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Abu Dhabi taxi company sacks 40 including Lankans

Aug 15 (DM) An Abu Dhabi taxi company has sacked more than 40 drivers less than four months after they were hired from Sri Lanka and other Asian countries. Sacked drivers said they had been expelled following their four-day stoppage last week to protest low wages by their employer, Tawasul company. "We are going home this week. We have been sacked and our UAE driving licences have been taken from us," a Sri Lankan driver said. more..

Undergrads clash with Police at Kollupitiya

Aug 15 (DM) Kollupitiya junction turned in to a mini-battlefield last evening as Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse some thousands of university students who had begun a protest march from the Sri Jayewardenepura University premises to Temple Trees. Students were to hand over a petition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, against what they called attempts to privatise free education. more..

EU thwarted meet with TMVP in Trinco

Aug 15 (Island) Against the backdrop of accusations that Sri Lanka sabotaged the July 23 visit to the East by a visiting EU delegation, The Island can now reveal that it was the EU Mission in Colombo who cancelled a scheduled charter flight by a domestic operator. The shocking revelation of the last minute cancellation of the private aircraft, booked by the EU mission to take the delegation to Trincomalee had fueled speculation on whether more..

Tigers busy expanding second runway in M’tivu

Aug 15 (Island) The LTTE is in the process of expanding a second runway capable of accommodating heavy aircraft in Mullaitivu as government troops backed by air, artillery and armour battle through fortified enemy defences on the western and eastern flanks. The military has irrefutable evidence that the LTTE is engaged in the construction of the air strip in spite of the unprecedented army build-up on the multiple Vanni fronts where ground forces have inflicted massive losses on the Tigers. more..

LTTE’s Oslo Statement Lacks Clarity and is Misplaced

Aug 15 (PISL) On the 2nd anniversary of the murder of Kethesh Loganathan, Deputy Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat, we reproduce one of his striking rebuttals of LTTE falsehoods, when they dodged the negotiations that were scheduled for June 8-9 in Oslo. It was less than two months after such convincing argument, that he was murdered. Following the LTTE’s unilateral abortion of the Oslo Meeting scheduled for 8-9 June on frivolous grounds, more..

The fruits of anguish

Aug 15 (PISL) If July 1983 is remembered as the darkest episode in recent Sri Lankan history, August 12th should be seen as the saddest day in terms of the deaths of individuals. On August 12th 2005 Lakshman Kadirgamar, Foreign Minister and potential Prime Minister, was killed by the LTTE. He had, since his entry into Sri Lankan politics, managed to reverse the dark image of Sri Lanka that July 1983 had created. more..

Sri Lanka fighting endangering civilians: Amnesty

Aug 15 (AFP) Fighting between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in the north is endangering the lives of tens of thousands of displaced people, rights group Amnesty International said Friday. Government bombardments and artillery shelling since May have forced thousands to flee their homes, primarily in Kilinochchi and Mullaittivu districts, the London-based rights group said. more..

Yuvraj ton steers Indians to big win

Aug 15 (CI) Powered by Yuvraj Singh's brutal century, the Indians cruised to a pre-ODI series 92-run win against a Sri Lankan XI at the P Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo. Yuvraj hit 13 sixes in a 121-ball 172, taking the Indians to 342 for 5, and in reply the opposition - comprising ten internationals - produced a sloppy chase, managing 250 in their 50 overs. It was a good way for the Indians to celebrate the 61st anniversary of their country's independence. more..

Nadesan says govt. forces will be taught the right lesson

Aug 16 (LG) While fighting is raging in the western and eastern flanks of the Wanni with the security forces already having captured LTTE-held Mulankavil and the government hoping to capture the entire region before the end of this year, the LTTE has called upon their people to unite for transforming the Wanni into a graveyard for the advancing forces. LTTE political leader Son in Law to Sinhala, P.Nadesan while speaking at the second commemoration of 53 girl students killed in air attacks at Chencholai said that more..

The Rajapakse regime: Rewarding the corrupt and sheltering the criminal?

Aug 16 (GV) If there is one thing that is crystal clear about the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, it is that it rewards wrong doers and punishes the righteous. The President’s decision to include the Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera in his delegation to China for the opening ceremony of the Olympic games days is a case in point. Just days after the man found guilty of corruption in the privatization of Lanka Marine Services Limited more..

Weak liquidity at Vanni banks adding to woes

Aug 16 (TW) Managers of Sri Lanka bank branches in Vanni fear of severe liquidity shortfall in their branches. They brought their concern on the cash crunch to the attention of the authorities at an essential services meeting held in Kilincochchi on Tuesday. A report about the meeting in Thinakkural today, a Tamil daily published from Colombo says bank managers have been avoiding trips to Vavuniya to collect the needed cash for their branches in fear of the ‘deep penetration unit’ attacks inside Vanni along the way. more..

The Tigers shocking counterattack: A worst case scenario

Aug 16 (AT) At an unlikely hour between 23:00 and 03:00 in the coming days the LTTE launches a massive counterattack on six fronts thereby taking the rapidly advancing Sri Lankan forces by surprise. The Tigers crash six bomb-laden aircrafts onto the troops and several other suicide planes into high-level military and political targets in Colombo and its suburbs. Large bombers continue the assault. more..

Scholarship Program for Sri Lankan Children by 'Educate Sri Lanka Foundation'

Aug 16 (AT) Program to support underprivileged children of Sri Lankan launched by Educate Lanka Foundation of Washington D.C. received a major boost with the Foundation's 4th annual Seven-A-Side softball Cricket Tournament, its signature fund-raiser. Educate Lanka Foundation (ELF), established in 2006 by a group of Sri Lanka students in the USA, is registered in the state of Maryland. more..

'Govt has has a zero tolerance policy on child soldier recruitment'

Aug 16 (AT) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has reiterated the Sri Lankan Government policy of zero tolerance towards child soldier recruitment at a meeting with the UN Under - Secretary General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy, who called on him at the Foreign Ministry yesterday. The Foreign Minister stated that the Government accorded the highest priority for the rehabilitation of ex-child soldiers who had been rescued or released. more..

Imminent LTTE Downfall & The caution needed for success

Aug 16 (AT) In the recent past, the news that has been broadcast through the radio, TV, internet and emails we hear of the advances and the successes of Sri Lanka’s Armed Forces who are systematically moving forward towards the inroads of the LTTE terrorist territories. There is no doubt, that the combined efforts of Sri Lanka’s Combined Services are proving to be successful efforts in their mission to eliminate terrorism from Sri Lanka for which every peace loving citizen of this country is ever grateful to them. more..

UK 'diverted' Lanka tsunami aid

Aug 16 (BBC) A senior Sri Lanka minister has accused the Great Britain of failing to keep its pledge to support the island nation after the devastating Asian tsunami. Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva accused Britain of diverting tsunami aid collected for Sri Lanka to Indonesia and Maldives. The Leader of the House made the comments after opening a official residence complex for doctors and nurses in Kantale, Trincomalee district. more..

'Be impartial' police warned

Aug 16 (BBC) The judiciary in Sri Lanka have warned police in Ratnapura district not to be partial in their investigations over election violence. Ratnapura additional magistrate, MMM Mihail, told open court that police action over recent attacks on opposition politicians was 'unsatisfactory'. He made the comments as the police submitted a confusing B report over the attack on popular actor and Chief Ministerial candidate Ranjan Ramanayaka's convoy on 13 August. more..

AI slams LTTE 'human shield'

Aug 16 (BBC) The human rights group, Amnesty International, says Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka are breaking international law by using civilians as a buffer against government forces. AI’s researcher for Sri Lanka, Yolanda Foster, said there were cases where militants had forced people to stay in rebel-held areas, in an attempt to hamper army operations. “The Tigers are keeping them in harm’s way and the government is not doing enough to ensure they receive essential assistance,” she said. more..

Central Bank says rating agencies mislead investors

Aug 16 (Reuters) Global rating agencies are misleading investors by providing insufficient analysis of the countries and institutions they rate, a top Sri Lankan central bank official said on Friday. The central bank's comments come after a number of rating agencies said they were concerned about economic management by the Sri Lankan government and downgraded the country's ratings in the first half of 2008. more..

Sri Lanka power demand slowing: expert

Aug 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka faces no immediate threat of blackouts with growth in demand for electricity slowing down as industries grapple with the highest power costs in Asia, an energy expert said. "The demand for electricity is showing indications of slowing down," said Tilak Siyambalapitiya, managing director, Resource Management Associate. In the last 10 years the average demand growth has been 7.9 percent but in 2007 demand growth fell to 4.5 percent. more..

Sri Lanka industrial exports plunge in June

Aug 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's industrial exports plunged 9.3 percent in June 2008, with the key apparel sector slumping 8.9 percent, though total exports for the first six months still showed positive growth. Apparel exports fell to 262.8 million US dollars from 288.4 million US dollars in June 2007 while total industrial exports fell to 485.3 million US dollars. Total exports for June slipped 1.9 percent to 654.6 million US dollars more..

Sri Lanka transhipment port faces looming Indian competition

Aug 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's hub port of Colombo is facing growing competition from other harbours in the region which are being built up to grab a bigger share of India's increasing trade, industry officials said. The latest threat comes from the south Indian port of Chennai which has just called for fresh bids to build a new deep-water container terminal. The proposed 'mega' box terminal project is projected to handle four million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units or containers) a year more..

Bandaranaike and Hartal of 1953

Aug 16 (LG) Dayan Jayatilleke on the Hartal of 1953 published recently brings up several interesting issues in relation to what may be called the revolutionary left of that time in a bourgeoisie dominant parliamentary set up. Although I have my reservations on almost all the premises on which Dayan supports his basic argument, I shall confine myself to a consideration of what he points to as more..

Janaka Perera

Aug 16 (LG) The much decorated and battle hardened Major General Janaka Perera’s exploits in the theatre of war, in the North and East, fighting the ruthless LTTE, are well known to the ranks in the Sri Lanka army. Having left an illustrious career, he opted to enter the political arena, which came as a surprise to many who had held him in high esteem. Having joined the UNP, he was nominated for the post of chief ministerial candidate to contest the North Central Provincial Council elections. more..

India sets hallmarks in all spheres challenging major powers – Chandrasekaran

Aug 16 (LG) "It gives me great pleasure to witness that India which makes progress in almost all spheres, much to the challenge of the Major or Powers, is proudly celebrating the 62nd Independence Day," says the Leader of the Upcountry Peoples Front and the Minister of Community Development and Social Inequity Eradication in his message to the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh. more..

A Man of Honour and Dignity

Aug 16 (LG) When India's National Security Advisor M.K. Narayayan's commented Tuesday to the (The Straits Times) that even if Sri Lanka won the battle against the LTTE it would not win the war because "they haven't got the Tamil population on their side", Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Defence Secretary of the Government of Sri Lanka which is in confrontation with a political militant group turned the world's most ruthless terrorist outfit, does not lament, but more..

'Prabhakaran Living in Bunker 18-22 Feet Underground'

Aug 16 (LG) It was a surprise meeting while arrangements were being made for his security and Sri Lanka Guardian happened to stumble in. However he welcomed us with his friendly smile and shared lots of details over his life. No doubt Vinayagamoorthy Muralidaran, aka. Col. Karuna Amman, is another big player in the Tamil Ealam struggle in Sri Lanka. He was an LTTE commander who enjoyed perhaps the highest confidence of Velupillai Prabhakaran, more..

Decoding LTTE's supply chain

Aug 16 (LG) India is fast becoming a focal point for the LTTE to fund its war against Sri Lanka. The recent arrest of some of LTTE's top procurement agents in Tamil Nadu has hit the headlines and at a time when the Tamil Nadu police claims to have cracked the LTTE's smuggling racket, The Indian based TIMES NOW travelled to Rameshwaram to decode the outfits supply chain and to expose the nexus between the Tamil fishermen and LTTE operatives. more..

Commemorating a Tragedy

Aug 16 (LG) The month of July was a painful reminder to Tamil Canadians of violence that took place 25 years ago in their homeland. Black July, as it has come to be known as, refers to the State-sponsored anti-Tamil violence that occurred between July 23rd and July 29th in Sri Lanka. Angry mobs of Sinhalese armed with voters lists and makeshift weapons brutally attacked Tamil homes and business in Colombo. more..

NFF invited to APC

Aug 16 (LD) The National Freedom Front, led by Wimal Weerawansa, has been invited by the president to participate in the All Party Conference (APC) tasked with finding a solution to the national conflict. The All Party Representative Committee (APRC), at a recent meeting, has been informed of the invitation by its chairman Prof. Tissa Vitarana. Accordingly, the NFF is due to send its representatives to the APRC at its next round of discussions on August 28th. more..

Locomotive drivers fall sick

Aug 16 (LD) Pressing for four demands, railway locomotive drivers are falling sick today. In a show of support for them, their assistants have resorted to a work-to-rule campaign. Secretary of the Locomotive Operating Engineers Association R.M.M. Karunaratne said they were against the restriction of their overtime payment without valid a reason. Repairing of trouble-giving locomotive engines, rectification of inadequate facilities at their Maradana rest room and changing haphazard work schedules are the rest of their demands. more..

Presidential poll, Mahinda's priority?

Aug 16 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is prioritizing a presidential election over any further provincial council or parliamentary polls, a newspaper by National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerwansa claims. According to the lead story of today's issue of 'Heladiva', the main reason for the consideration is that a majority of the people is now trusting the president "due to the ongoing humanitarian operations in the north." more..

Coastal rail line to be closed for 6 months

Aug 16 (LD) The government has decided to close the coastal railway line for a six month period pursuant to an agreement signed with India's RITES, reports 'Irida Lanka.' The intention of the closure, according to the government, is for the renovation of the track, although railway trade unions claim the coastal railway line has already been sold to the Indian company. more..

40 CTB buses for UPFA rally at Pollonnaruwa

Aug 16 (LT) The use of more than 40 CTB buses to transport people to the UPFA rally held at Pollonnaruwa yesterday (14th) is another instance of the government abusing its power states the JVP. In a letter sent with the signature of Mr. R.K. Indrananda, group leader of JVP candidates for Polonnaruwa District at the North Central PC election states using public property for election propaganda activity by a political party is illegal. more..

JNP operatives attacked

Aug 16 (LNP) A group of operatives of the Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (JNP) were engaged in decorations in Hakmana has come under attack. Two of them have been injured and admitted to hospital. They said they came under attack while engaged in decorations for a public meeting to be staged in the town on the 17th of this month with the participation of the JNP President Wimal Weerawansa. The Police are inquiring into the incident. more..

LTTE had utilized medicinal drugs of civilians

Aug 16 (LNP) Information has come to light that the LTTE had utilised the medicinal drugs supplied by the Government for the benefit of the Northern civilians. The terrorists had used all drugs of the Mulankavil Hospital in Kilinochchi. Our special representative Kasun Gunatilake reporting from the battlefront referred to many destructive activities of the terrorists with the liberation of the area. more..

Child soldiers: UN to support SL

Aug 16 (SAMN) UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy Friday said the United Nations will support the government in its endeavour to protect children in armed conflict. Addressing a joint media conference with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Coomaraswamy noted that progressive developments have taken place in Sri Lanka in relation to children, including the release of child soldiers, more..

UNP accuses Govt. of another secret deal

Aug 16 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP Friday accused the government of another secret deal, on this occasion with the TMVP, to bring the Egodapattuwa area in Polonnaruwa under the purview of the Eastern Provincial Council. UNP parliamentarian Palitha Range Bandara told journalists the government had nominated Mangalam Master of the Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal for the NCPC under the UPFA symbol as a part of this secret deal. more..

Yapa says student demo a JVP plot

Aug 16 (SAMN) The government charged Friday the massive protest by university students on Thursday was a ploy by the JVP for political mileage in the upcoming provincial election. Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene told a news conference the protesters turned down an opportunity to meet a presidential representative because of the conspiracy to create a clash and pep up the JVP’s standing among its supporters. more..

New laws to protect environment soon

Aug 16 (SAMN) The garbage problem has reached spectacular proportions islandwide and should be legitimately handled by local bodies, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patalee Champika Ranawaka said. He was speaking at the launch of the Piyakaru Purawara - Pilisaru Masaya programme Friday. The Minister presented special bags to collect solid waste to the Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Ministry Secretary Pratap Ramanujan. more..

Five hundred schols for school dropouts

Aug 16 (DN) The Sisu Nenapola educational and trade exhibition was started to offer scholarships to our school dropouts to enable them to receive vocational training in the construction field. We are providing 500 scholarships per month, said Construction and Engineering Services Minister Rajitha Senaratne at the opening of the Sisu Nenapola educational and trade exhibition held at Getambe grounds, Kandy recently. more..

Govt subsidy on fertiliser up from Rs.1,450 to Rs. 4,750

Aug 16 (DN) The Government subsidy on a 50 kg fertiliser bag has increased from Rs. 1,450 in 2004 to Rs. 4,750 in 2008. The market value has increased from Rs. 1,800 in 2004 to Rs. 5,100 at present. However, a bag is still provided at Rs. 350 as per Mahinda Chintana. Accordingly the Government provides a subsidy of 93 per cent or Rs. 4,750 relevant to the market price. The Government allocated Rs. 9,000 million in 2004 and Rs. 15,000 million in 2008 for the fertiliser subsidy. more..

JVP, NBF condemn Govt. over attack on U’grads

Aug 16 (Island) The Janatha Vimukhi Peramuna and the National Bhikkhu Front yesterday condemned the Government for using police force to chase away of thousands of University students who gathered in Colombo on Thursday evening to hand over a petition to the President. A JVP statement said "We believe that Thursday’s demonstration was the maximum that was left for the student population to express their grievances through democratic means. more..

World Bank formulates new Assistance Strategy for Sri Lanka

Aug 16 (Island) The World Bank has formulated a new Assistance Strategey for Sri Lanka with water resources management and development high on its agenda, its Country Director Naoko Ishii said at the launch of the ‘Dam Safety and Water Resources Planning Project’ launch, in Polonnaruwa on Thursday. The worldwide demand for water is growing and it is vital that Sri Lanka plans now to use water resources wisely, Ishii said. more..

High level Government meeting on Wanni situ

Aug 16 (DM) A high level policy meeting of the Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA) was held yesterday where Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights and Senior Advisor to the President, Basil Rajapaksa addressed humanitarian issues faced by the people of the Wanni. While reiterating the continuous commitment of the Government in providing humanitarian assistance to the people in the Wanni, Minister Samarasinghe and Mr. Basil Rajapaksa requested the more..

Court seals Rajagiriya Budget Shop

Aug 16 (DM) Colombo District Court yesterday issued an order preventing the CWE or traders from destroying or removing any goods from the ‘Budget Shop’ at Rajagiriya. Additional District Judge, Mohamed Mackie made this order following five plaints filed by traders of stalls at Budget Shop Complex in Sri Jayawardenapura Road, Rajagiriya. Sequel to five separate plaints filed by Kingsley Jayaratne, Ruwan Madurappriya, Saradha Jayasri Rasaputhra, more..

'I can't think of life without cricket'

Aug 16 (IANS) It will be 19 years of cricket for Sri Lankan batting stalwart Sanath Jayasyriya in December. At 39, his contemporaries are long gone but Jayasuriya, still feared by bowlers the world over, is as passionate about the game as a fledgling. The opener says it is the pride to represent his country that keeps him going. "When I was growing up I only wanted to do one thing and that was to play for my country. more..

Softer sell on the golden mile

Aug 16 (GU) 'Our job was always seen in negative terms," said Siggi. "But now we can feel some dignity in what we do. And we make more money than before, without fighting over it." We were sitting in a palm thatch lean-to on the "golden mile" of beach stretching from Beruwela to Bentota on Sri Lanka's south-west coast. To our left, an impeccably clean stretch of sand was given added colour by artistic displays of hats and sarongs hanging from wigwam structures of sticks and driftwood. more..

Military fighting in northern Sri Lanka kills 22 rebels

Aug 16 (AP) Air force jets pounded Tamil Tiger fortifications in northern Sri Lanka on Saturday, destroying a rebel bunker line as fighting intensified in the country's civil war, the military said. Heavy battles Friday across the front lines surrounding the dwindling area controlled by the rebels killed 22 guerrilla fighters, the military said in a statement today. In recent weeks, troops have broken through the rebels' defenses and seized a series of key towns and bases. more..

Navy Commander completes a fruitful Visit to Bangladesh

Aug 18 (LG) At a special invitation extended by Bangladesh Navy Commander Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam, ndu, psc, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, RSP, VSV, USP, ndc, psc, made an official visit to Bangladesh from the 10 to the 14 August 2008. During his visit, Sri Lanka Navy Commander met Lajuddin Ahmed, President of Bangladesh, Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam, ndu,psc, Commander of Bangladesh Navy, more..