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'War crime charges over our dead bodies'

Jun 6 (LT) The JVP would thwart all attempts to take those who have acted to defeat terrorism to any war tribunal said its leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. “Anybody who tried to take the leaders who led the war against terrorism to a war tribunal could do so only over our dead bodies,” said Mr. Amarasinghe. Speaking at a rally held under the theme ‘Tigers are vanquished – Let’s bring victory to Motherland’ more..

Maskeliya road closed due to earth slip

Jun 6 (LT) A large landslide occurred at 13th mile post on the Maskeliya – Nallathanniya road for the second time yesterday (5th) completely disrupting transport says Nallathanniya Police. Upcountry experiences heavy rains these days and a large mass of earth that was above the road slipped down with large boulders. Another crack on the earth above the hillock next to the area that slipped down could be observed. more..

Outgoing Chief Justice calls for a Sri Lanka with one people

Jun 6 (AT) Sri Lanka's outgoing Chief Justice, Sarath N.Silva due to retire on Sunday(7) which marks his 65th birthday, today held his first and final press conference to bid goodbye to the media and called for the need to build a Sri Lanka with one people. Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva has held the highest legal office for the past decade and delivered several landmark judgements. more..

China asks Colombo to focus on national reconciliation

Jun 6 (PTI) While committing to a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka, China has asked Colombo to focus on "national reconciliation" after wiping out the LTTE from the country. Pledging full cooperation in rebuilding efforts in the war-ravaged country, China has said it will support Sri Lanka in bringing in stability, peace and development. more..

Refugees and reconciliation: Sri Lanka ponders its future

Jun 6 (AN) “Is it a celebration of victory of peaceful, peace loving people over those who were violent or those who were terrorist? Or is it a celebration of the victory of one group over another. Will this victory lead to a dominant and suppressive authority in the hands of one group over another group who will be made refugees or internally displaced for long years or for eternity?”. more..

'13th amendment doesn’t suit Sri Lanka'

Jun 6 (LT) The 13th amendment is not at all suitable for Sri Lanka says Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. He said this at a press conference to divulge details of a ‘Judicial Map.’ He said, “The 13th amendment is not a document that was formulated with much thought. It is one that was put together in haste to go with the Indo-Lanka accord. This amendment compiled by taking parts of the Indian constitution doesn’t suit Sri Lanka at all. more..

LTTE associates reject giving assets worth billions of rupees to KP

Jun 6 (LeN) Sri Lankan intelligence bureaus have learnt that the present owners of the LTTE’s assets world wide have rejected handing over them to the self-proclaimed LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP. LTTE purchased property world wide with the wealth collected as ransom from the Tamil diaspora except buying weapons. They were run under the names of the LTTE’s trusted associates and they transferred a large portion of the profit to the LTTE’s account. more..

'Human networking will boost business'

Jun 6 (LNP) Human networking in reconciliation is the way for Sri Lanka to hold the banner of Ready for Business in a short period of time, HR Consultant, Bangalore, India S. Ramesh told Daily News Business on Wednesday. Ramesh is in Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) to conduct two seminars on Power of Human Networks and Coaching for Managers for junior, middle and senior level managers in Sri Lankan companies in Colombo. more..

Battling corruption Take a cue from the SC

Jun 6 (LNP) Years ago it was mistakenly believed that Sri Lanka`s war against terrorism was `unwinnable`. That myth has been blown sky high. All is quiet on the northern front and nothing remains of Prabhakaran`s terror empire but earth bunds. We, as a nation, achieved that great feat because we got our act together at long last and battled terrorism with a single-minded resolve to eliminate the scourge. more..

Britain to assist in NE reconstruction

Jun 6 (DN) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, who is currently visiting the UK for bilateral consultations, met with wide ranging political personalities on Thursday. Minister Bogallagama 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..

A joy ride to Minneriya

Jun 6 (DN) Venturing out in a jeep on a dusty gravel road amidst the thick jungle and thorny bushes, it was excitement all the way within the Minneriya National Park as we were finally going to get up close and personal with wild elephants. Home to nearly 1000 elephants, Minneriya is the great location for the popular elephant-gathering ritual that has been tipped as one of the world's amazing wildlife spectacles. more..

UPFA, UNP pay tributes to President and armed forces

Jun 6 (Island) A motion tabled by Sabaragamuwa Provincial Minister of Road Development, Rural Infrastructure and Tourism, Janaka Wakkumbura, at the recently held PC meeting to congratulated President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the armed forces and the police, for crushing the LTTE, ending a 30 year-old war, was passed with the full support of the Opposition. more..

Do not use media to disturb communal harmony - President

Jun 6 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the media in an inter-active session with the owners and Chief Editors of print and electronic media made an earnest request not to use the media to disturb communal harmony in the new era that has begun with the defeat of LTTE terrorism and the unification of the Motherland. more..

Public must be willing to make sacrifices now,

Jun 6 (Island) A senior economist said Sri Lankans will have to make sacrifices now in order to realize greater benefits in the future and the government will have to move away from the political-economic path governments have traversed on for decades. Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne said the rest of Sri Lanka will need to make a big sacrifice to develop the North and East so that communities can be meaningfully integrated and more..

Residents asked to clean up

Jun 6 (Island) From today onwards residents of all households, especially in the Western Province, should keep thier environment clean to prevent the breeding of dengue mosquitos, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. Addressing a ceremony to mark the World Environment Day yesterday at the SOBA exhibition at the Vihara Mahadevi Park in Colombo he said mosquitoes breed rapidly during the months of May, June, July and August and more..

Treasury Secretary directs SLIC to start normal tasks

Jun 6 (DM) The Treasury Secretary has directed the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) which was handed over to the government following a Supreme Court judgment last Thursday, to carry out its ordinary functions from Monday. Deputy Finance Minster Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that Treasury Secretary Sumith Abeysinghe had informed the present SLIC management in writing to limit its functions to ordinary activities more..

Sri Lankan born elected CIMA global president

Jun 6 (DM) The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has elected its first Asian-born President. Aubrey Joachim, FCMA, was elected President at the 90th CIMA AGM held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, on 6 June. Aubrey Joachim was born in Sri Lanka and is now an Australian citizen. Having commenced his working career at Unilever Sri Lanka in 1973, more..

'Distribution of houses should be impartial'

Jun 6 (DM) The JHU called on the government to distribute houses built in Deegawapi sacred area in a fair manner and not to one community alone. JHU Leaders made this point welcoming the judgment given by the Supreme Court which said giving 500 houses in Deegawapi to Muslims only was improper. JHU MP Ven. Atureliye Ratana Thera said that the party would not call the government to punish any Minister. more..

Dream of independent Tamil state in Lanka is still very strong: CSM

Jun 6 (ANI) Tamil intellectuals say the dream of an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka is still strong, but decades of war and upheaval have soured many ordinary Tamils on the idea. The realization of this dream, they say is dependent on a properly managed devolution of power and a retreat by Sinhalese extremists, who insist that Sri Lanka should be a Sinhalese Buddhist island. more..

Sri Lanka port still hit by delays

Jun 6 (LBO) Ships calling at Colombo port are still experiencing delays owing to problems in a new computerised terminal management system, shipping agents said. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) introduced the new system to replace the existing aging system in order to modernise port infrastructure and speed up cargo handling and vessel operations at Colombo main transhipment facility, the Jaya Container Terminal. more..

Sri Lanka tea exports fall sharply in April

Jun 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shipments of tea, its main commodity export, fell sharply in April compared with a year ago, as production was hit by severe drought earlier in the year, brokers said. Tea exports fell 44 percent to 14.5 million kilos in April 2009 from 26.1 million kilos in the same month in 2008. "This is the lowest quantity since 2005, when 14.8 million kilos were shipped," more..

Lanka should start process of devolution: US

Jun 6 (PTI) The Sri Lankan government should move towards “devolution of power” to provinces in war-ravaged north and east of the country to address the “longstanding and legitimate grievances of the Tamil population,” an influential US lawmaker has said. “This and other steps are needed to demonstrate that all Sri Lankans can live without fear and participate freely in the political process,” Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, more..

Sri Lankan commandos kill two rebels

Jun 6 (AP) Sri Lankan police commandos flushing out Tamil Tiger remnants killed two rebel fighters hiding in jungle in the east of the island, the military said Saturday. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the commandos confronted the guerrillas from the defeated separatist group in Ampara district on Friday. After an exchange of fire, the commandos recovered the two bodies, assault rifles, ammunition and food stocks, more..

Rajapaksa invites Lankan Editors to visit refugee camps

Jun 6 (PTI) Seeking to dispel apprehensions about restricted access to Tamil refugee camps, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has invited Sri Lankan Editors to visit these welfare centres for a first hand account of the situation, but warned them against "provocative" writing that could give rise to "another terrorist movement" post-LTTE. During an interactive session with the owners and Chief Editors of the print and electronic media yesterday, more..

FM denies 20,000 Tamils killed in onslaught

Jun 6 (AFP) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has denied claims that more than 20,000 Tamil civilians were killed during the government's final onslaught against rebels, a report said Saturday. Bogollagama told The Times that the newspaper was wrong to report last week that so many civilians had died in the island's so-called no-fire zone, most of them from Sri Lankan army shelling. more..

Media in Sri Lanka: Battered, bruised, cowed and polarised

Jun 7 (TC) A battered, bruised, cowed and polarized media is all that is left of the profession in Sri Lanka. That is the result of three years of relentless attacks on reporters and media institutions that dared to uphold professional standards and protect the “publics' right to know”. Since 2006, Sri Lanka's media and rights activists have been braving a ruthless campaign to silence them. As the battle against the LTTE intensified, more..

Restoration of Yal Devi train service the beginning of restoring dignity to Tamil people - President

Jun 7 (GDI) ‘The restoration of the Yal Devi train service signifies an important step in the restoration of dignity and self respect to Tamil people who had been denied many freedoms for twenty years thanks to the activities of the LTTE,’ President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today. The Yal Devi train service which had been disrupted for 20 years due to LTTE terrorism has was restored up to Thaladikulam today. more..

Ten ways of making merit

Jun 7 (LG) The general desire of all beings throughout life is to escape painful and undesirable experiences and seek circumstances giving rise to happiness. Many people ignorant of the true ways of gaining genuine happiness look for it only in the round of sensual pleasures. That only brings happiness in the short-term – at best – and suffering will follow sooner than later. Indulgence will not bring happiness nor will abstinence. more..

Privatisation under scrutiny

Jun 7 (LG) The judgment in the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) privatisation case is opening the doors to possibly other fundamental rights against earlier privatisation of state companies. Coming on the back of the other landmark judgments against John Keells Holdings (JKH) and its directors in the privatisation of Lanka Marine Services where the Supreme Court slated former Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and JKH Chairman Susantha Ratnayake, and more..

It’s not only pro-LTTE Diaspora that’s in denial

Jun 7 (LG) There is a certain degree of denial in certain sections of the Tamil community, especially those living outside Sri Lanka. They just can’t accept the fact that the LTTE is no more. They could take a cue from Janani Jayanayagam, that wide-eyed, hate-mongering, ill-educated politician who wants to be a member of the European Parliament, for example, publicly claimed that she is in mourning. more..

The new war in the post-war Sri Lanka

Jun 7 (AT) Post-war Sri Lanka is in thrall to a dichotomous worldview, consisting of ‘patriots’ and ‘anti-patriots’. Lankan politics is being redefined as an unceasing struggle between these two camps, a holy war by the ‘patriots’ for the protection of the nation from the ‘machinations’ of ‘anti-patriots’. This Manichean worldview has made certain issues taboo, depicting them as ‘psychological enemy territory’ and thus no go areas for all ‘patriots’. more..

LTTE respected our courts; they did not fire a single shot at our courts -CJ

Jun 7 (LeN) Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva said that although there were Tamil Tiger courts in Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu, they had respected Sri Lanka’s courts. Addressing a press briefing to make aware media about denominating the judiciary divisions, the Chief Justice said that he was retiring as content Sri Lankan that rendered a good service to the countrymen. more..

On the ‘lecturing rights’ of genocide-perpetrators and their lackeys

Jun 7 (AT) United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaking to reporters after briefing the 15-member Security Council on his recent visit to Sri Lanka has warned the Sri Lankan government against triumphalism after the comprehensive, historic and absolutely unimagined victory over terrorism. The UN Chief also urged the Government to ‘heal the wounds’ of the conflict. more..

Lanka envoy in Chennai gets 'reward' for LTTE fall

Jun 7 (TOI) Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa is rewarding his men who fought the war against the LTTE, whether on the battle front or from behind the scenes. P M Amza, Sri Lankan's deputy high commissioner in Chennai, has been posted to London. He is waiting for the orders and is likely to leave soon to take on the new post of deputy high commissioner in the London office. The posting is seen as a reward for weathering the storm during more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka should not fear probe

Jun 7 (AN) Wars are not gentlemanly affairs. They are won by the most ruthless and aggressive side. Surely, no army has ever triumphed without some acts of savagery perpetrated in the heat of battle by frightened soldiers who know they must kill or be killed. War crimes are less about such slayings, deplorable though they are, but more about premeditated slaughter stemming from a command policy, for instance an order to take no prisoners. more..

Fallout from Shuler's Sri Lanka trip continues

Jun 7 (CT) A few dozen protesters, many of them ethnic Tamils from around the state, marched from City-County Plaza to Pritchard Park on Saturday in opposition to Rep. Heath Shuler's recent trip to Sri Lanka and comments he made praising the treatment of Tamil refugees there. Protesters at the demonstration, organized by Tamils Against Genocide, held signs and spoke through loudspeakers, criticizing Shuler's trip where more..

Seventeen operators and nearly 15 million telephone subscribers are in Sri Lanka

Jun 7 (AT) Priyantha Kariyapperuma, Director General, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission said that in the telecom sector in Sri Lanka 17 lincenses have been issued to operate and altogether around 15 million telephones are used in Sri Lanka. He was speaking at the Key Person’s Forum, a project organized by the Small and Medium Enterprise Developers (SMED). more..

A Poem of Commemoration

Jun 7 (HP) The 26-year conflict between the Sri Lankan government and terrorist forces known as the Tamil Tigers has just ended ten days ago in Sri Lanka's Northern Province. Already there is art being created about its dramatic conclusion. Below is a poem printed in the last few days in the Colombo press: Last week, across the lagoon, waded the sea of innocents; Blood-spattered, salt-drenched, in fragments of flaming saris, shards of red-splotched sarongs. more..

Media Monitoring and Analytics

The war is over but the war against the media is not

Jun 7 (SL) If Sri Lanka post war was being lulled into a false sense of security that the island nation could now become the functional democracy it deserves to be, the brutal attack on well-known journalist Poddala Jayantha last week served as an eye opener that while the war against the LTTE is over, the war against the media is certainly not. The attack on Jayantha, a journalist of repute had drawn worldwide condemnation that Sri Lanka is showing no signs of curbing attacks on the media. more..

Curtain closes on the Sarath Silva saga

Jun 7 (SL) I recall a conversation with a telecom CEO when I returned to Sri Lanka in 1998 to work in government. I asked him what his blackest day was. He said it was the third or fourth day of the extended blackouts resulting from CEB unions trying to blackmail the government. He had used up his backup power, backups to the backups, and there was no diesel. He was trying to supply reliable telecom services; his day of black despair came when the external infrastructure he depended on failed. more..

Underpass collapse takes shine off southern highway

Jun 7 (SL) Sri Lanka’s showpiece infrastructure development project, the Southern Expressway has lost its lustre and appeal thanks to unmitigated planning deficiencies, inefficiency and unprofessionalism of officials. Despite being in the know that this project was critical to this nation’s progress and development, that, much was expected of this mega project and how essential this project is for the development of the country, the officials concerned have not grasped that reality. more..

The rendezvous of victory

Jun 7 (SL) It was reported on the BBC website this week that Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary, Palitha Kohona, speaking on the internment of over 250,000 IDPs in government camps, noted that everyone there had to be carefully screened, adding that it was "quite likely" that even many elderly people were "with the LTTE, at least mentally." What this convoluted and bizarre statement means is anyone’s guess, but it is a telling insight into the government’s approach to and understanding of post-war peacebuilding and reconciliation. more..

Cry, my beloved Sri Lankans

Jun 7 (TOI) Mangai's friend, an academic at Jaffna University, left Chennai a week before Sri Lanka announced Prabhakaran and other senior LTTE leaders had been killed in fighting. "We haven't heard from her since and don't know if she reached home," says Mangai, who works in theatre. "I'm worried, but there's nothing we can do." Mangai could be speaking for thousands of Tamils across the water from Sri Lanka. There is an all-pervading sense of disappointment over India's handling of the situation more..

Playing the numbers game?

Jun 7 (LB) In view of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s stint as president being restricted to two terms by the constitution, high level political discussions are being held on how the government could muster a two-thirds majority in Parliament to amend the constitution. The constitution restricts a person from holding the presidency for more than two terms (12 years). At present, the government has only 130 MPs in Parliament and there is heavy political manoeuvering to get 20 more MPs into the fold of the ruling alliance. more..

Interview with MP DEW Gunasekara

What kind of olive branch is this?

Jun 7 (LB) On Tuesday — a day before Sri Lanka trotted out yet another victory celebration (and, heck, why not) — the government reportedly extended an olive branch to the UNP, inviting that party to join in developing the country. Forgive us, but we needs must ask: What kind of olive branch is this, exactly? Because, judging by all of the many fickle “olive branches” extended to the UNP over the past few years, a branch of kahambiliya would have done just as well. more..

UNP in the doldrums

Jun 7 (LB) It is time to call the United National Party’s bluff. The party last week announced that it was willing to offer ‘conditional support’ to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government in regard to the latter’s attempt to secure a $ 1.9 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. The offer of support comes at a time when it has become increasingly clear that the UNP is facing unprecedented stability crises within the party and its stalwarts are on course to desert it like rats abandoning a sinking ship. more..

Revenge against army, motive to kill president

Jun 7 (LB) Lieutenant Colonel Ranjith Perera, commanding officer of the Ratmalana transit camp, who was arrested in connection with aiding and abetting the LTTE to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has said in a confession that he supported the LTTE after being disillusioned with the military. He has reportedly revealed that he was hellbent on taking revenge on the army. The suspect is currently being kept at a special branch of the Colombo Crimes Division and had confessed to interrogators. more..

HRC seeks clarity over Sri Lanka vote

Jun 7 (TT) The Human Rights Commission has asked the government to explain why its UN representative voted against a call for an international investigation into suspected atrocities in Sri Lanka. This week commission chairman Jody Kollapen wrote to the minister of international relations and cooperation, Maite Nkoane-Mashabane, asking why the position taken by the SA representative on the UN Human Rights Council differed from the government position. more..