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Report damns Tamil returns

May 18 (TA) A Damning international report rejects the Rudd government's assertion that it is now safe for Tamil asylum-seekers to return home and says that tens of thousands of unarmed Tamil civilians were killed in the final months of Sri Lanka's civil war - a toll far higher than previous estimates. And it urges several countries including Australia not to deport suspected former Tamil Tiger fighters, saying that would put their lives in danger. more..

Weather delays victory parade in Sri Lanka

May 18 (AFP) Heavy rains forced the indefinite postponement of Sri Lanka's military parade marking the first anniversary of its defeat of Tamil rebels, officials said on Monday as flash floods killed four people. The victory celebrations scheduled for Thursday were put off as the military was unable to go ahead with rehearsals due to torrential monsoon rains, a defence official said. more..

A year on, rise in anger against Karunanidhi over Lanka

May 18 (TS) While major parties ~ the ruling DMK, Opposition AIADMK and the ally of the ruling party Congress, went silent on a day that marked the “Mullivaikkal Tragedy,” where according to the UN 30,000 deaths happened on the single day during the last days of war in Sri Lanka, little outfits numbering about 10 in each city spanned out in various parts today to take out either a procession, public meeting or a function to mark the day. more..

Canada urged to probe Sri Lankan war crimes

May 18 (G&M) Canada should mount a domestic search for Sri Lankan war criminals and lean hard on the South Asian country to submit to an outside probe of atrocities on both sides during the last months of its war against the Tamil Tigers, says a global conflict-prevention group led by Canadian Louise Arbour. In a report released Monday, a year after the war’s end, more..

Sri Lanka: One year after the LTTE’s defeat

May 18 (wsws) One year ago today, the Sri Lankan military completed its seizure of the last scrap of land held by the LTTE, with the massacre of all the top LTTE leaders—some of whom were attempting to surrender. It was the final act of a criminal war that had been prosecuted ruthlessly by successive Colombo governments for a quarter century to suppress the democratic rights of the island’s Tamil minority and divide the working class. more..

Salute the triumph over evil

May 18 (MoD) Solemnity hangs in the air as we salute today all those who fought and laid down their lives and the thousands who suffered debilitating physical and mental injuries to regain our precious freedom and reclaim our way of life in this Paradise Isle that minds its own business. To the strains of the national anthem echoing in our hearts, today we light an oil lamp, more..

I am one who had killed many: CPC Chairman proudly states

May 18 (LeN) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Chairman (CPC) Retired Major General M R W Soysa addressing a meeting of the Heads and Deputy Chiefs of the Kolonnawa installation training Division on the 19th Feb. 2010 had stated that, on the Govt.’s directives he has committed a number of murders, and he will kill anyone who goes against his commands. It was he who arranged the IGP’s appointment, he has added. more..

Tribute to architect of victory

May 18 (MoD) The nation is paying the highest possible tribute this week to the gallant men and women of our Armed Forces, Civil Defence Force and Police for their resounding victory against the LTTE. The declaration of the week May 11-18 as the Ranaviru Week by the Government is praiseworthy. As a nation we need to recognize the tremendous sacrifice made by those men and women who stood up to protect Sri Lanka. more..

Editorial: When rains lash horizontally…

May 18 (DM) The unexpected stormy weather that has come with heavy lashing is unavoidable. Blame it on climate change or weather gods one is expected to put up with. However if there’s any way of preventing at least a section of the people who suffer due to the deluge, that should be done. One wonders what prevents the government or non-state actors from providing properly covered bus stops to those who use public transport. more..

Sunil Edirisingha: The 'Sandakada Pahana' fame idol

May 18 (DN) Sunil Edirisinghe, one may say, is a famous male vocalist that grew up within the Sinhala-Buddhist culture of this island. Most of his songs after 1980s represent his nationalist personality in art. But when he began singing career such an aesthetic culture of local Sinhala nationalism was not prominent. Until the 1980s Sunil was just a singer who more..

Will Diyawanna flow into Parliament?

May 18 (LP) Speaking to Lankapuvath an officer from the Parliamentary complex said that the water level of the Diyawanna keep rising and has now covered the Jayanthipura area including Gate one access to Parliament and Police Check Point. So far the water has not entered the premises proper but the continuous rain engulfing the car parks and entry couldn’t be ruled out. more..

SriLankan requests passengers to come early

May 18 (LP) SriLankan Airlines today advised all passengers to report to Bandaranaike International Airport at least 04 hours prior to the scheduled departure times, to avoid being inconvenienced due to delays arising out of the adverse weather conditions severely restricting vehicular traffic to the airport area. Colombo-Katunayaka road is reportedly flooded in several areas causing severe traffic congestion. more..

Promoting a righteous society –PM

May 18 (LP) Proposal to promote a righteous society in Sri Lanka would be presented to the Cabinet said Prime Minister D M Jayarathne as the Minister of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs. The Prime Minister addressing the Maga Sangha at the Prime Minister’s office last evening (17) said that he expects the participation and encouragement of all religious leaders for the proposal. more..

World surfing c'ship qualifier at Arugam Bay

May 18 (MoD) Arugam Bay, on the eastern coast, has been selected as the venue for the World surfing championship qualifier, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau said yesterday. SLTPB Managing Director Dileep Mudadeniya said the event, titled 'Sri Lankan Pro Surf 2010' would draw competitors from around the world. The event, being organized by the SLTPB with Sri Lankan Airlines, more..

'Museum for Social Harmony'

May 18 (LP) The International Museum Day is celebrated around the world annually on or around the 18th of May since 1977. The theme is decided by the Advisory Committee. This year’s being “Museum for Social Harmony”. The event provides the opportunity for museum professionals to meet the public and alert them to the challenges that museums face if they are to be - as in the ICOM definition of museums - "an institution in the service of society and of its development". more..

Immediate relief for rain-impacted people

May 18 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has given instructions to take measures to provide immediate relief for the people who have been heavily affected due to major showers in several areas in the island. People in Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts have been severely affected due to heavy rain fall during last few days. Therefore, flooding had occurred in low lands in several areas. more..

National Flag to be hoisted

May 18 (GDI) Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry Secretary D. Disanayake said that all government and public institutions are requested to hoist the National flag during the Victory Week which is commemorated from May 14 to the 20th. In addition, the Government expects all citizens to hoist the national flag at every home and private institutions as well to commemorate the victory over more..

‘RAW’ in government building

May 18 (LT) The main office of the Indian intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is located at a building of an important government institution in Colombo Fort reveal intelligence sources. The tiger terrorists’ organization had carried out an attack targeting this building during the ‘Ealam’ war and a person in the building died in the attack. According to intelligence sources the body of this person had been sent to India more..

Policeman saves mother trying to commit suicide with 3 children

May 18 (LT) A 37 year mother of three who had tried to commit suicide by jumping to Kalu ganga with her children has been saved by an officer of Kalutara Police. This woman has come to Kalutara Bodhiya with her three children yesterday from Welipanna. When she had walked towards Kalu ganga with the children a police officer who had noticed this had questioned her when it was revealed she was trying to commit suicide by jumping to the river with the children. more..

Fowzie signs Haj agreement

May 18 (DN) Disaster Management Minister A.H.M. Fowzie signed the Haj agreement with Saudi Arabia's Haj Minister Fouad Al-Farsy in Jeddah Monday. During the audience with the Saudi Minister, Fowzie asked the Kingdom to increase its Haj pilgrim quota. Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana and Islamic Affairs Director Y.L.M. Navavi accompanied the Minister. more..

The soldiers paid the ultimate price for the unitary state of mother Lanka

May 18 (LG) When 18th May 2010 dawns on at 0001 hours it will be one year or 1st ‘Death Anniversary’ of Liberation Tigers of Tamil (Dr)Eealam, and at the same time it will be the 1st Happy Anniversary of Victory against the scourge of Tamil terrorism in modern history of Sri Lanka. Why is life always bitter-sweet? Please be prepared to (BPT) witness the War Victory ‘Cash Cow’ solely surely and more..

Two hotels for Rs 3.9 billion in Sri Lanka

May 18 (LNP) The land leasing agreements of two projects under the Kalpitiya Integrated Tourism Resort program will be signed between investors and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority this week. The investment value of these projects will be Rs 1.2 billion and Rs 1.7 billion respectively. Eight projects will be implemented under the Kalpitiya Integrated Tourism Resort program. The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority will provide the land for these projects under leasing agreements. more..

Cohabiting ex-Tigers to be put in 'shackles'

May 18 (MoD) The government has seen to it that some male LTTE cadres who have been co-habiting with their female counterparts in rehabilitation centres in the Vanni won't go unpunished. They will be put in marital shackles shortly! The government has organized a mass wedding for those ex-Tigers cadres who have been living together. There were many ex -Cohabiting LTTE cadres co-habiting in rehabilitation centres and some of them even had children born out of wedlock. more..

Chandana Sirimalwaththe on YaTV

Mahinda Chintana enhances free education

May 18 (DN) In line with the Mahinda Chintana policy to ensure the quality of free education, a sum of Rs 3,387,582 and Rs 1,649 million were spent on provisions of free school textbooks, uniforms and nutrition programs respectively in 2008 and 2009, North Western Province Chief Minister Athula Wijesinghe said. The NWP Chief Minister, was speaking at a ceremony held at the Ministry Auditorium Kurunegala to handover 144 new appointments to more..

Editorial: Some V-Day thoughts

May 18 (LNP) One year ago today, Sri Lanka defeated terrorism and ended a protracted bloody war that had dragged on for nearly three decades. The conflagration towards its final stages had the trappings of a world war, so to speak, in that some of the military superpowers that had joined forces to destroy Hitler in the 1940s shamelessly rose in defence of Prabhakaran, a psychopath responsible for heinous crimes against civilians including genocidal massacres, more..

'Govt. to fulfil housing aspirations of all communities'

May 18 (Island) "The government aims to implement an Integrated National Housing Development Programme, consolidating all housing and settlement development programmes launched by various institutions, to fulfill the housing needs of various communities. Special attention will be drawn to provide housing facilities for the families displaced by the 30-year-long war in North, more..

Pen sketch of commissioners

May 18 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed the eight member 'Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation' Commission to report on the lessons to be learnt from the events in the period, Feb 2002 to May 2009. The Commissioners are: C. R. de Silva PC, Chairman, is a former Attorney General and Solicitor General of Sri Lanka. He was a Member of the Council of Legal Education, and of the Law Commission of Sri Lanka. He was called to the Bar in 1974, worked in the chambers of several prominent lawyers more..

UNP reforms: Committee to submit report today

May 18 (DM) The committee appointed to look into UNP reforms is expected to handover its report to the party leadership today. Galle district UNP parliamentarian and spokesman Gayantha Kaunnatillke told a news conference yesterday the committee had been able to gather useful suggestions on how reforms should be introduced. He said the working committee meeting of the UNP will meet shortly and finalize the committee’s recommendations. more..

Recurrent expenses 125.2% of govt revenue

May 18 (Island) With government revenue declining over the years and expenditure increasing, a top official of the Central Bank said the government would have to be mindful when planning ahead as its financial operations have a profound impact on the rest of the economy, especially when recurrent expenditure was 125.2 percent of revenue in 2009. more..

Ravi K comes to Parliament in national dress

May 18 (AD) While the Navy has kept boats ready to ferry members to and from Parliament if the approach roads go under water, UNP member Ravi Karunanayake arrived in the House wearing the traditional national dress. Many were surprised to see the usually western kit clad Mr. Karunanayake in the national dress. Some observers wondered whether Ravi Karunanayake was attempting to turn a new leaf in his political career by portraying a more nationalistic approach. more..

Pros and cons of ward system of elections

May 18 (Island) JVP prefers proportional representation to ward system of elections. At the same time we have no manape problem, M. A. Wimalaweera (JVP) said at the monthly meeting of Kuliyapitiya Pradesheeya Sabha. It was presided over by the Chairman Sampath Susantha Ketawelagedara. The Chairman said, there was talk of introducing ward system of elections to the Local Authorities. There may be merits and demerits in that, "I like to hear the opinions of the members on this subject". more..

A stunning silence!

May 18 (Island) The AG’s Department has been placed under the Executive President with the new allocation of Ministries. It is not known whether this is probably an oversight of the bureaucrat who did the allocations of subjects under the various Ministries. However the stony silence on the part of the concerned lawyers, academics, human rights activist and judges and academics et al other than a few newspaper columnists is truly a strange phenomenon. more..

'Govt. celebrates war victory keeping patriot Fonseka in prison; LTTE traitors Karuna, Daya Master and Pillayan free'

May 18 (UNP) UNP M P Gayantha Karunatileke said, it is the most cruel irony that the Govt. has thought it fit to celebrate the first anniversary of the war victory against the LTTE on the 18th, keeping the true war Hero Gen. Fonseka (whom the Govt. itself acclaimed as the greatest war Hero immediately after the war was won) imprisoned, while pampering LTTE leaders like Karuna Amman, Daya Master, more..

UNP objects to evening sessions In parliament

May 18 (DM) The UNP parliamentary group yesterday decided to object to the government’s proposal that Parliament should meet only in the evening. Earlier, the ruling UPFA had proposed that the House should conduct business of the day from 2.00 pm till 7.00 pm. At present, the House meets at 9.30 a.m. and conducts proceedings till 4.30 p.m. Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga said his party did not agree to this move by the government. more..

600 policemen transferred from North

May 18 (DM) More than 600 police personnel in the North including 110 from the Valachchenai police station are to be transferred immediately, police spokesman said yesterday. “It is nothing unusual to transfer more than 600 police personnel and neither is it unusual to have 110 police personnel from one particular station to be in the list of transfers,” SP Jayakody said. He said the policemen were being sent back to their original stations as more..

President's speech at the G-15 summit

May 18 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has proposed that the G 15 worked very closely with the G 8 to promote constructive dialogue on all major aspects of development. He said a clear methodology needs to be worked out for this dialogue to be realistic and fruitful. Addressing the G 15 Summit in Tehran, President Rajapaksa said that the G 15 with its unique composition representing about 33 % of the world population, more..

Monsoons: Another western conspiracy against Sri Lanka?

May 18 (GV) The unusually heavy rain and storm activity over Sri Lanka during the past few days could be the result of another international conspiracy against the resurgent island, a citizens’ science group says. “The timing and intensity of the inclement weather is too much of a coincidence, just when we were preparing to celebrate our armed forces’ great victory over the LTTE exactly one year ago,” said more..

US reacts to Tiger meet

May 18 (DM) While the controversial Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) held its inaugural sessions in the US city of Philadelphia over the last three days, the US Embassy in Colombo noted that the U.S. continues to investigate and prosecute individuals and entities that have provided material support to the LTTE. LTTE activist Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran who acts as its Coordinator said in more..

Lashing thunderstorms leave 3 dead 175,000 displaced

May 18 (Island) Three persons were killed and 175,000 from 40,000 families were displaced in three districts following the lashing rains experienced yesterday morning. Initial reports said that 160 houses had been damaged by floods. Three persons who had gone for a swim in a river at Divulapitiya were drawn in by the currents. Heavy rains accompanied by lightning and thunder would continue for the next 24 hours as more..

Rains delay Sri Lanka victory parade, 200,000 displaced

May 18 (AFP) Heavy rains forced the indefinite postponement of Sri Lanka's military parade marking the first anniversary of its defeat of Tamil rebels, officials said Monday as flash floods killed four people. The victory celebrations scheduled for Thursday were put off as the military was unable to go ahead with rehearsals due to torrential monsoon rains, a defence official said. more..

UN warns of Sri Lanka 'donor fatigue'

May 18 (BBC) The UN has warned that "donor fatigue" in Sri Lanka has meant that it has received only 24% of the donor funds it needs to help displaced Tamils. It has warned that the needs of Tamils wanting to return to their homes are still huge a year after the war ended. Meanwhile the government has not commented on a report by a leading think-tank which says more civilians were killed than previously thought. more..

Sri Lanka one year on from war

May 19 (Guardian) It is now a year since the final stages of Sri Lanka's brutal war. Peace, however imperfect, is always better than slaughter. But experience tells us that genuine peace is more than the absence of fighting. On the first anniversary of the government's military victory over the Tamil Tigers, how far has Sri Lanka moved towards lasting peace? We should not downplay the achievements. more..

New Lankan Commission: Too little, Too late?

May 19 (HT) The name and the terms of reference sound noble. A `Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’ (LLRC) to find out who and what fractured the fragile ceasefire between the LTTE and the government, and the war that followed till it ended in May, 2009, exactly a year ago. At the end of six months, the Commission would recommend "institutional, administrative and legislative measures needed in order to prevent any more..

Navy on flood relief missions

May 19 (SLN) Naval troops have been deployed on flood relief missions to assist the General Public affected by the inclement weather conditions prevailing in many parts of the country. Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe visited several flood-affected areas on 17th May 2010 to assess the relief measures that are under implementation. He instructed Naval Officers on emergency relief assistance to be carried out and more..

A fragile peace

May 19 (Age) In the dying days of Sri Lanka's civil war, the army liked to show off the military hardware it had captured from the retreating Tamil Tigers. During carefully managed tours of the front line, foreign journalists were shown long, neat rows of Kalashnikovs, missiles, landmines and artillery cannon seized from the rebels. A Tamil Tiger battle tank was the most impressive trophy, the most chilling a small wardrobe of suicide jackets. more..

Lanka’s statutory panels to lose independence

May 19 (EB) Sri Lanka’s statutory commissions, which were established to de-politicise the various institutions of public administration, are set to lose even the little independence they have. According to The Sunday Times, the Mahinda Rajapaksa government is planning to amend the constitution soon to give the President the power to appoint the chairpersons and members of these commissions. more..

Three dead as floods affect 200,000

May 19 (IRIN) Heavy flooding across parts of western and southern Sri Lanka has affected almost 200,000 people, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) told IRIN. At least three people are now confirmed dead, with three more missing. "It is a very tough situation for us,” Pradeep Kodippily, the DMC’s assistant director, said in Colombo. “We are doing assessments. The water levels vary between affected districts.” more..

Fighting impunity in Sri Lanka

May 19 (AJ) A year has passed since Sri Lanka declared victory in its long, bloody civil war against the LTTE. The island nation might be formally united for the first time in decades, but the brutal methods used to win the conflict have cast a shadow over Sri Lanka's new found peace. A year after the guns fell silent in northern Sri Lanka, human rights groups have issued their strongest call yet for a full and independent inquiry into alleged war crimes committed by both sides more..

One year later, 'some kind of peace'

May 19 (IRIN) As Sri Lanka marked the first anniversary of its victory over the LTTE, many internally displaced people (IDPs) are still battling to rebuild their lives. Tens of thousands were killed in the decades-long war, according to government figures, and another 280,000 fled their homes during the last phase of the war in 2009, only to find themselves forced to live in hastily erected government-run camps. more..