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Sri Lanka at risk of economic damage from AIDS: World Bank

Mar 1 (LBO) A new World Bank report says Sri Lanka must improve HIV/AIDS prevention programmes to prevent the disease causing economic damage. Conditions contributing to high vulnerability include the war, high mobility of soldiers and refugees, and separation of spouses due to overseas employment, said the report on how HIV and AIDS in South Asia present an economic development risk. more..

Displaced civilians traumatised

Mar 1 (IRIN) Thousands of civilians who fled fighting in northern Sri Lanka remain traumatised by their experience and anxious about their future, say aid workers. “All of those who have fled the fighting have seen people die in front of them,” Annmarie Loof, the head of mission in Sri Lanka for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), told IRIN. “They are also anxious about their own future and of their loved ones, those who have escaped and especially those who still remain trapped,” she said. more..

Thilan and Sangakkara make it SL's day

Mar 1 (CI) A serene 204-run partnership between Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera allowed Sri Lanka to soak up the pressure of three early wickets and reach a comfortable position by the end of the opening day at Lahore. It might have been a different story had Faisal Iqbal held on to a chance offered by Sangakkara when he was 55. Sangakkara fell just before the close, but Sri Lanka would be satisfied with the day's effort after being put in to bat on a pitch with uneven grass cover. more..

Lanka, UN plan IDP rehabilitation programme on 300 acres

Mar 1 (ZN) With the number of Tamil civilians crossing over from the war zone to government-controlled areas swelling in northern Sri Lanka, the authorities in coordination with the UN are planning a massive rehabilitation scheme for the displaced on 300 acres of land. "We are in the process of launching an emergency programme together with UN on 300 acres of land for the IDPs who are crossing over to the government areas in the North," a top official said here. more..

Journalists in the cross hairs of Sri Lanka war

Mar 1 (LAT) he news editor at Sri Lanka's investigative Sunday Leader newspaper was driving to work in January when she ran into a traffic jam a few hundred yards from the office. Naturally, she investigated. Almost immediately, she saw the body of her boss, friend and editor in chief, Lasantha Wickrematunge, being loaded into a white van near his battered, bloodstained car. Witnesses later reported that several gunmen on motorcycles had carried out the attack. more..

Karunanidhi hails India's appeal to Sri Lanka on ceasefire

Mar 1 (PTI) DMK President and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today welcomed India's appeal to Sri Lankan government to seize the ceasefire offer made by LTTE and pause the hostilities to help people trapped in conflict zones, saying it came as a "whiff of fresh air." Karunanidhi recalled External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's statements on Saturday in Tuticorn that "the opportunity (LTTE announcing ceasefire) must be utilised to facilitate more..

Sri Lanka rejects truce calls as rebels resist

Mar 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka Sunday rejected fresh calls for a ceasefire with Tamil Tigers rebels as security forces hit stiff resistance in their efforts to secure final victory in the island's ethnic conflict. Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona said any ceasefire would be unnecessary if the Tigers accepted international appeals to surrender. "When the Tigers lay down arms, there will be no fighting. The fire will automatically cease," more..

'Let not any country be misled by separatist propaganda'

Mar 2 (TC) Having read in the newspapers and the Internet of a "Congressional Caucus on Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Americans" as well as of a hearing about Sri Lanka in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee I pen these words on the subject so as to disabuse the minds of the American Legislators of the disinformation fed to them by the pro-LTTE lobby. First, let me introduce myself. I am a 65 year old Sinhalese `Agnostic’ born to a Christian family and more..

Assuming the LTTE finished is fantasy masquerading as fact

Mar 2 (TC) Che Guevara once said: “if you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are my comrade.” The distillation of a lifetime of agitation, intervention, reflection, this statement, the opposite of a soundbite, pithily articulates ethics with politics. We’ve known, at least since Aristotle, that the two are inextricable, yet distinct. Che links them together in exemplary leftist fashion. more..

Search for Peace and the unanswered problems

Mar 2 (FI) Though it appears that the LTTE was cornered, the LTTE has once again proved that they are still active with the air raid in Colombo. What the Government has achieved is the capture of territories without people and later a systematic and calculated murder of innocent Tamils after they are accommodated in separate camps, which demonstrates genocide on different pretexts. Murdering innocent citizens is not encouraged in religious teachings more..

Regulation and governance

Mar 2 (LG) There were wide-ranging views – some not connected to the discussion – when Transparency International (TI), Sri Lanka organised a discussion on corporate collapses like India’s Satyam and Golden Key aimed at learning lessons and coming up with some suggestions on how to avoid such collapses. In essence the discussion was all about creating more transparency in corporate transactions and the accountability of directors in these companies. more..

Why are Western journalists anti-Lanka?

Mar 2 (LG) The season for bashing the foreign media has commenced judging from commentaries that had appeared on the Sri Lankan scene in recent weeks. This writer too has been a foreign media basher for long years and I do feel that some of the fury unleashed is justifiable but it is also time to reflect on the futility of the exercise. Two weeks ago on the World News of the BBC, an anchorman was interviewing his reporter on the IDPs who had been housed in the newly set up camps around Vavuniya. more..

Farm Hounds and Moose hunting by a leading Eelam existentialist

Mar 2 (LG) Roy Ratnavale, the leading Eeelam Existentialist thinker and leader, has written a piece (see) on moose hunting and farm hounds. The real (that is, not the existentialist) Tamils left behind in the Vanni have no mood or chance to sit around the fire pit and eat morsels of moose meat. Instead, they are eating the bullets bought by the money of the existentialist Tamils, and getting blown to bits even when they cover inside a bunker. more..

'Samaraweera batting best among us'

Mar 2 (CI) After Thilan Samaraweera made an assured hundred in Lahore to follow up his double-century in the first Test, his team-mate Kumar Sangakkara hailed him as the player "batting best" in the Sri Lankan side. The pair had combined to put on 204 runs which bailed the visitors out of trouble after they had slid to 96 for 3. more..

Nadashen’s Tongue Acrobatics Continues Unabated

Mar 2 (LG) “Whenever the LTTE had the upper hand militarily, the Sri Lankan ruling party pretending to find a political solution came for peace talks. But, once finding the time space to strengthen its armed forces, the Sri Lankan ruling party disrupted the peace talks and again created the conditions for war. The Sri Lankan Governments have staged this drama of deceiving the world and more..

Economic and social progress in Sri Lanka during post-war period

Mar 2 (LG) Now that the physical eradication of Tamil-tiger terrorism (LTTE) is nearing its end, the country must focus on infrastructure and rehabilitation development programs. The economic bases – agriculture, infrastructure, tanks and irrigation systems – that were destroyed by terrorism need to be rebuilt. Sri Lanka lost the opportunity she had following the tsunami to build purpose-designed new cities in the affected area. more..

LTTE's days numbered - Karuna

Mar 2 (BBC) The Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka are facing an imminent defeat in the face of advancing troops, a former LTTE Eastern Commander said. Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan, widely known as Karuna, told BBC Sandeshaya that there is no doubt that the LTTE's tactics will be reduced to guerrilla warfare as they are gradually losing ground in the north. However, their resistance will not drag the conflict for more than another six months, he said. more..

Prabhakaran never came to the battlefield: Karuna

Mar 2 (PTI) Insisting that LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was a “creation” of his supporters, a former Tiger commander and now a pro-government MP has claimed the rebel leader never came to the battlefield to fight. Insisting that Tamils in the Island nation do not want a separate state but equal rights, Karuna Amman alias V Muralitharan said Prabhakaran did not do anything for Tamils. more..

The sovereignty Sri Lanka never regained

Mar 2 (AT) Monday March 2, marks the 194th anniversary of the day when Sinhala fools handed over pre-colonial Sri Lanka’s last independent kingdom on a platter to the British. The signatories to the Kandyan Convention of March 2, 1815 little realized that in trying to get rid of an alleged tyrannical ruler (King Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe) they were giving power to a gang of suave and sophisticated Anglo-Saxon liars who more..

The Logic of Mr. Pranab Mukherjee

Mar 2 (AT) When a person cannot do what he wants to do and has to take orders from subordinates just to survive even men of good education could expose themselves to ridicule. I refer to what Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Minister for External Affairs of India has stated below. A news item in the media states that Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, has appealed to Sri Lanka to accept the LTTE’s offer of a ceasefire so that the civilians trapped in the war zone can be moved to safety. more..

Arrest of the Sudaroli editor deplored

Mar 2 (AT) The TULF President V. Anandasangaree has rebuked the police for the way they adopted to arrest Vidyatharan, Editor-in Chief of the Colombo based Tamil Language news daily "Sudaroli". Anandasangaree has said, "What happened to Mr. Vidyatharan should not happen again to another person, even to the worst criminal. is a respectable gentleman and the Editor-in-Chief of a National Tamil daily. more..

From a Cell to a Ward

Mar 2 (AT) There are two worlds for criminals- prison for the poor and the ordinary; prison hospital for the rich and the powerful? Judges determine a spell in a cell; the doctors give a bed head ticket to a ward. To be precise a few days in the prison hospital with a transfer in an ambulance to the luxury room at the general hospital; at public expense. Most are fit as a fiddle until the court determines a detention. more..

Pottu Amman in direct charge of LTTE

Mar 2 (PTI) With the Tamil Tiger territory fast shrinking in northern Sri Lanka, the LTTE's second-in-command and spy chief Pottu Amman has assumed direct charge of the battle against the Sri Lankan security forces. The Tigers are fighting tooth and nail to defend their the areas of still controlled by them, which have come down to just over 50 sq km after they suffered dramatic reverses in the recent clashes with the troops. more..

No communication from India: Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (Hindu) Sri Lanka appears to have been caught unawares by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s call to Colombo to make use of the ‘ceasefire offer’ made by the LTTE to ensure safe passage of civilians from conflict zones. Asked about Saturday’s statement of Mr. Mukherjee, Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohana told The Hindu, “We have not received any formal or informal communication from India on the subject. It would not be proper for me to comment on media reports.” more..

City Tamilians bat for Lankans

Mar 2 (TOI) Several Tamilians formed a human chain in the city on Sunday. The chain, which began at King's Circle and extended almost up to Thane, was to protest the government's "inaction" on the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils. "We are protesting the atrocities being inflicted on Sri Lankan Tamils. We want the Indian government to take a firm stand on this issue and take appropriate action for their welfare," more..

'Allow Red Cross to evacuate civilians'

Mar 2 (IANS) India Sunday asserted that a permanent solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka lay in proper devolution of power, and not through military success. Speaking at a seminar here, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee appealed to Colombo to use the ceasefire offer by the Tamil Tigers to allow organisations like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to evacuate innocent civilians trapped in the war zone. more..

Artillery kills 10 Sri Lankan civilians

Mar 2 (AP) At least 10 Sri Lankan civilians were killed and dozens more wounded on Sunday when artillery shells fell inside a government-designated "safe zone" in the heart of Tamil Tiger rebel territory, a health official said. Government forces have driven the rebels from most of their strongholds in recent months and have boxed them into a tiny coastal territory in the northeast. more..

Reward Yourself and Your Motherland

Mar 2 (PB) With 47 years of banking experience and the security and stability of a state bank, your "best loved bank" People's Bank now offers Sri Lankans earning foreign currency the best short term and long term investment opportunities, Sri Lankan Rupee Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds. Don't miss out! Invest in Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds through People's Bank. more..

Sri Lanka is in deep crisis on many fronts

Mar 2 (TC) Sri Lanka is in deep crisis on many fronts, and its politics is almost a total mess. Yet, its President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, elected by a whisker in November 2005, thanks to the boycott of the election by the Tamils in the North-East, after a last-minute call by the LTTE, is the only Sri Lankan head of government to have grown in popularity since election. He owes this immense popularity among the majority Sinhalese to his rejection of the peace process and more..

Exploitation is the key word for the shattered industry

Mar 2 (LG) The apparel sector, claimed to be the country’s biggest exporter and the largest employer in manufacturing, demands that the government needs to focus urgently on safeguarding jobs from global recession impacts. According to them the government should directly link its rescue package to safeguard existing jobs and to generate new jobs. more..

The snared tiger

Mar 2 (LG) The center-left government led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, perked up by the recent military victories against the Tamil guerrilla, is flooding the country with an unprecedented offensive of propaganda and nationalism. The media unanimously rejoice over the conquest of strategic positions and hail the upcoming final victory against the LTTE "terrorists". The Sinhala right-wing party UNP joins the chorus, while the country's third party, JVP, has fallen victim to an unprecedented crisis. more..

Giving the LTTE a chance?

Mar 2 (LG) Time is running out on the LTTE. The outfit would remain relevant only as long as it is able to halt/delay the advancing armed forces on their track. It does not seem to be happening. Orderly civilian transfer involving the ICRC, unlike the haphazard exodus on the earlier occasion, could provide a relatively legitimate alternative. It could also be the kind of CBM that the world is looking for. more..

On broadening the horizons of ‘nationalism’

Mar 2 (LG) There is a question that has always bothered me in the nationalist discourse in this country. ‘Nationalism’, it is taken as a given, is exclusively about identity pertaining to ethnicity or religious faith or a mix of the two. The ‘national question’, therefore, is about sorting out identity issues/anomalies and nothing else. Somewhere along the way, we seem to have forgotten that human beings are not one-dimensional creatures, more..

Police repression unleashed against university students

Mar 2 (wsws) The response of the government, the media, police and university authorities to clashes between rival student groups at Kelaniya University is a warning to young people and workers throughout the island of the methods being prepared to suppress unrest as the country's economic crisis deepens. University authorities, with the support of the government, have seized on violent incidents involving two student groups over the last month to send in police, more..

South Eastern Varsity VC: 3 names recommended

Mar 2 (PSM) South Eastern University Council has recommended three new names to the University Grants Commission to succeed the incumbent Vice Chancellor A.G. Hussain Ismail whose second and final terms ends in next month. The three contenders for the post are Dr. Ismail from the same University, Dr. Hasbullah from the University of Peradeniya and Dr. Mahsoom from the Eastern University. The selection and election for the new Vice Chancellor took place in Colombo recently more..

More Sri Lankan tourists to Malaysia in 2008

Mar 2 (PSM) Sri Lankan tourists to Malaysia increased by 34.8% in 2008 to 42,774 compared to the previous year although the target for 2009 has been revised downwards to 40,000 given the global economic downturn. Tourism Malaysia’s Director for South Asia, West Asia and Africa Division Zulkefli Sharif was in Colombo, spearheading a Malaysian delegation comprising of 14 tour operators and other tourism-related organization. more..

'People in estate sector used their vote to oppose UPFA govt'

Mar 2 (LT) The people in the estate sector refrained from voting to the UPFA to express their opposition to the government says Leader of the Upcountry People’s Front and Minister of Community Development and Social Inequity Eradication P. Chandrasekaran. He said this at a media meeting to explain his party’s stand at the North-Western and Central PC elections held recently. more..

Agitations in all universities demanding opening of Kelaniya University

Mar 2 (LT) Agitation campaigns would be carried out in all universities demanding the reopening of University of Kelaniya closed indefinitely by authorities says convener of Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) Udul Premaratne. Mr. Premaratne said the campaigns would be carried out opposite universities of Sri Jayawaradenepura, Vayamba, Peradeniya, Ruhuna and Sabaragamuwa between the lunch break which is between 12 noon and 1.00 p.m. more..

New regulations for WPC UNP candidates

Mar 2 (LT) UNP activists in Galle District have made a special request from the party leader Ranil Wickremasinghe to get a letter of resignation from all UNP candidates as certain members of the UNP leave the party after getting elected. This request was made at a meeting held after opening a new Galle District UNP office. The party activists have requested the party not to allow anyone refusing to submit such letters to contest under the party lists or make them electoral organizers. more..

Exposition of tooth relic to be extended

Mar 2 (GDI) The Mahanayake Theras of the Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters along with the Diyawadana Nilame yesterday decided to extend the proposed special exposition of the tooth relic of the Buddha till March 19 as thousands of devotees are expected to throng the Dalada Maligawa. Earlier, the Mahanayake Thera and the Diyawadana Nilame planned to hold the special exposition of the tooth relic from March 6 to 16. more..

Gandhi Int’l Centre in Matale

Mar 2 (GDI) Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardane laid the foundation stone for the proposed Sri Lanka-India Friendship Mahatma Gandhi International Memorial Centre at Matale. The event was chaired by Urban Development Minister Rohana Dissanayake. Construction work on the Centre will be carried out by the National Physical Planning Department jointly with the Urban Development Authority, Ministry sources said. more..

Situation Report (Mar 2) by SLA

Mar 2 (SLA) TROOPS of 53, 55 and 58 Divisions and Task Force-VIII continued their attacks on LTTE terrorists in the general areas of KEVIL, south of CHALAI, PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU and PATTIKKARAI causing further damages to the LTTE terrorists on Sunday. Several soldiers also sustained injuries due to terrorist small arms and mortar fire. In the meantime, troops of 57 Division conducted search and clear operations in VISUAMADU area and recovered three T-56 weapons, more..

New Delhi's stratagem seeking 'pause'

Mar 2 (TN) India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Saturday asked Colombo to 'seize the opportunity' provided by LTTE’s ceasefire offer to bring about a ‘pause’ in hostilities and work for safe passage for 'trapped' civilians. Meanwhile, political observers in Tamil Nadu commented on the move a tactic to nullify their calls for a permanent ceasefire. Vaiko, the General Secretary of MDMK courted arrest with 300 other activists for waging black flags in protest against more..

Photographs, Videos found in terror TV station bare dark secrets

Mar 2 (MoD) Sri Lankan soldiers of Army 58 Division have made a startling discovery exposing an abominable conspiracy against Sri Lankan citizens. The soldiers have found several recent photographs and video footage in a building earlier occupied by the LTTE terrorists showing certain South Indian politicians in LTTE camps in Wanni. more..

IDP shelters gutted by fire in Vavuniyaa

Mar 2 (TN) Eight temporary shelters in the welfare centre for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) located in Unit 11 in Poonthoaddam, Vavuniyaa were completely gutted by fire Saturday noon, sources in Vavuniyaa said. Around 185 members of 48 families lodged in the above IDP welfare centre have lost all their belongings. The Poonthoaddam IDP welfare centre was established in 1999 and been sheltering several hundred families displaced from Vanni. more..

A9 opened for ‘Jaffna convoys’

Mar 2 (LT) Almost after 24 years Kandy- Jaffna road better known as A-9 main highway officially re-opened today for the transport services of security forces today marking a new era in the history of eliminating terrorism in Sri Lanka. The A-9 road was temporally opened 2004 under the ceasefire agreement. However the LTTE made road barriers and check points and charged high taxes from the motorists and the public who used the road. The road was completely closed in August 2006 due to LTTE attacks. more..

Promoting terrorism the UN way in Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (LNP) Why terrorism is flourishing in the modern world like the Black Death taking a heavy toll on humanity could be seen from the flurry of pro-terror activity at the apex international body, the UN. The infiltration by terrorists of the UN system is such that even the Security Council is pussyfooting without tackling the issue of terrorism the way it should. While the security forces are poised to deal a decapitating blow to the LTTE at home, more..

Probe on Human Rights Watch

Mar 2 (SAMN) The government has launched a probe as to how a team from the Human Rights Watch (HRW) had managed to visit Vavuniya and interview displaced people without obtaining the necessary clearance to carry out such research in the country. Anna Neistat, senior emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch told the US Senate during a hearing on Sri Lanka last week and later in a press statement over the weekend that she visited the country two weeks ago and more..

'Stimulus’recipients need to be frugal'

Mar 2 (SAMN) Export Development and International Trade Minister Prof. G.L.Peiris said, non-banking institutions, who are in the red and expect to obtain relief under the ‘Stimulus Package’ offered by the government, will have to be frugal, set up a sound management mechanism and agree not to dish out depositors money to the top officials as salaries and perks at the whim and fancy of the management. more..

'Date same for WPC polls'

Mar 2 (SAMN) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has decided not to change the date fixed for the Western Provincial Council elections (April 25) despite requests to do so by several political parties. The Elections Commissioner had informed his decision to General Secretaries of all political parties contesting the Western Provincial Council election. The decision to hold the election on the said day (April 25) was arrived at in accordance with the provisions of more..