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Bomb blasts and Tamil media

July 1 (LG) There has been a spate of bombings targeting civilians in Colombo, its suburbs and other areas during the course of the past six months or so. These bombs have been placed in crowded buses and trains on most occasions. The perception that many people have of these bombings is that they are mindless acts of terrorism perpetrated by a desperate terrorist group unable to withstand the onslaught of the government's mighty armed forces on the battlefield. more..

Does it Make Sense?

July 1 (LG) A cost-benefit analysis can be of use in politics as well. Not in terms of rupees and cents but in terms of what is sensible and what is not, ‘does it make sense?’ being the key question. The war makes sense because every other option has been ruled out by the nature of the LTTE. If the Tigers are willing to accept some form of federalism the war would be irrational while a peace campaign aimed at the government, demanding more..

‘Aba’ aims international heights

July 1 (LG) ‘Aba', Jackson Anthony's latest cinematic venture aims to attract international markets for local cinema.Director Jackson says that he has already received invitations from several countries including China, Italy, Australia and few others. ‘Out of these China has expressed greater interest with plans to dub 'Aba' into Chinese,’ said Jackson. Discussions are underway to release the film in China through Chinese Film Bureau, more..

How many paths are there for the liberation of man?

July 1 (LG) There are seven ways for the liberation of man. The first way is the path of Karma. This is the discipline for the man of ordinary mettle. The second is the Vaishnava path in which devotion or bhakti to the Lord plays a greater role than work, and is meant for a higher competence. The third is the Shaiva path which is more a path of meditation and gyana (knowledge). These three orders or successive stages of discipline are meant for the ordinary category of seeker without any special qualification, more..

Appointments to Sri Lankan Missions Overseas

July 1 (LG) The Sri Lankan missions overseas whether Embassies or High Commission offices, represent not only their "special" connections within Sri Lanka but a larger picture of the image of Sri Lanka, its people and more not excluding a high standard of diplomatic duties expected of such positions. Today, in a world filled with conflict and strife, a small country like Sri Lanka has to tread a very fine line with their interpretation of foreign policy and public statements on issues. more..

What is Gratitude?

July 1 (LG) Once while cycling down a lane in my village in Northern Sri Lanka, I saw a mother goat in a state of utter frenzy. She was bleating her head off near a well in an unfenced land with a few coconut trees and grassy patches here and there. The moment the panic-stricken ruminant saw me she rushed to me; it was evident she was pleading for help. Simultaneously, I heard her kid’s distressed cries from inside the well. more..

Mano Daniels and Ganesan Miguels

July 1 (LG) Wonders never cease they say! Where in this wide world do you get a suicide bomber employed on “humanitarian work”? That’s right folk, no prizes for guessing the correct answer. In Sri Lanka of course! Recent bust up of a Black Tiger cadre and his Master Mind “Handler” has opened up a can of worms revealing yet again the murky and sinister world of mercenary peace vultures that double up as covert agents for terrorists in a role akin to “Re Daniel Dawal Miguel” more..

The possible outcomes of forthcoming Provincial Council elections

July 1 (LG) He the president has dissolved the North-central (NCP) and Sabaragamuwa provincial councils. First (knee-jerk) reaction of the UNP is to go to courts to annul the dissolution. It failed big time. Next is to find candidates to contest. That is the time where some interesting scenarios took place. UNP managed to bring in Major General Janaka Perera as the CM candidate for NCP. more..

'Maintain tanks to counter food crisis'

July 1 (GDI) On the occasion of handing over the Padukka Water Supply Scheme, built at a cost of Rs 6 million, to the residents in Arukwatte, Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister, Dinesh Gunawardane stated that a sustainable solution to the country's food problem can be found by renovating the abandoned and damaged Tanks. "Even the so called developed countries rich in modern technologies are facing food shortages due to improper use of agri-crops for fuel production," he said, more..

Jayantha Wickremaratne to assume duties as IGP tomorrow

July 1 (GDI) Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Jayantha Wickremaratne will assume duties as the new Inspector General of Police on July 1, taking over the reins from IGP Victor Perera who retires tomorrow. DIG Wickremaratne completed his education at Thurstan College and later obtained an Honours Degree in Public Administration from Sri Jayawardenepura University in 1973. more..

Britain condemns journalist assault

July 1 (BBC) The United Kingdom has strongly condemned the assault on one of their employees in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Political Officer of the British High Commission (BHC) Mahendra Ratnaweera and Media Director of Sri Lanka Press Institute, Namal Perera were assaulted close to the department of information in Narahenpita. Both of them were admitted to hospital following the attack a group of unidentified assailants on Monday evening. more..

Clinical Sri Lanka storm into final

July 1 (CI) As birthday bashes go, this was pretty special, with Sanath Jayasuriya bludgeoning Bangladesh into submission as Sri Lanka sauntered into the Asia Cup final. Kumar Sangakkara's elegant 121, just 24 hours after a century against Pakistan, was the supporting act, and with Muttiah Muralitharan at his supple-wristed best with the ball, Bangladesh were brushed aside by a massive 158 runs. Nazimuddin and Raqibul Hasan showed some defiance, more..

Anti- terrorism protest rally in Italy

July 1 (AT) Sri Lankans and other nationalities participated in a huge anti-terrorism protest rally in Milan, Italy. The demonstration against terrorism was held on 29 June, at Piazza Castello, Milan. The aim of the demonstration according to the organizers was to invite people all over the world to get together to defeat terrorism. More than 5000 Sri Lankans - Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Italians and other nationalists who live in Italy participated in the anti-terrorists rally. more..

Sri Lanka & India’s Insecurity?

July 1 (AT) Is India insecure by nature or should India have reasons to be insecure even after expansions in its military, diplomatic & economic energies far beyond Nehru’s Non-Aligned times? It is this aspect of insecurity that necessitates a closer review of India’s role in Sri Lanka. Does India need to be insecure of Sri Lanka? Or is it that India wishes to see Sri Lanka wriggling with "uncertainties" that will eternally leave a "vulnerable" country to which more..

Records don't awe ageless Jayasuriya

July 1 (CI) The beauty about Sanath Jayasuriya, Virender Sehwag and Adam Gilchrist is that there are certain records they are the most likely to set - and they don't give a damn about it. For them the journey is the thing. They can't bear to take the joy out of their batting just because they are close to a record - in that sense, they derive a Keith Miller-like sense of pleasure from their cricket. more..

Sri Lanka British embassy land; gentry wanted

July 1 (LBO) The former British High Commission property in Sri Lanka is for sale with the owners preferring the highest bidder to have a high pedigree as well, the auctioneers said. The 434 perches of former British High Commission is owned by the British government, and will be sold by calling for expressions of interest, auctioneer Navinda Samerawickreme of Shockman and Samerawickreme told LBO. more..

US Embassy reopens tomorrow

July 1 (LD) The US Embassy in Colombo reopens for the public tomorrow (July 01st) after a temporary closure for five days. On June 25th, the embassy was closed following the finding of a suspicious powder in the premises. After laboratory tests, the Medical Research Institute has determined that the powder was not harmful to health. The embassy will now reopen for visa and alls other public services.

Former President fears for her life, ‘though not from LTTE’

July 1 (TW) At an event celebrating her 63rd birthday, the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga said that she fears regarding her personal safety and was afraid to travel as she was liable to be attacked by people quite unconnected with the LTTE, reports the Colombo The Daily Mirror. She said, “I am afraid to travel because there is a threat to my life from certain people, though not from Prabhakaran,” Mrs. Kumaratunga said, more..

Sri Lankan military says 9,000 rebels killed in last two years

July 1 (Xinhua) About 9,000 Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed by government troops since the government launched its military offensive in August 2006, Sri Lankan Army Commander Sarath Fonseka told reporters on Monday. Fonseka told a gathering of Colombo-based foreign reporters that 1,700 government troops were also killed and 4,000 injured in the past two years in the military action against the LTTE in the north and east. more..

Vast scope for cement export to Sri Lanka: Rajabdin

July 1 (APP) There is a great scope for private sector to export cement to Sri Lanka to meet the ever increasing demand of cement as construction industry in Sri Lanka was rapidly growing with a reasonable pace. President, Sri Lanka Federation of Chambers and Commerce and Industry, Nawaz Rajabdin who is also VP, SAARC CCI, on Monday was talking to his counterpart in Pakistan Iftikhar Ali Malik by telephone. more..

India to train Lankan soldiers

July 1 (TOI) Even as it pushes Sri Lanka to renew political efforts towards resolving its bloody ethnic strife, India is virtually throwing open the doors of its different military institutions to train Sri Lankan soldiers. In 2008-2009 alone, over 500 Sri Lankan officers and other ranks will receive training in institutions ranging from Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte (Mizoram) to School of Artillery at Devlali (Maharashtra), more..

British official, journalist attacked

July 1 (Reuters) A British High Commission employee and a journalist were assaulted in Sri Lanka on Monday, prompting media groups to say they feared it was the latest in a series of attacks against journalists. A Sri Lankan attached to the commission and a defence journalist at the Sri Lanka Press Institute were attacked by a group in their car in the capital Colombo, witnesses said. Both were wounded but hospital workers said they were not in danger. more..

GSP+ and the need for constitutional reform

July 1 (GV) The Political Watch Column of the Sunday Island of 22 June titled Opposition at Sea included a critique of an article co-authored by us which was published on Groundviews (and in the Sunday Leader) sometime ago, in which we argued that if Sri Lanka was serious about ensuring that its laws were compatible with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a constitutional amendment to its bill of rights was desirable. more..

Embassy Row

July 1 (WT) Surfers around the world have discovered a new place to ride the waves, a tear-shaped island in the Indian Ocean called Sri Lanka. Despite a civil war that has claimed 70,00 lives over 30 years, the island the size of West Virginia is especially popular with Israeli surfers, and the government is planning to install cameras along the best beaches so surfers can monitor the waves over the Internet. more..

Bruce Fein – The Great White Hope

July 1 (MB) I just saw the Bruce Fein interview on Canadian ITV Live that has been posted on YouTube. This is a must-see for all who are interested in the Tamils for Justice push to grab international media attention for their primary cause: a separate Tamil country in Sri Lanka. First of all, I think the interviewer did an excellent job; he was unemotional, centered, well-informed, and poised. I find it very interesting that the overseas Tamil community has chosen Bruce Fein, Esq. to represent them. more..

Korean Buddhists to provide houses for Kebithigollewa victims

July 1 (GDI) Ven. Mujubi Thera of Korea has pledged to provide houses to families of those who died in the LTTE's claymore mine blast at Kebithigollewa targeting a civilian bus last year. Ven. Mujubi Thera gave this assurance when he called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday, a media release issued by the President's Media Unit said. This initiative was taken by the Ven. Mujubi Thera upon a request made by Sri Lankarama Viharadhipathi of more..

Unused estate lands to be developed

July 1 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa advised officials of the Ministry of Public Estate Management and Development and the Chairpersons of the Estate Planting Corporation to take over all lands belonging to State Planting Companies on lease where terms are violated, to be taken over by the Government and utilised for profit yielding purposes. The President gave these instructions at a meeting he chaired yesterday at Temple Trees. more..

Workers as pawns in political hands

July 1 (LNP) Workers are finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet and it is natural that they are demanding pay hikes. Their consternation is compounded by the colossal waste of public funds they see around them. That pay hikes in an inflationary situation result in further increases in the general price level since the government resorts to inflationary sources to raise funds and enhanced salaries cause the demand to go up without more..

Did SL obtain arms from Zimbabwe?

July 1 (SAMN) A report in the Zimbabwe media suggests that Sri Lanka had at one time received arms from the Robert Mugabe government in Zimbabwe. The ‘Zimbabwean’ newspaper reported that Zimbabwe's state arms firm, Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI), supplied the Sri Lankan military with weapons as early as 1997 and that Zimbabwe's role as a conduit for weapons shipments to third countries dated back to at least 1999. more..

UNP to support JVP led strike

July 1 (SAMN) The UNP will support the JVP led July 10, general strike in the State sector, demanding a minimum salary increase of Rs.5,000, Gayantha Karunatillake MP, said Monday. He said the UNP has no problem with who was organizing the strike because a salary increase of Rs.5,000, for the working class was quite fair. "They should actually get a bigger pay hike since inflation has skyrocketed to a staggering 33 per cent even though more..

Tamashas for a few, burdens for masses

July 1 (SAMN) The government will present a supplementary estimate in Parliament next week seeking the provision of Rs. 2.8 billion required to fund the SAARC summit and the Foreign Ministry. Through this estimate, the government is seeking Rs. 401 million to meet recurrent expenditure and Rs. 2,478 million for capital expenditure. The estimate is expected to be presented in the House on July 11. more..

JVP’s leadership crisis

July 1 (SAMN) National Freedom Front (NFF) leader MP Wimal Weerawansa, addressing his party's well attended inaugural rally at Nugegoda Monday, said the all the political parties in the country were facing leadership crises. Tight security could be seen in and around Nugegoda. Current JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, Weerawansa said, was not a successful leader. There was a crisis in the UNP, too, under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

TUs laud President for pay hike

July 1 (DN) Western Province Governor and Convenor of Joint Council of Trade Union Organisations Alavi Mowlana said yesterday that trade unions were grateful to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government for granting a salary rise of Rs. 1,000 for public servants. President Rajapaksa took this decision following a discussion with trade unions at Temple Trees. Mowlana said pensioners have also been entitled for an increment of Rs. 500 according to the new salary proposal. more..

60 per cent rise in Railway income

July 1 (DN) The Railways Department has recorded a 60 per cent increase in its daily income consequent to the recent train fare hike, General Manager of Railways Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said. Addressing a media briefing in Colombo yesterday he said although the increase in the turnover was noteworthy, it was inadequate to cover up the annual loss incurred by the Department which is 300 per cent. more..

SC bars police from seeking bank account details, except of suspected subversives

July 1 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday directed the Police Department to refrain from seeking details of a person’s bank account, unless that particular person or a family member was subjected to a specific investigation in respect of cordon and search operations in Colombo and the suburbs. Any breach of this direction by any Police officer should be brought to the notice of the Supreme Court by the harassed party. more..

Politically ruined parties need press for survival - JVP

July 1 (Island) Parties that are politically ruined would always seek the support of newspapers for their survival, JVP spokesman Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said yesterday (30). Commenting on the alleged attack on JVP rebel group parliamentarian Piyasiri Wijenaike, he said that there was a compliant made and an investigation was in progress. The newly formed NFF member Piyasiri Wijenayake, who was allegedly attacked on Sunday had accused the JVP Central Committee of planning attacks and issuing death threats to NFF members. more..

Violators of court orders will be held accountable: CJ

July 1 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday cautioned that any officer found guilty of violating court directions when carrying out search operations would be held accountable. Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva made this comment when a fundamental rights violation petition was filed alleging that directions given by the court were not being carried out during search operations. more..

Outgoing IGP appointed Northern Governor

July 1 (DM) Police Chief Victor Perera who bade farewell to the top job last evening, has been appointed as the Governor of the Northern Province by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr. Perera is to assume duties as the Northern Governor on Thursday, Police Media Spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara told the Daily Mirror. At a farewell ceremony organized by the police department followed by a guard of honour, IGP Perera said he was immensely satisfied with the service he rendered during his regime. more..

'LTTE is targeting the innocent civilians in Sri Lanka'

July 1 (AT) The widely circulated Observer magazine distributed with the Observer newspaper said, in a four page in-depth article, by targeting innocent civilians the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is fast losing whatever sympathies they had earlier. The magazine in an article entitled, “Lost in Paradise” said, the Tamil Tigers “are going for the softest targets of all, the impoverished working people of Sri Lanka.” more..

Chandrika says won't be intimidated by false charges

July 1 (LD) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that she won't be intimidated by accusations being leveled against her by the very persons whom she had nurtured in politics. "I created the present government. Its members are persons I have nurtured. They are trying to level false charges against me and take me to court. I won't be frightened by such attempts, as I had not cheated even five cents of state money. I have answers for all these allegations," she said. more..

JVP becoming LTTE supporting group - NFF leader

July 1 (LD) The JVP is now becoming a supporting group for the LTTE, said National Freedom Front Chairman Wimal Weerawansa. The NFF came into being after fruitless attempts to bring the JVP on the correct path, he said. Mr. Weerawansa was addressing the inaugural rally of the NFF at Ananda Samarakoon Outdoor Theatre in Nugegoda. The JVP as well as the UNP and the SLFP are today in the hands of fogies, he alleged, adding that the latter has today become a 'Raja Pakshayak.' more..

JVP appoints Sujith Kuruwita as MP

July 1 (LD) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has appointed Sujith Prasanna Kuruwita as an MP to fill the vacancy created following the resignation of national list appointee Wasantha Samarasinghe. Mr. Samarasinghe handed over his letter of resignation to the Secretary General of Parliament yesterday (June 30th), to contest the upcoming polls for the North Central Province as the JVP's chief ministerial candidate. more..

Media groups call upon people against media attacks

July 1 (LD) The Free Media Movement led five local media rights groups say they are shocked to learn the attempted abduction and subsequent assault on Deputy Head of the Advocacy Section of Sri Lanka Press Institute and Mahendra Amaraweera, Head of the Political Section of the British High Commission in Colombo. The media rights groups said in a statement that the two had been driving between Narahenpita and Kirulapone at around 06.30 p.m. yesterday (June 30th) when they were waylaid. more..

ICRC deplores loss of civilian life

July 1 (ICRC) Recent months have seen further attacks targeting civilians in different parts of Sri Lanka. Over the past three months, at least 80 civilians have lost their lives in indiscriminate attacks on public transport and crowded public places. Tensions linked to provincial elections have also exacerbated the situation in the east of the country, where election-related violence has left several dead, including nine people who were killed in a bomb blast in Ampara on 9 May. more..

Sri Lanka industry destroyed by inflation: exporter

July 1 (LBO) A top Sri Lankan industrialist has warned that high inflation from weak monetary and fiscal management is destroying the country's manufacturing base by grinding down the competitiveness of the country's exports. Sri Lanka's inflation hit a record high of 28.2 percent in June on a new inflation index in which weights were changed after the most widely watched index showed 29.9 percent inflation in April. more..

More sleight of hand from the ‘Asian Human Rights Commission’

July 1 (PISL) The Asian Human Rights Commission has once again decided to engage in critical generalizations about Sri Lanka, in pursuit of its aim of proving that the government cares nothing about human rights whereas AHRC is the noblest, not to say, the most garrulous, champion of them all. This time it hangs its critique on the UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture, and claims that Sri Lanka is indifferent to torture charges, more..

Sri Lanka jets bomb rebel air, sea bases

July 1 (AP) Sri Lanka's air force bombed a Tamil Tiger rebel air base and a rebel navy base, while separate ground clashes in the country's war-torn north left 20 combatants dead, the military said Tuesday. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the rebel sea base was targeted Monday night, while the air base was bombed early Tuesday. Pilots confirmed that they hit their targets but casualty and damage details were not immediately available, he said. more..

Sri Lanka business urged to modernise archaic freight system

July 2 (LBO) Sri Lankan freight forwarders should use their expertise in international trade to modernise the island's archaic, inefficient domestic trade, a transport expert said. Amal Kumarage, chairman of the National Transport Commission, said inefficiencies in internal trade were a huge cost to the economy as well as individuals and a drag on economic growth. The transport commission was now drafting a land transport policy that includes freight transport, more..

'Sri Lanka inflation may fall after August'

July 2 (LBO) Central bank said inflation which hit the highest levels in the country's record keeping history in the second half of 2008, may start to fall from August, in the wake of better monetary policy. Sri Lanka does not operate a policy rate framework at present but has a quantity targeting framework to limit the monetary base or reserve money. The bank said its average reserve money target of 286.3 billion rupees (11.9 percent) for the second quarter was met with more..