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Rubella poisons girls again

Jun 20 (LT) Four students from Mahamaya Girls School at Matara have been hospitalized after they were administered the Rubella vaccine. All four students are grade eight students from the school. As there had been distrust regarding the Rubella vaccine the school authorities had asked the girls to bring a letter from their parents approving administering of the vaccine. Parents after consulting doctors have given their letters of consent. more..

President should reveal government policy on 13th amendment – JVP

Jun 20 (LT) President Mahinda Rajapakse should tell the country what the government policy is on the 13th amendment says the JVP. A communiqué issued by the Political Bureau of the JVP states ministers of the UPFA government have expressed contradictory statements regarding the 13th amendment. It points out that Minister Anura Priyadharshan Yapa and Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene who crossed over from the UNP had made complicating statements. more..

Bomb carried in CARE vehicle for Gotabhaya assassination

Jun 20 (LP) Investigations have revealed that the bomb which exploded at the Pittala Junction in Kollupitiya that targeted Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was carried by a vehicle which belonged to an INGO, CARE International from Kilinochchi to Colombo. According to the Kotahena Police the vehicle and all suspects involved in transporting the bomb have been taken into custody. more..

Three persons nabbed while plotting to kill the President; conspiracy uncovered

Jun 20 (LeN) A special police team arrested a LTTE suicide cadre who was residing in Colombo to kill the President Mahinda Rajapakse. He was arrested at the Ayurveda junction, Borella and two more persons were arrested in Valachchanai based on information divulged by him. Police sources say that these three persons are in the age group of 15 to 16 years. The special police team also recovered 25 kilos of C-4 explosives. more..

Rains to continue says Met Department

Jun 20 (LP) The Meteorology Department said the country could continue to experience the prevailing rainy weather in the next few days as the South West Monsoon had turned active during the past 24 hours. Fairly strong South-Westerly winds would occur over the island and over the seas especially along the Western slope of the Central Hills. Winds of betwee 30 and 40 km a hour and was likely to increase its speed to up to 50 to 60 km a hour at certain times. more..

Rs. 150m telecom tower for Kokavil

Jun 20 (LNP) A common telecommunication broadcasting tower with an investment of Rs. 150 million will be built shortly at Kokavil, the centre point between Jaffna and Vauniya, Director General, TRC Priyantha Kariyapperuma said. The TRC will invest this amount as a part of its telecommunication infrastructure development project. The 172-metre tall tower is a unique tower as it is shared by telecommunication operators and broadcasters, more..

'SL President commands the courage and insights to bring prosperity to Sri Lanka'

Jun 20 (GDI) Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed assured his staunchest support for Sri Lanka’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. And, the Maldivian President expressed confidence that President Mahinda Rajapaksa possess the necessary courage and insights to bring economic prosperity to Sri Lanka in a shortest possible time frame. more..

Showing gratitude, the Sri Lankan way

Jun 20 (LNP) There seems to be no end to victory celebrations. Real warriors as well cardboard heroes who jumped the bandwagon recently after their attempts to scuttle the country`s war effort failed are going places. One may ask whether there is anything wrong with people celebrating for thirty days the defeat of terrorism which plagued them for thirty years. (One may also say that some of those who are opposing victory celebrations so vehemently did not make a more..

World will learn from us how to destroy terrorism - Army chief

Jun 20 (CT) Army commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka says the whole world will learn in the future from the Sri Lankan troops how to defeat terrorism. The Army chief was speaking to his troops at Vellamullaivaikkal coast in Mullaitivu on June 18, exactly one month after the military victory over the LTTE. Commending his troops, Gen. Fonseka said the Sri Lankan armed forces had the best of morale, skills and discipline in the whole world. more..

Madhu Shrine feast on Aug 15

Jun 20 (CT) The historic Madhu Shrine in Mannar, revered by Catholics, is preparing to hold its annual feast on August 15. Yesterday, Bishop of Mannar Rev. Rayappu Joseph chaired a discussion at Bishop’s House to discuss the related arrangements. It has been decided at the talks to seek patronage of the state for the event at the ancient church, said the Bishop’s House. The safety of the faithful who would be attending the church has also come under discussion. more..

President to launch Road Map to promote English program

Jun 20 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will launch the "18 month Road Map to promote Spoken, Communicative English in Sri Lanka" on Monday, June 22 at 'Temple Trees'. This comes under the Presidential Initiative aiming to arm the younger generation with a knowledge of English, especially with communicative English. This important program is expected to result in a radical transformation of English Teaching and Learning Enterprise in the country. more..

Govt to amend Dangerous Drug Ordinance

Jun 20 (DN) The Government is planning to amend the Opium and Dangerous Drug Ordinance to prevent and control drug abuse in Sri Lanka. The report on the Amendment will be presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on World-Anti-Drug Day on June 26. Addressing a media briefing on World Anti Drug Day arrangements, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka said with the end of the war, the Government has now taken initiatives to prevent and control drug abuse under the Mathata Titha Program. more..

'Best time for Sri Lanka'

Jun 20 (DN) Cuba has always been a friend of Sri Lanka. Ours is one of the first few countries to start diplomatic relations with this post revolutionary island nation in the Caribbean. At the recently held special session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission over Sri Lanka-Cuba stood firmly defending the Sri Lankan cause. Again, Cuba has extended her hands of friendship by agreeing to send to our country two Cuban experts on dengue to combat the spread of the disease. more..

Jaffna has distinct role to play - Bishop of Colombo

Jun 20 (DN) Jaffna has a distinct role to play in dismantling its ethnic isolation and encouraging the interaction of the Communities especially amongst children and youth, said Colombo Bishop Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, in a statement titled "The anxieties of the People of Jaffna - an opportunity for National growth and harmony". "There is much that imaginative persons can do for a start. more..

Leader of the House clueless

Jun 20 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said he was unaware whether or not the government would push the Bribery Commission, IGP and CID to investigate fraudulent conduct in the privatisation of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) and press charges on wrongdoers under the Penal Code. "I am unaware of anything as it is not under my purview," De Silva, who is also the Leader of the House, told the Island Financial Review. more..

Political solution - Missing in action

Jun 20 (DM) The focus of Tamil media has shifted from people entrapped in the one time LTTE held areas in Mullaitivu to the people in camps which are called welfare camps by the Government and detention camps by the anti-government elements. Tamil media or for that matter the Tamil politicians do not seem to place much emphasis after the physical decimation of the LTTE on the political solution to the ethnic problem that was once much talked about. more..

UNP accuses govt. of denying it entry to Jaffna, Vavuniya

Jun 20 (Island) How can we campaign when our movements are restricted? The UNP yesterday accused the government of preventing it and other opposition political parties from entering the North, to campaign for the forthcoming Jaffna and Vavuniya local government Elections. The party’s Gampaha District MP, Jayalath Jayawardena said at a news conference that there was a huge difference between government propaganda and ground realities. more..

ITAK given clearance to visit Jaffna

Jun 20 (Island) The Defence Ministry yesterday gave written clearance to the Ilangai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), popularly known as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), permission to travel to Jaffna and Vavuniya either by road or air and to engage in election related activities. The written permission was received by the party yesterday afternoon with a copy to the Elections Commissioner. more..

Don't panic, but be alert - WHO

Jun 20 (DM) The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday cautioned Sri Lanka over two health hazards which could result in a catastrophe. WHO country representative Dr. Firdosi R Mehta, told a news conference at the health ministry auditorium that 39,626 laboratory confirmed H1N1 or swine flu cases and 167 deaths had been reported up to yesterday from 88 countries including Sri Lanka which has so far reported four cases. more..

UNP won’t allow one-man polls

Jun 20 (DM) The main opposition UNP said yesterday it would field a candidate for the next presidential election to prevent anyone being elected uncontested. UNP front-liner Lakshman Kiriella said it was essential for the presidential election or for that matter any other election to be conducted in accordance with the Constitution. He said it would be a breach of people’s democratic rights if it happened any other way. more..

The IDPs need to be treated just like other citizens

Jun 20 (Island) From all available reports, the position of the civilians interned in camps in the Vavuniya District continues to be a grim one. These quarter of a million people have gone through a series of ordeals particularly during the last six months. Many of them were displaced several times over while the war was on, and since moving into the government declared no-fire zone, more..

Election Secretariat to set up 814 polling centres for PC polls

Jun 20 (DM) The Election Secretariat will set up 814 polling centres at 12 polling divisions for 8,75,456 voters in Badulla and Moneragala districts for the forthcoming PC polls in Uva, Deputy Elections Commissioner W. P. Sumanasiri said yesterday. Voters in Uva will elect 21 members from Badulla and 11 members from Moneragala respectively at the PC polls. more..

Dilshan trumps in evening of solos

Jun 20 (CI) Chris Gayle won one battle with Tillakaratne Dilshan on Friday evening. By a whisker, he became the batsman to have scored the highest percentage of his team's total in a Twenty20 match. But that's also a damning statistic for West Indies: Gayle stood utterly and hopelessly alone while Dilshan had just enough company to be able to make the difference. Truly, it was the evening of solos. Between them, Dilshan and Gayle accounted for 159 of 259 runs scored, more..

Jayalalithaa asks Karunanidhi to press Centre to retrieve Katchatheevu

Jun 20 (PTI) Seeking to turn the tables on her arch rival and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Saturday asked him to immediately prevail upon the Centre to retrieve Katchatheevu, ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974. "Karunanidhi has to take immediate steps to prevail upon the Centre for retrieving Katchatheevu from Sri Lanka as it is important for the livelihood of Indian fishermen," more..

UN says two staff members arrested in Sri Lanka

Jun 20 (AFP) The United Nations said on Saturday that two of its employees working among tens of thousands of war-displaced civilians had been arrested by Sri Lankan authorities. The two men, both ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils, were reported missing eight days ago and were subsequently discovered to have been taken into custody by Sri Lankan officials, the UN office in Colombo said in a statement. more..

Sri Lanka and Pakistan emerge from Lahore horror

Jun 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka and Pakistan have emerged triumphant from the horror of Lahore last March when gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus to stake a place in Sunday's Twenty20 World Cup final at Lord's. Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, one of six players wounded in the attack, told reporters on Friday after his team's semi-final win over West Indies the assault had reminded his team of their own mortality. more..

Thousands march for Tamil rights

Jun 21 (BBC) An estimated 20,000 people have marched in London in support of the minority Tamil population in Sri Lanka. In May government forces wiped out the Tamil Tiger leadership, ending a 26-year war between the army and rebels. More than 250,000 people are displaced from their homes in northern Sri Lanka, according to the UN. The demonstration follows a 73-day protest for peace in the country that ended on Wednesday and featured mass sit-ins blocking central London roads. more..

The bell tolls for Harry J.

Jun 21 (SL) Following the Supreme Court judgement in the fundamental rights application concerning Sri Lanka Insurance, Petitioner Vasudeva Nanayakkara and public interest litigator, Nihal Sri Ameresekere have by way of motions filed, put on notice various state agencies to investigate aspects that emerged during the proceedings. These include notices to the Bribery Commissioner, the Central Bank and more..

Waiting for the command to Grieve: Controversy over the death announcement of Prabhakaran

Jun 21 (TC) Events that happened in the Vanni theatre of war in the middle of the month of May came as a shock for most of the Diaspora Tamils. Despite the fact that the LTTE was cornered in a narrow strip of land and a chance for the top level leaders to escape and regroup was minimal, many Tamils hoped for a miracle. During the peak of the fighting that resulted in carnage where thousands of civilians and tigers killed, more..

NGOs use every means to reunite refugees with their families

Jun 21 (DW) Sumathy escaped the civil war in Sri Lanka 24 years ago. Until last November she was in touch with her family by phone and mail. Then the armed conflict on the island between the Tamil rebels and the Sri Lankan army military escalated again. "This is my second sister," she said, looking through family photographs. "She fled to India but I can talk to her over the phone. "These are my sister-in-law and my niece." She pointed again. "I don’t know where they are." more..

Sri Lankans are encouraged to be poor by politicians: minister

Jun 21 (LBO) Politicians are responsible for killing the entrepreneur spirit of Sri Lankans by making them believe 'capitalism' is evil and poverty is better, a senior minister has said. The Chinese a have history dating back thousands of years of working hard, creating and inventing not only in their home country, but in countries that they settled in. more..

Journey a triumph of human spirit

Jun 21 (CI) On the morning of March 3 in Lahore, the world of cricket was shaken to the core. The horrific attack on the Sri Lankan team bus, as it pulled into the Gadaffi Stadium ahead of the third day of the second Test against Pakistan, was the moment a thousand preconceptions were destroyed. Cricket's presumptions to diplomatic immunity had been mocked by the forces of evil, and more..

Sri Lanka standby loan still not ready for board approval: IMF official

Jun 21 (LBO) An International Monetary Fund loan for Sri Lanka is still not ready for approval for its executive board, an official said, though the country is rapidly emerging from a balance of payments crisis. IMF spokesperson Caroline Atkinson said Friday "whenever there is final agreement, then a program would go to the Executive Board." Last month Atkinson said she expected the loan of at least 1.9 billion US dollars to be approved within "weeks". more..

In Lanka, the child in the soldier died long ago

Jun 21 (AA) Fifteen-year-old Amuthavasagam Lour-thamma is one of the 94 inmates at the state-run rehabilitation centre at Abeypoosa, about 70 km on the Colombo-Kandy road, for LTTE child soldiers who have either surrendered or captured. There are 44 girls on the rolls here and what is special about Lourthamma is that her brother, older by just a year, is also there for rehab. Abhiraj was grabbed by the Tigers when his sister fled the training camp after just two days. more..

Interview with Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri

Vavuniya -- Mood more commercial than political

Jun 21 (SL) There are no election posters in Vavuniya, only images of a dead man. That leader is K. Padmanabha, former secretary general of the EPRLF, killed by the LTTE. The poster reads "Day of sacrifice for martyrs." The themes mentioned are resettlement, unity among Tamil leaders and political resolution with equal rights. It is telling that the posters are for someone who ran and became finance minister in the Northeastern Provincial Council. more..

Sri Lankan Refugees: Time to honor their courage, restore their rights

Jun 21 (TC) June 20th marks World Refugee Day, and this affords us an opportunity to remember the 80, 000 Sri Lankan Tamils who have sought refuge in Tamilnadu over the past quarter-century. These refugee children, men and women are housed in 117 guarded camps across the state. They struggle to survive with available camp resources that range from modest to meager, and many are still traumatized by memories of the violence and more..

From the frying pan into the fire

Jun 21 (SL) Men, women, the old, the young and even the infirm gathered opposite the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate’s Court on Friday — a disparate assortment of every section of society — all united by their common loss, the millions that vanished with Golden Key. In the heat of the midday sun and then under the weight of a tropical downpour, this throng of Golden Key depositors held placards and chanted slogans urging judges at the Magistrate’s Court not to grant more..

Little interest to probe missing billions

Jun 21 (SL) The war is certainly over but there are several others wars that need to be won in Sri Lanka, a significant one being an operation to combat the country’s raging financial indiscipline. While confidence tricksters like Sakvithi Ranasinghe, Lalith Kotelawala and Piyadasa Ratnayake alias Danduwam Mudalali have collectively milked many thousands of unsuspecting depositors dry, Sri Lanka is not only a haven for unauthorised financial institutions, but more..

Govt must recall its High Commissioner in Canada

Jun 21 (SLW) A meeting of the Canadian Sri Lankan Diaspora called by the Sri Lankan Consulate in Toronto to meet the country’s High Commissioner in Ottawa, His Excellency Daya Perera at the Telus Room, Ontario Science Centre Friday June 19 was soon in uproar even as it started. In a gathering of over 200 Canadian Sri Lankans, there appeared to be strong feelings, at least among the few who constantly held stage daring decorum, that more..

EPDP practices Yoga

Jun 21 (LG) Yoga Patkunarajah (the wife of Patkunarajah working in the Jaffna Municipal Council) a former teacher at Hindu College, Bambalapitiya who had a notorious record sought the assistance of Minister Douglas Devananda to secure a position in the Ministry of Education. The Minister then tried to appoint her with all his power but the honest Educationalist the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr.Mohamed Thamby flatly refused the Minister and more..

I am supporting government’s programme to develop north — Kishore

Jun 21 (SL) TNA Wanni District Parliamentarian, Sivanathan Kishore last week said that he would support the government’s resettlement and development processes while continuing to be a member of the party. The TNA however stated that it had not taken any decision on the matter. TNA Parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran told The Sunday Leader that the party members would meet in the near future to discuss its future activities and also the issues pertaining to Kishore. more..

Foreign Ministry Vs Defence Ministry

Jun 21 (LG) Sri Lanka remains exposed over its confusing and uncoordinated international relations with international governments. It is widely reported that Sri Lanka’s foreign relations have moved towards the evil states that give scant regard to human rights and democracy. These evil states have become the bedfellows of Sri Lanka for it to procure arms and raise funds to defeat the LTTE and to extend its oppressive policy to further marginalise the minority Tamils in Sri Lanka. more..

Proposals for roof without foundation

Jun 21 (TN) M S Swaminathan is a great name in the world of agriculture. He is a pride for all Tamils all over the world. The 83-year-old veteran who is now a member of Indian parliament in the Rajya Sabha and is running his own research foundation in agricultural sciences has recently come out with a ‘roadmap’ for India to develop agriculture, livestock and fisheries in the North to facilitate the twin mantras ‘resettlement and rehabilitation’. more..

Shame on you, Milinda Moragoda

Jun 21 (LG) Milinda Moragoda crossed over from the UNP to save his skin from allegations of corruption and impropriety. The President has publicly proclaimed that, in the same way he eliminated the brutal LTTE once and for all, he is determined to wipe out corruption. Mr. President, here is a good opportunity for you to start the ball rolling by allowing the full force of the law to bear on your Minister Milinda Moragoda, who has been cited by the Supreme Court as more..

Future use of migrant worker remittances

Jun 21 (LG) It is generally feared that many Sri Lankan migrants and their families will be the hardest hit by the current global recession, as they are paid low wages and given a low status. Domestic workers continue to be abused and exploited. Like other developing countries, we too relied on migrant remittances, to service our debt repayments, stabilize foreign exchange reserves, and spur economic growth. more..

Uncivil victory

Jun 21 (LG) In its resolve to root out the Tiger terror, Colombo displayed an utter disregard for the plight of Tamil civilians trapped in the war zone. Totalitarian governments have learned their lessons well: where you are involved in an unpopular conflict in which your opponents can be boxed into a defined stretch of territory where access and information flow can be controlled, where excessive force can be used with impunity — you have a free hand. more..

Searching a Vimanam for Velu

Jun 21 (LG) Our men seated in four chairs around a table in a closed room looked dead beat. In the fifth chair was Velupillai Pirapaharan in spirit. Velu in death was proving himself to be as difficult to negotiate with while he was alive. The four co-chairs had done their best to help Velu. They had made strong appeals to St. Peter to let him pass through the Pearly Gates but the answer was a firm ‘No.’ more..

Sri Lanka’s never-ending political deadlock

Jun 21 (GV) Sri Lanka’s present administration is a “dictatorship masquerading as democracy” observed Prof. John Neelsen from the Institute of Sociology in Tuebingen, Germany. His judgement is not far from the truth. In this paper I shall argue that a virtual ‘Sinhala-Buddhist dictatorship’ has emerged in Sri Lanka as the outcome of the brutish military campaign that resulted in a humanitarian tragedy of scandalous proportions. more..

Army inspection teams penetrate underground arsenals within thick Wanni jungles

Jun 21 (GDI) SL army weapon inspection teams are continuing to discover significant quantities of weapons and military equipment. Yesterday, continuing their daily search and clear operations, inspection teams penetrated into subterranean arsenals full of arms and explosives in the thick Wanni jungles. In Kaddawana, a village in close proximity to Trincomalee, SL Air Force soldiers recovered 15 kg of TNT explosives and two suicide jackets more..