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A sad statement from the UN Secretary General

Sep 11 (PISL) The Sri Lankan Peace Secretariat views with some astonishment what purport to be highlights of a press briefing by the Secretary General of the United Nations in which he seems to be expressing concerns about recent military activities in Sri Lanka. Though ostensibly his worries are for civilians, the exhortations about ‘the principal of proportionality and the selection of targets’, seem intended to send a message. more..

Bandula threatens to take media to court

Sep 11 (SAMN) Trade and Commerce Minister Bandula Gunawardana said Wednesday that his ministry was seeking legal advice to ascertain whether action could be taken against media reports criticising recent gas price increases, as such prices are determined on a pricing formula approved by the Supreme Court (SC). in the past few months over escalating prices of gas and other goods, which have been a burden on the public. more..

Fowzie refutes claims

Sep 11 (SAMN) Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Minister A. H. M. Fowzie informed Parliament Wednesday that oil exploration work in the Mannar basin would begin within the next six months. The Minister made this point at the adjournment debate in the House Wednesday. Sri Lanka could get many benefits from the oil exploration activities. We would get US $ 1 million as signature bonus and other bonuses including participation bonus in foreign currency, the minister said. more..

Dinesh declines to answer oral questions

Sep 11 (SAMN) Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardane Wednesday declined to answer two oral questions raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake in Parliament Wednesday since he addressed the minister as a ‘Traitor Minister’. A heated argument erupted after MP Karunanayake posed some supplementary questions at the government regarding the fuel prices and the decline in the investment sector, even with some critical remarks. more..

Mahinda awaiting Committee Report on CC

Sep 11 (SAMN) Prime Minister told Parliament Wednesday that President was not ready to establish the Constitutional Council until he receives the report of the Standing Committee appointed to look into the shortcomings of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. The Premier was responding to a special statement made by Chief Opposition Whip regarding the immediate establishment of the Constitutional Council to uphold the Constitution to appoint Independent Commissions soon. more..

Mosquito Breeding Prevention Act from September 22

Sep 11 (DN) The Prevention of Mosquito Breeding Act No. 11 of 2007 will be implemented from September 22. This will be a landmark in steps taken by the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry to control diseases such as Dengue, Malaria and Filaria, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said. The sources said the Act was passed in Parliament in 2007 but it could not be implemented due to certain reasons. more..

Subsidence threatens over 1,600 buildings in Matale

Sep 11 (DN) The Building Research Organisation has identified 1,600 to 1,700 buildings and houses in Matale threatened by subsidence in the Earth, a geological condition affecting the area. Cracks have formed on these buildings as a result of this, the Institute said. The research was carried out on nearly 3,000 buildings located in 84 square kilometres stretching from Ukuwela to Matale, Geologist of the Landslide Unit of the Institute, Asanka Tilakaratne said. more..

Two politicos charged in passport case

Sep 11 (DM) The CID filed charges before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court against two Western Provincial Councillors for allegedly aiding and abetting a person to obtain a passport on forged documents. The CID filed charges against the two Provincial Councillors Andarage Don Gamini Thilakasiri of Katuwawala, Boralesgomuwa and Hector Bethmage of Talangama South, Battaramulla for aiding and abetting more..

Govt. extends EPF to self employed, migrant workers

Sep 11 (DM) The government has decided to extend the Employees Provident Fund to the self employed and Sri Lankan migrant workers and also to increase the employee’s contribution to the EPF from the 8% to 10%, Labour and Manpower Minister, Athauda Seneviratne said. The Minister said “the EPF helps assure financial stability to employees in the winter of their life and to reward the employees for their contribution to the economic growth of the country”. more..

SC moved against extension of retirement age

Sep 11 (Island) The Centre for Policy Alternatives and Dr. Rohan Edirisinghe moved the Supreme Court against a government gazette notification published on August 11, 2008, which seeks to vest powers in the President to extend the age of compulsory retirement of any public officer appointed by the President. The petition said that the purported notification would enable extensions, based on considerations other than those provided for by the Constitution and would politicise the public service. more..

Call to defeat terrorism & separatism

Sep 11 (LD) Chairman of the newly-formed National Patriotic Centre Ven. Dambara Amila Thera says terrorism as well as separatism should be countered as a Sri Lankan nation, to ensure safety and dignity for the future generation. Speaking at the launch of NPC at the BMICH, Colombo yesterday (Sept. 10th), the prelate said they opposed using the war against terrorism to cover up the swindling of state assets. more..

Boy accidentally shoots 2 sisters

Sep 11 (LD) A boy in Divulwewa, Medawachchiya accidentally shot his sisters on September 09th while attempting to play with a weapon provided to their home by the Civil Defence Programme. When his parents were absent from home, the boy has taken the weapon, which was concealed under the bed and played with it. The weapon had gone off accidentally, hitting his seven month old sister and the 11-year old sister, who was carrying the baby. more..

UAV in emergency landing

Sep 11 (LD) An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle of the Sri Lanka Air Force made an emergency landing at the Anuradhapura Air Base today. Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said the landing was made following a technical malfunction and that an investigation was underway. The UAV has been slightly damaged, he added. One of these expensive aircraft was destroyed in the LTTE attack on the Anuradhapura Air Base.

Forming natl. unity more challenging - JVP

Sep 11 (LD) LTTE separatism should be defeated by uniting all masses as Sri Lankans, said JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath. Speaking at the inauguration of ‘National Patriotic Centre’ at the BMICH, Colombo yesterday, he said that all forms of separatism, terrorism and betrayals should be countered. Noting that a new star is born amid controversy, the JVP MP said that patriots had been threatened, even in the past. more..

Govt. to closely monitor NGOs

Sep 11 (LD) The government will introduce amendments to the act governing non-governmental organizations functioning in the country, Social Services Minister Lionel Premasiri told Parliament. The existing provisions are inadequate to closely monitor activities of NGOs, he said. Noting that several such organizations operating in the north and in plantation areas have been told to withdraw following complaints against them, more..

CID wants to grill Janaka on alleged plot to kill President

Sep 11 (Island) UNP chief ministerial candidate at the recently concluded North Central Provincial Council elections Major General (rtd) Janaka Perera yesterday said he had been instructed to present himself at the CID for questioning over an alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He told The Island that the CID had intimated to him that they wished to question him on this alleged assassination plot but more..

Sri Lanka troops attack Tamil rebels

Sep 11 (AP) Government troops launched a pre-dawn attack on Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers Thursday along the northern front lines, setting off a battle that killed four guerrillas, the military said. Fighting elsewhere killed 15 other rebels and wounded 11 soldiers, the military said. Soldiers crept south across the front lines and into rebel-held territory near the village of Kilali in the northern Jaffna peninsula about 3 a.m. and attacked enemy bunkers, more..

MDMK accuses UPA of assisting Lanka against Tamils

Sep 11 (PTI) MDMK today criticised the Sri Lanka policy of the Central government saying Indian military personnel and Indian technocrats were employed in the island nation to help the Lankan defence forces. The racist Rajapakse regime is launching blood thirsty military attacks to liquidate the Tamil race and Indian Government, in which ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu is an ally, is watching it as a helpless and mute spectator, MDMK general secretary, party General Secretary Vaiko alleged more..

India's Bharti to launch Sri Lanka services by Dec

Sep 12 (Reuters) Bharti Airtel Ltd, India's top mobile operator, expects to launch telecoms services in Sri Lanka by end of the calendar year, its chief executive said on Thursday. "We are discussing with the government, the regulator as well as the operator. The discussions are progressing," Manoj Kohli told reporters when asked if Bharti had been able to resolve issues with the existing Sri Lankan operator. more..

'You don't have to be ugly to be aggressive'

Sep 12 (IANS) One doesn't have to be ugly to be aggressive in cricket, according to Sri Lankan cricket captain Mahela Jayawardane as he received the ICC Spirit of the Game 2008 award. "You don't have to be ugly to be aggressive on the cricket field," Jayawardene said after receiving the award at the ICC annual awards gala here late Wednesday. This was the second consecutive time that Sri Lanka won the award. more..

Demand for UN sanctions

Sep 12 (Hindu) The U.K. All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils comprising, among others, the Labour MP Keith Vaz, urged the government to call for UN sanctions against Sri Lanka for its “inhumane” treatment of Tamils. The group said: “The violence unleashed against the Tamil people and the suffering they have been subjected to by the government, in the name of the fight against LTTE, is inhumane and unacceptable. more..

'Sri Lankan State destroys its sovereignty'

Sep 12 (TN) "The Sri Lankan Government, though it talks big about its concern for the displaced people in Vanni, does nothing more than make available to these people the meagre food items provided under the United Nations World Food Programme," said R. Sampanthan, the parliamentary group leader of the TNA, while addressing the Sri Lankan Parliament on Wednesday. more..

BBC’s Duplicity

Sep 12 (LG) Yesterday (2008.09.10), BBC published a news report about the SLAF bombing of the LTTE intelligence centre in Killinochchi. First the report said that the ground sources confirmed that the bombs fell near the intelligence centre of the LTTE, whichI copy here for the reference of the readers . They said immediately below it that several NGO offices around it were slightly damaged too. more..

Anti social elements!

Sep 12 (LG) According to police sources, they have arrested a gang that had been obtaining ransom from businessmen in Trincomalee. Two of the gang of 14 persons are women. It has been revealed from investigations that they had been involved in committing several crimes such as robberies, murders and abductions. This trend of crimes continues even in other parts of the country also. This is a dangerous trend. more..

Humanitarian work will suffer!

Sep 12 (LG) Although the government wanted people in the LTTE controlled areas in Vanni to vacate forthwith, the people’s response was rather very poor. Now, there is a shock treatment by which all NGOs have been told to leave the Vanni area. The government has issued notice to all humanitarian agencies operating in the Vanni area to move out due to security reasons. more..

'I am very much vulnerable today'

Sep 12 (LG) Thank you sir, Hon. Deputy Chairman, I am sad and dismayed to note the empty government benches. This is the all important emergency debate. But where are the government ministers for observations and answers? Look, there is nobody in the front row. There are few seated in second and other rows. Why is this? Implementation of emergency laws is a very close subject to the Tamil people of this country. more..

Will Belligerent LTTE Listen to UN"s Appeal ?

Sep 12 (LG) For the first time United Nations has appealed to the Tamil Tigers to allow civilians to move out of the war zone and move into relief camps in government-controlled areas and allow free movement of the people wherever they wish to go. This is a clear endorsement of the UN that the ordinary Tamils are much safer and freer under the Government controlled areas than under LTTE. more..

7 farmers killed by suspected rebels in E Sri Lanka

Sep 12 (Xinhua) The military in Sri Lanka said on Thursday at least seven farmers were killed by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in a jungle area in eastern Sri Lanka. Officials from the Ministry of Defense said the bodies were found by local people around 10:00 a.m. local time at Thahanattakanda in the Ampara district. Following further investigations, the police found seven male bodies lying on a tractor with gunshot wounds, the military said. more..

Explosion hits rail near Sri Lanka capital

Sep 12 (Reuters) An explosion struck a railway track near the capital Colombo on Thursday for the second time in two days but caused no injuries and only minor damage, the military said. The blast hit the rail line near Kelaniya, about 10 km north of Colombo. "Nobody was injured and only about a foot of the track was damaged," military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. Earlier, a railway official said all trains on the route were stopped as a precaution. more..

Military harassment threatens Sri Lanka's oasis of peace

Sep 12 (CSM) The chief minister of Sri Lanka's eastern province nodded with concern as a member of the provincial council described a security problem. It was a typical scene of government proceedings – except that the minister is a former Tamil rebel commander and enemy of the four Army generals seated to his left, taking notes. This unlikely scenario is part of a turnaround the central government has hailed as the "dawn of the east," since its forces reclaimed the longtime Tamil Tiger stronghold last year. more..

'Katchatheevu is a matter settled'

Sep 12 (Hindu) Bilateral ties with India are “at the highest levels of trust, confidence and friendship,” Sri Lankan Foreign Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has said. Mr. Bogollagama said: “We are extremely candid with India in relation to what we seek in terms of cooperation, and also how we look at our own conflict in Sri Lanka. That has been shown to India without any holdback areas. I am sure the Indian leadership has come to appreciate that. That is why they have reciprocated so well in terms of our bilateral relationship.” more..

Mihin Air asks for more cash

Sep 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's troubled state-run budget carrier Mihin Air is to ask for another three billion rupees in peoples' money in the next budget to revive operations, an official said. The airline is now without aircraft after having lost its start-up capital and also money borrowed from state-run Bank of Ceylon, and was said to be in the red by more than two billion rupees. Tenders to lease two aircraft would close on September 16. more..

SAARC Secretary General pays an official visit to Sri Lanka

Sep 12 (AT) The Secretary General of SAARC, Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma, who is on a special visit to Sri Lanka at the invitation of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, called on him at the Ministry yesterday. The Minister discussed with Dr. Sharma the work ahead for Sri Lanka, as the SAARC Chair and the modalities by which the decisions taken at the recently concluded 15th Colombo Summit are to be implemented. more..

The forced exit of humanitarian agencies from the Vanni

Sep 12 (GV) The day before yesterday, the government of Sri Lanka ordered all humanitarian organisations to cease all operations and remove all personnel (except Vanni residents) and assets from the LTTE controlled part of the Vanni. The question this observer wishes to explore is why the Government of Sri Lanka after ensuring the welfare of its citizens in the LTTE controlled Vanni for the last 18 years, is now is renegading on its responsibilities, even on the verge of an apparent victory. more..

President pledges to bring freedom to the people of Jaffna

Sep 12 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa warmly welcomed school children from Jaffna to the Temple Trees today (11). These students who arrived in Colombo to compete at the National Sports Festival were accompanied to the Temple Trees by the Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare, Douglas Devananda. Students numbering about 350, representing 27 schools in Jaffna and their teachers had cordial discussion with President Rajapaksa. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Sep 12 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Karu Jayasuriya, to hold a common examination once a year to recruit personnel to all island services such as the Sri Lanka Administrative Service, Sri Lanka Accountants' Service, Sri Lanka Engineering Service, Sri Lanka Scientific Service, Sri Lanka Education Administrative Service, Sri Lanka Planning Service, Sri Lanka Agriculture Service, more..

Sri Lankan Kitul treacle to Japanese market

Sep 12 (GDI) Following the Government's national plan to uplift the local Kithul industry, the Ministry of Rural Industries and Self Employment Promotion has made arrangements to export Kithul Peni (treacle) to Japan from the 1st of January 2009. The relevant agreement was signed today (11) between the Secretary of the Ministry, Nihal Somaweera and the Chief Executive Officer of Sky International (Co.Ltd), Keizo Sakurai, more..

Will Belligerent LTTE Listen to UN"s Appeal ?

Sep 12 (LG) For the first time United Nations has appealed to the Tamil Tigers to allow civilians to move out of the war zone and move into relief camps in government-controlled areas and allow free movement of the people wherever they wish to go. This is a clear endorsement of the UN that the ordinary Tamils are much safer and freer under the Government controlled areas than under LTTE. more..

Racing Against the Clock: The LTTE’s Logistical Gamble

Sep 12 (LG) By making no serious attempt to retain the Wanni’s Western coastline in Mannar District until Nachchikuda, which has effectively crippled even minor arms shipments into rebel territory, the LTTE is gambling that it can reverse its loses in the Wanni Campaign with the supplies they currently have stockpiled. This has given them the benefit of not having to stand and fight when they don’t want to, but the cost of failure will be catastrophic to the separatist cause. more..

Muslim Affairs Department neglected under the President

Sep 12 (MG) The Muslim Religious & Cultural Affairs Department comes under the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Moral Upliftment under the president. Mahinda Chinthana brought three religious based ministries that were there earlier under a single ministry to prevent ethnic based deviations. The Muslim Affairs Department mostly covers Muslim religious and cultural issues such as Hajj, Ramazan,Islamic Dhaham etc. more..

SLMC wants APRC talks resumed

Sep 12 (MG) The SLMC, while condemning the ongoing war in the north, has urged the government to immediately resume the APRC sessions. SLMC General Secretary and Parliamentarian Hassan Ali told that any form of violence will not help any government defeat terrorism in the country. He said, therefore, the government must immediately concentrate on the APRC process and place before the nation a solution that is acceptable to whichever community that faces problems. more..

Report of UNP reorganization committee approved amidst controversy

Sep 12 (LT) The report by a committee of senior members of the UNP regarding the ways of reconstruction of the party was presented to the Executive Committee of the UNP yesterday (11th) and was approved. The report consisting of 14 items has proposed to reinstate the posts of deputy leader and assistant leader, which had been abolished since 2007, and to assign responsibilities to these posts and to the secretary general of the party. more..

Looking after the injured soldiers

Sep 12 (AT) As the present military drive gains momentum we need to prepare for a rise in the number of fatalities & injuries. Most of the injured are likely to be sent to the main hospitals geared to treat them. We should not forget that most of our soldiers come from poor homes. Most of these families are unlikely to even have the money to pay for the journey to visit their sons/husbands lying in pain in hospital, probably victims to landmines and similar atrocities that the LTTE are responsible for. more..

Stop military support to Sri Lanka: Vaiko

Sep 12 (Hindu) Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko has criticised the Centre for allegedly sending military personnel and engineers to Sri Lanka, which was “unleashing a genocide attack on the Tamil race.” Handing over copies of the memorandum that he had sent to Prime Minister to the media, Mr. Vaiko alleged India had supplied Air Force radars and military hardware to Sri Lanka. more..

Launching of 100th indigenous special designed fighting boat by the Sri Lanka Navy

Sep 12 (AT) Sri Lanka Navy repeated the history of rich ship building culture in this country after nearly nine centuries at a ceremony held in SLNS Gemunu naval base at Welisara to mark the launch of the 100th indigenous special designed fighting boat for both Special Boats Squadron (SBS) and for the newly introduced Rapid Action Boat Squadron (RABS) yesterday (11 September) with the blessings of more..

Anti- noise pollution regulations to be streamlined shortly

Sep 12 (GDI) Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources will table new regulations to prevent noise pollution in Parliament once the Supreme Court case pertaining to the use of loudspeakers is concluded, Minister Champika Ranawaka said in Parliament yesterday (11). After considering the proposals of the committee headed by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake new regulations will be formed, he added. more..

'Govt. confident of looking after civilians fleeing LTTE'

Sep 12 (GDI) Govt will take all the necessary measures to ensure safety of all the civilians in the North, at the the crucial juncture of the war against terrorism, the Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. While clarifying the doubts that certain organizations and persons expressed with regard to the welfare of the civilians trapped in the LTTE held areas, the he said that the Government has enough experience in providing welfare and security to civilians in such situations and resettling them.” more..

Suspected terrorists explode transformer in Talawakele

Sep 12 (GDI) Suspected LTTE terrorists have blasted an electrical transformer at Devasiripura, Talawakele last night using an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The supply of electricity to the area was disrupted due to this act of sabotage. Measures will be taken to repair the transformer immediately after the Government Analysts' investigation. Police investigations are underway in to the attack.

South Africa A batsmen begin strongly

Sep 12 (CI) South Africa A, leading the three-match series 1-0, began their final four-day game against Sri Lanka A confidently, scoring 388 for 4 in 92.2 overs on the first day in Benoni. South Africa's batsmen justified captain Ahmed Amla's decision to bat first, with four of the top six, including Amla himself, scoring fifties. Chanaka Welegedara struck early for the visitors - removing Blake Snijman for 6 more..

Giant strides in health, social status

Sep 12 (SAMN) Sri Lanka's Health and social status has shown significant progress over the last several years with life expectancy at 72 years for males and 76 for females Chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said Thursday, adding that while the maternal mortality rate is 44 per 100,000 live births and infant mortality rate is 11.2 per 1,000 live births. more..