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"We lost only 18 votes through the swap"- Vajira

Feb 1 (LeN) UNP Galle District Parliamentarian Vajira Abeywardena says separatism will be strengthened by attempting to destroy the UNP. He said the UNP decided to tear the MOU as it was the government who violated it and said that the UNP lost only 18 votes out of the 4.7 million due to the cross over. more..

Presidents amazing birthday wish for Minister Mahinda

Feb 1 (LeN) It is being reported that the Minister of Human Rights and Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe has told the president yesterday morning that he will resign from his posts. The minister had told this when the President called him to wish him for his birthday, which fell yesterday. When the President called him he started to complain saying that he has been neglected during the Cabinet Reshuffle. more..

"Who worked got spouted while those who opposed struck gold" Minister Jeyaraj

Feb 1 (LeN) Senior ministers of the government have started to openly complain about the President's cabinet reshuffle. Speaking at the function which minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs Bandula Gunawardena assumed duties former minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said the joining of the UNP MP's have strengthened the government and that it is only Ranil Wickremesinghe and the JVP who is not happy about it. more..

Sri Lankan car dealers predict tough sales following higher taxes

Feb 1 (LBO) Sri Lankan car dealers have predicted tough sales after being slapped with as many as three new taxes last year that has taken the price of cars soaring. Buyers now pay more than double the actual price of a car, an official with Senok Automobiles said Tuesday. “We have managed to keep selling but the future is going to be tough,” more..

Unveil credible devolution, India tells Sri Lanka

Feb 1 (IANS) Sri Lanka needs to unveil a credible devolution package to end the ethnic conflict and now is the time to do it, India told Colombo's new Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on his first foreign visit since taking office just three days ago. And Sri Lanka should remember that there could never be a military solution to the gory conflict that has turned messier since 2005-end after some years of relative calm, more..

Glorious Heritage, a new kind of Independence Day celebration for Sri Lanka in Los Angeles

Feb 1 (G2L) February 4, 2007 is a red-letter day for the Sri Lankan community in California as it celebrates 59 years of Sri Lanka’s independence. Glorious Heritage organized by the Sri Lankan Patriots of California at the Veterans' Memorial Auditorium, 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230 at 3 p.m. on February 4th, has the participation of the Sri Lanka Consulate in Los Angeles, more..

Telephone link to Vanni, most of peninsula, cut off

Feb 1 (TN) Telephone lines to Vanni and most of Jaffna have remained cut for more than four days since Saturday 10:55 p.m. Financial transactions in many branches of the banks have been paralyzed, fundamental services such as hospital ambulances, civil services and media, dependent on telephone communication have been severely affected. Vanni, without celluar link, remains completely cut off for communication. more..

Anandasangaree writes to head of UN

Feb 1 (ISL) The Leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front [TULF], Mr. Veerasingam Anandasangaree wrote to the new elected Secretary General of United Nation Mr. Ban Ki- moon, under the head line 'The Last call to the LTTE'. "In this small Island of ours we talk of freedom, democracy, fundamental rights, and human rights violations. We have various organisations and institutions both foreign and local to protect these rights. more..

Federal solution to ethnic conflict proposed by the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka

Feb 1 (AT) The Liberal Party of Sri Lanka has urged Mahinda Rajapakse, President of Sri Lanka to consider a Federalist proposal for constitutional reforms for a political solution to the ethnic conflict in the country. They have also underlined that name of the island be changed to 'Eksath Lanka.' more..

Dr.Amunugama assures to setup an investor friendly environment in Sri Lanka

Feb 1 (AT) A special Investigation Unit will be setup to end corruptions and solve Investors grievances under the Ministry of Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development. Assuming duties as the Minister of Enterprise Development Dr.Sarath Amunugama said this unit can minimize prevailing problems of the Investors and end corruptions at his ministry and the affiliated institutions. more..

Terrorists need to be hit: Sri Lankan Foreign Minister

Feb 1 (Hindu) Terrorists need to be hit and there cannot be "good" terrorists, the new Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, said here on Wednesday after he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents' Club, Mr. Bogollagama said his Government would make the LTTE a stakeholder in the peace process. more..

Red Cross responds to emerging needs of tsunami survivors

Feb 1 (RW) The Red Cross Red Crescent is moving quickly to install water and sanitation systems for 78 families who have resettled near the southern city of Galle after losing their homes in the December 2004 tsunami. The arrival of the families in Walahanduwa placed pressure on the village’s existing sanitation infrastructure, with conditions around homes deteriorating to the point where residents faced a renewed threat of illness and disease. more..

Sri Lanka recruits more soldiers

Feb 1 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan military said Wednesday that it has had very encouraging response to its latest recruitment drive to take more soldiers to fight against Tamil Tiger rebels. "We have recruited around 2,000 in the campaign began on Jan. 29," said the military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe. Samarasinghe said more and more would be recruited in the government campaign to eradicate terrorism from the island. more..

Negotiations with LTTE are on course, says Bogollagama

Feb 1 (DNA) Sri Lanka’s new foreign minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, sworn in just three days ago flew in to the capital on Tuesday to brief Indian leaders on the latest turn in the island’s politics. Bogollagama met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday morning before leaving for Berlin for a meeting with his German counterpart. more..

Bogollagama in Capital to reiterate 'special' relationship

Feb 1 (HT) Visiting New Delhi within 72 hours of his appointment as Sri Lanka's new Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama on Wednesday dismissed suggestions that he was seeking military aid from India. "There is no enhanced military cooperation between India and Sri Lanka," Bogollagama said at a press conference on Wednesday evening. more..

Desperate manoeuvres give Sri Lankan government a thin majority

Feb 1 (wsws) Two dozen opposition MPs joined the Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapakse last weekend. Superficially, the move has strengthened the government’s hand giving it a bare parliamentary majority for the first time. In reality, the unwieldy coalition and huge cabinet are signs of deep political crisis as Rajapakse escalates the unpopular civil war against the LTTE. more..

Jaffna MPCS President assassinated

Feb 1 (TN) President of the Jaffna Multi Pupose Co-Operative Society (MPCS) and an active social worker in the Jaffna Peninsula, S. T. Gananathan, 64, was shot dead near Mampalam junction Sri Lanka Army camp in Ariyalai, a suburb of Jaffna, around 6:30 a.m., Thursday. Mr. Gananathan went to fetch water from a well close to house in Punkankulam, along A-9 highway, when he was assasinated by two unidentified armed men, more..

LTTE’s terror websites disappear under pressure?

Feb 1 (ISL) The established terror websites of the LTTE are waning from the computer screens under extensive pressure. It was reported that LTTE web media managed by Nadarajah Sethurupan alias Dirty Sethu has come to a virtual standstill. His other websites and have ceased to function. These websites continued to publish false, threatening and vulgar news for some time. more..

NGOs inability proved in the peace process – Shiral Laktilake

Feb 1 (LT) A welknown NGO leader Shiral Laktilake has lamented that all the attempts of supporting Norway initiative for “Sri Lankan peace” was unsuccessful. Laktilake has said so at a conference held at BMICH yesterday (30th). Rohan Edirisinghe of Centre for Policy Alternatives Addressing the conference said that the NGOs have to go for alternative actions to renovate the “peace process”. more..

Champika to be sworn in tomorrow!

Feb 1 (LT) Mr. Patali Champika Ranawaka of Jathike Hela Urumaya (JHU) will be sworn in by the President tomorrow as the Minister of Environment. Ven. Omalpe Sobhithe Thero who was elected to the Parliament from the nationalist for JHU resigned from his seat to make way for Mr. Ranawaka to enter Parliament. Ven. Sobithe says he would continue to function as the secretary of the JHU. more..

Feb 2nd strike called off!

Feb 1 (LT) As the government has agreed to grant five of the six demands put forward by National Trade Union Centre, the island wide strike action scheduled to be carried out on the 2nd February has been cancelled says National Trade Union Centre. According to the communiqué issued by NTUC the government has agreed to grant the following demands. more..

U.N. Secretary General Rocks to Alan’s Melody to accept unauthentic data of child soldiers

Feb 1 (AT) Alan Rock, former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations and onetime federal cabinet minister in Canada’s former Liberal government, who concluded after a special fact finding tour in Sri Lanka last November on the issue of the recruitment of child soldiers that not only the Tamil Tigers but also the break-away Karuna Group under the patronage of the Armed Forces was more..

Local cinema must attain Sri Lankan identity - President

Feb 1 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa opined that the experienced Sri Lankan Cinema has yet failed to achieve the qualitative goals envisaged in identifying itself as truly Sri Lankan. Addressing as the Chief Guest, the most colorful and prestigious event of the 'Silver Screen' Calendar, at the BMICH last Tuesday, President Rajapaksa was of the view that albeit the Sri Lankan Cinema had existed for over 60 years, more..

National Development Expo from Sunday

Feb 1 (GDI) The Government will conduct a National Development Exhibition and Trade Fair "Deyata Kirula"- Rata Dinnana Heta Dinata" with the contribution of all Governmental organisations and the private sector from Sunday, February 4 to 7 at the BMICH. The main objective is to showcase the Government's 10-year development plan. more..

No money to track LTTE communication tricks

Feb 1 (LeN) It is being reported that government investigators are faced with severe difficulties in tracking down telephone calls and secret discussions of the terrorists. The reason for this is that the LTTE leaders have started to use the satellite technology instead of mobile phones. Under this circumstance government investigators have to spend large sums of money to track the callers. more..

Despite accepting ministries we will come for the UNP executive committee meeting

Feb 1 (LeN) The United National Party is about to seek the assistance of the courts to stop the UNP MP's who joined the government using the name of the party and presenting themselves as an alternative group of the UNP. It is being said that a strong decision with regards to those who crossed over will be taken once the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe arrives in the island after his Nepal tour. more..

57 arrested from Eastern University

Feb 1 (LeN) 57 from the Batticaloa university have been arrested for questioning regarding the incident which 11 people were killed in an explosion near the University. Among those detained are Lecturers, Clerical staff and students. So far the police group which is investigating the incident has so far questioned over 600 people regarding the incident. more..

LTTE assures safety of truce monitors

Feb 1 (LeN) SLMM Spokesperson Thofinnur Ommarson says the LTTE has assured the safety of the truce monitors. He said this was conveyed to them by the Head of the LTTE Peace Secretariat S. Pulidevan during a meeting held in Kilinochchi yesterday. It is being reported that Pulidevan has expressed LTTE's concern about the recent air strikes, blaming the government for violating the CFA. more..

Cost of Living allowance for the public servants will be added with the this month salary

Feb 1 (SLBC) Ministry of Public administration and Home Affairs says Cost of Living allowance for the public servants will be added with the this month salary The secretary to the ministry M.D.Dissanayake says the government servant are entitled to receive 1750 cost of living allowance per month from last month. more..

Global endorsement for Govt's anti-terrorism policy

Feb 1 (PISL) The success of the Galle Sri Lanka Development Forum was a clear indication that the international community has endorsed the Government policy's of treating terrorism and the Tamil question with a clear distinction, Government Defence Affairs Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. more..

Govt. seeks peace again

Feb 1 (LNP) Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar is rushing to Kilinochchi today for an urgent meeting with the LTTE just a day after the SLMM met the rebels where a Government message was also delivered. Mr. Brattskar will hold talks with LTTE political head S.P. Thamilselvan at the rebel peace secretariat this morning where the future of the peace talks and the CFA will likely be the focus of the discussion. more..

Death in operating theatre: Verdict of accidental death returned

Feb 1 (LNP) A mother of three school going children who was recently admitted to the National Hospital for a stomach ailment died of surgical misadventure, additional City Coroner, Ashroff Rummy was told on Tuesday. Giving evidence at the inquest into the death of Kumudini Nanayakkara (44), a resident of Galagedara, Padukka, her husband Wanniarachi Kankanamalage Nandasena said that his wife had been suffering from a stomach ailment for about two years. more..

Massive development planned

Feb 1 (LNP) A massive development programme has been initiated by the government under the Mahinda Chinthana. Apart from other projects construction work on seventy (70) bridges alone, has been launched from 2006, observed Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapakse, addressing a workshop on the Gama Neguma programme under the Jathika Saviya concept. more..

Masses aren`t asses, Mr. Sirisena!

Feb 1 (LNP) Sri Lankans are a peculiar lot. They are adept at embracing something that they pretend to dislike, trotting out excuses. This could be succinctly put as the average clergyman`s attitude towards sex?he condemns it in public but relishes it in private. Today is Poya day and meat stalls and liquor bars are closed?quite rightly so, practising Buddhist will say? more..

Presidential system opposed !

Feb 1 (SAMN) Chairman of the All Party Representative Committee Prof. Tissa Vitharana said on Tuesday that the Executive Presidency should be abolished with the end of the incumbent President’s term of office and advocated a return to the Parliamentary Executive system, in which the President would act on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers. more..

Parliament debates corruption

Feb 1 (SAMN) Parliament will have a two-day debate this month on corruption and financial malpractices at various government institutions, as revealed by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE). The COPE submitted its report to the House last month exposing frauds worth over Rs.150 billion at 26 government institutions including the Ceylon Electricity Board, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Telecom Regulatory Commission. more..

Private sector: Rs 5000 as minimum wages

Feb 1 (SAMN) Labour Relations and Foreign Employment Minister Athauda Seneviratne, in a special meeting with the Private Sector Employers and Employee Representatives held at his Ministry yesterday urged Employers to pay a minimum wage of at least Rs. 5,000 a month to their employees and also increase the salaries of their employees by 25 per cent. more..

25 SLFP MPs to revolt soon: UNP

Feb 1 (SAMN) The UNP yesterday said the Opposition Leader’s post was not important for the party and its political agenda for the future while also claiming that some 25 SLFP MPs would break away from the Government soon. UNP Galle District MP Vajira Abeywardena told a media conference the Opposition Leader’s post was not essential for reorganizing the party to make it a powerful force. more..

'SriLak Vahini telecasts locally produced programmes'

Feb 1 (DN) The SriLak Vahini will only telecast locally produced programmes over its channel to be beamed worldwide free of charge. It will not air any Programme deemed harmful to the country's culture and heritage, SriLak Vahini Chairman Rohan Welivita said. Welivita at a media conference at Hotel Galadari yesterday said priority would be given to the country's tourism and economic development. more..

Colombo Bishop over killing of religious leader in Jaffna

Feb 1 (DN) Colombo Bishop Duleep de Chickera in a statement over the killing of Nallathamby Gnanaseelan, the pastor of the Tamil Mission Church in Jaffna says the appalling manner in which he was reportedly killed has greatly disturbed and shocked the community in Jaffna and all people of integrity and goodwill throughout the country, and indeed in many parts of the world, says Colombo Bishop Duleep de Chickera in a statement. more..

Glad to make a contribution to a world record - Hakeem

Feb 1 (DM) While Agriculture Minister Maithripala Sirisena recently said that he was ashamed of himself of being a minister of an oversize Cabinet, Posts and Telecommunication Minister Rauff Hakeem yesterday said he wasn’t sure whether he should be glad or regret the fact that he is a member of one of the biggest Cabinets in the world. more..

Govt. finding refuge behind lame excuses says Wimal

Feb 1 (DM) The JVP yesterday dismissed the allegation by Minister Maithreepala Sirisena that Government had to seek UNP support since they did not join the Government, as an attempt by the Minister to escape Government’s and his own guilty consciousness for having a giant cabinet, by accusing the JVP. more..

Sri Lanka - Annual report 2007

Feb 1 (RSF) The resumption of the civil war had dramatic consequences for Sri Lankan journalists and in particular the Tamils. Seven media workers were killed in 2006. Pro-government militia (predators of press freedom) and occasionally the army have attacked the press which they accuse of supporting Tamil nationalism. On the other side, the Tiger Tamils threatened those who oppose their political position. more..

India to step up naval surveillance of common waters with S Lanka

Feb 1 (IRNA) India has agreed to step up its naval surveillance of common waters with Sri Lanka to check activities of the LTTE, newly appointed Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said. Bogollagama, who held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday, said his government was ready to give the LTTE a stake in the governmental processes if it shunned violence, more..

Sri Lanka leftist party emerging as main opposition

Feb 1 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main leftist party, the JVP or the People's Liberation Front, claimed Thursday that it was fast emerging as the country's main opposition. Somawansa Amerasinghe, the JVP leader, told reporters that "we are on the way of becoming the main opposition party. That is a wish of the people and it should happen." more..

Why Mahinda jettisoned the JVP

Feb 1 (HT) Till 2006, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) were inseparable. Their notion of Sri Lankan nationalism and their views on the ethnic issue and economic matters were identical. Both detested and distrusted Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the pro-West and "pro-LTTE" United National Party (UNP). Their alliance saw Rajapaksa through in the December 2005 Presidential elections. more..

More than 50 arrested for blast in east Sri Lanka

Feb 1 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan police said Thursday that at least five students, two teachers and 51 others have been arrested in connection with the investigation on a roadside explosion which killed 11 people in eastern Sri Lanka on Wednesday. Maxi Procter, the police chief at Batticaloa, 329 km east of here said that all arrested are being detained for further questioning. more..

President courts right-wing Buddhists, offers them environment portfolio

Feb 1 (AP) President Mahinda Rajapakse cemented his majority in Sri Lanka's Parliament by courting a party of hardline Buddhist monks and offering its lawmakers a ministerial office, officials said Thursday. The National Heritage Party, which has eight seats in the 225-member Parliament, accepted the Environment portfolio but chose to nominate a lay party member as minister, more..

Blast kills 1 in Sri Lanka, a day after bloody bus bombing left 12 dead

Feb 1 (AP) Suspected Tamil rebels detonated a roadside bomb in Sri Lanka's volatile north on Thursday, killing one soldier, police said, a day after a bus blast blamed on the separatists killed 12 and the government urged a return to peace talks. "They (rebels) have set off the bomb targeting an army foot patrol near the northern town of Vavuniya," said Kumara Sandanayake, a local police officer. more..

Military crackdown on Tamil rebels to continue: Sri Lankan FM

Feb 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new foreign minister said there would be no let-up in military operations against the separatist Tamil Tigers rebels as he urged them to return to the negotiating table. "We want the LTTE to become a stake-holder in the peace process" launched in 2002, Rohitha Bogollagama told reporters in New Delhi. "But if they adopt terrorism, that we cannot tolerate," said Bogollagama, more..