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More prisoners strike

May 23 (NN) The hunger strike launched by prisoners at the Welikada prison has spread to other prisons around the country as well. Commissioner General of Prisons V.R de Silva said that four prisoners in Mahara and 20 in Bogambara have joined the hunger strike launched by the prisoners in Welikada. Over 200 prisoners at the Welikada prison, who have been sentenced to death and were given life in prison, launched the hunger strike on Thursday, demanding that they be pardoned. more..

Case dropped against author

May 23 (GDN) A Baharain-based author who was stranded in Sri Lanka for nearly 14 months after being accused of blasphemy has had the case against her dropped. Sarah Malanie Perera was detained via emergency laws in Colombo in March last year for alleged "anti-state" activities and links to Islamic militants. She was locked up for two months before being released on 50,000 rupees bail (BD180), but was banned from leaving the country. more..

Soldiers assault Matara High Court Judge

May 23 (LT) It is reported that the High Court Judge of Matara has been assaulted by a group of Army personnel. While the High Court Judge K.D.L. Saman Kumara was driving in front of the Kotuwegoda Army Camp in Matara, a soldier had obstructed his car by stopping the motorbike ridden by the soldier. The High Court Judge had tooted the horn. The soldier enraged by this has got round several other soldiers in the camp and had assaulted the Judge and his wife in the car. more..

Six killed in two separate road accidents

May 23 (NN) Six people were killed and 12 injured following two separate road accidents this morning. Police said that one accident occurred along the Puttalam-Chilaw road this morning between two trucks, one of which was a freezer truck transporting fish to the market. The accident occurred when one truck was overtaking a vehicle in poor weather conditions and rammed into an oncoming truck on the opposite side of the road. Two people travelling in one truck and more..

5 proposals from JVP to govt to establish democracy & prevent imperialist intervention

May 23 (LT) The JVP would present five proposals to the govt for it to take an optimistic step to establish democracy in the country says the Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP, MP Anura Dissanayake. Withdrawing of emergency regulations, revoking ‘Prevention of terrorism Act’, releasing Gen. Sarath Fonseka, releasing Tamil political prisoners and establishing media freedom are the five proposals of the JVP. more..

Pirabakaran’s death ‘war crime?’

May 23 (LG) According to Tamil sources who are close to the government and who flew to Sri Lanka in the first available flight following the defeat of the LTTE two years ago, confirm that they have watched the video footages of Pirabakaran’s final moments. They state that the LTTE leader surrendered to the army and was taken into captivity. The video footage confirmed Pirabakaran’s surrender and how he was made to worship the foot of a senior army official. more..

Tamil Nadu parallels and lessons for Sri Lanka

May 23 (LG) There are many tempting parallels that could be drawn between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Tamil Nadu colossus Muthuvel Karunanidhi who dominated the politics of the South Indian State for over 40 years but bit the Tamil Nadu dust in the end. Karunanidhi had a yearning for his national hero – the greatest of all Chola kings, Raja Raja who subjugated all South Indian kingdoms around the Chola kingdom and Lanka as well. more..

University system is crumbling due to sycophancy and appalling silence of the majority

May 23 (TC) The academic communities were present in large numbers at the recent funeral of the late Professor B. A. Abeywickreme, Emeritus Professor in the faculty of Science, University of Colombo, and former Vice Chancellor of the university. As I entered the cemetery, an employee of the University of Colombo who recognized me rushed up and offered me an academic gown to wear, like the other ‘dons’ who were present. more..

On 2nd Anniversary of the end of the war, the need for truth has never been greater

May 23 (LG) Today (18) marks the second anniversary of the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. Commenting, Edward Mortimer, Chair of the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice said, "Over 40,000 people died in the war and, as we now know from the UN report, both sides committed war crimes in the latter stages: shelling hospitals, summarily executing civilians and surrendered soldiers, and deliberately targeting the civilian population. more..

Hoole Saga takes mask off Douglas Devananda

May 23 (LG) The eminent academic Prof. Carlo Fonseka (Island May 13) quoting a perceptive Island editorial on university teachers (Island May 9) captioned “Pay them more; make them work harder” has endorsed HE the President’s appeal to “expatriate Sri Lankan experts including academics to return and help develop the country”. He rightly elaborated on how eminent academics like Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole and his wife Dr. Dushyanthi Hoole have been denied opportunities to more..

Politicising archaeology: The tomb of Elara and ashes of Dutugemunu

May 23 (TC) The Dhakkhina thupa in Anuradhapura had for a century been known as the tomb of Elara, the just Tamil king of a couple of thousand years ago. It was revered by one and all, who kept faith with the orders of the victor, King Dutugemunu, that passersby should respect and worship the memorial dagoba he had built in memory of Elara, where he had fallen in combat (Mhv., 25-73) near the south gate of the city of Anuradhapura (Mhv., 25-69). more..

LTTE: Two Years Later

May 23 (LG) Today is the day of celebration of the war victory of the government, but the new Indo Lanka accord is a kick in the mouth by Indian Rani, Sonia. Mahinda has been forced to eat milk rice from back side. The election results of Indian state elections brought a new factor to disturb the Mahinda regime. Now the government is equally pressed from both sides. Clearly, the government is pressed to consider the UN report proposals positively. This is very clear in the new Indo Lanka deal more..

New reports are emerging about the second coming of the Tiger

May 23 (TC) The govt has declared a ‘Ranaviru Month’ (‘War Heroes’ Month) to mark the second anniversary of winning the long Eelam War. On the second day of this commemorative period, the CID briefly detained and questioned the daughter of Gen. Sarath Fonseka, at the Katunayake Air Port. Ms. Fonseka was returning to the island with her mother, when this incident happened. Unsurprisingly, the list of prisoners amnestied by the President to commemorate Vesak did not contain more..

Modern farming vs traditional farming: Should we go back?

May 23 (SO) Human history is filled with stories of technological and industrial advances and their various repercussions. We are daily reminded of these advances when we watch or read the news these days. Not many people can imagine a life without electricity, but the cost of effective, efficient and cheap electricity could be explosions at nuclear reactors such as the one in Japan. more..

As a puppet from New Delhi Mahinda thought he will be protected by India from pressure elsewhere

May 23 (TC) Govt is pressed from two sides! Firstly, the government is pressed to go forward in giving a real space to the Tamil nationality in Lanka. On this issue, the recent increase in dictates from the Indian govt has become a real headache for Mahinda. As a puppet of Delhi, he thought he will be protected by India against the pressure from elsewhere. Even in the case of Darusman report he appealed to Delhi to indicate how to face the associated campaign. more..

Polarised debate in Sri Lanka between human rights and national sovereignty is symptom of unacknowledged ignorance

May 23 (TC) Every mayoralty in Paris has tablets on which are inscribed the names of those from that locality who died in the many wars which France fought. Many are the works of art in the glorious buildings in Paris, which depict these battles, from Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) onward. Many are the military parades in remembrance. This is so of most countries, not merely the hub of Enlightenment thinking. Russia recently celebrated with its parade in more..

'Nediyavan’s arrest a major step forward'

May 23 (NS) Sri Lanka should ensure the establishment of a mainstream Tamil political leadership in order to move towards permanent peace, said terrorism expert, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (IC PVTR), Professor Rohan Gunaratna. He said the arrest of the head of the LTTE’s international network Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyavan was a major step in helping Sri Lanka to recover from violent 30 years. more..

Editorial : Doves on the rampage

May 23 (Island) The US has reaffirmed its resolve to baulk at nothing in the prosecution of its all-out war on terror, which is far from over though al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead. President Barack Obama has told BBC that he would order another covert military operation like the one that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan recently, if necessary. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, too, has not minced her words in reiterating her vow to defend the US at any cost. more..

Editorial : Left is not right

May 23 (DM) Creating controversies also has its strategic advantages. Workers are demanding wage hikes, academics, teachers and nurses demand salary hikes. On another side Darusman is brandishing his report flanked by moon. Supporters of Former general Sarath Fonseka are on one side protesting over his arrest. Human rights organizations who visit the Vanni in glittering Toyota Prados with Chanel and Poison write report after report in unintelligible English. more..

Protesting prisoners want to meet Namal

May 23 (Island) The hunger strike by the prisoners serving life sentences in Welikada, Bogambara and Mahara prisons entered the fifth day yesterday (22). About 65 inmates are staging a roof top protest demanding that their sentences be reviewed. Eleven protesting inmates were admitted to the prison hospital yesterday due to dehydration. Condition of two of them was serious and they had been transferred to the Colombo National Hospital, more..

Some 7,000 GK depositors receive 2nd repayment

May 23 (ST) With the completion of the sale of Ceylinco Ceysands Hotel, depositors of the failed Golden Key Credit Card Company (GK) are now receiving the second repayment of Rs.100, 000 or 75% of their deposit, whichever is higher. The Central Bank (CB) has posted cheques of Rs.100, 000 each to around 7,000 depositors with around 800 more eligible deposit holders to receive the second installment, CB officials said. The star-class but run-down hotel at Bentota was sold to more..

Not right - Dr. Mahim

May 23 (NS) The friction between the university teachers and the government has aggravated further last week when President Mahinda Rajapaksa called for a meeting with lecturers who are not in the association. The President is expected to meet with lecturers who are not involved with the association tomorrow evening to discuss matters in relation to the issues faced by the university teachers. The proposed meeting however, has not been welcomed by the FUTA, more..

TRC in preliminary round to ring in number portability

May 23 (ST) The World Bank has selected a British consultancy firm to commence consultations with the mobile sector stakeholders on the possible introduction of mobile number portability in Sri Lanka. However, mobile operators in the country are cautious of its implementation due to the inability to make gains from it. Once implemented this new technology will empower consumers to switch between providers easily allowing the subscriber to opt for more..

Ravi lashes out at ex-IMF head, govt

May 23 (DM) Coming out strong against the govt UNP National Organizer and MP Ravi Karunanayake at a news conference said that the whole world would now know that the ex IMF chief who had advised Sri Lanka to minimize state expenses had spent lavishly on five star hotels on his visit here. He said that the former IMF Managing Director who pretended to be concerned about the welfare of the Sri Lankan people had shown himself in a different light to the world by these actions. more..

Over 100 nabbed for illegal activities during Vesak

May 23 (DM) The Excise Department had arrested around 100 persons, including 21 women in island wide raids carried out during the Vesak season for various offenses. Of those arrested 18 were taken in for running illegal distilleries, 50 for selling and possessing kasippu(locally brewed illicit liquor), 28 for selling arrack without a licence, two for selling foreign liquor without obtaining a licence while two were arrested for selling toddy. These raids were carried out in more..

India continues broad spectrum engagement with Sri Lanka

May 23 (Hindu) Helping to rebuild the battered infrastructure in the north Sri Lanka and catering to the livelihood concerns of the Tamils have marked the broad spectrum Indian engagement with Sri Lanka in the past two post-war years, to ensure an early return of normalcy to the Northern Province. Sri Lankan forces defeated the LTTE this month two years ago. While some longer gestation projects such as permanent houses for the people of the Northern Province are yet to more..

Don’t send’em for training - JVP

May 23 (DM) The JVP yesterday requested the parents of students who had been selected to the universities not to send their children for leadership training in military camps which is scheduled to begin today. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that they wanted the parents not to send their children for the proposed training programme. “Take a firm decision as there is no provision in the law for the higher education authorities to take action against more..

Revenge is taking UNP to disaster – Imtiaz

May 23 (NS) Politics of the UNP today is marred by malice and acts of revenge and it is being led on a road to political disaster, says party’s Sajith group member and former Minister Imitiaz Bakeer Markar. In an interview with our sister paper Rivira, former Senior Vice Chairman and Working Committee member of the UNP Bakeer Markar said that the past leaders of the party such as J.R. Jayewardene and Gamini Dissanayake had never taken revenge from party members who had more..

Ragging, it’s official now

India Cables: DMK calls off threat to pull support from UPA over Sri Lanka violence

May 23 (Hindu) Chief Minister Karunanidhi backed down from his threat to have Tamil Nadu's MPs resign if India did not force a ceasefire in Sri Lanka before October 28. The resignation drama has helped distract attention from the DMK party's woes in advance of next years Parliamentary elections. The political crisis has introduced some tension into the DMK/Congress relationship, which remains strong because of the parties' mutual interest in supporting one another. End summary. more..

Protest staged against Sri Lankan Govt

May 23 (Hindu) Tamils took out a protest march in Hubli on Sunday under the aegis of the Karnataka Tamils Federation condemning the atrocities against Tamil people in Sri Lanka. The protesters also burnt an effigy of President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa terming him responsible for the ‘genocide' in Sri Lanka and urged the international community to intervene and prevail upon the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct a public referendum among the Sri Lankan Tamils. more..

National War Heroes Day on grand scale

May 23 (DN) The National War Heroes Day Celebration - 2011 is to be held on a grand scale with 8,700 Security Forces and police personnel joining the victory parade at the Galle Face green on May 27. The main War Heroes commemoration ceremony is to be conducted near the war heroes cenotaph at the Parliamentary Grounds. Both events are to be held under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s patronage. The Prime Minister, the Speaker, ministers, governors, more..

IPU rep to monitor Fonseka cases

May 23 (NS) A special representative of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) is expected arrive in the country to observe the judicial procedures against former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. According to agency reports, Mark Trowell Q.C of the Bar Association of Western Australia has been appointed to monitor the legal procedures of the former Army Commander. The opposition members who took part at last month’s IPU meeting lobbied for international observers. more..

Vandalur zoo could soon get female pygmy hippo from Lanka

May 23 (TOI) The Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP) in Vandalur could soon get a female pygmy zoo from the Colombo Zoo under the animal exchange programme, ending nearly two decades of wait. The zoo in Vandalur, some 31 km from Chennai, has two male pygmy hippos, who have been without a mate since 1992. The National Zoological Gardens, or the Colombo Zoo, at Dehiwala, some 11 km from the Sri Lankan capital, in April saw the birth of three pygmy hippos. more..

Mother India and mother of all actresses on Lanka’s case

May 23 (LB) In a message to newly elected Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha, External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris says Sri Lanka looks forward to working closely with her “with renewed vigour for social and economic development.” India’s Central Government, which has for the past few years been butting its head against a wall of Sri Lankan puttering on several govt-to-govt initiatives, might be pleasantly amused. more..

Sajith frowns on further militarisation of society

May 23 (Island) Co-Deputy leader of the UNP Sajith Premadasa accuses the government of further militarising the society despite the conclusion of the war in May two years ago. The Hambantota District MP who is also the Deputy Opposition Leader urged the government to abandon a plan to provide a three-week training to some 10,000 university entrants. In a media statement, MP Premadasa expressed serious concern over the Defence Ministry being involved in the project. more..

Confiscation of Canada-bound ‘anti-Sri Lankan’ books:Shipper appeals to Jayalalithaa

May 23 (ENS) Irked by the detention of a consignment of Tamil books headed for Canada via Colombo Port recently, Chennai-based Manitham International, which published and exported the books, has appealed to the newly elected Chief Minister Jeyaram Jayalalithaa to take action to secure the release of the cargo, Indian press says. About 1,400 books in 45 cartons were transported in early May from Chennai through MV Hansa Stavanger, a ship to Toronto. more..

England Lions v Sri Lankans: Pacemen seal Sri Lanka outstanding victory

May 23 (CI) The Sri Lankans gave themselves the perfect pre-Test tonic with an outstanding come-from-behind victory by 38 runs against England Lions. Despite following on 227 adrift they transformed the match and dismissed the Lions for 183 during the final session at Derby. Dilhara Fernando took three wickets in six balls including Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara, a pair who had contrasting emotions after England's Test squad was named, more..

Sri Lanka won’t tour Pakistan till ICC clearance

May 23 (DM) Sri Lanka are not likely to tour Pakistan for a scheduled series later this year as concerns still linger about the volatile security situation in that country and the news reports that suddenly originated from Pakistan yesterday about an invitation by Pakistan Cricket Board to Sri Lanka for the tour, actually contain nothing new. “There has not been any official invitation from PCB recently as these media reports indicate. About three or four months ago, more..

Many inmates withdraw from strike at prisons

May 23 (DM) A section of prison inmates who had been engaged in a hunger strike had left the strike following a discussion with the authorities, Department sources said. Most of the inmates at the Welikada Prison who had embarked on the hunger strike, had begun consuming meals since Saturday night, the sources said, adding that twenty inmates had climbed onto the roof of the prison and were continuing their fast. Meanwhile 43 of the inmates of the Mahara and Bogambara Prisons who more..