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Judge calls for freedom of information law

Aug 25 (LBO) A top Sri Lankan judge has called for laws such as a freedom of information act to enable people greater access to information to create an 'informed public' that is essential for a democratic society. Justice Saleem Marsoof, President's Counsel and Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka said most democracies now have legislation providing a mechanism through which the public can have access to information. more..

Tissainayagam denied bail

Aug 25 (BBC) A Sri Lankan journalist, accused under the country's Prevention of Terrorism Act, has been remanded in custody. JS Tissainayagam was held for five months before he was charged with bringing the government into disrepute and stirring up communal disharmony. Campaigners say Sri Lanka is fast becoming one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. They say that Sri Lanka's government is trying to stifle criticism of the war against the Tamil Tigers. more..

New fighting kills 12 rebels

Aug 25 (AP) Soldiers killed 12 Tamil separatists in fighting along the front lines dividing government territory from the rebels de facto state in northern Sri Lanka, the military said Monday. At least four rebels died in clashes Sunday in the Kilinochchi region. Thirteen soldiers were wounded in the same battles, Nanayakkara said. Also Sunday, clashes in Vavuniya, Welioya and Mullaitivu regions killed eight rebels and wounded three soldiers, he said. more..

More gravy for politicos’ relatives

Aug 25 (SAMN) Youth Affairs Minister Pavitra Wanniarachchi’s husband Kanchana was very likely to top the Ratnapura UPFA list, political sources said. Although the top SLFP leadership had initially declined to accommodate the former Sub Inspector on the Ratnapura list, the minister managed to reverse the decision at the last moment, the sources said. Irrigation Minister Jayatissa Ranaweera’s son Ravindra, too, was among the 13 successful UPFA candidates, the sources said. more..

'Punish Mendis to bring him under pressure'

Aug 26 (PTI) Indians must get on the top of their Sri Lankan nemesis Ajantha Mendis by punishing him for his bad deliveries to bring him under pressure, says Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. "It is more about him (Mendis). If he bowls a bad ball then punish him and build up pressure on him. If you continue to defend him then you know he will also be on top," Dhoni said. "It is very important that whenever he bowled a bad bowl we will get runs out of them so more..

Violence in Jaffna, justice and peace commission requests aid

Aug 26 (AN) The justice and peace commission of the diocese of Jaffna is not concealing its distress at the request to celebrate the traditional feast of the Assumption - two weeks after the fact - at the shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, while the entire area is the theater of massacres and violence. There are 25,732 refugees, among Catholics (14,750) and the faithful of other religions or ethnicities (10,982), forced to abandon their homes to flee from the conflict pitting the army against the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka in need of a batting revamp

Aug 26 (CI) If Sri Lanka are to turn this series around and add to their Test triumph, their much-vaunted batting line-up has to come out of its current trough. On Sunday, for the second game running, India's medium-pace trio of Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel left the batsmen searching for answers. The script read much the same as in Dambulla, the only difference being that Sri Lanka were chasing under lights. more..

Education of thousands disrupted by fighting

Aug 26 (IRIN) The national authorities, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and local authorities in Sri Lanka’s northern districts are pooling resources to enable thousands of displaced students to continue their education despite disruption by the conflict. Clashes between government forces and LTTE have escalated recently in the four northern districts of Mannar, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mulaitivu, forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes, more..

Empowerment of Sri Lankan Tamils without the 13th Amendment

Aug 26 (LG) GG Ponnambalam and SJV Chelvanayagam jointly handled the Tamil separatist paradigm for nearly 70 years. Operating under the larger Colombo paradigm they were interested in getting power “devolved” to Tamil leaders and not in getting the Tamil people empowered. On the Sinhala side, as a reaction to Tamil separatism and DMK activities in the tea estates there was the JVP of KMP and Kusuma Rajaratne for a short period of time. more..

Is it democracy?

Aug 26 (LG) The elections for the North Central Sambragamuwa Provincial Councils are over. While you read this editorial, majority of the results will have been released. What ever may be the verdict, it is appropriate here and at this juncture, to discuss the political culture in this country. One is likely to question as to whether the verdict given by the people in the past at elections for these provincial councils were democratic or not. more..

Food and medicine should not be human shields!

Aug 26 (LG) Joshef Saundaranayakam, Bishop of Mannar, has made an appeal to help 200,000 people, who have become refugees as a result of the heavy battle in the Vanni. “The battle between the security forces and LTTE has reached a peak. Innocent people are caught in the war. With the advancement of the forces, the people are running hither and thither not knowing what to do. It is the innocent civilians, who are affected. more..

Let humanitarian aid reach the victims!

Aug 26 (LG) International NGO’s have raised their voices and concern over the human tragedy in Vanni following the two month war between the Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE consequent to which around d 75, 000 people have been displaced from Vanni. It is estimated that the number of displaced are one third of the population in the LTTE controlled area. It is also reported that more than half of them have been displaced more than once from their areas and more..

'IC must act forthwith, Tamil People are with the LTTE'

Aug 26 (LG) TNA Parliamentarian Chandrakanthan Chandraneru has issued statement calling the International Community to intervene immediately to stop the Sri Lankan Government forces onslaught on the Tamil population in the Vanni district. TNA MP Chandrakanthan states that the Tamil people, the very roots of nationalism, are not with the government but, they are with the LTTE. Therefore, military victories are not permanent unless there is a political solution. more..

Saudi dies in Lanka after heart attack

Aug 26 (AN) A 28-year-old Saudi man died in Sri Lanka on Friday while being taken to hospital from Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport after suffering a heart attack. Thameer Saeed Al-Zahrani died on his way to Negombo Base Hospital. Al-Zahrani had been on board a Saudia flight, which had to make an emergency landing on the island at 8:33 p.m. after he complained of severe chest pains. more..

Shares near month-low on economic woes

Aug 26 (Reuters) Shares edged down in thin trade on Monday to near a one-month closing low with investors steering clear of the market in the absence of any news on the macroeconomic front. Selected blue chips led the fall on the Colombo All-Share index .CSE down 4.74 points or 0.2 percent weaker at 2,409.63, the lowest close since July 29. The bourse has fallen in seven of the eight sessions since more..

War and polls 'not related'

Aug 26 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka has categorically rejected to accept the results of the recently conducted provincial council (PC) elections. The results did not portray the true aspirations of the voting public, the UNP said. The ruling UPFA secured a sweeping victory in the elections held on 23 August for North Central and Sabaragamuwa PCs. more..

'Sri Lankan Navy won’t fire on Indian fishermen'

Aug 26 (Hindu) Sri Lanka has assured India that there will be no firing by the Sri Lankan Navy on Indian fishermen hereafter, M.K. Narayanan, National Security Adviser, said on Monday.In the event of arrest of the fishermen, they would be released in the “shortest possible time.” They would be given “humanitarian treatment as far as possible,” and there would be no “maltreatment” of the Indian fishermen, Mr. Narayanan told journalists, more..

'Stop LTTE’s fund raising activities and ban the TRO in Sweden'

Aug 26 (AT) The Swedish Chapter of the Campaign Against Separatist Terrorism in Sri Lanka (CASTIS), has urged the Swedish Prime Minister to ban the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization in Sweden. In a letter addressed Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden, CASTIS has pointed out that the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) is very active in fund raising and they are collecting funds from each and every Tamil family in Sweden. more..

After Elections

Aug 26 (AT) It was a move that was as brilliant as it was unexpected. The UNP had traditionally relied on wealthy contributors to finance its activities. Suddenly the leader announced the formation of a Rupee fund at the electoral level, all over the country. The purpose was to not only to reduce the dependence on wealthy donors; it was also to make the party accessible to millions of low and middle income earners. more..

Anandasangaree lambaste Prabakaran for his ruthless atrocities

Aug 26 (AT) It is no secret that the LTTE has now become so weak, but still keep on challenging not only the Government of Sri Lanka but the entire International Community as well. The Tamils are held as hostages in their own land. Even the Tamils living freely in the South with Sinhalese and those who fled the country and are being well looked after by various countries in the West, Canada and the United States are living in fear and tension due to the threat of the LTTE. more..

Police anti-riot teams deployed to prevent post election violence

Aug 26 (GDI) Four Police anti-riot teams have been deployed in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces to prevent any post election violence, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police, Gamini Nawaratne said. These teams are presently on duty in the Ratnapura, Kegalle, Polonnaruwa, and Anuradhapura districts, the Senior DIG added. Accordingly, the Police will take prompt and stern action against individuals or groups that attempt to create trouble in these areas and more..

Janaka & Ranjan to UNP Working Committee

Aug 26 (LD) The UNP has assigned its two chief ministerial candidates at the provincial polls as members of the party's Working Committee. Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided that Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera and popular actor Ranjan Ramanayake be appointed to the UNP WC with immediate effect. This is in recognition of their contributions and skills shown at the polls for the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils two days ago. more..

Poll win, a mandate to wipe out terrorism – JHU

Aug 26 (LD) The JHU says the result of the polls for the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils is a public endorsement of the government's ongoing effort to wipe out Tamil separatism. Secretary of the party Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera said in a statement that the people of the two provinces had given priority to the national issue over their educational, transport, health and other development problems. more..

Displaced, the real losers in war-torn Lanka

Aug 26 (HT) The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has claimed that its electoral victory in the two provincial elections was on the strength of the war it is fighting against the separatist LTTE. But post-victory, if the UPFA fails quickly resolve the issue of the internally displaced, the real losers in this war of attrition could turn out to be the thousands of uprooted civilians in northern Sri Lanka. more..

Dilan resigns

Aug 26 (LT) It is reported that Minister Dilan Perera has resigned from his ministerial post on a directive received from the Presidential Secretariat. During the provincial council election campaign Mr. Dilan Perera was engaged in campaign activities of the government party at Welikande area in Pollonnaruwa. At meetings held he had introduced Minister Maithripala Sirisena as "the future prime minister." more..

Sri Lankan army advances into key LTTE areas

Aug 26 (wsws) After a military stalemate lasting nearly a year, the Sri Lankan army has recently captured several key positions in the northern areas of the island from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The overall objective of these operations appears to be to tighten the noose around the town of Kilinochchi, which has functioned for more than a decade as the LTTE’s administrative and military centre. more..

Sinhala students of EUSL to be admitted to southern universities

Aug 26 (TN) Minister of Higher Education Viswa Warnapala has taken steps to temporarily admit Sinhala students of Eastern University of Sri Lanka (EUSL) to Universities in South. Due to the tension prevailing in the EUSL in the aftermath of the killing of Sinhala student, the University Grant Commission (UGC) had consulted Bail Rajapaksa, the brother and advisor of President and the officials of the Ministry of Defence. more..

We were wins the people says UNP

Aug 26 (LG) Speaking to the Media today (25Aug), UNP Gen. Secretary and M.P. Tissa Attanayake thanked all those who voted for the UNP at the Sabaragamuwa and North Central province (NCP) polls surmounting all odds and obstacles created by the Govt. against them. Despite all the treachery, tyranny, blatant lies, deceits, election law violations, violence and corrupt activities, the Govt. could not increase its number of votes received in both electorates. more..

Naming and Shaming

Aug 26 (LG) The Most venerable Kandubodagama Seelananda thera the late chief incumbent of Yapahuwa Rajamaha Viharaya once said Wanniya meant warnaneeya (vivid, praise worthy). This writer wrote an article to The Island newspaper in 1986 entitled “Who Are Wanniyars and Where Is Their Domain”. In that article the concept of wanniya was discussed at length and indeed concluded that there is a certain area in the country which is literally named as Wanni Hathpathtuwa of which the capital town is Nikaweratiya. more..

The future of the Tamils of Sri Lanka

Aug 26 (LG) Some of us who have managed to escape to Canada could afford the luxury of listening to Ratnajeevan Hoole who tells us the impossibility of Eelam and what fine opportunities we Tamils lost. We negated the Indo-Sri Lanka accord of 1987, scuttled Chandrika Bandaranaike’s peace efforts, and pulled the carpet from under Ranil Wickremasinghe. Hoole was holding forth only a few weeks after the “celebrations” of Black July, where more..

Increased polarisation is the other side of euphoria

Aug 26 (LG) Many years ago, a senior government official whose birthplace was Jaffna told me of the apprehension with which the people of Jaffna awaited the results of elections in the south. They knew their fate was being decided in the electoral verdicts that the more numerous southern electorate would be delivering, and which they in the north had little or no opportunity to influence. more..

'Govt. mislead the Sinhala people to destroy Tamils'

Aug 26 (LG) “The government has gained the support of people in the North Central and Sabbragamuwa provincial elections, by spreading racial issues and instigating the Sinhalese chauvinist to destroy Tamils. The government has mislead the Sinhala people, that after the capture of Kilinochchi and Mullaitheevu areas, the war would be over, whereas only after war there would be tremendous catastrophe, which the majority people are unaware.” more..

1990, The war year if ethnic cleansing of the Muslims.....

Aug 26 (LG) July 1883 was “Black July” for the Tamils of southern Sri Lanka, where Tamils were subject to persecution by the Sinhalese mobs with the connivance of the JR government. August 1990 was “Black August” for the Eastern Muslims of the East, where the LTTE massacred the Muslim worshippers in Kattankudy on 3rd August 1990 and sleeping villagers in Eravur on 11 August 1990. more..

The “force” is with Mahinda Rajapakse but….

Aug 26 (LG) North Central Province and Sabaragamuwa Province constitute the heartland of the Sinhala-Buddhists. When over 55% of this heartland vote for the national forces engaged in combating minoritarian terror in a free and fair election, then analysts must sit up and consider how far out they have been with the grassroot forces. more..

Do not playing with innocent people – TNA Leader

Aug 26 (LG) “Due to the actions of the Sri Lankan armed forces, the displaced people are continuously sheltering under trees, without basic requirements in Vanni. Government is transporting food to the displaced people, the good provided by the World Food Centre and informing that the displaced people’s requirements are fulfilled. Basically, the food send by this centre is not sufficient, and more..

Keep them guessing and fighting for their land

Aug 26 (DW) The Army has started to really bewilder the LTTE with its tactics. Troop movements have become like pieces in a chessboard-- unpredictable yet strategic. The LTTE prepared fortifications north of Nachchikuda expecting the SLA to come north. However, to its amazement, the 58 Division turned Eastwards and have advanced several kilometers towards Vannerikulam, east of Nachchikuda. more..

4 employees of Ayurweda Hospital on hunger strike

Aug 26 (LT) Four employees of Ayurweda Hospital at Borella have launched a hunger strike. Senior employees with experience have been sidelined when junior cadres of Ayurweda services were given promotion recently. Minister of Health, Secretary to the Health Ministry and the Commissioner had promised to redress mistakes when employees unions discussed the matter with them. more..

Children continue to be exploited

Aug 26 (GDI) Labour Commissioner Pearl Weerasinghe said that despite adequate legislations, children continue to be employed illegally. Under the provisions of the Employment of Women and Young Persons and Childrens Act No.47 of 1956 the Labour Department in collaboration with the Child Protection Authority and the Police conduct raids on errant employers, and institutions that hire them and institute legal action against them in order to eliminate such practices as Child labour, more..

Longest Railway Bridge completed

Aug 26 (GDI) Construction work of the longest railway bridge in Sri Lanka, Nilwala Bridge on the coastal railway line has been completed, Ministry of Transport announced. The construction work of the 170 long bridge was funded by the Government of India. According to Minister of Transport Dallas Alahapperuma, the first stage of the railway line will be is due to construct up to Beliatta. more..

'Use of chemical weapons, regardless of place, user and context, is an act of terrorism'

Aug 26 (GDI) Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake has assured that the Government of Sri Lanka does not have any chemical weapons or mass destructive weapons in its possession and expressed doubts that the LTTE terrorist outfit might adopt into such military tactics now or later. Mr. Wickramanayake said that he said he was certain of one thing: the LTTE was on its last legs. more..

Tharanga shines in drawn encounter

Aug 26 (CI) Upul Tharanga stood out with a quick-fire 169 as Sri Lanka A gained valuable batting practice in their high-scoring draw against the South African Challenge XI at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni. Batting first, Sri Lanka set off at a rollicking pace despite the early dismissal of Tharanga Paranavitana, reaching 50 in the ninth over. Tharanga found strong support from Kanchana Gunawardene, with whom he added 226 runs for the second wicket. more..

Govt. ready for snap poll

Aug 26 (SAMN) The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the immediate aftermath of their landslide victory in the Provincial Council Elections Sunday said Monday they were ready for a General Election within the next three months. The government was responding to the main Opposition United National Party’s (UNP) challenge that the government hold a general election instead mini polls in the provinces. more..

Health disaster among displaced

Aug 26 (SAMN) More than 75 per cent of the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the Vanni are likely to be victims of a serious health disaster in the coming weeks as they continue to live under trees, a health chief in the district warned Monday. Killinochchi District Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. T. Sathiamoorthy said, temporary shelters were available for only 25 per cent of the IDPs and the rest had to find shelter of their own due to the lack of tents. more..

Range Bandara’s office set ablaze

Aug 26 (SAMN) UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara’s office in Anamaduwa was set ablaze and destroyed by unknown persons on Sunday night and the angry parliamentarian blamed the government for it. Anamaduwa police said the incident had occurred around 10.00 pm on Sunday and the office had been completely destroyed. The damage has been estimated to be more than rupees 1 million. Mr. Bandara said a highly inflammable substance had been used to set the office on fire as more..

‘Victory for national politics of Govt’

Aug 26 (SAMN) General Secretary SLFP, Agriculture and Agrarian Development Minister Maithripala Sirisena said Saturday’s PC polls success of the UPFA was a victory for the national politics of the government. Speaking to the media at the Mahaweli Centre auditorium Monday he said it was a clear mandate for the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to carry out its national programme with added vigour and determination. more..

Ranil urged to resign from party and opposition leader posts

Aug 26 (LNP) The struggle to change the leadership of the UNP came to surface again with fresh vigor from another group of MPs, just after the Provincial Council elections in North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces. The group of MPs are to meet tomorrow (26) night to discuss the future programme. They are to urge Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe not only to resign from the post of the party leader but also from the Opposition Leadership. more..

Sri Lanka to implement a national policy on land appropriation

Aug 26 (LNP) Sri Lanka is preparing to implement a national policy on appropriation of land in the country. The Deputy Director of Planning of Land Policies at the Ministry of Land and Land Development, D.A. Jayananda says unsystematic land utilization has created many environmental problems in Sri Lanka and reduced the productivity of many lands cultivated with tea, coconut, rubber or any other cash crops significantly. more..

Rs. 2,700 m allocated for free textbooks

Aug 26 (DN) The Government has taken measures to provide 25 million free school textbooks spending Rs.2700 million in 2009. “Accordingly, Rs.2020 million out of Rs.2700 million will be spent for the publication of textbooks,” Education Minister Susil Premajayantha told the Daily News. The Minister has instructed Education Publications Commissioner General Jayantha Pushpakumara to streamline the distribution process of school textbooks following a proper mechanism next year. more..

Special hospital for disabled

Aug 26 (DN) The Arogya Foundation for disabled persons had launched a massive project to build a special hospital for the disabled. Following an appeal by the Foundation, a group of donors visited the foundation headquarters at Nalandaramaya, Pathiragoda, Maharagama. The delegation headed by Ven. Sek Ming Chang Thera and Buddhist donors madam Sng Choon Eng. Gohkim Hua, Goh Hiew Geok, Leow Kwee Fah, Teo Seng Hong, Lian Mam and Chew Kim Gen visited the Foundation Director Ven. Unapana Ariyadhamma Thera. more..

'Janaka lost his reputation by propping up UNP'

Aug 26 (Island) Maj. Gen. (retd) Janaka Perera was an eminent military officer with a good reputation but by trying to prop up a declining political party he had lost his good name, government defence spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told a press conference in Colombo yesterday (25). The people of the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces had reposed trust in the UPFA government by voting for UPFA candidates with clear majorities giving a fresh mandate to the policies of the government. more..