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‘Swine flu’ is not fatal – Epidemiologist

Jun 18 (LT) Influenza A virus subtype H1N, 1commonly known as ‘swine flu’ is not fatal and people need not have unnecessary fear regarding it says epidemiologist Dr. Risineth Premaratne. Despite calling it ‘swine flu’ laboratory tests have showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in humans and birds and now it is called Novel Influenza A (H1 N1). more..

Military arrests 15 LTTE doctors

Jun 18 (CT) The Sri Lankan military has arrested 15 doctors who were in the LTTE's medical unit, 'Lakbima' reports, citing sources from the TID and the CID. The news report by Gayan Kumara Weerasinghe, published in today's newspaper, says that the arrested doctors include five MBBS doctors and 10 doctors passed out from the Eelam school of medicine. Head of the LTTE medical unit, Selvavinayagam Kuwendraraja alias Manoj, arrested from a welfare camp in Vavunya, more..

Only president & universities can confer honorary titles

Jun 18 (CT) The government has decided to that only the President and recognised universities can confer honorary titles. The decision was unanimously taken last evening (June 17) at a meeting of the cabinet which considered a report submitted by a panel of six ministers headed by D.M. Jayaratne. However, this decision will not apply for the honorary titles conferred by the Buddhist clergy.

Minister laughs off request for foreign monitors at north polls

Jun 18 (CT) Media minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena has laughed off a request by the opposition for foreign monitors to observe the upcoming local government elections for Jaffna and Vavuniya. The minister told the media today (Jun 17) that any party or group could take part without any disruption in the election that seeks to establish democracy in the north. The government would gain nothing by disrupting it, although more..

Dilantha moving towards a new record

Jun 18 (LNP) Dilantha Malagamuwa took the top spot after the third and fourth rounds of the Aston Martin Asia Cup Motor Racing Championship held at the Sepang F1 circuit recently. Dilantha who has won the Malaysian Super Series twice is also competing in the same this year too. Dilantha also becomes the first Sri Lankan driver to run in two different championships on the same day. more..

'Today marks the completion of one month of the reunification of the country'

Jun 18 (GDI) "Today marks the completion of one month of the reunification of the country by defeating LTTE terrorism. People in the North Central Province were the happiest group who enjoyed the end of terrorism as they had been the most vulnerable people to the atrocities of the LTTE terrorists”, President Mahinda Rajapakse said while participating in a felicitation ceremony held in front of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura. more..

Kadirgamar's assassin killed in Pudumathalan

Jun 18 (LT) The assassin of former Foreign Minister Luxman Kadirgamar was killed in clashes that occurred at Pudumathalan says a senior defense officer. According to him a senior LTTE member who surrendered to SL forces and now in an IDP camp at Vavuniya had said ‘Champion’ a senior LTTE leader, who was the assassin of former Foreign Minister Luxman Kadirgamar was killed fighting government forces at Pudumathalan. more..

Sri Lanka records 1.5 percent GDP growth in 1 Q, 2009

Jun 18 (LNP) Sri Lanka recorded a 1.5 percent GDP growth for the first quarter of 2009, the Department of Census and Statistics said yesterday. The three main sectors of agriculture, industry and services of GDP grew by 3 percent, 1.9 percent and 1 percent. This is a significant growth compared to many developed western countries where they recorded a negative growth and we could expect much improved results for the next quarter, more..

A damning indictment

Jun 18 (LNP) Chairman of the Presidential Commission investigating abductions, killings and disappearances and former judge Mahanama Tilakaratne`s fierce attack on the police yesterday must have warmed the cockles of many a heart. He inveighed against the police for inefficiency, negligence and dereliction of duty. How the police handle even high profile investigations is shocking. Mr. Tilakaratne has faulted the police for the haphazard manner in which TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham`s more..

Militant-turned Lankan minister has murder case against him in Chennai

Jun 18 (Tehelka) Sri Lanka’s social services and social welfare minister and leader of EPDP Douglas Devananda was involved in a shooting incident in Chennai in 1986 which claimed a person’s life. At the time Devananda was heading the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the EPRLF military wing. Operating from Jaffna, he arrived in Chennai in early 1986 to sort out organisational issues with colleagues then based in Tamil Nadu. more..

“Economist” banned for article on post war Sri Lanka

Jun 18 (LNW) 12th June 2009 issue of Economist magazine has been held up for security reasons (!) by Sri Lanka customs. Subscribers who pay SLR 11,000 a year to Vijitha Yapa book shop in Colombo have not received their copies yet. The reason for this censorship could well be an article on Sri Lanka, which is pasted below this note. According to informed sources this is the 4th Economist issue that has been banned by customs in recent past. more..

Workers foil attempt to steal Sri Lanka Insurance files

Jun 18 (Island) The Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) employees yesterday thwarted an attempt to remove some important files from the SLIC head office close on the heels of Abdeen Associates, on behalf of Vasudeva Nanayakkara, demanding that the Police, Bribery Commission, the Institute of Chartered Accounts, Securities and Exchange Commission and Controller of Exchange investigate and prosecute persons involved in the fraudulent SLIC privatisation. more..

TRO Chairman arrested and detained

Jun 18 (DN) The CID informed the Colombo Magistrate's Courts yesterday that they were further detaining the Chairman and another member of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) under detention orders for questioning in their alleged involvement in raising funds for the LTTE terrorist organization. The TRO, a non Governmental Organization is charged with raising funds for the LTTE in the guise of collecting monies to help welfare activities of the displaced civilians in the North. more..

Rs. 6.4b Nano Park to attract scientists

Jun 18 (DN) The Science and Technology Ministry is looking at possibilities of attracting local and foreign scientists and researchers for the proposed Nano-Technology Park which will be constructed at Homagama, sources said. The Nano Park is a Government initiated project for local industrialists to carry out nano-technology based research and development activities, more..

NIC compulsory for voters

Jun 18 (DN) The National Identity Card or any other identity document with a photograph of the voter will be made compulsory for the voters to cast their ballot at the forthcoming Uva Provincial Council Election, Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said. Dissanayake said the National Identity Card issued by Persons Registration Department, a valid Passport, a valid Driving licence, a Railway Season Ticket Identity Card with valid season ticket, more..

Vanni TNA MP pours scorn over Prabhakaran Chelvanayagam

Jun 18 (AT) Vanni TNA Member of Parliament is the surprise addition to the growing tribe of leaders who are pouring scorn over Prabhakaran and Chelvanayagam The surge of surrender of erstwhile LTTE cadres is continuing. On Wednesday alone, 9,700 LTTE cadres surrendered to the Sri Lanka Army; they were moved to temporary camps set up at Rambaikkulam Girls School, Kovil Kadavai Hindu College, Technical College, more..

Sri Lanka rebuild its economy

Anyone can visit IDP camps but not for own gain

Jun 18 (Island) The government would allow any interested party or group to assist and help the internally displaced persons currently located in the welfare centres in the North, but won’t let anyone capitalize on their grievances, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said yesterday. He said that there were political parties and NGOs demanding access to these camps with the intention of gaining political mileage and to secure foreign funds for NGOs. more..

Time to act: not a time for excuses

Jun 18 (DM) The country yesterday woke up to the shocking reality of a deadly virus, sweeping the world with its cruel fatalities. The Country Representative of the World Health Organization informed the media that the first patient suffering from the H1N1 influenza (commonly known as swine flu;) an eight year old child who had arrived here from Australia on Sunday, had been detected. According to health authorities steps have been taken to isolate the patient at IDH in Angoda with special medical arrangements. more..

A captive in the Kandyan District - Robert Knox

Jun 18 (Island) Robert Knox who was a captive in the Kingdom of Kandy since 1660 for 19 years, six months and 14 days, was the author of the remarkable book ‘Historical Relation of Ceylon’, which was published after his escape, disclosing a reasonable account of the kingdom and of his personal experiences. This work was widely read in European countries and was published in two editions and in Dutch, German and French translations more..

Health Minister not doing his duty: UNP

Jun 18 (DM) Referring to the new situation that has arisen in the health sector with the detection of the first swine flu case in Sri Lanka the main Opposition UNP charged yesterday that the Health Minister should have done his duty without boasting about the military victory. UNP MP Gayantha Karunatilleke told a news conference that the health sector is in shambles while the minister is become a show piece. more..

'No moral or legal basis to prosecute our Leaders'

Jun 18 (Island) Though some attempts were made to produce the leaders who decimated the LTTE terrorism before an International tribunal, there was certainly no legal or moral basis for such action, Prof. G. L. Peiris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade and Acting Minister of Posts and Telecommunications said. He was addressing a meeting held to rename Badulla Postal Complex and Auditorium more..

Sri Lanka tourism readies for boom after war's end

Jun 18 (Time) Hoteliers big and small in Sri Lanka are getting ready to cash in on what they say is the inevitable boom around the corner after last month's end to the nation's bloody quarter-century old civil conflict. Tourism in this tropical island nation was one of the industries hit hardest by the war between government forces and the LTTE. The industry, from the white sand beaches of Hikkaduwa to the verdant mountains of Kandy — has endured a 25-year-old yo-yo ride with more..

Lak Sathosa hits record sales at Menik Farm

Jun 18 (DM) The Lak Sathosa outlets set up in the Menik Farm Welfare Village in Vavuniya have hit record trade volumes running to the tune of Rs. 1.2 million on a daily basis, Trade and Consumer Services Minister Bandula Gunawardane said yesterday. The Minister said that the maximum daily trade volume recorded in an outlet in the south was only Rs. 600,000-700,000. After an observation tour in the welfare village, more..

War fears still haunt Lanka

Jun 19 (TOI) For a city, warweary until the other day, life couldn’t be more normal. The signs of victory are obvious in Colombo. Hundreds of colourful posters plastered on the whitewashed street walls show President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his hands lifted in a gesture of triumph. They hail him as ‘Maharajanayakek Apata’ (‘our mighty king’). Taxi drivers are thrilled to serve an Indian customer. more..

Rohingya terrorist suspects captured

Jun 18 (BP) Security authorities have arrested three Rohingya allegedly involved in passport forgery and human and weapons trafficking, and said to be linked to the LTTE in Sri Lanka and insurgents in the far South. They were also suspected of being connected with al-Qaeda terrorists. The arrest of Mohammad Ali Hussein, Mohammad Mudbahem and Chubri Awae followed a joint operation between more..

Violence soars as police deal with Tamil protests

Jun 18 (LES) Violence and burglary soared in London because police officers were redirected to deal with the Tamil protests, an influential report revealed today. The number of cases of serious violence leapt by nearly 30 per cent and cases of burglary increased by 7.3 per cent, according to the study by Britain's top police officer responsible for public order. The report showed how a squad usually used to tackle violent crimes and break-ins in more..

Iran, Sri Lanka sign $106mln power-transfer agreement

Jun 18 (FNA) An Iranian private company inked a 106-million-dollar agreement with the Sri Lankan government on the transfer of electricity to 1000 villages in the South Asian country. The agreement on the project dubbed as "R&E" to bring electricity to 180,000 families in rural areas, was signed between the managing director of Iranian Sanir company and the deputy energy minister of Sri Lanka in Colombo. more..

Mangala to take legal action

Jun 18 (DM) SLFP Mahajana Wing Leader MP Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said he had instructed his lawyers to initiate legal action against Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage against the alleged statements made by the Minister with reference to him. “Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage had made several wild allegations against me at last week’s cabinet press briefing. more..

Sri Lanka says aid worker massacre probe concluded

Jun 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka's top rights panel said Thursday it has concluded investigations into the murder of 17 local employees of a French charity and six other high profile cases from the island's civil war. The head of the probe, however, refused to say who had been found responsible for the 2006 massacre of the aid workers, which international monitors and rights groups have blamed on Sri Lankan government forces. more..

Rights groups want probe into Sri Lanka war abuses

Jun 18 (AP) Human rights groups called Thursday for an international investigation into wartime abuses in Sri Lanka, saying the government lacks the political will to investigate the incidents on its own. Rights groups accused the government of firing heavy weapons into civilian areas in the final months of the island nation's quarter-century civil war, which ended last month. more..

Three suspected LTTE cadres shot dead in Vavuniya

Jun 18 (PTI) Around three suspected LTTE cadres were shot dead by the police in a clearing operation in the former LTTE-hideout of northern Vavuniya on Thursday. According to the police, suspected LTTE cadres attacked the Vavuniya special police unit when they attempted to search a vehicle during combing operations at Nelukulam. Three rebels were killed in the encounter that ensued after police fired in retaliation, more..

'Tamil Tiger leader fought to the death'

Jun 18 (AFP) A newly formed front of the defeated Tamil Tigers on Thursday rejected media reports that their former leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had surrendered or was taken alive before being killed. A group calling itself the department of intelligence of the LTTE said Prabhakaran was killed in May while trying to escape to safety. "Contradictory information are circulating that he was arrested, that he surrendered, that he was killed after interrogation and that he committed suicide," more..

Tamil protest ends after 73 days

Jun 18 (BBC) A 73-day protest involving thousands of people demonstrating over the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka has ended. The protest featured hunger strikes, mass sit-ins blocking central London roads and people throwing themselves into the River Thames. One of those involved, Ambi Seevaratnam said: "After 73 days, nothing has worked. The Tamils have been betrayed by the international community." more..

Second Swine Flu patient detected

Jun 18 (DN) Health authorities said yesterday that a second confirmed case of Swine Flu had been detected in the country. The new patient has been identified as the brother of the first case detected on Tuesday. Health Ministry, Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Peiris said that the parents of the children had however tested negative for the virus. The residence of the family is closely monitored and has been quarantined, he added. more..

Flair all round as Sri Lanka face Windies

Jun 19 (AFP) West Indies are confident of chasing nearly any total in this event; Sri Lanka believe there is no score they can't defend. Clearly, something will have to give in their World Twenty20 semi-final. Friday's match at the Oval sees two exciting sides up against one another and, while Sri Lanka will start favourites, the West Indies have shown that they are not to under-estimated. more..

UK should help Sri Lanka- Lord Naseby

Jun 19 (MoD) Lord Naseby in a letter, congratulated President Mahinda Rajapaksa for defeating LTTE terrorism that had held Sri Lanka to ransom for 26 years. Writing to the president shortly after the historic victory of the Sri Lankan armed forces against terrorism, the leading conservative member of the British House of Lords and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons has also stated that the UK should provide meaningful help to Sri Lanka for resettlement of the displaced. more..

Tigers struggle to rise from the ashes

Jun 19 (AT) As Colombo celebrated the one month anniversary of its military routing the LTTE, the former separatist outfit showed the first signs of rising from the ashes as it announced the setting up of a democratic movement to "peacefully" struggle for a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka. In an e-mailed voice clip, the highest-ranking LTTE member believed to be alive, fugitive Selvarajah Pathmanathan - more commonly known as KP - announced the formation of more..

'No batsman has figured me out'

Jun 19 (CI) Three months to the day after he was discharged from a Colombo hospital, head swathed in bandages, Ajantha Mendis claimed 3 for 9 and Man-of-the-Match honours in the World Twenty20 Super Eights match against New Zealand. The wounds from the Lahore terror attack may have left physical scars, but they have done nothing to diminish his spin-bowling wizardry. more..

Sri Lanka ahead by a nose

Jun 19 (CI) The Oval is shaping up as West Indies' lucky ground. In years gone by, it was the team's natural home-from-home, a place where the expat communities of Brixton and Lambeth could flood into the stands and watch the likes of Viv Richards and Michael Holding make England grovel. In more recent times, the venue has produced sharp spikes of achievement to atone for the team's general malaise, and more..

Summary of cabinet decisions

Jun 19 (GDI) US$ 25 Million Credit Facility from China Development Bank: Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by the Acting Minister of Finance & Planning Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to provide a Guarantee Certificate by the Ministry of Finance & Planning to the China Development Bank as security for the US$ 25 Million credit facility. National Backbone Network: Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa to implement the “National Backbone Network” more..

LTTE comes to terms with Prabhakaran’s death, at last

Jun 19 (AT) The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has at last acknowledged that its “national leader” V Prabhakaran has died in action. In a statement on Thursday, Kathirkamathamby Arivazhakan, head of the external affairs wing in the department of intelligence in the LTTE said it has now been confirmed that “Tamil Eelam National Leader…V. Pirabaharan has attained martyrdom”. more..

Sri Lanka bourse among world's best performing markets

Jun 19 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares jumped 2.61 percent on Thursday to become one of the best-performing bourses among the world stock markets after a global recession, with top bluechips hitting over one-year highs. Turnover hit a record of 2 billion rupees ($17.5 million), more than four times last year's daily average of 464 million rupees, according to a bourse official. The rupee closed flat with the central bank preventing appreciation through buying dollars. more..

Don't be mute spectator on Sri Lanka's plans on islet: Karunanidhi

Jun 19 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Thursday said the Centre "cannot remain a mute spectator" about Sri Lanka's reported plans to build a military base in Katchatheevu, an islet ceded by India to the island nation. Two days after writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling for verifying reports about Sri Lanka's "unilateral action", Mr. Karunanidhi told the state Assembly that "If such reports are true, Centre cannot remain a mute spectator to such a development." more..

Sangakkara banks on team unity

Jun 19 (CI) They are both called island teams but the similarity ends with the terminology. While the West Indies as we know it is a collection of disparate countries coming together largely for cricketing purposes, Sri Lanka is one nation. A collection of diverse ethnicities and faiths, yes - Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim - but one unit with allegiance to one flag. It's that sense of unity that has helped Sri Lanka's cricketers cope with terrorism - more..

'MPs have the right to access to the welfare camps'

Jun 19 (LeN) Chief Justice Ashoka de Silva said today (18) that the members of the parliament had right to access to the welfare camps. The Chief Justice made this declaration when a fundamental rights petition filed by MPs Jayalath Jayawardhana, Lakshman Senevirathna, Mangala Samaraweera, Hasan Ali and Mano Ganeshan was granted leave to proceed. The petition will be considered again on July 22. more..

Make your choice, fellow tamilians!

Jun 19 (SLW) So, Im a Tamil.and proud of it. Proud of my culture, proud of my language, proud of the achievements of many of my fellow tamilians all over the world. Born here, right here in sunny Sri lanka. And Ive finally decided to say something. I know Im going to ruffle a lot more than a few feathers here- possibly even have a few people get themselves off my facebook friends list, but then, more..

Fighting the PR War

Jun 19 (SLW) The ongoing campaign by The Times to discredit the recent military victory by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces over the LTTE seems, at times, relentless. Not a day passes by without Jeremy Page, Marie Colvin or Catherine Philp lecturing on alleged war crimes by Sri Lanka. I usually despise the shrill hysteria and the ‘me against the world’ mentality that envelops my countrymen when faced with criticism, but on this occasion I feel it is warranted. more..

Sri Lanka gets Chinese finance for bunker facility

Jun 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka is getting a 65 million US dollars loan from China's Exim Bank to build an oil storage facility in the Southern coastal town of Hambantota, a senior government minister said. "The objective of this project is to supply and store marine fuel, aviation fuel and LP gas and provide bunkering services for vessels passing by Sri Lanka," information minister Anura Yapa said. more..

Sri Lanka buys US218mn from forex markets in June: CB Governor

Jun 19 (LBO) Central bank has bought 218 million US dollars from forex markets in June on top of 160 million US dollars bought during the last two months, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. Since a float of the rupee in March ahead of an IMF bailout, the Central Bank has so far bought 378 million US dollars. The IMF loan has been delayed amid foot dragging by the United States but following the float of the currency, more..