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France condemns Sri Lanka arrests of UN personnel

jun 23 (KUNA) France, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, condemned on Monday the reported arrest of two staff members of the United Nations working in Sri Lanka who were detained by security authorities there. "We condemn the arrest announced by the United Nations of two of its agents by the Sri Lankan authorities," a French Foreign Ministry statement said. "We support the demand expressed by the United Nations to obtain all necessary information on these arrests," more..

Cyprus Sri Lankans request President to Remove Corrupted Consul in Cyprus

Jun 23 (LeN) There are about 45 thousdand Sri Lankans working in Cyprus. Many of them are domestic workers. As in other countries, they also face numerious problems. Especially after Cyprus became an EU country. There is a danger of loosing jobs of those worked there more than 10 years. For many decades Sri Lankans demanded the government of Sri Lanka to open an Embassy there. Yet, it was not considered. more..

Sri Lanka's external trade contracts in April

Jun 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka exports fell 28.2 percent in April to 437.6 million US dollars from a year ago, imports fell 53.2 percent to 604.3 million dollars, shrinking the trade deficit 75.9 percent to 166.7 million dollars, the Central Bank said. In the 4-months to April, exports were down 16.2 percent to 2,085 million US dollars, and imports were down 36.9 percent to 2,891.1 million dollars and the trade deficit shrank 61.5 percent to 806.1 million US dollars. more..

JVP challenges President to reveal Govt. stand on 13th amendment

Jun 23 (LT) The President should immediately reveal to the country the official stand of the government regarding the 13th amendment emphasizes the JVP. General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva addressing a media meeting held in Colombo today pointed out that people in the country have distrust regarding the government policy on the 13th amendment as various ministers come out with various statements regarding it. more..

Fab day for the fans

Jun 23 (CI) Cricket remains secondary in England except when it comes to The Ashes. In the years to come, though, the theory will be sternly tested. Cue the 2009 World Twenty20: the tournament went on for 16 days, spread over three venues across London and Nottingham, culminating in a final at Lord's on Sunday attended by a sellout crowd. Surprisingly, even the old traditionalists, the MCC members who had ignored most of the event, decided to turn up in strong numbers today, more..

Reconciliation and painful realities on ground

Jun 23 (DBS) Hello Friends, A harsh fact of life is the hiatus between rhetoric and reality. One is starkly reminded of the chasm between promise and performance as we see current developments unfolding. On the one hand there is the very discernible yearning of ordinary people from all ethnicities to put the past behind us and move forward to reconciliation, justice,amity and unity. more..

IDPs 'suffering from eye diseases'

Jun 23 (BBC) The health ministry in Sri Lanka says that over 4000 IDPs in Vavuniya camps are suffering from eye diseases. Deputy Director of Public Health Dr. Palitha Maheepala told BBC Sandeshaya that there seems to be an increase in eye diseases among the Internally displaced in camps. "We have found that IDPs are suffering from bad eye sight, cataract and eye sore. The ministry is taking special measures to treat and advise the IDPs," more..

LTTE’s Eelam without borders

Jun 23 (AT) With the Sri Lankan armed forces having wiped out the LTTE and brought the war for an independent Eelam to an end, the rebel group’s international relations head Selvaraja Pathmanathan has announced a plan to set up a Provisional Trans-national Government of Tamil Eelam with the support of 800,000 Lankan Tamils living all over the world. Sri Lanka has laughed it off and one analyst has called it a desperate attempt by the LTTE to rise from its ashes. more..

Why are the Vanni civilians still being held hostage?

Jun 23 (GV) Throughout the last stages of the civil war, the government of Sri Lanka claimed to be engaged in a hostage rescue mission on behalf of civilians in the Vanni who were being held against their will be the LTTE. How far are its words borne out by its actions? It is certainly true that the LTTE was keeping hundreds of thousands of civilians hostage and using them as forced labour, a source of child and adult conscripts, and more..

Reasons for Lanka’s failure

Jun 23 (PTI) The failure of two top performers — Tillakaratne Dilshan and Ajantha Mendis — in the final against Pakistan jolted Sri Lanka’s hopes of lifting the Twenty20 World Cup. Dilshan and Mendis cut a sorry figure as Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets. Sri Lanka’s batting mainstay Dilshan lasted mere five balls and in-form Mendis gave away 34 runs in his four overs against the fired up Pakistanis, who seemed to have done their home work well. more..

Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith prepares to go back to his native country

Jun 23 (AT) As Malcolm Ranjith prepares to go back to his native country, the pearl of the Indian ocean, to be the metropolitan Archbishop, the Catholic community at Piazza Venezia in Rome gathered together to bid farewell to this great and capable shepherd and pastor. Although Malcolm Ranjith prepares was called to Rome by the Pope to engage in work of the curia, more..

Tenth UN Peace Keeping Contingent to Leave Soon

Jun 23 (SLA) Passing-out parade of the tenth Sri Lankan Army contingent, designed to serve in Haiti on UN Peace Keeping mission was held at Army Cantonment in Panagoda on Saturday. The main composition consisted of Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment troops while a few service personnel from service and support arms also would leave for Haiti with them. A total of 52 Officers and 697 Other Ranks are to take over duties from Gajaba Regiment troops presently performing duties in Haiti. more..

Lessons to be learnt about China

Jun 23 (TN) The ‘Himalayan’ blunder committed by Nehru and Krishna Menon in their China policy has been re-enacted by their descendants in the Indian Establishment nearly half a century later. A couple of years ago, writing on the crisis in the island of Sri Lanka, a TamilNet article quoted a saying in Tamil about the dog that allowed the squirrel to climb the tree (A’nil ea’ravidda naay). more..

Tamil Eelam Was Israel of East

Jun 23 (AT) It is a well known policy of international secret agents to grab and then nurse or destroy up and coming political, social or religious organizations that could have an impact on the society in the future. A few years after Velupillai Prbhakaran launched his so called liberation movement there was no shortage of money for him to run the organization and to procure arms ever at this moment LTTE has US$ 500 million to its credit. more..

Forced abortions conducted in Vanni: Who (LTTE) was the Blacksheep?

Jun 23 (AT) It was on 30 October 1995; the Sri Lankan army launched “Operation Sunray” in the Tiger-held Jaffna peninsula and captured it. On the orders of the LTTE, the northern towns were evacuated and about 500,000 people fled to the Vanni from the mainland. The LTTE had succeeded in patronising the Tamil community by a combination of internal terror and narrow nationalist ideology and (Prabaharan) used the civilians as cover to escape from Jaffna. more..

Sri Lanka too strong for India

Jun 23 (TS) Three-time champions Sri Lanka chalked up the biggest win in the Asian netball tournament thus far, whipping India 103-27 to qualify for the semi-finals from Group B at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara here yesterday. Goal shooter Tharjini Sivalingam top scored with 76 points. It was Sri Lanka’s third straight win in the competition after scoring convincing victories over Hong Kong (80-27) and Malaysia (72-52). more..

People making a difference

Jun 23 (CSM) The photo of the young man in uniform sits on a corner of a glass-fronted cabinet, facing the front door. Second Lt. Achin Tcha hasn't been home since he went missing in action Sept. 27, 1998, during a fierce battle with Tamil Tiger rebels. Visaka Dharmadasa hasn't given up hope that her son will walk through the door again. His remains, and those of over 600 other servicemen missing from the battle, were never recovered, though many unidentified bodies were later found burned in a mass grave. more..

Forget the 13th, it’s all about the 17th Amendment

Jun 23 (LG) There is a poster in the ideological wall. It has two words. ‘Political’ and ‘solution’. Now that the LTTE is gone and naked Eelam-speak is a thing of the past, separatism and Tamil chauvinism have down-graded the politics. The call is for ‘a political solution’. I agree. Where there are political problems, there should be political solutions. more..

Sri Lanka's south gets new tea factory

Jun 23 (LBO) A new tea factory has been set up in Sri Lanka's southern Hambantota district where high-priced low grown teas are cultivated by small farmers, the government information department and the Tea Board said. The factory in Walasmulla in Hambantota district has a capacity to make 5,000 kilos of black tea a day and was set up by the Yalta Tea company with an investment of 45 million rupees, the information department said in a statement. more..

Whither Lanka, they ask in Delhi and Bangkok

Jun 23 (LG) While most Indians seem to think that Sri Lanka should grab the opportunity and sue for peace, others are not so sure. Professor of South Asian Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Professor Partha Ghosh seems to be so animatedly anti-devolution when it comes to Sri Lanka, that he may make S L Gunasekera want to blush. Says professor Ghosh that if the unit of devolution that is in operation in Sri Lanka — the province — is kept intact, and more..

To be Diplomatic or not...

Jun 23 (LG) I am sure all of us have used or heard of the above phrases in some stage of our lives, either to reach out to someone who's unreasonable, demanding or flat out unfair. It actually rolls out of our tongues without a second's thought, but rarely given the proper respect it deserves. Here's are few explanations about the word "diplomatic" on cyber space. Diplomatic-adjective 1. of, pertaining to, or engaged in diplomacy: diplomatic officials. more..

Lest we love the great game in Sri Lanka

Jun 23 (LG) Sri Lanka’s security forces inflicted a crushing defeat on the LTTE, eliminating its leader and guiding spirit Velupillai Prabhakaran and almost the entire leadership. Their success comes after a failure to achieve decisive results in three earlier episodes of war, spread over more than two decades. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s result-oriented national leadership was the single major factor that more..

I am proud of my achievement: Dilshan

Jun 23 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was named the player of the tournament at the conclusion of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup at Lord's, is proud of his achievement. "I am proud of having won this award. I had a great tournament, but I am disappointed that our team could not win the cup," remarked Dilshan, who scored 317 runs at a strike-rate of 144.74 and an average above 52. more..

Undoing the misuse of referendums

Jun 23 (LG) There were several reports about a statement by a senior politician of the ruling regime, the Chief Minister of the North/Central Province, stating the intention of the government to obtain a two thirds majority of the parliament for a proposal to extend the term of office of the incumbent executive president. The proposal includes the carrying out of a referendum to seek the approval of the people for this move. more..

Conflicts and Reconciliations

Jun 23 (LG) In November 1989 the Second JVP Insurgency was defeated and its top leadership killed. What if the government of the day considered the power hunger of the JVP to be the sole cause of the insurgency? What if the existence of any systemic errors or injustices (which alienated a segment of Sinhala youth and made them susceptible to the JVP) was denied? What if the need for radical reforms was discounted and more..

Picture yourself

Jun 23 (LG) Amidst the talk of peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka the plight of the Tamil population has hardly changed according to the British Channel 4 news report [Please see below video link]. To be fair, it must be said however, that none of the reports can be verified. Fear is looming large in the minds of the Tamils. The Tamils in the IDP camps are suffering. Relatives are given only restricted access to these camps. more..

President seeks extended term without elections

Jun 23 (wsws) In an extraordinary, anti-democratic move, the ruling coalition in Sri Lanka—the UPFA—has begun to sound out amending the constitution to allow President Mahinda Rajapakse to remain in office beyond his six-year term without facing a new election. For weeks, the government has been whipping up a climate of communal triumphalism following the army’s victory over the separatist LTTE. more..

Secretary General responds to British Medical Journal

Jun 23 (PISL) The following letter was sent to the British Medical Journal in response to an article by a Dr Shiamala Suntharalingam, which provided much misleading information as to the situation in the north. Dear Sir, I write with reference to the article entitled ‘Sri Lanka: health as a weapon of war?’ by Shiamala Suntharalingam, which appeared recently in your columns. more..

New VC to South East University

Jun 23 (PSM) New Vice Chancellor for the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka (SEUSL) has assumed his duties today. Dr. Ismail, the new VC is from this university and hails from Sammanthurai. He was first among the three candidates elected at the Council meeting held few months back. Dr. Ismail is the third VC to this univeristy which was created by late SLMC/NUA leader MHM. Ashraff withthe blessing of the then President Chandrika Bandaranayke Kumaratunga and more..

Eight new fuel pumping stations to be set up in the North

Jun 23 (GDI) Under the “Uthuru Wasanthaya” program the government has taken steps to set up eight fuel pumping stations in the North (in A-9 road), Minister of Petroleum & Petroleum Resources Development A. H. M. Fowzie said. He pointed out that it was an estimated Rs.150 million cost to project and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has been given authority to work as a distributor.

Invitation to all parties for APRC

Jun 23 (GDI) Science and Technology Minister Professor Thissa Vitharana who heads APRC extended an in invitation to UNP, JVP, MVP, Hela Urumaya, TNA, and all other parties to join in the forum to find a resolution to the ethnic crisis acceptable to people of Sri Lanka yesterday (22). He made the observation at a media briefing to educate the public on the viability of nanotechnology in national development. more..

Fines imposed on dengue breeders

Jun 23 (GDI) Three persons found guilty of making breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes were imposed fines amounting Rs. 30,000 at the Tangalle courts. “Utter negligence of garbage, drains and the garden is severely punishable at this juncture when the death toll has been reaching its two hundred mark,” said Tangalle Magistrate Bandula Himburegama. While on an inspection tour, Tangalle MOH health inspectors nabbed the three offenders and produced them before courts. more..

Solar powered phone booths in North

Jun 23 (GDI) A solar powered phone booth system will be set up in the North. Since the power network is not yet properly connected in the war ravaged north, the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) considered it necessary to start off with solar powered coin operated telephone booths in IDP welfare centres. “Uninterrupted and smooth communication is a must in development, and the residents of IDP villages must be able to connect with their siblings,” more..

Minister to track tax evading plantation companies

Jun 23 (GDI) Plantation companies that abscond from paying due taxes will be severely dealt with, Plantation Minister D. M. Jayarathna said. “These companies must remit relevant taxes to the treasury before June 30, 2009,” the Minister warned further. The private sector owns 20 plantation companies, and the public sector owns just three. And, nine companies have duly paid taxes amounting Rs.70 million while nine are absconding. more..

‘Rice Flour Bread’ to meet demand

Jun 23 (GDI) The government has made major breakthrough to tackle the global food crisis. A rice flour bread product is designed. A new rice flour milling center was opened in Anuradhpura today under this new concept of the Minister Maithripala Sirisena. ‘Rice Bread’ is a form of the wheat bread that is used commonly in the country, but incorporates rice flour instead of wheat flour. more..

Complete power network to cover North by 2011

Jun 23 (GDI) The whole Northern Province will be connected together in a single power network by the year 2011 under a three-phase accelerated project. “The project will be at a cost of Rs. 3,750 million and the cabinet approval has already been obtained for the expansions,” CEB press statement said. Already, pylons carrying the transmission cables from Vavuniya to Chunnakkam are under construction. more..

People commemorate President Premadasa’s 85th birthday today

Jun 23 (GDI) Late President Ranasingha Premadasa’s 85th birthday falls today, 23rd June, 2009. Commemorating the event, the ‘Premadasa Centre’ has organized numerous programmes in memory of the late President. A felicitation ceremony in memory of the late President Premadasa will be held today (June 23) at 5 p.m. at the Premadasa Memorial Statue in St. Sebastian Place, Hulftsdorp. more..

Piyangala hermitage and historical caves blasted for rubble

Jun 23 (LT) ‘Lankatruth’ reported on the 19th that Piyangala cave was on the verge of being destroyed and Sri Lanka will lose it forever. Despite opposition from environmental organizations, residents in the area and scholars the strongmen in the government including certain powerful ministers continue to maintain the quarry carrying out powerful blasts in the area. The ‘Organization to Protect Heritage of Digamadulla’ too carried out a protest campaign against more..

Sri Lankan Cultural Dance

Losing to a friend is no pain

Jun 23 (LNP) Pakistan`s victory in the T-20 World Cup finals at the Mecca of cricket was a prayer answered for that country struggling to repair her badly damaged image following a dastardly terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore last March. Her cricket will surely receive a tremendous boost from that spectacular win in these troubled times. A heroes` welcome must be awaiting them at home. Cheers! more..

Shelton Payagala is no more!

Jun 23 (LT) Mr. Shelton Payagala, renowned film director and writer passed way at 11.00 a.m. today after being admitted to ICU of Sri Jayawardene Hospital. He was 65 year old at the time of this death. Mr. Shelton Payagala was born in Hatton in 1944 and was active in literature, cinema and stage circles. In 1982 he directed ‘Malata noena bambaru’ with Chandraratne Mapitigama and in 1991 diercted ‘Golu Muhude Kunatuwa’ a film on the national question. more..

Policeman's wife and her parents found shot dead

Jun 23 (CT) The wife of a sub inspector and her parents have been found gunned down at the policeman's home at Nikape in Dehiwela. The policeman is attached to Boralesgamuwa Police. The three had died at Colombo South General Hospital at Kalubowila. The SI, wanted for questioning in connection with the triple murder, too, has been admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds. more..

Junior National Schools meet concludes on a grand scale

Jun 23 (LNP) St Peter`s College Bambalapitiya and St. Joseph`s Balika Vidyalaya, Kegalle with 84 and 67 points respectively carried away the Sir John Tarbat Challenge Trophies on offer for the Junior National Athletic Championships conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Athletic Association at the Albert F. Peiris Stadium in Wennappuwa over the week end. A total of seven meet records were set up during the three days of activity. more..

TNA MP with LTTE terrorist links detained

Jun 23 (MoD) The CID conducting investigations into LTTE activities, yesterday, produced TNA Vanni District MP Sathasivam Kanagaratnam before the Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Nisantha Hapuarachchi and said the MP is alleged to have violated the Emergency Regulations and assisted the LTTE. Kanagaratnam was arrested by the CID while he was with the people who came from the uncleared areas. more..

The fifth swine flu case also detected in SL

Jun 23 (LP) The fifth AH1N1 (Swine Flu) victim was detected from Sri Lanka yesterday. The victim is a nine year old girl from Battaramulla, who arrived in the island from Australia on Sunday (21). The child was initially detected by the Thermal Scanners for high fever and was transferred to the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) where she is undergoing treatment. The newly identified swine flu patient will be treated in the same manner the more..

A programme test in to the standard of the power units in schools

Jun 23 (LP) The Commission for Public Utility Services has decided to look in to the safety of the electricity circuit (power units) units in over a 10,000 schools under the Education Ministry. The Commission for Public Utility Services along with the Ministry of Power and Energy will carry out the programme where insecure power circuit systems will be mended said the chairman of the Commission Dr Jayathissa De Costa. more..

Sri Lankan missions abroad under criticism by minister

Jun 23 (CT) Minister Piyasena Gamage has said that contributions by Sri Lankan diplomatic officials serving overseas to uphold the image of the country are far from satisfactory. Mr. Gamage, who is in charge of vocational and technical training portfolio, has made the observation in an interview with Nihal Jagathchandra of 'Lakbima' in its June 23 issue. The minister has noted that despite the end of the war against terrorism in the country, more..

Novel way to English

Jun 23 (DN) The Authorities launching a road map yesterday to ensure equity in promoting spoken\communicative English as a life skill among Sri Lankans, under a Presidential initiative, said that the intention was to change the old order, where English was thought as an instrument of social oppression and the prized possession of a privileged class. The 18 month road map being worked off according to a concept by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Colleges of Education: Monthly allowance 100 percent up

Jun 23 (DN) The monthly allowance of students who are studying in the Colleges of Education islandwide will be increased by 100 percent from next year, said Education Minister Susil Premajayantha. The Education Minister was speaking at the presentation of teacher appointments to over 2,900 students who passed out from the Colleges of Education island wide at Temple Trees yesterday. more..

Anti-intellectual behaviour of university students

Jun 23 (DN) This statement provides a yardstick against which the modern university education can be measured. The purpose of this article is to examine the fundamental challenges the Sri Lanka universities face in realizing the above laudable goals. As a university academic serving for over 15 years at Sri Lankan Universities and six years in international universities, I had the opportunity to read and closely observe the more..