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Minister assures support to sick villagers

Aug 12 (DN) The public who are suffering with diseases in the area will be supported with medicinal expenses and to uplift their economy which has gone down due to sicknesses will be granted with financial help, said the Minister of Power and Energy W. D. J. Seneviratne. He was addressing a public meeting where financial and medicinal facilities were granted for the public who were effected with the disease of 'chikungunya' at the Ratnapura District Secretariat on July 2. more..

JVP calls for uniformed police at trouble spots

Aug 12 (Island) The JVP yesterday warned that the deployment of armed police in civvies to curb clashes between political parties could aggravate a situation already bad. JVP Chief Ministerial candidate for Sabaragamuwa PC polls, Chameera Koswatte said some police personnel deployed at Nivitigala on Sunday following a clash between his supporters and the associates of Rural Industries Minister Premalal Jayasekera were armed but weren’t in uniform. more..

Kidney disease in NCP, Uva up by 25% since 1985

Aug 12 (Island) Since 1985, the spread of chronic kidney failure in the North-Central and Uva provinces has increased by 25 per cent. The kidney disease has afflicted patients between the ages of 40 and 60. The kidney Disease Investigation Team which comprises a few Sri Lankan medical experts has suggested that spring water be supplied to the people living in the North-Central and Uva provinces as a matter of urgency. more..

Govt. holding secret talks with LTTE: UNP

Aug 12 (DM) The UNP charged yesterday government was engaged in secret peace talks with the LTTE. UNP front liner Ravi Karunanayake told a news conference secret talks were being held between lower ranked government officials and the LTTE. He said talks began after the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the recently concluded South Aisan summit this month. Mr. Karunanayake explained that the government was using the war as a tool for its political propaganda. more..

Police have powers to arrest an MP: Speaker

Aug 12 (DM) The file in connection with the attack on a JVP propaganda office and supporters in Aralaganwila allegedly by Minister Mervyn Silva and others had been referred to the Attorney General for further instructions, police said yesterday. North-Central Province DIG K.P.P Pathirana said “there are statements of three witnesses that corroborate Minister Silva’s statement that he was at the guest house at the time of the alleged attack on the JVP office. more..

Sri Lanka fighting kills another 32

Aug 12 (Reuters) Sri Lankan troops killed 26 Tamil Tiger rebels in fresh fighting in the far north of the island on Monday, the military said on Tuesday, as they pushed further into the rebels' northern stronghold. The Sri Lanka air force again bombed rebel positions as fighting continued across several northern districts. "In confrontations on Monday, troops killed 26 LTTE terrorists and 29 were wounded," more..

Lanka govt announces new customs duty rules

Aug 12 (AN) Responding to public demand, the Sri Lankan government will allow duty-free concessions to some of the items that were listed under dutiable goods in a recent circular issued by Sri Lanka Customs: namely, four-burner cookers and washing machines. Also, Lankans who have already sent goods back to the country have been given Sept. 1 to get their goods through Customs without facing a tariff. more..

Sri Lanka doesn't have Tamils on its side: India

Aug 12 (IANS) Sri Lanka may win the battle against the Tamil Tigers but not the war as 'they haven't got the Tamil population on their side', India's National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan said in an interview published Tuesday. In comments that are bound to prove explosive in Sri Lanka, Narayanan told The Straits Times newspaper: 'I know the Sri Lankan government will be unhappy (at this advice).' more..

China’s Influence in India’s Neighbourhood

Aug 13 (TC) Extracts of the paper presented by Col.R.Hariharan, at the India-Taiwan interaction, jointly organised by the Chennai Centre for China Studies and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry-Tamil Nadu Chapter at Chennai on August 1, 2008: China is aiming to quadruple its per capita GDP to $ 3200 by 2020 from $ 800 per capita attained in 2000. This would imply an average annual economic growth of 7.2% till 2020. more..

13th Amendment — final nail in coffin

Aug 13 (LG) The 13th Amendment to the Constitution will open the door to separation was the caption of a letter in a recent weekend English newspaper. It is indeed bewildering and disconcerting to know that Sri Lanka’s giant neighbour India is surreptitiously seeking to interfere in Lanka’s ethnic quandary. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh refused to meet the TMVP giving the impression that he was against any endeavour to discuss the desire of some Tamils to set up a separate entity of governance within Sri Lanka for Tamils. more..

Lack of foresight a hallmark of this government

Aug 13 (LG) I refer to the nasty incident relating to the demolition of houses at Glennie Street in Slave Island. It was inhuman treatment for those inhabitants who had been there for decades. They were not slaves, but human beings. It is true that Colombo city has to be developed. In doing so, it may become necessary to demolish certain constructions — especially unauthorised ones. But the people in these houses have to be first provided alternative accommodation. more..

President’s definition of terrorism

Aug 13 (LG) President Rajapakse addressing the SAARC Summit had stressed that there is no good or bad terrorism anywhere in the world. Terrorism is terrorism he had emphasised, jubilantly inviting all to cooperate to wipe it out from the face of the earth. He must have perhaps forgotten to mention about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka under his administration, as stated in the UN agency records which other world leaders are well aware of. more..

The stillborn artificial Sri Lankan identity – VI

Aug 13 (LG) I know that this series of articles is becoming more and more voluminous, but these have to be stated and if Mr. R. M. B. Senanayake cannot reply to them then he should stop wasting the time of the readers without pouring his anti Buddhist venom in the pages of newspapers. Let me quote another part from his article that resulted in this series. I am quoting him so that the reader will observe his anti Buddhist attitudes. more..

Federalism and the 13th Amendment

Aug 13 (LG) Some of our politicians have stated that calling for the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution is a case of undermining the war effort. Those who advocate such a move are considered ‘unpatriotic’. They seem to forget the oath they took which is to uphold the Constitution. Therefore it is the responsibility of all the members of the national legislature to implement the 13th amendment. more..

Chinthana placed 16th in international ranking

Aug 13 (GDI) Sri Lanka's premier weightlifter Chinthana Geethal Vidanage competing at the Beijing Olympic has been ranked at the 16 position in his weight category.He was the most successful competitor of Group "C" of the Olympic weightlifting under 69 kg category held yesterday (11). Chinthana had an aggregate of 293 kilograms in the 'snatch' and 'clean and jerk', which is a new Sri Lankan record. more..

New western coastal road leading to Mannar from Puttlam

Aug 13 (GDI) A new road leading to Mannar from Puttlam will be constructed parallel to the western coastal line, Minister of Highways, T. B. Ekanayake told today (12). He was of the view that the completion of the new road will greatly facilitate devotees going for religious activities at the holy shrine of Madhu. The new road will be constructed with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Navy and the Ministry of Highways will allocate funds for the project,

'We are committed to development despite all obstacles'

Aug 13 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the Government is committed to developing the country even amid the heavy pressure excreted by certain parties. Making clarifications on the continuous allegations levelled against the government with regard to media freedom and human rights issues, President said that the present Government has given the utmost freedom for journalists to carry out their duties independently and more..

Sri Lanka with kids

Aug 13 (Times) My husband and I want to take our two children ­ aged 9 and 12 ­ to Sri Lanka. We hope to spend most of our time at the beach, but want to travel around as well, and take them to see elephants. Did Yala National Park get badly hit by the tsunami, and would you suggest this is a good place for us to visit? The park is in the southeast of Sri Lanka and occupies almost 40 miles of coastline. more..

Warnapura gets late call-up to ODI squad

Aug 13 (CI) Malinda Warnapura, the left-hand opening batsman, has earned a late call-up to Sri Lanka's one-day squad for the five-match series against India. He also features in a Sri Lankan XI squad that will take on the Indians in a warm-up match at the P Saranvanamuttu Stadium in Colombo on Friday. Warnapura, 29, has only played a single ODI, against Pakistan last year. He was in impressive form in the recently concluded Test series, which Sri Lanka won 2-1. more..

Performance culture - a key need in Sri Lanka’s corporate sector for Peace building

Aug 13 (PISL) With the recent cost increase of 43% in electricity and inflation recording a high of 28.2% in June, organizations must be lean in today’s business world. When an organization is lean, it can drive productivity and make quicker changes in a volatile market place that will result in a stronger contribution to the bottom line. This strong bottom line can lead to investments in emerging areas like more..

Letter to Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch

Aug 13 (PISL) Dear Mr Adams, I write with reference to your press release entitled ‘Free Journalist and Other Critics’, issued on August 8th. The impression of that release is that Mr Tissainayagam has been arrested because he has criticized the government. This is not accurate. Mr Tissainayagam was arrested because of suspicions regarding connections to the LTTE, a terrorist organization which as you are aware is banned in several countries. more..

Sri Lanka shippers say cargo handling charge dispute unresolved

Aug 13 (LBO) Sri Lankan shippers have rejected the report of a mediation committee that probed a dispute over cargo handling charges in Colombo port, saying the matter remains unresolved. The dispute went into mediation on the advice of the supreme court which had been petitioned by the shippers, the island's exporters and importers grouped under the Sri Lanka Shippers' Council. more..

United Motors introduces small car to rev up sales

Aug 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's United Motors has introduced a Malaysian-built car to the small car market segment in an effort to boost sales which are slowing owing to higher fuel costs. Unimo Enterprises Limited, a fully-owned subsidiary of United Motors Lanka (UML) launched its new model 'VIVA' from Perodua at an introductory price of 1.45 million rupees, Monday. "The car does 18 kilometers per liter at a time when fuel costs are unaffordable to all of us," more..

Lanka: Where to cut the Gordian knot

Aug 13 (GV) Sometimes the obvious is the most difficult to see; and then when discerned in a flash of blinding light it does indeed seem so obvious. Lanka will never, never ever, settle its national question, or its ethnic conflict if you prefer this terminology, within its own parameters. That is the inescapable lesson of 60 years of post-independence history. Superficially one can point to the SLFP, the UNP, the LTTE, Bandaranaike, Jayawardena, Prabaharan and more..

Indian Government’s Injustice to IPKF in India’s Vietnam

Aug 13 (AT) The arrival of over 70,000 Indian Peace Keeping Force troops to Sri Lanka followed the signing of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord on 29 July 1987. Their task was significant for ironically the IPKF was to disarm the very militants that India had provided covert training & arms to. In other words, Indian soldiers were being sent to a foreign land to disarm militants that India had created. more..

Sri Lanka – Diplomatic postings

Aug 13 (AT) H.M..G.S.Palihakara is the new UN Permanent Representative based in New York. He was earlier the Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Palihakara a career diplomat has succeeded Prasad Kariywasam who is from the 1981 Foreign Service batch. Kariyawasam is at present the Additional Secretary in charge of South Asia, SAARC, General Administration and Public Communication in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. more..

Unbecoming of a diplomat - V. Anandasangaree

Aug 13 (AT) V. Anandasangaree, President of the TULF, has given his piece of mind to Dr. Dayan Jayatillleka, who serves as a diplomat - Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. The TULF leader, a veteran moderate Tamil politician, reminded Dr. Dayan Jayatillleka, that in fairness to the Sri Lankan society, being a Diplomat he should avoid writing anything and calling it as, “The views expressed here are the writers personal ones”. more..

No peace talks says government

Aug 13 (AT) Government of Sri Lanka said it would not attend talks with the LTTE and the Defence Spokesman Dr. Keheliya Rambukkawela categorically denied false rumors which are spreading in Sri Lanka on peace talks. Issuing a special press statement on Tuesday, he said the government never thinks of talks with the LTTE. He said government troops are doing their duty perfectly and the main objective is to liberate the innocent Tamil people in the LTTE. more..

President promises land to people in north

Aug 13 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said Tuesday that his government would ensure the northern people the right to own their land. "As much as we have given the eastern people their right to own land we will soon ensure that northern people would be free to do likewise," Rajapakse told a political gathering in Colombo. The president was referring to his government's military thrust against LTTE rebels. more..

Transfer of bribery cases protested

Aug 13 (BBC) Legal professionals in Sri Lanka have protested attempts to transfer certain bribery investigations to Attorney General (AG) Department. Lawyers representing former Chief Minister (CM) and a minister of Uva Provincial Council filed objections against the attempts by the Bribery Commission to transfer the case to the AG department. Former CM Samaraweera Weerawanni and provincial minister AM Budhdhadasa are charged with corruption by the Commission. more..

Minister calls for 'Sirasa ban'

Aug 13 (BBC) A media watchdog in Sri Lanka has accused a controversial minister of hampering freedom of speech by calling for a ban on a television station. The Free Media Movement (FMM) accused 'brutish Minister' Mervyn Silva of trying to close down Sirasa television station, which is part of MBC media network. Over one hundred people protested in front of MBC station in Colombo on 11 August voicing support for the controversial minister. more..

Unemployed graduates assaulted yet again

Aug 13 (LD) protest demonstration of the Unemployed Graduates Union came under the attack of the police anti riot squad today (August 12th). Demanding jobs promised by the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’, the graduates staged a protest demonstration in front of the Fort Railway Station before marching towards Temple Trees to hand over a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. A large number of unemployed graduates from the several districts in the country joined the demonstration. more..

New driving license tender procedures violated

Aug 13 (LD) Over 4 million licensees are compelled to obtain a new driving license, after the Transport Ministry awarded the tender for the new license to a South African company without following proper procedures, ministry sources say. The pact was sealed during a recent South African tour of several top officials of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV), led by Dhammika Hewapathirana, the coordinating secretary of the Transport Minister - Dulles Ahapperuma. more..

JHU pulls out of APRC

Aug 13 (LD) The Jathika Hela Urumaya has pulled out of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) pursuant to a decision at its Central Committee meeting yesterday (Aug. 11th). Its Propaganda Secretary Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said the decision had been taken due to certain government affiliate parties’ submission of proposals for the resolution of the ethnic issue, that are against ‘Mahinda Chintana.’ more..

Govt. fulfilling LTTE wishes - UNP

Aug 13 (LD) “The LTTE does not want Janaka Perera to win in the North Central Province. It would be a defeat for the LTTE that such a person seeks and secures a people’s mandate in a province where the heat of the war is mostly felt. It is unfortunate that the government is fulfilling the wishes of the LTTE by adopting double standards in this province,” said UNP spokesman Gayantha Karunatilake. more..

Mulaitivu residents protest against SLA attacks

Aug 13 (LD) Residents of Mulaitivu staged a protest march yesterday (August 11th), against a spate of recent attacks in the area, ‘TamilNet’ reports. The condemned attacks included the recent Sri Lanka Army (SLA) artillery attack on Mulaitivu town injuring Mulaitivu District Secretary, on Mulaitivu hospital, the killing of Thunukkaay Assistant District Secretary, Nanthakumar and Kilinochchi Development Officer in SLA Deep Penetration Unit attacks,’ more..

IDPs need for a national legal framework

Aug 13 (IPCS) Unlike refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) live within the borders of their respective countries. The common understanding of the nature of internal displacement is that national authorities must commit as the sole entity with primary responsibility for protection, assistance, and development of IDPs. In the absence of legislation that legally decrees the rights of the displaced, and a national legal framework that specifically, more..

Visits to Madhu shrine frustrated after marian statue's return

Aug 13 (UCAN) Devotees are being prevented from visiting the Our Lady of Madhu Shrine after its revered Marian statue was recently returned. An army roadblock on the road to the Madhu shrine is keeping them from reaching the place. The army is not allowing civilians to travel the last 50 kilometers to the shrine, so carloads of hopeful pilgrims, reportedly about 100 thus far, are being kept waiting at St. Joseph's Church in Medawachchiya village. more..

Sri Lanka invites textile investment

Aug 13 (Dawn) Pakistani investors have been offered to set up textile units in Sri Lanka where there is no load-shedding and an easy access is available to markets in the USA and EU. The offer was made by High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Dr W B Dorakumbore in a meeting with Sindh Industries Minister Rauf Siddiqui at the latter’s office on Tuesday. Responding to the offer, the minister stressed the need for a joint strategy for industrialisation based on export-oriented joint ventures, more..

Terrorists pushes civilians to frontline to gain propaganda milage

Aug 13 (GDI) The LTTE terrorists unable to contend with the advancing security forces have forced the civilians living in the terror held areas in Kilinochchi to be prepared to join the LTTE cadres at the warfront and help evacuate their military equipments if forced to flee, defence authorities said today (13). The LTTE leadership has issued orders to artificially create a human-catastrophic situation in areas where security forces are now fighting the terrorists. more..

Bogus foreign employment agencies raided

Aug 13 (GDI) Bogus foreign employment agencies which have been operating for several years in the Kandy district have been raided by the Special Investigation Unit of the Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB). According to Foreign Employment Bureau sources the agencies were operated under the guise of boarding agencies using the name of Foreign Employment Promotions and Welfare Minister Keheliya Rambukwella as a cover. more..

‘Kilinochchi will fall this year'

Aug 13 (SAMN) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Tuesday expressed confidence that the security forces were on target to capture the Tiger stronghold of Kilinochchi within the next four months. The Defence Secretary told The British Times Online publication the mission could be fulfilled by the end of this year. “You can't just push the Tigers into the jungles and wait. You have to search for them and completely eradicate them. Only then will peace come,” more..

Wanni displaced without shelter

Aug 13 (SAMN) Most of the newly displaced 12,000 families in the Wanni continue to be without shelter, but access had improved in the last week, relief agencies and officials said. The government agent for Kilinochchi, Nagalingam Vedanayagam has already requested shelter material for 12,000 displaced families who have fled the fighting in the last two months. "The situation will get worse when the rainy season starts by the end of September. more..

‘Resolution 1338’ will not be taken up

Aug 13 (SAMN) Several United States Congressmen have assured Sri Lanka that a Congress resolution expressing concerns over the human rights situation and other issues in Sri Lanka would not be passed despite it being tabled. Foreign Ministry officials have already had discussions with US Congressmen over Resolution 1338 and they have been informed that it was unlikely to proceed any further, a top Foreign Ministry official said. more..

Govt. to close rural health institutions

Aug 13 (SAMN) The Health Ministry is considering the closure of under-utilised rural hospitals, central dispensaries and peripheral clinics, after a survey revealed that some rural hospitals treat only two to three patients and attend to four to five delivery cases a month. About 50 state rural hospitals and central dispensaries (state) are not visited by even a single patient, Ministry sources said. more..

Jayalath takes Blood Bank to Bribery Comm.

Aug 13 (ML) The UNP yesterday lodged a complaint at the Commission to Investigate Allegations on Bribery or Corruption against the usage of expired plasma kits for preserving blood in the National Blood Centre (NBC). UNP Parliamentarian Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena made the complaint at the commission against the usage of expired plasma kits. Dr. Jayawardena, after lodging the complaint told The Morning Leader that he had visited the NBC on Monday and had discovered 44 expired plasma kits. more..

Bishop’s House unaware of Madhu Shrine opening

Aug 13 (ML) The Bishop’s House in Mannar has not been informed of the temporary opening of the Madhu Shrine in view of the August feast. According to Defence Ministry reports, the shrine was opened temporarily yesterday (12). The Defence Ministry yesterday said that the shrine would be open till August 17. Officials at the Mannar Bishop’s House said however that the government had not officially informed them of such a measure to temporarily reopen the shrine for devotees to pay homage. more..

Lankan bouncer thrown out of UK as illegal immigrant

Aug 13 (DM) A Sri Lankan bouncer working illegally at a Northampton nightclub has been thrown out of the country and sent back to Sri Lanka after he tried to sneak back into the UK. The unnamed doorman was given a taste of his own medicine when immigration officers at Heathrow Airport told him he was not allowed to come back into the UK. The Sri Lankan had worked for a nightclub in Northampton before returning to his native country for a short time. more..

Beijing boxing bubble bursts

Aug 13 (DM) The artificially constructed pseudo image and the myth about a hyped-up possibilities of an Olympic medal for boxer Anuruddha Ratnayake crashed down to earth at the Olympics here when the Sri Lankan cut a sorry figure against a lowly ranked opponent from Brazil and lost by a massive margin. The loss comes as a knock out punch for the country's boxing officials who bloated the mediocre talent of Ratnayake to the bursting level in the run-up to the Olympics. more..

Sri Lanka to miss '08 tourism goals, sees better 2009

Aug 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will not reach its revenue and visitor targets for the tourism industry this year due to intensified fighting between the state and Tamil Tiger rebels in the north, a top official said on Wednesday. Sri Lanka had planned to attract 600,000 tourists, a 21.5 percent increase compared with 2007 and boost tourism revenue by 43 percent to $550 million. more..