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SLA shelling targets humanitarian supplies in 'safe zone'

Mar 13 (TN) A pregnant mother delivered two dead twins Thursday and her husband was wounded when Sri Lanka Army fired bullets reached their hut in Maaththa'lan, across the lagoon. Meanwhlie, SLA-fired shells hit the ground 300 meters away from the spot where the humanitarian supplies were being unloaded. Five civilians were killed and 20 sustained injuries in the attack that occurred around 8:20 a.m. more..

Mahinda Chinthanaya permits subjugation of sovereignty?

Mar 13 (LNP) Economic refugees masquerading as victims of ethnic violence and other illegal Sri Lankan immigrants in affluent countries have done irreparable damage to the image of this country. It is thanks to these shameless beggars ready to stoop to any low level for a few dollars or pounds and the LTTE terrorists that each and every Sri Lankan becomes an instant suspect at airports in the developed world. more..

Petition protesting Dr. Uyangoda appointment

Mar 13 (DN) A petition requesting the appointment of Dr. Jayadeva Uyangoda to the Constitutional Council not be proceeded with since he had undergone a prison term of 12 years, has been submitted to Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has handed over the petition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, sources said. Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara had recommended Dr. Uyangoda's name to the Constitutional Council. more..

Lankans reach the final

Mar 13 (LNP) Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh 4 goals to nil in the semi final of the Prime Minister's Cup soccer tournament in Nashrath Stadium in Nepal yesterday. Lankans were in full control of the game scoring two goals in the first 15 minutes of the game. It was Kasun Jayasuriya who put Lankans in front and in the 36th minute Nimal Anthony Fernando scored the third goal to have a firm grip of the match and went for lemons with a handsome 3-0 lead. more..

Finger scanners to record employees' attendance at Govt institutions

Mar 13 (DN) The Cabinet of Ministers have approved a memorandum submitted by Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama to formulate a national policy on finger scanners to record the arrival and departure of employees in Government institutions. A special circular on this will be issued to all Government institutions. The Cabinet also approved a memorandum to set up a sub committee to promote English and IT education in the North and East Provinces. more..

Appeal Court moved against Pulmuddai ilmenite project

Mar 13 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on respondents including Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd. in a Writ Application seeking to quash a Cabinet approved joint venture between the Mineral Sands Ltd. and an Austrian company to export mineral sands. The Bench comprised Justice Sathya Hettige PC and Justice Anil Goonerathne PC. President's Counsel Dr. Jayantha de Almeda Gunerathne for petitioners submitted that the Cabinet had approved a joint venture between more..

'Post-interns being forced to serve in uncleared areas'

Mar 13 (Island) The GMOA is accusing the government of attempting to compel post-intern doctors to serve in uncleared and partially cleared areas of the Vanni. A majority of the post-intern doctors who received appointments were asked to serve in such areas. President of the GMOA, Dr. Shishanta Dassanayake said that the Association had received information from Provincial Health Directors that there were attempts made by a person who was more powerful than the Minister himself attempting more..

Construction led growth not enough, developing livelihoods a must

Mar 13 (Island) A recent study by the Government Peace Secretariat says the economies of the North and East had continued to grow despite the breakdown of the cease fire agreement (CFA) and at a faster rate than the rest of the country. It also advises the government to focus on establishing livelihoods of the people once the two provinces return to complete normalcy and ensure policies are put in place for long term sustainable development. more..

The Royal-Thomian :130 year Tradition of the Battle of the Blues

Mar 13 (TC) The most looked forward to sporting and social event in the calendar of both past and present Royalists and Thomians, the Royal vs. S. Thomas' big cricket match will be played for the 130th time on the March 12, 13 and 14 at the SSC at Maitland Crescent in Colombo. S. Thomas' College Mount Lavinia, a private Anglican School has about 2,400 students on its roll while Royal College Colombo, a Government run non-denominational school has approximately 8,000 students. more..

'Politicians cannot stay at home'

Mar 13 (Island) Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said yesterday that politicians cannot stay at home and would have to attend public functions when invited. Responding to questions at the Cabinet press briefing in Colombo, he said it was difficult for Ministers and government parliamentarians to keep away from the masses, but admitted that they need to be more careful. more..

Cornered Tigers - The LTTE evolves as guerrillas

Mar 13 (TC) The Sri Lankan military has destroyed the LTTE as a conventional military force. Deprived of territory, the separatist group has no choice but to revert to unconventional guerrilla warfare and terrorist tactics. The LTTE's ability to continue its violent campaign for an ethnic Tamil state in Sri Lanka depends largely on the survival of its autocratic leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, and the group's ability to maintain its international fundraising network. more..

BBC's Alagiah accepts apology for Chimp words

Mar 13 (Sky) A BBC news presenter has apologised to fellow news colleague George Alagiah for a chimpanzee joke that went wrong. Chris Eakin had been telling a story on the 10pm news bulletin about a chimp held at a zoo in Sweden that throws stones at visitors. He then jokingly asked viewers if they could see any likeness between the chimp and Sri Lankan-born Mr Alagiah. While 53-year-old Mr Alagiah at first looked a little taken aback, he quickly laughed the remark off. more..

Japan funds humanitarian de-mining activities in North

Mar 13 (RW) The Government of Japan has extended further support for the humanitarian de-mining activities in Sri Lanka with a grant assistance of US$ 700,000 (approximately Rs.80 million) to Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) in order to accelerate de-mining activities in the conflict affected areas of Mannar and Vavuniya, so that the resettlement of the IDPs will be further facilitated. more..

Suicide rate drops, but more people using poison

Mar 13 (IRIN) After decades of having one of the highest suicide rates in the world, Sri Lanka now has a declining trend, but health professionals are concerned about the growing numbers who end their lives with poison. Police records show a plunge in the number of suicides over the past few years, from a peak of 8,449 in 1995 to 4,504 in 2006 and 4,225 in 2007. However, police figures also reveal that of the deaths recorded as suicides in 2006, more than half were due to poison, more..

'Lot to do as captain after terror attacks'

Mar 13 (ZN) Newly appointed captain Kumar Sangakkara has said his role as a leader got a special dimension to work on Sri Lankan players` mental framework following the recent terror attack on them in Lahore. The 31-year-old said every one had to fire up before the Twenty20 World Cup in England and the focus was not just on cricketing skills but "group mentality". more..

Seven US Senators send letter to Hillary on Sri Lankan humanitarian crisis

Mar 13 (TC) Organized by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), seven U.S. Senators today wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, regarding their sharp concerns over the escalating humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka as an estimated 150,000 civilians remain trapped in an area of intense combat between Sri Lankan government forces and the LTTE. “The situation in Sri Lanka is unacceptable and must be remedied as quickly as possible,” more..

Sri Lanka’s response

Mar 13 (Dawn) ANY journalist who doesn’t immediately write the thoughts that come to him on the spur of the moment needs to think again. If I had not fired off my letter to a Sri Lankan newspaper immediately after the 3/3 tragedy I do not think I would have received the kind of response I did from Sri Lanka. My letter to Daily News of Colombo was intended to convey the feelings of the people of Pakistan over the Lahore tragedy and more..

Nalanda open gates for brave Sandekelum

Mar 13 (DM) Mahiyanagana’s nine-year-old schoolboy who hit media headlines several weeks ago after saving the lives of four people who had fallen into a canal, was aptly rewarded yesterday when he gained admission to Nalanda College in Colombo under a special scholarship. Five people who were traveling in a small tractor along the Viyanini Canal fell into the canal when the tractor toppled and more..

Attacks on journalists: Govt. sees plot

Mar 13 (DM) The government said yesterday it was considering a probe on whether there were elements bent on kidnapping and assaulting journalists in a bid to bring the government to disrepute. Minister Anura Priyadharsahana Yapa told the weekly cabinet news briefing that the reported abduction of Sri Jayawardanapura University Professor and former Rupavahini Corporation Chairman Dr. Ganganath Dissanayaka was a one sided story. more..

Heavy fighting amidst rain for the last stretch of land

Mar 13 (DM) The last phase of the decades long war appears to be extremely difficult for both the Sri Lankan armed forces as well as the LTTE as fierce fighting continues in a small space of less that 40 square kilometers. Since early this month, the troops’ advance has been very slow .On March 5 the LTTE consisting of several hundreds of armed men launched a massive operation on the southern edge of Chalai, where the soldiers of the 58 Division and the 55 Division were linked. more..

Security for Sri Lankan team inadequate -Pakistan’s Sports Minister

Mar 13 (Dawn) Pakistan’s Sports Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani on Wednesday admitted his government failed the Sri Lankan cricket team last Tuesday by providing inadequate security they had no control over, but promised it would not happen again as they seek to retain hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup. For the first time since the terrorist attack, a government official has accepted blame and offered an explanation for the bungle more..

Troops claim 32 Tiger rebels killed

Mar 13 (AFP) At least 32 Tamil Tiger rebels have died in the latest push by government troops into the rebels' shrinking fiefdom, the island's defence ministry said Friday. The ministry said the rebels were killed in battles around the small town of Puthukkudiriruppu in the north east, where the LTTE have been hemmed into a small jungle area. It said the clashes since Thursday also led to the recovery of a large haul of arms and ammunition. more..

U.N. rights chief points to war crimes in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (Reuters) Both sides in Sri Lanka's conflict may have committed war crimes and must suspend fighting to let thousands of civilians escape, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Friday. Warning that the loss of life may reach "catastrophic levels," she urged the government and LTTE rebels to suspend hostilities to allow evacuation of up to 180,000 civilians trapped on the northeastern coast. more..

Has LTTE executed its military spokesman?

Mar 13 (IANS) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers may have killed their high-profile military spokesman on charges of being a "traitor" when they began suffering heavily early this year, Tamil sources say. Speculation that Irasiah Ilanthirayan alias Marshall has been executed has been doing the rounds of Tamil circles for around a month. The sources now say that he could have been done away with in January. more..

Five-year-old girl recovered dead in Trincomalee town

Mar 14 (TN) Unidentified men who abducted Wednesday a five-year-old girl from Trincomalee St. Mary’s Girls’ School and demanded 30 million rupees as ransom from her mother, later killed the girl slitting her throat Friday for not paying the ransom, sources in Trincomalee said. The girl’s body was found Friday morning along Sarathaa Veethi in Trincomalee town. Saratha Veethi and St. Mary’s Girl’s school are both located in the High Security Zone (HSZ) area in the town more..

Govt. 'kneeling down' with IMF

Mar 14 (BBC) The government is begging for high interest loans from international monetary institutions, the main opposition in Sri Lanka said. The UNP said the government has been asking for ‘unprecedentedly high’ interest of three percent for long-term loan as the country is facing a severe shortage of foreign currency reserves. UNP MP Tissa Attanayake, told journalists that President Rajapaksa’s administration is to agree any condition set upon by the IMF and the World Bank in order to receive Rs. 190000 million. more..

More powers for bad cops

Mar 14 (UPI) The government has announced that all national public functions will require permission from the Ministry of Defense; all regional events will require approval from the nearest police station. This will have disastrous effects. Most worrying is the granting of additional powers to local police that are already a serious problem to the population due to widespread corruption. The new powers, which make police the arbiters on the type of functions that can be conducted, are likely to provide more opportunities for corruption accompanied by all forms of harassment. more..

'Indian arrested with cocaine'

Mar 14 (PTI) A 45-year-old Indian woman has been arrested at the international airport for possessing cocaine, police said today. "The person arrested with cocaine is an Indian national. She is 45-years-old," police spokesman said. The woman arrived on board a flight from India last morning and was apprehended by the narcotic wing of the Sri Lankan police at the Katunayake International Airport here. Senior DIG aNimal Lewke said this was the first time that such a large stash of cocaine has been seized. more..

Four 'TMVP cadres' shot dead

Mar 14 (BBC) Four members of the breakaway Tamil Tiger group were shot by unidentified gunmen early morning on Friday, police said. They said the assailants have fled away after the attack on the office of Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) in Sorikalmunai, Ampara. A TMVP member providing security in a bunker and three others who were in the office were killed and the attackers have taken their weapons, police said. more..

Jaffna Cultural Centre for the revival of artistic skills

Mar 14 (GDI) In a rare corporation in making a cultural bridge between the North and South, Jaffna Cultural Centre will be founded with the assistance of renowned artistes and the State Film Corporation. Many artistes, and cultural organizations will rally round to promote the project, and they will establish a fund to go ahead with the project. Cinema theatre owners plan to remit a day’s income for the fund, while it’s expected to ask for assistance from the public too. more..

Liam Fox visits President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mar 14 (GDI) The Sri Lankan Government, in their committed efforts to bring in a closure to the war and terrorism are taking measures to end it in a fair and just manner. The Government’s stance will not be compromised in defeating the separatist terrorist who were very much committed to destroy the ideals of democracy and integrity of Sri Lanka for more than thirty years. more..

Hillary Clinton discusses Sri Lanka crisis with Rajapaksa

Mar 14 (IANS) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday discussed the current situation in Sri Lanka with President Mahinda Rajapaksa over telephone and acknowledged that the island nation was "now on the verge of defeating terrorism", official sources here said. "Hillary Clinton acknowledged that Sri Lanka is now on the verge of defeating terrorism, and that this presented a great opportunity to restore peace, leading to reconstruction and rehabilitation in the country," more..

UN lopsided in calling for evacuation - TNA MP

Mar 14 (TN) Calling for the evacuation of civilians and making them to end up in the hands of their killers, is taking side with one of the parties to the conflict and amounts to another one of the war crimes, perhaps the most serious one of them when comes from a world body of human rights, said Jaffna MP, Kajendran, responding to a statement from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Friday. more..

End game in Wanni war is getting longer to end

Mar 14 (TC) The end-game in the Vanni War is taking longer to end than expected. Earlier this year, towns and villages were being vacated and occupied even faster than the Peace Secretariat issuing polemical statements to counter-attack every criticism of the government’s operations vis-a-vis civilians. The civilians vacated the towns and moved into the north-east corner of Vanni, while the security forces simply over-ran and occupied these towns and villages, routing the LTTE cadres, more..

Protest letters against LTTE threats

Mar 14 (wsws) The World Socialist Web Site has received more 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..

South Africa crush Sri Lanka to take seventh spot

Mar 14 (CI) South Africa crushed Sri Lanka by nine wickets to take seventh place in a battle between the two teams without a win in the tournament. Only two Sri Lankan batsmen made it to double-digits as their side folded for 75, a total South Africa sauntered past with more than 21 overs to spare. After choosing to bat, Sri Lanka were tied down by the South African new-ball bowlers. Opener Chamari Polgampola was bowled in the first over, and only 18 runs came off the next 11. more..

Wrong again, Miss Hogg

Mar 14 (PISL) For a long time, organisations like Human Rights Watch looked no worse than sadly misguided. Their intellectual capacities obviously weren't up to the analysis of basic facts, and their unshakeable belief in the fundamental goodness of humankind led them to assume that terrorists couldn’t be as dangerous as they seemed, but their intentions weren't really in doubt. Lately, however, it has become clear that they must have some other agenda. more..

Amnesty International bombs South Asia

Mar 14 (PISL) Amnesty International’s resident Cluster Bomb Specialist Jim McDonald has gone on another of his shooting sprees. Over the weekend he sent out releases targeting both the Sri Lankan and the Pakistani governments. The first concerned the Sri Lankan journalist J S Tissainayagam, who has now been charged, on the basis of a confession that a court has ruled admissible. It is therefore strange that Amnesty should call for his release, since more..

LTTE: missteps, misdeeds, and 33 years later

Mar 14 (LG) Q: What do you think the main difference between the operational realities between current Eelam War and the IPKF conducted war against the LTTE? A: There is no comparison between the two situations except that we were fighting the same opponent. Indian army was fighting for an objective that was not clear in a foreign country. India's goals had international influence. So it was primarily not a war against the LTTE or Sri Lanka. more..

Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka: A Balance Sheet

Mar 14 (LG) It was a curious and revolutionary decision taken by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, this decision to appoint Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka as our Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, in 2007. A public intellectual, a political scientist and a most effective and eloquent communicator, the President would have certainly known on where Dr. Jayatilleka stood concerning issues relating to domestic politics and foreign policy. more..

Jaffna College readies to meet challenges ahead

Mar 14 (LG) In preparation to meet the needs of Jaffna College which in the coming years will involve a great deal of orientation and involvement over and above the requirements of the formal educational programmes, the Board of Directors of Jaffna College, have appointed the Rev G Nadarajah and Mr Chandran Francis as Junior Vice Principals, This decision was made at its Annual General Meeting, Thursday March 12, 2009. more..

Half the terror outfit has become non-violent democrats

Mar 14 (LG) In a report dated yesterday the noted media fraud and impostor, Tamilnet states about 50,000 people are being affected by floods in the Safe Zone. In its daily narration of fabricated falsehood there is a paragraph that reads as follows “About 81,000 families consisting of about 330,000 persons displaced from Mullaiththeevu, Kilinochchi, and part of Vavuniyaa, Mannaar and Jaffna Districts are staying in the Safe Zone in Mullaiththeevu proclaimed by the Sri Lankan government.” more..

Karuna Amman: a great hero of our time

Mar 14 (LG) The Sri Lanka Tamils of the diaspora should take a lesson from Karuna Amman, who defected from the LTTE, and today not only a Minister of the Sri Lanka Government, but also a member of the SLFP. He is a very rare human being who was able to use his intelligence to think and did what he thought was correct in defecting from a terrorist group in which he held a leading position. He did not rest at that but made a further retrospective interrogation, and came out with lot of human wisdom. more..

Galle Bishop hails integration of Muslims

Mar 14 (PSM) "Muslims decorate the (Christian) church premises during feasts and help out during church processions. Muslim preachers have participated in Church activities and many Muslim students are involved in a Church-run scholarship program." said Galle Bishop Harold Anthony Perera, in a statement condemning the LTTE suicide blast on National Meelad day ceremony at Godapitiya, Akurassa. more..

Anti-Muslim stand of pro-LTTE parties in South India

Mar 14 (PSM) The suicide blast on the national Meelad Day ceremony (10/03/2008) which was condemned unreservedly by all failed to draw any attention of the pro LTTE formations both in and outside Sri Lanka. The deafening silence of human rights activists and civil societies who are voicing for entrapped civilians in the LTTE held limited areas in Mullaitivu was shocking. This is the first time a National Meelad Day was cancelled under tragic circumstances. more..

LTTE blocks evacuation of civilians from uncleared area in the Mullaitivu district

Mar 14 (AT) The LTTE poses the most serious obstacle preventing the evacuation of civilians, who are confined to the safe zone in the narrow coastal strip in the Mullaitivu district. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, referring to the dialogue with India and the US in this regard, explained that the Government of Sri Lanka is at present unable to avail itself of the offers of assistance to evacuate the civilians, made by these countries due to more..

Minister Yapa inspects BOI Kandy Industrial Park

Mar 14 (AT) Minister Anura Priyadarshna Yapa recently visited the Board of Investment’s Kandy Industrial Park. He chaired a meeting where many of the leading entrepreneurs in the Kandy Industrial Park participated. This was an interactive meeting with investors at the zone and discussed some of the challenges they face. These included issues relating to exchange rates, Labor flexibility, telecommunications, power supply, transporting goods and ground rents. more..

Architects to "Do more with Less"

Mar 14 (AT) The Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) held its 27th annual sessions with the inauguration of Architect 2009 Trade Exhibition at the BMICH. At the inaugural ceremony Prof Mohan Munasinghe, co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize making key-note address spoke on climate change, sustainable development and the role of the Architects. The welcome address was made by Jayantha Perera, President SLIA and more..

'The last chance to save our people'

Mar 14 (LG) The curse of over three hundred and thirty thousand people belonging to about 81000 families, kept by you under compulsion, will not let you live in peaces and it will follow you and your heirs for many more generations to come. Those who support you even now will not be spared. Please change your mind atleast now and release those detained, to freedom. People have started dying of starvation for which you should take the responsibly. more..

BOI to facilitate establishment of ‘Knowledge City’

Mar 14 (AT) BOI is in the process of establishing a ‘Knowledge City’ in Henegama, in the Gampaha District to cater to the growing demand in the tertiary education sector on public-private partnership basis. With the limited no of vacancies in the State Universities the no of students opting to go abroad or enrolling in privately run tertiary education institutes who offer degrees/diplomas with the collaboration of foreign educational Institutes is in the rise. more..