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US Federal Court summons SL leader

June 18 (DM) A United States Federal Court has issued summons on President Mahinda Rajapaksa in connection with three civil cases filed under the Hague Convention claiming monetary damages under US Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA) over alleged extra-judicial killings, the Justice Ministry sources said. Sources said the government was not overly ruffled by this decision, and would not respond to it. more..

'No genuine attempts made'

June 18 (DM) Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa who graced the ‘Ranaviru Punyanumodana-2011’ ceremony as the Chief Guest today addressed the gathering, he stated. ‘Time has come again for all of us to unite together and voice our concerns against attempts being made by LTTE rump and Tamil Diaspora at international level, in order to achieve what they could not reach through terrorism in the past. Heroic efforts of our War Heroes are belittled and more..

TNA lashes out at govt. over attack

June 18 (Island) The TNA alleges that the army on Thursday night carried out an unprovoked attack on a group of around 30 party activists and candidates, engaged in peaceful discussion with five Jaffna District MPs, at the Mahajana building Hall in Alaveddy town. Military Spokesperson Major General Udaya Medawewa said that he was on his way to Trincomalee and denied any knowledge of the alleged attack on TNA MPs by Army personnel in Jaffna. more..

We must not turn away

June 19 (OC) The images are truly shocking. Summary executions of bound and gagged young men, the aftermath of rape and murder of young women, and the bloodied corpses of children. They are civilians, and among the 40,000 victims killed in Sri Lanka two years ago shortly after the government locked its doors to the outside world and set about dealing with its Tamil problem. There is none of the familiar TV editing when the image stops a split second before the final act. more..

Int’l community and UN should help SL - Spanish PM

June 19 (AD) Prime Minister of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero told President Mahinda Rajapaksa, during a meeting at St. Petersburg, that the international community and the UN should help Sri Lanka. The two leaders held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg today (18). President briefed the Spanish PM on the reconciliation and the resettlement process undertaken by the government after the end of the conflict and more..

Demining on fast-track in Kilinochchi

June 19 (DN) Sri Lankan Army and UN-sponsored de-mining teams have cleared 60 per cent of mine-containing land in Kilinochchi. The National Steering Committee on Mine Action (NSCMA) yesterday said LTTE had laid over 1.4 million landmines in the Kilinochchi district. "They are being removed, de-mining is on a fast track," NSCMA sources said. Nearly 90 per cent of an estimated quarter million displaced were resettled, sources said and more..

UPA govt taking necessary steps to protect Sri Lankan Tamils: GK Vasan

June 19 (PTI) The UPA government is taking all necessary measures to protect the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka, Union Shipping Minister GK Vasan said today. As part of these measures, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon had visited Colombo a week ago and discussed the issue with the authorities there, he told reporters here. He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had ascertained the status of Tamils from Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and more..

Sri Lanka offered slot in London Stock Exchange "international board" project

June 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's bourse could become one of the partners of London Stock Exchange's 'international board' project where foreign stock exchanges are allowed access to its market participants and liquidity, an official said. "The international board is a concept where, you could buy any London stock in Sri Lanka," LSE's director of global development, Tony Weerasinghe told a forum in Sri Lanka Saturday on developing the country's capital markets. more..

Gazprom to support oil exploration

June 19 (SO) Russias biggest energy company Gazprom, which is one of the world’s largest natural gas extractor, has agreed to support Sri Lanka in oil exploration in off the Mannar coast and also to enhance the facilities in oil refineries. The Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller announced their willingness to carry out oil exploration in the Mannar Basin when he met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a meeting held in St. Petersburg, where the 15th International Economic Forum. more..

Editorial: Channel 4 does it again!

June 19 (SO) The notorious British television Channel 4, has released the latest edition of its concocted series. This is yet another attempt by the infamous British television channel to discredit Sri Lanka in the eyes of the world with doctored television footage. The production of Channel 4's tendentious film "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields' has been evidently made at the behest of certain parties with vested interests. It is abundantly clear that the fabricated video caters only to more..

Editorial: The rule of law in war

June 19 (SL) Every rule in the book was broken. At least for us laymen – watching the horrific footage screened by Channel 4 last Tuesday – it certainly did look like every rule in the book was broken two years ago when Sri Lankan forces closed in on a defeated LTTE. Naked prisoners shot in the head; the dead bodies of women who had been raped, dumped on a truck; the immediate aftermath of a shell landing on a hospital – images caught on mobile phones of the atrocities more..

Army extends community welfare projects to Jaffna islands

June 19 (Cimic) Security Forces Headquarters - Jaffna (SF-J), expanding its community welfare projects presently being carried out in Jaffna mainland to Jaffna islands, a stock of agriculture equipment, school uniforms and boat engines were distributed among civilians in Kayts and Punguduthivu islands Friday. On concept of Commander Security Forces - Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, 17th Battalion of the Gemunu Watch that more..

UN country rapporteur must be appointed for human rights issues in Sri Lanka

June 19 (TC) IMADR wish to focus re the alarming situation in Sri Lanka which requires urgent attention of the international community. We urge the setting up of appropriate mechanism/s to give effect to the recommendations made in the UN SG Expert Panel Report. This covers crimes committed by both the government forces as well as the LTTE. Further, we recommend that GOSL creates national mechanisms which are credible, transparent and representative in character. more..

The Sri Lankan army is essentially Sinhalese and it has an inherent hatred for Tamils

June 19 (TC) Not all Sinhalese are evil. Neither is every Tamil a saint. But the fact remains that every soldier in the Sri Lankan army who fought the war against the LTTE during 2008-2009 was a Sinhalese. This background information is essential for any non-Tamil to understand how the Sri Lankan army can be so brutal against its own civilians. In Sri Lanka, Tamils are not treated on par with the Sinhalese. They are not inducted into the army, which is almost a 100 percent Sinhalese force. more..

'Dignity and decorum of Parliament at highest levels'

June 19 (TC) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said there should be more unity between the Govt and the Opposition on issues of national importance. If we take any developed country, as far as national issues are concerned, it is not only MPs but also the people stand together as citizens of that country irrespective of politics. He said except for a handful, the majority of Sri Lankans stood with President Mahinda Rajapaksa over his decision to more..

Finding our own closures

June 19 (LG) I write in response to the article ‘Accountability and justice in Sri Lanka: a new chapter at last?’ by Dr. Lutz Oette of REDRESS, published in Sri Lanka Guardian. I am able to relate to much of the analyses in the above article which is based on the UN’s Report. Dr. Lutz Oette says ‘It is the first time that the country has received the attention at UN level that its record of conflict and violations merits. Unsurprisingly, the Report reads as a major indictment of more..

Dayan denounces Channel 4 claims as akin to WMDs in Iraq

June 19 (LG) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, in comments to RFI, pointed out that the campaign in sections of the western media were similar to the claims once made regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in Iraq. He further questioned the scurrilous claims being made of tens of several thousands of people having been intentionally killed in the last stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka, while noting that there wouldn’t be 11, 000 former LTTE cadres who more..

'Rajapaksa regime subjecting Sri Lanka to global ridicul'

June 19 (TC) The ineptitude of the present regime in the face of intensifying and relentless international pressure is driving Sri Lanka further and further into isolation and is likely to have devastating effects for this country’s prospects for rebuilding and reconciliation in the post-conflict phase. The release of the Channel 4 documentary on Sri Lanka, alleging that extra-judicial killings have occurred during the final phase of more..

Editorial: Channel 4 and diplomatic blackmailing

June 19 (NS) Recent history, it seems, is repeating itself in rather obnoxious ways. Months after Britain’s Channel 4 television station released a video clip of what was claimed to be Sri Lankan soldiers committing war crimes, it has done it again, releasing a fifty minute documentary on the same issue. For those who haven’t viewed it, the documentary could be called ‘interesting’ at best. It is hopelessly one-sided and relies on the ‘story’ of one individual. Most of the accompanying footage, more..

Editorial: Overkill, Killing Fields and hype

June 19 (LB) Killing Fields the latest Channel 4 video is said to contain compelling evidence of war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan army. But compelling is a condition that cannot be willed. If it is compelling, it will show - and the production cannot be made compelling by saying ad nauseam that it is so. The Channel 4 producers of Killing Fields have assumed that the production is compellingly indicative of war-crimes by the Sri Lankan state. more..

'Withdraw army, put them in barracks'

June 19 (LB) V. Anandasangaree, the TULF president and a long standing Tamil politician was perhaps the most vocal critic of the LTTE, among the old school Tamil political leadership, even during the hey days of the LTTE. He, once hailed by the govt, as a ‘moderate’ Tamil voice, now cautions that the frequent military excesses in Jaffna would sow seeds of a future conflict. He alleged that the heavy military presence in the Wanni was more..

June 11 visit of the Delhi trio and the Rajapakse blues

June 18 (LG) One can only hope the Rajapakses take note the Indian Advisor to the government, their Foreign Secretary and the Defence Secretary do not usually go together overseas to discuss urgent and contentious issues with another government - unless the matter is of the utmost significance and importance. The othouse of Harrisons Chemical Ltd has been shut by the Customs Department while CIC Crop Solutions has voluntarily informed that they would not issue any products until the controversy is resolved. more..

Death fast by Ukrainian duo

June 19 (ST) Two Ukrainians who are currently being held at the New Magazine Prison at Welikada have begun a fast-unto-death to protest at poor facilities provided and ill-treatment by the jail authorities. The pair was picked up in separate arrests in February last year and early this year on an alleged credit card fraud and has been remanded pending trial. The two have refused to call off their fast, which they began five days ago, until the authorities make arrangements to provide them with basic facilities. more..

Lack of clarity in foreign policy; Sri Lanka on collision course

June 19 (ST) Air Traffic Controllers at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) gave priority clearance to the Indian Air Force Embraer VIP jet that dropped altitude from 37,000 feet for a smooth touchdown on a sultry afternoon the previous Friday. The luxury jet with a nautical range of more than 3,000 miles had taken off from New Delhi. It rolled to the parking apron at BIA. The door flung open upwards and the step ladder lowered gently on the ground. more..

Fears over Jaffna polls

June 19 (SL) The TNA has written to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya expressing fears over the conduct of a free and fair election in Jaffna next month. The TNA said it has raised concerns with the elections chief after the first election rally to be staged by the TNA for the upcoming local govt polls came under an attack last week. According to the TNA, a similar letter was also sent to the Speaker as five TNA MPs were among those attending the rally when the attack took place. more..

Drive to popularise compost fertiliser

June 19 (SO) The Govt is studying the feasibility of implementing a subsidy scheme for compost fertiliser manufacture. A sum of Rs. 750 million had been allocated for this year to popularise the use of compost fertiliser for cultivation, Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said. He said the Govt will provide assistance to popularise compost fertiliser and chemical-free traditional pesticides. A project has been set up at Pannala to teach farmers compost fertiliser manufacturing methods. more..

UN for anti lanka sanctions soon

June 19 (LB) resolution that would impose sanctions on Sri Lanka is likely, when the Human Rights Council of the United Nations (UN) convenes in September (from 12th-30th) and ratifies such a move. The government has still not being able to secure support from countries considered supportive to overcome such threats, a senior government minister, on condition of anonymity, said. Though a delegation from Colombo attended the 17th sessions of the UNHRC in Switzerland recently, more..

Editorial: Reconciliation with a stagger

June 21 (n on the benefits in terms of price more..

Lanka not perturbed by Tiger sympathisers’ moves

June 20 (SO) Sri Lanka is not perturbed by the fact that the EU Court has agreed to take up a petition by a group of LTTE sympathisers seeking a revision of the outfit being labelling as a terrorist group. A senior official at the Foreign Ministry said the Sri Lankan mission in the EU was closely monitoring the developments in the EU court where attempts were being made to get the EU ban on the LTTE lifted do not fear the process will in fact end in a positive note for LTTE elements. more..

Agri Minister hoodwinked - JNP

June 20 (DM) Govt ally Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (JNP) charged that the Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has been hoodwinked by certain officers with regard to the investigation of pesticides which are alleged to have been contaminated with arsenic. JNP Politburo Member Piyasiri Wijenayake said that the Minister has been hoodwinked by the certain government officers attached to the agriculture sector who are working according to the agenda of the multinational companies. more..

'Issipriya is a LTTE cadre'

June 20 (NN) The Sri Lankan government claims a female shown in the controversial Channel 4 video as being a civilian and allegedly killed by the military, is a member of the LTTE military wing. Issipriya, born in 1982 in Jaffna, was recruited by the LTTE and underwent military training in the Wanni. She then served in the LTTE Military Wing and subsequently joined the "Voice of Tigers", the official radio station of the LTTE. more..

Dutch officials question KP and 12 others

June 20 (ST) Dutch judicial officials who are in Sri Lanka to investigate the fund-raising activities of the LTTE in the Netherlands have recorded statements from Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP and 12 other top LTTE top rungers who are now under detention in Vavuniya. The team which arrived in Colombo last week is being assisted by Govt authorities in the investigation. Netherlands embassy spokesman Jaco Beerends said that raising funds for banned terrorist groups was illegal in more..

'UNP unions weak'

June 20 (NN) UNP MP Kabir Hashim says trade unions of the party are weak and are unable to matchup to the strength of the JVP. He says that the UNP does not have a strong trade union which can put pressure on the govt the way the JVP did in Katunayake. JVP trade unions staged a massive protest in Katunayake recently against a proposed pension scheme of the govt which resulted in the scheme being scrapped. Hashim criticized the UNP leadership saying the more..

SLC rejects Indian board's claim over SLPL

June 20 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has rejected the BCCI's claim that the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) is a private-party organised tournament, saying that the SLPL is owned and approved by SLC - and so, automatically, by the ICC - and that Singapore-based Somerset Ventures only owns the commercial rights to the tournament. The BCCI had on Saturday said it would not allow Indian players to participate in the tournament on the grounds that it was a more..

Yala to connect with Kumana

June 20 (ST) The govt is to construct a motorable road across the Yala National Park connecting the Kumana bird sanctuary enabling visitors to travel to all parts of the park, Wild Life Department Director General Chandrawansa Pathiraja said. He said that one of the reasons for the construction of the road would be to prevent congestion in Zone One in the park. He said that accordingly all four zones in the Yala National Park will be open to the public enabling visitors to proceed to the Kumana sanctuary. more..

Karu J. to reintroduce Right to Information Bill in Parliament

June 20 (ST) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya will make a second attempt to introduce the Right to Information Bill in Parliament on Tuesday. An attempt to move the Bill last September was thwarted, after the Govt asked him to withdraw it with an assurance that a similar Bill would be introduced by them shortly. However, as no such Bill has been presented by the Govt, Mr. Jayasuirya’s private member’s Bill has been re-listed in the Order Paper of Parliament for Tuesday, more..

500 ex-combatants to be released

June 20 (DM) Another batch consisting of 500 rehabilitated LTTE cadres is to be released into the society at the end of this month in Vavuniya, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Major General Sudantha Ranasignhe said. “The ex LTTE cadres were to be integrated into the society as most of them are having continuous health diseases, some are disabled and most of them have family issues”, he said. “Some of their children are sick and more..

Rs. 18m collected in raids during May - CEB

June 20 (AD) The Ministry of Power and Energy stated that nearly Rs. 18 million have been collected through raids carried out during the month of May alone by investigation units of the Ministry. 237 incidents of altering electricity meters, using hooks to obtain electricity illegally and other unscrupulous activities have been reported, a release issued by the Ministry today stated “152 of these were of obtaining electricity by way of altering electricity meters.” more..

SF needs a clean-room- Ketagoda

June 20 (DM) Doctors had advised to keep jailed former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka in acleanroom because exposure to dust and polluted air was bad for his lung condition, MP Jayantha Ketagoda said today. Mr. Ketagoda who is a member of Mr. Fonseka’s DNA said that the former Army Commander was subjected to a medical test at a private hospital in Colombo on Sunday. “According to doctors, Mr. Fonseka’s lung condition has not improved. Therefore, he has to be kept in a special room more..

Interim coach gives SLC interim committee an ultimatum

June 20 (IC) Stuart Law has received an offer from Bangladesh, and wants Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to make a speedy decision concerning his future employment with the Sri Lankan cricket team, a report on Britain's The Daily Mirror newspaper said. Law was Sri Lanka's assistant coach, before being appointed as an 'interim coach' for Sri Lanka's ongoing tour of England, after the end of Trevor Bayliss' contract as head coach post World Cup. more..