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ART television hosts high profile business and investment forum

Mar 19 (GDI) A private Television Channel which focuses on business and economic news is organizing an Investor forum under the title of “The Next Step: Investment and the Private Sector”. ART Television is a subsidiary Company of the IWS Holdings Group. With the North-Eastern conflict nearing an end, Sri Lanka is poised up for a major development drive island wide. more..

7,000 hectares are to be irrigated under Allai project

Mar 19 (GDI) A scheme to re-construct 300 meter long causeway, radial gates and the damaged Mavilaru bridge under the Allai project is now in progress with Rs. 200 million financial aids from the World Bank , Project Director P. H. Sugathadasa said. This multipurpose scheme will provide irrigation facilities to over 7,000 hectares of land and it will prevent flooding of the Mahaweli river during the rainy season, he said. more..

'99% of battle won by Forces'

Mar 19 (GDI) According to the available sources, The Security Forces have won 99 per cent of the battle against the LTTE which is now in its death throes confined to a mere 28 square km in the Mullaitivu jungles. It was pathetic to note that when the world accepts terrorism is as a cancer, certain International organizations for some reason were assisting terrorism. more..

Development projects launches in Kalutara

Mar 19 (GDI) Over 17,000 projects launched in the Kalutara district since 2006 has helped alleviate poverty in the Kalutara district, the Kaluthara District sources said. According to sources, various projects aimed to uplift the living conditions of the people were launched in 168 Grama Niladhari divisions which were under the poverty line in 2008. The total value of the projects was Rs. 24.6 million. more..

New police-state measures follow suicide bombing

Mar 19 (wsws) A high-profile suicide bombing last week in southern Sri Lanka has been exploited by the government to impose a new set of police restrictions on all major public events, including political meetings. The suicide bomber attacked a Muslim ceremony in Akuressa on March 10. At least 15 people were killed and 35 injured. The main targets were government ministers, including post and telecommunication minister Mahinda Wijesekara, who was seriously injured. more..

Tiger flags flown at protest legal - Toronto Police

Mar 19 (TC) The display of Tamil Tiger flags during a protest by members of Toronto's Tamil community this week was legal, Toronto police said Wednesday, despite the fact the rebel group is banned in Canada as a terrorist organization. Thousands of Toronto Tamils formed a human chain around the downtown core on Monday, to call attention to the civil war in Sri Lanka and call for Canada to pressure the Sri Lankan government to engage Tamil rebels in ceasefire talks. more..

Situation Report (Mar 19) by SLA

Mar 19 (SLA) ARMY troops now entering the final phase of the battle for peace continued their push in the past 24 hours until the time this report was pasted on Thursday (19) and collected more and more warlike items from PUTHUKUDIRIPPU, UDAYARAKATTU, VISUAMADU and PULIYANPOKKANAI areas. Troops recovered one decomposed dead body of an LTTE terrorist, two 81 mm para-bombs, one 81 mm mortar bomb, two hundred and forty-five rounds of 12.7mm ammunition, forty-one hand grenades, more..

What the Keith Vaz affaire signifies

Mar 19 (LNP) Those who may have naively thought bribery and corruption and abuse of power were endemic to the developing world stand corrected. Although the self-appointed champions of good governance, transparency etc are flaying only the politicians of the global South they deserve to be horsewhipped, no doubt that the situation is equally bad anywhere else is only too well known. Yesterday, we reported quoting the British press that more..

Shehan and Ishara win top awards

Mar 19 (LNP) Shehan Ambepitiya (Gateway College) and Ishara Madurangi (Sri Devananda College, Ambalangoda) won the Most Outstanding Sportsman and the Most Outstanding Sportswoman of the year awards at the 16th annual Milo Schools Colours Awards Ceremony held at the BMICH Colombo. Heshan Unamboowe (Trinity College, Kandy) and Miniruwani Samarakoon (Gateway College, Kandy) were adjudged the most promising sportsman and most promising sportswoman of the year. more..

'Govt. not against private campuses'

Mar 19 (CT) The government does not oppose the setting up of private universities, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Bundula Gunawardena said. The minister was speaking while presenting the act on the institution of Management Accountants in Parliament yesterday (Mar. 18.). Due to the current competition, students are unable to enter a university even if they acquire 3 A passes, he noted. more..

LTTE supporter piggy backs on David Milliband and Navanethem Pillai

Mar 19 (PISL) Some time back TamiNet made much of a pernickety lawyer called Bruce Fein who had prepared genocide indictments against various Sri Lankans. Unfortunately he lost some of his sheen when, having challenged me to a debate, he backed off when I accepted with alacrity. Though he has popped up again once or twice, he has now been replaced by another lawyer, who works at the Illinois College of Law. more..

SCOPP responds to discussion on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council

Mar 19 (PISL) Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat, responded on behalf of Sri Lanka to discussion of the country situation under Item 4 of the Agenda of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday. His comments are below. Mr President, Sri Lanka is grateful for the concerns expressed for our situation by countries that have, while affirming their commitment to Human Rights, made clear their opposition to terrorism and terrorist activity. more..

‘Dhakshina Bhoomi’ distributed by Minister of Southern PC illegal

Mar 19 (LT) The ‘Dhakshina Bhoomi’ certificates for lands distributed by the Minister of Lands in the Southern PC have no validity nor they are legal says Minister of Land and Land Development Jeewan Kumaratunga. Minister said the Minister of Lands in Southern PC has distributed lands without the knowledge of the ministry and those ‘Dhakshina Bhoomi’ deeds were not legal he added. more..

Colombo tops dengue deaths

Mar 19 (DN) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament yesterday that Colombo district still remains as the district with the highest number of dengue patients and deaths. According to statistics, there were 1,600 dengue cases and 13 deaths were reported from the Colombo district last year. In 2005, there were 1,985 dengue patients and six deaths. A total of 3,429 dengue cases and 10 deaths have been reported in 2006. more..

Clean water for Jaffna

Mar 19 (DN) The Jaffna reawakening project has taken the initiative to rehabilitate the Valukkaiaru scheme at Rs. 268 million to provide clean drinking water for people in Jaffna. Valukkaiaru is in the centre of Jaffna peninsula and it is a natural water purification plant. This lagoon spreads over 14.5Km from Araly barrage to Tellipalai and it covers an area of 57 sq km in the Tellipalai, Ubuvil, Sandilipay and Chankanai divisions. more..

More people take to agriculture - Survey

Mar 19 (DN) The total number of employed persons in the country was estimated at 7.2 million in 2008, according to the Sri Lanka Labour Force Survey on employment and unemployment situation in Sri Lanka in 2008 conducted by the Census and Statistics Department, Director, G.Y.D Fernando said. He said that 33 percent of them are in the agricultural sector, 26 percent in the industrial sector and 41 percent are in the services sector. more..

Over 2,000 civilians escape as LTTE ‘police’ station is set ablaze

Mar 19 (Island) Angry civilians Tuesday set fire to an LTTE ‘police’ station at Puthumathalan in the civilian safety zone after LTTE cadres shot dead parents of a child whom they made an abortive bid to abduct. They also shot dead the child before retreating amid violent protests, Navy spokesman Captain D.K.P. Dassanayake said. Quoting civilians who had taken advantage of the chaos triggered by the killings and the retaliatory civilian attack on the LTTE post to escape, more..

UNP leadership issue: Eight-man team to decide

Mar 19 (Island) The much awaited UNP Working Committee meeting, which was to decide on the leadership issue, ended peacefully yesterday evening with an eight-member committee being appointed to examine changes to the party constitution, with a view to winning elections. Informed sources told The Island last night that the meeting held at Srikotha began with the UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake placing on record a motion by a section of the UNP, for more..

UNP pledges support for setting up private universities

Mar 19 (Island) The UNP yesterday (18) pledged its fullest support to the government to establish private universities in here. UNP Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella told parliament that his party was ready to provide its whole hearted cooperation if the government would take a policy decision and commence setting up private universities in the country. more..

BJP to expose UPA’s tacit support to Lanka

Mar 19 (EB) Sri Lankan Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva’s statement in Parliament acknowledging India’s role in the civil war in the island nation is proof of the tacit support extended by the Congress-led UPA government to the Lankan army, State BJP president L Ganesan said on Wednesday. The BJP will expose the government on the issue during the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, he told press persons here. more..

Civilians trapped by Sri Lanka's civil war

Mar 19 (NPR) Concern is growing over the fate of civilians trapped by war on the island of Sri Lanka. U.N. officials say there's evidence that nearly 3,000 of them have been killed in just two months. The civilians are confined to a strip of land where government forces are trying to inflict an all-out military defeat against the Tamil Tiger separatists. more..

'No salary increments this year '

Mar 19 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Cabinet yesterday that there would be no salary increments for public servants and employees of government corporations this year because of the present financial difficulties. Cabinet discussed this issue, and some ministers pointed out that the monthly expenditure of a family had declined due to the reduction in prices of items like cooking gas, fuel, bus fares and milk powder in recent months. more..

Ceylinco defaulting payments to old suppliers

Mar 19 (DM) Depositors are not the only ones out of pocket; the Daily FT has recently learnt that another subsidiary of Ceylinco Consolidated flying the flag of Ceylinco Consolidated Overseas Private Ltd. (CCO) has defaulted on payments to a leading and long established printing and publishing company. A senior official from the publishing company confirmed that the Ceylinco Consolidated Overseas Private Ltd. has not paid approximately Rs. 769,500 which was due to paid since the end of 2008. more..

I will not canvass for a post- Karu

Mar 19 (DM) UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said the UNP Working Committee (WC) will decide on the future of the party and he will never canvass for any post. Addressing a hastily convened media briefing at the Opposition Leader’s office he said the WC was to meet at the party headquarters Sirikotha last afternoon to resolve the leadership dispute. “I have been offered all posts I have held in the party up to now. more..

State secrets, public denials in Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (CPJ) There's a familiar pattern emerging in Sri Lanka, one we've seen in many countries. When the government doesn't have a viable case against a critical journalist, prosecutors turn to state security laws to keep them in detention. Nadesapillai Vidyatharan, editor of the Tamil daily Sudar Oli, was grabbed at a friend's funeral in a Colombo suburb on February 26. Since then, in an effort to charge the editor under antiterrorism laws, more..

As Sri Lanka says No to conditions, UN says it will set them

Mar 19 (ICP) The day after it emerged that the UN has known of at least 2,683 civilians killings in Sri Lanka between January 20 and March 7 of this year, the UN's expert on Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy acknowledged the UN is funding the government's so-called detention camps. She said, however, that any long-term funding should be conditioned on the internally displaced people -- who are Tamils -- have freedom of movement. more..

'I thought my career was over'

Mar 19 (CI) Thilan Samaraweera feared for his career after the Lahore attack but is now confident of making a comeback to international cricket. Cricket, he says, remains his first priority and he is even open to playing in Pakistan again. Samaraweera, who had a bullet removed from his left leg, was discharged from a Colombo hospital on Tuesday - two weeks after the attack - and went to the Sri Lankan board office today for physiotherapy. more..

Sri Lanka tightens corn imports

Mar 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka has tightened rules on corn imports to arrest falling domestic farm gate prices with a record area under cultivation this year, a government minister said. With effect from January 30, 2009 Sri Lanka had imposed a 35 percent cess tax on a kilogram of corn (maize) to discourage imports as international corm prices fell, information minister Anura Yapa told reporters Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka gets US$85mn from ADB for water supply

Mar 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka will get 85 million US dollars in loans and grants from the Asian Development Bank for water supply and sanitation in four regional urban areas, a government minister said. The ADB will give a 59.78 million loan with a 32-year payback and an eight year grace period from its Asian Development Fund (ADF). An interest rate of 1.0 percent would be charged during the grace period and 1.5 percent thereafter. more..

Sri Lanka noise over India medic team

Mar 19 (TT) An anti-India political outfit in Sri Lanka has resented the presence of the Indian military-medical mission in the island nation. But Colombo has assured Delhi that the team of doctors and medics from the Armed Forces Medical Corps is welcome and will be protected. “The problem is that the government did not tell us that the doctors were not civilian but from the army,” an independent non-government worker told The Telegraph over phone from Colombo. more..

Terrorism double-standard

Mar 19 (NP) As members of this editorial board watched tens of thousands of Tamil Canadians throng downtown Toronto on Monday, we couldn't help but be struck by a curious double-standard that afflicts Canadian ethnopolitics. To wit: Why are Canadian Tamils permitted to express support for terrorism in a manner that would be considered outrageous if the demonstrators were Arab or Muslim? more..

Sri Lanka says Tamil Tigers may try terrorist attacks in South

Mar 19 (BN) Sri Lanka warned civilians the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam may carry out terrorist attacks in the south now that the group is on the brink of defeat in the north of the nation. “We have received information that the terrorists are planning to create destruction in the south,” the Media Center for National Security cited police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara as saying yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka puts on brave face before IMF bailout

Mar 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka is putting on a brave face after being forced into an International Monetary Fund bailout having spent its way into trouble and busted up billions of dollars of foreign reserves on an ill-fated peg defence exercise. Deputy finance minister Sarath Amunugama told a seminar in Colombo that authorities had not discussed conditions with the IMF. more..

India officials dismisses Sri Lanka's security concerns

Mar 19 (Reuters) Indian cricket officials downplayed security concerns surrounding their Twenty20 league next month after the Sri Lankan board said it would review the situation before allowing its players to participate. Security fears around the tournament, which attracts a large number of international players has intensified following an attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, Pakistan, this month that left six players and a coach wounded. more..

Sri Lanka holds Tamil editor over Tiger air attacks

Mar 19 (AFP) A Sri Lankan newspaper editor has been detained over alleged links to a Tamil Tiger air attack in the capital, a family member said on Thursday. Nadesapillai Vidyatharan, an ethnic Tamil who edits the Tamil-language daily Sudar Oli, appeared in court Wednesday and was detained under anti-terrorism laws for up to three months, his brother-in-law E. Saravanapavan said. He said the family were only informed of the court proceedings afterwards. more..

Fonterra gets court order to shut down Sri Lankan smear campaign

Mar 19 (NZPA) Fonterra has won a legal battle to shut down a smear campaign in Sri Lanka, with a court blocking claims the New Zealand company imports adulterated dairy products. Colombo District Court has ordered Mawbima Lanka Padanama (MLP) - a local lobbyist critical of imported foods - from making false statements about Fonterra's milkpowders, reported the Daily Mirror newspaper in the city. more..

Postmaster's foreign language ban

Mar 19 (BBC) A Nottingham postmaster has said he will refuse to serve people in his post office if they cannot speak English. Deva Kumarasiri, who moved to England from Sri Lanka 18 years ago, runs the Sneinton Boulevard Post Office. Mr Kumarasiri said he could not serve people if he did not understand what they were asking for. In a statement, Post Office Counters Ltd said its "branches were open to all customers" and "steps would be taken" to ensure this at the Sneinton store. more..

PM accuses rights groups of overlooking LTTE atrocities

Mar 19 (PTI) Accusing the human rights groups of 'biasness', Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake on Thursday questioned as to why "they were silent over the killings of Tamil Civilians by the LTTE." Stating that the human rights bodies were quick to pin point any "untrue" allegations on the government on excesses on Tamil Civilians who were escaping from the Wanni, Mr. Wickremanayake said they followed "double standards" when it came to questioning the LTTE's "atrocities". more..

‘LTTE stealing medical supplies for own purpose’

Mar 19 (EB) Sri Lanka has refuted the charge made by government doctors in the north eastern war-zone, that there is a severe shortage of medicines and surgical material there, and has contended that the medicines and other materials sent were stolen by the Tamil Tiger rebels to run their own “elite hospitals”. Health Minister Nimal Sripala de Silva said that the LTTE had been taking three quarters of the materials regularly supplied to the civil hospitals in the areas controlled by them, and more..

Fate of Tamil chief at center as Sri Lanka seeks victory

Mar 19 (IHT) Will he kill himself? This is a tactical military question now as the Sri Lankan Army closes in on Velupillai Prabhakaran and the stubborn core of his Tamil separatist insurgency. There is always the possibility that Prabhakaran, 54, is already dead or that he has fled the military offensive, and those questions, too, are critical as the army seeks a final victory and plans ahead for the aftermath of his 25-year rebellion. more..

Civilians need 'urgent help': aid group

Mar 19 (AFP) Civilians pouring out of the war zone in Sri Lanka's north are in dire need of emergency surgical and psychological help, an international aid group said Thursday. Doctors Without Borders also voiced "extreme" concern for 150,000 Tamil civilians still trapped by fierce fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels. The statement is the latest sign of the aid community's alarm over the situation in northern Sri Lanka, where most agencies are barred by the government from working. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Mar 20 (GDI) A grant of Japanese Yen 520 Million from Japan for Underprivilaged Farmers: Cabinet approved a Memorandum submitted by the Minister of Finance and Planning Mahinda Rajapaksa to sign Exchange of Notes with the Government of Japan and enter into a Grant Agreement with the Japan International Coorperation agency for an amount of Japanes Yen 520,000,000 fro Food Security Project for underprivilaged farmers. more..

There is No Way to Peace. Peace is the Way!

Mar 20 (LG) But peace is inevitable and the war will come to a halt, as it must, and that day is not far away, despite Sri Lanka’s intransigence in the face of human tragedy and international pressure to stop the carnage. And if the Tamils believe there was “never a good war or a bad peace” Sri Lanka will soon be driven by its vital self-interests to stop the war and negotiate an end to the decades-long conflict. more..

Prabhakaran is our Holy Father!

Mar 20 (LG) The question that is being asked widely in Sri Lanka is the whereabouts of the Rev Father James Pathinathar. He was one of those along with another priest who herded the advance group of civilians in Wanni especially from the townships along the A9 Highway and persuaded them to march towards Mullaitivu telling them that it was for their safety because of the impending invasion of the Sri Lankan Forces. more..

Belching smoke in Colombo

Mar 20 (GV) This sadly is not an unusual sight in Colombo. Despite well-known problems arising from industrial and vehicular emissions and the Central Environment Authority’s Vehicle Emission Testing Programme, we see a number of these wretched vehicles on the road. This bus belonged to (or was operating under) one of Sri Lanka’s best known travel agencies. Weathering financial woes, it may be the case that they cannot maintain their vehicles as best they can. But should they care about more than just their bottom line? more..

A 2nd suspect in Varsha murder dies

Mar 20 (CT) A second suspect in the recent kidnapping and murder of a little girl in Trincomalee has died - this time by consuming cyanide. Identified as Jana, the man had committed suicide when he was taken to an abandoned building in Uppuweli this afternoon (Mar. 19) to find hidden bombs, Pottuvil Police said. Reportedly a member of the TMVP, he had died before admission to hospital. According to police, he had been connected to several other crimes in Trincomalee. more..

How Singapore has unity and why Sri Lanka endless strife today

Mar 20 (TC) Thirty years ago, I launched this Speak Mandarin Campaign. Chinese students learn Mandarin in school. Unfortunately, they used to speak dialects among themselves and at home. When I watched interviews on our Chinese TV channel in the 1960s and ‘70s, I found students and workers speak Mandarin haltingly. They have not used Mandarin often. Mandarin has to be the common language of Chinese Singaporeans, regardless of their dialect groups. more..

Abolish pension scheme for MPs – JVP

Mar 20 (LT) JVP MP Bimal Rathanayake proposed that the pension granted to Parliamentarians should be abolished. Mr. Rathanayke put forward the proposal when the debate into the amendments to armed forces, orphans and widows pension act to provide pensions belong to volunteer forces was in session in Parliament. He said the JVP would raise both hands to grant pensions to all those who deserve pensions including members of armed forces and to abolish pensions for Parliamentarians. more..

An alternative grid map of political opinion serving the best interests of Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (GV) Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke has analyzed various possible political views on Sri Lanka and suggests a grid map of Sri Lankan political opinion. His intention is to evaluate these opinions and show which opinion is best in serving the interests of Sri Lanka today. He has pointed out eight different opinions but trickled them down to six groups (A-F), giving priorities to the factors such as protecting the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, devolution efforts and military/war mentality. more..

'RAW facilitating LTTE withdrawal in Sri Lanka'

Mar 20 (APP) Even as the Sri Lanka Army has decisively broken the back of stiff resistance put up by LTTE, in the country’s North, India’s intelligence agency RAW is still committed to supporting its protegees, Sri Lankan media reported. According to ‘The Island’ a day after the Army consolidated its hold over Kilinochchi, the administrative capital of the LTTE and the terrorists receded into the thick northern jungles of Mullaithivu, India sent a select team of RAW operatives on secret aerial surveillance mission across the Palk Straits. more..