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Gotabhaya lauded for CFA abrogation

Jan 7 (SAMN) The Federation of Buddhist Organisations welcomed the Government decision to abrogate the Cease fire agreement and praised Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for getting the government to do so. "The decision of the government to abrogate the CFA, an agreement signed by two puppets at the hands of a gang of international looters calling themselves International Community is most welcome and appreciated by all patriotic citizens of Sri Lanka," more..

Three die of mysterious fever

Jan 7 (SAMN) Three persons have so far died of a mysterious fever spreading at Galnewa in Anuradhapura after the recent floods in the area. More than fifty persons have been treated at the Galnawa hospital within two weeks following the floods and thirteen of them whose condition was serious were transferred to the Anuradhapura General Hospital. Three of the thirteen had died. more..

Special programme for pregnant women

Jan 7 (SAMN) A Holistic approach to Motherhood, designed essentially in view of nurturing the child’s mind from its origin- in the womb, has been conducted continuously by the Vishva Niketan International Peace Centre from 2002, the for pregnant women and their husbands. Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr. Upali Marasinghe with the participation of other leading personalities has initiated a special programme at Sarvodaya Vishva Samadhi Hall, Rawattawatte, Moratuwa more..

All Govt. employees to be confirmed following training

Jan 7 (DN) The Government has decided to confirm all employees recruited to Government institutions, corporations and statutory bodies on casual, temporary, contract and substitute basis after successfully completing Government training, Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry sources said. The training programmes ended on December 30, 2007. All eligible qualified recruits should complete more than three years continuous satisfactory service and the successful completion of training. more..

Launch of Sri Lanka’s first audio book

Jan 7 (DN) All those present at the Sri Lanka National Library in Colombo on Friday witnessed a historic event in Sri Lanka’s publishing history with the launch of the country’s first audio book. The book chosen was “The Burghers’ authored by J.B. Muller. It was chosen because J.B. Muller made a point in his book that brought all Burghers within the fold of that Community without distinctions as to being of Portuguese, Dutch, or British descent. more..

Anura to re-join ‘Carnival of Clowns’, gets enhanced security

Jan 7 (Island) As widely expected in political circles, Anura Bandaranaike, MP, over the weekend reached an understanding with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to re-join the Cabinet, which he once dubbed as a ‘Carnival of Clowns’. President Rajapaksa amidst tight security visited Visumpaya, where Bandaranaike had, since his latest crossover (from the ruling coalition to the Opposition), just before the December 14 final vote on the Budget, stayed despite a vacation order. more..

Election to Eastern PC after mini polls – Minister

Jan 7 (Island) The Elections Department has called nominations for local polls in the Batticaloa district. Minister of Local Government Janaha Bandara Tennakoon said the government was planning to hold elections to the de-merged Eastern Provincial Council after the scheduled mini polls. The nominations will be accepted for nine local bodies from recognised political parties and independent groups fielding candidates for eight Pradheshiya Sabhas and the Batticaloa Municipal Council from 18 to 25 January, more..

EPDP to request Govt. to provide adequate security

Jan 7 (DM) The EPDP-led alliance, which was formed to contest the local government elections in the Eastern Province, will ask the government to provide its members with adequate security in the run up to the elections. The decision comes in the wake of the TMVP deciding to break ranks with the alliance and go solo for the elections in the East. The decision was communicated to the EPDP political authorities in Batticaloa, on Saturday, by the TMVP’s politburo. more..

Large stock of explosives recovered by Army

Jan 7 (DM) The army engaged in search operations in the Thoppigala area and recovered a large stock of explosives, including 63 powerful Claymore mines, in two separate detections during the last 48 hours, military sources said. Troops stationed in Thoppigala unearthed this large haul of arms and explosives in the Meeyangolla area. It is believed to have been left behind by fleeing LTTE cadres during the Thoppigala operation. more..

Sri Lanka says 3-day death toll hits 73, most rebels

Jan 7 (Reuters) Sri Lankan troops killed seven Tamil Tigers in the island's far north on Monday, taking the death toll from fierce fighting to 73, mostly rebels, since Saturday alone, the military said. Troops destroyed three rebel bunkers in the far northern Jaffna peninsula early on Monday, the latest in a series of confrontations along a shared "border" that separates government territory from the rebels' de facto state in the north. more..

Sri Lanka says too early to decide on Emirates stake

Jan 7 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan government said on Monday it was too early to say if it would be interested in buying Emirates airline's stake in flagship carrier SriLankan airlines. Emirates said on Sunday it was looking to sell all or part of a 43.6 percent stake in SriLankan Airlines valued at around $150 million after the Sri Lankan government sought greater control over the airline's day-to-day business. more..

CFA abrogation only benefits the LTTE - UNP

Jan 7 (LD) The main opposition UNP has charged that the government’s decision to abrogate the Ceasefire Agreement has weakened the country both internationally and domestically and had benefited the LTTE’s aspirations for a separate state. “President Rajapaksa should explain to the people of Sri Lanka why he has abandoned the framework for a negotiated settlement to the conflict in the country. more..

Make devolution offer now, EU tells Sri Lanka

Jan 8 (IANS) The European Union (EU) Monday called upon Sri Lanka to come forward with a 'substantive devolution offer' around which negotiations with the LTTE can start as soon as possible. 'For an arrangement to serve as a feasible basis for negotiations, it needs to go beyond past offers and the EU urges both parties to work towards a solution that would bring a peaceful and lasting resolution to the conflict,' the EU said in a statement here. more..

LTTE Supremo survives when others on the hit list of the Sri Lankan Intelligence perish

Jan 8 (TM) The leader of LTTE has been leading his organization with determination and courage as a well-organized and well-disciplined movement. This has been globally acknowledged by governments and military experts. Pirapaharan has lived to read his obituary issued by Indian and Sri Lankan governments four times since the LTTE became a powerful player in Sri Lanka. more..

Australia concerned at recent developments in Sri Lanka

Jan 8 (AT) Australia is concerned about the Sri Lankan Government’s announcement that it intends to withdraw from the 2002 ceasefire agreement with the LTTE. This is a step backwards which Australia fears could lead to further escalation of violence, including against civilians, said a statement of the Australian Embassy in Colombo. The Embassy appeals to all parties to the conflict to protect the human rights of all Sri Lankans. more..

Sri Lankan ban on branded drugs will help India

Jan 8 (IANS) Indian pharmaceutical companies are likely to benefit from Sri Lanka's ban on the prescription of branded drugs, trade sources say. "The preference that will be given to generic drugs from now on will benefit Indian manufacturers most because India is a leader in the manufacture of generic drugs," a trade source told IANS. "As it is, drugs imported from India account for 50 percent of the medicines imported by Sri Lanka and, mind you, Sri Lanka imports almost all its medicines," more..

Abrogation of cease-fire, a triumphant moment of a vicious conspiracy

Jan 8 (GV) We all know that a Cease-fire between the two contending parties by itself is no solution to our national conflict. A cease-fire provides only an opening for a tedious journey that we have to undertake to reach a lasting solution. In other words, it is an intermission in the brutal communication carried out by the bullet between two warring parties to seek a breathing space to explore other possibilities of negotiating an end to the conflict in a human and a civilized manner. more..

Intention of international community is to give Elam to tiger terrorists! – Vijithe Herath

Jan 8 (LT) The intention of the so-called international community is to accomplish tiger terrorists’ ‘Ealam’ dream says JVP Parliamentarian Vijithe Herath. Speaking to ‘Lankatruth’ on the strong opposition by certain countries and international organization to the decision taken by government of Sri Lanka to abrogate CFA, Mr. Herath said, “The intention of the so-called international community is to hand over the North and the East to tiger terrorists. more..

Help extend benefits to Tamils: Rajapaksa

Jan 8 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday appealed to all political parties and people to join him in his effort to provide the “innocent Tamil people of the North and the East with the same freedoms” that are enjoyed by people in other areas. In his first public comment, after the decision of his government to abrogate the 2002 Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) with the LTTE, Mr. Rajapaksa told a gathering in his home district Hambantota that the military was in the process of “eliminating terrorism” in the north, parts of which are under control of the Tigers. more..

Few buyers for SriLankan stake

Jan 8 (B24) Gulf carrier Qatar Airways and two Indian airlines, Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways, are likely contenders to pick up a stake in SriLankan Airlines, with whom Emirates ended its 10-year management contract on Sunday, according to sources close to the island nation carrier. Emirates’ President Tim Clark had said on January 6 that the airline is open to the idea of selling in full or part its 43.6 per cent share in the airline for an estimated fair value of $150 million (Dh550.5m). more..

Sri Lanka’s further plunge into lawlessness - AHRC

Jan 8 (LR) The year 2008 began, for Sri Lanka with the assassination of the Tamil opposition UNP Member of Parliament, T. Maheshwaran. Just a few days earlier a government minister, Mervin Silva forcibly entered the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation) premises with about ten other persons and allegedly assaulted a news manager in retaliation for which, corporation employees demonstrated their anger against the minister and his companions. more..

Inside Info on LTTE Activities in UK - 2008

Jan 8 (LR) LTTE activists without fear were engaged in LTTE propaganda work and fundraising activities on the New Years Day in London. Unprecedented number of people is said to have attended various temples in London to pray to God to get the blessings for the New Year. The Hindu devotees until few years ago had to face the LTTE activists in front of the temples, selling LTTE calendars, recordings, propaganda materials etc. more..

Our acquaintance with LTTE’s Charles

Jan 8 (LR) When I was scanning through the website, I noticed a familiar face of a person I had met previously. The gave detail account of this man’s involvement in various violent activities of the LTTE. My colleague A K Vivekananthan and I were officially taken into captivity by the LTTE on 8 January 2005 after few days of hold-ups in reception centres of the LTTE in Kilinochchi. more..

'Save the youth'

Jan 8 (LG) Nandana Gunatillake JVP MP 'is reported to have stated that a group within the JVP want to secure power through armed struggle. There is the eternal danger that misguided youth may be enamoured by this proposal. Therefore elders who have gone through the experiences of the insurrection of the seventies should use persuasive methods to warn young blood of the inherent dangers. more..

The mentally ill at Freedom Home Needs You!

Jan 8 (LG) Oswald Gomis Mawatha is a winding lane close to the Rajamaha Viharaya in a residential area in Kelaniya. The residents living there appear to be well – to – do judging from the very smart houses that are located on both sides of the lane. The locality is very clean and tidy. When one approaches towards the end of the lane the residence on the right is “Freedom Home” a sanctuary for inmates who have been discharged from our premier mental hospitals at Angoda and more..

Believe it or not tales from the FM

Jan 8 (CP) Making use of Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona’s absence from Colombo on leave, Foreign Minister Bogollagama has sneaked into the service Sarala Fernando, a former Ambassador, overriding a Cabinet decision not to re-engage her after her retirement. "A note to DG/Admin. from Actg. S/FA says, "Please issue a letter of appointment to Mrs. Sarala Fernando as Consultant (Multilateral) to the Hon. Minister for a period of six months from today." more..

War, socio-economy the reason for violence?

Jan 8 (CP) Law and order is at its lowest ebb in Sri Lanka at present. Although many incidents of violence are reported by the media, culprits are very rarely apprehended. Violent acts are committed by the highest echelons of society with Government Ministers and parliamentary members heading the list. Recently Minister Mervyn Silva created a furor when he allegedly assaulted an employee of a state run TV station. more..

Silva tries to hide behind parliamentary privileges

Jan 8 (CP) Minister Mervyn Silva has written to Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara and raised an issue of parliamentary privileges, saying that he was assaulted at the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation on Thursday 27 December last year. In a letter sent to the Speaker last week, Silva says that he went to Rupavahini Corporation as a people’s representative to look in to its management issues since Rupavahini is a government institution. more..

JKH scholarship scheme for Moratuwa University

Jan 8 (CP) The John Keells Social Responsibility Foundation entered into an agreement with the University of Moratuwa on 17 December 2007 to embark on a scheme to grant scholarships to students reading for an Honours degree of Bachelor of Science in Transport and Logistics Management (BSc (T&LM) Hons.) The scholarship scheme was arranged by the Transportation Group of John Keells Holdings Limited. more..

Fearing DMK backlash, Indian PM may give Sri Lanka a miss

Jan 8 (ToI) Keeping in view stepped up hostilities between Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE as well as the sensitivities of DMK, his major southern ally, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not likely to visit the island nation on its 60th Independence anniversary on February 4. More or less confirming speculation that he was not going to Sri Lanka, Singh told the media in Delhi on Monday, "I have not made up my mind," when asked about the visit. more..

Sri Lanka plans for common policies on electronic crime

Jan 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs more trained investigators to probe computer crimes and common policies and laws to combat electronic crimes which can extend across borders, legal professionals have said. "We also can adopt common directives similar to the EU, otherwise countries in Asia and the Pacific will not be able to have an advantage over international trade in the future," Sunil Abeyratne, secretary of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said. more..

40,000 families affected by floods in East Sri Lanka

Jan 8 (Xinhua) Some 40,000 families have been affected by floods caused by incessant rains in the eastern district of Ampara, government officials said Monday. Sunil Kannangara, the chief administrative officer in the district, said torrential rains have been falling in the district since Saturday. Low-lying areas in Alayadiwembu, Pottuvil, Karathivu, Akkaraipattu, Sammanthurai and Thirukkovil are under four feet of water with most of the main roads becoming impassable. more..

Terror, Counter-Terror and Talking to “Terrorists”

Jan 8 (FI) Since 9/11, Politics worldwide has been dominated by fear and insecurity. International terrorism has become the central spectre of our time. But the political leaders are busy devising policies and actions which mainly deal with the symptoms of terrorism, rather than the causes. Attempts to combat and suppress terrorism through military and police powers and other security measures may only give a temporary appearance of victory, and never, a long-term result. more..

Political Chicanery Marks Our Passage to Prsent Abyss

Jan 8 (FI) The sad loss of sight of the universal law of causation has brought Lanka to its present peril! Whether as individuals or groups, be it political parties or governments, there is no escaping the operation of the natural law. One may call it dhamma, kamma or divine grace, but its operation is undeniable. Actions, coupled with fickle intentions, cause corresponding consequences. Period. more..

NSSP never abandoned their position of defending Tamils’ Rights

Jan 8 (TC) The anniversary meeting of the Nava Sama Samaja Party was more than a success. There were enough participants to fill the new town hall. Altogether over 500 participated. Representatives from other political parties included MP for Trincomalee district, K.Thurairatnesingham and the President of the Socialist Party, Mahinda Devage. Both of them addressed the meeting declaring solidarity with our efforts. more..

International Cover-Up in Colombo - HRW

Jan 8 (LR) It is a truism of American politics that it’s the cover-up that gets leaders in trouble, not the crime. Richard Nixon was famously forced to resign not because of a burglary at the Watergate hotel, but because of his heavy-handed efforts to keep the full story from the public. There was Ronald Reagan and the Iran-Contra Affair and perhaps now Bush and the CIA interrogation tapes. more..

Majority of pilots leave Sri Lankan Airline

Jan 8 (LeN) The majority of the Sri Lankan airline pilots have come to a decision to leave the national carrier since February with the Emirates' decision not to renew the agreement with the Sri Lanka state after March 31. Sri Lankan has 14 aircrafts and around 200 pilots are employed. The majority of the pilots are Sri Lankans. An official of the airline said to Lanka-e-News that 98% of the Sri Lankan's 600 staff are locals. more..

Qatar Airways plays down Sri Lankan interest: report

Jan 8 (LBO) Middle Eastern carrier Qatar Airways has played down its interest in Sri Lankan Airlines after its current managing shareholder Emirates, announced a sell out of its equity stake, reports said. Emirates Business, a Dubai based publication, quoted Qatar Airways spokesperson, Salam Al Shawa, as saying “The Doha-based carrier is not interested in picking up a stake in the airline,” amidst reports of an emissary visiting Sri Lankan facilities. more..

Job prospects for Lankans get a boost

Jan 8 (GT) SRI LANKAN workers are likely to get over 50,000 jobs in Qatar in about a year with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Doha and Colombo in the island nation tomorrow, according to reports published in a Sri Lankan newspaper. Qatar’s Minister for Labour and Social Affairs HE Sultan Hassan al-Dhabit al-Dousari and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Keheliya Rambukwella are to sign the MoU, The Sunday Observer reported. more..

No freedom for MPs & journalists: whither Sri Lanka? - Ranil

Jan 8 (LD) Leader of the Western People Front Mano Ganeshan and UNP parliamentarians Johnston Fernando and Lakshman Seneviratne are under serious threat to their lives, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament today (Jan. 08th). Wickremesinghe made this revelation after he and other UNP MPs staged a protest in the House against the murder of fellow parliamentarian T. Maheswaran. more..

LTTE too, can enter democratic mainstream - PM

Jan 8 (LD) “The government is not prepared to recognize the LTTE as the sole representative of the Tamil community. Several political groups entered the democratic mainstream in recent times. Similarly, the LTTE too, can enter the democratic mainstream,” Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake told Parliament today. Moving the motion to extend the State of Emergency by a further month, the premier also said that the LTTE had violated the ceasefire agreement on 10,000 occasions. more..

Chief Opp. Whip calls for adequate security for opposition MPs

Jan 8 (LD) Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera made a special statement in Parliament today regarding the reduction of security given to several opposition MPs. He asked Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara to obtain an explanation from authorities as to why the number of personnel provided to protect UNP parliamentarian T. Maheswaran had been slashed from 17 to only two. more..

Jeyaraj was actual target of Ja-ela blast - officials

Jan 8 (LD) Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was the actual target of the claymore blast that occurred this morning (Jan. 08th) in Ja-ela, police and military intelligence say. The explosion claimed the life of Nation Building Minister D.M. Dassanayake and one of his bodyguards, Sergeant Ratnayake of the Ministerial Security Division, and also injured 10 others. more..

SLFP (M) leader calls for adherence to policies of S.W.R.D.

Jan 8 (LD) Leader of the SLFP Mahajana Wing Mangala Samaraweera has called for the meaningful adherence to the political vision of the late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in order for the restoration of political stability in the country. Samaraweera makes this appeal in a statement to mark the 109th birth anniversary of the late founder of the SLFP that falls today (Jan. 08th). Following is the full text of the statement: more..

D.M. Dassanayake assassination: Govt condemns despicable act of terrorism by LTTE

Jan 8 (GDI) The Government today roundly condemned the vile act of terrorism perpetrated this morning in Ja-Ela that took the life of Mr. D.M. Dassanayake, Minister of Nation Building. The full statement is given below: D.M. Dassanayake, Minister of Nation Building and Member of Parliament, Puttalam District, succumbed to injuries sustained in a cowardly attack by the LTTE in Ja-Ela a few hours ago. more..

Lawasia Information and Communications Technology Conference 2008 in Colombo

Jan 8 (GDI) The Lawasia Information and Communications Technology Conference 2008, of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) will be inaugurated in Colombo on January 21 at the Trans Asia Hotel. The technical sessions will be held on January 22 and January 23, 2008. It is organized by the ICT and Emerging Laws Committees of the BASL. The event will focus on issues affecting the legal fraternity as well as other professionals in relation to the use of information technology. more..

Provincial police Departments to deal crime

Jan 8 (GDI) Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, Douglas Devananda has made a proposal to the Government to establish Provincial Police Departments with the aim of combating crime and violence including extortion and abductions. “This is essential to deal with extortions and abductions which are taking place in Jaffna,”said the Minister. He said the first stage involves distributing political leadership to the provincial administration of the North and the East. more..

'Abrogated CFA will not cause delay to presenting political proposals'

Jan 8 (GDI) “Abrogation of the cease Fire Agreement (CFA) would not cause any undue delays to present the final set of political proposals of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC),” said the Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Tissa Vitarana. According to Prof.Vitarana, the much awaited proposals would be finalised before the end of this month. Through the proposals all major issues had been finalised, barring a couple of proposals being deliberated to put the final touches. more..

Health Ministry to screen population in N.Central, N.Western, Uva

Jan 8 (GDI) Entire population in the North Central, North Western and Uva province numbering over 4.7 million will undergo screening for a basic renal investigation according to a decision taken by the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition. The three provinces have been identified as risk areas for renal failure. Since there is an alarmingly increasing proportions of renal failure in these three provinces, inability to take immediate preventive measures would lead to an uncontrollable level. more..

Govt to upgrade CWEs to control cost of living

Jan 8 (GDI) Government has allocated Rs. 306 million to upgrade the Co-operative Wholesale Establishments (CWE) before April to control the price escalation of the essential goods. Minister of Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Bandula Gunawardene said that the government has already drawn up plans to release funds to 306 cooperatives countrywide so that they can get ready for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. more..