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Mendis likely to miss Bangladesh Tests

Dec 12 (CI) Ajantha Mendis, the Sri Lankan spinner, is likely to miss the Test series in Bangladesh, which begins on December 26, after injuring his ankle while bowling for Army SC in his first match of the domestic season against Tamil Union last weekend. Ranjith Nanayakkarawasam, the Sri Lanka team physio, said Mendis had strained his right ankle and was undergoing treatment. "The injury will take at least three to four weeks to heal," more..

Tiger supremo’s timing goes all awry

Dec 12 (NST) HIS sycophantic followers call him Suriya Devan, Tamil for Sun God. Still others see him as a latter-day avatar of Lord Murugan. By whatever panegyrical title he might be elevated to the pantheon, Velupillai Prabhakaran, the supreme leader of the LTTE, was the god that failed last week. If he was eclipsed from the front pages of the regional newspapers and more..

Sri Lanka October exports up 6-pct

Dec 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's export earnings in October grew 5.9 percent to 661.2 million US dollars from a year ago led by agriculture and apparel, recovering from a fall in September, the Central Bank said. Growth in imports slipped below 20 percent in October for the first time in 2008 after several months of rapid expansion, the bank said in a statement. Imports grew by 13 percent in October 2008 to 1,218 million dollars mainly owing to the high price of fertiliser. more..

Another Hedging FR petition filed today

Dec 12 (LD) Western Provincial Council member A.J.M Muzamil filed a FR petition naming 13 repondents including the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivad Cabral, Deputy DG - Finance of the CPC, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Asantha de Mel and the Lanka Indian Oil Company. Mr. Muzamil in his FR petition prays that an interim order be issued suspending the 8th Respondent Governor of the CB, Mr. Nivad Cabral from the office of Governor, untill the determination of his FR petition. more..

From Wanni with love

Dec 12 (AT) Do not be under the spell of yarns churned out by the spin merchants, of a life in misery for those who lived under the LTTE administration. There are many aspects of the terrorist rule that appealed to them before life became intolerable, a recent phenomenon. The ending of the CFA accelerated the process. Those Tamils who made the crossing from the uncleared areas to government controlled areas retain mixed feelings of the days under the rule of Prabhakaran. more..

EDB in Hambantota

Dec 12 (AT) The historical capital of Ruhuna now known as Tissamaharamaya and Hambantota area is in renaissance of vast development into a city of prosperity for the next generation. Today, Hambantota is the model of accelerated development in urbanization. The construction of the International Airport, Hambantota Harbour, development of infrastructure and the abundance of greenery will help alleviate the lifestyle of the residents of Hambantota and the suburbs. more..

Vaiko and the Expected Apology

Dec 12 (LG) Vaiko’s anger and the futile attempt to get the Sri Lanka government to apologise to him for the so called joker remarks allegedly made by Sri Lanka’s much loved or almost venerated hero Sarath Fonseka indicate that Vaiko does not seem to be aware of the social concepts of ‘cyclical retaliation’, ‘boomerang’ or social norms such as ‘not to spit while looking up’, not to throw stones from glass houses etc. more..

A realistic basis for higher education reform in Sri Lanka

Dec 12 (LG) The knowledge-driven strategies of development have assigned a special place to Universities and other tertiary institutions, and the social and economic progress is achieved today primarily through the advancement and application of knowledge. In the modern world, knowledge is generated and disseminated by the Universities and other allied higher educational institutions. more..

North-East irrigated agriculture project

Dec 12 (WB) In Sri Lanka, the entire North-East Province and border villages of adjoining provinces are affected by the long-standing conflict between the Government and the LTTE. Until the war erupted in the 1980s, the region’s agricultural production compared favorable with that of other parts of the country, specifically rice, vegetables, fruit, and other cash crops. During the last two decades, however, farmers’ organizations have collapsed, irrigation systems been damaged, more..

Sri Lanka uses YouTube as weapon of war

Dec 12 (HP) In the silent, low-res imagery of the closed-circuit video footage that rapidly spread across YouTube, the young Tamil woman appears unafraid, even poised. Wrapped in a crisp sari, hair in a tight bun, she waits across the desk from the political secretary of a Sri Lankan minister. But something, almost imperceptible in the footage, goes wrong. So as a dozen people go about their business behind her, the woman rises from her chair, tugs at her bra and explodes, more..

'U.S. thinks right time for political solution in Sri Lanka is now'

Dec 12 (TC) The American Ambassador in Colombo has said the right time for political solution in Sri Lanka is now. The Ambassador spoke on"The US Perspective on the Situation in Sri Lanka" at the Luncheon meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce. Ambassador Blake further said, "An important part of achieving a political solution and reconciliation between all of Sri Lanka’s communities will be to improve human rights in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankan Tamil MP Sivajilingam ordered to 'quit India'

Dec 12 (TC) A fresh controversy has erupted in Tamil Nadu state of India after the Indian central government issued orders that Sri Lankan Tamil Parliamentarian MK Sivajilingam must “Quit India” voluntarily within 72 hours or face deportation. The official reason given for such orders by New Delhi is due to the controversial political conduct of Sivajilingam ion Indian soil it is learnt. The TNA MP who contested under the “House” symbol of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) more..

ICRC distributes aid in the Vanni, assists Jaffna flood victims

Dec 12 (ICRC) In the wake of renewed fighting in the Vanni region and severe flooding in and around Jaffna, the ICRC has been distributing aid, restoring clean water supplies and pressing ahead with its other activities for conflict victims. Displaced families in the Vanni region, which has been the scene of recent fighting, have begun receiving relief goods provided by the Indian government. more..

Tourism strategic action group formed

Dec 12 (AT) A committee has been formed to look into the challenges ahead of Sri Lanka Tourism, caused by the world economic crisis and other regional developments impacting tourist arrival to Sri Lanka. The committee has been appointed On the advice of the Minister of Tourism, Milinda Moragoda. Commenting on impact of the the world economic crisis and other regional developments, the Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Mr George Michael said that more..

Double standards on terrorism

Dec 12 (AT) It is about time for both India and the US to start applying a universally applicable anti-terrorist policy. It is high-time they give up their two-faced policy of branding only those who hurt their self interests, terrorists while calling other political criminals "militants", "guerrillas", "gunmen", or "freedom fighters" - when it suits their strategic interests. It is this double standard that caused the spread of this cancer worldwide. more..

Former President Chandrika changes her residence to Horagolla

Dec 12 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has taken up residence at her ancestral family home in Horagolla, Nittambuwa, from the 01st of December. According to a press release from her office, she will henceforth reside at Horagolla as well as at her official residence in Colombo. However, the press release pointed out that her office will continue to operate from her official residence at Independence Avenue, Colombo 07.

'Tears of the Sinhala mothers of 89 and the Tamil mothers today are one and same'

Dec 12 (LG) The tears and agonies of the Sinhala mothers who lost their sons and daughters in 1989 and of the Tamil mothers who are losing their children today are one and same. The universal human rights charter which we are marking today does not distinguish between ethnicities and religions. There is nothing as such Sinhala human rights and Tamil human rights or Muslim human rights. more..

Wimal Weerawansa to visit Italy

Dec 12 (LG) National Freedom Front (NFF) Chairman Wimal Weerawansa will depart to Italy 11th, December 2008. During his stay Weerawansa will attend three meetings organized by the Commitee members of the NFF in Italy. The meetings will take place in Napoli at the Piazza Dante, Cinema Moderissma at 9 AM and in Rome at the Pietrolata Hall at 4 PM both on the 14th of December. The third and final meeting more..

Sri Lanka registers rise in tourists from Middle East

Dec 12 (KT) Sri Lanka is witnessing an encouraging increase in tourism from the UAE and the Middle East, according to a top Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry official on Thursday. There is a marked difference even as the battle against the terrorist outfit the — LTTE — is going through a ‘decisive stage’. Dr Palitha T.B Kohona, secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said India and Sri Lanka ‘will work together’ to combat terrorism. more..

Jewelry offers hope for women of Sri Lanka

Dec 12 (DG) Widows from Sri Lanka are hoping their beaded jewelry will be the link that helps them reconnect the pieces of their lives. About 121 Sri Lanka widows are participating in a jewelry making project to help learn a skill and build up their self esteem at the same time. Kumfort Clothing in Portage la Prairie Mall is selling their jewelry at the store to help the victims of the 2004 disaster. more..

Sri Lanka’s exports to India fall by 13pc

Dec 12 (Dawn) Sri Lanka’s exports to India have declined by 13 per cent to $346 million over the past year despite a seven per cent growth in the Indian economy during the period, according to a Sri Lankan trade expert. However, Sri Lanka’s exports to Pakistan have grown by 31 per cent in the same period despite the fact that Pakistan has been having a tough time, both politically and economically, more..

Full Moon Poya Day of Unduvap – 2552

Dec 12 (LG) Today, December 12, 2008, falls the Full Moon Poya Day of Unduvap as per the Gregorian calendar. It is the 2552nd year since the final passing away of the Sakyamuni Siddhartha Gauthama Buddha. The poya begins at 01.57 a.m. today and concludes at 10.07 p.m. tomorrow. The day set apart for the observance of sil is today. Buddhists of Sri Lanka consider this day to be of special significance because Theri Sangamitta, the daughter of Emperor Dharmasoka, arrived in this country more..

Jill goes down the genocidal hill

Dec 12 (LG) Angry Sri Lankans have protested to the New York-based Genocidal Project which has placed Sri Lanka on the “Red Alert” with Rwanda and Darfur as a likely place for genocidal attacks. Sri Lankans have accused the project organizers of basing their conclusions on inaccurate data and political biases. In the following letter sent to Ms. Jill Savitt, Director, Genocidal Project, it has been point out that more..

Clothing blockade of Vanni

Dec 12 (LG) One aspect of the blockade of basic items into Vanni that is not well known is that of blocking clothing. For six months now, Sri Lanka Government has blocked all types of clothing being brought into Vanni for sale. This has started to bite the business and the people now as the stocks have started to run very low,'the Political Wing of the Libeartion Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said in a statement. more..

'Judiciary is always prepared to protect human rights'

Dec 12 (LT) “The judiciary is always prepared to help the people of the country to protect their human rights and it is with this intention that the judiciary has established a system where public can submit a petition on any human rights violation against them," said Additional Solicitor General Palitha Fernando when he delivered the key note address on the "Role of Judiciary in the Protection of Human Rights" more..

A govt that sells mineral resources for a pittance!

Dec 12 (LT) A large crowd participated at the agitation organized by People’s Movement for the Protection of Mineral Resources (PMPMR) against the government’s decision to sell the mineral deposit at Pulmoddai and Mineral Sands Corporation to a multinational company which was held opposite Fort Railway Station yesterday (11th). Representatives from several other organizations too participated in the agitation. more..

Sripada (Adam’s Peak) season begins

Dec 12 (GDI) The Sripada pilgrims (Adam’s peak) season starts today (12). The season started with the taking of the relic casket, statue of God Saman and the ‘Devabarana’ to the Sripada summit in procession. Additional transportation facilities are in place for the Sripada (Adam’s Peak) pilgrims. Accordingly, additional SLTB and private buses and trains are in operation. more..

Rs.1.3 million to repair minister’s official residence

Dec 12 (LT) An answer to a question posed by JVP Parliamentarian Ranaweera Pathirana in the Parliament has revealed that in April last year the cabinet had decided to grant an allowance for ministers who are not supplied with an official residence and accordingly the Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Administration has issued a circular granting Rs.100,000/- for each minister. more..

Economic Centre opens in Narahenpita today

Dec 12 (LP) Economic Centre established at Narahenpita Kirimandala Mawatha Food Department stores complex opened today with the participation of Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs Bandula Gunewardena. Objective is to provide essential food items at reasonable prices to the consumers in the city. The Center consists of over 100 stalls. The fully equipped centre will provide all facilities for the benefit of the consumers. more..

Village focused tourism to be developed

Dec 12 (GDI) The Ministry of Tourism has introduced the “Communal Tourism Village” concept with the view of bestowing the benefits of both local and foreign tourism industry to the villages in order to uplift the economy of the rural masses of the country. The Government has allocated Rs. 100 million in this regard in next year’s budget. At the initial stage two villages from each province will be selected to implement the new project. more..

Sri Lankan Nurses to serve in Middle-East

Dec 12 (GDI) Five thousand Sri Lankan trained nurses will be sent to Middle-Eastern countries to serve in the hospital sector, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. The decision was made by the Government in response to requests made by several Middle-Eastern countries, including UAE, Oman and Libya. This will provide employment opportunities for Sri Lankan nurses who have training and experience in the respective fields. more..

Sri Lankan website launched for high-tech jobs

Dec 12 (LNP) Parallel to the Java Sri Lanka 2009 Software Exhibition and Conference, the website was launched to support job seekers who look for high tech jobs. The official launch took place at the Ministry of Construction and Engineering Services, by the Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne. At the launch, the Minister stated that this website will open doors to the Sri Lankan youth to foreign jobs, and more..

Historic Sailing Race

Dec 12 (SAMN) Water sports here in Sri Lanka, in one form or another, has always been and, will continue to be closely associ ated with the tourist industry. Complementary as it is to each other, both tourism and sailing has sustianed itself these many years, showing at times much resilience to overcome the odds and keep forgin ahead. It's most welcome, and a step in the right dircteion for the furtherance of the local toursit industry and more..

Govt in talks with constituent parties

Dec 12 (SAMN) The government will fix the dates for the North Western and Central Provincial Council elections between February 5 to 24 next year aiming a landslide victory in the two provinces, UPFA General Secretary and Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said. Nominations will be called from December 24 to 31. The government will take a final decision on the number of candidates contesting each constituent party of the UPFA next Tuesday, more..

'General Election likely next year'

Dec 12 (SAMN) The government said Thursday a general election was likely to be held next year and only thereafter will a decision be taken on calling a Presidential Election. Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said the immediate focus of the government was the North Western and Central Provincial Council Elections. "Nominations have been called for the two Councils from December 24-31. more..

UNP claims Janaka killer released

Dec 12 (SAMN) UNP Chairman Gamini Jayawickrama Perera dropped a bombshell Thursday when he charged that a person attached to the Defence establishment had revealed to him that the suicide attack which killed the North Central Province Opposition Leader Major General Janaka Perera and 29 others had not been carried out by the LTTE. more..

Again conflicting casualty figures from Wanni

Dec 12 (LD) The two warring parties in Sri Lanka are continuing to give conflicting casualty figures of their own and of the opponent's, to their own advantage. The LTTE said 89 soldiers had died in battles in Kilinochchi on December 10th, according to 'Tamilnet' website. A further 180 troops had been injured in fighting to the South and South-West of the town, it said. However, that claim was rejected by the military, which said 20 soldiers and 27 Tigers died in the clashes. more..

Rajapaksa regime, the worst debtor - Kiriella

Dec 12 (LD) During his three years in office, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has obtained loans that account for almost half of the total loans obtained by post-independence governments up to 2005, media spokesman of the UNP, Lakshman Kiriella says. Speaking at a press briefing at the Opposition Leader's Office today, MP Kiriella said that no government has placed the country in such deep debt in the past. more..

Charge sheet against 'Aksharaya' director withdrawn

Dec 12 (LD) The children's and Women's Bureau has withdrawn a charge sheet against director Ashoka Handagama for having used a minor in a nude scene for his film 'Aksharaya' or 'Letter or Fire.' Colombo additional magistrate Kumari Abeyratne yesterday permitted the withdrawal by the Bureau following advice by the attorney general. A case was filed against the director on the instructions of the AG under Clause 286 (B) 1 of the Penal Code. more..

Dengue on the rise

Dec 12 (LD) There has been an increase in the prevalence dengue in 2008, Dr. Paba Palihawadana said. Out of the 6,096 dengue patients reported this year, 22 had died, she said, adding the majority of cases was from Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kurunegala, Puttalam, Ratnapura and Kegalle. She also said the prevailing rains helped the epidemic to spread further, stressing that public assistance was needed to control it. more..

Lankan dies in car crash

Dec 12 (GT) A 44-year-old Sri Lankan woman was killed when the car she was travelling in was involved in an accident at the Sealine beach area in Mesaieed on Tuesday evening. The victim was identified as N K D S Jayasiri (Nambuka), who had arrived in Qatar only four days before the accident. Jayasiri was visiting her brother who is employed with Qatar Airways, a community source said. Jayasiri, who hails from the outskirts of Colombo, leaves behind her husband and two children. more..

'Join Govt and support President'

Dec 12 (DN) The Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Mahanayaka Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter yesterday called upon Jathika Nidahas Peramuna Leader Wimal Weerawansa MP to join the Government and support President Mahinda Rajapaksa's programme of work. The prelate said Weerawansa and his party should do this as a national priority since any decision or statement that would politically inconvenience the Government at the present will indirectly help strengthen LTTE terrorists. more..

'Seek refuge in Government '

Dec 12 (DN) Cabinet Spokesman and Mass Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa fervantly appealed to the civilian polity entrapped in the Vanni as human shields of the LTTE to move into the Government cleared territory. Minister Yapa reiterated that the innocent Tamil civilians should have absolutely no fear in seeking refuge in Government controlled areas as all their needs will be met and catered for by the Government. more..

Fall of Iranamadu imminent

Dec 12 (Island) The Army’s 57 Division and the LTTE on Wednesday (Dec 10) suffered losses in a major battle for the Kilinochchi town situated along the Jaffna-Kandy A9 road while on the Weli Oya front the 59 Division strengthened its positions at Kumulamunai, south of Mullaitivu. Despite heavy resistance, 57 Division troops secured Therumurukandi junction situated about 4.5 kilometres south of Iranamadu yesterday morning. more..

Karu’s re-appointment violated guidelines on top posts

Dec 12 (Island) UNP dissident Karu Jayasuriya’s recent return to the party has effectively thwarted an attempt by an influential section of the beleaguered opposition to force a secret vote to elect Deputy Leader and Assistant Leader of its choice, political sources said. Among the MPs who had vied for the post of the Deputy Leader were Sajith Premadasa, S. B. Dissanayake and Wajira Abeywardena. more..

President wants school cricket sponsor out

Dec 12 (DM) A furious President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is apparently not happy with the profile of the event management company Masscom which has claimed the rights to sponsor schools cricket had ordered SLSCA to cancel the lucrative deal, sources told "Daily Mirror" yesterday. President had contacted Dr. Asoka Senani Hewage, the President of the SLSCA who is also the principal of D.S. Senanayake College over the phone yesterday and more..

'Sri Lanka is much loved by European tourist'

Dec 12 (DM) Swiss national Kurd Zender, who celebrated his 97th visit to Sri Lanka was accorded a warm welcome at Club Palm Garden , Beruwala that hosted him during 80 previous visits. The 80 year old Swiss tourist who loves the country most said he first visited Sri Lanka in 1973 and that he is probably the only tourist from a western country to have visited Sri Lanka 97 times. He told the media that he was pleased to celebrate his 97th visit and his 80th stay in Beruwala tourist village. more..

Mystery over death of Lankan in vehicle blaze

Dec 12 (TK) MYSTERY still surrounds the death of a motorist whose car burst into flames at Whitstable. Ravishankar Sriskantharajah, a Sri Lankan tamil asylum seeker had only lived in the area for 12 days after starting a job as trainee cashier at Shell's Lychgate petrol station on the A299 Thanet Way. His remains were found in a black Volkswagen Polo at Estuary View Business Park on Thursday, November 27. more..

Trigger fear among locals about militant infiltration

Dec 12 (TOI) Three weeks ago, on November 19, fishermen from Rameswaram spotted a colourful fibre boat, abandoned on the Kambipadu shore, about a kilometre from Dhanushkodi down south. There was no one in the boat; nor did it contain any contraband. But what caused panic were the three bullet marks on its side. Two days later, locals of Naduthurai, close to Dhanushkodi, found a boat buried under the sand. more..

Nedumaran holds Indian P.M. responsible for Sivajilingam's safety

Dec 12 (TC) Pazhaniyappan Nedumaran,India’s Tamil National Movement (Thamil Thesiya Iyakkam) leader, and well – known staunch supporter of the LTTE has stated that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be held responsible for the safety of Sri Lankan Tamil Parliamentarian MK Sivajilingam. Nedumaran made this comment while addressing a protest demonstration near the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai. more..