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Inland Revenue Dept. to be partner in nation's development

Jun 21 (GDI) The newly appointed Commissioner General of Inland Revenue, Mahinda Medagoda plans to increase state revenue this year as a move to boost development. he said presently the Inland Revenue Department collected tax to a percentage ranging to 54 but, steps were mooted to increase it to 60 per cent to enhance revenue collection. 'I appeal to all tax payers to honor their commitment at a time the nation has been saved by gallant troops to head towards development', more..

A new facelift to Avukana precincts

Jun 21 (SO) Sri Lanka is famous for its rich culture and heritage among other nations in the world. Foreigners who visit at any time of the year are familiar with places of natural beauty in the country. Avukana Buddha statue is one of the most significant archaeological sites to be visited by all. The Civil Security Force of Sri Lanka launched its new landscaping project to add more beauty to the precints where the statue is situated. more..

'India offers Rs. 5b for displaced persons'

Jun 21 (SO) Minister of Youth Empowerment and Socio Economic Development and CWC General Secretary Arumugan Thondaman who recently went to India on a goodwill mission said that the Indian centre has pledged five billion rupees assistance to the Government towards the post conflict phase in rehabilitation, resettlement and welfare measures for IDPs. more..

Immortalising an architectural legacy

Jun 21 (SO) "Time stands still", an exhibition of photographs by Photographic Society of Sri Lanka held during Jeffrey Bawa's anniversary celebration, perhaps, for the first time captured the sublime nature of the property Lunuganga. Bawa's signature is pervasive in each and every part of the property and the artifacts in it. Bandu Gunaratne has captured a canopy of a tree. Over the years, tree has grown up spreading its shade. more..

Fish production to increase in the North

Jun 21 (SO) The Government said that fish production in the North was expected to increase with the lifting of fishing restrictions in the North. Senior Advisor to the President Basil Rajapaksa made known the Government’s decision on lifting fishing restrictions in the North. Following the decision by the Government to lift fishing restrictions in the North fishing societies all over the country are happy that after 30 years, more..

DPL rewards for frontline Commanders

Jun 21 (NS) In addition to promised Ambassadorial postings for Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshal Donald Perera, Air Force Commander Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonatillake and Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, the Government has also begun rewarding frontline Commanders with Diplomatic postings. Informed Foreign Ministry sources said that, in one of the latest such postings Commander of the Army’s 57 Division, more..

Tigers in exile - Where and for what?

Jun 21 (NS) A seemingly innocuous statement appeared in the media this week, announcing the possibility of what was termed a ‘transitional government’ for Tamils in Sri Lanka. The ‘concept’ first appeared in the pro-LTTE website Tamilnet, from where it was subsequently picked up by the wire services. The announcement, strangely, had no declared authorship; it was more of an appeal published in the form of an opinion column by the Tamilnet website, but more..

Algae coats Gadaladeniya temple paintings

Jun 21 (NS) An asbestos roof which resembles a hat worn by a Samurai stands high above the Gadaladeniya temple. This roof was built earlier this decade as a ‘temporary’ solution to a leak in the temple’s roof which threatened to destroy it. Although it is now that the media and the relevant authorities seem to be taking notice of this the leak in the temples roof dates back to the late 1970s. more..

Provisional Eelam govt. drive & Presidential Poll disputes

Jun 21 (NS) The security forces crushed the LTTE militarily, and annihilated much of its leadership within two years and ten months of the outbreak of the Eelam War IV. Yet within a month of that historic victory, the Tamil diaspora sympathetic to it, is on a drive to form a provisional Eelam government in exile under the leadership of Tiger international point man and its chief arms procurer, Selvaraja Pathmanathan, alias Kumaran Pathmanathan, alias KP, to give the LTTE a new lease of life. more..

Govt. and elections chief have duty to ensure free fair polls - UNP

Jun 21 (CT) UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake has said that the government and the elections commissioner have a duty to ensure that upcoming elections are held in a free and fair manner. Speaking at a media briefing in Colombo today, Mr. Attanayake referred to the elections due in the Uva Provincial Council as well in the Jaffna Municipal Council and the Vavuniya Urban Council. more..

'India willing to help if IMF avoids granting loan'

Jun 21 (CT) India is willing to assist if the International Monetary Fund avoids granting the Rs. 19,000 million bailout loan being sought by the Sri Lankan government since February, ‘Sunday Lankadeepa’ reports quoting a senior government spokesman. New Delhi has already intimated this message at unofficial level, the spokesman has said. When the government was at war with the LTTE, countries like the US, EU and Britain had objected to granting the loan for political reasons. more..

'Govt. to sever diplomatic ties with any country recognizing Eelam state'

Jun 21 (CT) The government has decided to sever diplomatic relations with any country that will recognize a transnational Tamil Eelam state, ‘Divaina’ reports. The newspaper says that the international network of the LTTE has formed a committee comprising 13 professors from six countries to form an Eelam. Of these, two have been supporters of an interim administration to handover an Eelam state to the Tigers, the government has found out. more..

Shadow boxing at Lanka-Japan Friendship Association

Jun 21 (Island) An attempt to amend the Constitution of the Lanka-Japan Friendship Association allegedly to accommodate top lawyer Daya Wettasinghe as a vice patron of the association was thwarted at Friday’s AGM held at Sasakawa Hall. Well informed sources said that Mrs Lalitha Rajapaksa, twice past president of the association and the majority of the members had voted against a proposal to that effect on the basis it lacked clarity. more..

TNA MPs to decide on meeting with President

Jun 21 (Island) With the decimation of the LTTE, TNA parliamentarians have had a change of heart and is mulling over whether they should meet with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to ascertain his stand on the IDPs and the future of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. General Secretary of the ITAK and TNA, Mavai Senathrajah said that having considered the prevailing political situation in the country, they are to decide whether to meet with the President. more..

Duty of state sector employees to recover momentum lost due to conflict -- President

Jun 21 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, speaking at a felicitation ceremony organized to honour him for the bold and brave leadership offered to the security forces to wipe out terrorism and win for all citizens a nation where all could live in peace and harmony, emphasized that it is the responsibility of state sector employees to come together to rebuild the nation and recover the momentum lost over the past three decades due to the menace of terrorism. more..

Seylan boss says bank’s problems not due to deficiencies or mismanagement

Jun 21 (Island) The Seylan Bank’s CEO Ajita Pasqual has told shareholders that problems they faced were not due to deficiencies of Seylan or mismanagement, but due to a group company failing to honour its commitments. "As that company held a 23% stake of the bank by virtue of it coming under the group’s umbrella, the natural phenomenon was for depositors to lose confidence in the bank and begin unprecedented withdrawals," more..

Samudra Devi in a Tangle of Love!

Jun 21 (Island) This is not a story about a Goddess of the Indian Ocean or about a Queen of the Sea. I am referring to the mundane, jerky, metal contraption, meant for travel by mere mortals like you and me - specifically the commuter train named Samudra Devi that brings workers daily to the city of Colombo from Galle and other towns along the way. Samudra Devi is unique in many ways. Commuters on this train are known to provide, every once in a while, a newsworthy, spicy headline. more..

Raring to go but not quite so

Jun 21 (ST) After several false starts, finally, Sri Lanka officially has a railway museum. That is the good news. The bad news is that though it was officially declared open last month, it’s still a long way from being complete or even halfway near a railway buff’s dream. Those planning the museum however are doing their best to make that dream a reality, bringing in museum pieces currently stored in stations all over the country. more..

Diaspora tries to regroup to stay in business

Jun 21 (ST) Yesterday marked the first month since Sri Lanka’s security forces won a historic victory destroying the military capability of Tiger guerrillas and paving the way for the Government’s writ to run countrywide. The triumphalism remains. Celebrations, including pinkamas arranged by the Maha Sangha to bless the troops, continue. Signs of the dividends of success are evident in many sectors. more..

Monk’s death puzzles villagers, as police investigations continue

Jun 21 (ST) Mystery continues to shroud the death of a young Buddhist monk attached to a village temple in the Bakamuna police area, in Dambulla. The monk died in hospital after consuming a dish of poisoned dhal that had been sent to the temple as alms on Sunday, June 7, Poson Poya day. Some claim the monk was murdered, while others say he committed suicide. Meanwhile, police investigations continue. more..

Lankan army re-deploys after the end of war

Jun 21 (ANN) With the end of three decades long Eelam war against the LTTE, the army has now re-deployed in the Northern and Eastern Provinces under five Security Forces Headquarters with a sizeable force in reserve to meet any eventuality. Of the five SF commands, two at Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu have been set up recently as part of post-LTTE re-deployment plan. 51 and 52 Divisions along with Task Force 7 are deployed in the northern peninsula under SF Headquarters, Jaffna. more..

Sangakkara wary of Pakistan in Twenty20 final

Jun 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara believes Pakistan's major asset ahead of Sunday's World Twenty20 final is their penchant for unpredictability. Sri Lanka have won all six matches en route to the tournament climax here at Lord's whereas Pakistan, whom they defeated in the Super Eights, have lost twice. But Pakistan also beat favourites South Africa by seven runs in Thursday's first semi-final and Sangakkara, more..

When entertainment met education

Jun 21 (CI) As Australian captain I was pleased we met West Indies in the 1975 World Cup final because it meant the two best and most aggressive sides were going to contest the decider at Lord's. In contrast this World Twenty20 has provided good cricket and plenty of surprises before throwing up two unexpected finalists. The biggest surprise in a format that's supposed to be made for batsmen is that Sri Lanka and Pakistan, the sides with the best and most varied bowling attacks, are the finalists. more..

Cricket: Carrom has game in a spin

Jun 21 (NZH) Suffering from doosra fatigue yet? Help is at hand in the form of the carrom. Ajantha Mendis, the spinning sensation from Sri Lanka, is the first person to master the delivery since Australia's Johnny Gleeson in the late-'60s. With a googly, a straight one and the devilish "carrom", Mendis is the most exciting thing to hit cricket since a blond out of Black Rock delivered the Ball of the Century to Mike Gatting. more..

Sri Lanka steps up hunt for rebel remnants: report

Jun 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka is pouring more troops into former rebel-held areas in the east of the island to hunt down remnants of the Tamil Tigers following their defeat in the north, a state-run weekly said Sunday. The military was boosting its strength in the east -- around the towns of Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Ampara -- to where some guerrillas are thought to have fled, the Sunday Observer said. more..

ICC World Twenty20

Jun 21 (BBC) Sri Lanka and Pakistan will hope to provide a thrilling climax to the World Twenty20 when they meet at Lord's. Both sides, who will be unchanged for the final, are packed with talent and it could be as close as in 2007 when India beat Pakistan in the last over. But it will also be a reminder of the tragedy in Lahore in March when gunmen shot at Sri Lanka's team bus. Seven players were injured and five Pakistani policemen who were escorting the bus were killed. more..

Move for President to stay on without polls

Jun 21 (ST) The government proposes to introduce constitutional amendments aimed at extending the term of office of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, without holding a presidential election, Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon told the Sunday Times yesterday. As a prelude to the introduction of constitutional changes, an island wide campaign on gathering public support for the move had been initiated, the minister said. more..

'President has no intention to be in power beyond peoples mandate'

Jun 21 (GDI) The UPFA led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa firmly believes in the peoples' mandate and the freedom of the voters' franchise rights, and has no intention to be in power beyond the period mandated by the ballot, asserted Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa today. The minister made these observations in response to a news report that the President was requested by some sections within the government to continue in office without holding a Presidential Election. more..

Afridi fifty seals title for Pakistan

Jun 22 (CI) It wasn't the spectacular final that would have signed off the ICC World Twenty20 in style, but that won't matter to Pakistan who gave their nation a moment to savour amid troubled times. From the moment Tillakaratne Dilshan, the tournament's top-scorer, fell in the opening over Pakistan had a grip on the match and Shahid Afridi, who has emerged as their trump in the final stages, guided his team home in the 19th over with an unbeaten 54 more..

Water and sanitation in (post) conflict areas of N-East Sri Lanka

Jun 22 (TC) Water and sanitation are vital for human health, generates economic benefits, helps the environment and contributes to dignity and social development. Irrefutably, water, sanitation and health are interrelated. Thus access to adequate sanitation and quality water is essential for better health and overall living conditions. This is applicable in general, but above in (post) conflict situations. more..

10th death Anniversary – June 22: Mervyn de Silva and the Lankan condition

Jun 22 (TC) Father’s Day this year falls on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the death of my father, Mervyn de Silva, journalist and editor, literary critic and satirist, broadcaster and commentator on world affairs, or as Godfrey Gunatilleke put it in a sixth anniversary revaluation, “literary critic, intellectual, political analyst and media communicator all in one”. more..

Taking care of business – at home and abroad

Jun 22 (AT) Among the odious tactics of the naysayers in the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s decisive victory over the forces of terror is the one in which they fault the Rajapakse administration for deciding to make modest homes available at affordable, slightly-below-market rates to members of the armed forces. As is usual in such instances, they will remain but a minuscule minority doomed to only provide some nuisance value in the larger scheme of things. more..

EFD moots a democratic approach

Jun 22 (AT) The Indo Lanka Peace Accord of July 1987 was the turning point for the revolutionary group, EROS that was operated in the north and east of Sri Lanka along with similar groups – all of whom were agitating for self determination. The members of EROS decided to take a democratic approach to win their rights and demands by surrendering their arms. The group comprising Tamil and Muslim youth contested the General Election in 1988 from the north and the east, more..

Prabhakaran death 'inside work’

Jun 22 (AT) New evidence is surfacing to show that the death of Prabhakaran, the LTTE supremo was a ‘retribution killing and that it was an ‘insider’ job. It negates the view held thus far that Prabhakran was killed by an army bullet. But it is still not clear who killed him and why though the needle of suspicion points to Pottu Amman. Surprisingly, Amman’s whereabouts are known. more..

Rajapaksa believes in peoples’ mandate

Jun 22 (Hindu) Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa on Sunday said President Mahinda Rajapaksa could call a presidential election after November 19, 2009, or after he completes his first term in office in 2011. He was responding to speculative reports in a section of the media the President had been “requested by some sections within the government” to continue in office without holding a Presidential Election. more..

Katchatheevu is settled

Jun 22 (Hindu) Katchatheevu is a wasteland of an island on the Sri Lankan side of the International Maritime Boundary Line but political parties in Tamil Nadu have made it the focus of a surrogate campaign for establishing fishing rights for Indian fishermen. The IMBL was amicably settled through two agreements between India and Sri Lanka. It was demarcated in the Palk Strait in 1974 and in the Gulf of Mannar and Bay of Bengal in 1976. more..

Private sector credit shrinks as government borrows

Jun 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's private sector credit has shrunk for the fourth straight month, while government credit continues to rocket, amid falling revenues and rising expenses, the latest official data shows. In April 2009, credit to private sector from the banking system was down 3.2 percent to 1,247.8 billion rupees from December 2008, while credit to government zoomed 27 percent to 729 billion rupees, more..

Sri Lanka send hosts Malaysia crashing to their first defeat

Jun 22 (TS) Three-time champions Sri Lanka sent Malaysia crashing to their first defeat in the Asian netball championship, winning the Group B match 72-52 at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara yesterday. Goal shooter Tharjini Sivalingam was the toast for Sri Lanka, scoring 66 points in a closely-contested match. The Sri Lankans led Malaysia by one point (33-32) at half time. Sri Lanka went on to score 39 points in the second half while more..

Dilshan named player of World Twenty20

Jun 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan was on Sunday named as the player of the tournament at the World Twenty20 despite being dismissed for nought in the eight-wicket final defeat to Pakistan. Opening the innings throughout the tournament, Dilshan scored a total of 317 runs at a strike-rate of 144.74 and an average above 52. He scored three half-centuries in the tournament and more..

'Sri Lanka keen to send skilled manpower'

Jun 22 (AN) The growing requirement of overseas skilled manpower for Saudi Arabia despite its ongoing Saudization was in focus at a seminar held at the Sri Lankan Consulate General. Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Vice Chairman Mazen Batterjee and Secretary General Mustafa A.K. Sabri, as well as businessmen and company CEOs, including Dr. Hamed Mutabagani of New Jeddah Clinic and Hospital, were among those present. more..

Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa’s war of words over Katchathivu intensifys

Jun 22 (AT) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in his “letter to party cadre” on Sunday hit back AIADMK leader Jayalalaitha for criticising him over Katchathivu issue, and said she had done little to retrieve the islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India though she ruled the state twice. The DMK leader also said when he had moved a motion in the Assembly in 1974 to review the situation, more..

President dissolves human rights investigations

Jun 22 (wsws) On June 16, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse dissolved the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) that he appointed two years ago to investigate human rights violations. This move is another demonstration by the government of its contempt for legal and democratic rights and opposition to any probe of the abuses committed by its security forces and their associated paramilitaries. more..

Tamil tabloids con and cheat the community

Jun 22 (SLW) Unless a community is infantile and immature or exceedingly naïve the media organizations especially the publishers of tabloids would not have prospered as they appear to have done over the years among the Tamil Diaspora. This is true of the Tamil communities in their new homelands be it Canada, US, UK, France, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Australia. more..

The rise of the L.T.T.E.

Jun 22 (SLW) In early 1985, the PLOTE, LTTE and TELO. were considered fairly evenly balanced. At the time when 7 LTTE men were killed in a quarrel with the PLOTE at Chullipuram, the LTTE preferred discretion to valour. When quarrels developed between the LTTE and the TELO, neither seldom did anything more than go out on motor bikes and take pot shots at "sentry boys" in the rival group. These sentry boys, who were youngsters with no military training and more..

Relating to the Reality

Jun 22 (LG) Reports attributed to ‘KP’, declaring the creation of a ‘provisional transnational government” to pursue self-rule for the Tamil minorities in Sri Lanka is fraught with consequences that the world needs to take note of. The Tamil polity in the country, as also the Government in Colombo cannot overlook them either, both for obvious and not-so-obvious reasons. This is not the first time that a ‘virtual government’ transcending political borders and more..

Govt moots IDP forum

Jun 22 (LG) The Government is to create a new forum to discuss IDP protection issues. The forum includes key stakeholders such as senior public officers, key focal points in the UN system and representatives of the international and local Non-Governmental Organizations engaged in providing protection to IDPs. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said it was his intention to create forums in Colombo and Vavuniya where protection issues can be discussed and consensual decisions taken. more..

Sri Lankan Diplomatic: Conflict within

Jun 22 (LG) The Sri Lanka Consulate office in Toronto invited the Sri Lankan diasporas for a community meeting on the request of Mr. Daya Perera the Sri Lankan High Commissioner recently posted to Ottawa in Canada. The invitation was for a Community Meeting and did not include an agenda or was an agenda forwarded when invitees kindly requested for one. The Sri Lankan diasporas in Canada have been the most vociferous and vibrant group of Sri Lankans living abroad, more..

President Rajapaksha: doctrine of leadership

Jun 22 (LG) I read with much interest the press sattament released by the Governmnet of Sri Lanka. The said press statement states as follows: “The UPFA led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa firmly believes in the peoples' mandate and the freedom of the voters' franchise rights, and has no intention to be in power beyond the period mandated by the ballot, asserted Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa today(21). more..

Sri Lanka after the LTTE

Jun 22 (LG) Strange was India’s sphinx-like silence over the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils and violation of human rights and humanitarian law of warfare during the last phase of the military offensive when the fight to finish the LTTE overrode the concern over the safety and security of civilians. This after Delhi had obtained from Colombo a commitment to ending combat operations and non-use of heavy weapons. more..

Muslim home guards irrelevant with end of LTTE

Jun 22 (PSM) "So called Muslim militancy is a loose arrangement of home gaurds set up with blessing of govt. forces for self defence against the LTTE in few Muslim villages in the East. Some people are trying make mountain out of mole hill like how late Anton Balasigham did during last Geneva talks", said a Muslim activist. Eastern Provincial Council Minister M.L.A.M. Hizbullah said that there is no necessity for these youths to have arms now since the LTTE is eleiminated. more..