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Mervyn ready to compensate MTV

Dec 5 (Island) Anil Silva, PC Counsel for Mervyn Silva, told the Supreme Court that his client had given an undertaking to the Supreme Court that he would not in future interfere with the activities of the MTV Network Private Limited or any other media institution. Mervyn Silva and the petitioner, MTV Network Private Limited would discuss the possibility of a settlement, by way of Silva paying compensation to the petitioner, more..

Make Sajith deputy UNP leader - Alick

Dec 5 (DM) Senior UNPer, Alick Aluwihare MP, has requested UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to appoint Sajith Premasasa MP (UNP, Hambantota District) as deputy leader of the party. In a letter to Mr. Wickremesinghe, he had said Mr. Premadasa was worthy of the post and an asset to the party. He said he was well respected and had a bright future ahead of him. He said Mr. Premadasa would give strength to Mr. Wickremesinghe and the party. more..

'A school closes down every 10 days'

Dec 5 (LD) The 10 year period up to 2007 had seen the closure of 664 schools in the country, 'Ravaya' reports quoting president of the National Education Employees Society, MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara. According to him, 36 schools had been closed last year alone, at the rate of one school per every 10 days. Commenting on budgetary allocations for education, Mr. Madduma Bandara has said that only Rs. 4,620 million has been set aside for 2009, down from Rs. 5,267 m this year. more..

'UNP no guts to challenge fruitless war'

Dec 5 (LD) "I did not expect any of UNP opposing the defence vote." Says Colombo district MP Mano Ganesan, Convenor Civil Monitoring Commission, commenting on the UNP this time voting with the government on the Defence budget at its committee stage. Commenting further on the UNP strategy of opposing all things except the war, Mr. Ganesan says, "It is like this. When you oppose ‘all other failures’ of the government it does not make any noticeable difference of weakening the government. more..

Expatriate workers in danger of losing jobs

Dec 5 (LD) Sri Lankan expatriate workers, especially those in the Middle East, are in danger of losing their jobs due to the global financial crisis, said JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Making a special statement to the House today (Dec. 05th), he asked the government to mediate on behalf these workers who have been immensely contributing to the national economy for many years. more..

‘I am not under house arrest’ - Pillayan

Dec 5 (DM) Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan has denied rumors that he was under house arrest at his home in Batticaloa. Rumors did the rounds on Wednesday that Pilliyan was placed under house arrest possibly over a rift between him and TMVP leader Vinyagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman or with the government. more..

SC suspends indictments against Tiran/Dushyantha

Dec 5 (LD) The Supreme Court yesterday (Dec. 04th) issued an interim order to the Colombo High Court to suspend indictment charges filed against secretary of SLFP Mahajana Wing, Tiran Alles and Finance Director of Maubima newspaper, Dushyantha Basnayake. The Attorney General's Department had filed the indictments against them under an act that is yet to be passed in Parliament. more..

Sri Lanka's politicians play petroleum politics

Dec 5 (LBO) Despite printing money to subsidize oil and driving inflation sky high, speculating in oil derivatives to keep prices down and getting the entire nation into trouble, Sri Lanka's politics of petroleum deception is still riding high. When inflation is high the 'burden' of government is borne more by the poor and old people with financial savings, because rich people have real assets such as land that protects them with rising prices. more..

Search operation launched

Dec 5 (Hindu) A team of 60 policemen led by the Superintendent of Police K.A. Senthil Velan conducted a daylong search operation along the coast off Dhanushkodi in connection with the seizure of 3rd Sri Lankan boat, which was found abandoned on Tuesday. Dividing into several small groups, the policemen, including Armed Reserve, dug up several sanddune places to find out “suspected” materials, including outboard motor engine of the boat, which was believed to have been buried at an undisclosed destination. more..

Central bank defends itself from hedging fire

Dec 5 (LBO) Central bank, under fire for advising a state-run petroleum firm to hedge oil imports using derivatives in the belief that it helped the balance of payments, has issued a statement defending its actions. The full statement is reproduced below: The attention of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has been drawn to recent media reports wherein it had been claimed that the government was trying to protect certain officials more..

Petrol prices down by Rs.20/- from today

Dec 5 (LT) The government has decided to reduce the price of petrol by Rs.20/- a liter and furnace oil by Rs.10/- per liter from tonight said Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake in Parliament today. Two fundamental rights petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court demanding that fuel prices should be reduced in Sri Lanka in relation to the prices in the world market. The Supreme Court has directed the Secretary to the Treasury to present a formula for fuel prices on the 15th of this month

No calm after the storm

Dec 5 (IPS) The only good thing about tropical storm ‘Nisha’, that lashed northern Sri Lanka in the last week of November, was that it brought a lull to the fierce fighting between Tamil separatist rebels and the Sri Lankan army. According to the Disaster Management Centre, over 370,000 persons were affected by gale force winds and rains, and more than 50,000 houses were damaged -- 11,000 of them completely destroyed -- in nine districts in the country between Nov. 22 - 30 when Nisha struck. more..

Commercial Bank says oil hedge case risk is $8.9 mln

Dec 5 (Reuters) Commercial Bank of Ceylon said on Friday its total risk would be $8.93 million if Sri Lanka's top court permanently suspends an oil hedging contract, news that helped drive its shares down more than 6 percent. The island-nation's top listed private lender is one of five banks in an oil hedging deal with state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp, among them CitiBank, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank and state-owned People's Bank. more..

EU announces more flood relief aid for Sri Lanka

Dec 5 (DPA) The European Union (EU) said Friday it was increasing its aid to Sri Lanka by two million euros ($2.5 million) to help more than 300,000 people displaced by floods. The amount comes in addition to a 17-million-euro humanitarian aid package announced by the EU's executive arm, the European Commission, earlier this year. 'The aim is to help more than 300,000 displaced and vulnerable people in the Vanni region, where more..

Internet assists Sri Lankan family's reunion

Dec 5 (KSAT) Less than a week since his photo was released on local media, a San Antonio man with no local ties is being reunited with his family half a world away. Anton Karunaratne, 55, was found wandering the streets along Interstate 37 and Carolina Road last month and admitted to University Hospital with possible mental illness, said University Hospital spokeswoman Leni Kirkman. more..

Sri Lanka says captures 100 rebel boats

Dec 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military said on Friday it had captured more than 100 small boats used by the separatist Tamil Tigers, after soldiers seized a coastal village while marching towards the last big port held by the rebels. Soldiers captured Alampil Thursday after heavy fighting on the east coast, where the army's 59th Division is trying to take the port of Mullaitivu controlled by the LTTE, the military said. more..

Sri Lanka army 'enters rebel town'

Dec 5 (BBC) Sri Lanka's military says it has entered a town in the north-east of the country used as a naval base by the Tamil Tiger rebels. Government troops have entered Alampil, six miles (10km) south of Mullaitivu, the main town held by the rebels on the north-east coast, the army said. There has been no comment from the Tamil Tigers. Fighting has also been reported outside the town of Kilinochchi, site of the the rebels' political headquarters. more..

Sri Lanka clothing exporter says going 'green' pays dividends

Dec 6 (LBO) A Sri Lankan apparel exporter said increased energy efficiency in a new 'green' environmentally friendly manufacturing plant it started earlier this year should help pay for the extra costs of building it. Lingerie manufacturer MAS Intimates said its Thurulie plant in Thulhiriya, north of Colombo, consumes much less energy and water than other factories in the group and also provides workers a better working environment. more..

Sri Lanka's lawless city of Negombo

Dec 6 (UPI) Negombo is just a short distance from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and is far away from the north and the east where a military conflict is under way. However, the extent of lawlessness there does not reflect that distance. The law virtually does not exist. You can commit murder and get away with it without much of a problem. The best friends that criminals can have in the area are the policemen. more..

'Fuel prices reduced after public outcry'

Dec 6 (LD) Following a wave of public protests against the hedging agreement, the government has reduced prices of petrol by Rs. 20 and furnace oil by Rs. 10 per litre, spokesman of 'Corruption Watch' attorney Shiral Laktilake said. In a press release, CW said it firmly believes that the public has been deprived of benefit of oil price reductions in the world market due to the huge taxes and corrupt activities in the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. more..

1,200 Colombo nattamis registered

Dec 6 (LD) Police sources say an estimated 6,000 nattami labourers in Colombo city are presently being registered. The registration is taking place at police station level, with around 1,2000 nattamis in Pettah area listed already. Once registered, each nattami is issued with an identity card by the police. According to reports, most of these people do not have national identity cards. more..

UNP hands over undated proposal to House

Dec 6 (LD) The UNP today (Dec. 0th) submitted an undated proposal to the House, detailing acts of bribery, corruption and misleading propaganda said to have been committed by the government in the cover of war. Chief opposition whip Joseph Michael Perera handed over the document to the Secretary General of Parliament, in the presence of party MPs Ravi Karunanayake, Dayasiri Dayasekara and Thalatha Athukorale. more..

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Colombo

Dec 6 (Reuters) Got 48 hours to spend in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo? The city is the country's biggest and a major port, with a rich colonial heritage, gardens, lively markets, modern buildings and even a beach. The heavy military and police presence in the capital, a manifestation of the government's battle against Tamil Tiger rebels fighting one of Asia's longest modern insurgencies, does take some getting used to. more..

Allegations of cluster bombing by Sri Lanka must be investigated

Dec 6 (TC) The LTTE have accused the Sri Lankan air force of dropping cluster bombs on an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Vanni area on November 29, 2008. According to the TamilNet report three refugees were killed and 29 shelters of displaced persons were destroyed in the air strike. Recordings of oral accounts of those affected are also available on the Internet. more..

Govt services to all in Sri Lanka and especially to IDPs

Dec 6 (PISL) Because of multiple displacements for various reasons over the last two decades, discussion on the status of Internally Displaced Persons in Sri Lanka has suffered from a number of complications. These have not affected the delivery of assistance to the displaced, since the Government of Sri Lanka has acted on the assumption that it was best to provide assistance without any stinting. more..

What does Prabhakaran dream of?

Dec 6 (EB) Just after he changes into his lungi and kisses the cyanide capsule that he wears around his neck, Velupillai Prabhakaran thinks about the most important person in his life nowadays. That person is Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi. The Tamil Nadu chief minister has been on his mind a lot lately. He is the last person that pops into his mind just before he falls asleep. more..

Sri Lanka tea production, exports fall

Dec 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea production and exports in October fell after prices crashed although export earnings in the first 10 months have exceeded a billion dollars, brokers said. Tea exports in October had dropped to a four-year low of 25 million kilos while production for the month fell eight percent to 23.9 million kilos from a year ago. The October production was the lowest since 2006 and that since 1997 the October crop figure had usually been in excess of 24 million kilos with two exceptions. more..

'Environment Minister is anti-Muslim'

Dec 6 (LD) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has alleged an attempt to inflame anti-Muslim sentiments by creating unnecessary problems over the uniform of Muslim girls in several Colombo schools. Mr. Wickremesinghe was speaking to a Muslim delegation at Parliamentary Complex. He said St. Anthony's Girls' School, Mutwal, Ananda Balika Vidyalaya, Lindsay Girls' School, Visaka Vidyalaya, Sangharaja Maha Vidyalaya, Sariputra Maha Vidyalaya and Baron Jayatilake Vidyalaya had especially violated Muslim girls' right to have a uniform that describes their traditional identity. more..

Misconceptions that prolong our ethnic conflict

Dec 6 (GV) There is no doubt that our ethnic conflict is the worst scourge that has bedeviled this nation since Independence. An incisive and objective look at the calamity would reveal that it is being prolonged by misconceptions born of prejudice, parochialism and rivalry. Perhaps the initial mis-concept is the impulsive assumption that the conflict has to be settled by a grant of concessions from one sector of the nation to another. more..

'Thanks for food, but help to win our rights,' Vanni IDPs urge Tamil Nadu

Dec 6 (TN) Internally Displaced persons in Vanni who were receiving the humanitarian supplies sent by the people of Tamil Nadu, while expressing their gratitude for the timely help, urged the leaders of Tamil Nadu to help them to win their freedom by voicing for the political aspirations of Eezham Tamils. TamilNet correspondent recorded expressions from the IDPs who were gathered at Karaichchi Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, one of 23 supply centres in Vanni, on Thursday. more..

Moves to resolve salary anomalies in Teachers' and Principals' Services

Dec 6 (GDI) The observations of the National Salaries and Cadre Commission are to be sought to implement the interim proposal submitted by the Ministry of Education for the removal of salary anomalies in Teachers' and Principals' Services, following a Cabinet Decision on a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Education, A.D. Susil Premajayantha. Both the Ministry of Education and trade unions have accepted that anomalies have been created as a more..

Tamil MPs 'violated constitution'

Dec 6 (BBC) A court in Sri Lanka has ordered the police to seek advice from Attorney General prior to calling Tamil MPs to appear in court to answer accusations that they violate country’s constitution. The police have informed Colombo magistrate that three Tamil parliamentarians violated the constitution and Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Police CID has told the court that the MPs have made anti-government and pro-LTTE remarks in Germany on 28 June. more..

Gardens lend a helping hand in Sri Lanka

Dec 6 (RC) As you enter Nilanthi’s backyard in a resettlement village in Dadalla, Sri Lanka—a small community three miles from the southern coastal city of Galle—you’re immediately drawn to her lush green garden, full of fresh papayas, pomegranates, bananas, okra, squash, kankun (a local kale-like vegetable) and spinach. However, it serves a much bigger purpose than meets the eye. The plants are growing over a household seepage bed to help purify wastewater and at the same time, allow the plants to flourish. more..

UK Tamils polarised but powerful

Dec 6 (BBC) For one bitter-sweet moment when he wakes up each morning, Anand believes he is still in Sri Lanka. When a ferocious war between the Sinhalese-dominated government and Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for a separate homeland arrived at his doorstep in 1993, he fled to Britain. "In my dreams, I go to Sri Lanka. I see my mother who is dead now. I see my old job," he says. As evening draws in he listens to the radio for news of war, a clue as to where his future lies. more..

'Giving up the fight against LTTE would nullify the sacrifices of our brave soldiers'

Dec 6 (AT) Government should never give up the war against the LTTE terrorists. Giving up the fight to end terrorism in Sri Lanka would amount to nullifying the great sacrifices and the heroic efforts of the brave Sri Lankan soldiers. Minister Dr. Mervin Silva expressed his hope that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would never give in to the Indian pressure and enter into a ceasefire agreement with the LTTE, more..

Sri Lanka's air force bombs rebels in north

Dec 6 (AP) Sri Lanka's air force carried out a series of raids Friday on Tamil Tiger rebels trying to resist a government campaign to seize their de facto capital, the military said. Air force helicopters pounded a rebel position in Adampan village, west of the rebel headquarters Kilinochchi, and fighter jets bombed rebels in Paranthan village, north of the rebel town, the military said in a statement. more..

Sri Lanka repatriates 21 fishermen

Dec 6 (Hindu) As many as 21 fishermen from the State, arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for straying into their waters, have been repatriated. It took place at an undisclosed destination near the International Maritime Boundary Line where they were handed over to Coast Guard personnel on Thursday night. A Coast Guard ship brought them to Mandapam on Friday. more..

3 more Sri Lankan boats found abandoned

Dec 6 (Hindu) Three more boats, suspected to be from Sri Lanka, were found abandoned off Dhanushkodi and nearby unmanned islets on Friday. The seizure of three unclaimed boats in a day is the first of its kind in this region in recent past. With this, the number of such boats found along the coast off Dhanushkodi has gone up to six. Friday’s seizure was within three days of the previous incident. more..

Why does India continue to interfere in Sri Lanka?

Dec 6 (AT) "Every country has a right to protect itself", so said Pranab Mukherjee India’s External Affairs Minister shortly after 4 days of carnage in Mumbai. The Indian Government’s immediate response was to blame Pakistan’s intelligence. The Indian people however took an opposing stand and continues to blame the Indian Government and its policies for creating the situation where foreign and homegrown forces now collude to making India vulnerable and insecure for its people – more..

Ceasefire Possibility with the LTTE Terrorists

Dec 6 (LG) The terrorist LTTE is down and on knees pleading Tamilnadu and India for a new lease of life, as they are incapable of coming out of their military cul-de-sac by themselves alone. The armed forces of Sri Lanka are just a few steps away from driving the final nail into the LTTE coffin that Velupillai Prabakaran, the Terrorist leader has nowhere to run from his misery anymore. more..

Tissa confession 'voluntary'

Dec 6 (BBC) Meanwhile, the Colombo High Court has ruled that the confession made by detained journalist JS Tissainayagam was proved to be made voluntarily. Mr. Tissainayagam has told the court at the initial hearing that the confession was made under pressure from the police. However, the court ruled that the confession was voluntarily made. Tissainayagam was arrested in March and charged with inciting violence in articles published in his magazine, the North Eastern Monthly. more..

Sri Lankan government is "mad about winning the war"

Dec 6 (CW) A Singhala politician has claimed that it is time to put an amicable and peaceful end to the bloody civil war taking place in Sri Lanka between the government and the Tamils fighting for a separate nation. And Siritunga Jayasuriya, the general secretary of the United Socialist Party (CWI Sri Lanka), is willing to play the role of mediator in achieving peace in the island which has been ravaged by civil unrest since 1983. more..

The Muslim predicament: between clashing Sinhala and Tamil nationalisms

Dec 6 (TC) A. M. A. Azeez was an outstanding Sri Lankan scholar and activist. Hailing from a leading a Muslim family in Jaffna, he had a brilliant academic record at the Jaffna Hindu College and at the then University College from which he graduated in 1933 with an honours degree in History. Winning the Arts Scholarship, he proceeded for post-graduate studies to Cambridge University but had to cut short his studies at Cambridge when more..

The killing of a Religious leader

Dec 6 (FI) A statement by the Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo: The recent killing of a Hindu Priest, Sivasri Subramanyan Kamalraj of the Mariamma Kovil in Batticalao, is a tragic and senseless act and must be condemned by all persons committed to religious values and peace. I extend the condolences of our Church to Swami Sivaraj’s wife and children and the Hindu community of the East. more..

An end to "Sunday Leader" slander!

Dec 6 (MOD) District Judge Priyantha de Silva of the Mount Lavinia District Courts issued an enjoining order on a plaint filed by Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa against Lasantha Wickramathunga, the Editor of Leader Publications and Leader Publications, preventing further publications carrying references defamatory of him. The enjoining order was sought regarding an article published on 9th November 2008 edition of the Sunday Leader, more..

School girl sexually abused and killed in Ambalangoda

Dec 6 (LG) A 12 year old girl who was sexually abused by a 19 year old boy while on her way home from school was killed by the boy in Thalgasgoda, Ambalangoda, yesterday, police said. Police Spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara said that the boy had attacked the girl by hitting her head with a wooden club. The boy was arrested by Ambalangoda Police this morning, he said. more..

Kollywood puts on a pantomime for the “People of Eelam”

Dec 6 (LG) Unlike Hollywood or Bollywood (Mumbai-India); Kollywood (Kodampakkam-India) has been seriously engaged in the politics of another country because of their “umbilical cord connection”. There are burning issues especially in Tamilnadu and in India in general, including the recent terror incidents in Mumbai. Nonetheless, Tamilnadu’s celluloid heroes, villains, musicians and directors are on the anti-Sri Lankan platform to convey their concerns about more..

Not the time for politics

Dec 6 (LG) Tamilnadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi led a delegation of leaders from DPA and a few other small parties to Delhi to meet the Prime Minister to persuade the Centre to prevail upon the Sri Lankan government to declare a ceasefire and start negotiating with the LTTE for a peaceful solution. When the Centre is extremely occupied with the major issue of India’s future relationship with Pakistan in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attack, more..

IDPs in Wanni : when will they be free from clutches of tigers and lions?

Dec 6 (LG) Several months ago, the government of Sri Lanka made announcements “inviting” displaced people in Vanni to come to government controlled areas, saying that they would be well taken care of. In the last few weeks, media reports indicated that several hundreds of people had come to government controlled areas. Pictures and statements were made to media, showing members of the armed forces providing food to people who had fled Vanni. more..

The Role of the Speaker of Parliament

Dec 6 (LG) As the budget comes to an end, we the people should be aware of the importance of the budget vote and the role of the Speaker. When Sri Lanka's 13th Parliament met on April 22, 2004 it took nine hours to elect a Speaker. After the final vote count, the tally was 110 for the candidate of the United National Front (UNF), the main Opposition group, and 109 for the ruling combine. Five Buddhist-monk MPs abstained and one Tamil MP was absent. more..