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To stand or not to stand – a Buddhist perspective

Sep 17 (ML) The leader of the JHU has told parliament that Buddhist monks never stand up even before kings. This is a statement that indicates the symptoms of a malignant cancer whose roots run deep in the body politic of our island nation. As a practising Buddhist who follows the Dharma to the best of his ability, I am compelled to make some observations on the statement made by JHU Leader, Ven. Ellawala Medhananda whose attire of a saffron robe does not provide irrefutable proof that he is a Buddha Srawaka. more..

End of Democracy

Sep 17 (ML) A police constable who met with an accident at Maradana on Sunday night is alleged to have been assaulted on the highway by a group of people and had to be rescued by the Maradana Police, reports said. The constable is alleged to have been under the influence of liquor. The constable had been found ‘guilty’ by his superior officer of causing the accident and was interdicted a police spokesman had been quoted as saying. more..

‘UPA govt not giving weapons to Lanka’

Sep 17 (TS) In a bid to pacify the Tamil nationalist outfits, who are up in arms against the Congress, accusing it of following a pro-Sinhalese policy in the Sri Lankan conflict, Tamil Nadu Congress president Mr K V Thangabalu today denied that the Centre was providing military assistance to the island nation. “The charges against the UPA government in this regard are totally false. In fact, our defence minister has asked the Sri Lankan government to ensure the safety and security of Tamils,” more..

GSP+ 'tool to put pressure' on Lanka

Sep 17 (BBC) The western nations consider using economic tools to apply pressure on Sri Lanka to respect human rights, a senior British minister has said. Lord Malloch-Brown, the minister in charge of foreign and commonwealth affairs (Asia and Africa) told a meeting in London that the EU and UK consider the GSP+ (Generalised System of Preferences plus-scheme) as a legitimate tool to apply pressure on Sri Lanka. more..

UN refugee agency warns returning Sri Lankans after eight drown in accident

Sep 17 (UN) The United Nations refugee agency voiced sadness today at the deaths of eight Sri Lankans who drowned while attempting to return to their homeland by boat from southern India. UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler said the eight people who drowned last Friday were part of a group of 13 Sri Lankans who had each paid about 6,000 Indian rupees (about $140) to a local boatman for the journey from Tamil Nadu state in India to the northern Sri Lankan town of Talaimannar. more..

Negative portrayal of Muslims on teledramas

Sep 17 (TC) A few days ago, while switching channels on the idiot box, I happened to come across a scene in a tele-drama, where a Sinhalese boy was demanding some item or the other for free from the ‘mudalali’ seated at the cashier table at a ‘Thambi kade’. The ‘mudalali’ happened to be one of those stereotyped Muslims depicted so often in movies and on TV programmes. more..

City on alert after disaster averted

Sep 17 (BL) Colombo was on high security alert yesterday after a massive bomb inside a bus exploded just minutes after a vigilant conductor and driver evacuated some 60 passengers on board including many school children, averting certain disaster. The explosion which occurred near the Horton Place roundabout, caused vibrations in buildings as far off as Punchi Borella and completely destroyed the rear of the bus. Police believe the explosive to have been a powerful time bomb. more..

Govt. compromising public health for luxury vehicles!

Sep 17 (BL) Although the Minister of Finance granted duty free permits to import vehicles for Parliamentarians, provincial councillors and senior Government officials, he failed to take necessary steps to grant concessions to import essential equipment for the Homagama Base Hospital, submitted Counsel Manohara de Silva before Supreme Court yesterday. He was making this submission in a Fundamental Right Application filed by B. A. Mahipala who has launched a project to develop the Homagama Base Hospital at a cost of Rs. 100 million. more..

Dr. PB now faces ‘No Date’ motion in Parliament

Sep 17 (BL) In a historic move the UNP has brought in a No Date Motion to Parliament in order to discuss the actions of Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera. The Motion brought in by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake is to be presented in Parliament during the first week of October. Karunanayake has outlined eleven allegations against the Treasury Secretary. Top Civil servant Bradman Weerakoon stated that this was the first time such a move was taken against a top public servant in parliament within his recall. more..

Companies must follow Dhamma

Sep 17 (BL) A priest should be appointed to the director board of every public institution to curb corruption and promote good governance, according to Bonupitiye Nagatissa Thera, the first prelate to be appointed to such a post in Sri Lanka. Appointed to the Board of Lanka Cement, the Thera speaking to The Bottom Line expressed confidence that such a move would be ideal to instil transparency and confidence in the corporations within more..

7000 year old human skeleton unearthed in Godawaya

Sep 17 (GDI) A human skeleton, estimated to be at least 7000 years old, several other pre-historic stone tools including animal remains have been unearthed from the Godawaya archeological site in Ambalantota. The human skeleton was found in a burial chamber with its head pointing to the North. A team of archeologists had conducted this excavation in sand and gravel deposits in Godawaya, supposed to be a historic and pre-historic site with archeological value. more..

Walks to Feed a Generation

Sep 17 (MG) Some 150 people joined a Walk 2 Feed organized by Muslim Aid Sri Lanka, the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA), the World Health Organization, AmeriCares, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) on Sunday in Colombo to raise awareness of the global food crisis, which is affecting the country’s most vulnerable population. The event highlighted the effects that rising food prices are having on average Sri Lankan families and more..

SC offers 27th night relief for Muslims

Sep 17 (MG) Suitable arrangements are to be made for the use of amplifiers on September 27 in connection with the auspicious night in the holy month of Ramazan. This comes as a result of an interim order issued by the Supreme Court on noise pollution. When the fundamental rights petition involving noise pollution came up before the Supreme Court yesterday, Police Director (Legal) SSP Gamini Dissanayake said that requests had been received on behalf of the Muslim Community for the use of amplifiers in the night of September 27. more..

Ashraff's Ideals and Reality of current Muslim Politics

Sep 17 (MG) September 16th was the eighth death anniversary of Mohammad Hussein Muhammad Ashraff the uncrowned sultan of the Ampara district Muslims and pioneering leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. The founder president of the SLMC was not Ashraff but the now forgotten Ahammad Lebbe of Kattankudi. It was however Ashraff who gave the Muslim Congress a new vision and direction after he assumed formal leadership of the party in 1986. more..

Farsighted strategic decision taken by the Govt

Sep 17 (LG) A popular Sinhala proverb exhorts not to lament after inviting dangerous serpents to one’s lap. Unfortunately, many of the INGOs and NGOs which function in Sri Lanka have acted in a manner detrimental to the stability and the national security of the country, while white washing the LTTE, and on a number of occasions actively aiding and abetting the terrorists and separatists. more..

More evidence of mercenaries flying TAF planes

Sep 17 (LG) Intelligence agencies in Sri Lanka are examining what they consider are international mercenaries fighting for the LTTE, particularly with regard to the "Tiger Air Force" or TAF. We have discussed this issue in early September this year following our own investigations into the Trincomalee attack. These suspicions first arose during an investigation on the bombing where an F7B Pilot had locked its radar on a Zlin, only to lose it in a second. more..

Minister Prof. Peiris visits Geneva

Sep 17 (LG) Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade, arrived in Geneva last week to attend the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) held in Geneva 11-12 September 2008 and the Geneva Trade and Development Forum in Crans Montana from 17-20 September 2008. The IPU Conference on the WTO constituted a high-level forum attended by Parliamentarians from many countries, more..

NGOs and INGOs should quit Vanniya

Sep 17 (LG) We have to postpone the series of articles on Science and related matters such as teaching of science in Sinhala, to make way for a discussion on the role of NGOs in Killinochchi. However, there is something that should be recorded without postponing to a future date. I supervise one Ph. D. student, two M. Phil. students and the "projects" of three final year students preparing for the B. Sc. (special) degree. more..

'Re-appoint Wasantha Samarasinghe'

Sep 17 (LT) General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva in a letter has asked Secretary General of UPFA, Minister Susil Premajayanth, to re-appoint Mr. Wasanthe Samarasinghe to the Parliamentary seat he vacated to contest at the North Central PC election. The JVP General Secretary has sent all the relevant documents needed for the appointment of Mr. Samarasinghe to the Secretary General of the UPFA together with the letter. more..

Archives of the Government Film Unit archives to be upgraded

Sep 17 (GDI) Some of Sri Lanka's finest historical and artistic documentary films, currently archived at the Government Film Unit will be preserved under a special project with the assistance of the U.S. Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation. An exchange of documents launching this project took place today between Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and the Ambassador of the United States of America, Robert O'Blake. more..

Vaas and Silva omitted for Canada series

Sep 17 (CI) Chaminda Vaas and Chamara Silva are notable absentees from Sri Lanka's squad for the Canada Cup Four Nation Twenty20 tournament to be played in Toronto next month, while Dilhara Lokuhettige, Jeevantha Kulatunga and Thilina Kandamby have been rewarded for consistent first-class contributions. Kumar Sangakkara, who underwent a surgery on the index finger of his right hand last week in Australia, and Muttiah Muralitharan, also nursing an injury, were not considered for selection. more..

USA adopts legislation to prosecute child soldier recruiters

Sep 17 (LNP) The United States of America on Monday adopted legislation that would enable it to prosecute foreign military leaders who recruit child soldiers. This would be direct blow to the LTTE which had been recruiting child soldiers in its war against the Sri Lankan Government, Human Rights Watch said yesterday. The Child Soldiers Accountability Act was unanimously passed in the House of Representatives on September 8 and was adopted by the Senate on Monday. more..

Sri Lanka Govt. prepares for LTTE chemical attack

Sep 17 (LNP) The government has put in place contingency plans for a possible chemical attack by the LTTE against the security forces fighting in the North. Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, yesterday, instructed officials to immediately despatch extra health staff, medicines and equipment to the North to face any contingencies that may arise in the event of a chemical attack on the security forces, said ministry spokesman W.M.D. Wanninayaka. more..

Curtailing inflation more important than addressing growth potential in Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (LNP) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) says that governments should focus more attention on curtailing inflation rather than concentrating on growth. In its flagship report, Asian Development Outlook, released in April, the bank had estimated that inflation in the Asian and Pacific regions would be about 5.1 percent. However, an updated version of the report, released yesterday, says that inflation is projected to reach 7.8 percent in 2008 and about 6 percent in 2009. more..

Govt. dispels bloodbath fears

Sep 17 (SAMN) The government Tuesday dispelled fears of a civilian bloodbath in Kilinochchi as the United Nations completed its withdrawal from the area and relocated its operations to Vavuniya. The final convoy of the UN reached Vavuniya Tuesday afternoon with UN organisations vowing to continue their humanitarian operations from Vavuniya with the assistance of the government and the respective government agents. more..

NCPA to deal with displaced children

Sep 17 (SAMN) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) while establishing a branch in Vavuniya is also preparing to deal with the issues affecting displaced children. Chairman, NCPA, Jagath Wellawatte said child protection officers will be looking at the needs of the children and women among the displaced persons, and added that one of the problems children face when they are displaced is the difficulty in adjusting to the new environment. more..

SL heritage show opens in Japan

Sep 17 (SAMN) The Sri Lanka Cultural Heritage Exhibition will help deepen the understanding and goodwill between the peoples of Japan and Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka said. The Prime Minister was speaking at the inauguration of the Sri Lanka Cultural Heritage Exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum Tuesday. The exhibition which began Tuesday will be held for two months. more..

Police deny ordering Tamils to return

Sep 17 (SAMN) Dematagoda Police Tuesday dismissed allegations that they had ordered a group of Jaffna Tamils to return to Jaffna.Chief Inspector Wimalasiri of Dematagoda police said that he was not aware of such an incident. Vocational Training Deputy Minister P. Radhakrishnan said Tuesday two persons from Jaffna had asked for his intervention after Dematagoda police ordered them to return to Jaffna. more..

Tourism ambassador overlooked

Sep 17 (LD) Sri Lanka's tourism ambassador Dilantha Malagamuwa has reportedly been overlooked by organizers of a tourism promotion event in Tokyo, Japan. Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake was the chief guest at the opening of an exhibition to showcase the country's hospitality industry at National Museum Hall yesterday. Only the friends of the Sri Lanka ambassador in Tokyo have been invited to the event more..

No British recognition of Tamil govt. in exile

Sep 17 (LD) Lord Malloch-Brown, British Minister in charge of foreign and commonwealth affairs (Asia and Africa), has said his country would not recognize any Tamil government in exile. The minister said: “There are political parties representing the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The LTTE is leading a armed struggle. The government in Colombo represents a democratically elected government. The UK government would not support a Tamil government in exile”. more..

Aid workers to complete pull-out by Sept 29

Sep 17 (DN) Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said yesterday that the United Nations and other aid groups re-commenced their pull- out from Kilinochchi and were expected to complete the re-location process in Vavuniya by September 29. However the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) would continue its presence in the area to help the needy, the Minister added. more..

Catholics should be grateful to President for liberating Madhu - Vatican Cardinal

Sep 17 (DN) The entire Catholic community in Sri Lanka should be grateful to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for liberating the historic Madhu Shrine from the terrorists and restoring to the Church, Vatican Cardinal Francis Arinsay said when he called on the President at Temple Trees yesterday. President Rajapaksa said the adherents of all religions in Sri Lanka always act with mutual understanding and commended the patronage extended by all religious leaders in this connection. more..

SLTB bus crew’s timely action averts major disaster

Sep 17 (Island) SLTB bus conductor Manjula Udayanga averted a major disaster when he spotted a bomb in his Moratuwa bound bus when it stopped at the Colombo Town Hall bus halt yesterday afternoon. On spotting the bomb he asked the passengers to disembark immediately. But four passers by were injured when the bomb exploded after the passengers had alighted and it had been driven a safe distance away, police said. more..

Journalists’ grievances Comm. gets 40 complaints

Sep 17 (Island) The Ministerial Committee on Journalists’ Grievances has received forty complaints, eleven were based on security of journalists and the rest were on problems they face when carrying out their duties. Of the eleven complaints on security, eight had been looked into. On the difficulties faced by journalists while executing duty, two were based on threats received over the telephone, more..

Teacher takes answer scripts home

Sep 17 (DM) In another twist to the GCE Advanced Level paper marking crisis, the Association of Educational Professionals complained yesterday that a teacher selected for paper marking had taken home 14 ‘Business Studies’ answer scripts for marking in gross violation of exam regulations. AEP Secretary Wasantha Dharmasiri charged that this had been committed by a teacher attached to the paper marking centre established at Nissanka Maha Vidyalaya in Kurunegala. more..

UNP mulls over multi- spokesmen

Sep 17 (DM) The UNP is planning to appoint several spokesmen to handle different subjects, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Monday. Mr. Wickremesinghe told members of the Western Provincial Council that the 12 member committee appointed to look into party reforms had made this proposal. The committee has also decided to appoint a committee to monitor those holding top positions in the party. more..

Sri Lanka's economy grew 7% in Q2, trade deficit widens

Sep 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's economy expanded 7 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, due to growth in agriculture, services and industry, with 2008 growth set to be dampened by costly oil and the central bank's inflation battle. Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Monday growth would slow to 6.5 percent this year due to the impact of high oil prices, but forecast 2009 growth of at least 8 percent. more..

Sri Lanka says bombs one of rebel leader's hideouts

Sep 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankan jets blasted a hideout of the leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday during an intensifying thrust to retake insurgent-held territory, the military said. But a pro-rebel web site,, said the attack was on a "densely populated settlement" of refugees, and it wounded two people including a 14-year-old boy. There was no independent confirmation of the strike on the building, more..

Sri Lanka Day in Santa Monica

Sep 18 (IP) The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica became more festive than usual on Saturday August 23 when Sri Lanka Day Expo was held for the third consecutive year. From 10 am to 10 pm, tens of thousands of people flocked to the annual Sri Lanka Day Expo to experience a colorful festival full of Sri Lankan culture and food. Spanning the entire promenade from Broadway to Wilshire Blvd, Sri Lanka Day seemed the largest festival held there with more..

Transfer of 17 Pakistanis from Sri Lankan jails to Pakistan postponed

Sep 18 (AAP) The transfer of 17 Pakistani prisoners from Sri Lankan jails to Pakistan, has been postponed, Pakistan’s High Commission in Colombo said on Wednesday. Earlier, the transfer of Pakistani prisoners kept on drug trafficking and forged traveler cheques was due on today, however a statement by Pakistan High Commission late this afternoon said, “Due to some unavoidable circumstances, the programme for transfer of 17 Pakistani prisoners from Sri Lankan jails to Pakistan may not be carried out as scheduled.” more..

Sri Lanka economists to talk inflation at annual parley

Sep 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economists are debating inflation, competitiveness and growth this Friday and Saturday at a time when inflation has hit a historic record in the island and subsequent tight monetary policy has strengthened the rupee. "We cannot take inflation for granted not only because of its adverse effects on export competitiveness unless offset by depreciation of the Rupee which in turn adds to inflation as well," more..

Motherland woes: reviewing Aba

Sep 18 (LG) "For the motherland" was the final call made to the audience at the close of the film Aba as the young ‘hero, historically the would be Pandukabaya, holds high and in a majestic position, a ‘sacred’ sword at the top of a rising hill, framed by towering mountain peaks all around him. Why did I go to see Aba? My curiosity was first raised by an interview I watched about the film, an interview with Jackson Anthony the director of the film. more..

India playing leading role in destroying peace in Sri Lanka by inciting war fanaticism

Sep 18 (LG) Indian government was saying that political solution must be found to the Sri Lanka’s national ethnic conflict. When Politicians and Tamil nationalists of Tamil Nadu were accusing that India is providing arms, military assistance radar systems to Lanka, Indian government denied it. However, the incident that took place in Vavuniya has brought many things to light. It cannot be considered that India has provided radars to Lanka merely as general help that is normally provided to a country. more..

Anna‘s centenary!

Sep 18 (LG) Arignar Anna’s centenary is celebrated all over Tamil Nadu. The State government of Tamilnadu has declared it a public holiday. It was Annadurai, who contributed immensely to create sense Tamil patriotism in the minds of the Tamil people all over the world during the last century. He was a powerful speaker and writer who was loved not only by the Tamils in his country but also by the Tamils all over the world. more..

Steps necessary for controlling road accidents!

Sep 18 (LG) Road accidents are increasing in many parts of the island. Many drivers fail to follow the traffic rules and road discipline. As a result, people are affected. Particularly in two different rail incidents, 4 people including women were killed in Ragama and Matale areas recently. Earlier, a railway watcher was on duty at railway crossings. Unfortunately, that practice is not continued. more..

The exit order!

Sep 18 (LG) The trend of authorities ignoring court orders, determinations, and guidelines has caused grave concern among the people. One wonders what has happened to the Supreme Court orders regarding the setting up of check points in the city of Colombo. Any measures that are not in compliance with a Court order must be under taken only after a revision by the Court. Similarly, at the Supreme Court that heard a fundamental rights application by the Ceylon Workers Congress, more..

The paucity of conscience and the lack of wisdom

Sep 18 (LG) A conscience is a moral sense of right and wrong. Even intelligent quadrupeds like apes, elephants, cats and dogs have it, but to a lesser degree. Throughout history mankind has acted against his conscience and built vast empires, as they find it difficult to overcome greed for wealth and power. This can lead to a lot of cruelty in the course of building empires and subjugating other people. more..

Mr Chaulia of Syracuse regrets

Sep 18 (PISL) A recent article by a gentleman called Sreeram Chaulia is a wonderful example of the manner in which propaganda against the Sri Lankan government is being piled up in what seems a desperate attempt to shore up the cause of its opponents. This I fear includes not only the LTTE, but those in Sri Lanka who have provided Mr Chaulia with his little quotes that shore up his relentless condemnation of the current elected government and its supporters. more..

Norway provides NOK 36 million in emergency relief to Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (MFA) The Government is providing NOK 36 million to humanitarian efforts in Sri Lanka. Norway is concerned about the civilian population affected by the conflict. The fighting is intensifying in northern Sri Lanka, where tens of thousands of civilians are now being forced to flee. The humanitarian organisations are working under extremely difficult conditions. more..

Sri Lanka donates $50,000 for Bihar flood victims

Sep 18 (PTI) Sri Lanka has donated $50,000 to Bihar Chief Minister's Relief Fund for victims of the recent devastating floods in the state. "High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India, Romesh Jayasinghe, handed over a cheque for the amount of (Indian) Rs 22,25,560 ($50,000) to Resident Commissioner of Bihar C K Mishra in New Delhi last week," a foreign ministry statement said. more..