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Sri Lanka IOC asks for fuel price increase

Jun 19 (LBO) Lanka IOC, a unit of the Indian Oil Corporation had asked Sri Lanka's petroleum ministry permission to raise petrol and diesel pump prices by 21 to 23 rupees a litre to stem losses amid rising oil prices, an official said. IOC managing director Suresh Kumar said his firm had lost about 15 rupees a litre on petrol last month on petrol and diesel and this month the loss had increased to between 21 to 23 rupees per litre. more..

In Sri Lanka: Orphans International Continues

Jun 19 (HP) Orphans International Sri Lanka, an affiliate of Orphans International Worldwide, was founded in Sri Lanka following the Tsunami. The organization, to help Sri Lankan children, was built in memory of Dr. Cresenta Fernando, a Sri Lankan native who worked for the World Bank in Washington and who perished in the Tsunami of 2004. For the last year, the NGO staff have worked and trained in community center of a village called Kathaluwa. more..

'A big defeat, no more Tamil guerillas'

Jun 19 (AT) In a candid interview, former member of the JVP and founder Editor – Ravaya newspaper, Victor Ivan says that nothing can compare to the defeat of the LTTE in post independence Sri Lanka and that another Tamil guerilla movement will not surface in the country. Born to a Catholic father and a Buddhist mother, he was educated at St. Anthony’s College – Kandy, St. Anne’s College – Kurunegala and St. Aloysious’ College – Galle. more..

Sri Lanka war on words continues

Jun 19 (BBC) One month after Tamil Tigers rebels were defeated in Sri Lanka with the death of their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, the working environment for journalists shows no sign of improving, as this correspondent, who prefers to remain unnamed, reports from Colombo. Independent journalists in Sri Lanka say they still feel threatened and intimidated. A journalist union leader was recently abducted and assaulted on his way home in Colombo within weeks of more..

‘Off-white blimps’ and West’s ‘infallibility’

Jun 19 (AT) A section of Sri Lanka’s Opposition and other pundits have launched a barrage of criticism on the government over what they call its “anti-Western rhetoric” They say GOSL has antagonized the ‘democracies’ on human rights issues and by refusing entry to the likes of Bob Rae. We know how the democracies attempted to secure peace and uphold human rights by trying to pressure an elected government to negotiate with more..

Sustainable energy in Sri Lanka

Jun 19 (AT) “We should improve the status of transport, especially make the railway to use mostly as the mode of transport; the public bus transport in urban areas too should be improved by making it more efficient and comfortable for passengers so that flooding of private vehicles into the traffic jam could be prevented.” Professor Tissa Vitarana, Minister of Science & Technology said so addressing a seminar to discuss on the status of sustainable energy in Sri Lanka more..

Memorial Service at the Washington Buddist Vihara

Jun 19 (IL) Washington Buddhist Vihara will hold a Memorial Service to tranfer merits to the fallen soldiers and all the people who sacrificed lives to free Sri Lanka from terrorism. The service will be held at the Washington D.C. Buddhist Vihara, on Saturday 20th June, 2009. The program will begin at 2.30 pm.

Sri Lanka fighting over, but much work remains, says Ban

Jun 19 (UN) The Sri Lankan Government last month declared that its military operation against Tamil rebels has ended, but there remain a number of outstanding issues that if left unaddressed could lead more violence, stated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr. Ban said that he has made it clear to President Mahinda Rajapaksa that though the fighting might be over, “there is much more to do.” more..

Israeli humanitarian aid dispatched to Sri Lanka

Jun 19 (MFA) A shipment of medical equipment and drugs, contributed by the MFA and the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, will be delivered to the Sri Lankan health authorities. The humanitarian shipment, which was collected and organized by MASHAV, the Israel Center for International Cooperation, will be presented by MFA deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific, more..

The mood in Jaffna is that of being tragically marooned

Jun 19 (DBS) Hello Friends, A Christian clergyman who inspired many of us during our student days was the Anglican Bishop of Kurunegala Rt. Rev Lakshman Wickremasinghe. This eminent theologian known popularly as Bishop Lakshman was a practical man of action when it came to the question of human rights violations and inter-ethnic justice and unity. Bishop Lakshman was one of those who pioneered the Civil Rights Movement in Sri Lanka when more..

Reconciliation: A Sinhala “middle-class” point of view

Jun 19 (DBS) Hello Friends, Opening up this Blog for people to express their views on national reconciliation, ethnic amity and inter-racial justice seems to have created a vibrant forum. I am particularly heartened by the positive responses of so many people from different walks in life. Of course a web based forum in English is naturally confined to a particular socio-economic background. more..

Ajantha Mendis and his mystery ball follow tradition of Sri Lankan unorthodoxy

Jun 19 (Guardian) It took a single appearance on YouTube for Ajantha Mendis to be pronounced a mystery of the cricketing age. His six wickets against India in last year's Asia Cup final confounded everyone. Was that an off-break, a leg-break or a doosra? India's batsmen had no idea and neither did anybody else peering hopelessly at the evidence of the computer screen. A Sri Lankan lawyer based in the United States, Mahendra Mapagunaratne, spotted a chance to make history. more..

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Jun 19 (SLW) That was Barak Obama at his brilliant best addressing the Muslim world from a podium in Cairo. His words of wisdom plus his charisma maxima combined together to make anyone listening to be all ears and frozen till the speech was over. There is little doubt he meant what he said and I am sure the world wishes him well and prays that the appropriate action will follow to bring peace among any warring factions, more..

Sri Lankan minister raises housemaid contracts issue

Jun 19 (SG) Changes in the employment contracts of Sri Lankan housemaids upon their arrival in Saudi Arabia is a major issue that the Sri Lankan government wants to address in cooperation with Saudi authorities, said Keheli Rambukwella, Sri Lankan Minister of Overseas Employment Promotion and Welfare. Rambuwella, who was on a two-day unofficial visit to the Kingdom said a sizable number of Sri Lankan housemaids are forced to work on a reduced monthly basic salary of SR400 or SR450, more..

Younger generation's role in post war era

Streatham family fear for niece in Sri Lanka

Jun 19 (SLP) THE aunt of a young mother trapped in a Sri Lankan refugee camp is desperately worried for her safety. Streatham shopkeeper Sudha Ragu, 40, said her niece Kanthy, 25, and six-month-old baby had been living in the camp since her husband was killed in a bomb attack on May 17. Her family were among thousands of civilians caught up in the closing stages of the civil war between ethnic separatists and the Sri Lankan government. more..

Two legal cases challenge mass detention of Tamil civilians

Jun 19 (wsws) Supreme Court this week began to hear two cases challenging the violation of the basic legal rights of Tamil civilians interned in military-controlled camps in the island’s north. Both cases argue that the detentions are illegal and in breach of “fundamental rights” guaranteed in the country’s constitution. By opposing the applications and successfully pushing for their postponement, more..

Police reform – a core element in nation building

Jun 19 (LG) From 1971 until the defeat of the LTTE there has been a continuous period of violence where both rebel groups and the state engaged in an attempt to outdo each other in brutality. One of the consequences of this period was the virtual destruction of the system of civilian policing. Now, with the end of this period the nation is faced with the serious problem of recreating a system of civilian policing which could serve the needs of the community. more..

Western media dirty tricks ( I )

Jun 19 (LG) In this two part article I take a look at two reports on Sri Lanka that appeared in the British media. The first by Britain’s ITN Channel Four and the second by the London Times. These were uncritically accepted and given wide publicity by Western print and electronic media, sad to say, even by Al Jazeera TV. Foreign Minister Bogollagama vehemently rejected the allegations made by Channel 4. more..

Media Monitoring and Analytics

Bob Rae's deportation is a slap on the face of Canada

Jun 19 (IL) Regardless of whether or not the Canadians accept the decision by the Sri Lankan government, Sri Lanka's denial of entry to Bob Rae, former premier of Ontario and current liberal party foreign critic into the country, after detaining him for 12 hours and then un-ceremoniously deporting him along with two other Canadian diplomats at the International Airport in Katunayake, is shameful and a slap on the face of Canada. more..

AG’s decision to represent alleged torture perpetrators undermines the rule of law

Jun 19 (AHRC) Sarath Kumara went to the Supreme Court to complain that he was assaulted by several police officers, and was also abused by them. He was then forcibly taken to a police station where he was falsely charged and produced before a Magistrate's Court. Due to the attack he was seriously injured and had to be hospitalised, following his ordeal he has suffered headaches and pain for a considerable time. more..

Further increase in dengue deaths

Jun 19 (GDI) The number of patients who have died due to dengue increased to 146 and more than 10,000 dengue patients have been reported so far,hospital reports said. Most of these patients were reported from Colombo, Gampaha, Kandy, Kurunegala and Kegalle districts, the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry claimed. Meanwhile, in addition to the dengue prevention programmes that are being implemented, more..

Yal Devi to operate to Omanthai shortly

Jun 19 (GDI) Moves are afoot to commence the reconstruction work of the northern railway track to be extend up to Omanthai within 90 days from now, Sri Lanka Railway disclosed. Earlier, the railway track damaged by LTTE terrorists was extended to Thandikulam and the historic Yal Devi train ceremonially made journey to that destination, a few days ago. The reconstruction work of the rail track from Thandikulam to Omanthai has already commenced. more..

'Dr. Mervin engineered Kelaniya university incident'

Jun 19 (LT) It has been revealed that the turmoil that occurred at Kelaniya University on the 11th was a riotous situation directed by UPFA organizer for Kelaniya Dr. Mervin Silva. It had been attempted by many quarters to pinpoint the incident as a clash between university students and the villagers. However, the involvement of Dr. Mervin was exposed with the publishing of photographs of the incident more..

A fresh wave of tourism booms after the war's end

Jun 19 (GDI) Sri Lanka, which receives about 500,000 tourists each year, aims to increase that number by at least 20 percent annually through a global campaign entitled “Small Miracle,” said Dileep Mudadeniya, Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. The war discouraged travelers from the U.S. and Europe for years from visiting Sri Lanka. “In another six months, confidence may return to Sri Lanka’s leisure market,” more..

Bob Rae and ‘Universal Jurisdiction’ – the War is not yet over

Jun 19 (LG) Suddenly, like a dark cloud in a radiant sky, Canadian MP Bob Rae came and went. He wouldn’t have known whether he was coming or going. Neither did we, which was unfortunate. All things considered, this was not good, this sudden change of mind, indecision; for the visa had been granted and we should have welcomed him. Bob may be an LTTE-sympathiser; but he is neither an ordinary tourist, nor a Bruce Fein. more..

NGJA targets Rs 35 b on gem and jewellery exports

Jun 19 (LNP) The National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) is targeting Rs.35 billion this year through Gem and Jewellery exports. With the dawn of peace, the gem and jewellery industry will a have positive impact. The industry in the Northern province, especially, would expand with the infusion of technology and human resources. Therefore, these areas would become a manufacturing hub to cater to the tourism industry more..

Excise Dept. earns Rs.12000 million for the state in 5 months

Jun 19 (LT) The Department of Excise has earned the government Rs.12000 million as tax during the first five months of this year. Last year Department of Excise conducted 56500 raids and suspects brought before the law. It earned Rs.2700 million as fines and this money was added to the income of local government institutes. Until May this year Department of Excise has carried out 16,000 raids and expects to earn an income of Rs.35000 million for the state.

Basil's Jaffna meet fails to discuss people in internment camps

Jun 19 (TN) The meeting meant to explore possibilities of the resettlement and rehabilitation of more than 13,000 Vanni civilians held in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) internment camps in Jaffna, held under tight security in Jaffna Public Library Thursday ended without any significant decisions regarding the issue concerned, Government officials who attended the meeting said. The venue of the meeting which was to be held in Jaffna Secretariat was changed at more..

SL Gov. has requested to exchange 300 Tamil Refugees from India

Jun 19 (LNW) The Indian government, though not officially disclosed or confirmed, is said to have acceded to a request by the SL government to hand over around 300 refugees of SL Tamil origin to the SL authorities in Colombo, who are presently in the custody of the criminal investigation department of the Tamil Nadu police. Most of them have been in TN detention camps for many years with criminal charges. more..

Court allows further detention of 'Thamalini'

Jun 19 (CT) The Crime Investigation Division yesterday (June 18) informed the Colombo, Sri Lanka Chief Magistrate's Courts that women's political wing head of the LTTE Subramaniam Shivathai alias 'Thamilini' was being detained and questioned. Chief Magistrate, Nishantha Hapuarachchi directed the suspect to be further detained under the directives of the Defence Secretary. more..

Swamy writes to PM: Put on hold Sethu project till analysis completes

Jun 19 (AT) Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to issue a directive putting the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) on hold till all analysis were carried out. He claimed that the SSCP was conceived and inaugurated without the Ministry of Shipping doing the basic tectonic survey and risk analysis about the possible effects of more..

Paramour accused of killing woman’s husband

Jun 19 (KT) A 23-year-old Sri Lankan man went on trial in the Criminal Court of First Instance on Thursday in connection with the alleged murder of a compatriot, with whose wife he allegedly had an illicit relationship. However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the crime. Four others, including the deceased’s wife, the defendant’s mother, a relative and a woman friend, were referred to the Court of Misdemeanours for being accessories to the crime. more..

President unveils restored Jethavana Stupa

Jun 19 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday it was a pleasure and a meritorious deed for him to grace the occasion of offering the conserved Jetavana Stupa for worshipping to the world Buddhist community. “This colossal stupa was constructed by King Mahasena (276-313 BC) when the country was under one flag and united,” President Rajapaksa said addressing the religious gathering at the occasion more..

Politician 'transports' historical Piyangala cave to Oluwil Port!

Jun 19 (LT) ‘Lankatruth’ has received reports that Piyangala cave which has tremendous historical significance is on the verge of being devastated and Sri Lanka will lose it forever. According to information we receive a group of authorities including a powerful minister of the government are carrying out a conspiracy to crush stone found in the cave into rubble and transport it to Oluwil port. more..

Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Institute, completes 80

Jun 19 (DN) The School of Ayurveda, Gampaha, was a dream came true on July 19, 1929. The Ayurveda School was originally named Gampaha Siddhayurveda Vidyalaya. In 1982 the name was changed to Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurveda Institute when it was registered with the Government. This year 2009 it completes 80 years of yeoman service to the nation. It was in an era when there was no such institution in the island, that more..

Peace in our time and the way forward

Jun 19 (DN) President Rajapaksa's speech in Parliament has to be welcomed as a pivotal turning-point in the history of our beloved Motherland. He has unequivocally destroyed the dichotomy of 'majority' versus 'minorities' when he said that there are only two kinds of people: those who love the Motherland and those mercifully few who work against her. How right he is for he is the very first Head of State to recognize that all who are born on this soil are its sons and daughters. more..

Sri Lanka’s war is not an ‘internal matter’

Jun 19 (OC) Those of us living or working in downtown Ottawa have seen the effects of the war in Sri Lanka at our own front doorstep recently. Demonstrations over the past two weeks in the downtown core have featured Canada’s strong Tamil community calling on Parliament to act immediately to bring peace and protection to their people. The tens of thousands of deaths, towns and villages destroyed, and more..

Milk production to increase by 50 percent

Jun 19 (DN) Sri Lanka produces only 20 percent of the country's national milk/dairy requirement and plans are afoot to increase production by 50 percent, NLDB Chairman Dr Chandrawansa Pathirajah said. At present the Government imports more than 60,000 tonnes of powdered and liquid milk and therefore we could save a lot of money if we develop the local dairy and fresh milk industry, he said. more..

LG polls: TNA contemplates suing MoD

Jun 19 (Island) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is contemplating legal action against the Defence Ministry for preventing it from going to Jaffna and Vavuniya to hand over nominations for the local government polls and engage in electioneering. The TNA claims the Defence Ministry has informed it that the Northern Province is not yet cleared for political activities or safe for TNA MPs. more..

Swine flu patients’ condition stable

Jun 19 (Island) The condition of the two children admitted to the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) with swine influenza was stable by last morning. Nine members of the family were also kept under quarantine at the IDH to monitor their condition within the next few days. A spokeswoman for IDH said yesterday that the father of the eight-year-old patient, who had first been detected with the flu, had proved negative for the AH1N1 virus. more..

Peace returns to the Zoo

Jun 19 (Island) Differences between Dehiwela Zoological Gardens Director Duminda Jayaratne and Zoo employees ended yesterday when Sports and Recreation Ministry Additional Secretary H. N. B. C. Herath intervened and promised to sort out the matter within three weeks. Zoo employees told The Island yesterday that their strike on Monday had left cages not cleaned and animals not fed. "We didn’t want such an action, but we did not have a choice. more..

Cricket telecast rights only for state TV

Jun 19 (DM) The Cabinet has instructed Sri Lanka Cricket to offer exclusive telecast rights of international cricket matches played in Sri Lanka only to Rupavahini and have ITN as the second option. Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told the weekly cabinet news briefing yesterday that the Cabinet had approved a memorandum on the matter submitted by acting sports minister Bandula Basnayake. more..

Airport scanners can only detect high fever

Jun 19 (DM) Thermal Scanners installed at the Katunayake airport are capable of only detecting patients with high fever and not necessarily those infected with H1NI virus, a medical source said yesterday. Negombo Base Hospital Medical Director Dr. Champa Aluthweera said the two thermal scanners installed at the airport could detect a swine flu patient only if and when he or she has high fever. more..

Free Trade Zones for Trinco, Kilinochchi

Jun 19 (Island) Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, yesterday said that Free Trade Zones will be inaugurated in the Trincomalee and Kilinochchi districts under the ‘Negenahira Navodaya’ and ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ programmes. He was speaking at the ceremony where an agreement was signed between the Board of Investment and APS Knitters (PVT) Ltd., to establish a fully fledged T-shirt factory here. more..

Restrictions on Colombo-Jaffna air route eased

Jun 19 (DM) The Civil Aviation Authority yesterday confirmed that the Defence Ministry had eased restrictions on domestic air routes between Colombo and Jaffna. Earlier civilian air traffic used a longer route where planes had to fly over the sea instead of over land between Jaffna and Colombo to avoid LTTE controlled areas. This resulted in longer flying time and high costs. Now with the end of the war flights can fly over land cutting short the flying time, the CAA said. more..

'No plans to build base in Kachchaitivu'

Jun 19 (DM) The Navy yesterday said it had no intention of building a tower and military base in Kachchaitivu despite claims by Tamil Nadu that there was such a plan in the making. Navy Spokesman, D.K.P Dassanayake told the Daily Mirror that the comments made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi earlier this week were incorrect. Mr. Karunanidhi had claimed that the Sri Lankan Government was building a military base on the small Island more..

Tamil priest to RP: condemn, don’t congratulate Sri Lanka

Jun 19 (MN) A Sri Lankan Catholic priest presently based in Mindanao has urged the Philippine government to “revise its foreign policies, condemn the war crimes of the government of Sri Lanka in bilateral and multilateral forum,” and “help the Western block countries of European Union, United States, United Kingdom, and Canada who are calling for an impartial international investigation into the war crimes of Sri Lanka.” more..

Sri Lankan tea production falters in May

Jun 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea production in May dropped 22.7 percent to 25.54 million kilos from a year ago owing to the effects of drought, a Tea Board official said. Tea production in the year to May was down 26.9 percent to 105.5 million kilos but a recovery is expected in the coming months. “The unusual dry weather in the first quarter of this year in plantation areas has affected production,” more..