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DHL invests in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (EFT) DHL announced today that it plans to invest US$8 million in Sri Lanka over a three-year period. The investment will go towards a joint venture with Capitol AEI, called DHL Global Forwarding Lanka. As part of this investment, DHL will also launch the DHL Fashion & Apparel Centre for Excellence in Colombo by end-2009, to support Sri Lanka's ambition to become a logistics hub for South Asia. more..

Bishop condemns suicide attack at Muslim celebration

Mar 13 (UCAN) The Catholic bishop of Galle in southern Sri Lanka has condemned a suicide bomb attack at a Muslim shrine that killed 15 people and injured 60, including a government minister. The March 11 attack occurred during celebrations of Prophet Muhammad's birthday at the Jumma Mosque in Godapitiya. Bishop Harold Anthony Perera, in a statement on March 11, said the attack came "at a time when there is an urgent need to build a bridge for equality, fraternity, justice and peace." more..

Sri Lanka's new skipper demands more from players

Mar 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new skipper Kumar Sangakkara said Thursday he was pleased to be given the job but added that his players would be expected to do more to improve their own performances. Sangakkara, 31, said his immediate focus was on the World Twenty20 series in England and on building on the success of the last skipper, Mahela Jayawardene. Jayawardene relinquished his captaincy earlier this month, more..

Protesters question Kothalawela bail

Mar 13 (BBC) Investors of the Ceylinco Consolidated call upon the government to intervene to resolve the crisis created by payment defaults. The protesters gathered in front of the Hulstdorf court complex said that the government needs to intervene in getting back their investments and deposits from Ceylinco companies. “The Central Bank needs to intervene because it is their responsibility “ said one of the protesters more..

Sri Lankan Govt defends obtaining IMF aid

Mar 13 (AT) The Government has defended its decision in getting the US$ 1.9 billion International Monetary Fund package in the light of the current global context. "The decision of the Government to go to the IMF was inevitable as the financial crunch facing the country in the light of the global backdrop was too great," Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told the weekly Cabinet news conference more..

Sinister designs on Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (AT) Much has been said about the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team in Lahore and the basic details are common knowledge. The “who” and “why” are not clear yet, but what is generally accepted is that there were serious security lapses on the part of Pakistan, especially in terms of security guarantees and undertaking given by the PCB prior to the tour. Pakistan probably realises that such lapses only gives ammunition to its archrival India and more..

LTTE prays for BJP victory in India

Mar 13 (AT) The much vaunted international crusade against terrorism loudly proclaimed by big powers appears to be more rhetoric than action when it comes to their self interest. JHU Parliamentarian Venerable Athureliye Ratana made this observation this week during a television debate on the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan. His comments on the TNL channel came a day before a LTTE suicide bomber struck at the Jumma mosque more..

Establish private universities to prevent foreign exchange drain

Mar 13 (AT) A large amount of foreign exchange is drained to other countries as large number people emigrate to other countries to study and this could be prevented by opening up private universities in Sri Lanka was the suggestion of Kulatunga Rajapakse, Managing Director, DSI Group of Companies at the 26th LBR-LBO CEO Forum held at Cinnamon Grand Hotel with Dr Gamini Wickramasinge, Chairman, Bank of Ceylon as the main speaker. more..

IMF Team Heading to Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (AT) Following a request for $1.9 billion by the Sri Lanka government, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is sending a team of officials to Colombo to negotiate the stand-by arrangement. Recent discussions between IMF and Sri Lankan representatives in Colombo centered mainly on a continuation of items left over from the previous consultation between the two sides. These have been described as part of the periodic consultations, more..

'LTTE in a desperate end game is turning to international apologists to get it off the hook '

Mar 13 (AT) British Conservative MEP and Chairman of the ‘Friends of Sri Lanka Group’ Geoffrey Van Orden has said, "the LTTE is now in a desperate end game and, typically in such situations, is turning to international apologists to get it off the hook". Van Orden told members of the European Parliament "the greatest service all in this House can do is to call on the LTTE to lay down its arms and to release the civil population from its grip. more..

Challenging nominations to CC – Part I

Mar 13 (LG) The nominations of Justice C. V. Wigneswaran and the Colombo University academic Jayadeva Uyangoda to the Constitutional Council raise serious doubts and questions about their eligibility and their commitment to fulfil their roles as members of the Council with integrity. The Council is a latter day addition to the Constitution, introduced in the form of the 17th Amendment. Like all amendments the 17th Amendments was introduced to refine the Constitution and not to alter its fundamentals. more..

'India has every right to meddle in Sri Lanka'

Mar 13 (ENS) India has every right to interfere in war-torn Sri Lanka, as thousands of Tamil refugees from the island nation are making their way into Tamil Nadu, senior BJP leader S Thirunavukkarasar said on Thursday. Expressing concern over the situation in Sri Lanka, he said over 2 lakh Tamils, including women and children, were undergoing immense suffering due to lack of food and medicines. more..

BBC presenter in hot water for comparing Sri Lankan-born newsreader to a chimp

Mar 13 (DM) The BBC was slammed today after a presenter asked viewers if they could see any likeness between senior newsreader George Alagiah and a chimp. Chris Eakin was discussing a story about a primate when he made the remark as millions of licence-payers watched across the UK. It was during a review of the national newspapers screened at the end of the ten o' clock bulletin on the BBC News 24 channel. more..

Trading danger for captivity

Mar 13 (IE) It is a staple of television reports on war or famine: a windblown correspondent stands in front of a bedraggled refugee camp. Misery and despair are etched on pinched faces. “And these”, he solemnly intones, “are the lucky ones.” For some 36,000 recent arrivals from Sri Lanka's war zone to camps in the north-east, the cliché holds true. They tell harrowing tales of escape from rebel-held territory, dodging artillery shells and bullets, more..

100,000 face annihilation: Sri Lankan bishop

Mar 13 (CN) Jaffna Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam has warned that more than 100,000 Sri Lankans face "total annihilation" unless an evacuation of Sri Lanka'a north-east war zone begins immediately. In a message to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Bishop Savundaranayagam said that government and rebel forces are preparing for "the final battle", Catholic News Agency reports. The armed forces of the Colombo based government are preparing for a final showdown with the LTTE, more..

For 40,000 women tsunami emergency not over yet

Mar 13 (AN) Thousands of women in Sri Lanka are still suffering because of the tsunami. A little more than four years after the tragedy that struck the country, poverty is a daily reality for widows and mothers living in Eastern province. 40,000 women have signed the Women's Memorandum, drafted by a dedicated committee promoted by groups including the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement, presenting to the governor of the region their needs and the serious responsibilities of institutions. more..

In Pictures: 964 Civilian Casualties at Puthumaththalan makeshift hospital during the first 10 days of March

Mar 13 (TC) From 1 March 2009 to 10 March 2009, Puthumaththalan Hospital received 964 civilian causalities, according to the Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS). The office of RDHS further stated on Mar 12th: Almost all the cases were victims of intense shelling. A few of the victims were due to the aerial attacks and gunshot injuries. More than 95% of the victims were from the safe area and more..

Three possible scenarios after military defeat of LTTE

Mar 13 (TC) For more than three decades, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE) has been endeavoring to weaken the democratically elected government in Sri Lanka. They have primarily used adroit terror and propaganda campaigns interspersed with political negotiation. During the history of its campaign, the LTTE has not displayed any keen, sincere interest in settling the conflict through political negotiations. more..

No Reservations: Sri Lanka Part 5 of 5

No Reservations: Sri Lanka Part 4 of 5

No Reservations: Sri Lanka Part 3 of 5

No Reservations: Sri Lanka Part 2 of 5

No Reservations: Sri Lanka Part 1 of 5

Sri Lanka promotes technology entrepreneurship

Mar 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's software industry has teamed up with the British Council to promote technology entrepreneurship among university students. The "Graduate Enterprise Challenge 09" is a contest aimed at grooming the next generation of 'technology entrepreneurs', the British Council and Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) said in a statement. more..

Newspaper editor held without charge

mar 13 (wsws) The detention of N. Vithyatharan, the editor of the Tamil daily Sudar Oli, is another example of the police-state methods being used by the Sri Lankan government to silence any media criticism, in particular of its criminal war against the country's Tamil minority. Vithyatharan was seized by police at a family funeral on February 26. Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera initially refused to acknowledge any police involvement, saying that the editor had been abducted by an unidentified group in a white van. more..

More protest letters against LTTE threats

mar 13 (wsws) The World Socialist Web Site has received further letters in response to the March 9 statement "Oppose LTTE campaign of threats and violence against SEP supporters in Europe! We urge our readers and supporters to send protest letters demanding the LTTE immediately cease its attempts to suppress political debate within the Tamil community and end all threats against Socialist Equality Party members and supporters. more..

Sri Lankan leaders 'must bring society together'

mar 13 (LG) Analytical views of military specialist Dr Ayesha Siddiqa Agha came to our focus when we discussed the situation in Pakistan in the wake of the shocking attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team with a friend at the well-known Pakistani paper, The Dawn. She is very popular in Pakistan as a military specialist and she has worked with Pakistan military for few years. After a few hours I contacted her with warm greetings and more..


mar 13 (LG) This past weekend I watched a movie with my little boy – based on the acclaimed 1954 book written by Dr. Seuss, named “Horton Hears a who.” The movie tells the story of Horton the Elephant, who hears a small speck of dust talking to him. It turns out the speck of dust is actually a tiny planet, home to a city called ‘‘Who-ville’’ in Jungle of Nool, inhabited by microscopic-sized inhabitants known as “Whos” seek the help of this elephant to protect them from harm. more..

Northern harvest reaches Colombo

mar 13 (LG) The first harvest stock from the North reached Colombo last evening by road in nearly 22 years. Reportedly 20 trucks carried harvest from North, especially from Jaffna on A-9 Jaffna-Kandy highway from the government food stores at Navatkuli to the CWE Stores Complex in Welisara. Prawns, lobsters, red onions, dry fish, and fresh vegetables were the main items transported from North, sources said. more..

'No LTTE attack on Army’s Artillery positions'

mar 13 (AT) Sri Lanka’s Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara this morning, refuted a news report which recently appeared in the pro- LTTE website that the LTTE Black Tiger Commandos had attacked six Sri Lanka Army Artillery positions in the early hours of Tuesday and that over 50 Security Forces personnel were dead. "This is totally false, mischievous and misleading, the Military," Spokesman said. more..

Coal power plants Work to begins

mar 13 (GDI) The Government will construct the second and third coal power plants at Welvur and Sampur areas in Trincomalee by the middle of this year. The Ministry of Power and Energy sources said. The Sampur power plant with a capacity of 1,000 Mega Watts will be constructed in June with Indian Government assistances. Construction will be handled by NTPC India and the entire project will be supervised by the Ceylon Electricity Board. more..

'Fleeing civilians will be looked after'

Mar 13 (GDI) “Innocent civilians entrapped within an area of 35 square kilometres would be looked after well and life in the North has been getting back to normalcy step by step,” Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said yesterday. With the opening of the A-9, prices of food and other essential items have been decreasing, and the transportation has been settling down slowly but steadily, he said. more..

Consumer Affairs Authority on alert for errant traders

mar 13 (GDI) “Consumer Affairs Authority CAA has received an income of Rs.2.5 million and Rs.1million for January and February months respectively by way of collecting fines from errant traders,” CAA Chairman Rumi Marzook said. "We received an income of Rs 3.5 million through the filing of court cases against errant traders in the respective Magistrate's Courts," he said. The CAA conducted 305 raids in January on the deceptive conduct and unfair trade practices of errant traders. more..

'National Transport Policy, not an icebreaker for lethargic opposition'

mar 13 (GDI) The President, with the intension of curbing the increasing traffic volumes, formulated a National Transport Policy and invited all political parties to forward their views. Strangely, not a single political party has responded so far, Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma revealed. Minister of Transport was addressing the gathering at the opening ceremony of the new City Liner luxury coach service at the Katubedde, more..

National action plan for disposal of garbage in Colombo

Mar 13 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has advised the Urban Development Minister and Environmental Minister to prepare a combined National policy on the disposal of garbage in the Colombo City and suburbs. The decision was taken at the meeting held at the Temple Trees lat evening on 'Dumping and Transporting Garbage'. Minister Champika Ranawaka,Minister Dinesh Gunawardana, and other Officials were also present.

Tax ‘amendment’ (increase) soon

Mar 13 (LT) It is imminent that various taxes would be ‘amended’ in the very near future and taxes of all goods and services would go up. The draft bill for such an increase in taxes was forwarded by the government in a committee room in the Parliament yesterday (12th). The letter dated 9th March, 2009 informing regarding a meeting has been sent to members of Parliamentary Consultative Committee and it has been stated that the following matters would be discussed. more..

'IMF conditions not favourable to country'

Mar 13 (LT) The conditions laid down by IMF in granting Sri Lanka the loan of US$1.9 million is not 100% favourable to Sri Lanka says Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. The minister said so answering a question posed by JVP Parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi at a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee held yesterday. He said when the country is faced with a crisis situation the government has to take unfavourable decisions and more..

'Sri Lanka tired of hypocrisy and double dealing'

Mar 13 (PISL) Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat, spoke in the Interactive Dialogue on the Reports of Special Rapporteurs in Geneva yesterday. His comments are carried below. Sri Lanka thanks the Special Rapporteurs who spoke this morning for their reports on two important areas. We still remember the visit of the Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion, and confirm that, as the only country in the world that has substantial proportions of its population belonging to four major religions of the world, more..

'If there is any genocide in Sri Lanka it is by the LTTE'

Mar 13 (MoD) Lord Naseby, Conservative Peer and Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka said on Wednesday(March 11), if there is any genocide in Sri Lanka it is by the LTTE who hold civilian Tamils by force as a human shield in the war. "This talk about genocide is rubbish. The only people who are causing genocide are the LTTE who are holding the civilians as a human shield," he said when more..

SCOPP Secretary General responds to comments by NGOs

Mar 13 (PISL) Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat, intervened in response to comments by non-Governmental Organisations in the Interactive Dialogue at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday. His remarks are carried below. Sri Lanka is grateful to the Asian Legal Resource Centre for giving it the opportunity to clarify a misconception about our engagement with the Working Group on Disappearances. more..

Kotelawala knew in December Golden Key was bankrupt

Mar 13 (CT) CID investigations have found that Golden Key Credit Card Company had been deeply in trouble with a Rs. 26 billion loss at the time when its head Lalith Kotelawala had sent letters to its depositors in December last year, assuring them of the stability of the institution. His wife, Cecile Kotelawala, has received a Rs. 4.5 million dividend from the Company in December, in addition to her Rs. 250,000 monthly remuneration as a director. more..

'Pointing finger at govt. unavoidable'

Mar 13 (CT) Five Media says pointing the finger of accusation at the government is unavoidable at time when the law has failed against any of those responsible for many incidents of abduction. It says in a statement that the only way out for the government is to find the culprits and punish them. The Free Media Movement, Working Journalists Association, Media Employees Trade Union, Muslim Media Forum, Tamil Media Alliance are issuing a joint statement on the abduction of Prof. Dhammika Ganganath Dissanayake. more..

'Prof. abduction, another state repression of opponents'

Mar 13 (CT) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says the abduction of Prof. Ganganath Dissanayake was yet another instance of the government's repression of its opponents. The government is repressing its opponents as it cannot solve national issues and provide relief for the people, against which situation, all those who democratic values, should rise up as one, he said. Mr. Wickremesinghe was speaking during a chat with the professor of mass media at more..

Situation Report (Mar 13) by SLA

Mar 13 (SLA) TROOPS of the 53, 58 Divisions and Task Force-VIII, penetrating further into Tiger strongholds in PUTHUKUDIYIRUPPU east intensified their assaults on remaining Tigers Thursday (12) while eliminating scores of Tigers. Search operations that pursued after clashes found two dead bodies, one RPG (Rocket Propeller Gun), fifteen T-56 weapons, one T-81 weapon, one Multi Purpose Machine Gun (MPMG) and two I-com sets from PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU area. more..

Kandy Bishop satisfied with IDP facilities

Mar 13 (MoD) Sri Lanka Catholic Bishops Conference Chairman and Kandy Bishop Rev. Vianney Fernando said he was happy with the facilities provided to displaced families who have crossed over to Government-controlled areas. "The Government has treated all alike," he said after concluding his goodwill visit to Menikfarm Welfare Centre, Settikulam where displaced families are housed. The Bishop and his entourage were welcomed by Vavuniya Government Agent G.S.M. Charles at the welfare camp. more..

'Economy collapsed due to govt's war for personal wealth'

Mar 13 (CT) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says the economy has collapsed, the country is in anarchy and people are helpless due to the Rajapaksa regime’s war to earn personal wealth while telling the public to tighten their belts to wage the war. He said that unlike the late presidents J.R. Jayewardene and R. Premadasa who had developed the country and provided relief for the public while waging wars, more..

LTTE loosing its last stand; continue to take heavy beating

Mar 13 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army 53, 55 and 58 Divisions, have now entered into the final phase of the counter terrorist offensive against LTTE with soldiers getting exceptional attrition rates in the battle. Infantrymen of 58 Division yesterday (Mar 12) further pushed their forward boundaries east of Kombavil Kulam, 4 Km north of Puthukkudiyiruppu. Troops overwhelmed intense resistance of the terrorist with more..

Canadian liberal party MP in hot water for participating in LTTE rally

Mar 13 (MoD) Making a statement a Liberal Party Member of the Canadian parliament has reassured that he is no way connected with the LTTE terrorist group. He made this statement after attending a Parliament Hill rally where some LTTE supporters started waving Tiger flags and making pro-Tiger statements at the rally. The MP had been criticized by others for taking part in the rally in support of a banned terrorist group. more..

Menon wants civilians issue and war ending in Colombo’s favour

Mar 13 (TN) The Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, has said in Washington that “civilians caught in the war should be safely moved to government-controlled areas”, PTI reported. Wrapping up his four days US visit and briefing that both India and the US have similar approaches to address the issue in Sri Lanka, he envisaged rehabilitation, reconstruction and building up normal economic life of people “once these areas are cleared or under the government control.” more..

50,000 families affected by floods in 'safe zone'

Mar 13 (TN) Health officials in Vanni said Wednesday that civilians inside the 'safe zone', urgently need at least 50,000 temporary shelters and temporary toilets as they live under worn out tarpaulin tents. There is a severe shortage of food and medicines. Scarcity of drinking water and sanitation facilities add to the woes of the people, health officials said. The makeshift hospital in Puthumaaththa'lan was struggling to accommodate patients under its roof. more..