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Ambassador Jayatilleka chosen as Coordinator of the UNCTAD Asian Group

Mar 21 (LG) The Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka was unanimously chosen as the Coordinator of the Asian Group of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) today, taking over from Indonesia. As coordinator of the Asian Group, the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative will be facilitating the formulation and presentation of the Group’s concerns and interests in UNCTAD, and more..

Why should Canadians die fighting terrorism in Afghanistan when it is encouraged in Torono?

Mar 21 (LG) Terrorism has developed into a global menace. Towards this the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which has no political philosophy at all but is using the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka as a convenient vehicle is determined to create a mafia international underworld network. Pakistan in the Third World and Canada in the developed world are countries to watch as the fast breeding grounds for terrorism. more..

Special census in Western Province from 21 - 22

Mar 21 (GDI) Police is to conduct a special two-day census beginning today to register the people who have come to the Western Province from the North, East and central Provinces during the last five years. It will be held at every police station in the Western Province. The Police Department has organized the census as a safety measure to keep the information updated on the people who had come to Colombo in the last five years. more..

Security strengthen in Southern schools

Mar 21 (GDI) Due to a woman had tried to keep a parcel in a classroom at a school in Balapitiya yesterday; Security has been tightened in all schools in the Southern Province with an immediate effect, police sources said. Police investigation revealed that the suspected woman had approached a student of the Revatha College in Balapitiya and asked the student to keep a parcel which looked like a lunch packet in a classroom at the college while promising a good monetary reward. more..

CB's Governors negligent cause to pay penalty for Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (LeN) The Central bank of Sri Lanka Governor Mr. Ajith Cabral is saying frequently that the government of Sri Lanka has been able to strengthen the economy during present past with that he insisted that Sri Lanka could keep the foreign debt balance without increasing on we have not devalue the rupee. We have look carefully about the saying of the governor Ajith Cabral that Sri Lankan economy has not affected or effected nominally by the current global financial crisis. more..

British parliamentarians promoting tragedy

Mar 21 (PISL) I rarely watch television in Sri Lanka, but in the long lonely nights in Geneva, when I am too tired to write yet another critique of some silly assault on the Sri Lankan state, I find myself looking for English language programmes. Recently I have been struck by the number of British television dramas dealing with terrorism. Many of them feature police teams fighting for decency as well as the British way of life, sometimes battling politicians who are engaged in all sorts of wicked deals. more..

CCD to query Dayasiri over academician's abduction

Mar 21 (CT) UNP Kurunegala district MP Dayasiri Jayasekara has been summoned to the Colombo Crime Division to give a statement in connection with the abduction of Prof. Dhammika Ganganath Dissanayake. Mr. Jayasekara has been asked to present himself at CCD at 1.00 pm today. When contacted, he said that CCD officials had told him around three days ago that they would call over at his home at 11.00 am today to record a statement. more..

Proposal to do away with primary classes in national schools

Mar 21 (CT) An Education Ministry appointed committee for a new education act has suggested doing away with primary classes in national schools and categorizing all state-run schools as primary and tertiary. Headed by Dr. G.B. Gunawardena, this committee, in its interim proposals under general education, suggestions the categorization as primary - from grade one to grade five - and secondary - from grade six to either grade 11 or grade 13. more..

Civil war generation documents life amidst death in Vanni

Mar 21 (TN) The Odour of Death: An Account of People Devoured by War, a collection of narratives and features of personal experience expressed in the form of short stories by 1983-born T. Agiilan, is a significant example of creative writing coming from first hand impressions of a generation of Eezham Tamils that has seen nothing but war ever since birth. Another importance of the book is its documentation of war-torn Vanni of pre 2002 era from the perspectives of a person of that land. more..

Situation Report (Mar 21) by SLA

Mar 21 (SLA) ONE thousand one hundred and eighty-five civilians including three hundred and twenty-six males, three hundred and twenty-eight females, two hundred and seventy-nine boys and two hundred and forty-two girls reached troops in PUTHUKUDIYIRUPPU during Friday (20). Meanwhile, thirteen civilians consisting of six males, two females, three boys and two girls reached troops in MULLIYAVELI on the same day (20). more..

12-foot python caught in Sri Lanka village

Mar 21 (PTI) A 12-foot python has been caught by residents at a south Sri Lankan village, the second time in recent weeks the species was found in a human habitat in the fauna-rich island nation. The black-spotted python was coiled when it was detected by horrified villagers in Pilawala in Kandy district, about 115 kms north-east of capital Colombo. The snake was caught by residents and handed over to the Wildlife Department, media reports said. more..

Majority of CGR engines outdated

Mar 21 (Island) Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma yesterday told Parliament that 75 percent of the engines used by the Sri Lanka Railways are outdated. Of the 10 engines imported from France in 1999, only four were in operation, and six were in garages due to a lack of spare parts and as the prices of those parts in the international market had multiplied. Of the 51 railway engines being used by the Railway Department, 13 were imported in 1954 more..

Taming the Tigers

Mar 21 (PS) Three years ago, Sri Lanka elected Mahinda Rajapaksa as president because he pledged to take the offensive against the LTTE, the guerillas who have been fighting for 25 years to carve out an independent homeland for the country’s Tamil minority. Many well-meaning people saw Rajapaksa’s promise as warmongering, and, even as Sri Lanka’s army has been pressing toward victory, urged him to negotiate with perhaps the world’s most fanatical terror organization more..

Work on Matara-Colombo expressway ends by 2011

Mar 21 (DN) Highways and Road Development Minister T.B. Ekanayake told Parliament yesterday the total estimated cost of the Matara-Colombo Southern Lanka Expressway is Rs. 85 billion and work is expected to be completed by 2011. The Government has spent Rs. 43,887 million for the construction of this project so far, he said. Asked about the new construction added due to various reasons, in addition to plans prepared for the construction of the road, more..

Pristine Polonnaruwa

Mar 21 (DN) Polonnaruwa has the privilege of being the model civilization where the unity of various religions along with marvellous architecture and irrigation canals have been world wonders. Today, this ancient city has been nearly forgotten by domestic travellers and tourists alike for they don’t really add Polonnaruwa into their itinerary, thinking it’s too close to the northern part of Sri Lanka subject to terrorist attacks. more..

'Review education structure'

Mar 21 (DN) The All Ceylon Union of English Teachers, a unit of Education International has requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa to appoint immediately a commission of prominent educationalists to review the entire education system. The Union's Secretary-General, M. A. Stanley Perera has pointed out to the President that the proposed establishment of the Education Service Commission should be in control of appointments, transfers, dismissals and connected disciplinary matters of teachers. more..

Cost of fuel, loss of man hours in Colombo City cost govt. Rs. 34 billion

Mar 21 (Island) Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma told Parliament that the annual cost of fuel and man hours lost due to traffic congestion in the Colombo city was Rs. 34 billion. He was answering a supplementary question raised by JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake on the City Line Bus Service launched by the Ministry as a solution to traffic congestion. It was a new concept and he asked the JVP to support it. more..

The story of a cat named Rupee: Journey from Giritale to Calgary

Mar 21 (Island) We tried to give her to one of the workers but there were no takers. She was in a pretty rough shape at the time – filthy, hungry, flea-infested and her eyes were covered in goop! I took her to the hotel room, rinsed her eyes and gave her some food. I set her in a box but this free spirit refused to be contained. We found her when we were on holiday in Sri Lanka. She came out of a pile of garbage on the roadside, running as quickly as her little legs could carry her. more..

Sri Lankan cricketers bounce back, thanks to Sri Sri

Mar 21 (IANS) Bruised and shaken by the terror attack in Pakistan, Sri Lankan cricketers are breathing easy after undergoing yoga and meditation taught by Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Kumar Sangakkara, the dynamic and optimistic new captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team, said that he felt relaxed and calm after just two sessions of the 'Sudarshan Kriya' breathing. more..

'Prabhakaran and son seen in No Fire Zone'

Mar 21 (DM) Army sources said the LTTE leader has been seen several times in the Puthukudiyiruppu area's No-fire zone declared by the government for escaping civilians. The same sources said the LTTE terrorist leader has been seen with his son Charles Anthony Seelan and both of them for most of the time are hiding in an underground bunker. The army sources quoting Tamil civilians who have escaped the area said both of them have from time to time have come out from the bunkers and more..

Ceylinco Deputy Chairman gone hiding?

Mar 21 (DM) According to the latest information coming from Ceylinco House, the Deputy Chairman of the Ceylinco Educational and Financial Services Group, K.A.S. Jayatissa had suddenly gone missing since Thursday. Daily FT learns. A senior official from Ceylinco Consolidated told Daily FT that “Mr. K.A.S. Jayatissa has disappeared ever since CID has stepped into investigate The Finance Company PLC files and he is hiding due to pressure from customers of Ceylinco Sussex School.” more..

Schoolboys made pawns?

Mar 21 (DM) Guardians of school cricket are having a field day making a mockery of their responsibility and nothing could have proved it worse than the manner in which they are reported to have selected a 15-member junior squad for a tour of Malaysia. Some of the players selected are not the best according to observers while players who should have been first choice were sent home after a dubious trial on Thursday at the D. S. Senanayake College ground in Colombo. more..

Central bank in bid to push credit

Mar 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank has asked banks to lend to the private sector amidst a peg defence exercise that has created a liquidity crunch, heavy state borrowing and banks that are wary of rising bad loans. The central bank said it had cut its de facto main policy signal rate, the unrestricted 'penal' discount window from 19.0 to 14.75 percent and its statutory reserve ratio by 300 basis points to 7.0 percent. more..

A crying shame!

Mar 21 (LNP) It is with shock and dismay that we note a minister s wife serving a prison term for double murder and two foreigners jailed for heroin smuggling have walked to freedom on the International Women's Day thanks to a presidential pardon. Ironically, Mary Juliet Monica Fernando, (wife of Minister Milroy Fernando), was sentenced to death in 2005 for abducting and murdering two women and her death penalty was later commuted to life imprisonment! That was how Sri Lanka celebrated a day sacred to the womenfolk! more..

Three Indian airports on alert after threat

Mar 21 (AFP) India tightened security at three major airports in the southern state of Kerala after a call threatening attacks by Tamil Tiger sympathizers, police said Saturday. Extra security measures were in place at the international airports of Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode following the threat, the director general of police told AFP. "We are keeping high alert on the airports and surrounding areas since yesterday," Jacob Punnoose said. more..

Foreign ban postmaster leaves job

Mar 21 (BBC) A postmaster from Nottingham who refused to serve customers who could not speak English has left his job. Sri-Lankan born Deva Kumarasiri, who worked at the sub office on Sneinton Boulevard, made the national news after announcing his policy. He had claimed non-English speakers frustrated other customers and made it difficult to do his job properly. more..

Clashes leave 28 rebels dead

Mar 21 (AP) Heavy fighting in Sri Lanka's north has left at least 28 separatist Tamil Tigers dead close to the last rebel-held town, the military said Saturday. They were killed near Puthkkudiyirippu, where fierce battles between government troops and the rebels have been raging for several weeks, said military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara. "There were a total of 28 LTTE fighters killed, and there are confrontations still taking place," more..

Sri Lanka, bishops and faithful fasting for religious freedom in the country

Mar 22 (AN) The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka (CBCSL) proclaims a national day of fasting, abstinence, and prayer for next April 3. In conjunction with the Friday of Passion Week, ahead of Easter, the bishops intend to call attention back to the possible passage of the anti-conversion bill, proposed by the Buddhist monks in the country and awaiting vote in parliament. more..

Water for rural development

Mar 22 (LG) The rural sector which constitutes around 80% of the population of Sri Lanka plays a very important role in our economy. This sector is responsible for the cultivation of around 2 million small holdings with an average holding size of approximately 1 hectare. Almost all the food crops such as rice and other cereals, legumes, field crops, fruits, and livestock produced in the country, valued at around Rs. 100 billion, come from the rural sector. more..

India has the last laugh

Mar 22 (LG) Elections, per se, does not define Democracy. The Sri Lankan Government conducted Elections in the Eastern Province, holding guns to the heads of voters, literally. It installed quislings to take charge of various Departments in the Provincial body, still carefully making sure that all important aspects are handled by its own henchmen from the majority community. Of course, this does not bother the quislings who care least about the real welfare of the people. more..

Apartheid against majority Sinhalese

Mar 22 (LG) The UN Commissioner for Human Rights Ms Navanetham Pillay in one of her recent statements which is quoted below attempts to give oxygen to LTTE by bringing the long forgotten “discrimination issue”again. Quote “I hope the Government will take this opportunity to tackle the core problems that have fuelled this conflict, including discrimination and impunity,” she said Unquote. Much is written about the discriminated victimized minority Tamils of Sri-Lanka. more..

Sivasambo: A Rip van Winkle wakes up!

Mar 22 (LG) The feature India has last laugh by Sridas Sivasambo is an invaluable reflection of a Diasporantian Dinosaur. Evidently Sridas Sivsambo comes from a circumstance where time stopped still some five decades ago and he has just woken from a Rip van Winkle slumber having had a dream of some sorts. He talks about gun point voting in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, government henchmen and quislings and evidently imagines that the real people whom he knew half a century ago or even more are in bad shape. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines in green flight

Mar 22 (LBO) Sri Lankan Airlines, the national carrier of the Indian Ocean island had its first 'green flight' Saturday using recyclable consumables on board and flying practices that minimize fuel burn. The airline says it flight too Frankfurt was the first in the region and it wants to make 'planet friendly flights' an airline-wide practice in two years. SriLankan first started using fuel saving techniques in the middle of last year when fuel prices shot up. more..

Cold spot turns hot spot for 100 lankan students

Mar 22 (AT) A cold spot in the American Midwest along Interstate 94 at the Minnesota-North Dakota border has become a hot spot for higher education for more than 100 Sri Lanka students and their families. Students from Sri Lanka are becoming an increasingly visible component of American college campuses. The three campuses of the North Dakota State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College now accommodate more than 100 students from Sri Lanka more..

Dangerous Trends

Mar 22 (AT) A functioning Constitutional Council (together with its attendant commissions) will reduce the absolute powers of the President. Consequently it will impede the Rajapakse project of occupying the Lankan state via the gradual erection of a family oligarchy behind a democratic façade. Therefore the regime will not permit the activation of the 17th Amendment. Pressurised by the Supreme Court to appoint the Constitutional Council, the government has been dragging its feet, more..

Protect civilians to facilitate long-term peace

Mar 22 (HF) The Sri Lankan army's recent military success against the LTTE is being diminished by international concern over the deteriorating human rights situation surrounding the fighting. The Sri Lankan army has been able to drive out the LTTE, designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. Department of State, from its strongholds in the north of the island and from Kilinochchi, the city the LTTE used as a capital. more..

Pro-government stance in TNA

Mar 22 (Hindu) First signs of differences among pro-LTTE outfits over the ongoing war surfaced in Sri Lankan Parliament on Friday. TNA MP Vinodharadhalingam surprised everyone with his comments in support of the government efforts towards welfare of the displaced in the areas that had come under military control in recent weeks. The MP told Parliament he had personally visited the Kadiragamapuram welfare camp and had witnessed the manner in which the government was taking care of the displaced persons. more..

Top cops suspect quick devolution of police powers

Mar 22 (LB) Police officers inquire as to whether the government has devolved police powers to the provinces, due to heavy international pressure to devolve power in Sri Lanka. When the war is approaching an end, the US, UK, the European Union and India stressed the need for the government to introduce a devolution package for the North and East. The JVP has meanwhile decided to launch a massive protest against the implementation of the 13th Amendment islandwide. more..

Dayasiri gives a run-down of the UNP crisis

Mar 22 (LB) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara says the UNP must make palpable changes, including changes in the ‘media unit’, if the party is to start winning again. Victory in the Western Province election would then be a cake walk, he said. Q: Although UNP members accused the party leadership for all the defeats, the leader countered these allegations and said that party members were the folks responsible for the downfall of the party and should take the responsibility. Do you agree with that? more..

Ranil down, guardian angel gone

Mar 22 (LB) Ranil Wickremesinghe backed boys in the UNP are discussing obtaining a Court stay order against amendments to the party constitution which would oust Ranil from the party leadership. The UNP working committee met on the 18th. At this meeting, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake’s proposal to create a new senior leader post and to appoint a team to determine the party’s affairs while the leader post remained, went through. more..

Swindlers’ list my foot.....

Mar 22 (LB) Companies within a certain group are collapsing as if they were a string of dominoes, and the latest lament by a group of investors with the Ceylinco affiliated Finance and Guarantee Company indicates that despite all the lamentations in President’s House and elsewhere, finance company investors are these days essentially all left in the lurch. A scheme incorporating Lankaputhra Bank for rescue and recovery of finance companies seems so much pie-in-the-sky now after more..

Minister of Health cold shouldered at Anuradhapura

Mar 22 (LT) Doctors of Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital have displayed their opposition to Minister of Health Nimal Siripala de Silva who participated at a function held at the kidney unit today. When Minister Siripala de Silva was at the function only a few doctors serving in the kidney unit have been present and all other doctors, numbering about 200, serving in other units have kept away as a mark of protest against the minister. more..

Tamil Canadian Legal professionals want Ottawa to invoke "Responsibility to protect" doctrine in Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (TC) We, the Tamil Canadian Legal Professionals, seek to bring to your attention the savage situation in the North of Sri Lanka, which further compounds a humanitarian crisis, and has threatened to annihilate the entire Tamil civilian population trapped in the arena of war. The alarming situation is agonizing to Tamil Canadians because they are fellow-humans and are members of our Tamil fraternity. more..

Some aspects on the barriers to the Tamil cause

Mar 22 (FI) The Tamils all over the world are concerned of the plight of the innocent Tamils who are caught in the armed conflict. On one side the Government calls it has waged a war on the terrorists in order to rescue the Tamils from the clutches of the LTTE. On the other side the LTTE maintains the people are with them. Apparently the Tamils also do not have faith in the Armed Security Forces fearing that they will be persecuted on suspicion of a LTTE cadre or sympathizer. more..

Domino Theory

Mar 22 (SL) The collapse of Golden Key has pushed the Ceylinco group to the edge. One after another financial companies associated with the group are collapsing leaving thousands of depositors struggling to cope. "We have nothing to live on. I cant feed my children... Where is our interest? Where is our money?" The same refrain, with a minimum of variation, was repeated time and again by the scores of depositors who gathered at the offices of the F&G Property Development Company earlier this week. more..

'We are harassed from all quarters'

Mar 22 (SL) Krishni Ifham Kanthasamy, President, Tamil Speaking Women Media Organisation, winner of the Best Tamil Journalist of the Year for three consecutive years says, there has never been a time when Tamil speaking women journalists felt as threatened as they are today. "The harassment is coming from all quarters and our approximately 50 members do not lead easy lives. In fact they live in fear, do their jobs in fear and enjoy no perks and benefits and have no hopes of bettering their careers," more..

UNP's tryst with destiny

Mar 22 (SL) The crisis within the main opposition UNP has now reached eruption point with the party's parliamentary group firmly divided into two. Yet, with the decision to create a new post of senior leader and the replacement choice of Karu Jayasuriya being accepted on principle, a ray of hope has appeared on the horizon for the Grand Old Party to settle the dispute. more..

'A community cannot have grievances'

Mar 22 (SL) Government Defence Spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella claims that deadlines are not feasible when fighting a ruthless guerilla outfit like the LTTE though in reality, the Tigers are restricted to a mere 20 sq kms. In an interview with The Sunday Leader, he said TMVP's symbolic laying down of arms was in the correct spirit whereas the LTTE wayback in 1987 unwillingly did so, due to external pressure. more..

Are police ‘moves’ the tip of the iceberg?

Mar 22 (LT) The scheme to devolve power to provinces have commenced secretly. According to certain senior police officers the government has already devolved police powers to the provinces. According to these senior policemen the largest change in the administrative structure in the history of the Sri Lanka police has taken place through the police circular no. RPM/532/2009/03/13. more..

No quick fix

Mar 22 (LNP) There is obviously no quick fix to the problems facing some companies in the financial services sector triggered by the failure of the Golden Key Credit Card Company. This was very much a Ponzi-style operation with very high interest offered to attract deposits. Peter was paid with Paul's money and as long as the interest cheques kept coming, the suckers who are born every minute, as the threadbare but nevertheless valid clich has it, kept investing their hard or otherwise earned money. more..