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Did BOI approve equipment for LTTE arms manufacture?

Mar 14 (AT) Using facilities and equipment approved by the government-run Board of Investments (BOI), the LTTE had imported lathe machines and other equipment for the manufacture of its military hardware, according to military sources. The then head of the BoI, Arjunna Mahendran had approved the imports and facilitated their transport to the Vanni which was under LTTE control. Military sources say there is documentary evidence of these transactions involving the BoI. more..

Reconstruction is to under way for Northern railway

Mar 14 (GDI) The Government will commence the reconstruction of the Northern railway line from Vavuniya to Kankesanthurai via Jaffna. The Railways Department and the Army are expected to complete the project. While the Railways Department will commence the reconstruction work of the railway track from Vavuniya, the Army will carry out the reconstruction work from Jaffna on March 19. The Railways Department is suppose to will provide technical assistance to the Army. more..

Probe into money taken out country by Ceylinco chief

Mar 14 (CT) The government has launched an investigation into reportedly massive sums of money being taken out of the country against the law by Ceylinco Consolidated chairman Lalith Kotelawala on several occasions. The Foreign Exchange Control Commission is probing the claim, in which the cash outflow is estimated at much more than Rs. 26 billion, the figure lost by depositors at Kotelawala's Golden Credit Card Company. more..

Tamil bookshop owner arrested

Mar 14 (CT) The Terrorist Investigation Department recently arrested the owner of 'Pubalasingham Bookshop' in Wellawatte, the local distributor of popular Tamil Nadu magazine 'Ananda Vikatan' for the past 30 years. 'Ravaya' reports the arrest of Sridhar Singh follows the magazine's last issue carrying an article and photographs of the pilots of the Air Tiger aircraft that had attacked Colombo. During a random checking, authorities found copies of the magazine in a cargo about to leave Ratmalana Airport for Jaffna, more..

UPFA thugs attack JVP supporters & set fire to office

Mar 14 (LT) A gang of UPFA thugs have assaulted two supporters of the JVP and set fire to the JVP office at Malapalla. The thugs who had arrived at 12.45 a.m. had brutally assaulted R.A.D. Saman Wasanthe and Kapilasiri Nandana, two JVP supporters who had been removing propaganda boards erected for the JVP election rally held on the 11th. A gang of fully armed thugs, among them Priyashanthe of Maharagama, Munasinghe of Malapalla, Rushanthe of Paboda Motors at Mahalwarawa, more..

'The plan is not only to save the next generation from terrorism but to 10 generations to come'

Mar 14 (MoD) Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa said under the clear plans of the government this nation should not only be secured for the next generation from devastating terrorism but for the next ten generations to come so, that no similar harm could come upon the country. "My idea is not for the next generation but even for the next ten generations something similar should not be allowed," more..

Army 58 Division inflicts heavy damages to the terrorists

Mar 14 (MoD) Sri Lankan soldiers of Army 58 Division now engaged in the final phase of the counter terrorist offensive in the Island's Northern province continues to give heavy beating to the terrorists, reveal defence sources in the Puthukkuddyiruppu. The soldiers continued to battle the terrorists in the hinterlands of Puthukkuddyiruppu yesterday (Mar 13), liberating more territory and pushing the terrorists to their last standoff. more..

Stop setting up Indian hospital at Pumoddai – ACMOA

Mar 14 (LT) All Ceylon Medical Officers Association (ACMOA) has asked the government to immediately stop the establishing of the hospital India is setting up by force. Dr. Nishanthe Dasanayake, President of ACMOA in a media meeting held said, “Handing over the establishment of a hospital at Pulmoddai by the health minister of Rajapakse government is a violation of the health act in the country. more..

EU oxygen for sinking Tigers

Mar 14 (LNP) There are different languages that trainers use in handling different animals. A dog does not understand, so to speak, a mahout`s lingo. Similarly, terrorists do not understand the language of the civilised people. It took nearly three decades for Sri Lanka to realise this simple truth. Today, she is speaking the language that terrorists understand most and results have been quite impressive. Terrorists are offering to talk peace! more..

Nirrushan (103 n.o.), Saleem (100 n.o.) lead Thomian fight-back

Mar 14 (LNP) Captain Raveenthiraja Nirrushan (103 n.o) and opener Faahim Saleem (100 n.o) gave a perfect lesson on what Thomian grit is all about as they smashed centuries to escape innings defeat as S.Thomas College made 225 for 2 in their follow on, on day two of their 130th Battle of the Blues three-day cricket encounter against Royal College continued at SSC grounds, Colombo yesterday. more..

HRHC statement: Unfounded, lacks credibility, says Minister

Mar 14 (DN) The Disaster Management and Human Rights Ministry expressed its strong sense of surprise and dismay at the tone and content of the press release issued yesterday by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Especially in the context that when High Commissioner Navanetham Pillai met Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe on March 4 in Geneva during the High Level Segment of the UN Human Rights Council, the detailed figures relied upon in the statement were never raised. more..

Sri Lanka hosts ECOSOC regional ministerial meeting

Mar 14 (DN) The ECOSOC Regional Ministerial Meeting on ‘Financial Strategies for Healthcare’ jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition under the framework of the United Nations Economic and Social Council is scheduled to take place in Colombo and Kandy from March 16 to 18, 2009. The Ministry of Finance and Planning has also been associated with this initiative. more..

'Time is ripe in Sri Lanka for Statesmanship and not partisan politics, contemporary electorate'

Mar 14 (AT) Visiting British Conservative Member of Parliament and shadow British Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox firmly believes that the current political backdrop in Sri Lanka was a time for statesmanship and not partisan politics and one where leaders must want to be judged by history rather than the contemporary electorate. Addressing a news conference at the Hilton Colombo this morning, he said more..

Fish at subsidized prices

Mar 14 (DN) The Ceylon Fisheries Corporation (CFC) has launched a special program to market fish at subsidized prices, sources said. This measure has been taken after considering the present high prices of fish in the market. A decision has also been taken to import fish by the CFC. The first consignment of fish was scheduled to arrive on Friday. The imported fish will be marketed islandwide at CFC stalls and mobile vans. more..

Police believe bomber arrived in VIP convoy

Mar 14 (Island) Investigations into the Akuressa Godapitiya suicide bomb blast took a new turn after police found evidence that the suicide bomber had arrived in a car along with the VIP convoy. It was earlier suspected that the bomber had travelled either on a bicycle or a motorcycle, Police Media Spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekera said. He said that there had been a VIP convoy and the terrorist was believed to have travelled in a vehicle in the VIP convoy to avoid being checked. more..

If the Tigers’ battle is lost

Mar 14 (National) The incidents of July 24, 1983 are as clear in S Thanaraj’s mind as if they happened yesterday. It was the day large-scale anti-Tamil riots erupted in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. He watched as Sinhalese mobs went on a murderous rampage, bludgeoning Tamil men, raping Tamil women and torching properties owned by the country’s ethnic minority. The Sinhalese were incensed by the killings of 13 soldiers in a mine attack the day before in Thirunelveli, more..

US asks Colombo to engage Tamils for lasting peace

Mar 14 (IANS) Expressing 'deep concern' over the deteriorating conditions in the 'safe zone' in northern Sri Lanka, the US has asked Colombo to engage peaceful Tamils to develop power sharing arrangements to achieve lasting peace and reconciliation. 'The United States believes that a durable and lasting peace will only be achieved through a political solution that addresses the legitimate aspirations of all of Sri Lanka's communities,' more..

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka Part 02

Army blasts Tiger truck laden with explosives

Mar 14 (Island) Troops of the 58 Division on Thursday night foiled an attempt by the LTTE to ram a vehicle packed with explosives into the Forward Defence Line of the Army in Puthukuduyirippu. The terrorists had driven the truck with around 350 Kg of explosives into the FDL with lights switched off but an alert soldier had fired an RPG from a bunker captured a few hours before from the Tigers themselves, blasting the truck to pieces. more..

SMIs seek presidential help to stay afloat

Mar 14 (Island) The Small and Medium Industrial Sector, is fighting a back to the wall battle for survival and a total collapse is imminent if the State does not intervene, an appeal to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by the Small and Medium Industries Sector states. Their appeal is for an economic stimulus package without which over one thousand entrepreneurs and their employees will belong to the past soon. more..

Customs seize Rs.1.5 billion worth contraband

Mar 14 (DM) An attempt to import an assortment of goods worth Rs.1.5 billion as a consignment of sugar was foiled by the Customs Central Examination Unit (CEU) officials who seized five container loads of goods yesterday on suspicion. Deputy Director of Customs (CEU) Mali Piyasena told Daily Mirror that the containers carried imported cigarettes, foot wear, electronic goods, playing cards as well as a wide range of household items. more..

Grusome killing of kidnapped child

Mar 14 (DM) The body of the six-year-old girl who was abducted on Wednesday afternoon from her school in Trincomalee was discovered early yesterday in a canal running through a densely populated residential area of the town. Residents who noticed a bad smell coming out of a sack discovered the body of Warsha Jude Regi inside the sack with her hands and legs tied, eyes blindfolded, badly beaten and strangled, with distinctive burn marks on her body. more..

Hair Horror

Mar 14 (DM) A lump of hair weighing some 600 grams was removed from the stomach of an 11-year-old girl who died on admission to hospital after she complained of a severe stomach ache. The Chilaw Hospital’s Chief Judicial Medical Officer drew out the hair from the girl’s stomach while performing the post mortem examination. Inquiries revealed that due to some psychological disorder the victim Madawan Vanmadi of Weppamaduwa had the unconscious habit of swallowing pieces of her hair that she bit off. more..

On a ballfield in Sri Lanka, healing the wounds of war

Mar 14 (WP) With his worn baseball glove freshly oiled, Praneeth Samaraweera stood under a bright sun and began teaching a young player how to hold a bat steadily and swing straight through a pitch. It was something that even weeks earlier he wasn't sure his emotions could handle. Just over a year ago, eight players -- more than half his high school baseball team -- were killed when a suspected Tamil Tiger rebel suicide attacker more..

Sri Lanka rejects UN charge of possible war crimes

Mar 14 (AP) Sri Lanka on Saturday rejected U.N. allegations it may have committed war crimes and vowed there would be no cease-fire in its drive to capture a shrinking rebel enclave and end the island's 25-year-old civil war. A report Friday from U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said government forces and Tamil rebels also warned that civilian casualties could reach "catastrophic" proportions if the two sides do not suspend fighting. more..

Sri Lanka's choices: positive accommodation or partition of the island?

Mar 15 (TC) Sri Lanka's ethnic civil war involving the two major ethnic groups, or for that matter the two nations - Tamil and Sinhala, seems to be moving toward an imbalanced politico-military conclusion, favoring the government led by Mahinda Rajapakse who came to power in 2005 by effectively employing anti-Tamil and anti-peace slogans. Some expect this to be the end of the Tamils' quest for justice, and thus the Tamils need to more..

A Humanitarain case for pressure on Sri Lankan Govt

Mar 15 (TC) A day or two ago, a friend who called me from Geneva to tell me what had happened at the Geneva hearing of the UN Human Rights Council last week, told me the Sri Lankan non State representatives from Colombo were asked, why they only pressure the government and don't pressure the LTTE to allow civilians to leave the war zone. Their answer ? Well, from what I was told, they have had no answer and that, more or less exposed them as pro-LTTE lobbyists. "They had to slowly leave" the story was concluded. more..

The Lahore atrocity: Our cricketing Ambassadors

Mar 15 (TC) Till recently Chaminda Vaas would have had fond recollections of the Gaddafi Stadium at Lahore. He was in the squad that faced up to Aussie power during the World Cup Finals on 17 March 1996 and prevailed so magnificently. But on Tuesday 3rd March he was among the Sri Lankan cricketers who underwent a different type of ordeal and survived with fortitude and a good measure of luck. more..

‘70,000’ - the stubborn war figure Sri Lanka adores

Mar 15 (LG) The Sri Lankan government has imposed artificial ceiling on the revelation of figures on the casualties in the war that is plaguing the country since 1983. The figure of 70,000 is being well managed and remaining static without an up-word movement of a point even for over five years. The claims and disclosures of deaths on both sides of the divide is daily reported, but the figure of 70,000 remains stubbornly static due to the mechanical fault in the death counting clock. more..

Stop the double standards- Call it a brutal hostage situation

Mar 15 (LG) It is nothing but a brutal hostage situation of gigantic proportions. The LTTE can no longer defend any of their brutal actions against the Tamil civilians and hide behind their time-tested lie of being a so-called liberation movement. Liberators do not kill their own people who they want to liberate. The LTTE are the perfect antithesis to the liberation of the Tamils. They have been the problem from day one and more..

Vital Tamil clinic 'could close'

Mar 15 (BBC) he last major medical facility in Tamil-held territory has almost stopped functioning due to a medicine shortage, a Sri Lankan health official says. Dr T Varatharaja says the closure of the hospital would put the lives of thousands of sick and injured people in the conflict zone at extreme risk. His warning comes amid increasing international concern for civilians caught in fighting in the north-east. more..

Nadesan urges UN to investigate Colombo's War Crimes

Mar 15 (TN) B. Nadesan, the political head of the LTTE Sunday said the Tigers had "plenty of evidences" to document that the Sri Lankan government of Mahinda Rajapaksa was "intentionally directing attacks against civilians," committing war crimes and crimes against humanity when asked to comment on the recent statement issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). more..

Is sudden suspension of exposition due to security issue?

Mar 15 (LT) The sacred Tooth relic exposition that had been extended till the 18th was suddenly suspended yesterday. Speaking about the decision to suspend the exposition Diyawadana Nileme told the media that a large number of devotees had converged to view the sacred tooth relic and security sections were unable to carry out the security arrangements. However, our reporter who was at the venue said the exposition was suspended due to a bomb scare. more..

Tigers, Tamil Separatism and Tamil Nationalism

Mar 15 (AT) He says their telephone conversation was ‘warm and cordial’; she says she called to express ‘deep concern over the deteriorating conditions and increasing loss of life’. He says she ‘appreciated the assurances given by Secretary Defence that civilians should not be subjected to any attacks by the military’. She says ‘that the Sri Lankan Army should not fire into the civilian areas of the conflict zone’. more..

Intellectuals call for custodianship of land to provinces

Mar 15 (CT) A group of intellectuals is calling for the handover of custodianship of land and certain other subjects to provincial councils in order to expedite the devolution of powers to the provinces. The 'People's Movement for Devolution of Power to Provinces' says police powers should also be handed over to PCs, except those pertaining to serious crimes as well as full police powers for certain provinces. more..

Acute shortage of specialist doctors - GMOA

Mar 15 (CT) The Government Medical Officers Association says the country is experiencing a severe shortage of specialist doctors, and blames the Health Ministry and the Postgraduate Institute Medicine for the situation. The Colombo National Hospital as well as teaching hospitals in Ragama, Karapitiya, Peradeniya, Kandy, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura have now restricted surgeries, the GMOA says. more..

TUs want change to wildlife beat plan

Mar 15 (CT) Trade unions in the Wildlife Department have requested Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka to reconsider the new beat administration mechanism for wildlife field officers. Claiming various shortcomings and inadequacies in the plan, these TUs warn that it will have adverse impact on the safety of forest reserves, 'Ravaya' reports. The new mechanism has reduced the 339 existent beats in 17 districts to 220, with the demarcations being done at divisional secretariat division level. more..

Global front against tigers

Mar 15 (MoD) The international community is now closing ranks against the LTTE. It is no secret that certain sections of the international community earlier had an element of sympathy towards the LTTE which portrayed itself as the 'liberators' of the Tamil people. But the latest events in the Wanni have diminished the little faith they had in the LTTE, that it could yet enter into a peaceful settlement with the Government. more..

President holds TNA responsible for impasse in political solution

Mar 15 (AT) Amidst reports that LTTE has killed even some of its political cadres who wanted to 'cross over', Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised safe passage to the LTTE leaders and cadres 'who seek protection from the army and the government'. He blamed the TNA lawmakers for the delay in finding a political solution, saying 'How can we devise a power sharing proposal when the TNA, despite repeated invitations, fail to come to negotiations with the government'. more..

Akuressa attack rattles government

Mar 15 (SL) Last Tuesday, March 10 was a holy day for many Sri Lankans. As a full moon Poya day and the date of the Milad Ul Nabi festival which marks the birth of the Prophet Mohammed - it was a significant date for both Buddhists and Muslims. By 8. 15 am, people were already gathered at the Godapitiya Jumma Mosque grounds in Akuressa to celebrate the important Islamic festival while non Muslims too had gathered in the vicinity of the mosque to witness the grand celebration. more..

'I am not a thief'

Mar 15 (SL) Speaking exclusively to The Sunday Leader from his remand cell at the Magazine Prison in Welikada, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Key Company, Khavan Perera claimed he is innocent and not guilty of having systematically executed one of the biggest white collar crimes in this country. Perera, having made his millions as Deputy Chairman and CEO of GK, said he shares a cell with another colleague also a Director of Golden Key, Niranjan Fernando and more..

The Golden Key Fiasco: A modern morality tale

Mar 15 (SL) The fallout from the country's largest ever financial scandal continues and as Lalith Kotelawala languishes in remand prison, Golden Key's nearly 10,000 depositors still have no idea if or when they will ever have even a portion of their investments returned. Last week The Sunday Leader's expose listing the principle depositors in Golden Key drew an unprecedented response - from callers furious at having the extent of their black money holdings revealed, more..

Hijacking homeopathy

Mar 15 (SL) Members of the Institutionally Qualified Homeopathic Medical Practitioners Association (IQHMP) have alleged that "the fraudulent conduct of the head of the country's Homeopathic Medical Council (HMC) has become a threat to the country's entire homeopathic medical system." According to the IQHMP, Dr. S.D.P. Perera, the president of the HMC is using the office building and office equipment provided to HMC by the Health Ministry to conduct his own private meetings and study courses more..

Massive crowds worship Sri Dalada

Mar 15 (SO) The Sacred Tooth Relic exposition, which is being held at the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy had drawn over 1.2 million devotees during the last few days. The exposition will conclude on Tuesday (17). Daily queues with four persons abreast are formed in the afternoon and extend along Sri Sangaraja Mawatha upto Maha Maya College and other queues on Dharmapala Mawatha also extend very far every day. more..

Private buses ready to start Jaffna service

Mar 15 (SO) With the opening of the A9 Highway, private bus owners are gearing to operate services to Jaffna. "We are ready to operate both luxury (air-conditioned) and normal Colombo-Jaffna bus services at any given time," said Chairman Private Bus Operators' Association, Gamunu Wijeratne. He said that several bus owners have requested the Association to obtain government clearance to operate services to Jaffna. more..

Recollections of a contented past

Mar 15 (SO) An encounter with such a pleasant interviewee should be the wish of every journalist! A smiling Vajira Chithrasena, Sri Lanka’s legendary female dancer who has always been able to keep her audience spellbound with her enchanting performances for several decades is right in front of me ready to share her lifetime achievements on the eve of her seventy seventh birthday! more..

From Jaffna with love!

Mar 15 (SO) On last thursday, for the first time after two long decades Jaffna started sending its famous products to the Colombo markets. “We sent twelve truckloads to Colombo. The load included 48,250 kilograms of red onions, 1,318 kilograms of beetroot, 5,750 kilograms of variety of a dried fish and 4,750 kilograms of prawns and crabs,” Jaffna District Secretary K. Ganesh said. “These consignments are sent directly to the main CWE stores at Welisara to more..

Agency POs struggle for survival

Mar 15 (SO) Agency Post Offices (APOs) that were one time a lucrative business is now striving hard to survive. Already over 60 APOs have closed down due to less business. CEO, Association of Agents of Agency Post Offices, Gamini Ramanayake said that today only 486 APOs are functioning and many will face closure due to high overhead costs and less revenue. Each APO needs four employees who work on two shifts and they need to be paid EPF and ETF. more..

Unnamed third parties to the rescue

Mar 15 (LB) Good grief. A criminal gang is capering around the country kidnapping and assaulting journalists for the sole intention of bringing the government to disrepute. And the government - which has just about successfully eradicated the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world - is stumped by it. Ganganath Dissanayake, former Rupavahini chairman was the latest to be taken away by this strange pack of no good hooligans whose primary objective is to blemish the sterling reputation of this government. more..

Was it Prabha’s daughter?

Mar 15 (LB) In a sensational development, which was largely kept out of the spotlight, the Navy is investigating whether a young woman among a boatload of refugees intercepted three weeks back was the daughter of Velupillai Prabhakaran, Duwaraka. The young woman was among a boatload of refugees intercepted by the Navy when the boat was heading for Tamil Nadu on February 24. The boat was intercepted 20 nautical miles from Point Pedro. more..