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Why Sri Lanka is everyone's cup of tea

Sep 18 (YEP) Next time you pour yourself a cup of tea, drink a toast to Devastating Emily. That was the lurid nickname of a leaf virus that wiped out the coffee crop in Ceylon in the 1870s. But a group of mainly Scottish pioneers weren't to be beaten. They were already growing tea – green gold. The plantations they established and the bankrupt coffee estates they bought are still producing some of the best of the world's crop. more..

Sri Lanka's push to take rebel HQ

Sep 18 (BBC) Kilinochchi town in northern Sri Lanka is an unimpressive looking place - a few kilometres of low buildings straggling along the main A9 road. There are some shops and a market, and a couple of places to eat. But Kilinochchi is symbolically important as the Tamil Tigers have made it their administrative headquarters. Now Sri Lanka's military says its troops are just 5.5km from the town, and the United Nations pulled its last team of staff from the area on Tuesday. more..

Fears grow for displaced in Sri Lanka rebel areas as war intensifies

Sep 18 (AN) Aid workers fear uprooted civilians in the north of Sri Lanka could become trapped without enough assistance as fighting intensifies between government forces and separatist rebels. On Sept. 9, the government ordered the United Nations and international non-governmental organisations to move out of rebel-held areas in the north, saying it could not guarantee their safety. more..

PB resigns as Treasury chief

Sep 18 (LD) Dr. P.B. Jayasundara resigned as Treasury Secretary today (Sept. 17th). He has left the position after having finalized Budget 2009, said Central Bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal. Dr. Jayasundera had handed over his resignation shortly after the Supreme Court found him guilty of wrongdoing in the privatization of Lanka Marine Services Ltd. However, the letter of resignation had not been accepted at the time. more..

Elpitiya police allegedly torture two young men and fabricate charges

Sep 18 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Elpitiya police allegedly tortured two young men and fabricated charges while they kept them in police custody, on May 5 and 6 2008, in Sri Lanka. As a result of the torture, one man underwent emergency surgery and was hospitalised for 12 days. The victims’ reported this to the relevant government authorities but no investigation has been conducted. more..

Police allegedly torture a man to extract information

Sep 18 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that the Gampaha police assaulted a person after hanging him from a roof beam in the police station. He was illegally arrested on suspicion of a theft and detained him for 5 days before being produced before a magistrate and released on bail. Several police officers from the Gampaha Police Station went to the house of Mr. Malayappan Kali Dasan at around 10:30am on August 21 and more..

Females dominate total population and state sector

Sep 18 (GDI) The female representation in the state sector has exceeded that of males, according to the latest statistical reports issued by the Census and Statistics Department. It has been found also that the number of females in the total population is higher than that of males. According to last year's figures, the total population of Sri Lanka stood at around 19. 8 million (198, 886, 000) of which 51% are females. more..

Gunawardene and Lakmal star in convincing win

Sep 18 (CI) Sri Lanka A warmed up for their five-match one-day series against South Africa A with a convincing 62-run win over University Sports South Africa XI (USSA) at Sinovich Park. Kanchana Gunawardene's 90 guided Sri Lanka to 229 for 5 and the total was more than sufficient to challenge USSA as they folded for 167. Suranga Lakmal, the right-arm seamer, shone with the ball, finishing with a five-wicket haul. more..

‘Give Katchatheevu to India’

Sep 18 (EB) At a time when the demand for retrieving Katchatheevu from Sri Lanka is growing high in Tamil Nadu, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party from the island nation has also extended its support for the cause. At a media gathering in Chennai on Wednesday, TNA MP Sivajilingam said that the move would be a final solution to save Indian fishermen from being killed by the Sri Lankan Navy. more..

Tamil-Muslim Relations and Unity for Peace

Sep 18 (FI) The paper presented during the conference “Ending the war and bringing justice and peace to Sri Lanka” held at the Steelworkers’ Hall in Toronto, September 13, 2008. First of all, without any offence to my co-speakers, I merely wish to assert that I am here as an academic to analyze and understand and not to advance or set back the interests of any political party or grouping, and thus the views I express in this short presentation are academic in nature. more..

Mocking Non-Sinhala persons as humour on teledramas

Sep 18 (TC) Mr. Hameed Abdul Karim has written a very sensible comment about negative portrayal of Muslims on Teledramas and I feel that it should be read by all TV stations in this country because it is of utmost importance to all concerned. Let me begin with a sincere apology to a fellow human being who very correctly felt insulted by the stupidity of TV station for telecasting such an idiotic programme depicting an imaginary "Thambiya" who mispronounces the more..

IDPs need speedy action to ensure their security and protection

Sep 18 (LG) The Sri Lankan government has accepted complete responsibility for ensuring the safety of internally displaced persons living in the Kilinochchi area. The UN agencies and INGOs have complied with the government’s requests to move away from this area. Therefore, the job of providing for the security, as well as necessities such as food, water, medicine and sanitary facilities, more..

EROS praises Lord Malloch –Brown on his stance on the LTTE

Sep 18 (LG) EROS wishes to extend its praise and gratitude to British Foreign Minister of State for South Asia Lord Malloch-Brown for the way in which he handled and expressed his un-biased view and position of the British Government amidst many hundreds of pro-LTTE supporters at the meeting held on Monday 15th September at the Zoarastrian Centre in London organized by the LTTE front organization in the United Kingdom, the British Tamil Forum (BTF). more..

Western NGOs in Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (LG) In his seminal work, Orientalism, Edward Said posits that Western discourse about the East galvanizes the divide between the two geo-political entities rather than objectively describing or analyzing it. As a consequence elements of the East that are discussed in Orientalist texts invariably situate the West on intellectually and morally superior ground in relation to the East, thereby providing justification for the domination of the East by Western powers. more..

UK foreign minister lord mark malloch brown - meeting with Tamils

Sep 18 (TC) Rt. Hon Lord Malloch Brown who is the Deputy Foreign Secretary and also the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister who has specific responsibility for Britain's relations with countries in Asia and Africa – including Sri Lanka attended a meeting yesterday, 15 September, organised by the Harrow (West) Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Department for Business, more..

The paucity of conscience and the lack of Wisdom – A reply

Sep 18 (LG) Mr.A.J.N.Selvadurai begins his articel in the Sri Lanka Guardian of the 17,September,2008. by saying that, " 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. more..

Not necessary to file counter to Nalini's plea: Centre Govt

Sep 18 (LG) The Centre on Wednesday told the Madras High Court that it is not necessary for it to file any counter to a petition filed by S Nalini, convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, seeking premature release. Additional Solicitor General M Raveendran, submitted before Justice S Nagamuthu that Nalini has not challenged any order of the Centre nor has she approached for any relief with the Centre. more..

711 Families registered for resettlement in Mannar and Musali villages

Sep 18 (MG) According to an official of the Mannar District Secretariat 711 families have registered themselves for resettlement in villages in the Mannar and Musali DS Divisions. He said that these families will be resettled there once the UNDP certifies those areas as cleared of mines. He further said that about 150 families would be resettled in the Saveriyar Puram and Silavathurai villages in the Musali DS Division in the first stage of this programme. more..

Extreme HR Violation at the Moneragala prison – A Muslim beaten to death!

Sep 18 (MG) Shocking news reached Muslim Guardian that a Muslim who was at the remand prison custody at the Moneragala prison was beaten to death by prison guards. The victim was identified as Aliyar Mohamed Saleem (26) of Pothuvil. Aliyar Mohamed Saleem (26) along with other six Muslims were arrested by Siyambalanduwa Police when they were collecting fire woods in the nearby jungle for the Pasarichchenai Mosque, Pothuvil. more..

Sri Lanka culture and heritage exhibition in the JATA travel fair in Japan

Sep 18 (AT) Prime Minister Rathnasirai Wickaramanayake participated in the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), Travel Fair on Tuesday and declared open the Sri Lanka Culture and Heritage Exhibition at the Tokyo Museum. The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Cultural Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abewardana. In the meantime, Sri Lanka delegation representing the Tourism Ministry, comprising of Deputy Minister of Tourism, Faiszer Mustapha and more..

Campaign to improve behaviour patterns of people

Sep 18 (GDI) Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) has developed a series of video clips aimed at improving overall behavious patterns of people, sponsored by S-Lon Ltd and directed by prominent artist Wilson Gunaratne. SLSI, a body set up with the mandate to ensure that a high quality is maintained in produts and services, developed these video clips with a view to enhancing productivity in the work force, a key component in the production process which also includes material, machinery and methodology. more..

In future focus will be on enhancing opportunities for skilled migrant workers

Sep 18 (GDI) The Government is determined to increase the job opportunities for skilled male and female workers and gradually reduce the proportion of female workers employed abroad, especially in the Middle Eastern countries, Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Dr Keheliya Rambukwella said in an interview with a foreign news website. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Sep 18 (GDI) Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion, Mano Wijeyeratne, to reschedule a proposed project to update gem location inventories and explore new gem bearing areas using appropriate scientific tools, for a four year period, from 2008 to 2001. Cabinet also agreed to direct the Treasury to release Rs. 36 million for this, an amount that has already been approved by the Treasury. more..

Govt. defeated at inaugural session of NCPC

Sep 18 (LT) The government lost at the election to elect the president of North Central Provincial Council held today say reports. Former Minister of Health of the PC Weerasena Gamage was proposed by Mr. Berty Premalal Dissanayake for the post while the opposition put forward Mr. P.B. Dissasnayake, the UPFA organizer for Anuradhapura West. In the secret ballot conducted to elect the president of the PC Mr. Disssanayake obtained 17 votes while Mr. Weerasena had received only 13. more..

Sri Lankan School students claim world rankings in Edexcel exams

Sep 18 (TOO) Students of Sri Lankan School Muscat achieved excellent results in the Edexcel examinations held during April-June this year. Sixty-eight students from the school sat for the IGCSE/GCE ‘O’ Level examinations. The school secured a 97 per cent pass for IGCSE and 93 per cent pass for GCE. Altogether 13 letters of recognition were received by candidates from Edexcel for having obtained world rankings in the examinations. more..

'Sri Lanka will look after its own, to the best of our ability'

Sep 18 (PISL) Sri Lanka is deeply touched by the concern expressed by countries of the European Union for the human rights situation in some countries in Asia and Africa. We hope that, with advances in globalization, such concern will soon be universal. As others here have pointed out, the moral stature this Council should command requires consistency. Though we know this is not easy, we hope all of us will strive to achieve it in time. more..

Armed gang attacks Mervyn s Secy's residence, killing one

Sep 18 (LNP) Three armed men stormed the home of Labour Minister Mervin Silva s Coordinating Secretary Amal Rodrigo at Kirimetiyagara early yesterday and opened fire on the occupants killing one and causing serious injury to three others, Kiribathgoda police said. The deceased was identified as Anuradha Suranjith (26), a resident of Kiribathgoda. The gang armed with revolvers had arrived in a vehicle around 3.45 a.m. and more..

Gota, Karuna in powwow

Sep 18 (LNP) TMVP Leader and breakaway eastern LTTE commander Karuna Amman has met Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and discussed issues relating to security in the North. Karuna Amman told the Daily Mirror that he had also had several rounds of discussions with Government ministers and officials regarding his future plans in Sri Lankan politics. I will not name the ministers I met, but I have already discussed my future in politics with them. more..

MP calls for apology from EU delegation

Sep 18 (SAMN) Member of the European Parliament Geoffrey Van Orden has called for an apology from the EU delegation which undertook a fact finding visit to Sri Lanka in July, over its critical media statements blaming the State for cancellation of a trip to the Eastern Province. Orden, the Chairman of Friends of Sri Lanka, the informal cross party group in the Parliament which seeks to foster good relations between Sri Lanka and EU members, more..

Tigers used CS gason wanni troops: Army

Sep 18 (SAMN) Sri Lanka Army says investigations into a recent LTTE gas attack on advancing troops in the Wanni had found that the Tigers had used ‘CS gas’, which is generally used for anti-hijack or hostage operations. Army headquarters, in a statement, acknowledged that a few soldiers in the Wanni during their encounters with the LTTE in the most recent past developed breathing difficulties following emission of gas, believed to have been directed by the Tigers towards the advancing troops. more..

‘Man has depleted the world’s resources’

Sep 18 (SAMN) Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said human civilizations would have nowhere to run now that man has depleted the world of its resources. He was speaking, at an event held to commemorate the international day for the preservation of the ozone layer. Minister Ranawaka said the world might have suffered due to poverty but it wasn’t destroyed by it; more..

NFF, JHU to ease woes of masses

Sep 18 (SAMN) The National Freedom Front (NFF) is to initiate a dialogue with the JHU to make a joint effort to win benefits for the masses through the next Budget. NFF President MP Wimal Weerawansa told the Daily Mirror yesterday that his group comprised 12 MPs and the JHU nine MPs, and their combined strength would help pressurize the government to deliver more benefits to people through the Budget 2009. more..

Govt. accused of using force on teachers

Sep 18 (LD) The present regime is using force on teachers instead of giving reasonable solutions to their problems, alleged chairman of the Ceylon Teachers Union Joseph Stalin. Speaking to the media in Colombo today (Sept. 18th), he said a teacher has been arrested on the charge of having disrupted examination activities. A list containing names of teachers from Anuradhapura and Kurunegala has been prepared to level them the same accusation, he said. more..

Opposition leader at court

Sep 18 (LD) Colombo District Court judge Sisira Ratnayake has decided that the opposition leader needed not be summoned to court except on an exceptional occasion. The judge made the remark while taking up a fundamental rights petition that alleges opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is in contempt of court. The respondent appeared in person before the court this morning and his lawyers requested the dismissal of the case as there was no adequate evidence to support the charge. more..

Kelaniya undergrads protest & clash

Sep 18 (LD) Students of the Kelaniya University staged a protest this morning (Sept. 18th) demanding the arrest of the person responsible for a knife attack on a Science undergraduate several days ago. Police had used teargas to break up the protestors, and later arrested a suspect in connection with the attack. Later, two student groups clashed in the university premises. more..

Sumith Abeysinghe, Treasury chief

Sep 18 (LD) Sumith Abeysinghe has been appointed Secretary of the Treasury, to fill the vacancy following yesterday's resignation of Dr. P.B. Jayasundara. Government sources confirmed the appointment by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Dr. Jayasundara, found guilty of wrongdoing by the Supreme Court in the transfer of Lanka Marine Services Ltd. shares, had tendered his resignation, but it had only been accepted yesterday. more..

Jelly fish exports becoming lucrative foreign exchange earner

Sep 18 (DN) Eventhough some environmental activists claim jelly fish as endemic to Sri Lanka it is a common type of fish found in many countries, said Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Felix Perera yesterday. Minister Perera denied an allegation by environmentalists that if the catching of jelly fish continued stocks would dwindle. He said jelly fish are found in plenty along the coastal belt of Sri Lanka. more..

Army ready for any type of LTTE attack - Commander

Sep 18 (DN) Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka told the Daily News yesterday that Security Forces operating in Wanni are ready to face any type of gas attacks by the LTTE as they have been equipped with gas masks to face such situations. Confirming that LTTE had fired two canisters of CS gas in Akkarayankulam and Vannivilankulam, the Army Commander said it was not a chemical weapon but a gas which is being used for anti hijacking operations worldwide. more..

IPU hits snag in school buildings probe

Sep 18 (Island) The Presidential Investigation Unit has run into a snag in its probe into the delay and negligence in the reconstruction of the tsunami ravaged Rathgama Devapthiraja College buildings, PIU sources told The Island yesterday. The probe team will have to change its method of investigation in this instance as a number of private sector sub contractors are involved. The Attorney General is to be consulted. more..

Growth rate encouraging – Govt

Sep 18 (Island) Director General of the Census and Statistics Department D.S.B.P. Vidyaratne yesterday said that the country’s economic performance in the second quarter of this year had been encouraging and the GDP had increased from 6.4% in the same quarter previous year to 7% this year. "It’s an achievement since the country had to face the challenges of sky rocketing oil prices, high inflation and an on going war," she told the media in Colombo. more..

Speaker asks, “What has happened to the UNP?”

Sep 18 (DM) Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara took a swipe at the present state of the UNP yesterday. Addressing the 102nd birth anniversary of the late Mr. J. R. Jayewardene, he asked, “What has happened to the party now?” He said the UNP should make use of the deeds and legacy of people like former president J. R. Jayewardene, who had rendered a great service to Buddhism and the country. Mr. Lokubandara recalled how Mr. Jayewardene had allocated funds to celebrate the 2500th Buddha Jayanthi in the 1950s. more..

Election demolished the myth of LTTE

Sep 18 (DM) The LTTE utilized the duration of the Ceasefire Agreement to collect armaments including light aircraft and conscript more armed cadres into its ranks, Minister of Export Development and International Trade Prof. G.L. Peiris said in England recently. Minister G.L. Peiris met with Gareth Thomas, British Under Secretary of State for Trade Policy at his office in Victoria Street in London. more..

Indian government asked to justify LTTE ban

Sep 18 (PTI) A special tribunal has asked the central government to justify its renewal of the ban on LTTE. The tribunal, headed by Justice Vikramjit Sen, on Monday asked the central government to produce fresh evidence against the LTTE by Friday so as to have the ban on the group extended by another two years. The ban was first imposed in 1992 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967, a year after the LTTE was accused of assassinating former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. more..

'Tamil Tigers will go underground'

Sep 18 (Reuters) Tamil Tigers will go underground rather than "fight to the last man" once a northern offensive that has cut their strength to 3,000 fighters from 12,000 nears its end, Sri Lanka's army chief said on Thursday. Lieutenant-General Sarath Fonseka also said he had no clear timeframe for retaking territory held by the LTTE, because his aim was killing all of the insurgents rather than seizing ground. more..

India sidelined in Lankan war

Sep 18 (Rediff) The over two-year-old war between the Sri Lanka military and the LTTE has by all accounts reached a decisive phase. It is crunch time for both sides though it would be hazardous to predict the next chapter. On the face of it the Sri Lankan military has an upper hand. The Tigers have been cornered like never before, the Indian Peace Keeping Force phase included, from within and without. more..

Sri Lanka orders Tamils in Colombo to register

Sep 18 (AP) The Sri Lankan authorities on Thursday ordered tens of thousands of ethnic Tamils living in Colombo to register with police as fighting in the country's civil war with Tamil separatists grew fiercer. Fresh fighting along the northern front lines killed 25 rebels and one soldier, the military said Thursday, while brushing off reports the Tamil Tigers had unleashed deadly chemical weapons against advancing troops. more..

Single day of fighting kills 71 in Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's navy destroyed one Tamil Tiger boat and damaged another on Thursday as a battle that produced some of the bloodiest fighting in months raged into a second day on the northwest coast, the military said. The sea battle took place off the fishing port of Nachikkudah, about 300 km (185 miles) north of the capital Colombo, where fighting the day earlier killed 40 LTTE rebels and 10 soldiers. more..

Navy sinks 10 rebel boats, killing 25

Sep 18 (AP) The Sri Lankan military says naval forces have sunk 10 Tamil Tiger boats and killed at least 25 rebel sailors in a major sea battle off the country's northwest. The military says the battle started about 11 a.m. Thursday off the coast at Nachchikuda and lasted for four hours. Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara says naval forces sank seven small boats belonging to the Tamil Tigers' naval wing and three medium-sized boats. more..

Joint Civil Society Statement on Withdrawal of International Agencies from the Vanni

Sep 19 (TC) The Government’s letter to agencies on 8thSeptember 2008 instructing all aid workers, including members of the UN agencies who are not residents of the Vanni, to leave the Vanni, has led to the severe curtailment of humanitarian work in the area at a time when the need for such services is greater than ever. The primarily Tamil civilians of the Vanni who have been facing the full onslaught of the military offensive of the state and the retaliatory attacks of the LTTE, are trapped in a situation which is not of their choosing. more..

Will Colombo discharge the responsibility?

Sep 19 (LG) The pull out of the UN agencies and international non- governmental organizations other than ICRC from the Wanni area under the LTTE control has been completed. This exit of these UN agencies and NGO’s has taken place following the government’s declaration that it cannot guarantee their security and its assertion to undertake the humanitarian services rendered by these agencies. more..