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Opposition leaders agree to Ranil’s proposals on the alliance

Sep 1 (LNW) The policy proposals presented by UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on the formation of an opposition alliance to contest the general election was accepted by the SLMC, SLFP (M) Wing and the DPF at a meeting held yesterday evening. The meeting that was held at the Opposition Leader’s Office at Cambridge Place was attended by Nizam Kariyappar from the SLMC, Mano Ganeshan from the DPF and Mangala Samaraweera from the SLFP (M) Wing. more..

Alleged attack on SLIIT student - Fourteen suspects further remanded

Sep 1 (LNP) Kaduwela Additional District Judge Mahanil Prasantha de Silva yesterday further remanded the 14 suspects in the alleged attack on the SLIIT student Nipuna Ramanayake till today, September 1, pending the order in respect of their bail applications. At the outset, the Judge conducted six identification parades for nearly six hours. Five of the suspects were identified at the parade including the police officer who recorded the statement of more..

Ranil faction in UNP eroding – Akila Viraj resigns

Sep 1 (LT) UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has resigned from the youth front of the UNP. He has handed over the letter of resignation to the Secretary General of the UNP Tissa Attanayake. The immediate reason for Mr. Kariyawasam to consider sending his letter of resignation is said to be the appointment of Mr. Dayasiri Jayasekera for the post of district secretary at the meeting of the Executive committee of the UNP more..

UNP says its election offices attacked

Sep 1 (LNP) The UNP said yesterday that goon squads attacked three of its Southern Provincial Council Election offices in Hambantota, including one yesterday. UNP MP, Sajith Premadasa told a news conference in Colombo, that their offices in Dehigalanda, Horewala and Athpitiya had been attacked and damaged. He, said that what was happening in the run up to the Southern Provincial Council Poll, was a continuation of the violence that was directed at the UNP, more..

Bridges go missing in Yatiyantotta

Sep 1 (Island) At the Kegalle district co-ordinating meeting held under the co-chairmanship of Maheepala Herath, the Chief Minister of Sabaragamuwa and Minister of Labour relations and Manpower Athauda Seneviratne, Kegalle district JVP MP Gamini Ratnayake complained that three valuable iron bridges in the Bulathkohupitiya Pradeshiya Sabha area in the Yatiyantota electorate have been dismantled and removed. more..

Jaffna soon a bustling business centre

Sep 1 (LNP) Jaffna has the potential to become a bustling business centre in the country and this could be tapped. As industrialists we need to cater to this unmet demand, said Chairman, Shipping, Ports and Aviation Committee of the National Chamber of Commerce Sujeiva Samaraweera. It is important to introduce the one stop shop concept in facilitating business opportunities. We want to be the catalyst and the coordinator between the relevant parties. more..

Tigers' Plan B and presidential polls

Sep 1 (LNP) Prabhakaran may have died a worried man in a northern swamp, but his foreign allies have not yet given up the Eelam campaign. They are striving to put the LTTE`s Plan B into action. That is to help whatever remains of the LTTE`s military wing get into the guerrilla mode and make this country ungovernable once again. They were banking on KP to keep the LTTE in a state of suspended animation until time was opportune for it to make a comeback. more..

Shedding communal politics

Sep 1 (LNP) Communal politics has proved to be the bane of Sri Lanka. It had encouraged fissiparous tendencies among the people and divided them in to different camps. True, the majority community had all the right to assert themselves and give rein to their pent up national sentiment which were suppressed under long years of colonial rule, in post independent Sri Lanka. In fact, this national renaissance was only to be expected after it was perceived, not without reason, more..

President proposes innovative solutions

Sep 1 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the current Chairman of SAARC was one of the first leaders in the world who proposed the introduction of new modalities to deal with the global financial crisis, that started in the Western economies. In the face of the deteriorating global financial conditions, President Mahinda Rajapaksa on a number of occasions, has raised the importance of adopting innovative approaches both regionally and internationally. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism plans to attract 2.5 m visitors next year

Sep 1 (DN) In an interview with the Daily News, Tourism Promotion Minister Faizer Musthapha speaks about the development taking place within the country’s tourism sector. Q: What are the plans drawn up to turn Sri Lanka into one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia? A: Sri Lanka is a foremost tourist destination which has diverse attractions along with beauty, culture and warm and hospitable people. more..

Short shrift for Sili Sili bags at pharmacies

Sep 1 (DN) There are 6,000 private pharmacies in Sri Lanka and they add 25 million Sili Sili bags to the environment every year. One such bag takes 15 years to decay. Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva requested private pharmacy owners to use paper bags as much as possible to issue drugs to patients. Minister met all private pharmacy owners of the Colombo district and held a special discussion in connection with the issue and several other issues. more..

Kollupitiya - Sri Jayawardhanapura highway nearing completion

Sep 1 (DN) Action has been taken to complete the first six lane highway in Sri Lanka, from Kollupitiya to Sri Jayawardhanapura before the end of this year. The project will cost Rs. 600 million. This new sophisticated Kollupitiya Jayawardhanapura A1 highway is nearing completion from Borella Devi Balika Vidyalaya proximity to Sri Jayawardhanapura Parliamentary Complex circular road. more..

On day of Tissanayagam verdict: No security for Judge

Sep 1 (Island) Security officers, of Colombo High Court Judge, did not turn up for duty on schedule, yesterday, to accompany Judge Deepali Wijesundera, to Court to deliver the Judgement in the Tissanayagam case. The accused, Tissanayagam faced trial, for violation of prevention of terrorism laws. High Court Judge Deepali Wijesundera had scheduled the delivery of the judgement for yesterday morning. more..

President pays surprise visit to fish market construction site

Sep 1 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday evening paid a surprise visit to the construction site of the new state of the art Fish Market at Peliyagoda. It must be completed by December, he instructed officials. The President caught the construction workers and officials by surprise when around 4.15 pm on Sunday. The Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries G. Piyasena was present to provide a guided tour of the site. more..

Ranatunga asks people to join crusade against corruption

Sep 1 (IE) Sri Lankan cricket legend turned politician Arjuna Ranatunga has vowed to launch a crusade against corruption, asking his countrymen to join hands to help root out the menace the way they joined in the war against terrorism. Ranatunga drew the flak from his detractors for his outspoken attitude when he was the chairman of Sri Lankan Cricket, leading to his sacking in December last year. more..

Amnesty: 5,000 Army and Navy deserters turn up

Sep 1 (DM) More than 5,000 army and the navy personnel who had deserted ranks before May 31 this year, have applied to receive an honourable discharge from service. Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said about 3,800 army deserters had turned up since the offer was made on August 24. “The programme is continuing successfully at regimental headquarters countrywide and will end on September 24,” more..

Sri Lanka’s shocking cricket world record

Sep 1 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials have set an outrageous world record about which even their Chairman is ashamed of. It will certainly stun the International Cricket Council (ICC) officials, if they knew it. SLC officials set the unbelievable world record when they appointed the father as the match referee for an international match while his son was taking part in the match. more..

'Hotel owner’s killing, still a mystery'

Sep 1 (DM) The murder of the wealthy businessman and hotel owner in De Saram Road, Mount Lavinia is still a mystery and the motive of the killing is yet to be established, police said. Senior DIG Nimal Mediwake told Daily Mirror yesterday that businessman Susantha Perera who was found murdered in his hotel was reportedly living alone in Sri Lanka. He was married to a German lady who is reportedly living in Germany with his son. more..

Govt asks for help to find, repatriate lost fishermen

Sep 1 (DM) The Fisheries Ministry had called on fisheries associations to help trace the whereabouts of fishermen who went missing as a result of LTTE activities during the war. Deputy Minister of Fisheries Neomal Perera made this call at the annual convention of the All Ceylon Light Fishing Cooperative Association. Minister Perera assured them that the government was willing to trace the whereabouts of these fishermen who went missing during the war and more..

12 Lankan fishermen held

Sep 1 (EB) Twelve Sri Lankan fishermen were brought to Thoothukudi on Monday, after the Indian Coast Guard arrested them in mid sea on Sunday. ICGS Veera during its regular patrolling spotted the fishermen in two boats fishing in 60 nautical miles northeast off Thoothukudi. Commandant Udhal Singh of ICGS Veera said the two fishing boats ‘Nathali’ and ‘Ashen Putha’ with fishermen were illegally fishing in Indian waters. more..

‘Sophisticated camera used to shoot execution'

Sep 1 (EB) The controversial video footage showing Sri Lankan soldiers executing blindfolded Tamils in January this year was shot using a sophisticated TV camera and not by a soldier using a mobile phone, a Sri Lankan specialist in video coding claimed. “Looking at the footage, the first thing I found strange was the high quality of the video and lack of cascading effects and motion blur associated with mobile video coding,” more..

Major political transformation next year

Sep 1 (Island) SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that the country would experience a major revolutionary Political transformation never witnessed before next year. It would follow the revelation of the UPFA Government s national programme on political revival by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 58th Anniversary of the SLFP on November 15, he explained. more..

Vehicle imports down 35.5-pct in June

Sep 1 (LBO) Vehicle imports to Sri Lanka fell 35.5 percent in June with motor cars falling 70.6 percent, three wheelers, 33.6 percent and motor cycles 24.1 percent, the latest official data shows. In the 6-months to June total vehicles imports were down 33.4 percent, according to data released by the Central Bank. In June 2009, Sri Lanka imported 15,379 vehicles against 23,856 in June 2008. more..

Sri Lanka's abuse of press freedom

Sep 1 (NP) Winston Churchill wrote in his history of the Second World War that the first trait required of victors was "magnanimity." The Sri Lankan government would do well to remember that lesson in its treatment of its Tamil minority, whose insurgents it mercilessly crushed this past spring to end a 26-year civil war. So far, the government in Colombo has shown little if any magnanimity toward the vanquished Tamils. more..

Police arrest former woman rebel

Sep 1 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's police have arrested atop woman member of the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels, a local radio station reported on Tuesday. The Sri FM radio quoted police sources as saying that the woman who had worked in the political division of the LTTE was arrested in a Colombo suburb while making plans to leave the island. Her husband was a deceased member of the LTTE's mortar squad, said the police. more..

President warmly welcomed in Libya

Sep 1 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his arrival at the Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli, Libya was warmly received by the Libyan Minister of Planning Dr. Abdul Hafeez al-Zalitni and the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Libya, I. Anwar yesterday (31). The President was accorded a guard of honor on arrival. President Rajapaksa is on a two day official visit to Libya as a specially invited guest to attend the 40th anniversary of Libyan revolution. more..

Totalitarian leader was once a young idealist fighting for human rights

Sep 1 (Independent) The year was 1989. A violent youth insurrection that had terrorised the Sri Lankan populace was being brutally quelled by the state establishment. Bodies were burned on rubber tyres and the charred remains were left on every street corner. Hundreds of corpses were polluting the major rivers of the island’s south-west. Disappearances, arbitrary detention and revenge killings were the order of the day. more..

Rights group wants Sri Lanka reporter case dropped

Sep 1 (AP) A human rights group called on Tuesday for Sri Lanka to drop its case against an ethnic Tamil journalist sentenced to 20 years in prison for violating the country’s anti-terror laws. Mr J.S. Tissainayagam’s conviction on Monday sparked international criticism of the government, which has been accused of continuing a crackdown on the media even after it defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May. The government has denied the allegations. more..

The unacceptable face of Tamil nationalism

Sep 2 (Guardian) Discussions of Sri Lanka's political futures – in international media, policy thinktanks and human rights groups – have been for some time now been cast in simple terms. They present an uncompromising, militaristic "Sinhala-dominated regime" and a "marginalised Tamil minority", once authoritatively represented by Tiger rebels, now routed militarily. Given this framework, "a political solution" with "autonomous self-rule" for the Tamils is urged. more..

'President Rajapaksa an exemplary leader'

Sep 2 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa now in Libya to attend the 40th anniversary commemoration of the Libyan Revolution commenced bilateral talks with the Heads of States representing other participating nations today. Accordingly, President Rajapaksa held discussions with the President of Philippines Gloria Arroyo in Tripoli. The discussions were focused on measures that should be adopted at state level to combat terrorism internationally and, more..

Mangala calls for forensic probe

Sep 2 (BBC) A leading opposition MP has called for a forensic investigation into footage showing alleged war crimes by security forces. Mangala Samaraweera, MP, leader of the SLFP-M, said it is the only way that Sri Lanka would re-establish its international image. The former foreign minister in Rajapaksa administration was commenting on the video footage aired by Britain's Channel4 television that showed Sinhala speaking group in uniform shooting dead a group of naked men. more..

France expresses consternation after conviction of Sri Lankan journalist

Sep 2 (KUNA) The French authorities expressed consternation here Tuesday upon learning of the conviction and sentencing of a Sri Lankan journalist to a 20-year jail term for alleged support for terrorism. J.S. Tissainayagam, who is an editor with the Sunday Times in Sri Lanka and works with an internet publications was judged guilty by the Sri Lankan High Court, but France said that the case is to be appealed. more..

Create news linking JVP & UNP – President’s media unit

Sep 2 (LT) Presidential media unit has instructed journalists to create ‘news’ that would suggest there is a connection between the JVP and the UNP and publish them. These instructions have been given at a special meeting of authorities of pro-government media including ITN, Rupavahini and journalists held at the media unit yesterday. A large number of senior officials of Lake House, ITN and Rupavaini had been present at the meeting and more..

'Bring back one lakh Tamil IDPs from India'

Sep 2 (EI) Opposition Marxist JVP party asked the government to expeditiously bring back about one lakh displaced people now living in Tamil Nadu and warned that international pressure would mount if IDPs in northern region are not resettled soon. “There are around 4 lakh IDP including one lakh in India and the government should not delay resettling them”, the propaganda secretary of the JVP Vijitha Herath told reporters. more..

Pakistan and Sri Lanka to strengthen links

Sep 2 (AKI) Pakistani prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani and Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse on Tuesday expressed their strong desire to strengthen their bilateral trade links and defence relationship. The two leaders met on the sidelines of the 40th anniversary of Al-Fateh Revolution in Libya, to discuss bilateral relations and other regional and international matters of mutual interest. more..

Sri Lanka railway orders oil wagons

Sep 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-owned railway has ordered wagons to transport petroleum products from Pakistan as it seeks to increase freight transport by rail to reduce congestion on roads, a senior official said. General Manager Sri Lanka Railways P P Wijesekera said the wagons will be used to transport petroleum products for the state oil refiner, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). "We're getting 15 petroleum transportation wagons from Pakistan," more..

Court moved to stop Indian cricket team's Lanka tour

Sep 2 (AT) The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Government of India and the Board of Control for Criket in India on a writ petition seeking a bar on the Indian cricket team taking part in the tri-nation tournament taking place in Sri Lanka. The first bench ordered notice to the External Affairs, Home, Sports Ministries as well as the BCCI on the admissibility of a public interest litigation filed by an advocate and posted the case to Sept 4. more..

Sri Lanka jails journalist for 20 years for exercising his right to freedom of expression

Sep 2 (AI) A High Court in Sri Lanka sentenced journalist Jayaprakash Sittampalam Tissainayagam to 20 years rigorous imprisonment on Monday, for writing and publishing articles that criticized the government's treatment of Sri Lankan Tamil civilians affected by the war. The court said the articles caused "racial hatred" and promoted terrorism. AI said that it considers JS Tissainayagam to be a prisoner of conscience, more..

New Zealand hope Bond return will change fortunes

Sep 2 (CI) After a Test series in which they were run ragged by Sri Lanka, two Twenty20 internationals will probably be a welcome release for some of the New Zealand players. There is little riding on the outcome of two Twenty20 internationals except perhaps the chance to take an edge into the ensuing 50-over tri-series and New Zealand have been talking serious business in the build-up. more..

Sri Lanka says likely to lose EU trade concession

Sep 2 (Reuter) Sri Lanka is likely to lose a lucrative European Union trade concession for its top export, garments, based on the initial findings of an EU probe into its human rights record, a senior government official said. S. Ranugge, secretary in Sri Lanka's Export Development and International Trade Ministry, said a preliminary report received a week ago highlights allegations of human rights violations and torture, more..

Gilani, Rajapakse Meet:: Agree to boost multi-faceted Pak, Sri Lanka Ties

Sep 2 (PT) Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and President Mahinda Rajapakse of Sri Lanka on Tuesday expressed their strong desire to further strengthen multi-faceted ties and cooperation in various fields including trade, education, pharmaceuticals, engineering, railways, diplomatic training and defense. The two leaders, who met here on the sidelines of the 40th anniversary of Al-Fateh Revolution, more..

We're confident but also wary of NZ - Sangakkara

Sep 2 (CI) The last time these two teams met in a Twenty20 international, an Ajantha Mendis-inspired Sri Lanka knocked New Zealand over to move into the final four of the ICC World Twenty20. Leading into the first of two Twenty20s at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, neither Kumar Sangakkara nor Daniel Vettori was overly concerned about that match. For starters, New Zealand have a few key players fit, more..

Karu says won’t contest next Presidential election

Sep 2 (LNW) JVP sources say the UNP leadership has agreed to the proposal presented by the JVP to put forward a common opposition candidate at the next Presidential election with stern conditions on abolishing the Executive Presidency. Sources further said that two UNP parliamentarians have already had unofficial discussions with two JVP parliamentarians on the instructions received by the UNP Leader. more..

Land, a very sensitive issue in North and East

Sep 2 (BL) Land, has been a very sensitive issue in the North and East. Currently, controversy rages about land in Uppuveli and Selvanagar, both in the Trincomalee district. At Uppuveli, the dispute was over the sale of prime beach land. Some officials are accused of selling the land owned by private persons. At Selvanagar, 80 Muslim families were evicted for settling down on land without proper approval. more..

'Govt. will only listen to people power'

Sep 2 (BL) The govt. yesterday insisted that they were not interested in a discussion with opposition parties and dealt only with the people. Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva addressing a media briefing noted that any allegations made by the government was nothing more than premeditated excuses for losing the upcoming Southern Provincial Council elections and therefore should not be taken seriously. more..

The Sangakkara edge

Sep 2 (CI) Two qualities, determination and perfectionism, define Kumar Sangakkara, and he is trying to get Sri Lanka to use the one to attain the other. With four wins and a draw from five Tests this year, Sangakkara's job as captain has been rather smooth and rewarding, and the cherry on the cake has been Sri Lanka's elevation to No. 2 on the ICC Test rankings - for only the second time. more..

Captain Ali aid to be tested before reaching IDPs

Sep 2 (BL) The Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI) has undertaken to test samples of food items contained in the Captain Ali shipment of aid, Sri Lanka Red Cross officials revealed. SLRC Operations Director, Suren Pieris explained that concerns on the status of food within the aid which has remained in the Colombo Port since it reached the island on July 31 have emerged. “Our priority is to distribute these goods among the IDPs in the North as soon as possible,” more..

Salary hike storm brewing

Sep 2 (BL) Trouble is brewing in political ranks with the opposition lining up to demand for salary increases despite the government announcing that no salary hikes will be given for the rest of the year. At a meeting with Union heads yesterday, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe demanded that the Government clarify its stand on salary increments for government workers. He was joined by the JVP that insisted that it would also agitate for salary hikes through its trade union affiliates. more..

U.S. helping in Sri Lanka

Sep 2 (VoA) Having waged a 25-year secessionist war against the government of Sri Lanka, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam, an insurgent group designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and 31 other countries, finally surrendered on May 17th of this year. According to the United Nations, nearly 100,000 people were killed in the 3 decades of Sri Lanka's civil war and several hundreds of thousands were displaced. more..

Govt expresses regret over the criticism on Tissainayagam verdict

Sep 2 (AT) Government expresses its concern to the criticism by some section of the international community over Tissanayagam verdict. In a statement released by the Foreign Ministry, it was pointed out that some sections of the international community have regrettably thought it fit to criticize the verdict given by the High Court on the case of J.S. Tissainayagam, bringing into question the judicial process and integrity of judicial officers in Sri Lanka. more..