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Trade Union agreements to ensure migrant worker rights

May 8 (AT) International Labour Organization (ILO) and The Worker Activities Bureau (ACTRAV) have organized a workshop on Promoting the Rights of Migrant Workers in Source and Destination Countries on May 6 and 7 as a follow up to the International Workshop on the Rights of Migrant Workers which took place in Amman in December 2008. At the conclusion of the workshop three bilateral agreements between trade unions in Sri Lanka who work on migrant issues (NWC and CWC) and more..

Be Vigilant, says defence ministry

May 8 (MLN) The Public should remain vigilant as the LTTE may launch sudden attacks in any part of the country during the Vesak festive season, the Defence Ministry warned yesterday. “There is a possibility that the LTTE which is now desperate in its hour of defeat may launch sudden attacks in any part of the island,” the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said. It said that in this context, is essential that the public be extra vigilant about security. more..

Canada repeats call for ceasefire in Sri Lanka

May 8 (OC) The Sri Lankan government’s absolute refusal Thursday for a ceasefire in its civil war with Tamil rebels to allow humanitarian aid to get to civilians trapped in the fighting and allow them to flee is troubling, Canada’s foreign affairs minister says. “I’m extremely disappointed,” Lawrence Cannon said. “We have called for a ceasefire for months now. We want these people to receive basic needs and medical attention.” more..

Northern humanitarian operation 7th

'We want permanent political solution in Sri Lanka'

May 8 (Hindu) After Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s call for a separate Eelam for Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Congress on Thursday said it was in favour of a permanent peaceful political solution to the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, but remained silent on whether it should be within or outside the framework of a united Sri Lanka. This is a modification of the Congress’ stated position, which always echoed the government line. more..

UN agency boosts support for displaced pregnant women

May 8 (UN) The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said today it is stepping up support for women and girls affected by the conflict in northern Sri Lanka, particularly those who are pregnant, amid disruptions to reproductive health services caused by ongoing fighting. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), over 196,000 people have fled the conflict zone, a shrinking pocket of land on the north-east coastline, where clashes continue between more..

Now, Karunanidhi hums Eelam for Lankan Tamils

May 8 (ET) With polling date less than a week away, DMK chief and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi has come out in support of creating a separate Eelam for the Tamilians in Sri Lanka. In an appeal to DMK workers late on Wednesday, Mr Karunanidhi said: “We have ensured a fair quantity of relief for Sri Lankan Tamils. As a next step, they should get Eelam and I assume responsibilities of making all efforts to ensure that Eelam is created.” more..

ICRC calls for security guarantees

May 8 (BBC) The Iinternational Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says that it’s not able to take food and medical supplies on a regular basis to the no fire zone in northeastern Sri Lanka where thousands of civilians are trapped. ICRC spokesman Marcal Izard who spoke to the BBC from Geneva said that heavy fighting prevented the ICRC ferry getting close to the civilians in Mullaiwaikkal on a regular basis. more..

President's Vesak Day message

May 8 (GDI) The doctrine of Lord Buddha demonstrates the correct path to life. Accordingly we have given the teachings of Lord Buddha the utmost place in our governance system as it paves the way for a new Sri Lanka. It is my great belief that a society that avoids the four defilements will necessarily be endowed with freedom and fulfillment, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his message for Vesak. more..

Mention of "Genocide”" makes US Ambassador to UN Susan Rice to get emotional

May 8 (AT) Early April CNN reported 'The 15th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda brought American U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to tears as she reflected on her personal memories surrounding the slaughter." Rice visited Rwanda as a staff member in former President Bill Clinton's National Security Council six months after the ethnic cleansing. She explained how even months after the violence she encountered decomposing bodies at one of the massacre sites. more..

Is the LTTE really finished?

Rescued Sri Lankan kids to be sent home

May 8 (NST) Two Sri Lankan children rescued from a child labour syndicate will return to their country soon. Their saviour, the MIC Youth, brought Dil Ruckshan, 14, and P. Salomia, 9, to the Sri Lanka High Commission here yesterday. MIC Youth members recruitment and voters registration bureau deputy head S.A. Rajendran said they had applied for emergency passports for the two children. more..

Tamil struggle to continue, Sinhala struggle to commence!

May 8 (LG) With the demise of the LTTE, speculation is ripe that Tamil Elam struggle will also end. However, interested sections here and in Tamil Nadu want it to continue. The continuation of the Tamil struggle sounds so innocent and attractive but it underlies very dangerous communal strife. Sri Lanka is a democratic country and there is nothing Tamils, or any other community can get by struggling. more..

Govt whips up communal hysteria as war reaches climax

May 8 (wsws) As Sri Lanka’s protracted war reaches its final stages, the communal propaganda being whipped up in Colombo by the entire political and media establishment has reached fever pitch. Its purpose is to suppress any criticism or opposition to the government’s crimes against the Tamil people as it prepares for an economic offensive against working people as a whole. President Mahinda Rajapakse justifies his communal war against the LTTE under the phoney banner of “the war against terrorism”. more..

Ambassador notes president's electoral popularity and the end of terrorism

May 8 (IL) Sri Lankan Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya told a May 6 gathering of the Atlantic Council, a Washington, D.C. think tank, that a ceasefire with the cornered Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka will only lead to more terrorism. Speaking in a program entitled “Sri Lanka: Beyond Terrorism,” Ambassador Wickramasuriya outlined the government’s ambitious plans for reconstruction and reconciliation in northern Sri Lanka, more..

Arrested UPFA MP hospitalized

May 8 (CT) Gampaha district UPFA MP Sarana Gunawardena, remanded by the Attanagalle magistrate, has been admitted to Ragama Hospital, prison sources said. He surrendered to the court a few days ago after evading arrest for more than a month. The MP and several others, stand accused of entering a house at Weeragula in Nittambuwa, assaulting its owner and abducting his son.

'We peacefully commemorate Vesak because of your dedication'

May 8 (LG) Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, in his message on account of Vesak (Thrice Blessed Day) commemoration pays tribute to his troops who have selflessly dedicated themselves to inherit a better future for a great Nation. Here is the full text of his message; “On this sacred Vesak Full Moon day (8th May) when Thrice Blessed Day is commemorated by all Sri Lankan Buddhists, more..

Eelam War IV: without a one-liner

May 8 (LG) Poland-born Jewish attorney, Raphael Lemkin, defined the word “genocide” after the Nazi destruction using a combination of Greek and Latin: “geno” meaning race or tribe and “cide” meaning killing. Due in large part to Lemkin’s efforts, on December 9, 1948, in the shadow of the Holocaust, the U.N. approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). more..

British MPs are permitted to refugee camps that are barred to Sri Lankan MPs

May 8 (LeN) Gampaha district MP Doctor Jayalath Jayawardhana says that a decision has been taken to go to the Supreme Court to seek redress for violation of fundamental rights of Opposition MPs through not giving them permission to look into the problems of the Tamil IDPs in refugee camps in the context that permission is granted to British parliamentarians. more..

Vesak Festival: Liquor shops closed on May 8th and 9th

May 8 (GDI) Celebrating the birth, the enlightenment and passing away of the Lord Buddha, May 8 and May 9, 2553 BE (May 8 and May 9, 2009) have been announced as Vesak holidays. And, along with Vesak celebrations, all liquor shops, meat stalls, slaughter houses, abattoirs, betting centers, casinos and clubs will also be closed on May 8 and May 9, said Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry Secretary D. M. Dissanayaka. more..

UNICEF sets up temporary Learning Spaces in Vavuniya

May 8 (GDI) A number of Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) will be set up in IDP welfare centers by the UNICEF. Two such TLS facilities have already been built, and one center facilitates 550 children while the other is for 600 children from another IDP welfare center. UNICEF, other international agencies and non-governmental organizations will assist TLS facilities by providing water, sanitation, health care, stationary, text books and uniforms more..

Batticaloa celebrates Vesak after 30 years

May 8 (GDI) After 20 years, Batticaloa Buddhists celebrate Vesak commemorating the birth of Buddha, his attaining Enlightenment and his passing away into Nirvana. “Colourful lanterns made from bamboo frames, Buddhist flags and other decorations are displayed everywhere,”. Arrangements have already been made for Buddhists to participate in ‘bakthi gee’, sil campaigns, bodhi poojas, dansalas, and pandal competitions as Buddhists in the other parts of island celebrate Vesak. more..

Wesak message from the UNP Leader

May 8 (LT) What we have today accepted as supreme concepts and ideals were preached by Lord Buddha over 2500 years ago. The Dhamma which is suffused with justice and equality, preaches how to conquer hatred by love, impiety by piety, greed by generosity, falsehood by truth. Today, Lord Buddha’s teachings had even influenced and made an impact on the objectives of the United Nations. more..

Wesak Day message of the JVP

May 8 (LT) Today is the Wesak Poya Day celebrated for the events of the birth, attainment of Buddha hood and passing away of Lord Buddha. Wesak Poya Day is the foremost day of worship for all Buddhists. Most of the righteous qualities that have been embedded in the Sri Lankan society are due to influence of Buddhism. Charity, discipline, non-violence, compassion, which are qualities that humans should possess have been thus added to our society. more..

Another suspect dies of police shooting

May 8 (LT) A deserter who is suspected of the murder of K. Premarathne, an eight year old student of Thelahalakande MV at Kahambana, Monaragala and buried the body in the thick jungle has been killed in a police shooting. According to police the suspect had been taken to show the place where the body was buried and reaching the site he had tried to throw a grenade at the police. more..

Another LTTE's plan to assassinate Minister Douglas Devananda foiled

May 8 (AT) Police have traced a plan to assassinate Social Services and Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda. A Police source said that several CID sleuths had been recently employed to catch the culprits. According to Police, Rs. 20 million received from the LTTE has been promised to the suspected contract killer to assassinate Minister Devananda. more..

3 TNA MPs violated Constitution – CID

May 8 (LT) The CID has informed Colombo Chief Magistrate Nishanthe Hapuarachchi that Attorney General has instructed that three Parliamentarians of the TNA have violated the Constitution of Sri Lanka by making speeches at ‘Pongu Thamil’ festivals held in Europe. The CID also informed the Magistrate that the relevant MPs had admitted that they had made speeches at ‘Pogu Thamil’ festivals. more..

6 suspects of Janaka Perera murder remanded till 18th

May 8 (LT) The 6 suspects in Mag. Gen. Janaka Perera murder case, who had been detained by the CID, were produced before Anuradhapura Magistrates Court yesterday and were remanded till the 18th. The suspects remanded by Anuradhapura Magistrate and Additional District Magistrate Ruchira Weliwatta are Abdul Hameed Umar Hakthab, Nawyrgani Jemin, Sulathan Mohideen Abdul Ali, Jenul abdeen Musadeen, Hohommed Haniffa Uvais and Sulthan Mohomed Jalee. more..

Student dies of ‘Wushu’ blow

May 8 (LT) Pasindu Hasanka Jayawickreema, a Year 12 student of D.S. Senanayake College who had participated in the Inter School Wushu Competition held at Sugathadasa Indoor stadium in Colombo has died of a blow on his head received while participating in the competition. 17 year old Pasindu Jayawickrema, a resident of Katuwawala, Boralesgamuwa was studying in the Match stream. more..

Uva PC to be dissolved in June?

May 8 (LT) According to government sources Uva Provincial Council is to be dissolved in the first week of June. Earlier the government had planned to dissolve both Uva and Southern PCs and have the elections at the same time. However, senior men in the government have pointed out that holding election for Uva PC first would be advantageous to the government. Accordingly, the government expects to dissolve Uva PC in the first week of June and hold its election in August. more..

WPC poll mandate signifies trust in President - CM

May 8 (DN) Prasanna Ranatunga, the fifth Chief Minister of the Western Provincial Council who assumed office yesterday at a function at Srawasti Mandiraya, Colombo said the elected representatives of the UPFA were returned with overwhelming majorities and it was the duty of all council members to dedicate themselves for the uplift of the people of the province. more..

TID ordered to return belongings of Tiran Alles

May 8 (CT) The Terrorist Investigation Division has been ordered to return the documents and other belongings of former chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Tiran Alles. Sri Lanka chief magistrate Nishantha Hapuarachchi fixed May 13 as the date for the handover in the presence of court officials. Similar orders have been issued as per the belongings of Dushyantha Basnayake and Sampath Serasinghe. more..

Body of sexually abused boy found

May 8 (CT) Police in Moneragala have unearthed the body of a seven-year-old boy who had been subjected to sexual abuse before being murdered.The remains of Grade Three student were found buried in a canal at Kahambana. An uncle of the boy, who is believed to have committed the crime, had fled the area. Moneragala Police say they are investigating to arrest the suspect.

'You will be taught a lesson soon,' threatens Weerawansa to 'LeN' journalist

May 8 (LeN) National Freedom Front (JNP) Chairman and MP Wimal Weerawansa leveled a verbal abuse at Lanka-e-News journalist Shantha Wijesuriya yesterday (06) night over the telephone. The news posted in Lanka-e-News under the headings of ‘National Freedom Front shattered; senior leaders desert Weerawansa' and ‘Weerawansa acts like Mervin at Aththanagalla’ were the reasons for Weerawansa’s wrath. more..

Boarding the Sri Lanka bashing bandwagon – London Telegraph doing a very high jump

May 8 (AT) The anger of Jeremy Page, the South Asian correspondent of The Times is understandable: his application for the journalistic visa was rejected; when he tried to make the entry as a bogus tourist incognito, was caught at the Katunayake airport and then deported from Sri Lanka. Since then Jeremy Page has been doing the obvious; he spread venom in his writing against Sri Lanka in The Times. more..

Swine flu scanners back at Bandaranaike International Airport

May 8 (AD) Thermal scanners used to scan people for possible swine flu (H1N1 virus) infection and which failed to operate, have been reinstalled at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake after urgently being repaired. The scanners had been sent to Singapore for repairs and were returned on Wednesday night. “One scanner is already installed and the other was in the process of being installed,” more..

Navy rescues 32 Tamil Civilians fleeing from LTTE Clutches

May 8 (MoD) Sri Lanka Navy rescued 32 Tamil civilians, who had been fleeing from the LTTE clutches, in the North-eastern seas on two occasions on the 06th and 7th of May 2009 respectively. The first group consisting of 07 persons (04 adult males, 02 adult females and 01 child) was found fleeing in an FGD fitted with a 15 HP OBM around 1430 hrs on the 06th. The second group which consisted of 25 persons (09 adult males, 10 adult female and 06 children) were rescued more..

Required shift from sympathy to affirmation of rights - Bishop of Colombo

May 8 (DN) We require a visible shift from sympathy for the IDPs to an affirmation of their rights and dignity as Sri Lankans, said Bishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera in a statement issued yesterday. This shift should be accompanied with a multi-task approach towards recovery and normalcy, he added. "Two priorities of screening and counselling should also run concurrent with the process of de-mining and more..

War Heroes' Commemoration Month launched

May 8 (MoD) The first Ranaviru (War Hero) Flag has been pinned onto the President launching the War Heroes Commemoration Month at an event held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday, 7 May. The first flag was pinned onto the President by 10-year-old Gimhan Madushanka, the son of war hero Balage Kumara, who sacrificed his life on behalf of the country. Balage Kumara is a war hero who exploded a LTTE truck laden with explosives in Chenkalai on 27th March 2007. more..

58 Div gains more control over LTTE earth bund

May 8 (MoD) Troops of 58 and 53 Divisions continued their advances further in No Fire Zone amidst stiff resistance as LTTE terrorists made their maximum effort to hold the earth bund built to obstruct the security forces' advance. Troops of 4 Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (4 VIR), 17 Gemunu Watch (17 GW), 6 Gajaba Regiment (6 GR) serving under Air Mobile Brigade of 53 Division heavily confronted with LTTE terrorists while advancing along the northern bank of the Nanthikandal lagoon. more..


May 8 (DN) “There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure with reference to sensual objects: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathagata - producing vision, producing knowledge - leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. more..

Australia boosts Sri Lankan aid by $10m

May 8 (AAP) Australia will provide a further $10 million in humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by the conflict in northern Sri Lanka. Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said on Friday the money would be distributed through United Nations agencies. Mr Smith said the money would be used to provide water, sanitation, shelter, food and health care. Australia has provided a total of $23.5 million in humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka since December last year. more..

International community's role in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s fight against the Tamil Tigers

May 8 (NYT) I take strong exception to your April 30 editorial criticizing my government’s conduct in its 26-year war against the LTTE, or Tamil Tigers. The Tamil Tigers are a terrorist organization no different from Al Qaeda, the Taliban or Hamas. They have killed thousands of Sri Lankans. Despite that violence, 13 Tamil ministers now serve in the national government. This is part of the political solution that you demand. more..

Uyangoda’s past should not be disqualification - Ranil

May 8 (Island) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday that the relevant parties had not informed the Speaker whether Dr. Jayadeva Uyangoda was suitable on not for membership in the Constitutional Council. If Uyangoda’s history of serving a jail term soon after the 1971 insurgency was a disqualification to become a member of the Council, it should have been informed earlier, Wickremesinghe said. more..

Only 600 units of 50,000 houses for war-heroes completed - Dinesh

May 8 (Island) Parliament that of 50,000 houses for war-heroes planned at Ipalogama in Anuradhapura District, only 600 units has been completed so far. The project commenced on May 15, 2007. In the first phase of construction work on 1,509 houses commenced, Minister Gunawardena said. Rupees 1,400 million had been spent for this phase. Funds had been obtained from the Bank of Ceylon as a loan facility. more..

The baiting of Ranil Wickremesinghe

May 8 (Island) It is my colleague Neville Jayaweera who first called into question Ranil’s suitability as a popular leader. His point was that Ranil lacked charisma. This is true. But there are enough political leaders mostly in developed countries of course, who lacked charisma but turned out to be excellent political leaders. Eisenhower was one President of the USA who did not have charisma but he had executive experience and could get things done. more..

The plight of Sri Lankan refugees

May 8 (BBC) Tamil Tiger rebels holding out in a tiny sliver of north-east Sri Lanka have accused the government of stepping up heavy weapons attacks on them. They claim the attacks are killing civilians unable to get out of the war zone. The government says this is just propaganda from the rebels hoping to buy time. It is impossible to get independent verification of the situation inside the war zone, but tens of thousands of civilians are still believed to be trapped there. more..

Small chopper, aircraft still with Tigers

May 8 (DM) In a shocking discovery, several surrendered LTTE top level cadres had revealed that the LTTE is still in possession of a two-man Chopper and another fixed-wing air craft hidden inside the ‘safe zone’. Though there were earlier reports that the LTTE still had a fixed-wing aircraft, the military totally denied those reports. But the latest intelligence reports revealed this after interrogating several of the escaped LTTE cadres who had come with the civilians. more..

HR Watch official black listed

May 8 (DM) A top Human Rights Watch official has been ‘black listed’ in Sri Lanka after she allegedly used forged documents to visit the country in February this year. Anna Neistat, the Senior Emergencies Researcher at Human Rights Watch, had allegedly infiltrated the camps of IDPs in Vavuniya in February, and interviewed the refugees who had fled the fighting in the north, without obtaining the necessary clearance to carry out such research in the country. more..