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Jaffna GA seeks contesting parties' cooperation in JMC election

Jun 26 (TN) ”If the contestants in Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election need security measures for their safety they can request the Jaffna Secretariat authorities and the requests, if deemed genuine, will be considered favourably in consultation with the Election Commissioner,” Jaffna Government Agent, K. Ganesh, informed in the press meet held Thursday evening following the submission of nomination lists. more..

Sangaree, Hakeem Rejected in Northern Polls

Jun 26 (LT) The nomination lists of two main parties, Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) headed by V. Anandasangaree and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) for Northern polls have been rejected. According to the Additional District Elections Commissioner in Vavuniya, S. Karunanidhi, the nomination list for TULF in Vavuniya District was rejected due to a discrepancy in a signature of a nominee. more..

Police arrest Sri Lanka astrologer for prediction

Jun 26 (AP) Sri Lankan police say they have arrested a popular astrologer for publicly predicting President Mahinda Rajapaksa's imminent ouster from office. Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera confirmed Friday that Chandrasiri Bandara has been arrested so police could investigate the source of his prediction. Bandara has a popular weekly television show and writes a column for a pro-opposition newspaper. more..

Post-war Sri Lanka vote date set

Jun 26 (BBC) The first elections since the end of Sri Lanka's war will take place in two cities of the war-ravaged north on 8 August, the government has confirmed. The municipal polls in Jaffna and Vavuniya will be their first local vote in more than a decade. They are being billed as another step towards normal life, but there are still many security problems there. In May Sri Lanka's army defeated Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for a separate homeland for the ethnic Tamil minority. more..

Govt takes over garbage grounds

Jun 26 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday ordered officials to take over all garbage dumping grounds maintained by the Local Government institutions under Government supervision in terms of the Emergency Regulations. The President made this Order at a meeting with health authorities to discuss Health Ministry initiatives to control the dengue menace. more..

Government stages sham local elections

Jun 27 (wsws) The government is preparing to hold local council elections in Jaffna and Vavuniya, two towns in the island’s north where, until last month, the army was fighting a communal war against the separatist LTTE. Having destroyed the last pockets of LTTE resistance, President Mahinda Rajapakse has called the elections for August 8 to provide a democratic façade for a permanent military occupation and more..

On the hunt for Tamil Tigers' new leader

Jun 27 (TS) Sri Lanka's government spent much of the past quarter-century on the hunt for Velupillai Prabhakaran, the short, stocky leader of the Tamil Tigers whose death last month seemed to herald an end to the island country's on-again, off-again civil war. Yet weeks after his shattered corpse was shown on TV, Sri Lankan authorities remain on the prowl, searching for Prabhakaran's shadowy successor, a man of whom there are few photographs and more..

New Chairman and Board of SLIC appointed by President

Jun 27 (GDI) In a bid to strengthen the insurance sector in the country, and to streamline insurance for the benefit of citizens, President Mahinda Rajapaksa today appointed a high caliber Board of Directors to the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation that comprised top professionals in both the state and private sector. The seven member board comprises top caliber professionals ranging from Economists, more..

Rice millers to get further concessions

Jun 27 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed the Chairmen of People's Bank and the Bank of Ceylon to lower the interest rate for temporary loans extended to rice millers across the country from the present rate of 22.5%. The President made this decision subsequent to a meeting with representatives of the Rice Millers' Association today. The President also promised that the Nation Building Tax levied on rice millers will be reduced from 3% to 1.5%. more..

'Press Council legislation can be adopted in Sri Lanka'

Jun 27 (GDI) It’s highly expedient for us to adopt contemporary press council legislation enacted in other countries, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament. Though journalists enjoy unlimited rights in reporting, it naturally becomes counterproductive when they employ their rights to harm the reputation of others. In the light of this danger, there must be an institution regulating such injustices. more..

Be genuine in your wish for peace

Jun 27 (IL) The recently released Special Report #32 of the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) UTHR(J) A Marred Victory and a Defeat Pregnant with Foreboding, is comparable to Monday morning quarterbacking, as they say in the US. The UTHR(J) report's ostensible purpose is to expose and highlight the "wrong" or "questionable" techniques, tactics and procedures (TTPs) implemented by the Government and the Security Forces in more..

Sri Lanka camp young 'malnourished'

Jun 27 (BBC) The high rate of malnutrition reported among children in camps for displaced people in Sri Lanka is a cause for concern, a senior UN official says. The UN's representative on children and armed conflict told the BBC's Sinhala service that the government should set up special feeding programmes. Her comments come after a Sri Lankan charity said 5,000 children in the camps are malnourished. more..

Sri Lanka drafts new rules for marine tourism

Jun 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka is drafting new rules to protect the marine environment with tourist ventures such as whale and dolphin watching expected to become big business with the end of the war, a senior official said. Tourism ministry secretary K A D George Michael said the government was aware of the importance of safeguards to protect the marine habitat and ensure sustainable tourism practices. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket plans tri-series

Jun 27 (CI) Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand are set to play a triangular series in Sri Lanka during August, ahead of the Champions Trophy. The tournament, which would be an unscheduled one in Sri Lanka's cricket calendar, is expected to take place from August 4 or 6 as New Zealand's tour draws to a close. The tournament is the result of discussions with Indian and New Zealand officials during the ICC meeting at Lord's this week. more..

Maharoof picked for Pakistan tour opener

Jun 27 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has named a 13-man squad to face Pakistan in a three-day warm-up game in Colombo starting June 29. The squad includes ICC World Twenty20 discards Farveez Maharoof, Chamara Kapugedera, Upul Tharanga and Dilhara Fernando. Maharoof was a part of the Twenty20 squad in England but did not get a game. Kapugedera, Tharanga and Fernando have been in Sri Lanka's ODI squad over the past few years but were overlooked for the Twenty20. more..

UNP appoints committee to decide policies for opposition alliance

Jun 27 (CT) The UNP has appointed a seven-member committee to formulate policy decisions of the party towards the creation of a wider opposition alliance. The politburo of the party has approved the formation of such a union for a new programme for the betterment of the country. The politburo met under the chairmanship of deputy UNP leader Karu Jayasuriya at ‘Sirikotha’ today (June 26). more..

Sinhalese majority should apologize to Tamil minority - Lakshman Seneviratne

Jun 27 (CT) UNP MP Lakshman Seneviratne says the majority Sinhalese community should tender an apology in brotherhood to the Tamil minority for the wrongs committed against them in the past.He made this remark at a media briefing at the Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo today (June 26). Mr. Seneviratne said that the Tamils would likewise apologize to the Sinhalese for their wrongs. more..

Doctors not returning from overseas training to be prosecuted

Jun 27 (CT) The Health Ministry has decided to initiate legal action against specialist doctors who have not returned from advanced training overseas at the expense of the state. Quoting deputy director general of health services Dr. Terrance de Silva, ‘Ravaya’ reports that 30 doctors are accordingly to be brought to book. Doctors failing to return from overseas training are required to pay Rs. 400,000 per year of the training period to the state. more..

Sri Lanka authorities complicit in torture

Jun 27 (UPI) The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is recognized annually on June 26, devoted to the promotion of a torture-free world. It is also a day when achievements to eliminate torture are evaluated. In the case of Sri Lanka, the practice of torture has increased rather than being reduced. Some might argue that the increase was due to the intensification of the conflict between the LTTE and the government, therefore more..

A move to gag press, say Sri Lankan media

Jun 27 (Hindu) The main media organisations in Sri Lanka have urged the government not to re-establish Press Council with powers to fine and imprison print journalists and argued that self-regulation, introduced six years ago, is working. Seven media bodies, headed by the Editors’ Guild, have written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa saying media culture should not be based on charging, fining and jailing journalists. more..

Australian jurist, Dowd, exposed as a Tiger propagandist

Jun 27 (LG) Dear Sir, Your litany of complaints against the Sri Lankan government, reproduced predictably in the TamilNet (June 25,2009) -- the leading propaganda medium of the Tamil Tigers -- indicate to me that you have fallen for the “big lie” (your phrase) propagated by the rag-tag remnants of the defunct Tamil Tigers in Australia, some of whom have been the primary sources that had financed the Tiger killing machine responsible for more..

Foreign Minister addresses international conference on trade

Jun 27 (LG) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama was the Chief Guest at the International Conference on Trade Facilitation held today (26) by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka with the assistance of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Minister Bogollagam in his remarks highlighted that the Sri Lanka Government, by defeating LTTE terrorism, has brought about an environment that is conducive for the greater growth of the economy. more..

Misfired “ Great Game” of the Norwegian foreign office ?(UD)

Jun 27 (LG) From hindsight, 1999 year was an ill-fated one for Lanka. That’s when; the Norwegian Dy. Foreign Minister Vidar Helgersen surfaced in Colombo, and offered Norway’s unstinted support to the natives, so they can resolve their problems. The 24th January 1999 issue of ‘The Sunday Observer’ relayed his joyful massage to the dense Lankans.(External Link) more..

Sri Lanka says critical juncture for IMF loan

Jun 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's post-war reconciliation process needs international financial support, its trade minister said on Friday, urging swift action on Colombo's request for a $1.9 billion International Monetary Fund loan. G.L. Peiris, Sri Lanka's minister of export development and international trade, said it would be "wholly counterproductive" to deny Colombo resources as it moves to heal wounds more..

Misapplying R2P in Sri Lanka

Jun 27 (Hindu) Lakshman Kadirgamar, the former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, was one of the most incisive legal minds of his generation. A former president of the Oxford Union, he made significant contributions to the ILO and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, among other entities. Whoever met him, as I did, could not help but be impressed with his knowledge of international affairs, his passion for peace in his homeland, and his razor-sharp intellect. more..

Father Don Camillo and Mayor Peppone enigma of Tiger terror politics

Jun 27 (SLW) Asia News, a website that has a selective focus on events and happenings around the world with a heavy leaning on the Vatican takes a strong exception to four Catholic priests from the Diocese of Jaffna and two Oblate missionaries of Mary Immaculate being held for inquiry. They were among the very last of those who joined the final batch of evacuees from the No Fire Zone. more..

Sri Lanka sees scope for trade expansion

Jun 27 (TIN) Sri Lankan High Commissioner Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Jayalath Weerakkody has said in the presence of a free trade agreement, there is a vast scope for expansion of two-way trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Business opportunities with Sri Lanka under the Free Trade Agreement’, jointly organised by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) on Friday. more..

Sinhala and Tamils: Where do we go from here?

Jun 27 (TC) All that was predicted and feared/anticipated depending where you are standing has come to pass. The ‘Dutugemunu Principle’ has peaked and the policy of 60 years has come to fruition. The Sinhalese have come a full circle and stand victorious and united with their writ running from North to South, East to West, as was in the time of the great king 2000 years ago. History has repeated itself in eerie fashion. more..

Trial of the Potato Farmer

Jun 27 (GV) A trial takes place in a tent at the foot of the mountain. It is me, your potato farmer on trial. Accused of being an intellectual who failed to play a role in stemming the growth of nationalism; thereby contributing to crimes committed on potato soil. This is no ordinary trial. There is only one participant: prosecutor, accused, judge and jury are all the same — me. more..

The Politics of Post-War Sri Lanka

Jun 27 (GV) As Paul Berman once wrote, “somewhere in the world it is always 1941”. There comes a time in the life of every society when it is faced with an existential threat or challenge. It is the social forces or elements that rise up to this challenge and successfully overcome this threat that then have the power as well as the legitimacy to place their stamp on what comes after. more..

Mother Lanka patriotic poem

The Tamil Buddhists

Jun 27 (LG) Today, the Palk Strait which lies between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan land masses, is seen as a divider, separating two different distinct ethnicities, religions, cultures and political entities but there was a phase in history when Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka enjoyed very close ties, thanks to a shared interest in Buddhism. During the early period, the Palk Strait was not seen as a divider but it was a unifier. more..

Industrial Technology Institute plays a significant role in economic development

Jun 27 (AT) “The scientists in the ITI should take the challenge of using the relevant type of research and technology and forge ahead to be the leader in the world. This journey cannot be taken in isolation; we must merge and work in harmony with the society to ensure maximum results”. Professor Tissa Vitarana, Minister of Science & Technology said so at the ceremony held at Thalahena, Malabe, to lay foundation stone to more..

Sri Lanka accuses IMF of playing politics

Jun 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Friday accused the International Monetary Fund of politicizing financial aid following the fund's delay in considering a 1.9 billion dollar bailout for the war-ravaged economy. "Never ever has the IMF taken political factors into account. Now, it seems for the first time they are doing that -- indirectly," Sri Lanka?s trade minister G.L. Peiris told AFP in Washington ahead of talks with fund officials. more..

Local lawyer runs questionable charity

Jun 27 (CCN) A local attorney takes out more than 60 percent of monies donated to a nonprofit he oversees before sending the remaining monies to a self declared cleric alleged to have defrauded donors from throughout the world, according to tax documents and news sources. Founded in 2001 by San Luis Obispo attorney Eric Parkinson, VeAhavta’s stated mission is to “lovingly nurture the physical, emotional and spiritual well being of orphans and more..

The tragic journey of a displaced Tamil family

Jun 27 (wsws) On June 24, Supreme Court held a second hearing in a case challenging the violation of the basic legal rights of Tamil civilians interned in military-controlled camps in the island’s north. The case has been filed on behalf of five members of the same family who were separated in detention. The government of President Mahinda Rajapakse has incarcerated almost 300,000 Tamils who faced intense army shelling and more..

Silent majority must raise their voices loudly and clearly

Jun 27 (TC) The tragedy of Sri Lanka has been the growth, since the mid fifties, of ethno-religious nationalism and the consequent destabilisation of our pluralist society. Over the years, our political leadership, even though perhaps realising the perils of it, went along this slippery road for political gain. It was only the Left, the old Left of Samasamajists and Communists, who initially refused to succumb to these vocal yet obscurantist forces. more..

Forces behind paper Jihad

Jun 27 (PSM) Need and necessity for Muslim home guards in the East arose in 1990. It was the worst year of ethnic cleansing of Muslims both in North and in East. After ethnic cleansing of Muslims from the North by the LTTE, Muslim political leaders made representations to the govt. and introduced the home guards system to protect vulnerable and isolated Muslim villages from the LTTE and other Tamil militants. more..

Negombo Dy Mayor post denied to Muslim

Jun 27 (PSM) Deputy Mayor position of Negombo Municipal Council is denied for a Muslim although it was promissed to him and he was next in line in terms of preferential votes obtained at the last MC election. It was agreed before the recently concluded election to Western Provincial Council that, if the sitting Mayor Mr. Nimal Lansa is elected to the WPC, the the sitting Dy Mayor Mr.Sepala Morawaka would be appointed as Mayor and more..

Special education program for Students in Vavuniya

Jun 27 (GDI) Under the “Uthuru Wasanthaya” program, the Ministry of Education is scheduled to conduct a special program focus on school children on June 30 in Vavuniya,the Education Ministry said. It is expected to provide text and pass papers to GCE A/L students and to grade 5 scholarship students in IDP welfare camps. more..

A/Ls kicks off on August 11

Jun 27 (GDI) The GCE Advanced Level Examination 2009 starts on August 11 with 240,000 candidates sitting the examination that would go on till September 5 and the Grade 5 scholarship examination will be held on August 23 with 300,000 candidates sitting. More than 2000 examination centres throughout the island excluding Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts and 1,000 candidates from the IDP villages of the North are also among the candidates. more..

Dengue fever swallows 153 lives

Jun 27 (GDI) The number of patients who have died due to dengue fever increased to 153 and more than 12,388 have been infected so far, hospital reports said. Meanwhile, in addition to the dengue prevention programmes that are being implemented, the Ministry of Health is carrying out raids on dengue mosquito breeding grounds. The Ministry has appointed 10 officials to supervise the dengue control program in 10 districts where the identified 68 MOH areas are located. more..

Search Operations in Wanni continue to recover more LTTE items

Jun 27 (GDI) Army troops on continuous search and clear operations in the general areas of Vellamullivaikkal, Pattikkarai, Periyamadu, Jayapuram, Selamaddukulam, Tharakulam and Pulliyanpokkanai yesterday (26) uncovered some more stocks of LTTE items including arms and explosives. Ten T-56 weapons, one compass, three Multi Purpose Machine Gun (MPMG) links, three hundred rounds of MPMG ammunition, twelve RPG bombs, more..

Army Commander reviews latest security situation in Wanni

Jun 27 (LeN) Commander of the army General Sarath Fonseka with view to reviewing the present security situation in the area flew to Vavuniya this morning (26) and met Senior Officers in the Wanni area. Commander Security Forces Headquarters-Wanni (SFHQ-W) Major General Jagath Jayasuriya received the Commander at the airstrip before the Army Commander was guided to the SFHQ auditorium. more..

Rs. 780 m for Badulla, Moneragala rural infrastructure development

Jun 27 (DN) The accelerated development programs started in 20 backward villages in Uva Province this year would improve the living standard of the villagers. The Government has allocated Rs. 780 million in 2009 for the Moneragala and Badulla districts for the development of rural roads, drinking water supply projects, minor irrigation schemes, rural electrification, health, education and other social development programs. more..

Regional Confab on Local Economic Development

Jun 27 (AT) A two day conference on The South and South-East Asia Conference on Local Economic Development (LED), organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with 170 participants concluded successfully. It was supported by ILO Enter-Growth, ILO International Training Centre, the Ministry of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion, USAID funded CORE project, The Asia Foundation and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), more..

Maj. Gen. Dias gets diplomatic appointment

Jun 27 (DM) The 57-division’s Commanding officer Jagath Dias has been appointed as Sri Lanka’s Deputy Ambassador to Germany. A government official told the Daily Mirror that Major General Dias would leave the country to take over his duties soon. Major General Dias led his Division from the beginning of the Wanni operation three years ago and directed the capture of vital LTTE held areas such as more..

Farmers should be saved from vicious circle - Minister

Jun 27 (DN) Farmer will linger in poverty unless and until he is saved from the clutches of the mudalalis, said Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon. He said the village mudalali supplied chemicals, fertilizer and agricultural advice to the local farmers and ultimately the farmer has to sell his produce to the mudalali. This is a vicious circle which keeps the farmer under the clutches of the mudalali. more..

Deliberate creation of chaotic events

Jun 27 (DN) Another subtle strategy practiced by the student union and its leaders to achieve its dominance is the deliberate creation of chaos in the University. As the country knows well by now, creating chaos and thriving on commotions thus created both in the Universities and the country at large has been the hallmark of JVP politics since 1971. The JVP ideology is fundamentally conflict driven and reactive. So is the JVP student politics in the University. more..

Give an ear to those who can't hear

Jun 27 (DN) Niroshan asks me to describe how my bangles look like as he touches my wrists, feeling the beads and ridges on it. Nearby, Senuri asks animatedly about where I come from and if I have brought a brother or sister for her to play with. One of the supervisors Neluka told me that usually people come to visit the children only to admit their children with disabilities to school. "Not many come purposely to spend time with the children at the school", Neluka said. more..