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Sri Lanka IOC raises petrol price again

Dec 25 (LBO) The Sri Lanka unit of the Indian Oil Corporation, which slashed petrol prices in response to a Supreme Court order, raised the retail back to the earlier level of 122 rupees Wednesday. The administration of president Mahinda Rajapaksa has not cut taxes as directed in the court order so far, and state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, has also kept its retail price unchanged. more..

Surrender historical lands, to accept our own motherland

Dec 25 (LG) With Kilinochchi becoming the target, the government forces meeting heavy resistance, minds begin to open, and ink begins to flow on hurriedly collected sheets of paper with open flourishes of discontent against the government, and veiled praise for the terrorists. The most active "noise makers" in this respect, to the complete exclusion of the Tamils that matter, the Tamil Community of Sri Lanka, more..

Response to interim report of parliamentary select committee

Dec 25 (LG) The Interim Report of the Select Committee of Parliament for Investigation of the Operations of Non Governmental Organisations and their Impact has received wide publicity in the media. In its report the Select Committee makes pointed criticisms of several NGOs, their roles and agendas, including the National Peace Council. We regret that the comments on NPC are unjust, and do not give a proper representation of NPC objectives and work. more..

Spotlight on the new Anti-Terror laws

Dec 25 (LG) Being among those who have been consistently speaking and writing about the need for a new and specific law to tackle terrorism in India, with the UPA government ( in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai ) successfully getting the two Bills — the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2008 and the other Bill to set up a National Investigation Agency passed in the Parliament, there should have been a sense of mitigation. more..

Why do the Sinhalese want the dry zone Tamil areas?

Dec 25 (LG) Historians now say, "the authentic history of the Sinhala people begins after the introduction of Buddhism." This then cancels out completely the Vijayan mythology of the origin of the Sinhala race as stated in the Mahawamsa, and makes the Tamil Buddhists of the 2nd Century BC as the original ancestors of the Sinhala people, who have always gloated over their ‘lion blood’ ancestry through their so-called eponymous hero Prince Viyaya. more..

Tamil people have rejected Tamil self-determination in favour of ethic integration

Dec 25 (LG) The recent article about Tamil people’s right to self-determination by Deirdre McConnell of Cambridge Review of International Affairs amply displays complete ignorance of the whole truth and home truths. When Giordano Bruno revealed that astral beings don’t orbit the earth but the earth orbits the sun, he was executed. Due to the widespread lies propagated by Tamil Elam separatist elements around the world, more..

The Boston Tea Party and the Colombo oil mess

Dec 25 (LG) One does not have to be an expert in constitutional law to know the division of powers among the executive, legislature and judiciary. In any event as Feyarabend has shown that the expertise in a given field does not imply that a person with a different kind of training in a "totally unrelated field" cannot question the so called expert opinion of a person in a given field. more..

Who is Jesus Christ?

Dec 25 (LG) Meeting with the Twelve at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked, “Whom say ye that I am?” Simon Peter, the chief Apostle answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15–16). Peter later testified that Jesus “was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20). He was “in the beginning with the Father, and [is] the Firstborn” (D&C 93:21). more..

'Madhu Church remains deserted on Xmas day'

Dec 25 (LD) The Madhu Church, home to the 600-year-old statue of Our Lady and revered by Sri Lankan Catholics, has remained deserted for around five years and continues to be so this Christmas, said UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena. In a statement, he said authorities should, at least now, tell the true situation of the historic shrine in Mannar. Leaders, who issue Christmas messages, should be truthful, without misleading Catholic leaders and the public, he said. more..

'Arjuna removed for exposing Lokuge's frauds'

Dec 25 (LD) The exposure of frauds and corrupt acts of the Sports Minister was the most immediate reason for the removal of Arjuna Ranatunga as chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee, 'Development Watch' media coordinator Hashan Tilakaratne has alleged. He said the removal of the interim committee chief was not the result of a hasty decision, but one that had been planned in a conspiracy. more..

'Cabinet in contempt of court'

Dec 25 (LD) "The cabinet says it will study the Supreme Court ruling for the reduction of the petrol price and decide in two weeks. Cabinet is not the court. If this is a law-abiding government, it should accept the ruling by the SC, the highest court of the country," said UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella. "At least for now, it can accept the court ruling and file objections later, in two weeks. But, this government is playing with the court order. more..

The fiasco in the maths paper

Dec 25 (AT) The President has telephoned the Commissioner of examinations stressing the need to ensure a realistic system of marking a paper and saying that there is no need for a fresh maths paper if a proper mechanism could be worked out to help the affected children. We the public regret to say that even having a fresh maths paper will not do justice to the children who are affected because more..

Chandana Silva – An Image of Decency

Dec 25 (AT) It was exactly one year ago Chandana Silva the great scholar, screenplay writer, film director, and a professional critic on cinema passed away leaving his family and friends in unbearable sorrow. This is a tribute of my admiration of this decent personality – Sonduru Minisa on his first death anniversary falls on December 29, 2008. Chandana made a demanding contribution towards the expansion of Sri Lankan cinema with more..

Fierce fighting continues as LTTE launches counter attack on Kunchup (Sinna) Paranthan

Dec 25 (TC) In a remarkable see- saw type fluctuation of fighting in the northern Wanni battlefront the newly captured area of Kunchuparanthan (also known as Sinnaparanthan) became the theatre of savage conflict that threatened to continue even through Christmas day. Cadres of the LTTE special force unit known as “counter – offensive forces” commenced a pre-dawn counter – attack on more..

Was a conspiracy hatched to victimise Sunanda Deshapriya?

Dec 25 (TC) Was “disgraced” media rights activist Sunanda Deshapriya, a victim of a diabolical conspiracy hatched by certain vested interests? This is the question buzzing in media and human rights activist circles right now. Deshapriya the well – known media rights fighter stepped down from his position as Free Media movement (FMM) convenor in a “cloud” following allegations of financial impropriety and ethical misconduct. more..

Jayalath hauls Gotabhaya before Human Rights Commission

Dec 25 (TC) After persisting strenuously for several months, UNP Parliamentarian, Dr.Jayalath Jayawardana has succeeded in his efforts to haul Defence secretary and Presidential sibling Gotabhaya Rajapakse before the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission. Dr. Jayalath Jayawardana said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had been called for a hearing by the Human Rights Commission on Friday December 26th. more..

LTTE wants to enlist GCE (O/L) students for "shramadana" work in building air-raid shelters

Dec 25 (TC) The LTTE wants to enlist all students in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitheevu districts who had just sat for the General Certificate of Education (Ordinary level) examination into a “volunteer corps” for constructing underground shelters to protect innocent civilians against indiscriminate aerial bombardment and artillery shelling. The LTTE “request” cam in the wake of the GCE (OL) examinations being over on December 19th. more..

Christmas message of the UNP

Dec 25 (LT) The Christmas is the special day commemorating the birth of Christ who brought peace to the world. When people are living in fear and misgiving , without a peaceful environment and contentment, dawning of peace and that day of happiness is far fetched. This is the best occasion for us to break the bondages of poverty and divisions, and help each other to live in harmony and happiness. more..

'Christmas spirit has special relevance in Sri Lanka today'

Dec 25 (GDI) The spirit of love and joy that Christmas brings has special relevance in Sri Lanka today as we come closer to bringing down the barriers of mistrust and overcoming the fear of terror that have torn our society apart for so long said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a Christmas Day message. “The Spirit of Christmas has greater meaning as it reaches out to comfort the poor and distressed among humans, more..

Christmas message of the JVP

Dec 25 (LT) Today is Christmas, celebrated with immense devotion by Christians all over the world including Christian devotees of Sri Lanka. They indulge in various religious activities commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. According to Christian belief Jesus Christ was born to this world to rescue sinners from their sins. For this Jesus Christ represented justice, strength and equity. He teachings were to develop a society with noble ideals. more..

Govt. to file objections

Dec 25 (LT) The Government yesterday said that it was taking action to file objections to the Supreme Court order to bring down the price of petrol to Rs.100 a litre. Minister Susil Premajayantha told the weekly Cabinet press briefing held at the Government Information Department that anybody could submit objections to a Supreme Court order within three weeks of the delivering of the order. more..

Judicial intervention is welcomed by the People

Dec 25 (LG) It is indeed a cruel paradox that ‘a government of the people, by the people, for the people’ should refuse or resist a ruling made by the highest court of the land that a litre of petrol be sold at Rs. 100 and instead stick to the former price of Rs. 122, whatever the reasons behind the stubborn refusal may be. Strange things happen in our Democratic Socialist Republic and now have we reached a stage where the rulings of the Supreme Court are not being followed by the government in power? more..

Murali gives Sri Lanka the edge in spin battle

Dec 25 (CI) "We are going to Bangladesh with an open mind." With these words, Mahela Jayawardene signalled that his team would guard against any sort of complacency when facing the weakest Test nation, and with good reason. Leading teams usually expect a cakewalk each time they set foot in Bangladesh but, only a couple of months ago, New Zealand were made to scrap for every run and wicket against a Bangladesh side reeling from the desertions to the ICL. more..

Sri Lanka Air Force attacks convent in Vanni, deploys cluster bombs

Dec 25 (TN) Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombed a convent named Holy Cross Convent, located on Paranthan Mullaiththevu Road, 600 meters away from Paranthan junction Tuesday night around 10:30 p.m., a day before Christmas. TamilNet correspondent who visited the site Wednesday morning witnessed that the attacked premises was marked with Red Cross on the roof. The nearby church also sustained damage. more..

Catholic Bishops’ conference Message

Dec 25 (SAMN) "Christmas commemorates the encounter between God and man: God in the Person of Jesus Christ who came to lift up men and women from their lowly, unhappy state. The important figure of Christmas therefore is the Child, the only child, the Son of God and His birth. Christmas means that He has come and that He has pitched His tent in the world. This Holy Night of Christmas has driven away our anxieties and fears. more..

UNP denied nation Rs 200b

Dec 25 (SAMN) Cabinet Spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday charged that the UNP which was highlighting tax issues today for mere political gain, had denied the country, Rs. 200 billion during their tenure in 2003, through the Tax Indemnity Act. The Minister emphasised that the money earned through taxation was solely used to administer the country and carry out welfare and development activities. more..

Secret love now in open: JVP

Dec 25 (SAMN) The JVP slammed the National Freedom Front (NFF) for its move to sign an MoU with the Government charging the NFF was going to hold the wedding after consummating the marriage in secret. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath told a news conference yesterday that it was case celebrating a wedding just for appearances after the children have been born of conjugal union“This affair is not new or news to us,” Mr. Herath said. more..

Parties dragging country to crisis

Dec 25 (SAMN) The Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiri Chapter Ven Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Thera yesterday claimed that interested parties were attempting to push the country into a crisis by driving a wedge between the Government and the Judiciary. The Mahanayake Thera said the LTTE terrorists who were on the verge of defeat would beco-me more stronger if the government has to cease its humanitarian mission to eradicate terrorism from the country for want of funds. more..

In memory of tsunami victims

Dec 25 (DN) A series of ceremonies are being organised by Departments, INGOs and organisations in Ampara District to commemorate the 4th Anniversary of Tsunami which has been declared as National Safety day by the Government. A Mass Awareness Rally on multi hazard awareness organised by the Department of Disaster Management and Human rights with the assistance of Sri Lanka Red Cross Society along with four other INGOs at Kalmunai will be the main feature of the ceremony of the District on the day. more..

Ministry restores 125 tsunami-hit schools

Dec 25 (DN) The Education Ministry has restored 125 schools devastated by the 2004 tsunami in the Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern provinces and vested them with the students under the tsunami Rehabilitation programme. Construction work of another 19 schools affected by the disaster is currently in progress. Rehabilitation work on 38 more schools damaged by the tidal waves have been held up due to terrorist activity, he claimed. more..

2008: Progress on Vanni front amidst political and economic turmoil

Dec 25 (Island) 2008 comes to an end with the Rajapaksa administration and the judiciary at logger-heads over the December 17 Supreme Court directive to price a litre of petrol at Rs 100. Although LIOC, a joint venture between Sri Lanka and India adhered with the SC pricing formula, the government continued to delay a decision on the SC directive. The crisis erupted close on the heels of the SC coming to the government’s rescue by more..

Bodies of 800 combatants transferred across Vanni frontlines this year

Dec 25 (Island) The number of bodies transferred across the army and LTTE frontlines this year is evidence of the ferocity of battles in the Vanni theatre where the army is advancing on multiple fronts. The ICRC responsible for the transfer of bodies doesn’t identify the fallen combatants separately. ICRC spokesperson Sarasi Wijeratne told The Island that almost 800 bodies had been transferred this year. more..

Delay in capturing Kilinochchi

Dec 25 (DM) The Government yesterday admitted that there would be a delay in capturing the LTTE administrative capital of Kilinochchi owing to several civilians still remaining in the outskirts of the town. A total of 150,000 civilians still remained trapped by the LTTE in and around Kilinochchi which is why President Mahinda Rajapaksa had sent a 'strong word' to the forces to capture their target while maintaining a zero civilian casualty. more..

Photographs of porn stars out

Dec 25 (DM) Nineteen photographs out of the initial 21 photographs of people who posed for pornographic videos have been handed over to the Police spokesperson Ranjith Gunasekera by the Children and Women’s Bureau. Photographs of two persons have been taken out from the initial lot due to another Police inquiry elsewhere. “The photographs are not only of girls. There are photographs of men as well,” more..

Mahela tells team not to worry about Pakistan tour

Dec 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has asked his players to concentrate on the test series against Bangladesh beginning on Friday rather than worry about the uncertainty surrounding next month's tour in Pakistan. Sri Lanka agreed to step in to tour in Pakistan after India pulled out their tour due to the security concerns. more..

Mixed reactions as tsunami reconstruction winds down

Dec 25 (IRIN) K Ganga is frustrated about where her family of four was settled after the 2004 tsunami. "This is like living in the middle of a jungle, so far away from the next village," she told IRIN from her house in Walahanduwa, a tsunami housing scheme of more than 100 units built by the Sri Lanka Red Cross in 2006, 120km south of the capital Colombo in the Galle District. More important, the houses are 10km from the shore. more..

Christmas 2008 in Sri Lanka

Dec 25 (GV) Its Christmas day. For a change, I was at home with my family. Early morning, I went for Christmas Mass in my parish. Many years ago, I had been active in the church, as a student and teacher in the Sunday School, as an Alter Server and in the Young Christian Students Movement. But I had not gone to my parish for a long time, though I have been visiting and staying in churches all over Sri Lanka, especially in the war ravaged North. more..

Sri Lanka's Information War: Pt. III

Dec 25 (WPR) In a career spent fighting the Tamil Tigers, Gen. Gerry de Silva (ret.), a former commander of the Sri Lankan army, learned a thing or two about information warfare. In campaigns in the north of the island, time and again he found himself confronting disinformation among the Tamil population. "It's a disinformation program even to their own people, to their own cadre," he told World Politics Review more..

'18 Tamil Tigers killed in fighting'

Dec 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka's military beat back a Tamil Tiger counter-offensive in the island's north, killing at least 18 guerrillas, the defence ministry said on Thursday. The rebel LTTE mounted the offensive outside their besieged political capital of Kilinochchi on Wednesday, the ministry said. "Well prepared troops engaged the advancing terrorists with armour, tanks, artillery and infantry causing heavy damage," more..

Background: Thissanayagam Case and Others

Dec 26 (MoD) The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (1977) recognizes freedom of speech, expression and publication as fundamental rights of all citizens of the country. This in turn gives the constitutional recognition and protection for media freedom in the country. However, like any other country in the world, Sri Lanka too imposes pro bono restrictions on the exercise of freedom of expression, speech and publications. more..

Supreme Court allowed the executive to detain a person for one year

Dec 26 (MoD) The Supreme Court amended the amendment of the Emergency Regulation allowing the executive to detain a person for 1 year in police custody. The bench comprising of Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Justice K. Siripavan and Justice P. Ratnayake ordered the above judgement on 15th December 2008. The Court made this judgment sequel to a fundamental right case filed by Centre for Policy Alternative which had cited Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Attorney General as respondents. more..

Karunanidhi warns supporters of banned organisations

Dec 26 (Hindu) Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Thursday sent out a warning to the supporters of the LTTE, saying that the DMK government would not hesitate to take action against those who voice support and act in favour of banned organisations. “The warning is applicable to all,” the Chief Minister said in a statement. Responding to a question whether the DMK was supporting the LTTE in the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, more..

'We will go out there with an open mind'

Dec 26 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has said his team will not be taking Bangladesh lightly in the upcoming two-Test series, the first of which begins on Friday in Dhaka. "We don't underestimate the strength of Bangladesh and what they are capable of doing, so we just need to focus on the gameplan that we want to play, and try and execute it," he said. "We will go out there with an open mind. Bangladesh have some quality players. more..

UN expert calls on parties to the Sri Lankan conflict to better protect the displaced

Dec 26 (FI) The Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kälin, has expressed his increasing concern for Sri Lankan civilians in the northern Vanni region. In a letter today to the Government of Sri Lanka, the Representative acknowledged the Government’s continuing efforts to enable humanitarian convoys to reach the estimated 200,000-300,000 internally displaced persons in the region but more..

Peace on earth good-will to all, especially the helpless and the harassed

Dec 26 (TC) This year, Christmas brings mixed feelings. All around a sense of helplessness, sorrow and hard questions prevail. What hope does the birth of Christ bring those trapped and threatened in the Vanni? Will there ever be economic stability for those trapped and threatened in poverty and want? What respect is there for those trapped and threatened by social prejudice and suspicion because of their ethnicity? more..

Prolonging the inevitable unsuccessful today

Dec 26 (DW) 3 waves of LTTE attackers were beaten all ends up by the Army's 58 Division today killing an LTTE 'Lieutenant Colonel' in the process as troops came dangerously close to Paranthan. The 'Lieutenant Colonel' trapped and killed by the SLA is thought to be from either Charles Anthony or Imran Pandian Reegiments. His body was taken away by the fleeing Tigers. Except for the leader's loss, the exact casualties to the LTTE in this fight is unknown at this point. more..

Why is SLBC tolerating BBC Sandeshaya?

Dec 26 (AT) SLBC Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe will find an excellent opportunity to stop BBC Sinhala and Tamil services relaying LTTE propaganda if President Mahinda Rajapaksa proscribes the Tigers next month (in the event of their failure to allow Tamils held hostage to cross over to government controlled areas). In any case if the SLBC Chief is really keen on making Sinhala listeners ignore Sandeshaya he should make every effort draw them towards the Sinhala programs of All India Radio and Radio Beijing. more..

Sri Lankan born producer edged out of Rs.150 crore Rajanikanth’s mega film 'Endhiran'

Dec 26 (AT) Film Director Shankar’s mega-budget science fiction movie, Endhiran, starring Rajnikanth and Aishwarya Rai, has now moved to Kalanithi Maran controlled Sun Pictures, leaving in the cold the original Sri Lankan born film producer C. Karunamoorthy of London based Ayngaran International. After edging out Sri Lankan born C. Karunamoorthy of Ayngaran International as the main producer of the film Endhiran, Rajni expressed his consent to work with Sun Pictures and more..

Sri Lanka to launch USD4 billion mega Kalpitya integerated eco-friendly tourism project

Dec 26 (AT) Sri Lanka Government is planning to launch a US Dollar 4 billion eco-friendly mega tourism project in 2009. According to Bernard Goonatileke, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Board and Chairman of the Kalpitya Integerated Tourism Development Board, arrangements are completed to launch to turn Kalpitya as the tourist destination for high spenders. more..

'We would never allow petit political interests to create communal unrest in schools'

Dec 26 (LT) The IUSF would never allow communalist political parties to spread communalism in the school systems says its convener Upul Premaratne. Speaking at a media meeting held yesterday regarding the banning of Muslim girl students in Lindsey Girls School and Baron Jayatilleke Vidyalkaya in Colombo from wearing the Punjabi suit which is the traditional dress worn by Muslim students. more..