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Lincoln to lead anti-pollution efforts in Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (SNZ) A Lincoln University research team is providing the expertise to improve monitoring for water pollution in Sri Lanka, and moves towards cleaner management practices, as concern increases over rapid farming development and heavy use of chemicals. The three-year project is the largest international environmental toxicology project for Lincoln University to date. It will result in Sri Lankan scientists using new monitoring techniques for more..

Sri Lanka's US dependence falling, but global downturn may worsen: economists

Apr 1 (LBO) Falling dependence on the US economy will allow Sri Lanka to ride out a recession in that country, a top central banker said, amid warnings that the current global turmoil may become deeper. Economics Research chief of Sri Lanka's central bank P N Weerasinghe said the share of exports to the USA had fallen from 38 percent in 2002 to 25 percent in 2007, while the European Union's share had accelerated to 39 percent from 29 percent. more..

Dhammika Kitulgoda Acting Secretary General of Parliament

Apr 1 (LD) Dhammika Kitulgoda has been appointed Acting Secretary General of the Sri Lanka Parliament by the President confirms Presidential Secretariat sources. According to sources close to Parliament, Kitulgoda’s appointment, made by the President on a temporary basis, fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Secretary General Priyani Wijesekara today (March 31st). Kitulgoda is a former Secretary General of Parliament from 1995 to 2002. more..

SC upholds FR petition by Tiran Alles despite AG protest

Apr 1 (LD) Setting aside strong objections from the Attorney General, the Supreme Court has ordered the release of Rs. 30 million of frozen funds and the passport of Mr. Tiran Alles Chairman, Standard Newspapers Ltd. The SC today (March 31st) took up a fundamental rights petition filed by Mr. Alles. Appearing on behalf of the AG, Deputy Solicitor General Dappula de Livera pleaded not to release the impounded passport of Mr. Alles or to allow him leave the country. more..

Consumer prices hit new record in March 2007

Apr 1 (LBO) Consumer prices in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo measured by a controversial new index hit 23.8 percent in the 12-months to March, while an older index hit a record high of 28.1 percent, government data showed. The price rises came after at least three months of tight monetary policy and compared against a period in which the older index fell in absolute terms, which tends to exaggerate 12-month inflation due to a statistical bias created by a low base. more..

Govt prepared to rehabilitate LTTE cadres who surrender

Apr 1 (GDI) Army Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara addressing the media in Colombo this morning (31), said that the ministry would not hesitate to rehabilitate and find a means of livelihood to those LTTE cadres who surrendered themselves to the forces and chose to give up terrorism. "It has become difficult to cope up with the demand as already 48 are undergoing vocational training; 11 have completed training and are to be found foreign employment," he said. more..

Sri Lankans in Sweden urge EU to take tangible measures against LTTE

Apr 1 (GDI) Demanding immidiate measures to curb activities of LTTE and pro- LTTE alignes in European nations, Sri Lankans living in Sweden gathered in front of the Stockholm Cultural House (Sergels Torg) for a protest demonstrations on Saturday 29th of March. The multi-ethnic participants of the protest demonstration requested the authorities to take into account the atrocities commited by LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka inculding human rights violations, more..

'Five soldiers' in LTTE custody

Apr 1 (BBC) Five Sri Lanka military personnel are currently held in custody by the Tamil Tigers, the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) said. ICRC Information Officer, Sarasi Wijeratne, told BBC Sandeshaya that four Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) personnel and one Sri Lanka Army (SLA) personnel are currently held by the LTTE. The five military personnel who have been in custody since last year are in good health, she said, and were once allowed a family visit by the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka state worker tax free car scheme ends

Apr 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka has terminated a scheme that gave tax-slashed cars to state workers from today and no new applications would be entertained, the finance ministry said. State workers who have been issued tax slashed import permits but have not opened letters of credit by March 31 would not be able to open letters of credit to import vehicles. However the permits could be used to buy a locally produced or assembled car. more..

Close and cigar

Apr 1 (CI) Winning Test matches is always special, but close ones seem extra special. Last week's win in Guyana was very exciting for us in more ways than one. Apart from being a tense finish, it was our first Test win in the West Indies. That we hadn't won there before is in part due to a scheduling anomaly. Sri Lanka have been playing Test cricket for 26 years now, but amazingly, Guyana was only our fifth Test in the West Indies. Hopefully the Future Tours Program will consign such irregularities to the past. more..

Implementing 13th amendment is only the first step

Apr 1 (FI) We are really gathered here today with the haunting spectre of Kosovo, I think none of us want to see that outcome in Sri Lanka; we have to work a solution to what is almost an intractable problem, avoiding possible pitfalls which await us. I am glad in choosing the subjects for this seminar; the international dimension also been addressed. more..

Sri Lanka ‘Salpila’ at UNESCO

Apr 1 (AT) Many visitors from different parts of the world to the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on March 28 were seen enjoying a meal of appa or kotturoti with a cup of delicious Ceylon tea. The occasion was the Sri Lanka Salpila at the UNESCO Delegation Office Complex at rue Miollis in Paris. The visitors admiring the Bathik paintings and beautifully carved handicrafts, silverware, jewellery and many other Sri Lankan products on display more..

Response of the GOSL to the US State department country reports

Apr 1 (LG) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has issued today (31/03/2008) the detailed Response of the Government of Sri Lanka to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices–2007 that had been released by the US Department of State relating to Sri Lanka. In a letter forwarding the Government’s response, addressed to US Ambassador Robert Blake, the Foreign Minister has referred to the preliminary response that had been conveyed to him when he was called into the Ministry on 14th March. more..

GoSL reinforces Asian misgivings on Myanmar resolution

Apr 1 (LG) “Sri Lanka wishes to associate itself with the sentiments expressed by the distinguished representatives of China, the Philippines and Pakistan on this issue of the resolution on Myanmar,” said Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations at the Seventh Session of the Human Rights Council prior to the adoption of the Resolution titled “Situation of human rights in Myanmar” more..

LTTE Urges U.N to Update their Database on Child Soldiers

Apr 1 (LG) The LTTE urges U.N to update their database on the released child soldiers as the U.N database reminded static due to the difficulties in verifying and clearing cases of released. "The UNICEF database of under-18 persons in the LTTE has remained static for several months now and continues to hold around 178 names," The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) peace secretariat statement said. more..

Reflections on the Five Aggregates (Khandhas) in Buddhism

Apr 1 (LG) The chief metaphysical concepts in Buddhism are those relating to the issues of ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ in the perceived world. The word ‘being’ has ontological implications - it refers to the ultimate stuff or ‘things’ out of which our world is constituted. From a religious point of view, sentient beings or persons form a class apart and are ontologically pre-eminent. more..

Of an April past and Aprils to come

Apr 1 (LG) April is the season of flowers and the celebration of renewal in this country. But there was an April, thirty years ago, where the fragrance of death drowned the Avurudu spirit, and blood replaced milk in the inauspicious drama of life. For it was a festival of death. And there was nothing to celebrate. Thirty years is a long time in a party's political life, and especially in a modernist party which harps on the crisis of capitalism and predicts its imminent collapse. more..

Govt. committed to protect local industrialists- Kumara Welgama

Apr 1 (LG) The government is committed to protect the local industrialist. Today the country is suffering from the consequences of not safeguarding our entrepreneurs. Different foreign investors opened a factory in Agalawatta on five occasions and it was closed each time with the investors decamping. That factory was due to be opened for the sixth time last Saturday, (March 15). Talking about local industrialists alone is not enough. more..

An operational algorithm for peace

Apr 1 (LG) The words ‘algorithm’ and ‘peace’ do not blend very well and it is wise to begin with a definition. The notion of an ‘algorithm’ is of mathematical provenance and has its roots in the attempt to mechanize certain kinds of derivation that are repetitive and laborious. Some of those reading this article will recall (with distress perhaps) the procedure involved in extracting the square root of a number or solving a general quadratic equation. more..

Will war lead to peace in Sri Lanka?

Apr 1 (LG) Sri Lanka’s phoney peace is over. By abrogating the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Sri Lankan government has finally proclaimed what has been a reality for two years – the effective end of the ceasefire brokered by the Norwegians six years ago. The Sinhala-dominated government and the Tamil Tigers have decided that war is not only inevitable but also required, before any fresh political process can emerge. more..

Nobel Peace Prize for Rajapakse and Prabhakaran?

Apr 1 (LG) We have news from very reliable sources here in Norway that an emissary from the Nobel Prize Foundation has secretly met with President Mahinda Rajapakse and Velupillai Prabhakaran and offered the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize jointly for both if they agreed to a certain proposal put forward to them. The meeting of the three along with a presidential secretary and two other officials from the foundation and a prominent LTTE supporter from Oslo took place in a secret enclave not far from Polonnaruwa and more..

From Akkaraipattu

Apr 1 (GV) This video clip contains a brief interview with A.L Thavam – Chairperson of Akkaraipattu Pradeshiya Saba (local government). It is presented here as is, without analysis or comment. Summary of the interview: Feels that Batticoloa election was successful because of the lack of incidents, and says therefore Government has been successful in liberating the Eastern Province. more..

Elections in the East: The dawning of democracy or fostering of violence?

Apr 1 (GV) It is as if the city of Batticaloa has become a red hot furnace due to the scorching sun. Yet at high noon there is a pall of gloom that hangs over the city. People who have come to attend to their requirements are wandering about hither and thither in a mighty hurry to get back as if a storm were expected any time. It is likely their only objective is to achieve their needs and leave the city as fast as possible. more..

Trinco and Muthur: The truth behind the killing of students and aid workers

Apr 1 (UTHR) On 4th August 2006 17 aid workers were extrajudicially executed in their Action Contre la Faim (ACF) compound in Mutur town. Through blatant cover up by the Sri Lankan authorities, their experts, Attorney General and diplomats overseas the facts of killings have been suppressed along with any potential association between this massacre and the killing of five students on the Trincomalee foreshore on 2nd January 2006. more..

Indus Valley students urged to look ‘Beyond Bawa’

Apr 1 (DT) David Robson, an authority on Sri Lanka’s legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa and author of ‘Beyond Bawa’, spoke at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture on the creator of the Lunuganga garden. Bawa became Asia’s legendary art designer and architect by using the “inside & outside” technique and working on the relationships between landscape and the building, more..

Sri Lankan Military says 678 rebels killed in North this year

Apr 1 (BN) Sri Lanka's military said its operations this year against the last bases held by the LTTE in the north killed 678 rebels. The army and police lost 73 personnel, the Media Center for National Security said on its Web site late yesterday, citing Keheliya Rambukwella, the government's defense spokesman. Air force jets attacked an LTTE air strip near Mullaitivu in the northeast yesterday and "pilots confirmed the target was successfully engaged," more..

In Sri Lanka, fear of being 'Disappeared'

Apr 1 (WP) Under thick tropical rains on a rutted country road, a bus packed with ethnic Tamil families screeched to a stop here in eastern Sri Lanka. At a heavily fortified government checkpoint, the families were ordered off the bus. They were asked many questions. Where had they come from? Why? Whom did they visit? The experience, for many of them, was more than inconvenient. It was frightening. In places like this, they said, amid bungalows battered and burned by war, people go missing. more..

Report details Sri Lanka aid massacre and blames forces

Apr 1 (Reuters) A rights group report on Tuesday blamed local security forces for the massacre of 17 Sri Lankan tsunami aid workers in 2006 and accused the government of an outright cover-up. At the time, the killing of the local workers from aid group Action Contre La Faim (ACF) in the island's northeast was the worst attack on humanitarian workers since the 2003 bombing of the United Nations compound in Baghdad. more..

Timely Measure

Apr 1 (LG) There are reasons why Israel should suddenly be feeling proud of Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government now has a clear edge over its chief adversary, the Tamil Tigers, who are once again hoping for peace talks to give them a break from the State’s sustained military onslaught. And Sri Lanka may yet manage to push through its ‘political solution’ more successfully than Israel can ever hope to do. more..

'Report of the Department of census proves economic crisis confronted by country'

Apr 1 (LT) The annual report of the Department of Census too reveals the economic crisis confronted by the country says Member of Political Bureau of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Mr. Dissanayake said, “Though it doesn’t reflect the true nature of the crisis, even when statistical gimmicks have been used to conceal facts the statistics presented by the report indicates in social, economic, more..

Sri Lanka expert panel urges action on community-based tourism

Apr 1 (LBO) A growing demand for community-based tourism services from global travelers is creating a new opportunities to boost incomes of poorer communities provided their inputs are bought at good prices. "Tourism has undeniable potential for pro-poor economic development in Sri Lanka," Sri Lanka's tourism ministry said in a statement. "Community heritage and resources are now increasingly becoming decisive inputs for tourism development." more..

UK’s new immigration rules come into effect

Apr 1 (LD) The United Kingdom has changed its immigration rules to prevent anyone who has previously broken its immigration laws from visiting the country for a fixed period, the British High Commission in Colombo said. According to the new rules that came into effect today (April 01st), applicants who have used deception - used a false document, given false information or withheld information - in a previous application will be banned from the UK for ten years. more..

Commonwealth Youth Ministers confab in Colombo

Apr 1 (GDI) The bi-annual meeting of Commonwealth Youth Ministers will be held at the Bandaranayaike Memorial International Conference Hall on April 27, 2008, Minister of Youth Affairs Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. Youth Ministers, Deputy Ministers, or Ministers in charge of Youth Affairs of 54 countries are expected to participate in this event which Sri Lanka will host as decided at the last meeting of ministers in the Bahamas. more..

O/L results released today

Apr 1 (GDI) The results of the General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) Examination held in December 2007 were released today. The principals of schools in the Colombo District are reported to have collected the results for their respective schools from the Department of Examination today, while the results for the outstation schools have been posted. The results will be available on the internet after midnight today and will be available on, more..

Tissanayagam affirms LTTE funding private publication unit

Apr 1 (GDI) Journalist Tissanayagam who was detained by the Terrorist Investigation Unit, since March 17, 2008, has affirmed to the CID that the LTTE provided funding for a private publication unit. According to the explanation provided by Senior State Counsel, Parinda Ranasinghe to the Supreme Court, the Terrorist Investigation Division had questioned Tissanayagam at length on whether the LTTE had funded his private publication unit and he has affirmed it. more..

IIGEP accused of acting beyond mandate

Apr 1 (GDI) Counsel for the Sri Lanka Army, senior Attorney at Law Gomin Dayasri yesterday (31) accused the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) of acting beyond its mandate. Addressing the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the killing 17 persons employed by the Action Contra La Faim (ACF) in 2006, Mr. Gomin Dayasri brought to the attention of the Commission a statement made by Pierre Cot, a member of the IIGEP, more..

Sri Lanka GDP remains strong; 6.7% growth in 2007

Apr 1 (GDI) Sri Lanka has recorded an estimated growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 6.7 per cent in 2007. The GDP growth in 2007 is significant since it has remained strong despite high International oil prices and an unsettled security situation. This percentage is likely to remain about seven per cent in 2008. According to the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2008 Sri Lanka's industrial and services sectors have expanded by over seven per cent. more..

If the UNP had a far-seeing leadership they would have participated in the Batticaloa local election

Apr 1 (PISL) The Batticaloa local government election is over, but some people still complain about it and say they cannot accept the results. Why is this? These are the same people who were opposed to the election even before it was announced, who then boycotted the election, who said that the prevailing situation was not suitable for an election. All these were proved to be false. more..

Setting the Latest UTHR Report on Mutur in Context

Apr 1 (PISL) The latest report from the Jaffna University Teachers for Human Rights claims to have pieced together the entire story of the killing of 17 ACF staff at Mutur. It now places responsibility for the killings on one Muslim home guard and two policemen, with the assertion that they must have been instructed by more senior policemen. The time of the killings is placed categorically in the afternoon of Friday August 4th, 2006. more..

Sri Lanka Cabinet downsized

Apr 1 (LNP) In view of the soaring Cost of Living and defence expenditure, the government has decided to chisel down the Cabinet of Ministers to 35, informed sources told The Island yesterday. Among the those to be stripped of their Cabinet portfolios are five MPs from the main Opposition Party who joined the Government. Sources said that tension had arisen in the Cabinet as none of the Ministers were aware of what fate awaited them and more..

Govt will ensure a pension to everyone

Apr 1 (LNP) The Social Security programme will be expanded for the benefit of every citizen. Those serving in the private sector and the self-employed are also to be made contributors to the programme at the regional level. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka said that the granting of pensions to all, based on the Mahinta Chintana, is afoot. more..

Come off it, Mr. Prisons Chief!

Apr 1 (LNP) If we are good at one thing as a nation, it is the duplication of work. If some job requires two persons, we hire ten or more for that. The more, we seem to believe, the merrier, to hell with efficiency and public funds. Time was when we had about 15 workers to a bus in the state owned Ceylon Transport Board (CTB). The situation must be more or less the same today as well. more..

Left parties of the alliance join with the Tamil parties to break UNP vote base

Apr 1 (LNP) Lanka Samasamaja Party, Sri Lanka Communist Party, Sri Lanka People`s Party, Democratic Left Front and Desha Vimukthi Janatha Party that are partners of ruling UPFA have decided not to contest to the Eastern Provincial Council with the UPFA. Sri Lanka Communist Party Deputy General Secretary S. Sudasinghe said to Lanka-e-News that the left parties would contest in an alliance with more..

UNP-JVP to fight SG appointment

Apr 1 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP and the JVP which are up in arms over Dhammika Kithulgoda’s appointment as the acting Secretary General (SG) of Parliament, Monday vowed to voice their opposition on April 8 when the House meets. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told a media briefing that Kithulgoda did not have the right to enter the chambers since his appointment was illegal as it was made without the approval of the Constitutional Council. more..

LTTE artillery attack on Mannar Hospital

Apr 1 (SAMN) The LTTE launched a heavy artillery attack on the Murunkan government hospital in the embattled Mannar district this morning, the military said, adding that the hospital building was partially damaged. Details of damages caused to civilian and properties are not known yet. According to the defence sources tension prevails in the area as the attack had created panic and trauma among the patients. more..

SC refuses interim relief for journalist

Apr 1 (SAMN) The Supreme Court Monday said it was not able to grant interim relief in the fundamental rights violation petition filed by Senior Journalist J.S.Tissainayagam, after a confidential report was submitted by the Senior State Counsel. Senior Counsel Romesh de Silva with J.C.Weliamuna and M.A.Sumanthiran appearing for the journalist said the petitioner was served with a detention order for only ten days after he had filed this fundamental rights petition and obtained leave to proceed. more..

Royal College gets WI-Fi system

Apr 1 (SAMN) Minister of Education Susil Premjayanth will officially inaugurate the Wi-Fi system today( April 1) at Royal College at 11 am. Royal College, Colombo will be the first public school in the country to implement Wi-Fi facilities using latest information and communication technology (ICT) for the benefit all stakeholders. These facilities have been implemented in the College library and the auditorium. more..

Panadura flyover construction starts

Apr 1 (DN) With the successful implementation of the flyover project at Kelaniya, the Highways and Road Development Ministry, commenced the construction of its second flyover in Panadura yesterday. Highways and Road Development Minister Jeyaraj Fernandupulle laid the foundation stone for the Panadura flyover yesterday. This was the second flyover built under the Government's massive construction project to construct 16 flyovers and 222 bridges countrywide. more..

Traditional pottery industry to be revived

Apr 1 (DN) The traditional pottery industry in the Anuradhapura district which has been deteriorating is being revived under the "Industries to the village programme in accordance with the Mahinda Chinthana. The industry is upgraded to arrest the rampant renal diseases in the Anuradhapura district and outskirts. Indigenous Medicine Minister Tissa Karalliyedde has made arrangements to purchase pottery to be distributed among the villagers free. more..