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Govt. used public facilities to win polls - JVP

Aug 26 (Island) Criticising the UPFA victory at the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provincial Council Elections, the JVP yesterday charged that the Government used public facilities, government servants and public funds to win the elections. JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe told media in Colombo that they have evidence that government used all kinds of force to win the elections. more..

‘All Tamils should fight Govt. forces’

Aug 26 (DM) Two top LTTE leaders have said that time has come for the entire Tamil populace to fight the government forces in order to what they say “liberate the motherland from the enemy.” LTTE political wing leader B. Nadesan at a get-together under the name “resurgence for war” held in Killinochchi said that the “enemy” should be given an appropriate reply accumulating the whole strength of the Tamil people, Puthinam website said. more..

Ticket fury hits family members

Aug 26 (DM) The interim committee of Sri Lanka Cricket in what is said to be a tit for tat move has cut down issuing players’ wives and family members with complimentary tickets for the remaining two one-day internationals against India scheduled for today and Friday at the Premadasa Stadium. Many family members of players refused to sit in a makeshift enclosure for the third one-dayer last Sunday and boycotted the match in protest at being given seating accommodation akin to common spectator stands. more..

A/L script marking, a failure

Aug 26 (LD) Most paper marking centres remain virtually closed as nearly 98 percent of teachers are boycotting the marking of GCE Advanced Level examination answer scripts, which began around a week ago, Chairman of the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU), Joseph Stalin says. "The Education Ministry is trying to complete the task by any means. It is not acceptable. They should first resolve the teachers’ problem and take steps for paper marking," he added. more..

Huge loss from refinery expansion project

Aug 26 (LD) A loss amounting to millions of rupees will be incurred after the government yesterday (August 25th) signed a pact with an Iranian company to improve and expand the oil refinery in Sapugaskanda, said sources at the Ministry of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development. At initial discussions, the Sapugaskanda Refinery quality enhancement and expansion project was estimated to cost nearly US $ 700 million. more..

Mano Ganeshan summoned to TID

Aug 26 (LD) The leader of the Western People's Front had been summoned to the Police Terrorist Investigation Department at 11.00 am today (Aug. 26th). A statement was to be obtained from Mano Ganeshan regarding a testimonial by a suspect in TID custody. Speaker of Parliament W.J.M. Lokubandara has permitted the police to record a statement from the WPF leader.

No snap polls till 2010 - President

Aug 26 (LD) "We have got a mandate till 2010. Therefore, I am not in a hurry to hold a general election until then," President Mahinda Rajapakse said today. The President has emphasized this at a meeting with his cabinet at Temple Trees this morning. However, Treasurer of the SLFP and Minister, Dallas Alahapperuma told the media yesterday that the government was prepared to take up the challenge by the UNP leader to hold a parliamentary election, without dissolving provincial councils. more..

Sri Lanka condemned teen case to be heard again: foreign ministry

Aug 26 (LBO) A case against a Sri Lankan teenager who was condemned to death in Saudi Arabia, will be heard again after an appeal to a higher court, the island's foreign ministry said. Rizana Nafeek was condemned to death after an infant in her care died while being bottle fed in the town on Dawadmi, 220 kilometres away from the Saudi capital of Riyadh. The Sri Lanka Embassy in Riyadh had arranged the law firm of Kateb Fahad Al – Shammary to represent Rizana, with more..

Battles kill 15 rebels, 7 soldiers in Sri Lanka

Aug 26 (AP) A series of gunbattles between government forces and the Tamil Tigers killed 15 rebels and seven soldiers in war-torn northern Sri Lanka, the military said Tuesday. Fighting broke out Monday along the front lines separating government-controlled territory and the rebels' de facto state in the north. The heaviest fighting was reported in Kilinochchi district, where two separate clashes killed six rebels and one soldier, it said. Eleven fighters were wounded. more..

Rights groups criticise Sri Lanka's treatment of journalist

Aug 26 (AFP) Rights groups on Tuesday denounced Sri Lanka's use of tough prevention of terrorism laws against a veteran journalist reporting on the island's decades-old ethnic conflict. The condemnation came a day after authorities formally charged J.S. Tissanayagam with inciting racial hatred and bringing disrepute to the government. The journalist, who has been in detention since being arrested in March, is also accused of more..

Rain forces match into reserve day

Aug 27 (CI) It started off slowly around 12:45pm local, and refused to go away. From a few drops to a relentless patter, a seasonal Colombo drizzle forced the fourth one-day international between Sri Lanka and India at the Premadasa into the reserve day. The covers were well in place by 1pm and remained there as play was eventually called off just before 6. Heavy puddles gathered on the plastic tarps and with the drainage system at the Premadasa not reputed, more..

Tiger rebels stage air attack against navy

Aug 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels Tuesday carried out their first major air strike in 16 months, dropping two bombs on a naval base in the northeast of the island, officials said. Residents in Trincomalee, 260 kilometres (160 miles) northeast of capital Colombo, said they saw anti-aircraft fire illuminating the night sky while huge blasts were also heard in the strategic port town, a key naval base. more..

Mano 'rejected' Basil's request

Aug 27 (BBC) The Sri Lanka government engaged in a systematic campaign to intimidate anti-war campaigners, a leading Tamil parliamentarian said. Leader of the Western Peoples Front (WPF), Mano Ganeshan, made the accusation after he was questioned for nearly six hours by the anti-terror police in Colombo. Speaking with BBC Sandeshaya after being questioned by Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) he said police focused on whether he maintained close links with the Tamil Tigers, a charge he categorically denied. more..

All the aces up the presidential sleeve

Aug 27 (ML) For the government freshly emerging from a euphoric victory in the Sabaragamuwa and NCP polls, the idea of a snap general election may not seem much of a challenge. On Monday, Transport Minister Dulles Alahapperuma at a media briefing was to question whether the UNP still stood by their pre poll call for an early general election, stating the government was willing to call a parliamentary poll in three months more..

APRC targets financial devolution

Aug 27 (ML) The APRC, which met on Monday, discussed the devolution of financial powers and establishing separate units of devolution for the Muslims and people of Indian origin, The Morning Leader learns. The APRC which met under the chairmanship of Science and Technology Minister Tissa Vitharana also decided to continue their deliberations and finalise its report notwithstanding the decision of the JHU and the MEP to withdraw from the proceedings. more..

LTTE presence in the East on the increase—TMVP

Aug 27 (ML) The Tiger intelligence operations in the east have shown a marked increase in recent weeks, TMVP spokesperson Azath Moulana told The Morning Leader yesterday. The heightened intelligence work comes one year after government forces gained control of the entire eastern province. He said the intelligence activities are mostly in Kancikudichcharu and the surrounding areas. more..

A lasting landslide?

Aug 27 (ML) The landslide victory of the UPFA in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections is clearly a ringing endorsement by the electorate of the President’s handling of the war and of his avowed goal of military victory. In the course of the campaign he asked for this endorsement and the electorates of the two provinces have had no hesitation in giving it to him. more..

BOI magnetises US$ 425 million FDI in six months; On target for $1 billion mark

Aug 27 (BL) Confirming foreign and select local investors aren’t swayed by perceived negativities, the Board of Investment (BOI) yesterday said it had recorded US$425 million in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the first half of 2008 and was well on target to reach US$ 1billion by year end. Enterprise Development and Investment Promotions Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama told journalists that the latest figures were a 36% increase from the corresponding period in 2007, and more..

UNP rebels thirst for Ranil’s blood

Aug 27 (BL) A further split and leadership struggle seems imminent within the main opposition UNP, following the party’s embarrassing showing at last Saturday’s Provincial polls, with rebels claiming “enough was enough”. Senior party members leading the newest rebellion within the UNP, told The Bottom Line yesterday that, Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had ‘proven himself a loser’ and more..

The danger signal: Increased polarisation

Aug 27 (BL) As usual, post-mortem examinations were held on Saturday’s provincial council elections the last two days; the government saying that it had received the endorsement of the people for its policies and the opposition parties blaming the government for violence and misuse of state resources. We have to look beyond. Then, we notice the danger signals: increased polarisation of the Sinhalese and the Tamils, and more..

Low cost robot ‘MURALI’ for de-mining

Aug 27 (BL) Landmines have become a severe threat, not only to people’s lives the world over, but also to the economic and social development of any country. Over the years, Sri Lanka too has had its share of the destruction caused by landmines, the effects of which are still felt by many victims. It is estimated that approximately 3.5 million landmines were discovered in the war torn areas of the country and the victims, mostly men, more..

Catholic commission in Vanni highlights IPDs plight

Aug 27 (TN) Amid pouring rain and thundering blasts of artillery and mortar shells, more than 170,000 Internally Displaced Persons in Vanni are facing a great human tragedy, which is calculatedly concealed from the world outside, said Rev. Fr. James Pathinathan, the president of the Vanni branch of the Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jaffna, in an urgent appeal to the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, on Tuesday. more..

Devananda Doctrine

Aug 27 (LG) How many Tamil Members of Parliament represent the North and the East ? Where are they ? What have they contributed to society ? What have they contributed to the Tamil people of the North and the East ? What have the people of the North and the East experienced in the recent past ? Who amongst these representatives, sends food, clothing, medicines and other essential items to the North ? more..

Provincial Council elections!

Aug 27 (LG) What message do the elections for the North Central and Sabragamuwa Provincial Councils convey? President Rajapakse, who sought a mandate for his military operations against the LTTE, hails the election result as a victory for the motherland and he further states that the results are a verdict of the people of the country. President Rajapakse maintains that the whole country is behind him in his war efforts. more..

The South endorses the war!

Aug 27 (LG) The ruling party has won the elections for the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils. President Rajapakse during his election campaign maintained that the people will give a verdict endorsing his military operations against the LTTE and that it would be a mandate for his war while the opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe sought a verdict against the government for the increasing cost of living and for co-existence. more..

Onus on religious bodies to expose human tragedy

Aug 27 (LG) Vanni faces another human tragedy. Following the war, the people of Vanni are in a pitiable plight of having lost their belongings and having been displaced. Therefore, there is an onus cast on the religious bodies and religious dignitaries to expose the human tragedy in Vanni and seek immediate relief to the suffering innocent civilians. Rev.Fr.Jebanesan has raised a relevant issue with the international community. more..

War climate and problems faced by children!

Aug 27 (LG) Children in the north and east are affected as a result of the war, Tsunami, economic crisis etc. children are affected in all ways. As a result, children have dropped out from schools and are awaiting in queues to purchase food items. Some children are going to work with their parents due to poverty. It can be noted that the country’s war climate has affected not only the normal people but also the children. It is important to take special care regarding the future of these children. more..

Sri Lanka's foreign policy: The way to go

Aug 27 (LG) Foreign policy derives from a country's efforts to best represent its national interests in the world, and to reconcile those national interests with existing yet changing international realities. The challenge before Sri Lanka's current foreign policy is to correctly identify and defend the country's fundamental interests in a changing world. more..

Why TID questions Mano Ganesan?

Aug 27 (LG) Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) questioned Civil Monitoring Commission Convener and Western Peoples Front Leader Mano Ganesan for six hours from 11am on Tuesday. The questions were based on his peace delegation visits to Killinochchi during the CFA period in 2002 and 2004. The TID sleuths wanted to know if Mano had developed any special relationships with LTTE during the those visits. more..

Short drama festival of 'Paint n' Sweat' at Tower Hall

Aug 27 (LT) The short drama festival organized in concurrent with 'Pain in sweat' the arts festival, to bring forth creations of the working people to the fore will be held at Tower Hall Theatre at Maradana tomorrow at 3.00 p.m. states the Arts sub-committee of the National Trade Union Centre (NTUC). The organizers of 'Paint in Sweat' short drama festival have produced short dramas from selected scripts in order to more..

A multi-religious, cross-cultural historical Museum for Sri Lanka in Kataragama

Aug 27 (GDI) Island's first museum depicting beliefs and cultural strains of all religious faiths represented in Sri Lanka will be ceremoniously opened tomorrow (28),by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Kataragama. The Museum is housed in the Kataragama Devalaya premises and built at a cost of Rs 65million with financial assistance from the Netherlands. more..

Sri Lanka team returns from Beijing

Aug 27 (GDI) The Sri Lankan team that competed in the Beijing Olympic Games returned to the island this morning (27). Although the Sri Lankan team could not perform up to expectation at the games, Sri Lanka got the opportunity to participate in new events at the Olympics after several decades. Sri Lanka was represented by boxer Anuruddha Rathnaike, weightlifter Chinthana Vidanage, more..

Prime Minister congratulates china for a successful Olympic Games

Aug 27 (GDI) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake congratulated the Government and the people of China for holding a successful Olympic Games in Beijing. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake in his message to the Government of China and the people said that though facing devastating natural disasters and other challenges, the Chinese government and people were as strong as the Great Wall in overcoming these difficulties. more..

Japan to develop skills of Lankans seeking foreign employment

Aug 27 (GDI) The Government of Japan in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) has come forward to initiate a new labour skill development programme for Sri Lankans seeking foreign employment. Preliminary discussions pertaining to the arrangements of the programme will be held today between a high level delegation from the Japanese Industrial Training Corporation (JITCO), expected to arrive in the island today (27) more..

Sri Lanka seeks enhanced ties with Hungary

Aug 27 (GDI) Bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Hungary must be enhanced to a higher level, observed Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, when Dr. Geza Palmai, Ambassador for Hungary paid a courtesy call on Monday (25th August 2008), following his presentation of credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa earlier in the day. more..

People's mandate is valid up to 2010, no hurry for a snap poll – President

Aug 27 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday (26) that although winning a general election at this stage is not a challenge to the United People's Freedom Alliance he would not go for it as it would be a waste of public money. President Rajapaksa said that people have endorsed him and pointed out that his Government has received a mandate that was valid until 2010. more..

“Eastern Heritage Belt” to preserve sites with archeological value in East

Aug 27 (GDI) With the objective of preserving cultural heritage sites of archeological value in the Eastern province, the Central Cultural Fund (CCF), under the directives of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has initiated a programme named “Eastern Heritage Belt”. Up to now sites with archeological importance have already been identified in areas from Seruwawila to Katharagama. more..

U.S.Ambassador's concern and controversy

Aug 27 (LNP) A hornet's nest was stirred up following the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Robert Blake s meeting with the Elections Commissioner just before the Provincial Council elections. It is widely questioned by the media as to what right the US Ambassador has to hold discussions with the Elections Commissioner in regard to the conduct of free and fair elections. This is not the first time that accusations have been levelled against the U.S. Ambassador for interfering in Sri Lanka's internal affairs. more..

Teachers` pact with the devil a la Faustus

Aug 27 (LNP) The JVP was bubbling over with mirth and excitement in 2004 following its meteoric rise in parliamentary politics with 39 seats, but the bubble has manifestly burst for the outfit today. It has faced the worst ever electoral setback. The 18 seats it won in the NCP and Sabaragamuwa in 2004 have been reduced to three at Saturday`s PC polls. Worse, its slide down the slippery slope of politics is gathering momentum. more..

It was a miserable show -Hemasiri

Aug 27 (LNP) Hemasiri Fernando, President, National Olympic Committee, said that nothing better could have been expected from the Sri Lanka team at the Beijing Olympics, as they had failed miserably in regional and Asian championships in the lead up to the mega event. `A long time before the event, I knew that this was going to happen. When our team failed miserably at the Asian Games, I knew that our chances were bleak at the Olympics,` more..

Colombo facing threat of a garbage bomb

Aug 27 (SAMN) Sri Lanka’s biggest garbage mountain, growing in height day by day, at Bloemendhal Road, Colombo 13 has become a menace. It could explode if fire spreads to the methane gas emanating from the lower levels of the dump, the Colombo Municipal Council Public Health Department warned Tuesday. A recent fire in a section of the dump had aggravated an already bad health hazard, residents of the area complained. more..

Muslim IDPs press for resettlement

Aug 27 (SAMN) The government has not responded to the requests made by the displaced northern Muslims to resettle them, Musali People’s Parliament (MPP) President, S.M.A. Niyas said. Many of the Northern Muslims who were evicted from the Musali areas in 1990 continue to live in temporary shelters in and around Puttalam. The IDPs would be marking their 18th year of eviction from their homes in October. more..

Excise earn Rs.13 m. as Govt. revenue

Aug 27 (SAMN) The Excise Department has earned over Rs.13 million as government revenue through fines imposed on various illicit and licence offences from January 1, 2008 to date. Superintendent of the Excise Bureau of Special Operations Upul Seneviratne said 1455 illicit cases have been detected countrywide since January and a sum of Rs.9,400,400 had been earned as government revenue through fines imposed by the Magistrate Courts. more..

Govt. to open Industrial Estate in North

Aug 27 (SAMN) The government is planning an Industrial Estate in Jaffna for which 53 acres of have been identified at Atchuvely. The sources said that this would be under the first phase of the Government’s programme to develop Greater Jaffna so as to provide job opportunities and uplift socio-economic standards. Maj Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri had granted approval for the release of the land identified for this project was adjoining the High Security Zone around Palaly Base. more..

'Lankan Govt strong, will resolve ethnic issue'

Aug 27 (DN) The Japanese Government believes that the Sri Lankan Government is strong and capable of resolving the ethnic problem, a Japanese Parliamentary delegation has told President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday. Hosei Norota, Member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentarians’ Friendship Association and former Minister of Defence, has told President Rajapaksa that Sri Lanka was progressing rapidly with a strong economic framework. more..

Record coconut oil production in 2007

Aug 27 (DN) Sri Lanka has achieved a high coconut oil production of 84,788 mt in last year recording a significant increase of 324 per cent after 22 years. Coconut Development Authority (CDA) Chairman, D.J.U. Purasinghe told the Daily News that the coconut oil manufacturing industry which had collapsed for many years in the past has been boosted at present marking the highest growth rate. more..

Mervyn should resign like a true gentlemen - Janaka

Aug 27 (Island) Major General (retd) Janaka Perera yesterday called on Labour Minister Mervyn Silva to honour his pledge to resign from office if he (Perera) got even one more vote than Upali, a disabled soldier who contested the North Central Provincial Council Election on the UPFA ticket. "Mervyn, like a true gentlemen should now go before President Mahinda Rajapaksa and hand over his resignation, since I have obtained the highest number of preference votes in the North Central Province," more..

Easier housing loans from EPF

Aug 27 (Island) The Employees’ Provident Fund is to introduce a new housing loan scheme where members could withdraw one third of their contributions interest free before they reach their age of retirement or retain their balance with the Central Bank and get an interest higher than that paid by commercial banks on savings deposits, Minister of Labour and Manpower resources told The Island yesterday (26). more..

MTV files FR against Mervyn

Aug 27 (DM) MTV Channel, and one of its journalists who was allegedly attacked, have filed two fundamental rights applications in the Supreme Court against Minister Mervyn Silva and the IGP, claiming Rs. 110 millions as compensation. J. K. A. Waruna Sampath filed these applications citing Labour Relations and Manpower Minister Mervyn Silva, Peliyagoda Police SSP K. D. Somapala, The IGP, Peliyagoda Police HQI Jagath Rohana and the Attorney General as respondents. more..

EU to examine draft report on Lanka

Aug 27 (DM) The European Union (EU) will examine a draft report on Sri Lanka sometime next month before it is put forward to the EU Parliament, an EU official told the Daily Mirror yesterday. The report prepared by an EU delegation which visited Sri Lanka recently is expected to tilt heavily against the government. The European Parliament's delegation for relations with South Asia would examine the draft mission report on Sri Lanka most likely by mid next month. more..