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Brandix makes bricks with industrial waste

Dec 1 (Fri) Construction bricks made from primary sludge generated by industrial waste conversion will form the walls of a new vocational training centre for the differently-abled. The initiative of innovation, environmental conservation and caring comes from Sri Lanka’s Brandix Group and the UK’s Marks & Spencer with their suppliers in Sri Lanka. The first consignment of the unique bricks developed and produced by Brandix Finishing at Ratmalana, after extensive research and testing, more..

Politicians, don’t mess up priorities!

Dec 1 (Fri) When the year 2000 dawned, our political leaders spoke of the future of our people, the nation and the priorities of the new millennium. Leave alone the millennium, we are now at the tail end of the first decade of the new century in that millennium. The question before us is - ‘What have we done and achieved at least in the past seven years for our country and people when we glance to the immediate past on January 01, 2008?’ more..

Sri Lanka to sell more rupee bonds to foreigners

Dec 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka has lifted a ceiling on foreign holdings of government rupee bonds, allowing foreign investors to buy into more than 500 million dollars worth new medium term securities. The government has doubled an earlier limit of 5 percent of outstanding government bonds to 10 percent, from November 30. Sri Lanka sold 460 million dollars worth rupee bonds to foreign investors in the first half of 2007. more..

SriLankan Airlines gets global air safety certification

Dec 1 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines has said it had received an international air transport safety audit certification a year ahead of a global deadline. The airline has been added to the Registry of the IATA Operational Safety Audit, which measures safety and quality standards among airlines throughout the global industry. The registration is to be mandatory by the end of 2008 for an airline to remain a member of IATA, which has some 240 member airlines. more..

One more year for Vaas

Dec 1 (CI) On the eve of his 100th Test appearance for Sri Lanka, Chaminda Vaas says he will play one more year before quitting international cricket. "I give myself one more year in Test cricket and in that time I hope to take 350 wickets before I quit," Vaas said. He will become the third Sri Lankan, after Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan, to play 100 Tests and is by far their most successful fast bowler, but said he will not unnecessarily try to prolong his career. more..

Sri Lankan gov't not keen on banning Tigers

Dec 1 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government said Friday that it was not contemplating action to ban the Tamil Tigers despite the rebels being blamed for two separate bomb attacks in the capital Colombo. Keheliya Rambukwella, the minister of Foreign Employment and the government's defense spokesman, told reporters that "we are not contemplating a ban and we want to keep doors open for peace." more..

Rebels and Government Should Cease Attacks on Civilians

Dec 1 (HRW) The armed opposition Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Sri Lankan government are deliberately and indiscriminately targeting attacks on civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. LTTE bombings in Colombo and a Sri Lankan government aerial bombing of an LTTE radio station this week resulted in more than two dozen civilian deaths. “Both the Tigers and government forces are brazenly violating the laws of war by targeting civilians or failing to distinguish between civilians and combatants,” more..

Ratwatte bribery case dismissed

Dec 1 (BBC) The judiciary in Sri Lanka has acquitted a former senior minister of serious financial malpractices. Colombo High Court said the Bribery Commission has failed to produce the vital documents related to the case against former senior Minister, Anurudhdha Ratwatte. General Ratwatte, a former senior leader of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), was accused of illegally earning property over the value of Rs. 400 million during 1994 to 2002. more..

Civilians 'deliberately targeted'

Dec 1 (BBC) International truce monitors in Sri Lanka has expressed serious concern as 49 civilians were killed within four days. An international rights watchdog, meanwhile, has appealed to both parties to cease attacks on civilians. The SLMM says it is 'alarmed' about the escalating violence in the island nation. The Tamil Tigers are accused of killing 19 civilians and injuring 36 others in a parcel bomb attack in a Colombo suburb, Nugegoda on Wednesday. more..

Children afraid to attend school after artillery attack

Dec 1 (UCAN) Parents have stopped sending their children to a Catholic school in northern Sri Lanka after it was hit by artillery shells. Ten shells exploded on the grounds of the state-run Mazhuvaraayan Kaddaiadampan Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School Nov. 26 in Kaddaiadampan, a Catholic village in Mannar diocese. Five children and two teachers were injured. Father Desmond Kulas, the local parish priest, is based at St. Joseph Church in Katkidanthakulam, about 180 kilometers north of Colombo. more..

'Tamils in Sri Lanka loyal to India'

Dec 1 (PTI) Urging India to play a more active role in solving the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka, a Pro-LTTE party MP on Friday said Tamils in the Island nation are "loyal" to India and will always stand for the country's unity. "It is Tamils only who can be truly loyal to neighbouring India, and India should keep this in mind," the TNA Parliamentarian, M K Sivajilingam, told media. "Tamils will always stand as great wall to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India," more..

LTTE chief’s dream shattered, says Colombo

Dec 1 (Hindu) The U.S. on Friday said only a “political solution, not a military one,” offers a way out of the violence even as Colombo said November 2007 “Hero’s Day Speech” of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran is an acknowledgement that his “Tamil Eelam dream” stands shattered. In a statement released here, the U.S. State Department referred to the series of incidents of violence in the last few days and called on all Sri Lankans to work toward the “goal of a just, political solution to the conflict.” more..

Observations on the LTTE Leader’s Speech

Dec 1 (TC) The annual Heroe’s Day speech of Prabakaran, the LTTE leader on 27 November 2007, that was being looked forward to, as LTTE’s assessment of the situation and its future plans, contained many nuances, but no surprises. The main focus of the speech was directed to the international community with an appeal to cease giving military and economic aid to the Sri Lankan government and accept the right to self determination and the sovereignty of the Tamil Nation. more..

Sri Lanka eyes more jobs for professionals

Dec 1 (GT) SRI Lankan Ambassador S B Atugoda said yesterday that his country was seeking more opportunities for its professionals in various fields in Qatar. Speaking to Gulf Times on the eve of the arrival of a Sri Lankan trade delegation, the envoy said that in view of Qatar’s rapidly growing economy, he expected opportunities for professionals in various sectors like construction, health, engineering and the hospitality industry. more..

Paraplegic Women - LTTE’s New Sacrificial Lamb

Dec 1 (LG) The failed assassination attempt on the life of Social Service and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda yesterday highlights what seems now a recurrent dimension in the LTTE’s continuing manifestation of terrorism, the use of the vulnerable as sacrificial lambs. Ordering a paraplegic woman to carry out a suicide attack may seem unthinkable, but to some elements at least in the LTTE it would seem that the unthinkable is second nature. more..

'Finance Ministry blamed for ignoring Rs.3.922 billion VAT fraud'

Dec 1 (LG) The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) submitted a report to Parliament yesterday (29 Nov) which made startling revelations of massive frauds on Vat refunds running into many billions of rupees (Rs. 3.922 billion)! The Finance Ministry was accused of having not taken any action despite being reported. Many relevant files (183 out of 235) have gone underground because of the Ministry’s slack attitude even towards conducting an internal investigation! more..

Sanath Jayasuriya signals end of Sri Lankan era

Dec 1 (TO) The Test that started in Kandy this morning is not only all about who wins or loses, not even whether or when Muttiah Muralitharan will again surpass Shane Warne’s world Test bowling record. The impending retirement of Chaminda Vaas and, more of a surprise, the intention of Sanath Jayasuriya to make this his final Test match makes this the end of an era for Sri Lankan cricket, not to mention the start of a new phase in England’s development. more..

The ice-cool executioner

Dec 1 (TO) Even after all these years, there is no real justice for Muttiah Muralitharan. This slight, smiling man from Sri Lanka stands on the brink of reclaiming, probably for good, the Test wicket-taking record he held for five months in 2004. Yet any assessment of his remarkable career is still dominated by the extraordinary but essentially soulless mechanics of how he bowls a cricket ball and the two great arguing points that arise: is it legitimate, and how do you play it? more..

LTTE suicide bomber live in action - World's first such video

Dec 1 (ML) In this chilling security camera footage, a female suicide bomber (Tamil Tiger terrorist) on a mission to kill a Sri Lankan Cabinet minister Douglas Devananda (a moderate Tamil political leader) is seen patiently answering questions in a bustling government office before calmly standing up and detonating the bomb hidden in her bra. 'Madness of Terrorism' LTTE Human Bomb in Action, courtesy of more..

Sri Lanka power engineers pull the plug on controversial Enercon deal

Dec 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's power engineers are protesting a controversial deal with Enercon, an Indian energy firm, alleging a massive procurement scandal after authorities approved the project when it was shot down by an evaluation committee. The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) said the government was about to award a letter of intent for a 50 MegaWatt wind power project despite a 10-member technical committee rejecting the bid. more..

Sri Lanka court orders halt to student demonstration

Dec 1 (Xinhua) The Colombo Magistrate's Court Friday ordered the police to halt a demonstration by a group of university students in view of serious security situation in the capital Colombo, court officials said. For the last 17 days, student activists of the Sabaragamuva University have been staging a protest demonstration opposite the Ministry of Higher Education in downtown Colombo. more..

Video shows female suicide bomber attacking Sri Lankan govt. office

Dec 1 (AP) In chilling security camera footage, a female suicide bomber on a mission to kill a Sri Lankan Cabinet minister is seen patiently answering questions in a bustling government office before calmly standing up and detonating the bomb hidden in her bra. The video, released by police Friday, gave a rare look at a suicide bomber's last moments and the immediate aftermath of a devastating attack. more..

Sri Lanka protests UN statement

Dec 1 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government has strongly protested a recent statement made by the UN high commissioner for human rights. In a letter to Louise Arbour, Sri Lanka's minister in charge of the subject Mahinda Samarasinghe says he is 'puzzled' as his government is 'taking definite steps' to address the issues raised by Arbour. In an exclusive interview with BBC Sandeshaya from Afghanistan, Louise Arbour, said Sri Lanka lacked a 'credible voice' on rights violations as more..

Arjuna given Cricket Chair due to the budget vote

Dec 1 (LeN) Lanka-e-News learns that MP and World Cup winner former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranathunga is likely to be appointed as the Chairman of the Cricket Interim Board. As we learn the appointment can be made after the vote of the third reading of the budget. A new Interim Committee will be appinted with him including Ranil Abenayaka, Sidath Wettamuni and Prasanna Fernando. The current Chairman of the Cricket Interim Committee is Jayantha Dharmadasa whose brother Upali Dharmadasa also held the position earlier. more..

Sri Lanka to release index showing lower inflation

Dec 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka is about to release an inflation index that shows a lower level inflation a top official said, making the island the latest country to change indices in the face of runaway inflation from money printing. Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera lambasted the existing Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) which showed 19.6 percent inflation after the government printed 45.2 billion rupees from May to September 2007. more..

Two Sri Lankan Hajis Die

Dec 1 (AN) Two Sri Lankan pilgrims died in Makkah on Monday and Tuesday, it was announced yesterday. “Both deaths were due to natural causes,” A.L.M. Lafeer, Sri Lankan consul general in Jeddah, told Arab News. The deceased were: Aliyar Ummu Salma, 63, from Tambala Polannaruwa, 250 km away from the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, and Mohamed Jamaldeen from Galhinna, Kandy, 100 km from Colombo. more..

LRRP did not attack a civilian transport

Dec 1 (ISL) Several days ago, pro LTTE media reported a claymore explosion in Kilinochchi in which 11 school children were said to be killed. It was also reported that Sri Lanka Army's deep penetration unit (LRRP - Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol) was behind the attack. Several countries and the SLMM was quick to condemn the attack citing civillians casualties. However we can confirm that army's DPU units did not carry out the attack (if such an attack took place in realty that is). more..

Lankan trade delegation in Qatar to promote exports

Dec 1 (GDI) A Sri Lankan trade delegation comprising six members will be leaving to Qatar today to promote exports of Sri Lankan goods, including foodstuffs, chemicals and medical equipment. The delegation will also enter in to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) tomorrow (02nd). The delegation is led by the Chairman of Sri Lanka-based International Foodstuff Corporation Sarathhandra De Silva with P Domingo Pillay, Consultant at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. more..

Tamil duo interrogated by Swiss Police for filming Sri Lanka’s Geneva Mission

Dec 1 (GDI) Two suspicious Tamil civilians who were caught filming outside the Consulate yesterday morning were interrogated by the Diplomatic Police of Geneva. The Consular Section is housed in the Permanent Mission. The 30 year old woman who lives in Switzerland claimed to have come to the Consulate to renew her passport. She was accompanied by a 27 year old man resident in Italy. more..

Public help sought to trace female suicide bomber’s details

Dec 1 (GDI) Sri Lanka Police is seeking the help of the public to trace the details of the physically handicapped female suicide cadre who blew herself at the Social Services and Social Welfare Ministry on Wednesday morning. According to the Police spokesman DIG Jayantha Wickremaratne, the National Identity Card in her possession identifies her as Vegavanam Sujatha, a resident of Puliyankulam, Vavuniya and her date of birth as January 01, 1983. more..

If caught alive, will handover Prabhakaran to India” – Keheliya Rambukwella

Dec 1 (LD) Defence Spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the LTTE leader Prabhakaran would be handed over to India if he is captured alive. At a Media briefing held at the Media Center for National Security yesterday, he stated that “we are not certain whether it will be possible to arrest him. However, the body would be handed over if India consents”. The minister added that nearly 75% of terrorism has been eradicated and that security forces are advancing towards Killinochchi. more..

Petition against registration of ‘Jathika Sabha’

Dec 1 (LD) The Court of Appeal yesterday (Nov. 30th) ordered the Elections Commissioner to produce documents concerning the application of the ‘Jathika Sabha’, set up by the United National Party and the SLFP Mahajana Wing, as a recognized political party. In addition, the directive that registered the ‘Jathika Sabha’ as a recognized political party as well as the names of the Board of officials who issued this directive was ordered to be presented in court. more..

Pietersen loses $1000 at hotel

Dec 1 (AFP) England batsman Kevin Pietersen has reported losing $1 000 in cash while the team was based at a plush hotel in the Sri Lankan capital, police said on Saturday. Pietersen, 27, had left the money in his hotel room in Colombo, police officer PT Sisira said. "The money was in his bag at the time it was reported missing," Sisira told AFP. "Investigations are ongoing and we have recorded statements from the hotel employees." more..

Stamp in honour of Muralitharan

Dec 1 (PTI) The Sri Lankan government will release a stamp in honour of Mutthiah Muralitharan after the spin legend breaks Shane Warne's world record of highest number of Test wickets. Muralitharan, 35, needs five more wickets to achieve the feat and is expected to surpass the Australian mark of 708 wickets during the ongoing Test series against England. "We have decided to release a stamp in honour of Muralitharan after he breaks the world record of highest Test wickets," more..

Dutch aid for Sri Lanka - Netherlands joint ventures

Dec 1 (LR) Sri Lankan companies setting up a joint venture with a Dutch partner can apply to have up to half of its project costs reimbursed by a Dutch government program set up to improve Dutch investment in emerging markets. The Netherlands will provide up to EUR 1.5m to joint venture projects approved under its “Programme for Co-operation with Emerging Markets”. Priority will be given to investments in agriculture, textiles and garments, information technology, tourism and physical infrastructure in Sri Lanka. more..

Devananda thanks security, sorry for those who died

Dec 1 (LNP) Social Welfare Minister and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda yesterday said he was thankful to his security contingent, which regularly advised him on measures to be adopted to avoid danger, but was sorry innocent civilians who died in Wednesday`s LTTE attempt on his life. Commenting on the failed ninth attempt to assassinate him, Devananda said he suspected that there could have been another suicide cadre in the vicinity to blast off in case he had come out of the office on hearing the commotion after the first blast. more..

If President Rajapaksa is not a hawk ?

Dec 1 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is not the darling of some members of the international community. In their eyes, he is a hawk believing in a military solution to the conflict. They seem to consider him a bigger impediment to the peace process than Prabhakaran. Hence, their efforts to give him a bad name and oust his government! One foreign envoy is alleged to have gone to the extent of helping President Rajapaksa`s rivals to engineer defections from the government ranks. more..

Retired soldiers invited to rejoin army

Dec 1 (SAMN) The Army Friday invited the soldiers who legally resigned from the Army on completion of their 12-year service to re-join, while more than 4000 deserters returned to the Army during the recently concluded amnesty period recording the highest number of soldiers reporting back in a single instance. Military Spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said soldiers who legally resigned from the Army on completion of the 12-year service had been invited to re-join the service on or before December 7, this year. more..

Govt. stands firm against IMF warning

Dec 1 (SAMN) The government has stayed determined to stand its course and refrain from cutting subsidies on fuel despite warnings of an impending foreign debt crisis and calls to cut subsidies on fuel by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development A.H. M. Fowzie said Friday that the Government would keep its word and not increase fuel prices despite thumping losses. more..

More male migrant workers have AIDS

Dec 1 (SAMN) The number of HIV positive Sri Lankan women has increased drastically from 21% in 1992 to 42% in 2006 with most of them contracting the virus from their husbands or male partners. More Sri Lankan males employed abroad have contracted HIV than female migrant workers, Director, National STD/AIDS Control Programme, Dr. Nimal Edirisinghe said requesting expectant mothers to come for a HIV test if they are not sure about the sexual behaviour of their husbands. more..

Rape of Victoria forest reserve: UNP

Dec 1 (SAMN) The UNP Friday charged that the forest reserve close to the Victoria reservoir was being fragmented to be given out to various individuals. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told the House that a gazette notification had declared these lands to be part of the forest reserve belonging to the reservoir. “Clearing of the forest cover will lead to silting of the reservoir and lead to other environmental disasters,” more..

More benefits to Lanka sought from Emirates

Dec 1 (DN) Chief Government Whip Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle yesterday told Parliament that the Government will have to take alternative measures if Dubai-based Emirates does not agree to amend the agreement with SriLankan Airlines to provide more benefits to Sri Lanka. The Government will submit these proposals to Emirates through a special committee appointed by the Cabinet. Discussions are being conducted in this regard, he said. more..

Turn off your vehicle engines near schools

Dec 1 (DN) Parking of vehicles near schools and pre-schools with activated engines will be prohibited from next year. Legislation necessary to enforce this rule will be enacted by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA), the Government Information Department quoting CEA Chairman Udaya Gammanpila said. The release said parking vehicles with their vehicles activated near schools would disrupt educational activities of students. more..

Large scale scam in fertilizer distribution:JVP

Dec 1 (DM) Over 40 per cent of the fertilizer subsidy meant for farmers is wasted due to large scale scams in distributing them, the Parliament was informed yesterday. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake who spoke during the committee stage of the budget in the House yesterday said an audit conducted by the Auditor General on the distribution of fertilizer had revealed that there had been a large scale scam in the distribution of fertilizer in five districts. more..

UNP rejects democratic group claim of dialogue

Dec 1 (DM) The UNP democratic group claimed that it has initiated a dialogue with a number of UNP seniors with the objective of removing Ranil Wickremesinghe from the party leadership as well as the post of leader of the opposition. Sports and Public Entertainment Minister Gamini Lokuge said that the need of the hour was a national government to save the country from the menace of terrorism and economic woes. more..

England's bowlers take the honours

Dec 1 (CI) In the build-up to this Test playing in Sri Lanka has been described as one of the game's toughest challenges and England responded with an outstanding bowling performance on the opening day at Kandy. Matthew Hoggard took four wickets in 25 balls during the morning session as Sri Lanka hit the depths of 42 for 5, then Monty Panesar chipped in with three after a partial resurrection from Kumar Sangakkara and Prasanna Jayawardene who added 106 for the sixth wicket to lift them to 188. more..

Fighting kills 15 Tamil rebels, 3 soldiers in northern Sri Lanka, military says

Dec 1 (AP) Troops fought separate gunbattles with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels across Sri Lanka's northern front lines Saturday, leaving 15 guerrillas and three soldiers dead and dozens of combatants injured, the military said. Army troops destroyed a rebel bunker in the northern Mannar district, southwest of rebel-held territory, killing nine rebels and wounding 47 others, more..

Tiger agents disguised as diplomats interfere in internal affairs of the country – JVP

Dec 2 (LT) JVP Parliamentarian and its Information Secretary Wimal Weerawansa speaking to ‘Lankatruth’ said no diplomat or country has the right to question regarding a matter that concerns national security adding that in doing so they exceed their diplomatic privileges. Speaking further he emphasized that the government should not allow tiger agents disguised as diplomats to interfere in internal affairs of the country using their diplomatic privileges. more..

Sri Lanka gets top awards from CIMA

Dec 2 (LBO) Sri Lankan entries to the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) global awards held in London have won big, with two firms and a popular tutor walking away with top marks. Clancy Peiris from Wisdon Business Academy won the award 'Tutor of the Year,' at the CIMA Financial Management Awards 2007, on November 29. "Using mind-mapping and other innovative tools, he spurs his students to overcome barriers around language and more..