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Government will directly involve in sending manpower to UAE

Feb 6 (GDI) The Government will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to streamline exports of manpower to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Mr Mohammad Nabavi Junaid, Sri Lankan Ambassador, said UAE Labour Minister Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Ka'abi will sign the MoU this month during an official visit to Colombo. more..

Bohra Community Leader to visit President.

Feb 6 (GDI) The spiritual and temporal leader of the world wide Dawoodi Bohra community, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb (TUS) will be visiting the President Mahninda Rajapaksa this evening. Under his guidance more than one million of people from the Bohra community in 30 different nations have turn in to the path of finery. more..

10 year Development Plan for estate labourers

Feb 6 (GDI) Government has taken steps to implement a ten year development plan for the estate labourers with the aim of improving their living conditions. This project will be put into action under the President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidential policy plan ‘Mahinda Chinthana’. Government had already allocated 1000 millions for the implementation of this project. more..

Meaning of freedom in Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (KT) WHAT does freedom mean to you? 59 years after we gained independence from British, we appear to have not answered this question. A weekend newspaper headline in 200 point letter size said it all. “Who are we?” asked the headline of an article on the front page of the review section of the Colombo-based Sunday Times as the nation celebrated freedom day on February 4, 1948. more..

Ceat: Spearheads Change in Sri Lanka’s Tyre Making

Feb 6 (TR) The domestic tyre industry of Sri Lanka has come of age with the launch of a sophisticated new facility by top tyremaker Ceat Sri Lanka for the local manufacture of steel-belted radial tyres for cars and vans. Ceat’s new radial tyre plant in Sri Lanka, set up with an initial investment SLR 350 million, was inaugurated by the prime minister of Sri Lanka on Sept. 8, 2006. more..

Sri Lanka on a platter

Feb 6 (Hindu) Mount Lavinia hotel in Sri Lanka has quite a romantic history. The colonial mansion was built by Governor Thomas Maitland in 1805, and was the site of many a tryst between him and his lover, Lovina Aponsuwa, a half Portuguese and half Sinhala Mestizo dancer. For years, Lovina flitted through the secret tunnel that started in a well opening in her garden and ended in the wine cellar of the house. more..

No books for Jaffna`s school children

Feb 6 (LNP) The escalating violence in the Jaffna peninsula has left school children in the area to bear the brunt of the rising cost of stationery items. Education officials in Jaffna say the prevailing prices of exercise books, pens and other stationery items had doubled, with school children finding it difficult to continue their studies. more..

A third harbour for Jaffna

Feb 6 (LNP) With the closure of the A-9 road due to LTTE terror attacks, essential food items for the people of Jaffna were ferried by ships with the facilitation of the Sri Lanka Navy, Media Center for National Security said yesterday. Continuous supplies were ferried under the `Jathika Saviya` programme with the guidance of the senior advisor to the President Basil Rajapakse and the Commissioner of Essential Services. more..

JVP Needs More Votes not Strikes

Feb 6 (LNP) The past year has been a good one for the JVP. Its profile, and, indeed credibility, have been enhanced. Those followed its high profile campaign in favour of military action against the LTTE. The population had long been manipulated by the `usual suspects` that a military solution was not possible, not least because of its soaring economic cost. more..

Road network worse after land slides : All services affected

Feb 6 (LNP) Development activities in the Panwila area have been greatly hampered due to the destruction of the road network by the recent landslides which occurred in the hilly regions. The Panwila - Bambaranda main road and the minor roads leading to villages have been eroded, culverts edges broken, and others with potholes making them dangerous for driving. more..

LTTE, TMVP abducting IDPs in East

Feb 6 (SAMN) The security and safety of civilians fleeing LTTE controlled areas in the east has been thrown into question with reports of the LTTE and the TMVP or Karuna abducting displaced civilians making their way to government controlled areas. Informed sources said the SLMM managed to prevent the abduction of at least 10 youth in Savukkaddy, Batticaloa after they were rounded up together with another group by armed TMVP cadres. more..

Amunugama debunks critics

Feb 6 (SAMN) Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Dr. Sarath Amunugama said Monday that some sections of the media deliberately attempt to play down the support expressed by Sri Lanka's development partners in the country's future development activities. Dr. Amunugama said some groups either due to lack of understanding of the Government development strategy or due to sheer ignorance try to create a negative picture regarding the recently concluded Sri Lanka Development Forum in Galle. more..

All tickets for the first India – Sri Lanka ODI sold out

Feb 6 (ZN) A sellout crowd of 88,000 would turn out at the Eden Gardens in the opening game of the four-match India - Sri Lanka series on Thursday following massive demand for tickets due to the return of local hero Sourav Ganguly and his fine recent form. The public sale of tickets has been closed with nearly all tickets bought. more..

3000 Army deserters respond to amnesty

Feb 6 (SAMN) As the general amnesty for Army deserts ended Monday, more than 3,000 had reported back for duty while the military warned that the rest would be arrested and brought before the law. “From today special operations to arrest the rest would be launched with police assistance,” military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said. more..

Mahabodhi prays for peace in Lanka

Feb 6 (SAMN) The Mahabodhi Society in Chennai stressed the need for establishing lasting peace in Sri Lanka next year when the country celebrates its 60th year of independence. Chief Incumbent of the Mahabodhi Centre Ven. Kinyawala Palitha Thera in his anusasana during the Sri Lankan Independence Day celebrations in Mahabodhi Centre in Chennai hoped that lasting peace would be achieved in the country by the year 2008. more..

Farmers get Rs. 10 billion fertiliser subsidy

Feb 6 (DN) The Government has allocated Rs. 10 billion for provision of the fertiliser subsidy for farmers this year. This is aimed at improving the agricultural sector and provide a better deal for the farmer community. National Fertiliser Secretariat Director, G. Munasinghe told the Daily News the subsidy will be provided for the forthcoming yala season which starts in April. more..

Pre-school education to be streamlined

Feb 6 (DN) Arrangements will be made shortly to streamline pre-school education and offer a diploma for all pre-school teachers, Women's Empowerment and Child Development Minister Sumedha G. Jayasena said. She was speaking after resuming duties at the Ministry in Colombo 5 yesterday. She said the new act introduced in 2005 to offer relief for women facing domestic violence is effective but more awareness is needed to educate women on the relief they can obtain under this Act. more..

Drug users have declined says Director Narcotic Bureau

Feb 6 (DM) The number of drug users in Sri Lanka had declined by 50% last year with just over 200 drug traffickers arrested by the police Narcotic bureau while a further 239 were jailed by the Indian police. Director of the Narcotics bureau M.K. Sugathadasa said under the ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ a programme entitled ‘Mathata Thitha’ was inaugurated in order to stop drug and other alcoholic use. more..

CPA says devolution of power real test for Government

Feb 6 (DM) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in a newly released report on “War, Peace and Governance in Sri Lanka: Overview and Trends 2006,” asserts the real test for the Government would be its ability to forge ahead with the peace process, on the basis of maximum devolution of power. On the Government’s power sharing initiatives the report notes the very fact that a number of different proposals were put forward by the APRC and its expert panel attests to the range of opinions on the issue. more..

India series will boost our confidence for World Cup: Jayasuriya

Feb 6 (ANI) Former Sri Lanka captain and swashbuckling batsman Sanath Jayasuriya has said that the one-day series against India will serve as a confidence booster for the team ahead of the World Cup. He said that his team was not bothered about the outcome of the four-match series, but instead the players were concentrating on doing well in all three departments of the game-- batting, bowling and fielding. more..

Divided Jaffna diocese struggles to run Church affairs

Feb 6 (UCAN) Life on the embattled Jaffna peninsula is like being stuck behind the Berlin wall, locals say. The peninsula, on Sri Lanka's northern tip, is cut off by an army roadblock on highway A9, thrown up last August after intensified fighting between state troops and the LTTE. For Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam of Jaffna, it is a return to the days of 1999-2002, when Sri Lanka's "Checkpoint Charlie" roadblock was up. more..

The need of preventing wastage in the public sector emphasised

Feb 6 (SLBC) Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Karu Jayasuriya requests all government officials to act keeping in mind that the government sector is a public service. He said in comparison to other Asian countries the country's efficiency level in the public sector is relatively high but it is lacking a high level of efficiency. more..

Rajapaksa-Ranil MoU is officially dead

Feb 6 (HT) Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the UNP has officially pronounced the death of the MoU, he had entered into with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on taking a bipartisan approach to all major national problems. Squarely blaming Rajapaksa for the demise of the "truly historic" MoU, Wickremesinghe told parliament on Tuesday: "The UNP finds it impossible to work with the government in finding a solution to the issues referred to in the MoU when the government has broken this MoU." more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 6 (AP) Sri Lankan police commando stands guard at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Exhibition center where a bomb exploded in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Feb. more..

"Akuna newspaper staff abducted"

Feb 6 (BBC) Three activists of the Sri Lanka Railway trade unions and its publication 'Akuna' are reported to have been abducted on Monday. Free Media Movement(FMM) says it has received complaints that the publisher of the news paper M.A Sisira Priyankara(38), lay out designer M.L.Senaviratna(35) and another activist Nihal Serasinghe(40) were abducted from suburbs of Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka helicopter gunships fire rockets at rebels

Feb 6 (Reuters) Sri Lankan helicopter gunships rocketed Tamil Tigers in the island's far northeast on Tuesday, the military said, forecasting heavy rebel losses -- but there was no immediate word on casualties. The attack in the northeastern district of Trincomalee comes just days after President Mahinda Rajapakse vowed to defeat and tame the Tigers while offering to resume peace talks to end a new chapter in their two-decade civil war. more..

U.N. evacuates Sri Lankan migrant workers "stranded" in Iraq

Feb 6 (AP) A group of Sri Lankans hoping to find well-paid jobs in the United Arab Emirates ended up stranded in northern Iraq instead and had to be rescued by the United Nations, an intergovernmental migration group said Tuesday. The case highlights the growing number of people from poor countries being recruited to work as laborers, drivers and domestic servants in Iraq, more..

US lawmakers ask Bush to appoint peace envoy for Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (AFP) A group 38 US lawmakers have asked President George W. Bush to appoint a special envoy to help bring about peace in conflict-ridden Sri Lanka. The legislators from the House of Representatives said in a letter to Bush that they were troubled by renewed violence and a rising number of deaths as well as a big increase in unsolved kidnappings across Sri Lanka. more..

17 hurt as grenade explodes accidentally at Sri Lanka ehibition

Feb 6 (AFP) At least 17 people were hurt when a grenade was accidentally detonated during a demonstration by a police officer at an exhibition in the capital marking Sri Lanka's independence, police said. "We have ruled out anyone hurling a grenade at the stall of the STF (Special Task Force) commandos," the officer said, adding the incident was now being investigated as an accident. more..

Ranil declares war on government

Feb 7 (ML) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in a scathing attacking on the government in parliament yesterday for breaking the MoU between the SLFP and UNP warned of an increase in human rights violations, spread of corruption, rise in cost of living, undermining of democracy and a deterioration of good governance in the coming weeks. more..

The sham of independence without human rights protection

Feb 7 (ML) Two days before our independence tamasha, an event with deep significance and bearing for the independence, integrity and unity of this country took place. It is unfortunately a part of a series of connected incidents. On Friday, February 2, Attorney-at-Law and Legal Advisor, National Human Rights Commission, (HRC) Jaffna office, Mudiyapu Remedias lodged a complaint with the Commanding Officer, Jaffna that he was badly assaulted by a group of Sri Lankan Army soldiers that morning. more..

Enough is enough; let’s take the country forward

Feb 7 (ML) Since there is talk in Sri Lanka of a parliamentary general election during the course of the year or early next year, members of all political parties will from now onwards be called upon to make preparation for the purpose of contesting the elections. This reminds me of the candidates who sent in their nominations prior to independence in 1948. They were well educated and many were professionals. more..

End of a political honeymoon

Feb 7 (ML) While displays of military power and rich cultural heritage paraded before him, for President Mahinda Rajapakse, the Independence Day celebrations last Sunday should have been a time of reflection. His giant cabinet, his disregard for prior agreements, his peculiar style of negotiation and his curious views on integrity even for a politician, has left a nation dejected and forlorn. more..

Have your say: Fire at Kandy public library

Feb 7 (BBC) A fire erupted at the premises of ancient Kandy library was brought under control within an hour, journalists say. Lakhanda journalist S Liyanage told BBC Sandeshaya that the main building of the library was destroyed with hundreds of books. The fire brigade, who arrived in the scene about half an hour later, has stopped the fire spreading to other buildings. more..

Security personnel attack Minister Fernandopulle's vehicle

Feb 7 (LeN) Highways development minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle today complained to the speaker about an incident where the vehicle he was traveling was obstructed. He added that the relevant vehicle had cut across his vehicle and scolded his driver in abusive language. The relevant vehicle which had obstructed Fernandopulle's vehicle had been a vehicle that provides security to elites. more..

No Independance for the people - Vickramabahu at London

Feb 7 (LeN) Starting a series of meetings in the UK Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne on the day of the 59th commemoration of Sri Lanka's independance said that the people of the country do not have any independance. He called upon the Tamil Tigers to join hands with the working masses in the country and abroad to fight together to liberate the country from Global capital and national oppression. more..

Dispute over seat allocations in Parliament

Feb 7 (LeN) Minister of sacred places development Dinesh Gunawardena today brought to the notice of the speaker about junior sitting in front rows while seniors occupied the back seats in parliament this morning, as UNP MP's were granted ministerial portfolios and JVP MP's sitting in the opposition. He asked the speaker about the method of seats allocations as Professor G.L. Peries who joined the government recently was allocated a front seat while more..

Sri Lankans in UK celebrate 59th National Day at the High Commission in London

Feb 7 (LE) A large and representative gathering of Sri Lankans in the UK attended the National Day celebrations at the Sri Lanka High Commission on 4th February. High Commissioner Kshenuka Senewiratne in her address drew the attention of the gathering to the words of President Mahinda Rajapakse who had recalled in his national Day message that ‘freedom was won not for any single community but for all which includes Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays and all others.’ more..

Sri Lankan journalists protest against attacks on media

Jan 7 (wsws) More than 300 journalists demonstrated at the Fort Railway Station in central Colombo last month to condemn the growing harassment and intimidation of the media, including killings, abductions and death threats. As President Mahinda Rajapakse has intensified the war against the LTTE, his government and the military have imposed what amounts to a regime of de facto censorship. more..

Sri Lanka hopes for US $ 200 million from oil exploration deposits

Jan 7 LBO) Sri Lanka has asked governments of India and China to make a 100 million dollar deposit each, for securing a block to explore oil off the shores of the island, a top official said. "Out of the eight identified oil blocks we have given one each to India and China on a 'nomination basis' due to the close friendship between the nations," Petroleum Minister, A H M Fowzie said. more..

Sri Lanka and India to get new lingerie brand from MAS group

Jan 7 (LBO) MAS Holdings, Sri Lanka's top clothing supplier, is launching its own line of lingerie shops in Colombo and Bangalore later this year, officials said. The name of the clothing line has not been announced yet, but MAS is planning to open the store catering to premium customers in October. Bangalore based Bates Enterprises has been selected to carry out the advertising campaign throughout India. more..

A Change has occured against the people's mandate in 2005 - Wimal Weerawansa

Jan 7 (LT) JVP Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa said that the Government has become an orphanage of elephants with the changes that that have taken place against the people’s mandate at the 2005 Presidential elections. Making a special statement in Parliament today (06) Mr Weerawansa added that these developments could be cited with some examples included in a publication issued by the national Education Institute. more..

JVP gets ready for the latest developments in the opposition

Jan 7 (LT) A special meeting of the JVP Parliamentarian group was held this morning at the Committee Members hall in the Parliament complex to discuss the latest developments in the opposition. At this meeting the government’s attitude violating the people’s mandate, the joke of the jumbo Cabinet, the so-called devolution of power leading to the division of the country and the misuse of public funds were discussed at length. more..

A massive destruction in Colombo foiled: three men arrested

Jan 7 (GDI) Sri Lankan security forces arrested three Sinhalese men in Colombo, with strong evidence proving their linkage with the LTTE, with a haul of arms and ammunition in their possession. Two journalists and an independent graphic designer cum type setter have been arrested and one of the journalists was a ranked activist in one of the Trade Unions in the Railway Department. more..

Sri Lanka exports rice to Maldives

Jan 7 (GDI) Maldives has made arrangements with the Government to purchase 240 Metric Tonnes of Samba rice annually from Sri Lanka, which is approximately 8% from their annual consumption of Rice. Government has commenced the joint programme with the assistance of the private sector for popularising high quality local rice to meet the demand of the international market. more..

Joint Committee to look into University students’ grievances

Jan 7 (GDI) A joint committee comprising of student representatives, University Teachers and Trade Union officials, will be set up to look into the various problems prevailing in the universities. Setting up of this new joint committee has been taken under the guidance of the new Minister for Higher Education, Professor Wiswa Warnapala. more..

‘Deyata Kirula’ draws more and more people

Jan 7 (GDI) A record number of one hundred and eighty nine thousand people have visited the national mega exhibition ‘Deyata Kirula’ in the first two days the Minister of State Revenue and Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya revealed on Tuesday (06) evening at a media briefing held at BMICH, the exhibition premises. On Tuesday the exhibition will be opened by Premier Rathanasiri Wickramanayake as the chief guest. more..

Sri Lankan community in Australia appeals...

Jan 7 (GDI) Sri Lankan community residing in Australia, in a letter to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to take immediate steps to investigate on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrrorising the Sri Lankan government and its people through obtaining arms and ammunition smuggled from the Tamil Nadu State in India. more..

FM explains Government’s view on peace to foreign ambassadors

Jan 7 (GDI) Government’s view on the peace process was explained to the foreign ambassadors based in Sri Lanka by Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama. In this meeting which was held just hours after assuming duties at his ministry, with his predecessor, Minister Mangala Samaraweera, also in attendance. Minister Bogollagama pointed out to the ambassadors that the Sri Lankan Government is looking for a negotiated settlement to the north and east issue. more..

National Economic Council holds its fourth session

Jan 7 (GDI) The fourth session of the Economic Council of Sri Lanka was held yesterday at the Temple Trees under the chairmanship of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The academics participated at the discussion yesterday paid special attention to inflation in Sri Lanka vis a vis current inflationary conditions in other countries. more..