Anything we don't know about you? A: Before coming into the Sri Lankan team I had never been to a cricket ground to watch an international match. Q: Your knee injury was supposedly miraculously cured in five days by a mystic healer. more..

Government hands greater powers to Chief of Defence Staff

Jun 17 (wsws) Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake presented a Bill to parliament on June 9 to create a new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post with substantial powers. Just three weeks after proclaiming victory over the separatist LTTE, this is another move to strengthen the military’s role, and consolidate the politico-military cabal that now surrounds President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Rebuilding relations after victories

Jun 17 (SLW) The human rights heartland of Geneva was the scene of the Sri Lankan government’s latest victory. The government staved off a determined effort by Western countries to launch a formal investigation into violations of human rights and possible war crimes in the last phase of Sri Lanka’s ethnic war. At the UN’s Human Rights Council, Sri Lanka was able to draw upon the support, indignation and self-interest of the majority of country’s more..

Statement of a Group of Concerned Tamils of Sri Lanka

Jun 17 (SLW) We appeal to all concerned to attend to the pressing needs of the time. We appeal to the government of Sri Lanka and all other concerned parties to allay the fears of the Tamil people and to address the dire needs of all those affected by the recent onslaught of war. The end of the war is most welcome, but the enormous death toll is a cause for great concern, as also the condition of very many survivors. more..

New Chief Justice welcomed by Bench and the Bar

Jun 17 (SLW) I thank you both Mr. Attorney, Mr. Dayaratne, The President of the Bar Association, for your gracious words of welcome and I thank all of you for your kind presence here today. As most of you may be aware, this is the fourth time that I am addressing you in the confines of these vast halls. First when I took office as a judge of the Court of Appeal in 1995, then as President of the Court of Appeal, then as Judge of the Supreme Court, and today, as Chief Justice. more..

Transnational Government: another myth is being nurtured!

Jun 17 (SLW) The Tamil Diaspora is of three main categories. The first one is the post-independent pre-1983 overseas settlers who searched new pastures for themselves and their motivations were purely economic and colonial-cultured lives. Usually they went for higher education and many of them opted to stay back and establish their lives there, England virtually being that destination. They shared this with their Sinhala counterparts. more..

Sri Lanka, unfulfilled challenge to peace mediators

Jun 17 (TN) A group of well-known people in the peace making profession are gathering for an annual meet in recluse in Oslo between Tuesday and Thursday to reflect on current mediation processes, according to a news release from Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Geneva. The participants include some of those from Norway whose peace process has led Eezham Tamils to face genocide and incarceration in internment camps. more..

President's home-grown solution must be inclusive

Jun 17 (PSM) President Mahinda Rajapaksha's home grown soultion to ethnic problem should be inclusive enough to accommodate the aspirations of all communities living in this country, commented a columnist in Lakbima this week. "Going by the happenings of the recent past, it may be noted that the aspect of inclusiveness in the government’s handling of the post-war situation has been a cause for concern for many peace-lovers. more..

Prompt action for the release of 51 SL fishermen in India

Jun 17 (GDI) Discussions are in place to bring back 51 fishermen arrested during a temporary moratorium violating Indian territorial waters,a top official of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic resources said. These fishermen taken into custody along with their 9 boats on March 8th by coastal authorities in a period of 45 days temporary moratorium practiced by the Indian government during the fish breeding of the Andaman seas. more..

Two university students excel at Microsoft Imagine Cup competition

Jun 17 (GDI) A software application created by two students from the University of Moratuwa has been selected by the Microsoft Corporation to compete in the Microsoft Imagine Cup student competition as one of the six finalists at the world competition to be held in Cairo, Egypt from 3rd to 8th July 2009. The software application coined "Hope for poor - Sasrutha" has been developed at the Faculty of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa. more..

Search operations find more military items

Jun 17 (GDI) A clearing operation conducted by troops in the general areas Pullayanpokkanal, Wellamullivaikkal, Chalai, Puthukkudiyiruppu, Kuppilankulam and Pattikkaral yesterday found arms, ammunition and explosive devices used by LTTE carders, the Army web site reported. Troops have come across multitude of weapons ranging from one 81 mm mortar launcher, four T-56 weapons, six T-56 magazines, more..

Beware!!! Swine flue is flying

Jun 17 (GDI) The Government has set up a special machine at the airport to identify swine flue infected persons. However, a person falls sick with H1N1 only a few days after contracting the virus. Therefore, anyone in initial stages of the disease will be detected by this machine and all hospitals will be alerted, and sufficient stocks of medicine were available to treat patients, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva said. more..

Minor decline in spread of dengue

Jun 17 (GDI) The public should continue to destroy and clean mosquito breeding sites within their properties and the spread of dengue fever shows a minor decline at present but with the rains currently experienced, it may increase any moment, the Health Ministry warned. The Ministry has identified Gampaha, Kalutara, Kurunegala, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Kegalle, Matale, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Puttalam as badly affected areas, more..

Fewer security checks and less road blocks in the North

Jun 17 (GDI) As the peace dawns, Eastern Province has been reaching normalcy by the day. Increasing numbers of people, fewer security check-ups, and less road blocks suggests war as a distant memory. “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,” retired judge Mahanama Thilakaratna told more..

Dengue and Bodhi pooja

Jun 17 (LNP) When flying Tigers were downed, we thought we would be able to have a good night`s sleep free from rude shocks from crude aerial bombs and stray tracer bullets. Free as we are from those dangers now, peace of mind remains a luxury we cannot still afford. For, the winged terror continues to trouble us in a different yet insidious form. Mossies are on the warpath in many parts of the country, especially the Colombo city and its suburbs spreading as they do much dreaded dengue. more..

'Prices of essential items remain the same'

Jun 17 (GDI) Prices of essential items will remain the same. However, we must not forget the fact that global terrorism reigned in years 2007, 2008 and 2009, prices of petroleum products went to unexpected levels, the global food crisis was at its maximum, and, simultaneously, global economic downturn affected the local economy. more..

Underworld chief ‘Bada Mahinda’ dead

Jun 17 (LT) Mahinda Godage alias ‘Bada Mahinda’ said to be a leader of the underworld and accused of a number of crimes including murder, extortion and abductions was shot down by police at Ambuldeniya, Nugegoda yesterday. According to police he was accused of murdering Sanjeewa, a leader of the underworld as well as the former police officer of the Presidential Security Service and shooting at the residence of late Mr. Lasanthe Wickrematunga, Editor of Sunday Leader in 1998. more..

Prisons in Sri Lanka overcrowded

Jun 17 (LT) It was revealed that 6046 inmates are held in Welikade prison which has room only for 1700 prisoners. Among the inmates there are 4000 prisoners and 2046 who are on remand pending trial. According to international standards a prisoner should have an area of 540 sq. feet. However, at Welikade eight to ten prisoners occupy this area. According to reports of Ministry of Justice and Law Reform overcrowding in Sri Lanka’s prisons is 400%. more..

A-9 opened for civilians

Jun 17 (LT) The A-9 main highway from Kandy to Jaffna has been opened for private sector transport from today. 20 lorries from Department of Essential Service set off to the north carrying essential items. The road was opened for private sector vehicles after 24 years when tiger terrorists closed the road. Although the A-9 road was fully liberated in January this year with the capture of Elephant Pass on 9th January, the road was used only for troop movement until more..

Reject so-called Co-Chairs – JVP tells Govt.

Jun 17 (LT) The JVP demands that the government totally rejects the so-called Co-Chairs so that any foreign country attempting to heap so-called solutions for the national question on the country could be prevented and attempts to strengthen separatism politically could be halted at a time separatist tiger terrorism has been decisively defeated states the JVP. The communiqué issued by the Political Bureau of the JVP states, more..

Entrance to Sigiriya go up by Rs.10/-

Jun 17 (LT) The Central Cultural Fund has decided to increase the price of an entrance ticket for local visitors to Sigiriya by Rs.10.00. Accordingly, a ticket for a local adult would cost Rs.50.00 and a child’s ticket would be Rs.25.00. A few months ago the price of an entrance ticket was increased by Rs.20.00. The ticket that was for Rs.20.00 was increased to Rs.40.00. Since Poson Poya day it has been increased to Rs.50.00. more..

Sri Lanka economic growth slows in first quarter 2009

Jun 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economic growth slowed to 1.5 percent in the first quarter of the 2009, against 6.2 in 2008 and 4.3 percent in the December quarter. "The global turmoil has directly or indirectly affected the local economy," the head of the government's statistics office Suranjana Vidyaratne said. The agricultural sector grew by 3.0 percent (5.9 percent in 2008), industry by 1.9 percent (6.0 percent in 2008) and more..

'Give opportunity for JVP to respond to false accusations by state media'

Jun 17 (LT) Leader of the group of Parliamentarians of the JVP Anura Dissanayake has sent a letter to Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadharshan Yapa requesting an opportunity to answer false accusations published by state media against the JVP and its leaders. The letter in full: Hon. Minister, The right to respond to false accusations raised by state media. more..

Police nab LTTE medical supplier

Jun 17 (MoD) The Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) arrested a director of a leading pharmaceutical company in Wellawatte for having connections with the LTTE and seized a stock of medical items valued at around Rs.2.5 million which were prepared to be sent to the LTTE. Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekera said the stock of drugs and medical items meant for the LTTE were recovered by the TID hidden inside a house in Perera Avenue, Wellawatte on Monday. more..

'Moments in Culture' to launch

Jun 17 (DN) The 10th Death Anniversary of Yogendra Duraiswamy who was a Diplomat in several parts of the world and subsequently District Secretary and Government Agent of Jaffna in April 1969 falls today. In remembrance of Yogendra Duraiswamy a Book titled 'Moments in Culture' will be launched. Mrs. Sivanandani Duraiswamy in association with the Hindu Women's Society have made arrangements to hold a remembrance and prayer meeting on more..

Seized ship with Lankans heads to Somalian coast

Jun 17 (DN) The cargo ship MV Charelle seized by Somali pirates last Friday off the Omani coast with seven Sri Lankans on board, including the captain, was heading towards the Somalian coast yesterday, reportedly with none of the crew harmed. The local agent of the New Zealand owned shipping company said the journey of the vessel is being closely monitored and the ship was expected to reach the Somalian coast within the next 48 hours. more..

DNA tests to identify dead Lankans

Jun 17 (DN) Saudi Arabian authorities will conduct DNA tests to identify the five Sri Lankans who died in a major road accident on Thursday. The accident which killed 20 people on board the SAPTCO bus, took place about 30 km east of Riyadh when a Hofuf-bound SAPTCO bus collided with a truck entering from a shoulder lane during a blinding sandstorm. The victims were burned to death as the bus caught fire after crashing into the truck. more..

Public sector scam vies with private sector ones: minister

Jun 17 (LBO) Sections of Sri Lanka's bloated public sector are stealing peoples' money in the same corrupt manner as high profile private sector scams, a senior minister said. "More than 140 state owned institutions are running at losses and have to be supported by the Treasury. Some workers don't even come to work,” deputy finance minister Sarath Amunugama said. more..