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Sri Lanka's Tamils live in fear of security forces

Sep 1 (AP) People in the poor, mainly Tamil neighborhood in Colombo described it as a harrowing day. It was 5 a.m. on a Wednesday when police started knocking on doors. They searched hundreds of homes, then forced thousands of men, women and children to get dressed and walk through the narrow streets lined with soldiers to a nearby sports field. Over the next six hours, authorities questioned, photographed and videotaped the neighborhood's inhabitants. more..

Battle of words over Sri Lankan conflict

Sep 1 (NST) They came from as far away as Australia to discuss how they could help their adopted countries. But instead of looking ahead, as suggested by the theme The Way Forward, the three-day International Conference on the Sri Lankan Diaspora last week got off on the wrong foot with speakers looking backwards at the Sri Lankan conflict. Questions were raised over the way the Sri Lankan government had been treating overseas non-governmental organisations offering humanitarian help. more..

Rock Kingdom: Sri Lanka’s rock monuments are a bedrock of culture

Sep 2 (AB) Few places on earth match Sri Lanka for the pervasive sense of an ancient culture. The island’s rock monuments are central testaments to this culture and crucial to feeling its power, and they should be the bedrock of every visitor’s cultural itinerary. Sri Lanka has a glorious array of historical monuments carved out of living rock or situated within rock environments. Sir Lanka possesses a very old civilization, and an equally old faith. more..

Prabha losses his wife’s native place

Sep 2 (LG) Reaching one more decisive phase of the ongoing humanitarian battle, meant to salvage people from the grips of LTTE terrorism, valiant soldiers of the 7 Sinha Regiment in 57 Division under the able command of Major General JAGATH DIAS, General Officer Commanding, 57 Division, brought more than three-fourth of the LTTE’s nerve center, Mallavi, about 3.5 km to the east of Tunukkai under their control Monday (01) evening, Army Headquarters officially announced. more..

Ethnic Issue: Reviving the Political Process in Sri Lanka

Sep 2 (LG) Sri Lanka is at crossroads on the ethnic front. The increasing incidence of military marginalisation of the LTTE on the one hand and the simultaneous attainment of relative peace and stability in the Eastern Province on the other have lent a new urgency for reviving the political process to end the current stalemate as never before since President Mahinda Rajapakse assumed office in November 2005. more..

LTTE's battle for survival

Sep 2 (LG) LTTE, a terrorist group which, not long ago, threatened to leave Sri Lanka brutally divided, is today facing a near death. The group has consistently been losing both men and material, crippling its operational capability. Although the number of men killed in fighting is relatively smaller than those given out by the military spokesman in the daily news briefing, there is no denying the fact that in the last six months, more..

‘November’ decisive month for Sri Lanka

Sep 2 (LG) With the heavy drum beatings in the South that victory in the war against the LTTE is imminent and the sombre feeling amongst the LTTE support base, the war situation in Sri Lanka is heading for a another muddied stage. Month of November is crucial for the government of Sri Lanka and LTTE. Both are engaged in an inconclusive military campaign for over twenty five years. more..

The SLFP Championing the cause of the masses

Sep 2 (LG) The SLFP was inaugurated on or about September 2, 1951, at a meeting held at the Colombo Town Hall. Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the leader of the party, in his inauguration speech, said: “I venture to think that this is an occasion of some importance in the political history of our country. It not only marks the birth of a new political party - the SLFP - but also ushers in many ways, a new fact that more..

Canada delays issuing agrement to Sri Lanka’s high commissioner designate

Sep 2 (AT) Canadian Government so far has not decided on the issue of agrement for Daya Perera PC, who is Sri Lanka High Commissioner designate to Canada. Earlier, Foreign Ministry sources said it has already taken care of the issues that delayed Daya Perera leaving for Canada. Unfortunately still the Canadian Government has not indicated reasons behind delaying the agrement. more..

War and conflict in Sri Lanka would not fetch foreign aid

Sep 2 (AT) People of Germany and for that matter even the international community though are willing to help Sri Lanka, they ask the question as to why should support countries that spend more on arms than on schools and hospitals. This was stated by Jurgen Weert, Ambassador of Germany in Sri Lanka while addressing the 15th Business for Peace Forum of the Business for Peace Initiative of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Sri Lanka (FCCISL) more..

Confidence Building “Policies and Practices"

Sep 2 (AT) The Government of Sri Lanka in its great endeavor to eradicate terrorism and ending a three decade old protracted conflict, has made many policies and practices in order to build confidence among all communities in Sri Lanka. However with the intense humanitarian intervention by the present regime in its policy decision on eradicating terrorism, the people of the conflict affected areas have had to face many difficulties. more..

'Build bunkers' civilians urged

Sep 2 (BBC) The civilians living in rebel-held areas were urged by the Tamil Tigers to build bunkers as fighting with the government forces escalates. The Tamil Tigers have admitted that fighting is intensifying as they have 'escalated' attacks on the government forces. The leaflets, seen by the BBC, were handed over to the people in Kilinochchi by the Tigers days after Sri Lanka air force dropped leaflets urging the civilians to leave LTTE-held areas. more..

Warrant to arrest Buddhist monk

Sep 2 (BBC) The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka has ordered the police to arrest and remand a Buddhist monk accused of violating a court order. Rev. Pannala Pannarathne thero of Welikadawatta Temple is accused of continuing with using loudspeakers despite a court order not to use them from 10pm (SLT) until 06am until further notice. Although notice was issued for him to appear before the courts on Monday, the thero did not attend the hearing. more..

Sri Lanka rebels weakened, still a threat, defense analysts say

Sep 2 (BN) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, watching their fiefdom in the north shrink under daily army attacks, showed by last week's air raid on a naval base they still pose a military threat, defense analysts said. The air unit's strike on the eastern port of Trincomalee came after the government said defeats in the north and east have almost broken the LTTE, which has fought for a separate homeland for 25 years. "The government has succeeded in significantly weakening the Tigers," more..

India-Sri Lanka ODI series fail to grab eyeballs

Sep 2 (IT) It was India’s first bilateral One-Day International (ODI) series win against Sri Lanka on the latter’s home turf. But despite being aired on two channels—Ten Sports and Zee Sports—the recently concluded India-Sri Lanka ODI series—Idea Cup—garnered low TRPs. According to data from television audience measurement agency Audience Map (aMap), the five matches played had TRPs of 0.56, 1.05, 2.04, 1.65 and 0.94, respectively. more..

UNP & JVP: Time for self-analysis

Sep 2 (SLW) As President Mahinda Rajapaksa described the UPFA's massive victory at the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Elections was a victory for all patriots. Political analysts agree that the victory was a clear mandate from the people for the President to fight the LTTE terrorism and an endorsement for his socio-economic development policies. more..

Stop this Disgraceful journalism against Colombo Medical Students

Sep 2 (SLW) Mainstream media personnel in Sri Lanka seem to think that they are more equal than others. When they are doing their so called media work, they forget about common courtesy, decency and avoiding illegal activities. They are criticizing all and sundry, but no one is allowed to criticize their stupid acts. Under education is a common denominator among our journalists. Responsible job with lack of education is a dangerous mix. more..

Child labour in Sri Lanka!

Sep 2 (LG) Mrs. Pearl Weerasinga, Commissioner of Labour, has stated that more than 30,000 children below the age of 14 are employed as labourers in shops and houses in Sri Lanka and that they are made to suffer sexual abuse by both Sri Lankans and foreigners. It is a startling news. Although the law does not permit the employment of children below the age of 14, they are compelled to work. According to the law, it is an offence to employ a boy or girl who is under 14 years of age. more..

People affected due to crisis!

Sep 2 (LG) It is condemnable that innocent people are caused to suffer following the on going war, shell attacks and bomb explosions. In the Puthumuripu area, 5 persons including two children died and three were injured following shell attacks on Saturday. It is learnt that a large number of displaced people live in Puthumuripu area in Killinochchi following the advancement of the security forces towards Vanni. more..

No redemption till people discerns the truth!

Sep 2 (LG) The Lankan ethnic problem has emerged as a cruel war. The South has unleashed a cruel war causing aggression in the Tamil homeland. It is determined to enslave the Tamil people. The war propaganda of the Colombo administration has become very effective, while the people of the South are unable to assess the reality. It is notable that certain intelligentsias of the South have expressed erudite views. more..

Kuwait grants amnesty for illegal migrants to leave

Sep 2 (GDI) The State of Kuwait has granted a six week amnesty period for illegal migrants residing in the country, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) announced. According to sources the State of Kuwait requests all migrants without a valid visa or a permission of the Kuwaiti immigration authorities to leave the country within six weeks, starting from yesterday (01). The amnesty will expire on October 15, SLBFE sources said. more..

Development and provision of goods proceeding smoothly in Jaffna

Sep 2 (GDI) Government Agent of Jaffna, K. Ganesh told yesterday that adequate buffer stocks of essential items are available in the district adding that consignments of goods arrive at the KKS harbor without interruption. He also said that good are being transported to Jaffna through air and via sea. Meanwhile Commissioner of Essential Service, S.B. Divaratne in a media briefing in Colombo today confirmed the statement made by the Government Agent of Jaffna, refuting all the allegations leveled by more..

Special moblie package for state workers

Sep 2 (GDI) Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel have launched a special communications package for state sector employees and pensioners, it was announced at a special ceremony at the Waters' Edge on Saturday. Minister of Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives, and Consumer Services Bandula Gunawardane speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the new communication package said it was aimed at bringing immense economic benefits to a special set of subscribers - government servants, and pensioners. more..

Batsmen dominate as match ends in draw

Sep 2 (CI) The first four-day Test between South Africa A and Sri Lanka A ended in a bat-dominated draw after both sides plundered the bowlers mercilessly at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom. There were four half-centuries and eight centuries in all while the bowlers managed to take only 16 wickets over four days. The final day began with Sri Lanka A on 640 for 5, having overhauled South Africa A's first-innings total of 459, with Kaushal Silva batting on 53 and Dilruwan Perera on 1. more..

Understanding electoral results: Beyond winners and losers

Sep 2 (GV) The United People’s Freedom Party (UPFA) claimed its second consecutive provincial electoral victory on the 24th of August by winning a clear majority of seats in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Province. This election was more competitive than the previous Eastern Provincial Council election, where the government managed to get the Tamil and Muslim votes by their crafty handling of Pillayan and Hisbulla. more..

Women and politics in Sri Lanka

Sep 2 (GV) In an earlier article on Groundviews titled ‘Half a Democracy‘, the author referred to the virtual absence of women in political institutions in Sri Lanka, and their resultant inability to define politics and influence decision making in a context of continuing conflict, soaring prices, and widespread human rights abuses by the state. I want to add that the main obstacle to equal political representation of women in political institutions in Sri Lanka is POLITICAL PARTIES - more..

Alleged assault and ill treatment of a woman by police and jailors

Sep 2 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the ill-treatment of a woman by police officers and jailors in late June 2008. The lady was involved in a private argument with another woman whose husband is a high ranking government officer. This case shows how this officer abused his official position by influencing other officials and is yet further evidence of miscarriage of justice. more..

‘Politicos’ Pay hike in budget 2009?

Sep 2 (SAMN) Ministers and parliamentarians are to get a windfall next year in the shape of another salary increase, following the government undertaking to increase the salaries of judicial officers through the 2009 budget. Salaries of judges and lawmakers are combined through a parliamentary resolution, and according to senior parliamentary sources, the salary increase for judiciary automatically places the lawmakers in line for a similar hike. more..

Compromise reached on A/L paper marking

Sep 2 (SAMN) The Teachers’ Union Monday agreed to immediately return to GCE Advanced Level paper marking if a settlement could be reached with regard to salary anomalies after discussion with the President’s Secretary and the Secretary of the Ministry of Education. The Teachers’ Unions gave this undertaking when a fundamental rights application filed by an Advance Level student, and his father, was taken up for argument before the Chief Justice, more..

I will never quit UNP: SB

Sep 2 (SAMN) UNP National Organiser S. B. Dissanayake told journalists, that he would never quit the UNP. Dissanayake was interviewed by media personnel when he paid a courtesy call on the Most Ven. Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thero of Malwatte. Dissanayake was responding to a question on whether he had any intention of leaving the UNP, which had displayed weakness even at the recent North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections. more..

Prelate advices UNP to work with Govt.

Sep 2 (SAMN) "Now that the United National Party lacks competency, it is advisable for it to come forward to support the present government and develop the country," the Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Mahanayake Thero of Asgiriya said, when UNP National Organiser S. B. Dissanayake called on him on Sunday (31). During the course of discussions, the Mahanayake Thero said the UNP is weak at present as those with the capability to work have left the party. more..

Asia Sat Terminates Transmission of TCP TV Channel

Sep 2 (AT) The Hong Kong based management office of Asia Sat Telecommunication Company has informed the Sri Lanka Embassy in Beijing that they have terminated the transmission of Tamil Cultural Program TV Channel through their Asia SAT 3S Satellite. The Tamil Cultural Program TV Channel beam toward Asia, Middle East and some of the Central European countries broadcast LTTE propaganda programs in Tamil language for the benefit of the Tamil speaking people as well as the LTTE sympathizers. more..

Seven new flyovers for Colombo, suburbs

Sep 2 (DN) The Government has decided to construct seven new flyovers this year aiming to ease the huge traffic congestion in Colombo and suburbs. Seven flyovers in Nugegoda (261m), Kohuwala (219m), Dehiwala (335m), Junction of Rajagiriya and Welikada, (555m), Panadura (288m) Kelaniya South (300m) and Kelaniya (North) will be constructed at a cost of Sterling Pounds 33 million. The project is funded by the UK Government. more..

Bus ticket machines compulsory soon

Sep 2 (DN) Issuing a tickets for private bus passengers through a mechanised system will be made compulsory soon after the relevant gazette notification is published, said Western provincial Chief Minister Reginald Cooray. The practice of issuing tickets through the machines since was not at a satisfactory level and it was roughly 43 per cent. Chief Minister Cooray made this statement at the media conference at the Chief Ministry yesterday. more..

Nilaweli shooting - 3rd Muslim succumbs

Sep 2 (MG) Jainulabdeen Fowzer (30) who was critically injured at the Nilaweli shooting on 20/08/2008 succumbed to his injuries yesterday at Kurunegala hospital. SLMC leader Mr. Rauff Hakeem charged that this shooting was allegedly carried out by uniformed men and blaming the LTTE for this killing is misleading. The victims were firewood collectors who go to jungle areas between Welgamvihara and Iqbal Town in the Nilaweli area. Reports say that they used to collect firewood using Kubota mini tractors. more..

Women attack Pilleyan

Sep 2 (MG) Several women have attacked the recently-elected Chief Minister of the Eastern Province S. Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan when he visited Wakare near Batticaloa, on Saturday (30th) morning. When Pilleyan visited Wakare a woman had come to him and asked for her son and husband. The woman's son had been abducted and her husband too had been forcefully recruited to the armed gangs of TMVP. Their whereabouts have not been reported since then. more..

Complaints against police down

Sep 2 (Island) There has been a reduction in the number of complaints made by the public against police officers, Director of the Public Complaints Investigation Division (PCID) of the National Police Commission (NPC) J. Paranamanna said. It was a healthy sign to see that there were only 817 complaints up to July2008, as compared to the 1216 in the corresponding period last year, he said. The highest number of complaints was recorded from Colombo with 208 as against 320 in 2007. more..

Popular misconceptions about University Education

Sep 2 (Island) We are often told that a large number qualify for entry into universities but only a small percentage are admitted because there is no room in the universities to admit more. This is looked upon as some serious failure in our economic or social policies. But if one looks at the history of university education in developed countries or even in our own ancient we note that higher education and learning has always been for a minority. more..

Drunken elephants play hell at Mahavilachchiya

Sep 2 (DM) Wild elephants are known to go on the rampage, but drunken elephants can be a handful or is it a mouthful as both villagers and wildlife officials in Mahavilachchiya came to experience. Wild Life officials said a roaming herd of wild elephants walked into a kasippu den after sniffing the aromatic smell of fruits used in distilling the brew and had more than a mouthful of the booze and in their drunken state ran amok destroying crops and houses in the village. more..

Jeyaraj’s widow warns she will resign

Sep 2 (DM) The SLFP Katana organiser Sudarshani Fernandopulle has threatened to resign if a co-organiser is appointed to the electorate. She stressed the appointmentwas redundant. Dr. Ms. Fernandopulle expressed these views in reply to queries by party supporters at the Katana SLFP central committee meeting on Sunday . “Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle made an immense sacrifice to promote the Katana seat. more..

Fmr. Air Force chief as HC to Pakistan

Sep 2 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint former Air Force Commander Air Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody as Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Pakistan. The name of the ex-AF chief is now before the Parliamentary Committee on High Posts for examination of his suitability, a Foreign Ministry official told 'Lanka Dissent.' Air Marshal Weerakkody served the AF for 30 years, and was its commander from 1998 to 2002. more..

Ranil felicitates winners at PC polls

Sep 2 (LD) UNP leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe summoned all UNP candidates who emerged victorious at the recently concluded North Central and Sabaragamuwa PC polls to the party headquarters Sirikotha this morning. On the occasion, the party leader has felicitated opposition leaders of the two provincial councils, retired major General Janaka Perera and Ranjan Ramanayake as well as other elected councilors for their services to the party. more..

'The Nation' Chief Editor relieved of duties

Sep 2 (LD) Chief Editor of 'The Nation' Lalith Alahakoon has been relieved of his editorial duties with immediate effect and Business Editor Gamini Abeywardena given the overall responsibility of the English language weekly by its publisher, Rivira Media Corp. The sidelining of the senior journalist has come after he had passed a copy criticizing the ambassador to the US Jaliya Wickramasuriya, for publication on the August 24th issue of the newspaper. more..

Teachers refuse to abandon struggle

Sep 2 (LD) The Ceylon Teachers Union says it is awaiting a 'correct decision' from the Education Ministry following a Supreme Court order to rectify salary anomalies of teachers by the 08th of this month. Its Chairman Joseph Stalin warns that they will not abandon their struggle if that response does not do justice to their proposals to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He noted that teacher unions had rejected the suggestions of the Education Ministry and more..

Sri Lanka to encourage coastal trade

Sep 2 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government is trying to encourage greater use of the sea surrounding the island for transport purposes and has introduced a new tariff for cargo moved by coastal shipping. Sri Lanka Ports Authority officials said the aim is to lower transport costs, encourage coastal shipping and reduce traffic jams on the clogged main roads. The new tariff for local cargo is for export cargo originating from remote locations away from Colombo to more..

Sri Lanka, India in tea import deal

Sep 2 (LBO) Two of the world's biggest tea exporters, Sri Lanka and India, have signed an agreement on tea imports into each other's countries, news reports said. The mutual recognition agreement for tea coming into each other's countries was signed between the Tea Board of India and Tea Board of Sri Lanka in Kolkatta. A memorandum of understanding between the Tea Research Association of India and Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka on collaboration between the two countries is also to be signed in Assam. more..

Tigers' backs to the wall

Sep 2 (AT) Even as Sri Lankan armed forces gain ground in their military operations against the LTTE in northern Sri Lanka, the LTTE has signaled yet again its capacity to rain destruction from the skies. On the night of August 26, two LTTE light aircraft sneaked into airspace over a tightly secured key naval base in the eastern port city of Trincomalee and dropped two bombs. Four days later, the LTTE stuck again, this time in the heart of the capital, Colombo. more..

Sri Lankan military says 47 killed in fighting

Sep 2 (AP) Government forces fought fierce battles with ethnic Tamil separatists along Sri Lanka's northern front lines in a wave of fighting that killed 43 rebels and four soldiers, the military said Tuesday.The bloodshed came amid weeks of escalating violence in the area, as government troops pushed deep into rebel-held territory, seizing key Tamil Tiger bases and towns that had long been under rebel control. more..

Suspected Tigers stopped before Australia

Sep 2 (AAP) PAPUA New Guinea intelligence officials are questioning 12 Sri Lankan men they believe were planning to travel to Australia on false passports. Officers with PNG's National Intelligence Organisation (NIO) detained the men at their hotel in Port Moresby today, and are checking if they are linked to Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tigers. The men, aged 19 to 26, were detained after authorities were tipped off about their suspicious behaviour, the NIO said. more..

Sri Lanka says captures Tamil Tiger 'nerve centre'

Sep 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military on Tuesday said it had captured a town that served as a "nerve centre" for separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, on a day that saw 48 killed and 57 wounded across the nation's northern frontline. The military announced the capture as the air force pounded rebel mortar bases near Nachikudah while troops pushed forward on the ground against the LTTE. more..