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Ban for outsiders in campus hostels

Mar 5 (GDI) Instructions have been given to all Vice Chancellors to take stern action against outsiders who use the hostel facilities in universities reserved for undergraduates, Higher Education Minister Professor Wishva Waranapala told parliament yesterday (04). The government has taken a policy decision to provide hostel facilities to nearly 45 percent of the student population by next year. Special plans have also been implemented to achieve the target.

Undue recognition for Sea Tigers

Mar 5 (AT) In the early hours of yesterday (02 March) the alarm was raised in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka (Chalai) about an incoming seaborne attack on the troops of 55 Division. The ground troops ashore managed to put their heavy guns into action in a valiant attempt to repulse a possible attack from the sea by the sea tigers. It is so puzzling for all of us to see that this incident has been unduly puffed up by one short-sighted journalist of our country who more..

Terrorism, covert operations, bogus humanitarian workers & hostile media

Mar 5 (AT) The15, area once under LTTE control today stands at barely Into this small and shrinking area we are to presume the LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabakaran, his son Charles Anthony, the remaining LTTE leaders and an unbelievable 200,000 to 250,000 civilians are gathered in the thick jungles of Vanni. From 1980s to 2006 August, despite 32 countries listing the LTTE as a terrorist organization, Sri Lanka was forced to negotiate, more..

Stamp and First-day Cover to commemorate the late Dr. A.P. de Zoysa

Mar 5 (AT) The Philatelic Bureau of the Postal Department will issue a new stamp of Rs. 5.00 and a First-day Cover to commemorate the Social Reformer and Buddhist Scholar, the late Dr. A. P. de Zoysa today. (05th March). The official issuing of the first day cover will take place at the Speaker’s Residence at 5.00 p.m. with the participation of Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara as Chief Guest. more..

Ghosts of separatism haunting again

Mar 5 (AT) Advocates of covert separatism and federalism who were kept at bay with the greatest difficulty during the past few years are slowly staging a comeback. This time their favorite haunt is going be the Constitutional Council. If anyone reads the antecedents of the six nominees to the council it is obvious that the majority are promoters of political ‘solutions’ that will eventually to lead to ethnic Bantustans in this country – one way or another. more..

A Secret plans to safeguard LTTE international arms smuggler "Kumaran Pathmanadan" alias "KP" revealed

Mar 5 (AT) The LTTE is one of the most ruthless terrorist outfits in the world who possess the deadly weapon - the human bombs: suicide cadres, and the only terrorist organization possess land, sea and air power. LTTE is fighting for a separate state, so called “Tamil Eelam” in Sri Lanka and the fighting between Sri Lankan Military and the LTTE continues for the last three decades. more..

Samaraweera undergoes surgery

Mar 5 (CI) Thilan Samaraweera, who was shot on his leg during the armed attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, has undergone a two-hour surgery and is reported to be safe and stable. Samaraweera, who scored successive Test double-centuries in Pakistan, was the worst affected from the terrorist attack and was admitted to a private hospital on arrival in Colombo on Wednesday. He had the bullet removed from his left thigh muscle the same day. more..

Rathnam Master's last stand

Mar 5 (DW) Task Force 8 finally reached the Puthukudirippu junction yesterday. Fighting still continues in the major part of the town as the density of LTTE fighters has increased due to loss of terrain. Advance of FIBUA units is conducted at dawn or dusk as Tigers occupying civilian houses and public buildings direct heavy volumes of 12.7mm and mounted 23mm and 30mm canon fire at the advancing units. Often taking cover inside buildings is hazardous due to trappings. more..

Illegal hoardings in Colombo to be removed

Mar 5 (LT) Colombo Municipal Council and its officials have been ordered by Supreme Court to immediately remove all hoardings erected without adhering to regulations, guides and instructions of the CMC within Colombo Municipal limits. The Supreme Court in its judgment given on the 4th has ordered the CMC, its Mayor and officials to amend regulations and guides to tally with that of those in developed countries and implement them from the 1st of January, 2010. more..

'Appoint five member committee if no repression of media'

Mar 5 (LT) It there is no repression of the media the government should immediately appoint a five member independent committee to look into threats targeting the media says Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremasinghe. Speaking at a meeting held at the party office the UNP Leader said the committee should include two members each from the government and the opposition and one representing the media organizations. more..

'We have no economic problems'

Mar 5 (LNP) Environment Minister, Patali Champika Ranawaka today said that US President Barak Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are currently studying the `Mahinda Chintanaya` concept to face the global economic recession. The Jathika Hela Urumaya Minister Ranawaka said that Sri Lanka is not burning by this global economic crisis as the country turned to national economic models earlier. more..

Diplomats visited IDP camps in Vavuniya

Mar 5 (LG) Foreign diplomats in Sri Lanka visited welfare centers housing internally displaced people in Vavuniya, yesterday to ascertain the conditions at these camps and the measures taken by the government to assist the displaced people. Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona and Resettlement Minister Rishard Bathiudeen accompanied High Commissioners and Ambassador of France, Russia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and Maldives. more..

Situation Report (Mar 5) by SLA

Mar 5 (SLA) TASK FORCE II troops conducting search and clear operations into LTTE vacated strongholds in UDAYARKATTUKULAM area on Wednesday (4) afternoon were amused to find an assortment of LTTE musical instruments, most probably that would have been used by Tiger leader, PRABHAKARAN and his senior cohorts for entertainment. Eight side drums, two pairs of Tabla, one big melodica, one flute, four audio speakers, discs, one harmonium, one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) tripod, more..

New agricultural projects in cleared areas

Mar 5 (MoD) Agriculture Development Minister Maithripala Sirisena said moves are under way to introduce agricultural projects in the cleared areas of the Vanni and fully liberated Eastern Province with the use of international funds. He said, "the World Bank, the Japanese Government and the United Nations have pledged millions of dollars to commence agriculture projects in the cleared areas to upgrade the lives of Tamil civilians who live in the North and East more..

We are not paramilitary - PLOTE

Mar 5 (MoD) The People's Liberation Organisation of Thamil Eelam (PLOTE) has expressed deep concern and unequivocally denied a statement made by Anna Neistat of the Human Rights Watch which described it as a Pro-government paramilitary organisation. It said PLOTE is not a paramilitary organisation but an independent political organisation which entered mainstream politics over two decades ago and presently involved in helping people overcome problems through accepted democratic norms. more..

Arrests of Tamil young people in Colombo escalate

Mar 5 (TN) 23 Tamil youths including 8 women have been arrested in the past week alone in the city of Colombo and its suburbs and most of the arrested are from the districts of Jaffna, Trincomalee and Batticaloa, Colombo sources said. Democratic People’s Front (DPF) led by Mano Ganeshan, Colombo District parliamentarian and Deputy Minister, P. Rathakrishnan of Upcountry People’s Front (UPF), said that complaints are made to them every day of arrests more..

Why Sri Lankan cricket team was selected as terrorist target

Mar 5 (TC) Many commentators have drawn the conclusion that the Sri Lankan cricket team was targeted by terrorists not because they were Sri Lankan, rather they were the only foreign sports team visiting Pakistan . Given the global media attention it received, the targeting of a foreign sports team irrespective from which country they came did achieve the media objectives for the terrorists. more..

'Vanni people in great distress'

Mar 5 (LeN) It is distressing to note that Vanni is starving due to acute shortage of food and the patients are suffering due to lack of essential drugs, the only available drugs being Panadol and Vitamin-C Immediate action should be taken to air drop dry ration and essential drugs followed by immediate shipment of these items, said Ananda Sangari leader of TULF issuing a statement on today. more..

'Do the rest with maximum precautions'

Mar 5 (MoD) "Offensives, inside the remaining entire un-cleared area of less than 45 sq km, inclusive of the reserved 'Safety Zone' for fleeing civilians should be carried out taking all possible safety precautions with utmost precision, since the number of civilians thronging into the area is now fast swelling," so said Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka when he met his senior ground commanders Wednesday (4) morning at the Vanni Security Forces Headquarters in Vavuniya. more..

Support animal welfare authority bill -JHU

Mar 5 (DN) JHU Parliamentarian Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera yesterday called upon the public to rally round the Animal Welfare Authority Bill, which was tabled in Parliament on February 7, to ensure a cruelty free life for animals. He said, the Bill will prevent brutal slaughter of animals by all means. The Bill seeks to establish an Animal Welfare Authority which will enforce the country's anti-cruelty Legislature in full force more..

ASPs granted leave to proceed

Mar 5 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights application filed by twelve Assistant Superintendents of Police alleging that their fundamental rights were infringed for not providing them with an applicable marking scheme for their promotions to the posts of Superintendent of Police grade 2. The bench comprised Supreme Court Justices Shirani Bandaranayake, Saleem Marsoof (PC) and K. Sripavan. more..

GK Credit Card crisis: Employees threaten to occupy top executives’ homes

Mar 5 (Island) A group of employees of the troubled Golden Key Credit Card Company yesterday vowed to occupy the residences of top company officials unless their February salaries were paid by March 10. Expressing concern over the management’s failure to pay their ETF and EPF dues over the past six months, workers said that they would target the luxury residences of the top management as part of their efforts to draw public attention to their plight. more..

Ravi K accuses Lokuge of misleading House

Mar 5 (Island) Although the government said that Pakistan had promised VVIP security for the Sri Lankan cricket team, what had actually been provided was far below that standard, UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday, soon after his colleague, MP Ravi Karunanayake, raised a point of order that Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge had misled the House with false information that threat perception against Sri Lankan team was very low and more..

Lanka calls for treaty to protect sportsmen

Mar 5 (DM) Sri Lanka said she would urge the international community to sign a treaty on the prevention of terrorism with special emphasis on the safety of sportsmen and sportswomen. Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana told the media that in the context of the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka National Cricket Team in Lahore, such a treaty is sine qua non as sports personalities are becoming increasingly exposed to terrorism. more..

Colombo campus secures rank above 80 in Asia

Mar 5 (DM) Higher Education Minister Prof. Vishva Warnapala told parliament yesterday that only the Colombo University had secured a ranking above 80 in Asia among all universities in the country. Responding to a question by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, Prof. Warnapala said according to the Asiaweek, the Colombo University was placed 75 in 1999. The Minister said it was placed 77 in 2000. more..

Banks expand in former Tiger territory

Mar 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's two biggest banks, state-owned Bank of Ceylon (BOC) and the private listed Commercial Bank, plan to expand in areas of the island's north and east which have been cleared of Tamil Tiger rebels. Gamini Wickramasinghe, chairman of BOC, said the bank will be establishing eight more branches in the north and east in the next two months. "Three new branches will be opened in the Northern Province and five more branches will be opened in the Eastern Province, before the end of April." more..

Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka Part 01

Sharp fall in Sri Lanka tea exports

Mar 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka registered a 30 percent drop in overseas sales in January because of a decline in the crop, the Sri Lanka Tea Board said. Sales from tea shipments fell to 6.9 billion rupees (61.37 million dollars) in January, compared to 9.8 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier, official figures showed. Volumes of tea exports also fell 25 percent to 17.76 million kilograms (39.07 million pounds) in January, over the same month in 2008, more..

Red Cross worker killed in Sri Lanka's war zone

Mar 5 (Reuters) A Red Cross worker was killed by shrapnel inside Sri Lanka's rapidly shrinking war zone, the international aid group said on Thursday. The Sri Lankan worker died just outside the no-fire zone the Sri Lankan military has set up for the tens of thousands of civilians caught by what many expect to be the final conventional battles of a 25-year separatist war on the Indian Ocean island. more..

Sri Lanka escapes Commonwealth focus despite British MPs' demand

Mar 5 (IANS) The political watchdog of the Commonwealth refrained from discussing the civil war in Sri Lanka despite a last-minute plea by a group of British MPs to place it on the agenda of its meeting in London Wednesday, a Sri Lankan diplomat has said. 'There was a brief mention of pressure being put by some MPs, but there was no discussion,' the diplomat said on condition of anonymity, refusing to say who raised the matter. more..

Footage raises new questions about Pakistan attack

Mar 5 (AFP) Pakistan faced new questions about its security forces Thursday as dramatic footage emerged of the cricket attackers making a leisurely getaway from the scene of their deadly assault. The images of the gunmen calmly walking off, without police or security forces chasing them, will add to the speculation swirling around the brazen daytime attack on Sri Lanka's cricket team Tuesday that left eight people dead. more..

Broad's claims 'a big lie,' says Pakistan

Mar 5 (AFP) Pakistan cricket chief Ijaz Butt Thursday accused match official Chris Broad of lying about poor security during Tuesday's terrorist attack on Sri Lanka's cricket squad. "That a gentleman of his stature is saying this is unfortunate," Butt, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), told a news conference. He said the PCB he would lodge a formal protest with International Cricket Council (ICC) against Broad, more..

Sri Lankan team tells of scary time under attack

Mar 5 (AP) The Sri Lankan players cracked jokes and listened to music. Some called home. The coach took a cat nap. Everyone seemed relaxed as their luxury bus headed to the cricket stadium for their match against Pakistan. "Then all of a sudden, all hell broke loose," Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss said. Gunfire tore through the bus. Explosions rattled nearby. The players huddled on the floor, yelling out one after the other that they'd been hit. more..

LTTE denies link to Lahore attack

Mar 5 (PTI) LTTE has denied any link to the attacks on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, saying the Tamil Tigers have no connections with those terrorists. "We don't have any connections with those people (Lahore attackers)," LTTE's spokesman Thileepan told the Radio division of Australia's Special Broadcasting Service last night. Answering a specific question that there are some suggestions that the Tamil Tigers could have been connected to those attacks, Thileepan replied : "No, that's not true." more..

Forensic evidence lost due to carelessness

Mar 5 (DT) Important forensic evidence was destroyed by the ill-equipped and careless ‘experts’ while collecting samples from the crime scene of attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, investigation and forensic experts told Daily Times. The crime scene investigators collected evidence from the crime scene without adopting the criteria mandatory for collecting samples. They neither wore gloves, nor avoided touching things that carried fingerprints of the shooters. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils' issue to figure in BJP's poll campaign

Mar 5 (PTI) The BJP on Wednesday said it would raise the issue of the Congress led UPA government's 'failure' to ensure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, in the campaign for the Lok Sabha polls, to be launched at Nagercoil on March 7 by party leader L K Advani. "The BJP's main focus in the poll campaign will be to project the UPA Government's failure in handling the Sri Lankan issue and not trying to bring a ceasefire in the island nation", more..

Sri Lanka players recover in hospital after Pakistan attack

Mar 5 (AFP) Two Sri Lankan cricketers injured during a gun and grenade attack in Pakistan were recovering Thursday after surgery, with the rest of those hurt likely be back in action in a few weeks, a doctor said. Tharanga Paranavitana, who had a bullet lodged in his chest, and Thilan Samaraweera, who had shrapnel in his right leg, underwent surgery at a private hospital in Colombo hours after they returned on Wednesday. more..

Civilian circumstances "dire"

Mar 5 (IRIN) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) organised the eighth sea evacuation of sick and wounded civilians and their dependents from combat areas on 4 March, but officials warned the situation was dire. Since the first evacuation on 10 February from Putumattalan in Mullaithivu District, more than 2,700 sick and wounded civilians have been moved by ferry to safer areas for medical care, Sarasi Wijeratne, ICRC spokesperson, told IRIN. more..

Jayalalithaa to go on fast demanding Lanka ceasefire

Mar 5 (UNI) AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa announced that she will lead a state-wide fast on March 10, demanding immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka and the party will raise funds to help the Lankan Tamils. Jayalalithaa said the one-day fast was also to condemn the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and DMK government in the state for remaining mute spectators to the genocide against the Tamils in the island. more..

Suspected Tamil Tiger battles extradition ruling

Mar 6 (MN) A Malton man ordered extradited to the U.S. for his alleged connection to a North American network that police say provides weapons to a terrorist group in Sri Lanka, will appeal his case later this spring. Ramanan Mylvaganam, 31, is scheduled to appeal the extradition order imposed last fall by a Federal Court judge, on May 14 in the Ontario Court of Appeal, Justice Canada said this evening. In the meantime, he'll remain in Canada, out on bail. more..

Investment bank looks at troubled Ceylinco group

Mar 6 (LBO) An investment banking unit linked to a state bank is examining several troubled finance and real estate firms of Ceylinco group, a media report said. Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka, a listed subsidiary of state-run Bank of Ceylon, is planning to re-structure a part of the Ceylinco group known as 'F&G group', and has stopped refunds. Ceylinco has a licensed finance company known as Finance and Guarantee Co. Ltd as well as several others with the pre-fix F&G. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Mar 6 (GDI) Volunteer Teachers as Teacher Assistants: Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Education A.D. Susil Premajayantha to absorb volunteer teacher assistants of Grades 3-1from Sri Lanka Teacher Services after obtaining either the Teachers’ Training Certificate or a Degree Certificate within a period of five years from the date of recruitment as Teacher Assistants. more..

Sri Lankan Tamil from Harrow who burned to death in protest to be buried

Mar 6 (HT) THOUSANDS are expected to attend the funeral of a man who burned himself to death protesting about the civil war in Sri Lanka. Murugathasan Varnakulasingham, 27, set fire to himself outside the United Nations headquarters in Geneva as a last resort to draw attention to the situation in his home country. A note was found near his body saying he took this action because the Sri Lankan government is committing a genocide against innocent Tamils in more..

Sri Lanka defeats Nepal Blue 3-2

Mar 6 (MR) Nepal (Blue) could not hold on to their early advantage as they were overpowered 3-2 by the Sri Lankan side in the inaugural match of the Prime Minister´s Cup international invitational football event in the Dasrath Stadium on Thursday. The home fans were ecstatic as Santosh Saukhala´s left footed strike found the net in the 7th minute of the match. However, the joy was short lived as Sri Lanka´s E.B Chanda lashed on the spot kick after Dipendra Shrestha´s assault was deemed illegal. more..

The Sinhala language has an ingenious methodology to enrich its vocabulary

Mar 6 (TC) An exposition made on a timely subject becomes more impacting when it is presented in an appropriate and meaningful setting. The topic of this essay, namely, ‘Sinhala language possesses an ingenious methodology to enrich its vocabulary’, cannot be considered as more meaningful, timely and appropriate than on March 2, the day the Sinhala community, and more specifically, our literati pay tribute with unbroken continuity, year in, year out, more..

Stark contrast between Barack Obama and some "of our" leaders

Mar 6 (TC) Independent perceptive Sri Lankans whose rational judgment has not been impaired by jingoistic inebriation with good news from the war front, may be excused for having conflicting emotions while watching the passion and sincerity with which President Barak Obama addressed the joint session of Congress and Senate today (25th February), to the accompaniment of repeated standing ovations. more..

Australian umpires angry at security lapses

Mar 6 (AP) Two Australian umpires in the official convoy during the deadly attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team's bus in Pakistan have criticized security, saying they were heavily exposed in the ambush and were abandoned by guards. Simon Taufel and Steve Davis were in a mini van along with Pakistani umpire Ahsan Rasa who was seriously wounded and English ICC match referee Chris Broad, the former test batsman who has already said the match officials were like sitting ducks during the attack. more..

India medical mission to Lanka, 22 years on

Mar 6 (TT) India is sending a military-medical mission to Sri Lanka’s war-riven northeast in Delhi’s first overt intervention in the island nation since the disastrous peace-keeping mission 22 years ago. The Indian medical mission will be based in Pulmodai, once part of the Tamil Tiger turf, where beleaguered civilians are now trapped between rampaging Sri Lankan armed forces and cornered guerrillas fighting to defend their shrinking patch of territory. more..

Desperate and trapped in Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (IHT) As many as 200,000 civilians are trapped in the war zone in northern Sri Lanka, sleeping in the open or hiding in trenches, as food, water and medical supplies run out and artillery shells explode among them, relief agencies said Thursday. In what it says is a final assault to end a 25-year rebellion, the Sri Lankan military says it has driven ethnic Tamil separatist fighters out of their strongholds and is now battling them house to house in final pockets of resistance. more..

Vietnam treasures ties with Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (VNA) Vietnam attaches importance to developing its traditional friendship with Sri Lanka , said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem. During his talks with the visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, in Hanoi on March 5, Khiem affirmed that Vietnam wholeheartedly supports the Sri Lankan government’s efforts to stabilise the country, combat terrorism and restore security and social order. more..