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Being Captain, No 3 batsman and wicket-keeper is too much for Sangakkara

Jun 1 (TC) The Sri Lankan team have misled the board and the public. Last year, the squad campaigned for the England tour to be scrapped in favour of the IPL. They said that the IPL contracts were cast in stone. No wavering could be permitted. Also, they said that the IPL was essential for the players to prepare for the Twenty20 World Championship. Politicians were pleaded. Cricketers became activists. more..

Time to counter misinformation campaign effectively

Jun 1 (MN) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka addressing the mass rally at the Parliament grounds called upon to appoint a Presidential Commission to probe the activities of the LTTE and its shocking caches of sophisticated arms and ammunition. During the humanitarian operation and thereafter, the Security Forces exposed the magnitude of the LTTE's underground arsenal and said to have in the process of further investigation to more..

LTTE men may have slipped into India

Jun 1 (TOI) As many as 300-400 LTTE militants may have infiltrated into India in the guise of refugees fleeing Sri Lanka, intelligence agencies have warned. Sources said intelligence agencies had received reports that lower level LTTE cadres may have come in and could be among those currently being held in high security camps for screening. Coastal states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka have been on high alert for some time now following more..

Interview with Deepa Ollapally

Sri Lanka property firm hit by falling prices

Jun 1 (LBO) The real estate arm of Sri Lanka's Carsons Cumberbatch group said it was writing down the values of properties by 450.3 million rupees as the prices slumped in the wake of tight monetary policy. "This year has been a challenging year where we saw a significant market correction on the property prices as a result of tighter credit conditions and a change in investor and customer attitude on real estate," more..

Police sleuths in oil derivatives probe: report

Jun 1 (LBO) Police have raided the offices of state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and seized documents related to exotic oil derivatives which went against the utility, a media report said. The Sunday Times newspaper said officers of the criminal investigation department of Sri Lanka's police had raided the head quarters of CPC Friday. CPC bought derivatives in a failed bid to keep down import costs of oil and more..

Plans to light up the entire northern province

Jun 1 (AT) The Sri Lanka Government is planning to expedite providing electricity to all areas in the northern region of the country. W. D. J. Seneviratne, Minister of Power and Energy said on Sunday, that they are planning to provide electricity to the entire North under the "Uthuru Wasanthaya" (Spring in the North) program, which was implemented by the government to develop the region. more..

Sri Lanka: India's role

Jun 1 (LG) Many Sri Lankan Tamils were killed during the anti-Tamil riots in Colombo in 1983. In their anxiety to suppress details of the exact number of fatalities from being known to the international community, the Sri Lankan authorities allegedly decided to secretly burn the dead bodies of the Tamils killed in mass cremations without informing the relatives. Much before any agency of the Government of India, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister, came to know about it and took action to stop it. more..

Sri Lankan forces protected civilian lives during counter-terrorism operations

Jun 1 (LG) In conducting military operations to eliminate terrorism, the Government’s primary concern was to safeguard the innocent civilians, many of whom had experienced multiple displacements over the years, and had their children forcibly conscripted by the LTTE to be used as cannon fodder. Many of them had lost one or more of their family members. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama made these observations, while addressing the final day session of more..

Pros and Cons of Pirabakaran’s death

Jun 1 (LG) Sri Lanka says Pirabakaran is dead. Majority of the LTTE support base says Pirabakaran is alive. A section of the LTTE says Pirabakaran is dead. Anti- LTTE support base says Pirabakaran is dead. The international opinion contends Pirabakaran is dead. Within this divide, who is right and who is wrong? For Sri Lanka, Pirabakaran is the most wanted man in the country. more..

‘Winning counter insurgency campaigns: A Sri Lankan perspective’

Jun 1 (LG) I am pleased to be back here at the Shangri-La Dialogue for the 3rd successive year. On the previous two occasions I came before you to share our engagement with the LTTE and how we were hoping to counter its terror tactics effectively. At the outset, let me delineate for purpose of clarity the structure of my address this morning. more..

Burning memories

Jun 1 (LG) Remembering the sad saga of Tamils in Sri Lanka, the burning down of the Jaffna library is a one of the biggest and finest in Asia, on the night of May 31, 1981. On that fateful night Sri Lankan paramilitary forces set ablaze this grand library as part of the pogrom against Tamils of Jaffna. Some 97,000 volumes of books, excluding rare and important Ola manuscripts, went up in flames. more..

Four historic conjunctures where Tamil thinking tumbled in to "Tappitam"- II

Jun 1 (LG) Pulip Padai was a rather unsuccessful precursor to the many militant youth groups sponsored by the ITAK and later, by the TULF which prided itself on its "boys". The leaders probably believed that they could control the "boys" in much the same way that Cinnamon Garden housewives control their low-caste Tamil domestic help ("servants"). By then, due to a series of racial riots that more..

Why Mix-up Nationalism with Racism?

Jun 1 (LG) Never did I think a friend would pick up the phone, dial me and ‘request’ me to stop writing; but it happened. Some are prepared to change my surname because I support Sri Lanka instead of Tamil Elam. In their book, only Sinhalas support Sri Lanka and all Tamils must support Tamil Eelam! This is just one more myth like the myth of Tamil Eelam itself; the nation that never was and never will be. However, this is a vast area worth exploring. more..

Bullies preaching peace and justice

Jun 1 (AT) The story goes that during the Vietnam War, a Native American Chief was asked whether the United States should withdraw from that country. He replied that the U.S. should first get out of America! The Native American’s response effectively sums up how Easterners should respond to Western intrusions in their countries. The European Union’s failed attempt at Geneva to put Sri Lanka on the dock over alleged war crimes once again proves that more..

Lankan Tamil conflict on celluloid

Jun 1 (EB) Inspired by LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, ace filmmaker K Bharathiraja will make a film on the Sri Lankan conflict highlighting the plight of Tamils caught in the war. “The film will focus on the role of LTTE... against the Sinhala regime,” Bharathiraja told The New Indian Express. The maker of superhits said the script is yet to be finalised and that he would be using fresh faces for the film. more..

Return of the talking parrot

Jun 1 (EB) Iran into Killi, the talking parrot from Killinochi again on Thursday. Killi was in a talkative mood. I was in a mood to drink. We adjourned home, and I carefully overlooked the bottle of Famous Grouse and opened Black Dog instead. While I knocked back a few Killi half-heartedly pecked at birdseeds. She bitterly blamed Vaiko and Nedumaran for “comprehensively misleading” the (erstwhile) LTTE chief Prabhakaran on a daily basis therefore leading him to his debacle. more..

Kumar Sangakkara and Sri Lanka aim to act as a unifying force for nation

Jun 1 (Telegraph) Sangakkara, one of cricket's most eloquent speakers, touched on the realities of playing cricket again for players who only three months ago were targeted by terrorist bullets and grenades in Lahore. This tournament is Sri Lanka's first trip together overseas since seven of their players, including Sangakkara, suffered minor injuries and more..

Sri Lanka rules out outside probe

Jun 1 (BBC) Sri Lanka has dismissed calls for an independent inquiry into claims of human rights abuses by the military, saying its own courts will investigate. Foreign minister Rohita Bogollagama said the claims that heavy weaponry was used in civilian areas during the war with Tamil rebels were "fictional". He said the claims were being used to boost accusations of genocide against the country's Tamil minority. more..

Tamils fear bout of ethnic cleansing

Jun 1 (TA) It is one of many triumphant pro-government posters in the Sri Lankan capital's skyline, but the message on this hoarding is an ominous sign of things to come. The Government is seeking to purge separatist "sleeper cells" and sympathisers. In the wake of President Mahinda Rajapakse's declaration of victory over the LTTE last month, Sinhalese Sri Lankans danced and waved the national flag, which bears the Sinhalese lion. more..

Sri Lanka may release British medic held in internment camp

Jun 1 (Guardian) The Sri Lankan government was tonightconsidering the release of a British medic held in an internment camp in the north of the country after she fled the fighting there. On Saturday the Guardian revealed that Damilvany Gnanakumar, 26, was detained after spending months helping the wounded at temporary hospitals inside the so-called no-fire zone. Today a Sri Lankan government official said her case had been taken up by the human rights minister, more..

India accused of complicity in deaths of Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers

Jun 1 (Times) India was accused yesterday of complicity in the killing of an estimated 20,000 civilians in the last stages of Sri Lanka’s 26-year war against the Tamil Tigers. Major-General Ashok Mehta, a former commander of Indian peacekeeping forces in Sri Lanka, said that India’s role was “distressing and disturbing”. Two international human rights groups said that India had failed to do enough to protect civilian lives. more..

Sri Lanka's crucial role in Indian Ocean power struggle

Jun 1 (Times) For a tiny, teardrop-shaped fragment in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka punches far above its weight. Its location off the southeastern coast of India may have put it right in the line of the 2004 tsunami, but it also puts it in pole position to exploit the growing geopolitical struggle unfolding in the Indian Ocean. China’s role in the Sri Lankan civil war is well known. more..

Time for Witness

Jun 1 (Times) Ban Ki Moon the Secretary-General of the United Nations, visited Sri Lanka last week. He knew from his officials that at least 20,000 civilians had been killed by Sri Lankan troops in the offensive against the Tamil Tigers. Mr Ban never mentioned this figure to his Sri Lankan interlocutors. He saw, while travelling by air over a supposed “no-fire” zone, the evidence of a massacre of thousands of Tamil civilians caught between the army and the insurgents. more..

Mystery shrouds presence of British woman in Tiger territory

Jun 1 (Hindu) A British woman citizen, Damilvany Gnanakumar, – known as Vani – being questioned by the Sri Lankan authorities after she fled along with the last batch of civilians from the LTTE’s clutches has raised two vital questions. How did she land in the island nation and how did she stay on in the Tiger-controlled territory for nearly 15 months? more..

'India an important partner'

Jun 1 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan government looks upon India as “an important partner” in shaping the island nation’s future following the defeat of the LTTE. Indicating this, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told The Hindu that “India has been always a part of the home-grown [political] process” in his country. He did not, however, specify any role that India could perhaps play in helping Sri Lanka formulate or fast-forward its post-LTTE initiatives. more..

Sri Lanka stirs an economy racked by war

Jun 1 (WSJ) The end to a long war has come just in time for Sri Lanka's economy, according to the country's central bank chief, who is now taking steps to lift low foreign-exchange reserves and spur growth. "For 30 years, whenever investors spoke of Sri Lanka, the refrain was, 'If only it wasn't for the war,' " said Central Bank of Sri Lanka Gov. Ajith Nivard Cabraal in an interview. "Today, it's not the next word. A huge change has taken place." more..

Revoke Lankan envoy’s immunity, says MIC Youth

Jun 1 (TS) The MIC Youth has vowed to write to the Foreign Ministry to ask that the Sri Lanka High Commissioner’s diplomatic immunity be revoked, reports Tamil Nesan. The wing has expressed its disappointment over Dr D.D. Ranasinghe’s refusal to apologise over his remark that anti-Sri Lankan protesters at a rally in Batu Caves on May 24 were “jokers”. Its adviser S. Vell Paari said he would write to the ministry asking more..

The battle of Geneva was revelation of Lanka's true friends

Jun 1 (TC) Was Geneva the last battle of the Thirty Years (hot) war, the first battle of the next war – a long Cold War against Sri Lanka -- or was it a combination? Only future history will tell. When we aren’t involved, our arithmetic goes awry. We speak of four Eelam wars when there were five, because we omit the important one fought between the LTTE and the IPKF. There were five Eelam wars fought on the soil of our island: more..

Plight of children stuck in Sri Lankan camps

Jun 1 (AN) I visited Vavuniya in early May, one of the towns in the north of Sri Lanka where lots of people uprooted by fighting between troops and rebels have arrived over the last few months. Since my previous visit in March, the number of displaced had really grown. In addition to the camps, transitional welfare villages have been set up to accommodate up to 800 families each. more..

Ideas to win the war: Give phones to Sri Lanka IDPs

Jun 1 (LBO) I was away from the country during the historic events of May 2009. One good thing was that I was able to hear a moving presentation by Patrice Buzzanell, a scholar who had made it her life’s work to study human resilience in multiple contexts, mostly individual and organizational. As I listened to her, all that went through my mind was the unfolding human tragedy in the Vanni. more..

Pictorial: Roadside Hopper Makers in Maamangam, Batticaloa

Jun 1 (TC) While traveling to Batticaloa, it’s very refreshing to witness the firewood carriers, trying to manage a whole load of firewood on their bicycles, and ride through the wind against them. Likewise while being in Batticaloa, we do not fail to catch the images of women making hoppers on the roadside at dusk. Most of us are used to stop by the hopper sellers to taste the instant milk hoppers. more..

Dengue fever and dysfunctional democracy

Jun 1 (AHRC) 80 persons have died of dengue fever recently. Over 5,000 people are infected and there are fears that of further spread of the virus. The president has asked the authorities to pay more attention to the issue. Diseases happen in all societies. However, the way diseases are dealt with depends on the efficiency of countries' political as well as societal systems. more..

UNP MP fears north polls will not be democratic

Jun 1 (CT) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena says he fears the upcoming local government elections in the north will be far from democratic, given that his party is denied access to the province even to inquire into the wellbeing of war-displaced people. He said the government should demonstrate its genuine intentions by allowing the main opposition and other parties to do politics in Vavuniya and Jaffna. more..

Head of Norwegian NGO deported

Jun 1 (CT) The head of Norwegian NGO FORUT was deported last night (May 30) for her involvement with the LTTE and indulging in activities inimical to the sovereignty and independence of Sri Lanka, "Ada Derana" online reports quoting defense sources. The website says it appears that Ranvei Tvetenes, who was a law unto herself, had ordered the removal of the national flag of Sri Lanka that was hoisted by the local staff to mark the win of the war by the armed forces on May 20. more..

Potent Tamil voice for European Parliament

Jun 1 (TN) June 4th elections will determine if Tamils in the London electoral region have the political muscle, organizational acumen and seasoned campaigning skills to attract broader British voters to elect Ms Janani (Jan) Jananayagam, a British, French educated young professional, who is contesting as an Independent candidate to the European Parliament. Ms. Jananayagam’s educational credentials, demonstrated communications skills, and more..

Fallen Heros & their families

A new IDP Village to be set up in the North

Jun 1 (GDI) Another relief village is to be established for the people displaced in the north due to terrorist activities. Preparatory work on this village to be set up at Manik Farm Vavuniya, commenced yesterday, Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Relief Services and Re-settlement U.L.M Haldeen told today (01). He pointed out that this will be the fifth relief village to be constructed on behalf of the displaced people and more..

Mega water supply scheme for Settikulam

Jun 1 (GDI) Minister of Resettlement and Relief Services, Rishard Badhiutheen commissioned a mega water supply scheme yesterday (31) to supply water to the displaced civilians in Settikulam. This project estimated at Rs. 400 million was co- funded by the UNICEF and the Government. The construction of the project was completely handled by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board. more..

New Identity Cards to IDPs by Friday

Jun 1 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to issue Identity Cards to the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) who arrive from conflict areas before Friday (05), Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Relief Services and Re-settlement U.L.M Haldeen told today (01). He stated that, this will be done in order to establish the identity of those arriving and to streamline the Government’s welfare program. more..

President pays last respects to Minister Amarasiri Dodangoda

Jun 1 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa paid his last respects to late Minister Amarasiri Dodangoda today (01) in Parliament. The procession carrying the remains of late Minister Amarasiri Dodangoda arrived at the Parliament around 10.00 am and the President, Speaker, ministers and members of parliament were in waiting to receive the remains at the parliament square. more..

New transport zone set up in Pettah

Jun 1 (GDI) The Transport Ministry has taken steps to transform the areas covering the Fort railway station, Pettah bus stand and Bastian Mawatha private bus stand as a transport zone, a press release issued from the ministry stated. The National Transport Commission will take the management of the Bastian Mawatha Bus Stand and all the long distance bus services commencing from Colombo will begin from this bus stand. more..

Dengue can send you to Jail

Jun 1 (GDI) Strict action will be taken by the Health Ministry against anyone who has an environment conducive for the breeding of mosquitoes from today and the Ministry has directed all Medical Officers of Health(MOH) to be alert to combat the menace, Media Secretary to the Ministry of Health Care and Nutrition W.M.D Wanninayeka said. He said that relevant laws have been formulated with regard to the prevention of breeding of mosquitoes. more..

LTTE fired at civilians-claims IDPs

Jun 1 (GDI) International organizations calling for investigations on human rights violations act in sheer desperation, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeyawardene said yesterday. The minister dismissed demands for independent investigations into SL armed forces behaviour in the final round of battle against LTTE separatists. Refuting allegations from international bodies on charges of civilian casualties, more..

Power and water to the North

Jun 1 (GDI) The Government has implemented a fresh program to provide electricity to all areas in the north shortly and the objective of the program is to ensure that electricity is provided to all government institutions and the displaced who would be resettled in the area, Minister of Power and Energy W. D. J. Seneviratne said. more..

Deaf to get driving licenses from Dulles

Jun 1 (LT) Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said he would take measures to issue driving licenses for the deaf. He made this assurance at the Annual Convention of the Association for Deaf held at the auditorium of the Public Library. He said though numerous requests for driving licenses for the deaf had been made since the formation of the association in 1984, both politicians and officials had turned a blind eye. more..

From sir with love!

Jun 1 (LT) The gynecology and obstetrics question paper set for the final year students of Colombo, Peradeniya and Ragama medical faculties has been cancelled. A spokesman for the Colombo Medical Faculty said the question paper was cancelled due to complains received stating that it had been set without adhering to proper standard set by the university and an alternative question paper would be set and the examination held soon. more..

50% of students in Colombo struck dengue at least once

Jun 1 (LT) 50% of students under the age of 12 in Colombo city have been struck with dengue fever at least once reveals a survey carried out by the Epidemiology Unit in collaboration with several other institutions. About 1500 dengue patients have been treated in Colombo District during the five months of this year and a large number of them were school children. A person can get dengue fever several times and more..

Son-in-law to fill Dodangoda’s vacancy

Jun 1 (LT) Mr. Chandima Weerakkody, a lawyer has been appointed to the UPFA Parliamentary seat that was created vacant by the demise of Minister of Justice Amarasiri Dodangoda. Mr. Weerakkody is the next in line in the list of preferential votes. Mr. Weerakkody, a son-in-law of Mr. Dodangoda contesting the General Election in 2004 from the UPFA received 52,791 preferential votes and was placed seventh in the more..

The state of emergency in peacetime

Jun 1 (GV) In response to a call by the Opposition and civil society to lift the state of emergency and to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) in consequence of the end of the war, the Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva informed Parliament last Tuesday, 26th May 2009, that the Government has no intention of doing so at present. The stated reasons are that the threat of terrorism continues, more..