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JVP queries committee on empowering East Province

Dec 4 (LD) JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake has claimed that a committee has been appointed to inquire into the granting of land and police powers to Eastern Provincial Council. Speaking in Parliament today (Dec. 04th), he questioned the government about the powers planned to be given to the provinces as well as the composition and the jurisdiction of the committee appointed. more..

Ceasefire unnecessary - Lakshman Seneviratne

Dec 4 (LD) Military offensives aimed at curbing the LTTE should be continued and a ceasefire won't be necessary until the offensives come to an end, Badulla District UNP MP Laksman Seneviratne said. Speaking during the debate on the votes of the Defence Ministry today, he told Parliament that this was the stance of the UNP. He noted that a political solution based on extensive devolution of power should be implemented for Tamils after curbing terrorism. more..

Iraqi guards open fire as migrants riot about deportation

Dec 4 (Time) Migrant workers who paid thousands of dollars to get to Iraq, where they hoped to find jobs as contractors, rioted yesterday because they feared they were about to be deported. About 450 men were due to be flown out of Iraq last night after spending up to three months inside a warehouse compound near Baghdad airport. Another 500 from Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka will be forced to leave the country in the coming days after more..

Sri Lanka core inflation falls below headline index

Dec 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's controversial 'core' inflation index, which the Central Bank says it uses for monetary policy decisions, was at 18.1 percent in November, overtaking the so-called 'headline' figure which is at 16.3 percent, the latest data shows. The Central Bank said the headline CCPI fell 16.3 percent in November from 20.2 percent in October with transport prices falling 3.1 percent, and housing, water and energy, falling 1.9 percent. more..

First-aid training for policemen to help reduce road deaths

Dec 4 (IRIN) Reducing fatalities and severe injuries from road accidents and bombings is a priority in a country where emergency ambulance services are inadequate, particularly in rural areas. In response, UNDP is funding a project to provide first-aid training to Sri Lankan policemen. Overall, the project targets some 10,000 people in the capital and the provinces, including schoolchildren and drivers of three-wheel scooter taxis, more..

Sri Lankan troops take key Tiger sea base

Dec 4 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops on Thursday captured a key Tamil Tiger naval base as part of an offensive to dismantle the rebels' northern fiefdom, the defence ministry said. Security forces leading a major offensive to capture the Tamil Tiger political capital of Kilinochchi had opened another front in the neighbouring Mullaittivu district where the Tigers maintain their main military facilities. more..

Pranab to visit Sri Lanka soon, says Karunanidhi

Dec 4 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will visit Sri Lanka soon to persuade Colombo to go for peace talks with the Tamil Tigers after announcing a ceasefire, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said Thursday after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. A delegation of political parties from Tamil Nadu, led by Karunanidhi, submitted a memorandum to Manmohan Singh on the conflict in Sri Lanka that has killed thousands and the urgent need to bring peace there. more..

Sri Lankan militia to release child soldiers

Dec 4 (AP) A militia backed by Sri Lanka's government has agreed to stop child conscription and release more than 60 underage combatants, the U.N. said Thursday. The militia, Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal, pledged in an agreement with the government and UNICEF that it will release all child combatants within three months and reintegrate them into society, the U.N. agency said. TMVP is a breakaway faction of the Tamil Tiger rebels based in eastern Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankan players available for IPL

Dec 5 (PTI) Decks were cleared for the Sri Lankan players' participation in next year's Indian Premier League with England hosting West Indies in May next year. Sri Lanka were supposed to tour England after the British Government had cancelled the home series against Zimbabwe, the timing, of which coincided with the second edition of the IPL. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) soon found itself in a spot of bother with 13 frontline players refusing to tour England which would have cost them participation in the cash-rich IPL. more..

Curry Leaf brings city's first taste of Sri Lankan cuisine

Dec 5 (CSI) If you're entirely new to Sri Lankan food, you'll feel like an expert after a single visit to downtown's new Curry Leaf Restaurant. Graciously, sisters, owners and Sri Lanka natives Lara Linander and Lana Hillstrom provide a quick bio of the Indian Ocean island on menus and their Web site. In it, they explain the influences from Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch, Malaysian and Indian kitchens that have shaped the cuisine's truly unique curry profile. more..

Sri Lanka athletics benefiting from Sport for Peace initiative

Dec 5 (IAAF) A Sports for Peace programme originally implemented in 2006 in the conflict torn island nation of Sri Lanka with the assistance of funding from the Government of Australia, has developed in the last two years throughout the country assisting the development of Sri Lanka athletics. The UNDP Sports Programme in Sri Lanka has as its motto ‘Sports can heal, by relieving stress and bridging gaps between communities’. more..

Strikes that hit Sri Lanka managed resorts in Maldives ends

Dec 5 (LBO) A series of strikes that hit Maldivian resorts, including several managed by Sri Lanka's Aitken Spence group are ending, after the strikes were called off following presidential intervention, officials said. "The situation is 90 percent back to normal," Aitken Spence group's Maldivian chief Chetiya Perera told LBO. "I have already visited two resorts and I am about to visit another one which is further away. more..

Sri Lanka share trading slumps to six-year low

Dec 5 (LBO) Sri Lankan shares sagged further Thursday as trading volumes slumped to a six-year low of 13 million rupees with high interest rates and uncertainty over future company earnings keeping investors away, brokers said. The All Share Price Index fell 0.18 percent (2.93 points) to end at 1,603.81 while the more liquid Milanka eased 0.24 percent (4.41 points) to end at 1,801.66. more..

Ayuruvedic cures for AIDS patients

Dec 5 (AN) Sri Lanka's indigenous medicine minister, Tissa Karaliyadda, has announced that three people sick with AIDS have had their immune systems restored through Ayurvedic treatment. The news was released in parliament on December 3, on the occasion of the Committee Stage Debate during which the minister presented various areas of treatment in which Ayurvedic cures are bringing significant results (in the photo, the application of the Shirovasti, a treatment for facial paralysis and headache). more..

Disabled soldiers in war: leaders should face tribunal

Dec 5 (LD) Defence Watch spokesman Mangala Samaraweera has alleged that the Rajapaksa regime was sending injured soldiers to the battlefront in breach of rules governing armed forces as well as international conventions. Mr. Samaraweera demanded that leaders responsible for this crime be brought before an international war tribunal. Producing the photo of a soldier who has lost both eyes due to war, he said, more..

Sri Lanka raises duty on imported edible oil

Dec 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka has raised import duty on edible oil by changing it from a 28 percent rate to a specific levy of 40 rupees a kilo, in a bid to keep domestic coconut oil prices high, a government minister said. A note to Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers submitted by deputy finance minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has said that the price of imported edible oil has fallen to 65,000 rupees a metric tonne in November from 100,000 rupees in January 2008. more..

Sri Lanka recall Jayasuriya for Bangladesh tour

Dec 5 (Reuters) Sanath Jayasuriya has been recalled to Sri Lanka's one-day squad for a tri-series with Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in January. Jayasuriya, 39, was rested for the recent five-match ODI series in Zimbabwe but will return for the limited-overs leg of Sri Lanka's Bangladesh tour. Mahela Udawatte, 22, has been dropped to make room for Jayasuriya, who has 421 caps. more..

Beware of 'quack universities'

Dec 5 (GDI) The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore strongly advises students, who intend to follow a course of study in Singapore through the assistance of an agent, to be extremely cautious and to observe due diligence in order to find out the authenticity of the academic institution and commitment to job offers in Singapore. The Ministry of Higher Education in Sri Lanka or the High Commission of Sri Lanka could assist in this endeavour, more..

Foreign, local religious leaders meet with President to discuss war

Dec 5 (UCAN) Religious leaders who met with Sri Lanka’s president called for an end to the civil war and expressed willingness to work with the government, opposition leaders and Tamil rebels to address the current humanitarian crisis. Members of the World Council of Religions for Peace (WCRP) and local religious leaders met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential residence in Colombo on Nov. 25. more..

President to address Turkey-Sri Lanka Business Forum

Dec 5 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who arrived in Turkey on an official visit at the invitation of the President of Turkey will chair Turkey-Sri Lanka Business Forum today (04) attended by leading business persons from Turkey and Sri Lanka to discuss the possibilities of Turkish investment in Sri Lanka. Some of the areas identified are agriculture, infrastructure development, dockyard facilities for boat and yacht building, the IT sector and more..

School girl becomes mother

Dec 5 (DM) A 13-year-old school girl from Katuwana, Karavilla area has given birth to a baby girl at the Embilipitiya Hospital on Tuesday. According to police, the girl has attended school till Monday and has come home reporting a stomach ailment. Her parents have then taken her to Katuwana Hospital where after examination the doctors said that the girl was with child and transferred her to the Embilipitiya Hospital. more..

Mullathivu vulnerable: Colombo

Dec 5 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan military on Thursday claimed to have captured yet another bastion of the LTTE in Mullathivu district in the north. The Defence Ministry said troops attacked the remaining LTTE fortification in the district. They “have reached a decisive stage” entering the Sea Tiger bastion, Alampil, near Mullathivu. After capturing the Kumulamunai, a battle formation advanced along the northern bank of Nayaru lagoon and dominated Kumulamunai-Alampil road. more..

Sri Lankan fishing boat found drifting off Tamil Nadu coast

Dec 5 (Hindu) A damaged fishing boat of Sri Lankan origin, found drifting in the sea 25 km off the Hanumanthai coast near Marakkanam, was towed by local fishermen on Thursday morning. They said the mechanised boat carried the Sri Lankan flag and registration number. The steering wheel was missing and there was a hole in the cabin. It had a cold storage unit, bedding and crumbs of food strewn on the deck. more..

Sri Lanka born Tamil writer wins national award of Singapore

Dec 5 (TN) Kanagalatha Krishnasamy Iyer, a Singapore national of Eezham Tamil origins, won the national literature prize, 2008, of Singapore on Wednesday for her collection of short stories, Naan Kolai Seyum Penkal (The Women I Murder). Hailing from Negombo in the Western Province of Sri Lanka, Kanagalatha first migrated to Jaffna after the 1983 pogrom against Tamils and later settled in Singapore. more..

10km to Mullaitivu

Dec 5 (DW) After several days of resistance, the LTTE today withdrew from the strategic Sea Tiger bases of Alampil and Chemmalai. With this withdrawal, LTTE is out of bounds from the Nayaru Lagoon, an area used extensively in recent times to infiltrate the East. The Sri Lanka Army's 59 Division has just 10km more to go to capture the strategic Mulaitivu base. The division has only 2km to go to reach Nedunkerni. more..

'Govt. spends millions rupees on foreign tours without fulfill the domestic needs of the military'

Dec 5 (LG) Speaking at an press conference organized by the Defense Watch parliamentarian Mr. Mangala Samaraweera charged that the Govt. is only obsessed with it’s backstreet politics and does not care about the challenges confronting the military in the battlefield. Speaking on the subject Mr. Samaraweera charged that it was pitiful to see the people in the south donating consumer goods such more..

Let's test the bona fides of our politicians

Dec 5 (LG) Even at this late stage, the time has come to say now or never, for patriotic citizens of our country to look at the past and see for ourselves what our beautiful country was then and what it is now. The litany of socio-political problems we confront today can directly or indirectly be traced back to the existence and growth of corruption. Criminality, aggravation of extreme poverty, stifling of economic activity have been more..

The Curse of Sinhala Only stalks a nation

Dec 5 (LG) A half a century ago a visionless racially-obsessed government embarked on a racist and religious belligerence to make Sinhala as the sole official language of the country and enshrine Buddhism as the primary faith of the people. The government totally ignored the rights, feelings and aspirations of the minority communities especially the Tamils whose traditional homeland was the Northern and Eastern Provinces. more..

'Govt. conceals all its errors through its hobby horse the war'

Dec 5 (LG) Speaking today (4th) at a press conference organized by the Defense Watch UNP general secretary Mr. Tissa Attanayake exposed many malpractices that the govt. is indulged in through its hobby horse the war. Speaking on the govt. mechanism “Api Wenuwen Api” which was initiated to provide free shelter to military families, the parliamentarian alleged that there is no transparency in this housing scheme and more..

First a top hit, now Grammy nod: M.I.A. firmly pop

Dec 5 (AP) Though M.I.A. has been hailed by critics since she made her debut in 2005, her fiery lyrics, which speak against corrupt political systems and talk of revolution and violence, have always ensured her a place far outside of music's mainstream — until recently. Her song "Paper Planes," an incendiary song about the frustrations of immigrants, became a hit after its use in the summer stoner comedy "Pineapple Express," and now, M.I.A. has gone from underground artist to commercial success. more..

Sri Lanka: Climate change and tourism

Dec 5 (4H) Sri Lanka's gift to the world - A song entitled 'A Land Like No Other; A Tourism EarthLung' in an appeal to care for Mother Earth. United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ministers' Summit, held during the World Travel Market (WTM) in London last week saw an exciting opening with, Sri Lanka Tourism contributing a song/DVD. A land like no other; A Tourism EarthLung is an appeal in song by Alston Koch, to care for Mother Earth. more..

The Crumbling of Muhamale

Dec 5 (LG) With at least two previous failures of a successful breakthrough through the Tamil Tiger Devil's garden along the KILALY/ MUHAMALE/ NAGARKOVIL axis, mainly due to indirect fire via anti personal/ anti-armor mines and arti/mortar units, battleplanners in this sector set about to destabilise the Tamil Tiger FDL using crumbling operations to force the enemy's defensive cohesion to flood away thereby destabilizing the FDL. more..

President confident of improved business relations between Sri Lanka and Turkey

Dec 5 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the Turkey-Sri Lanka Business Forum yesterday (04) said he was confident that Turkish businessmen and industrialists will now view Sri Lanka from a positive perspective. The President invited them to visit Sri Lanka and experience what Sri Lanka has to offer. Nearly 100 businessmen from Turkey especially from Istanbul took part in this Forum. more..

Contributions of eastern Muslims to the national economy

Dec 5 (LG) Recently I happen to read a brilliant article in the Media titled as The Muslim predicament: some reflections on local and international challenges by Dr Ameer Ali. (02/12/ 08) This research article reveals some vivid revelations about the contributions made by Muslims in the East to the national economy in pre & post independent era of Srilanka: These truths have been concealed in unwritten history of Srilankan Muslims and more..

From Anuradhapura to Bombay

Dec 5 (LG) The Jihadist terrorist attack in Bombay (Population 19 million) the commercial capital of India on November 27, which killed nearly 200 people was cowardly, brutal and outrageous. That is what must be emphasized and not what expert level of planning and training went into killing innocent people as the media is oft wont to emphasise. Sadly, it recalls in much the same way the Indian trained but surely not planned Tiger terrorist attack on pilgrims, more..

Prejudices on Procession

Dec 5 (LG) Here, we share a few comments on Mangala Samaraweera – a petty poofter pretending to be a witty Oscar Wilde written by H. L. D. Mahindapala and published on the Sri Lanka Guardian on 03 December 2008. Mr Mahindapala is a journalist who hails from an island that is divided by various prejudices, and claimed and actual discrimination. Judging by his previous writings, he is, at least on the surface, opposed to "separatism" and fond of "inclusiveness". more..

Innocent Tamil children in Germany being used for fund raising for LTTE

Dec 5 (AT) After receiving the green light from Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Tamil youths in Germany launched a massive campaign to raise funds in schools using innocent young children for the publicity campaign. The Thamilcholai school chain run by the LTTE has launched a month long propaganda campaign in Germany using approximately 6500 students of 130 Thamilalayam schools in Germany more..

Ranil undresses the media bosses

Dec 5 (LeN) UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe says that the UNP is always committed to media freedom and safeguarding media freedom is its policy although the media organizations have no any ethics. The UNP leader stated that the rumor spreading that he threatened Daily Mirror journalist Sandun Jayasekara was not true. He said that he only asked from the journalist whether the Daily Mirror belonged to Wijaya Newspapers or to Jathika Hela Urumaya. more..

Six new High Court Judges

Dec 5 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed six District Judges as High Court Judges with effect from yesterday. The six judges were sworn-in before Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva PC at the Chief Justice's Chambers yesterday morning. The six new High Court Judges are, *former Akkaraipattu District Judge A.L.N. Maimoona, *former Panadura District Judge P. Nirmala Ranawaka, *former Gampaha District Judge A. R. Ranaweera Heiyanthuduwa, more..

TMVP says that Sri Lanka has a powerful Army

Dec 5 (LP) MP Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan said According to his personal experience Sri Lanka has a very great and powerful Armed Force. He made these observations in Parliament yesterday (04). But earlier without a veteran political leadership in the country, Security Forces were not able to defeat the ruthless terrorism in the country. more..

Defence budget passed 105 to 19

Dec 5 (GDI) The vote on the Defence, Public Security, Law and Order Ministry was passed with a majority of 105 in Parliament yesterday. A total of 119 voted for the Defence budget while 19 MPs voted against. Meanwhile, the motion to extend the Emergency Regulations by another one month was passed with a majority of 100 votes. At the time the vote was taken the CWC and UNP members were absent, as was SLFP (M) MP, Mangala Samaraweera. more..

Weather warning - Sri Lanka may experience cyclonic weather

Dec 5 (LP) The Meteorological Department warned that the low pressure developing in the Central Bay of Bengal could result in a cyclone that may pass through Sri Lanka. Heavy rains could be expected in North Central, Western, Sabaragamuwa and Southern Provinces due to the cyclone. Low pressure depression is reported 650Km east of Batticaloa now. The cyclone could affect the sea of Eastern and North East seas.

Munchee wins Brand of the Year Award

Dec 5 (LP) Sri Lanka’s leading confectionery manufacturer and largest Sri Lankan biscuit exporter Ceylon Biscuits Company bagged the coveted Brand of the Year Award for its flagship Munchee brand and seven other awards across five categories at SLIM Brand Excellence 2008. Ceylon Biscuits Company is an ISO 9000 certified manufacturers & Exporters of Biscuits, Chocolates, Wafers, Snacks, Soya TVP & IT Products and Software. more..

Twin victories for Forces

Dec 5 (SAMN) Troops engaged in the Wanni liberation operation Thursday achieved yet another victory with 59 Division troops capturing the strategically important Alampil area 10 Kilometres south of Mullaitivu whilst Task Force II troops captured the key junction town Puliyankulam north of Omanthai on the Jaffna Kandy A-9 highway. Troops of the 59 Division had reached the strategically important Alampil in the North of Nayaru lagoon and more..

SC grants one month time to appoint CC

Dec 5 (SAMN) The Supreme Court, Thursday, granted final time and ordered the parties referred to in the proceedings of the court to convene a meeting within one month to arrive at a consensus regarding the appointees to the Constitutional Council. The Attorney General informed court that the Secretary to the President had informed him that President Rajapaksa had wished for further time to convene a meeting of the parties concerned. more..

No moral justification for war: TNA

Dec 5 (SAMN) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan in parliament Thursday said there was no moral justification for the war, as the government was unable to come up with an acceptable political solution to meet Tamil aspirations. Speaking during the vote on the Defence budget, he said the government was trying to thrust a political solution on the Tamil people after securing a military victory. more..

Egypt to deport 54 duped Lankans

Dec 5 (SAMN) Fifty four Sri Lankan nationals are awaiting deportation from Egypt. They were rounded up last week by authorities in Cairo following information that a large number of Sri Lankans, attempting illegal entry to Europe and the USA, had been stranded in Cairo. Investigations revealed they had paid large sums of money to bogus travel agents who initially promised to take them to the US, England or Australia. more..

No politician has right to threaten media

Dec 5 (DN) Any media institution has the right to hold opinions and support a freely chosen editorial policy, within the constraints imposed by the ethics of professional journalism and no political party or politician has the right to threaten media institutions, just because they were critical of the person or the party, Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. more..

'UNP neglected Colombo shanty dwellers'

Dec 5 (DN) Resettlement of Colombo's slum and shanty dwellers has been neglected during the UNP's five decade long administration of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardane said. He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for the proposed 180 housing units of Kalinga Mawatha, Polhengoda,Colombo 05. more..

Woman-led robber gang arrested

Dec 5 (Island) A gang of four led by a 24-year-old Tamil woman, which was responsible for 89 robberies and 15 thefts during the last one and a half years was arrested by the Gampola Police. The investigations revealed that all four members of the gang were heroin addicts and resorted to robbery and theft to meet their expenses. All suspects were under 24 years and they had committed robberies and thefts totaling to Rs 1.7 million. more..