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Noticeable resurgence of Jaffna producer

Mar 29 (SO) Systems should be put in place to protect the Jaffna producer. The middleman should not be given the opportunity to exploit them, said Chairman Ceylon National Chamber of Industries, Newton Wickramasuriya. Speaking to the 'Sunday Observer' he said that Jaffna producer is slowly but surely awaking and all assistance and guidance should be provided to him. "This is specially evident in the agriculture, dairy and the fisheries sectors," he said. more..

TMVP, always with Government

Mar 29 (SO) Chief Minister of the Eastern Province and TMVP Leader Sivanesadurai Chandrakanthan said that the TMVP was `part and parcel’ of the UPFA government and they would continue to strengthen the hands of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had a clear vision to develop the Eastern province and also to sweep away the LTTE from the country. Planning to erase off the word `Puligal’ (Tiger) from his political party, he said more..

Cocoa processing at rural level

Mar 29 (SO) The country's first-of-its-kind Cocoa Processing Center was established in the rural village of Ulpotha in Matale recently, under Etimos Lanka (Pvt) Ltd's innovative project "Micro Finance meets small producers in Sri Lanka." The project was launched by Etimos Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, recently with the aim of supporting and investing in small producers by assisting them with investing in technology in order to increase capacity and production. more..

Basil too in IMF talks with Cabraal

Mar 29 (Island) Given the Easter holidays (applicable in Washington) and the Sinhala and Tamil New Year here, the deal between the Sri Lanka government and the IMF now under negotiation is not expected to be finalized before the end of April, well informed sources said yesterday. Senior officials were tight-lipped about the progress and terms of the negotiations as both sides had agreed to maintain ``radio silence’’ on the talks. more..

Ceylinco-managed college trying to sort out the mess

Mar 29 (Island) Parents of students studying at the troubled Ceylinco managed Sussex College network had invested in the venture, well informed sources told The Sunday Island. The management headed by K. A. S. Jayatissa, Deputy Chairman, Ceylinco Tax and Financial Consultancy Group in charge of the overall administration of the colleges, had accepted large deposits on the promise of higher interest, the sources said. more..

My ministers were party - goers & nightclubbers: CBK

Mar 29 (Island) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge said in Kandy on last week that all norms of decency had broken down and government institutions were not functioning properly at the time she took office. She said that moral values and ethics do not exist any more. Mrs. Kumaratunge made these observations during question time at the 35th General Meeting of the Rotary Club of Kandy. more..

The caravan trundles on

Mar 29 (Island) Those of us who believe that the high and mighty fall from pedestals only in this free, sovereign, democratic socialist republic of ours are grievously wrong. It happens elsewhere too as history, both contemporary and ancient, shows us time and again. The Australian media has been recently full of stories about a man called Marcus Richard Einfeld, Q.C., a former superior court judge in that country, more..

Supreme Court to determine asset disposal mechanism - DSG

Mar 29 (Island) The Supreme Court will determine the mechanism to be used to sell the assets of Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala to repay Golden Key depositors, Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Sarath Jayamanne said. Assets valued at 14.5 billion rupees have already been offered by Kotelawala to the Trust for disposal to settle distraught depositors, who have been denied their capital plus interest since the Ceylinco subsidiary collapsed last December. more..

Children at risk if vaccination suspended

Mar 29 (NS) The lives of more than 50,000 children will be at risk, if the national immunisation programmes are suspended, claimed National Immunisation Programme Head Dr. Sudath Pieris. “Some 50,000 children will face death next year, if the immunisation programmes are suspended due to one particular incident that had taken place in Matara,” Dr. Pieris asserted. He also noted that since 1960 the Ministry of Healthcare has been able to prevent many fatal diseases more..

TNA accused of trying to manipulate IDPs

Mar 29 (NS) The TNA calls for a halt to armed operations were responded to by the government as “unfortunate,” and accused the political party of trying to manipulate the plight of civilians trapped by the LTTE. Refuting the allegations made by the TNA, the Presidential Secretariat has emphasised the President’s intention to hold elections at the earliest possible time and reiterated its commitment to aiding the internally displaced in a statement released yesterday. more..

Ranil ‘lives’ for better or for worse

Mar 29 (NS) Harry Houdini, the Hungarian born master magician, whose specialty was escaping from seemingly impossible situations, would have been proud of what UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe achieved this week- seeing off yet another one of the innumerable challenges to his leadership. Wickremesinghe would have spent last week pondering of his political future, after several front-liners charged that his stewardship of the UNP was the reason for its dismal performances at elections in recent times. more..

People power and the elimination of LTTE

Mar 29 (NS) How many would have thought there would be a time that the LTTE would or could be cornered to a 12km stretch. In all probability the LTTE would also not have thought that it would be in this predicament. Most importantly those that backed the LTTE all through the years by way of contributing financially or otherwise must be facing the most daunting task of having to come to terms with an eventuality that would probably change their financial position drastically. more..

If not Ranil, who?

Mar 29 (ST) Time is fast running out for Tiger guerrillas. This week advancing troops confined them to some 21 square kilometers inclusive of the civilian safety zone. It is a matter of time before the Army regains control of that little area and thus denies them a world record that has lasted over two decades - the only guerrilla group to hold territory and run a virtual parallel administration. more..

Public sector to be slashed

Mar 29 (ST) Public servants failing to pass an efficiency test in three attempts will be forced to retire from service in a new move aimed at reducing the over-sized public sector, trade union and opposition leaders said yesterday. The Public Services Commission in a Gazette notification also announced other measures which impose restrictions on recruitment to the public service which already has some one million workers. more..

Rambukwella says Govt. ready to consider ‘humanitarian pause’

Mar 29 (ST) The Government is ready for a 'humanitarian pause' in the conflict zone and to allow the entry of an international task force if it strictly adheres to the modalities laid out by Sri Lanka, Defence spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday. "We are ready for this 'humanitarian pause' as suggested by the United Nations Security Council and other international players if more..

Peak traffic!

Mar 29 (ST) Climbing Sri Pada or Adam's Peak is an age-old Sri Lankan tradition and thousands flock to the sacred mountain during the season from December to May. The long weekend holidays have seen an influx of visitors, and if you’re planning to make the climb during the coming Avurudu holidays, take into consideration that you may have to wait hours in the queue to the summit, warns Malaka Rodrigo more..

Sri Lanka govt says 46 rebels killed

Mar 29 (AFP) Government troops killed at least 46 rebels during weekend battles in the northeast of the island where they have cornered the Tamil Tiger guerrillas, the defence ministry said Sunday. The Tiger fighters were shot dead in two days of fighting in and around the town of Puthukkudiriruppu, the ministry said in a statement. The rebels have been pushed back into a narrow strip of jungle coastline and will be wiped out by next month. more..

Sri Lanka military says it breached rebel defense

Mar 29 (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers breached a fortification built by Tamil Tiger rebels to defend their last strip of land from advancing troops. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the barrier, about 1.2 miles long, was breached Saturday in Palamattalan village. Nanayakkara said he has not received casualty reports from the battlefield, but the Defense Ministry reported on its Web site that eight insurgents were killed and 17 were wounded in the battle. more..

The silent horror of the war in Sri Lanka

Mar 30 (TOI) The horror that is unfolding in Sri Lanka becomes possible because of the silence that surrounds it. There is almost no reporting in the mainstream Indian media — or indeed in the international press — about what is happening there. Why this should be so is a matter of serious concern. From the little information that is filtering through it looks as though the Sri Lankan government is using the propaganda of the ‘war on terror’ as a fig leaf to dismantle any semblance of democracy in the country, more..

Sri Lanka needs to make peace out of military victory

Mar 30 (FT) Will President Mahinda Rajapakse replicate George W.Bush’s famous 2003 “Mission Accomplished” aircraft carrier performance and declare “victory” when his forces finally defeat the last of the Tamil Tiger rebels? Does he, like Mr Bush after the Iraq invasion, assume that a victory by the military will be the end of the story, and that the great mass of the Tamils will quietly go about their daily lives, causing no problems for the majority Sinhalese who run the government? more..

Bullet hits ICRC ferry in Sri Lanka

Mar 30 (BBC) A ship evacuating civilians from the conflict zone in northern Sri Lanka has been caught in the cross-fire. The International Red Cross says a ferry evacuating sick and wounded people was hit by a stray bullet but there was no damage to the boat or its passengers. This is the first time that a relief vessel has been hit. "Green Ocean" chartered by the ICRC was in Puthumatalan waiting to evacuate civillians to Trincomalee. more..

Govt seeks partnership with diaspora for reconciliation and peace building in the North

Mar 30 (AT) The Government is committed towards developing a partnership with the Sri Lankan Diaspora in promoting a new era of peace through reconciliation among the different communities and implementing an economic plan to reconstruct the war ravaged North of the country. This pledge was made by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama at the inauguration of a two day Sri Lankan Diaspora Dialogue in Colombo organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. more..

NTB turns to small business and personal banking for better returns

Mar 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Nations Trust Bank (NTB), a unit of John Keells Holdings, is growing its personal banking small business segments to maintain above industry average growth rates during the next four years, an official said. Last year, the bank went through a behind-the-scenes transformation introducing a number of products as part of its new five year strategy to tap retail and small business markets. more..

'Indonesia will not be breeding ground for LTTE'

Mar 30 (AT) Indonesia will not be the breeding ground for LTTE terrorism and will not be a party to its arms procurements, visiting Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda assured yesterday. He was addressing a joint news conference with his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama at the Foreign Ministry following the bilateral discussions the two Foreign Ministers had in Colombo over the last two days. more..

Sri Lanka seeks investment for tourist infrastructure

Mar 30 (AN) Sri Lanka said on Saturday night that it had been receiving a number of inquiries from investors in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Arab world for developing its tourist and hospitality sectors. “We have received many inquiries from Saudis who are interested in investing in our hospitality and other tourism projects,” Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister for Tourism Faiszer Musthapha told a press conference more..

LTTE’s last supply route seized: Colombo

Mar 30 (Hindu) The military on Sunday claimed that it had taken control of the last supply route of the LTTE in Mullaithivu district. The Tigers are cornered now in 21.5 sq km, including 20 sq km declared by the government as “no fire zone” to enable the stranded civilians to escape. The Defence Ministry said troops advancing further east from Puthukkudiyirippu seized control over the LTTE supply route that stretched towards Iranapalai after hours of fierce fighting. more..

Clobbering the captain won’t do!

Mar 30 (LG) Whether UNP 'rebels' decided not to change their captain for logical reasons or for the lack of options is hard to say but in hindsight it could be said that it was a decision taken in the long term interests of the grand old party. Logic is not the forte of Sri Lankan political parties - not even the UNP - and presumably it was the lack of any other option. 'Fire the captain' is the popular cry in politics as well as in sports but is not always the answer to defeats suffered. more..

No end to Lanka's woes

Mar 30 (LG) Over the past few months the issues and problems arising out of the global financial uncertainty is finally hitting home going by the crisis triggered by the failed Golden Key (GK) Group and dwindling business for many other companies. Events this week alone prove - and as repeatedly stated in these columns - the problems Sri Lankan companies, the economy and the public are going to face in the future. more..

Is the implementation of constitutional council practicable?

Mar 30 (LG) Dr Susantha Gonatilake, in his article under the heading “Can those who question Sri Lanka’s sovereignty be CC members?” dated 18 March 2009 appeared in The Island has quite rightly pointed out misdeeds of some of the political nominees to the Constitutional Councils. As per the Article 41A (4) of the Chapter VIIA of the Constitution, the persons to be appointed or nominated to the Constitution Council (CC) shall be persons of eminence and integrity more..

Minister promises Northerners a better future

Mar 30 (DN) Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda visited the Welfare Camp at the Jaffna University Hostel in Pambaimadu, Vavuniya. The Minister who addressed IDPs from the Wanni said that he came not as a Minister but as a representative of the people who had been made helpless in the North due to LTTE atrocities. He said "I am very concerned about the well-being of the people and will help find solutions to their problems. more..

President examines construction of the International Sports Complex in Diyagama

Mar 30 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday engaged in a fact finding tour at the Mahinda Rajapakse International Stadium in Diyagama Homagama, which is now being constructed and The president has instructed the relevant officials to complete construction as an environmental friendly sport complex. The sprawling complex to be set up in an extent of 156 acres will facilitate the sports rugby, soccer as well as athletics. more..

A training program to Pirivena teachers

Mar 30 (GDI) The Ministry of Education has taken the initiative to begin in service training sessions for pirivena teachers. The program commence district shrewd in Galle, Matara and Hambantota in the Southern province and The promotion of pirivena eduction in the south would be the prime aim of this Endeavour, Southern Provincial Assistant Director of Pirivena Education Venerable Koradewala Punna Rathana Thera said. more..

O/L results will be released in next month

Mar 30 (GDI) The results of the GCE ordinary level examination will be released next month. The results of around 540 thousand candidates, who appeared under the new and old syllabuses, will be announced before the 8th of April, the last day of the 1st school term. The Department of Examinations has made arrangements to obtain data relating to children from uncleared areas who are staying at the welfare centers. more..

Reduced fish prices throughout the festive season

Mar 30 (GDI) Consumers will entertain cheap meals of fish throughout the forthcoming festive season. For this purpose, a special pricing method has been adopted by the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation (CFC). Consequently, all CFC owned fish stalls will be opened for the public during the festive season and, in areas without CFC owned fish stalls, mobile sales units are supposed to arrive at the doorstep of the consumer. more..

More contribution to the local food production from the rice bowl area in Mannar

Mar 30 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to launch a programme to secure more contribution to the local food production from the rice bowl area in Mannar. A programme is underway and the rice bowl area in Mannar was liberated from tiger terrorists in June last year. The “Yali Pibidemu” project of the Ministry of Nation Building has made arrangements to obtain higher paddy harvest from Nanatam, Adampan and Musali in the rice bowl area. more..

University of Vocational Technology to be opens tomorrow

Mar 30 (GDI) The first University of Vocational Technology built in Sri Lanka which will be opened tomorrow, Kandawala, Ratmalana. Around 100,000 students will receive vocational and technological training in 2010. The university will commence two degree courses at the outset. They are Training Technology and Industrial and Vocational Technology. The first intake has already started in the Training Technology degree course with 29 students, more..

President wants Sapugaskanda modernisation to go ahead

Mar 30 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed Treasury Chief Sumith Abeysinghe to raise funds required for the proposed modernisation of the Sapugaskanda oil refinery. The President has emphasised that the project is of utmost importance and therefore cannot be shelved or abandoned. Well informed sources said that the President had said that priority should be given to the project and more..

Colombo businessmen told: Go North

Mar 30 (CT) The Government has initiated measures to ensure that all items are freely available to the Northern people at reasonable prices during the Sinhala and Tamil festive season, official sources said. As an initial step, the Government has decided to permit leading Colombo-based business companies and business entrepreneurs to engage in business activities in the North. more..

Over 300,000 lose jobs in private sector

Mar 30 (PSM) More than 300,000 employees out of a total workforce of 6.1 million employed in the private sector have lost their jobs, with more than 50,000 being dismissed during the past three months, it is learnt. The Inter Company Employees Union charged that more than 50 companies and factories have been closed due to the present crisis situation and that the Labour Ministry has done little to protect the employees who have lost their jobs. more..

'Attempt to send home employees and incapacitate state service'

Mar 30 (LT) The gazette No.1589/30 is an outrageous attempt by the government to terminate services of state employees and also measures to curtail rights enjoyed by them states All Ceylon Trade Union Federation (ACTUF). General Secretary of ACTUF Samanthe Koralearachchi making a statement regarding the new regulations said, “These regulations are included in the gazette issued on 20th February, 2009. more..

'New conditions for state employees curtail rights'

Mar 30 (LT) Public Service Commission has issued a special gazette that includes new regulations effecting state employees. This includes a regulation that enables termination of service if any employee fails the efficiency bar examination thrice. The conditions in the gazette would be implemented from the 2nd of next month. According to present regulations the number of attempts for the efficiency bar is not limited. more..

Thirteenth Amendment

Europeans and their tribes

Mar 30 (PISL) The tenth session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva has come to a close without the anticipated assault on the Sri Lankan state. This had been on the cards for quite some time, beginning with the motion against Sri Lanka that had been put forward three years ago. Fortunately some concerted diplomatic action, involving regular briefings of all states who were genuinely interested in the country, saw that motion scratched in 2007, more..

Tiger paws behind humanitarian pause?

Mar 30 (LNP) The LTTE has lost the entire land area under its control save about one sq. km. Before the present phase of war began in 2006, the LTTE held over 15,000 sq. km in the North and the East. But, today it has taken refuge in the no-fire zone behind a human shield. In fact, the term no-fire zone has lost its meaning as the LTTE is using it to mount attacks on the army. It is a no-fire zone only for the troops. more..

SEP campaigns among railway workers

Mar 30 (wsws) As a part of its campaign for the Colombo district in the Western Provincial Council election, the Socialist Equality Party visited the quarters of railway workers in Ratmalana—a major industrial zone 15 kilometres south of Colombo city. The SEP is standing a slate of 46 candidates for the election on April 25. The Ratmalana railway workshops were built in the 1930s during the last period of British colonial rule. more..

The psycho - social condition of civilians in the Wanni war zone

Mar 30 (TC) A very intensive and fierce war is currently being fought between the government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eelam, in Wanni in the North of Sri Lanka. As a result of this intense war more than 330,000 internally displaced people are forced to live in a very narrow coastal stretch which is roughly twelve kilometers long and one and a half kilometers wide. more..

Building blocks needed for building a "new" Sri Lankan nation

Mar 30 (TC) With the penultimate phase of the conflict now drawing to a close, it is indeed gratifying to note that the President has gone on record as stating that this country belongs to all of us, whether we be Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Burghers, Parsis or Sindhis, all of whom have come to call this their home. This is indeed a most heartening statement coming as it does from the Executive Head of the government, more..

Situation Report (Mar 30) by SLA

Mar 30 (SLA) ARMY troops engaged in extensive search and clear operations in captured areas, north of PALAMATTALAN, PUTHUKUDIYIRIPPU this morning (30) collected dead bodies of fifteen more Tigers along with twenty T-56 weapons and one Multi Purpose Machine Gun (MPMG). Tigers during Sunday (29) unsuccessfully tried to assault advancing troops but the troops took an upper hand and reacted hard against them. more..

Troops close in on Safe Zone from three directions

Mar 30 (DN) Heavy fighting raged in the Puthukudiyiruppu East, Iranapalai East and Palamattalan as troops attached to the 53, 58 and 55 Divisions further close in on the Safe Zone from three directions surrounding the Safe Zone amidst thousands of civilians fleeing the Tiger held area seeking refuge in Security Forces controlled areas, military officials told the Daily News yesterday. more..

Director in hot water

Mar 30 (DN) The CID on Friday produced Ranjith Weerasinghe, a director of the Freedom of High Seas Enterprises (Pvt) Limited before the Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Nishantha Hapuarachchi for allegedly misappropriating Rs. 100 million. He was remanded till April 8. The CID commenced investigations into a complaint made by the senior directors of High Seas Enterprises (Pvt) Limited that more..