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'I have no list of journalists that were in LTTE payroll'

Jun 5 (LeN) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says that he has not received a list of the journalists that have been under LTTE pay list although he had heard about such list. He says that he cannot point finger at anybody until the investigations are conducted. At the cabinet press briefing, a journalist pointed out that state-owned and some other media had announced that around 50 journalists had been in LTTE payroll assisting them. more..

President's coordinating secretary rebukes radio jounalist

Jun 5 (CT) Kumarasiri Hettige, a coordinating secretary to the president, has reportedly rebuked a radio journalist over the exposure of an alleged influencing to prevent the transfer of a school principal related to him. Sameera Manju of Neth FM has recorded the telephone call he had received from the president's top official, and played it in the presence of journalists and media minister Anura Priyadarshana more..

Indian mobile hospital moved to Chettikulam

Jun 5 (GDI) The make shift hospital donated by the Government of India with a team of Indian medical staff has been shifted from Pulmudai to Chettikulam in order to provide a better medical service to the civilians who are temporarily housed in the relief villages. The functions of the mobile hospital are being carried out with the full strength of the Indian Medical staff deployed here. more..

'U.N. ready to support Sri Lanka war inquiry'

Jun 5 (Reuters) The United Nations stands ready to support an inquiry into abuses in Sri Lanka's civil war, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Thursday. Addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council, which last week avoided launching an investigation into the Sri Lankan conflict, the former war crimes judge stressed that reconciliation would be impossible without a full reckoning of transgressions. more..

First MMI- sponsored free Tamil language course for police officers

Jun 5 (AT) A ceremony distribute certificates to the first batch of police officers who completed a six-month Tamil language course was held recently under the patronage of Milinda Moragoda, Minister of Tourism, Mr. Wickram Nishri, Deputy High Commissioner of India; and IGP Mr. Jayantha Wickramaratne at the Police Welfare Centre, Colombo. The language-training course was organised by the Milinda Moragoda institute in collaboration with more..

Indian Tamils warn Diaspora against MEP candidate Jan Jananayagam

Jun 5 (AT) Many community leaders of South Asian origin persons in the United Kingdom appealed to their constituents not to vote for candidates sponsored by ‘terrorist organizations or their proxies’. South Indian Tamil lobby in UK said that Jan Jananayagam should be shunned by voters as she represents ‘the terrorists who killed our bellowed former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’. more..

LTTE property rush has begun in Canada

Jun 5 (LG) Recently Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogolagama has said that war with LTTE is over in Sri Lanka and he said now time to dismantle LTTE net work and financial power internationally. As we every one knows that LTTE has collected large sums of money for their war from Canadian Tamils. Most of this money was collected by extortion or by force but LTTE has not used this full money for war or to upgrade the Tamils civilians who lived under their rule. more..

Too many heroes

Jun 5 (Economist) Alongside some of the government’s finest military hardware at a ceremonial parade in Colombo on June 3rd were dozens of disabled soldiers in gleaming wheelchairs. Sri Lanka has paid a heavy price for its recent rout of the rebel LTTE. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the defence secretary and brother of the president, has admitted that 6,261 soldiers were killed and 29,551 wounded in three years of fighting. more..

When the system works

Jun 5 (EB) The four fishermen who landed in Vizhinjam on Wednesday after being freed from a prison in Colombo will tell you the story of a rare kind of cooperation between politicians of different parties and bureaucrats. The rescue operation, coordinated by George Mercier MLA, had Union Minister of State for External Affairs and local MP Shashi Tharoor, Foreign Affairs Secretary Shivsankar Menon and Fisheries Minister S. Sarma in the leading roles. more..

Auction will help build a school in Sri Lanka

Jun 5 (TJ) Martha is a seven-year-old Sri Lankan girl who cannot go to school. Instead, she collects water to support her family. Saint John High School's Youth in Action group, a branch of Free the Children, was inspired by Martha's story and determined to change the lives of Sri Lankan children who are prevented from getting educated. Free the Children was founded by Craig Kielburger in 1995 and more..

Post-conflict peace-building

Old churches struggle to squeeze in worshippers

Jun 5 (UCAN) For Catholic churches in Colombo, size matters. Many are bursting at the seams during Sunday Masses, and feast days see a tripling of attendance with crowds spilling onto the streets. The country's capital has grown in modern times and often there is no land available for churches to expand. Virtually all of Colombo's churches date back to the 17th or 18th centuries. Considered large churches at the time, they now struggle to accommodate their congregations. more..

Religious leaders bless soldiers in military parade

Jun 5 (UCAN) Christian leaders joined over 10,000 well-wishers in blessing soldiers during a National Victory parade in Colombo on June 3. "The Christian community in this country has co-existed peacefully with Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims communities and lived amongst them, so we cannot keep ourselves apart from others," said Father Cyril Gamini Fernando, one of four vicar generals in Colombo archdiocese, who watched the parade. more..

Government directive solves Catholic students' woes

Jun 5 (UCAN) Catholics have welcomed a government directive stipulating that state-run schools have to include marks scored by Christian students at Sunday school examinations as part of their grades. This is in cases where the state-run schools themselves do not teach Christianity as a subject. The directive, issued on May 27, comes as a relief to priests and Catholic parents. more..

UN on Sri Lanka: A comedy of errors

Jun 5 (DW) These days, talking about Sri Lanka means talking about the Sri Lankan military, its elite politicians and diplomats and…oh yes…The UN. Are we trying to single-out the UN or the “West” here? Not really. The UN is singling its own self out. In fact, the UN looks more ridiculous now than it did when it allowed the Tutsis to be killed in 1994. If you want proof, read the news items in the world press about ‘leaked’ UN reports where more..

The aid game and the politics of humanitarianism

Jun 5 (GV) The US government, which wields considerable influence at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has sought to delay Sri Lanka’s USD 1.9 billion loan appeal. Washington’s hesitance is tied to the context of the humanitarian crisis that preceded the defeat and destruction of the LTTE and the killing of its leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. Sri Lanka needs the IMF loan to service its external debt, more..

'IDPs not protected by law' - CJ

Jun 5 (BBC) Over two hundred thousand people in refugee camps are not treated according to the law of the land, says the Chief Justice (CJ) of Sri Lanka. CJ Sarath Nanda Silva says that the war displaced are living under appalling conditions. The chief justice was speaking at the ceremonial opening of the new court complex in Marawila. "While we build new courts, ten people live in one tent in these camps. more..

Sri Lanka rejects conflict criticism

A new theme song for Sri Lanka tourism

Jun 5 (AT) The new theme song for Sri Lanka was presented to Minister of Tourism Milinda Moragoda, on Tuesday 2 June, by Tourism Ambassador for Sri Lanka, Alston Koch. The song will be launched with the new branding and communication campaign, scheduled for inauguration later this month by Sri Lanka Tourism. The song is written with passion only Koch can muster, and depicts attractions of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka says up to 5,000 civilians died in Tigers battle

Jun 5 (Guardian) A senior Sri Lankan official ­today estimated the civilian death toll from the last stages of the war with the Tamil Tigers as 3,000 to 5,000 and defended the use of mortars in a government-designated ­"no-fire zone". Rajiva Wijesinha, permanent secretary in Sri Lanka's ministry of disaster management and human rights, rejected reports that 20,000 civilians were killed as the army overran the Tigers. more..

How World Concern is helping in Sri Lanka

Jun 5 (WC) The 25-year civil war is over, but thousands of people still need help - and need it immediately. The injured continue to come, many by foot now. They walk for miles though they are malnourished and sometimes injured. We have worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross to bring thousands in by boat from the war zone. Those escaping the hard-hit area are heading to hospitals and makeshift medical facilities. more..

Tamil business community hail President's leadership

Jun 5 (MoD) Leaders and representatives of the Tamil business community from Colombo and several regions of Sri Lanka hailed the leadership given by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in achieving peace in the country and unifying a divided nation. Hindu religious leaders and prominent and influential leaders and representatives of the large Tamil business community in Sri Lanka were highly appreciative of more..

President’s speech: another warning to working people

Jun 5 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government organised a huge military parade on Wednesday to mark the army’s victory over the separatist LTTE. President Mahinda Rajapakse heaped praise on the military in a jingoistic speech lasting 40 minutes that also contained a veiled threat to the working class. The ceremony took place on Galle Face Green, a seaside promenade in Colombo, as the “grand finale” of 16 days of celebrations since Rajapakse announced victory in parliament on May 19. more..

Is Ban ki Moon heading the UN’s demolition squad?

Jun 5 (LG) The peoples of the world are now witnesses to the disappointing actions of the United Nations (UN) in their duty to stop hostilities, prevent human rights abuses and to bring peace to any member states. The most recent events in Sri Lanka are the latest example of the UN’s inability to intercede and require member nations to follow the international law which they have to safeguard. more..

'War displaced civilians well treated'

Jun 5 (GDI) “I congratulate the Sri Lankan government on their victory against terrorism, and, I also commend the remarkable work and efforts of the government of Sri Lanka in putting together the camps in such a short period of time,” said US Representative Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville a statement released by his office yesterday (04). more..

After Tigers defeated,what next?

Jun 5 (LG) The news that journalist Poddala Jayantha had been abducted by a group in a white van, severely assaulted and dumped on a roadside was shocking and depressing. According to the web journal Colombo Today, the attack took place around the time that Victor Ivan and the convener of Free Media Movement Chulawansa Sirilal were holding talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse about an alleged hit list of journalists. more..

Abiding harmony of Hindu Dharma-Bauddha dhamma in India and Sri Lanka

Jun 5 (LG) Shared values of civilization and historical experiences unite India and Sri Lanka. The eternal ethic that binds the two nations together is dharma (Sanskrit) or dhamma (Pali, Sinhala). The Sinhala language is close to many Prakrits and many languages of India. Sinhala script is based on Brahmi, the foundation for many scripts of Indian languages. Some very early inscriptions in Brahmi script have reportedly been found in Sri Lanka. more..

Gama Neguma marry Uthuru Wasanthaya

Jun 5 (GDI) In the bid to speed up development in the country, among major national projects, the Gama Neguma and the newly set up Uthuru Wasanthaya have engaged in a permanent bond up to produce better results. The Ministry of Nation Building and Infrastructure Development has allocated 14 billion rupees to carry out a special programme to develop remote areas under the Gama Neguma programme. more..

Mobile service to issue NICs to Uva Province voters

Jun 5 (GDI) The Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake has decided to conduct mobile services in the relevant districts with the help of Department of Registration of Persons to issue NIC to all those persons who do not posses a NIC. The program will target the Uva Province mainly and those who are above 18 years of age and those who have not obtained NICs and who lost theirs NIC will be able to get a new NIC under this new scheme. more..

Sri Lanka: What next?

The Tamil Diaspora should stop financing demised LTTE

Jun 5 (LG) I have been pleading through the print media over the last few years for the Tamil Diaspora to stop helping LTTE financially, logistically and politically and prolong the war between the Sri Lankan Government and LTTE. I have tried to convince the Tamil Diaspora that they were chasing a mirage of a mythical Eelam created by now dead Prabhakaran but was unsuccessful. more..

Sathjana Sathkara first step kick off

Jun 5 (GDI) This Sathjana Sathkara program organized by artistes to bestow merits on war heroes and civilians displaced which plagued the country for the 30 years will be held today (5) at the Vihara Maha Devi Park at 4.00 p.m. The pinkama would be attended by a number 100 monks to invoke blessings on wounded soldiers, war heroes and the civilians in north. Also this event would give pleasure to the civilians in North, more..

Now mini polls time in Sri Lanka

Jun 5 (AT) As the dust settled on a thirty year terrorist war, all political parties in Sri Lanka are once again geared to test the pulse of the people at another mini election at provincial level. This time, the mini election is due in the Uva Province, in the hill country which covers three districts. The ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa goes to this poll with confidence after defeating the LTTE terrorism. more..

Fighting the PR War

Jun 5 (GV) The ongoing campaign by The Times to discredit the recent military victory by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces over the LTTE seems, at times, relentless. Not a day passes by without Jeremy Page, Marie Colvin or Catherine Philp lecturing on alleged war crimes by Sri Lanka. I usually despise the shrill hysteria and the ‘me against the world’ mentality that envelops my countrymen when faced with criticism, but on this occasion I feel it is warranted. more..

Why the West will not give up

Jun 5 (PISL) The appalling behaviour of the West since we started to succeed in our war against terror has been deeply upsetting. In order to deal with it successfully however, we must cease to be sentimental about our old friends and patrons, and analyse why they are now being so horrid. I believe there are six types of rationale, some of which shade into each other, not all of which are all bad. more..

Pioneering initiative to engage Sri Lankan business expatriates

Jun 5 (PISL) Now that peace has finally dawned in Sri Lanka, the business community is stepping forward to make its contribution to the economic development of the country and the wellbeing of our people. Investing in small and medium sized enterprises in the regions is one way of doing so, and it is good business too. The Business for Peace Alliance launched a groundbreaking initiative in this field last week, more..

'UN human rights office will not be allowed'

Jun 5 (CT) Sri Lanka will not allow the UN Human Rights Commission to set up an office in the country, human rights minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has told the commissioner of the UNHRC at a meeting. Speaking to the media, Mr. Samarasinghe said he had also told commissioner Navi Pillai that she should first consult Sri Lanka before making any recommendations on the island. more..

'LTTE violated rights of millions of Lankans'

Jun 5 (MoD) The LTTE violated the rights of millions of Sri Lankans over three decades, Don Randall of the Liberal Party speaking during the debate on a Private Member's motion on Sri Lanka in the Australian Parliament said. "Having had a long association with the Australian - Sri Lankan community and having watched closely the atrocities committed by the LTTE over many years, few were more thrilled at the prospect of Sri Lankan peace and unity than me when I saw that the Tigers were defeated recently," Randall said. more..

The World Environment Day celebrated

Jun 5 (GDI) Two environmental friendly books written by the Minister of Environment, Patali Champika Ranawaka was launched to mark the World Environment Day which fell today. The World Environment Days’ celebrations began at the Vihara Maha Devi Park this morning with the participation of Minister of Agricultural Development & Agrarian Services Development Maithripala Sirisena,the Media Secretary to the ministry said. more..

Physician heal thyself, hand over that nurse!

Jun 5 (MoD) Will a person with a skin disease ever want to consult, let alone follow the advice of, a dermatologist with a massive rash, scratching himself like mad? We don't think so. (We hope good skin specialists won't take umbrage; we are only trying to drive a point home.) Likewise, champions of global democracy with a deplorable human rights record cannot expect others to take them seriously. more..

UNP to support 13th Amendment

Jun 5 (CT) The United National Party says it will support the 13th amendment or a broader devolution of power if the government would solve all its internal problems surrounding the issue. The only solution for the crisis in the northeast region is the full implementation of the 13th amendment, the party adds. Noting that government ally þþþþPatriotic National Movement is accusing supporters of this amendment as opportunists, more..

Rebel Catholic priest and patriot

Jun 5 (DN) The birth anniversary of Fr. Marcelline Jayakody, the well-known Catholic priest, musician, poet, lyricist, author, journalist and patriot fell on June 3. A household name in our country; no other Catholic prelate or priest in our country has touched the hearts and lives of people of our times like him. Fr. Marcelline Jayakody led an eventful life replete with ups and downs. more..

Indian president says political solution needed in Sri Lanka

Jun 5 (CT) Indian president Pratibha Patil has pledged to support initiatives aimed at finding a permanent political solution in Sri Lanka to ensure equal rights to the Tamil minority. “We will support initiatives in Sri Lanka which can lead to a permanent political solution of the conflict there, and ensure that all Sri Lankan communities, especially the Tamils, feel secure and enjoy equal rights so that they can lead a life of dignity and self-respect,” more..

Census on IDPs in Vavuniya

Jun 5 (CT) A census being conducted among the IDPs sheltered in the welfare villages in Vavuniya, will conclude this week, Minister of Mass Media, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. The Minister said that there are 227,000 displaced civilians being sheltered in 26 welfare villages in Vavuniya. Objectives of the census are to unite families, identify the problems of the IDPs and seek solutions and collect accurate data on them. more..

Sky News Video: MIA hits out at 'Concentration Camps'

Jun 5 (TC) MIA, who used to live in Sri Lanka and experienced the war, told Sky News: "Three hundred thousand people have been put into concentration camps and they (the authorities) have taken all the rights away from these people. "They have no food and access to the media and aid. No freedom of speech or freedom of press." She said the European council has been "undecided on the issue" and more..

Today is world environment day: Save our rainforests!

Jun 5 (DN) Now that Sri Lanka has officially declared the end of terrorism, we must now make serious decisions on ending the destruction of Mother Nature. Today, Sri Lanka celebrates World Environment Day (WED) under one flag and it is imperative that we formulate a policy to prevent the illegal encroaching, deforestation and wildlife threat that is taking place right under our noses. more..

Bar bids farewell to CJ

Jun 5 (DN) The Official and Unofficial Bar yesterday bid farewell to Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva PC, who is due to retire from June 7, 2009, after delivering the judgement in two Fundamental Rights cases against the privatisation of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation. Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga read out the 80-page judgement for over nearly three hours. more..

Parents’ should be on electoral list to admit children to G I

Jun 5 (Island) Parents who seek to admit their children to Grade I would have to have their names on the latest electoral register, the Ministry of Education said. When admitting children to Grade I classes in the year 2010, if the parents find it difficult to trace their names in the last electoral register they could contact the Grama Sevaka or the Divisional Secretary and get them to fill the particulars at the allocated place in the application form and more..

'Politicians cannot be punished only on COPE, PAC findings'

Jun 5 (Island) Mass Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday said that people couldn’t be punished entirely on the basis of findings of two parliamentary watchdog committees, COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) and PAC (Public Accounts Committee). He asserted that it wouldn’t be right to expect punitive action taken against politicians and officials named by COPE and PAC. more..

Former COPE Chief on anatomy of a corrupt deal

Jun 5 (Island) Commenting on the Supreme Court ruling on the SLIC transaction, Wijedasa Rajapaksa, MP, told The Island that the SC had endorsed findings made by Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) a few years ago. At the time of the COPE revelation, the parliamentary watchdog committee had been under Rajapakshe’s authority. He said that recent SC rulings on questionable deals including more..