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A place they can call their own

June 21 (MoD) Under the second phase of the 'Api Wenuwen Api' programme, houses are being built for soldiers and war widows, who have land but no means to build. Sgt. Major W.P. Ariyaratne is a happy man. He is eagerly looking forward to moving into his newly built house with his wife and three children, at the end of this month after long years of roughing it out with parents and in rented housing, while serving at the warfront. more..

Anuradhapura is geared to receive pilgrims for the Poson Festival

June 21 (GDI) It was on Poson Full Moon Poya day that Arahat Mahinda reached Sri Lanka with the Buddha Dhamma. It is expected that around two million devotees will reach Anuradhapura to commemorate Poson with the peaceful environment which is prevailing with the elimination of terrorism. All arrangements have been finalized to provide the facilities required by the pilgrims. more..

'Ethul Petta' assesses post conflict development in Jaffna

June 21 (MoD) To review how the normalcy had helped revive Jaffna and shed light on areas that need more attention in the aspect of administration, security, banking and education, an open discussion was arranged by the SLBC on Friday at the Civil Affairs and Public Relations Office functioning under the Security Forces Headquarters. The programme named "Ethul Petta" discussed the subjects concerned in wider scope with participation of senior officials in respective areas. more..

Milk powder price hike: World market prices up: Johnston

June 21 (NF) Minister Johnston Fernando announced that the price of milk powder had been increased with effect from midnight yesterday. This was announced at a media briefing held yesterday. “The price of milk powder has increased in the world market. Companies have been requesting for an increase in prices since March. After closely studying the situation we agreed to increase the price of a 400g milk powder packet by Rs.19 more..

Kilinochchi to become industrial hub

June 21 (MoD) Kilinochchi will be a hub of industries in six months. It will provide training and employment to hundreds of youth in electrical works, welding, tailoring and masonary work. The apprentices in these fields will be further trained in the South and given employment, Youth Affairs Deputy Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said in Kilinochchi. He was visiting Kilinochchi in the company of Namal Rajapaksa M.P. more..

Revision of electoral list begins July 1

June 21 (GDI) The distribution of Voters’ Lists will begin from the 01st July and the distribution will be carried out through the Grma Niladharis, The Elections Secretariat revealed. The Elections Secretariat requests any person who does not receive the application form by the 15th next month to bring it to the notice of the Grama Nildhari of their respective Division. Also the Elections Secretariat calls on the public to more..

'We should not work for mere political aims'

June 21 (NF) We should not think about our personal aspirations and not work for mere political aims, says MP Namal Rajapaksa. As a country with a strong political environment the aim of all of us should be to develop the country for our future generation, he said addressing a function in the Ambalangoda area, organized to declare open the new building of the Ambalangoda Pradeshiya Sabha and the park for hired vehicles. more..

Illegal excavation of limestone in Valikaamam HSZ raises concern

June 21 (TN) Threatening the entire groundwater salinity of Jaffna peninsula, a private Sinhalese company is engaged in the illegal excavation of limestone in the High Security Zone (HSZ) in Valikaamam North while Rajapaksa government refuses to reveal details of this enterprise in the area from Maaviddapuram to Keerimalai where the uprooted residents have not been allowed to resettle for the past twenty years. more..

Hambantota Port nearing completion

June 21 (GDI) Filling of water to the new Hambantota Port basin will take place on August first. This deep sea port in southern Hambantota is being built with the financial assistance of the government of China. The first stage of this construction at a cost of US dollar 372 million included the construction of break water and the Jetty. The first stage will be commissioned for operation on November 18th by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Fisheries College, Lankan varsities plan merger

June 21 (ENS) A 30-member team led by Sri Lankan minister Muhammed Sarief Subair held discussions with the officials of Fisheries College at Panangad on Sunday, on developing the fisheries sector in Sri Lanka. "The fisheries college will collaborate with the Eastern University of Sri Lanka in Baticaloa and South Eastern University in Ampara district to establish academic and research linkages, joint programmes, including faculty exchanges. more..

Former PM hits out at UN move

June 21 (GDI) Former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said that Sri Lanka as a sovereign State was not ready to allow any one to interfere in the internal affairs of the country. Outspoken former PM, referring to UN move to appoint a commission to inquire into internal affairs of the country said that it was clear violation of UN conventions that UN should not intervene in the internal affairs of member countries. more..

Prime Minister concerned about “Buddha Bars” (Restaurants)

June 21 (LP) Prime Minister D M Jayarathne as the Minister of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs is concerned about the “Buddha Bars”, restaurants Worldwide. The Prime Minister has decided to inform the respective Embassies worldwide in this regard while measures will also be taken together with the Ministry of External Affairs. more..

Invasive species threaten Ocean

June 21 (DN) The spread of invasive species from one marine environment to another through ballast water is one of the major threats the ocean faces today, a Marine Environment Protection Authority spokesman said. Ballast water is used to balance ships while discharging and loading. A proportionate amount of ballast water is released to the sea area near the ports while loading the ship to balance the weight. more..

A student was shot dead 26 years ago...

June 21 (DN) I can’t remember what the paper was. Perhaps Economics. Maybe Political Science. This was the final term exam before the A/Ls. The year was 1984. June 21, 1984. Exactly 26 years ago. Even the most focused student would surely have been distracted for a few seconds at least. There was a billow of smoke rising above the tree line on the other side of the school ground, i.e. from Colombo University or beyond. more..

NCPA warns of stern action against errant children's homes

June 21 (NF) Stern action will be taken against children’s homes which engage in illegal acts, says the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). “We have received complaints of several such children’s homes,” said attorney at law, Anoma Dissanayake, Chairman of the Authority. The Chairman has decided to call for a report into an accident where it was revealed that some of the children at a home in Chilaw had been taken away illegally. more..

Interview III: Dr.Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

Sri Lanka Church urges major penal reform

June 21 (UCAN) Sri Lanka’s prisons are poor and inmates must have proper justice, their rights respected and benefit from improved conditions the Church has told the government. Fair trials for former Tamil Tiger rebels, religious programs, psychological counseling and abolition of the death penalty were some of the highlights of a June 16 meeting between members of the prison apostolate and Don Gunasekera, the minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reform. more..

Largest weapon cache since war

June 21 (DM) The largest stock of weapons recovered in the Kilinochchci area since the war ended last year was recovered by the STF on Saturday. A large number of weapons including a 20 Kg claymore mine, 93 anti personnel mines and 9000 ammunition rounds used in T-56 assault rifles were recovered during the search operation. A number of weapons, used by the LTTE was also recovered during the search operation conducted in Killinochchi by the STF. more..

‘Protect labour rights in North, East’

June 21 (Island) Representatives of labour unions in the tripartite National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) say they are concerned that labour rights could be prone to violations as Sri Lanka pushes to attract investors and industrialists to the North and East. They hope to raise this issue with the NLAC before long. There are constant violations of labour rights even in the export processing zones located in the Western Province, where unions are established and more..

'Want to be tractor and not trailer'

June 21 (NS) UNP Colombo District Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayaka made headlines few weeks ago with his change of attire - from European dress to Ariya Sinhala suit. This led to many speculations that Karunanayake also has launched a campaign to contest for the party leadership in the event of an election to select a candidate for the post. Sharing his views on party reforms and his ambitions more..

Lanka can be Tiger economy

June 21 (LNP) Sri Lanka can position itself as a Tiger economy with a growth rate of 8 to 9 percent similar to countries like Malaysia,Singapore and Vietnam. GOPIO (Global Organization of People of Indian Origin) International Malaysia President Selvarajoo Sundram told Daily News Business that economic development is the way forward for everyone across borders. He foresees a positive growth in Sri Lanka in three years time. more..

Wimal’s neck now caught in Rajapakse guillotine

June 21 (LeN) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa who was ‘cut’ caught in the guillotine of Rajapakse just as he was appointed as a Minister, has for the second time been ‘cut’ politically under the blade of the same guillotine. On this occasion he has been ‘cut’ from the Colombo District organization Committee position. The Govt. has appointed District Organization Committee in every District to take decisions in regard to organization of every District. more..

'Govt.should invite Rudrakumaran to visit north east'

June 21 (LB) Prof. Rohan Gunaratna an international terrorism expert, interviewed by LAKBIMAnEWS said that it is not the diaspora Tamils but the LTTE that has re-established the Transitional Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) and the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and that there is no difference between the TGTEand the LTTE or between the GTF and the LTTE. more..

Editorial: UN-becoming of the UN

June 21 (LNP) In 2006, the UN had to overhaul its human rights set-up, abolish the Human Rights Commission and establish the Human Rights Council to ensure, according to its resolution No 60/251 of April 6, 2006, -`universality, objectivity, and non selectivity in the consideration of human rights issues and the elimination of double standards and politicization. Going by the whimsical and arbitrary manner in which some key administrators are running the affairs of the UN today, more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

June 21 (ST) DIG hurls bouncer at SLC over meals: While Sri Lanka Cricket spends millions of rupees for entertainment purposes such as dining and dancing till the wee hours of the morning, half of the police detail deployed for the ongoing Asia Cup at Dambulla were forced to starve for long hours. Someone had not ensured the proper delivery of food. At the moment there are an estimated 1,500 police officers on a round-the-clock duty in and off the grounds on a day-to-day basis. more..

Editorial: Why flying defenders, after LTTE?

June 21 (DM) It certainly has become a major national concern. While Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa moved to prune the security of VIPs after the war, light flashing VIP vehicles and defenders that come on the wrong side of the road continue to give headaches to millions of motorists and pedestrians in the country. As to why the ordinary people in this country should tolerate a politician who is coming from the wrong side of the road with strobe lights, especially in the night, more..

Tax reduction to boost vehicle sale volumes

June 21 (DN) Vehicle importers are currently using different formulas to reduce prices of existing stocks, for which import duty is already being paid. They have adopted their own formulas to strike a balance between previous and revised prices, in order to sell existing stocks. Importers will look at increasing the volume of sales in future when new stocks start arriving, to catch up with the losses they incurred by reducing prices of existing stocks, more..

Who is in charge of children’s home targeted by procurer for brothels?

June 21 (Island) Police investigating an alleged attempt to procure four teenagers from a children’s home run by a local NGO, Sarvodaya, in Kuliyapitiya by a person running a prostitution racket, say the management of the institution had not even lodged a complaint with the local police before the effort was foiled. Before the Chilaw police had intervened to rescue the girls on June 10, the main suspect had allegedly forced one of the girls to have sex with a person. more..

Murdered beggar was a money lender

June 21 (DM) It has come to light that the beggar who had been killed on Muttiah Road in Slave Island by someone who dropped a concrete slab on his head, had been in the money lending business, police revealed. They said that the victim had lent another begger Rs. 30,000 to be paid back with interest and as the money was not paid back he had lodged a complaint with the Police. After the murder police brought the offending money borrower in on suspicion of murder. more..

Victory Day parade: Sajith says only LTTE sympathizers will question his right to accept invitation

June 21 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa, who is now embroiled in a leadership tussle with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, says the country should celebrate the armed forces' victory over LTTE terrorism. Premadasa along with UNP MPs John Amaratunga and Gayantha Karunatilleke and SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem accepted an invitation from the Defence Ministry to attend the V-Day celebrations last Friday at Galle Face. more..

‘Fake’ mom who robbed schoolgirls arrested

June 21 (DN) A woman suspect who had robbed money, jewellery, and mobile phones from schoolgirls attending GCE A/L tuition classes in Kandy by pretending to be a mother accompanying her child for classes was arrested by Kandy police. Police recovered some cash and other valuables from her possession yesterday. Police said they recovered a mobile phone, a gold necklace, a bangle and two wallets containing cash from the suspect. Investigations are continuing.

Defence Secretary says JVP causing resentment among Jaffna people

June 21 (MoD) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says the JVP is causing resentment among Tamil speaking people in a bid to disrupt ongoing rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement efforts. In a brief interview with The Island, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said the JVP strategy was aimed at denying a trouble-free environment in the Northern and Eastern provinces conducive for political activity. more..

Constitutional amendment disaster

June 21 (LB) This government should be pegged back in its ‘constitutional reforms’. If these reforms happen, fears of a constitutional dictatorship may be more than fears. The proposed amendments are expected to be presented to parliament in three phases. The first set of proposed constitutional amendments would be presented to parliament next month. They include 1. Deletion of article 31 (2) of the constitution which states: more..

Permits: Only 60 qualify

June 21 (DM) Only about 60 MPs across the political divide in Parliament had qualified for duty free vehicle permits this time, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mrs. Sumedha G. Jayasena said yesterday. Mrs. Jayasena said that this facility would not be given to those who obtained such permits during the last five years when they were in the last Parliament or the Provincial Councils. more..

BBC HARDtalk: Part 4

'What JR couldn’t do, MR would never achieve'

JJune 21 (LT) The student movement in Sri Lanka is a glorious one, the statements that students go astray are but slanders put forward all along by rulers said General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva delivering the keynote address at the ‘National Student Heroes Day’ commemoration held at the Public Library auditorium yesterday. The commemoration under the theme “They loved you boundlessly” was organized by the Socialist Students Union. more..

Notebook on 'white flag' story produced to court

JJune 21 (CT) The notebook of 'The Sunday Leader' editor Frederica Jansz which was used to take down notes during the controversial interview with General Sarath Fonseka regarding the 'white flag incident' at the final stages of the war, was placed in Court custody today. The newspaper carried an article some months ago, quoting the General as having said that defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had ordered more..

Govt. assures Japan 13 A will be implemented

June 21 (Island) Japan’s representative for Peace Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi told The Island in Colombo yesterday, that he had discussed with President Mahinda Rajapaksa the question of devolving power to the North and East in terms of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, and Rajapaksa had agreed to implement it conditionally. more..

Sri Lanka furious as UN names war crimes panel

June 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka is "deeply unhappy" at a move by UN chief Ban Ki-moon to name a panel to look into alleged war crimes committed during the final months of the island's civil war, an official said Monday. Colombo repeated a protest that President Mahinda Rajapakse made to Ban in March, a senior government official who declined to be named told AFP. "The government is deeply unhappy with the appointment of this panel and more..

Sri Lanka sells USD278mn in bonds

June 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka has sold 278 million US dollars in two and three year bonds at prices over 280 basis points above the 6-month London Interbank Offered Rate, rolling over 275 million US dollars of maturing debt. The government's debt office said it sold 102 million US dollars of 3-year bonds for 395 basis points above LIBOR and 176 million US dollars of 2-year bonds for 280 basis points above LIBOR. more..