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Thamilselven’s kids prefer fast foods

Jun 5 (DM) In what has now transpired as the luxurious life styles of LTTE leaders, the two children of the late S.P. Thamilselvan the former LTTE political wing leader are said to partake of fast foods like pastries and biscuits instead of rice and curry. Minister Rajitha Senaratne who met Mr. Thamilselvan’s wife at a welfare camp in Vavuniya told Daily Mirror yesterday these two kids -- one in Grade five and the other in Grade 1 do not eat rice and curry. more..

JVP promises to ‘fight’ the government’s 13th Amendment

Jun 5 (DM) The JVP said yesterday it would be compelled to wage war against the government if it continues to betray the nation by ignoring the opportunity that has been presented after victory over the LTTE. “We cannot fight like the security forces but will be compelled to wage war against the government if it betrays the victory gained by the forces,” JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe told a rally more..

‘Yal Devi’ leaves Colombo tomorrow for Thandikulam

Jun 5 (DM) A train will travel beyond Vavuniya for the first time after 20 years when ‘Yal Devi’ express train leaves Fort Railway station tomorrow morning for Thandikulam which is situated approximately 3 kilometres to the north of Vavuniya. Tomorrow’s trip to Thandikulam heralds reconstruction of the Northern Railway line up to the last railway station on the northern most tip of the Jaffna peninsula, the station at KKS which is 11 kilometres away from Jaffna. more..

Sri Lanka gets Chinese loan for low cost housing

Jun 5 (LBO) Government is to take a 500 million dollar 20-year loan from China to build 100,000 low cost houses for state sector employees, shanty dwellers and people affected by disasters, the Cabinet office said. A Cabinet memorandum on the project said the loan is to be arranged by state-owned China Shenyang International Economic and Technical Corporation (CSYIC) which will commence construction work on November 2009 on 10,000 houses initially. more..

'Military pact with Colombo in limbo'

Jun 5 (Hindu) With the LTTE having been militarily defeated by the Sri Lanka army, New Delhi and Colombo have put their defence cooperation pact on the backburner. “It was negotiated for quite some time. We had put it aside and haven’t gone back,” Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon told reporters. Admitting that both countries at one point of time were “very close” to finalising the India-Sri Lanka Defence Cooperation Agreement, more..

Sri Lanka showcase 'private' hospital in state hands

Jun 5 (LBO) Control of a showcase Sri Lankan fee-levying privately built hospital has passed to state hands after courts reversed the privatization of an insurance firm which held its majority stake. Lanka Hospitals Corporation, owners of Colombo's Apollo Hospital, is more than 54 percent controlled by the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC), which was ordered back into state hands Thursday, by the island's Supreme Court. more..

In Sri Lanka: A Look at the Refugee Camp

Jun 5 (HP) In the aftermath of Sri Lanka's victory over terrorism, there are many tears. The Tamil Tigers have been defeated, but 280,000 Sri Lankan Tamils are now Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) - in short, refugees in their own country. The world is beating a path to the camps, first United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, followed by a U.S. Congressman from North Carolina. more..

UN Security Council must demand immediate access and accountability

Jun 5 (AI) As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today briefs the Security Council on his visit to Sri Lanka, Amnesty International is urging the Security Council to demand that Sri Lanka provides full access to humanitarian organisations and establish an international inquiry into possible war crimes committed by all sides to the conflict. Yvonne Terlingen, Head of Amnesty International's Office at the UN, said: more..

President hands over three-wheelers to disabled war heroes

Jun 5 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over 200 three-wheeler vehicles to disabled soldiers here, as part of welfare schemes for former military men who suffered serious injuries in the last three decades of conflict with the LTTE. The three-wheelers, modified to suit the needs of the physically disabled, were distributed under an interest free loan scheme, in recognition of the former soldiers' contribution towards the country's peace and stability. more..

'Sri Lanka does not believe in any attempt to equate the two sides involved in the armed conflict'

Jun 5 (MoD) Madam High Commissioner welcomed last week's Human Rights Council Special Session - may I echo that with a slight modification - Sri Lanka welcomes the outcome of last week's Human Rights Council Special Session. We hope it was as good for the co-sponsors of the Special Session as it was for us in Sri Lanka, though more..

Why doctors from Sri Lanka's combat zone may face jail

Jun 5 (Time) The veil of secrecy over the whereabouts of three doctors who worked in Sri Lanka's shrinking war zone last month has finally been lifted. On Thursday, Colombo announced that three doctors, all of whom were treating patients in LTTE-held areas in the final days before they were gained by Sri Lankan government forces, are now in government custody and face court action for collaborating with the Tigers. more..

Trekking in Sri Lanka

Jun 6 (WNW) Trekking in Sri Lanka is nothing new, although of course in former times it was not a recreational activity. For instance, in 1679 Robert Knox escaped the Kandyan Kingdom by walking to Arippu on the north west coast, while in 1783 Jacob Haafner walked from Jaffna to Colombo and back to accompany a cooper looking for work. Knox’s and Haafner’s accounts of these adventurous treks make for fascinating reading, as does the modern Trekkers’ Guide to Sri Lanka (1994). more..

No electricity price revision in the offing - CEB

Jun 6 (GDI) The Ministry of Power and Energy while rejecting reports in certain sections of the media announced that the Ceylon Electricity Board had not made any decision over a price revision on the current electricity billing system. During the past couple of weeks certain media reports claimed predictions of a possible price revision in the current electricity billing system. more..

A sigh of relief for IBSL

Jun 6 (GDI) The civil war has been dragging on for the past three decades, and insurance premiums went sky-high for prospective businessmen in a region of war. However, against all odds, present SL government comprehensively defeated separatist LTTE terrorists and Sri Lanka is no more a war risk zone. "Impending terrorist threats have slowly been fading away and it's time to consider additional risk premiums now," more..

Do ten year olds in IDP camp need identity cards?

Jun 6 (LG) I am perturbed over the decision of the Government to issue Identity Cards to children over 10 years old. No parent whether in-side the camp or outside the camp, be they Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims from any part of Sri Lanka will welcome this move. One can’t be either wrong all the time or right all the time. Whether what I say is palatable to you or not, more..

Sri Lanka After the War – Part II

Jun 6 (LG) Tamil speaking politicians are there in almost all parties including the two major political parties of Sri Lanka. Though most of the Tamil politicians talk of equitable rights for Tamils, they have never managed to make a united pitch for Tamil rights in recent times. That is how successive governments have continued to drag their feet on the issue of devolution of powers to Tamils. more..

The fate of Sri Lanka's Tamils after the Tigers

Jun 6 (CSM) The Tamils are a minority with deep roots in the north of the island nation of Sri Lanka and kinship ties to the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which lies across a narrow sea channel. A separate group of Tamils arrived later from India as laborers during British rule and are known as Indian Tamils. Together they make up around 18 percent of Sri Lanka's 20 million people, with the Sinhalese majority making up 74 percent. more..

Aussies in for long haul as Sri Lanka stands firm

Jun 6 (TA) Three Australian nationals caught in Sri Lanka's overcrowded refugee camps could face more than a year in detention after the Government in Colombo yesterday ruled out any special treatment or early release. The Australian high commission in Sri Lanka said yesterday it was trying to gain consular access to the three people, who are believed to be dual Sri Lankan/Australian nationals. more..

Ambassador of India responds to Ms Navi Pillay's remarks on Sri Lanka

Jun 6 (LG) Ambassador Gopinathan Achamkulangare of India, responding yesterday to the remarks on Sri Lanka included in the statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navi Pillay said, " will be prudent to adhere to the outcome of the special session and be sensitive to the concerns expressed already, rather than take a position on contested proposals or controversial issues and ideas, which did not find eventual acceptance in the outcome of the special session." more..

US Senator asks Lankan Prez to address needs of Tamils

Jun 6 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa needs to take steps to show a "serious commitment" towards achieving a political solution to the decades-long ethnic problem and to genuinely addressing the needs of the minority Tamils following the defeat of LTTE, an influential US Senator has said. "I urge President Rajapaksa to take steps now to demonstrate a serious commitment to a political solution, the rule of law, and most importantly, more..

Sri Lanka conducting search on 'LTTE' vessel bound for Wanni

Jun 6 (PTI) The Sri Lankan Navy is conducting a search on board a suspected LTTE cargo vessel that was seized and now anchored in Panudura coast near here. The vessel, said to be carrying 884 metric tonnes of medical and food supplies reportedly for the LTTE cadres was seized by Sri Lankan Navy patrol craft off the Colombo seas on Thursday. The Syriyan vessel 'Captain Ali' had set off from United Kingdom on April 20, 2009 "under the pretext of a mercy mission" more..

Growing concern over nutrition of displaced children

Jun 6 (IRIN) Concerns are growing that the number of malnourished children is higher than earlier estimated among thousands of recently displaced in Sri Lanka. Some 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDP), many of them children, live in more than 40 government camps in the north, after fleeing fighting between government forces and the defeated LTTE. more..

In Sri Lanka: Explaining the Tamil Tigers

Jun 6 (HP) The Tamil Tigers (LTTE) are considered a terrorist organization by 32 countries. Their soldiers wore cyanide vials for consumption upon capture. They invented the suicide belt and pioneered the use of suicide bombing as a tactic. They also pioneered the use of women in suicide attacks and forcibly kidnapped and inducted child soldiers. Over 5,000 child soldiers have been reported. more..

Sri Lanka: "Easier to reach the hungry"

Jun 6 (WFP) The final stages of the long conflict between Sri Lankan government forces and the LTTE Tamil Tiger rebel movement saw thousands of families flee their homes in the conflict-affected northern region. Most of these IDPs are now in temporary transit camps set up by the government. They are dependent on humanitarian aid. As well as providing food for 290,000 people in the camps, WFP has also scaled up the delivery of fortified food to more..

Sri Lanka Seylan gets one bid: Central Bank

Jun 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Lanka Orix Leasing Company (LOLC) is the sole bidder for a 33 percent stake in Seylan Bank offered by the Central Bank to a strategic partner that can inject equity to the firm, market sources said. "In response to the invitation for fresh bids by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to be a strategic partner of Seylan Bank PLC, one bid has been received," the Central Bank said in a statement. more..

Sri Lanka’s future depends on first dissecting the notions promoted by LTTE terror & accepted by other interested groups

Jun 6 (AT) The President has been consistently conveying some key messages. The unitary status of the country, the need to emerge from ideological differences and his intent to replace populist politics with policies that are important and correct. Essentially, we need to look back to see what ideologies, policies and theories Sri Lanka had been forced to accept beneath the façade of ending a conflict with the LTTE. more..

“Grant Tamils protection”

Jun 6 (Hindu) Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, due to retire on Sunday, told a news conference here on Friday it was time to build a nation with one people, irrespective of religion, colour and race. The Daily Mirror, quoted him as saying if there were no proper judicial and social mechanisms to grant Tamils their due protection by law, there was the possibility of another uprising, though not an armed struggle. more..

Bishop, chief justice fear for northern Tamils' future

Jun 6 (UCAN) The bishop of Jaffna fears the needs of Tamils in the north of the country could be forgotten amid scenes of jubilation that have marked the end of 25 years of civil war. "Though the government won the war, it should concentrate on the Tamil problems and find a solution that provides them equal rights and opportunities," Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam of Jaffna told UCA News on June 3. more..

Ban Ki Moon to visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Post-LTTE

Jun 6 (AT) common joke nowadays in Tamil Nadu is that ‘puligal’ (Tigers—short for Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) have been reduced to ‘eligal’ (Rats) because they (the LTTE) have to hide in holes in the ground to escape being hunted. Now, the LTTE has been irretrievably decimated much as the Nazis were after World War II. But does the end of LTTE mean the end of the sixty one year human rights crisis of Sri Lanka? more..

House of God-Kalmunai 1981

Jun 6 (AT) In January 1981 having served as Officer Commanding Troops Jaffna in 1980 (the only year there were no terrorist related deaths there since 1978), I was appointed the first Commandant of the Combat Training School (CTS) at Konduwattuwan, Ampara.(Before then I had a dramatic interview (one of several) with the Army Commander about my opposition to an attempt to post me to Colombo to take over a non combat unit). more..

Using the theory of Relationship Marketing to win the Hearts of Tamils

Jun 6 (AT) The great humanitarian operation that unified our motherland under a single national standard has opened the path to our nation that is eager to step forward to a future of greatness and distinction, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the Nation from Galle Face Green after receiving the scrolls from the Three Forces’ Commanders and the IGP informing him about the victorious conclusion of the humanitarian mission of defeating terrorism. more..

Deep scars left in Sri Lanka

Jun 6 (DY) Sri Lanka's 25-year civil war has left the nation deeply scarred. According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, more than 260,000 internally displaced people have been staying at refugee camps established in Vavuniya, northern Sri Lanka, since the civil war ended in May. The refugees, who include many children, reportedly were used by the LTTE as human shields. more..

Tiger-free Lanka may lure BPOs

Jun 6 (ET) Is Sri Lanka the new Philippines? India’s outsourcing fraternity is staring at this billion-dollar question as the island nation, confident after wiping out the Tamil Tigers, sets about reinventing its civil war-ravaged economy. Top Indian BPO companies already have their presence in Sri Lanka, and the biggest of them, Genpact is about to launch its operations there. more..

Trade between Sri Lanka and Pakistan improves

Jun 6 (IN) Consul General of Sri Lanka in Karachi, V S Sidath Kumar, has said that Pakistan is the second largest trading partner of Sri Lanka in the SAARC region and total trade between the two countries increased by 169 per cent from $158 million in 2005 to $265 million last year. While Sri Lanka’s exports increased from $43 million in 2005 to $73 million in 2008, Pakistan’s exports rose from $115 million to $192 million, he said. more..

New U.S. Envoy Butenis: Balancing interests between U.S. and Sri Lanka

Jun 6 (AT) Diplomatic law governs the conduct of relations between representative organs of a state operating within the territory of another state, and the receiving state. Its purpose is to facilitate international diplomacy, balancing the pursuit of the foreign policy interests of the sending state with respect for the territorial sovereignty of the receiving state. Diplomatic immunity is an exception to the general rule of territorial jurisdiction. more..

Human rights vs. state sovereignty

Jun 6 (LG) I attended the United Nations Human Rights Council's special session on Sri Lanka in Geneva last week in hopes of ensuring that the plight of the 300,000 Tamil refugees confined in camps was not forgotten. With aid organizations denied full access and civilians not allowed to leave the camps, I thought the international community would be compelled to make some gestures to ensure a postwar Sri Lanka would be in line with international human rights norms. I was wrong. more..

UN chief warns Sri Lanka against 'triumphalism'

Jun 6 (AFP) UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday warned the Sri Lankan government against "triumphalism" after its recent defeat of the Tamil separatist insurgency and urged it to "heal the wounds" of the bitter conflict. "I would like to take this opportunity to warn against the risk of triumphalism in the wake of victory," Ban told reporters after he briefed the 15-member Security Council on more..

Poddala Jayantha: Latest Journalist victim in Sri Lanka

Jun 6 (DBS) The witch hunt against journalists depicted as enemies of the State continues unabated in Sri Lanka. The latest victim in this “officially sanctioned unofficial campaign” is Poddala Jayantha, a senior Journalist and prominent media rights activist. Jayantha, a senior journalist at “Dinamina” the Sinhala daily run by Lake House , is also the General Secretary of Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA) and a key activist of the Free media movement (FMM) in Sri Lanka. more..

In Sri Lanka: Reconciliation and Reconstruction

Jun 6 (HP) Sri Lanka is now focused on the "3 R's:" Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, and Reconciliation. The immense cost for resettling the 280,000 people in the camps is staggering. European leaders need to stop lecturing and start helping. It is actually possible that China will be able to step into the picture if Europe continues to lecture -- instead of assist -- the government of Sri Lanka. more..

Foreign Minister Bogollagama exchanges views with MP William Hague

Jun 6 (LG) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, who is currently visiting the UK for bilateral consultations met with wide ranging political personalities on 4 June 2009. Minister Bogollagama met with William Hague, MP, and Shadow Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Conservative). At the outset of the meeting the Foreign Minister provided a detailed account on the final days of the LTTE. more..

First lady and her son visit Jaffna

Jun 6 (LG) President’s wife Ms. Shiranthi Rajapakse and his son Namal Rajapakse arrived on a sudden visit to Jaffna Friday morning with a statue of Sangamiththa, Emperor Aoska’s daughter and the first woman Buddhist missionary to Ceylon, to be enshrined in the newly built Buddhist temple in Maathakal. Namal Rajapaksha said, “we visited several places in Jaffna but were constrained by time; but we discussed the people’s situation in the peninsula”. more..

India promises support to initiatives for political solution in Sri Lanka

Jun 6 (AT) President of India addresses a joint session of Parliament’s lower and upper houses, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha when they meet for the first time after a general election and in the first session of every calendar year. The address is a general statement of government’s intents and a broad review of its plans and planks. more..

Rubik’s Cube: Equal rights to each individual, not to each ethnic group

Jun 6 (LG) Genuine confusion or deliberate disorder, there is still puzzlement about the recipient of equal rights. All the democratic countries in the world afford equal rights to each individual, not to each ethnic community. The large and noisy Tamil community in the UK does not demand equal rights to their community! Even if they do, they will never ever get it. UK is a good example of giving equal rights to every citizen irrespective of race, origin or religion. more..

My journey with Anton, Adele Balasingham and Yogi in 1991

Jun 6 (AT) In a moment of silent reflection, and just another moment of deep thought, my mind explored events of the past when I read a report on Adele Balasingham, widow of late LTTE theoretician, Anton Balasingham now living in a luxurious house in Surrey. The report recalled how Adele was addressed as 'Aunty' by those child soldiers of the LTTE when she garlanded them with cyanide capsule around their necks, unlike the usual Aunties who more..

Yal Devi crosses over Vavuniya

Jun 6 (GDI) Alter a lapse of two decades, North will be connected with the South by rail for the first time as the refurbished railway link opens today. Yal Devi crosses over Vavuniya for Thandikulum, approximately 3 kilometers from Vavuniya, and it will be again hopes and great expectations towards social harmony between North and the South, Transport Minister Dulles Alahapperuma said. more..

NASA breakthrough: ancient bridge between India and Sri Lanka

Jun 6 (GDI) As NASA cameras pored over now defunct No-Fire-Zone, it only detected SL armed forces extending their arms of friendship to their northern brethren. It was of no avail to many cynical rumour mongers. However, NASA cameras came out with a rare breakthrough. It revealed a mysterious ancient bridge in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. The bridge, made up of a chain shoals, is currently named as Adam´s Bridge and nearly 30 km in extent. more..

IDP children education continues uninterrupted

Jun 6 (GDI) Text and story books worth over Rs. 137 million have been sent to Menik Farm and other IDP welfare centers to be distributed among war displaced children. “This was the first stock of books scheduled to be distributed among the displaced children,” Education Ministry official said. Even though displaced, the Ministry is of the view that education must continue unhindered as children may get disoriented without schooling. more..

Dengue mosquitoes on rampage:More deaths

Jun 6 (GDI) In a most tragic turn of events, the death toll caused by dengue epidemic crossed over the mark 100 since January this year. “The Health Ministry is doing its utmost to take the menace into control, but, still, the public corporation for the cause is minimal,” lamented the officials. "We have already seen 108 deaths with over 7,000 cases of dengue fever, and launched a number of empowerment programmes for the public but their response is really poor," more..

Wanni’s primary need:Committed rural social leaders

Jun 6 (LG) The Southeast Asia Rural Social Leadership Institute (SEARSOLIN) of the College of Agriculture of Xavier University in the Philippines trains every year rural social workers to promote sustainable development through leadership formation from the grass roots in South, Southeast and East Asia as well as from some countries in Africa and the Pacific Island nations. more..