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Ensure people’s safety!

Sep 19 (LG) Many have expressed concern about the civilians who are living in Wanni since the war between the security forces and the LTTTE is intensifying. It is the view of all sides that people who have suffered in many ways should not suffer further. Already more than 200, 000 have become refugees. In this situation if the war intensifies, many more people will be displaced. Exit of the UN agencies from Vanni has created distress among the people. more..

Upcountry workers and NIC

Sep 19 (LG) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wicremanayake has ordered the officials to provide NICs immediately to all upcountry workers, who have reached the eligible age. He has given the 31 December as the dead line to complete the project. Prime Minister has taken this measure after consulting Karu Jayasuriya, Internal Affairs Minister, Arumugan Thondaman, CWC leader and government officials. more..

TNA strongly condemns the indiscreminate bombing in Vaddakkachchi Village

Sep 19 (LG) TNA strongly condomns the indiscreminate bombadment on civilians area in Vaddakkchchi of Kilinochchi district by Sri Lanka Air Force bombers on 17 September 2008, the TNA said in a press statement. According to the statement, "the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), which attacked Vaddakkaachchi, 3 km east of Kilinochch Wednesday morning dropped bombs on a densely populated settlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IPDs) on Hudson Road, more..

Sri Lanka rubber seen staying strong despite fall in oil prices

Sep 19 (LBO) Sri Lankan natural rubber prices have come off their highs after oil prices plunged but are likely to remain strong with demand from emerging economies like India and China, an equities research report said. Lower oil prices would make petroleum-based synthetic rubber, the alternative for natural rubber, cheaper. SC Securities said listed regional plantations companies with a mix of tea and rubber would benefit from continued strong demand for rubber. more..

Sri Lanka rates spike as markets tumble

Sep 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's overnight money rates spiked to 18.75 percent and banks borrowed at a penal 19 percent from the central bank in a day that saw turmoil in global markets and stocks plunged 2.5 percent. Sri Lanka's central bank is running a tight monetary system after inflation spiked to 29.9 percent in April, and access to its 12.0 percent discount window has been restricted to three times a month. more..

Foreign Ministry donates medical equipment to Nikaweratiya Base Hospital

Sep 19 (GDI) The Seva Vanitha Unit of the Foreign Ministry has presented medical equipment to the new Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Nikaweratiya Base Hospital, upon a request of the Ministry of Health. Additional Secretary of the Ministry, Jayantha Palipane on behalf of the President of the Seva Vanitha Unit of the Foreign Ministry Deepthi Bogollagama, handed over the equipment to the Provincial Director of Health of the North Western Province, more..

UNP reasons high fuel prices

Sep 19 (LD) The government is postponing bringing down fuel prices in order to win over the masses by announcing a reduction through Budget 2009, alleged UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. Speaking to the media in Colombo today (Sept. 18th), he Secretary said the government was not reducing prices despite the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation earning a profit of Rs. 1.5 billion after crude prices downed to $91 per barrel in the world market. more..

France concerned over humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka

Sep 19 (KUNA) France expressed here Thursday its concern following the demand made by the authorities of Sri Lanka calling on international humanitarian organizations to evacuate the northern zones of the country which are affected by fighting. The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement that "France stressed the essential role played by humanitarian workers and recalls its concern with the situation for civilian populations." more..

Govt. to buy onions

Sep 19 (FP) The government will buy big onions from farmers at Talawa at a floor price of 40 rupees a kilogram from today (16), Minister of Trade Consumer Affairs and Cooperatives Bandula Gunwardena told The Island yesterday (15). The regional Director of Agriculture Anuradhapura R. P. Mahindapala said 760 hectares of big onions had been cultivated by farmers other than those living in the Mahaweli zones in the Anuradhapura and a yield per hectare of 20- 25 tons was expected. more..

Sri Lanka's Keells says ruling could cost over $18 mn

Sep 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's John Keells Holdings JKH.CM on Thursday said a court ruling against privatisation of its subsidiary Lanka Marine Services (LMS) could cost a maximum of 2.032 billion rupees ($18.84 million). The cost announced by the top conglomerate in the bourse is 50 percent higher than its original estimation of up to 1.3 billion rupees announced a day after the July 21 court ruling. more..

SEP demands release of arrested member

Sep 19 (WSWS) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka is demanding the immediate and unconditional release of party member Velummailum Kamalthasan and his brother-in-law Santhiralingam Ilancheliyan, who were arrested by Sri Lankan police on Monday in Negombo, about 40 kilometres north of Colombo. The two men have been kept illegally inside a police lock-up for the three days since. more..

Sri Lanka Mobitel boosts users with state workers

Sep 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Mobitel, a unit of fixed access operator Sri Lanka Telecom says its customers would increase by 300,000 to 2.4 million by year-end with a package aimed at state-workers selling rapidly. Mobitel chief executive Suren Amarasekera says the firm is issuing over 10,000 connections a day following the launch of a new Upahara branded package targeted at the island's civil service. more..

Former US envoy to Sri Lanka dead

Sep 19 (TW) The Embassy of the United States in Colombo regrets to announce the death of Ambassador William Howard Wriggins on August 30, 2008, in Hannover, New Hampshire. Dr. Wriggins served as U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives from 1977-1979. Born in 1918, Ambassador Wriggins studied at Darmouth College, the University of Chicago, and Yale University. During World War II, he interrupted his studies for four years to assist the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) with more..

Relief operations "effective" Govt

Sep 19 (BBC) The government says that it will to everything possible to minimise causalities and provide relief to the civilians caught in the on going conflict in the Killinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. “Our troops are disciplined and they our experienced ,” said media minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa while briefing journalist in Colombo on Thursday. He said that the government relief network is functional and more..

Relief becomes a problem - Killinochchi GA

Sep 19 (BBC) Civil authorities in the north say that in the providing essential relief to the displaced Killinochchi district has become difficult as fighting intensifies. Government Agent Nagalingam Vedanayagam said that about twenty five thousand are displaced as civilians flee their villages fearing further fighting. “Most of these people are from Iranamadu Junction, Murugandi and Arivial Nagar ,” said Vedanayagam. more..

Sri Lankan national arrested in J&K

Sep 19 (PTI) A Sri Lankan national who had entered the country illegally was arrested from a Jammu cyber cafe while he was surfing a militant website, police said on Thursday. Hassan Nawaz, a resident of Colombo, was arrested here on Wednesday after the cyber cafe owner became suspicious of his actions and called the police. Nawaz was surfing a militant web site at the time of the raid, police said adding that he was whisked away to Joint Interrogation Centre. more..

Meet in Sri Lanka

Sep 19 (EB) PLANNING a holiday abroad? Sri Lanka might just be the holiday destination you are looking for. Sri Lanka today unveiled its "Meet in Sri Lanka" campaign at the Taj Krishna, in the presence of Prema Cooray, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Convention bureau, PATA officials and the Sri Lanka chapter of PATA. Sri Lanka chose Hyderabad for its outdoor promotional campaign across India and launched a new user friendly website www.visitsrilanka. more..

Sri Lanka celebrated as treasure of South Asia

Sep 19 (IT) The history, culture, artistry and traditions of Sri Lanka are on display this weekend during the Sri Lankan Pearl of the Indian Ocean Festival. From Sept. 20 to 21, visitors can enjoy Sri Lankan hospitality, while sampling an engaging exhibition of arts and crafts, dance, music and food at the Harbourfront Centre. Known for some the hottest and spiciest food in the world, multiple food demonstrations will display different cuisine offerings available as well as the rich flavour and aroma of Sri Lanka's world renowned Ceylon tea. more..

'Fishermen freed on humanitarian grounds'

Sep 19 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan government is at pains to emphasise that its decision to release 38 Indian fisherfolk on September 14 without initiating any legal formalities is an example of its humanitarian approach toward fisherfolk who stray inadvertently into its territorial waters. The fisherfolk, who were found in northern Sri Lankan waters in two separate batches, were handed over to the Indian Coast Guard Vessel “Kittu Chennamma” on the International Maritime Boundary Line North-west of Delft on September 14. more..

'Registration process not to harass anyone'

Sep 19 (Hindu) In a controversial move, the government on Thursday announced that citizens from the battle-torn north, who have been living in and around the capital for the past five years, would have to register themselves with the police in view of the prevailing security environment. The announcement came amid claims by the military that at least 80 LTTE cadre and five soldiers were killed, and 10 Sea Tigers boats destroyed in the north. more..

Civilians killed

Sep 19 (BBC) Police in Ampara say that the LTTE fired at villagers on Thursday evening in Damana, in the Ampara district. According to police official two villagers were killed and two were injured. The injured told journalist Wasantha Chandrapala that they were fired at close range and some of them saved their lives by running away. "We had finished our work and returning home when we were fired at" said H M Wimalesena who was being treated at the Ampara hospital. more..

Cart festival brings outside support to small Catholic community

Sep 19 (UCAN) Bullock carts rumbled into the rural churchyard here bringing Catholics from distant towns for the small local faith community's feast day, keeping alive a tradition handed down through generations. "It provides a heart-warming memory of younger days that now my own children can experience," said Erwin Perera, 56, an electrician, as he tied a black bull to a coconut tree in the yard of St. Anne's Church. more..

Church stays in war zone as humanitarian agencies leave

Sep 19 (UCAN) The Catholic Church is continuing to help people displaced by war as the government calls for NGOs to pull out of the war zone in the north. The government issued a statement Sept. 8 calling on all NGOs working in areas under Tamil rebel control to leave for government-controlled areas. The government gave them until Sept. 29 to leave, saying it could not guarantee their safety after that date. more..

Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington DC hosts Ifthar

Sep 19 (AT) In keeping with the tradition of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C of commemorating the important festivals of all four world religions practiced in Sri Lanka, Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya hosted a grand Ifthar ceremony (breaking of the fast) at the Embassy on 14 September 2008. A large number of Sri Lankan Muslims and members of all Sri Lankan communities from the Greater Washington area participated in a great spirit of solidarity and fellowship. more..

Sri Lanka lifts domestic ban on ICL players

Sep 19 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has broken ranks with the official cricketing establishment by deciding to allow five cricketers and an umpire who last year signed up for the unauthorised ICL to play domestic cricket. The significant decision was taken by SLC's interim committee last week and has become public two days after the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) became the latest nationol body to ban its ICL cricketers from all forms of official cricket. more..

Jehan Perera and International Romance

Sep 19 (PISL) In the plethora of allegations being flung against the Sri Lankan government with regard to what is claimed to be a humanitarian crisis in the Wanni, Jehan Perera’s most recent essay may serve as an object lesson as to how the discussion has been so sadly affected by prejudice. I have long believed that, unlike many who assume the government is necessarily bad, Jehan tries to be balanced. more..

Sri Lanka’s Response on Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Gaza Report

Sep 19 (PISL) Sri Lanka welcomes the report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Beit Hanoun and the presentation of Archbishop Tutu. The Mission appreciated the need for thorough investigation before pronouncing on so worrying a situation, and we are sorry that Israel did not feel itself able to cooperate with the Mission. The terrible suffering of the Palestinian people over so many decades is an issue that has worried the world, and more..

SCOPP celebrates International Peace Day, 2008

Sep 19 (PISL) A visit by young cricketers from the East to the South is the main item in the Peace Secretariat celebration of International Peace Day on September 21st 2008. Following the liberation of the East last year, much effort has gone into political and economic development. The election of a Provincial Council in which both the government and the opposition are mult-ethnic, unlike in the past, and more..

CARE to support estate workers in poverty reduction

Sep 19 (AT) CARE International was established in Sri Lanka in 1956 first focusing on providing food, and working on issues related to maternal and child health, Gradually in respect to the changing needs of the country, in the early nineties they began to increasingly shift its focus to not only addressing basic needs but to also try and address the root causes of poverty ad marginalization. more..

Manel Mal Movement to help IDPs from Wanni

Sep 19 (AT) Members of the Manel Mal Movement will travel to Vavuniya on Saturday September 20 in a road convoy to hand over to displaced Tamils from the Wanni goods collected during the recent 'Jana Udaya Ranagosha' campaign. The MMM made this announcement at a media briefing held at the National Library Services Council Board on Tuesday September 16. more..

'Transport in Jaffna will be improved soon'

Sep 19 (GDI) The people of Jaffna will benefit from a better ad more streamlined transportation system in the near future, said Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare Douglas Devananda. Minister Devanda noted that he had discusses on this issue with the Transport Minister Dallas Alahaperuma as well as Ministry officials. The Ministry of Transpotation has already released five new buses to be added into the existing bus fleet with more..

Sri Lanka enters into "Technical Cooperation Agreement" with Brazil

Sep 19 (GDI) A framework agreement pertaining to the technical cooperation between Sri Lanka and Brazil was signed during the Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama's official visit to Brazil. During his visit, the minister met his Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim and had discussions on issues of bilateral interest, informed sources said. The discussions were focused on fostering close cooperation in areas such as agriculture, livestock and energy between the two nations. more..

"Gem Land Auction" a major victory for the industry

Sep 19 (GDI) The recently held gem land auction has been a major victory for those in the gem industry as the income of the auction has exceeded the expected target, National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) announced. The organizers of the event said that the gem land auction was a record in the history of such events in the country and added that the auction was held with the full cooperation of all community organization in the areas as well as more..

Northern Province residents now in the Western Province to be registered

Sep 19 (GDI) Residents from Jaffna, Mulative, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya who are now lodged in the Western province are requested to extend their cooperation to the security personnel to verify their identity on the 21st of this month, Police Media Spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara said. The Police request the public to get registered with the respective Police of their domiciled area. more..

'We will achieve per capita income of US$ 2000 soon'

Sep 19 (GDI) The Governor of the Central Bank, Ajith Nivad Cabraal has expressed confidence that Sri Lanka will achieve a per capita income of US$ 2000 very soon. He noted that the current per capita income of the country stands at approximately USD 1500. At present Sri Lanka's overall unemployment has gone down to just 5.1 per cent of the workforce, while in UK the unemployment rate is 6.8 per cent of the total workforce, he said. more..

Importation of selected varieties of fish to be allowed

Sep 19 (GDI) In a bid to counter the escalating prices of fish in the local market, the Government has lifted the tax imposed on importing several fish varieties. This decision was taken today (18) at a meeting of sub committee appointed to look into food security and controlling the cost of living and working directly under the supervision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

President Rajapaksa to participate at the UN General Assembly

Sep 19 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be among 100 heads of state attending the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly, which will be chaired by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and where current world trends including global health issues, poverty alleviation, impact of climate change will be discussed. The sessions began on the 16th of September at the UN headquarters in New York. more..

Bodies of returning refugees washed ashore off Jaffna

Sep 19 (TN) Seven corpses, including two children, a male and four females had been washed ashore in the last couple of days in the islets of Jaffna. One of four female corpses washed ashore was identified by the victim's brother Thursday as one of the refugees returning from Tamil Nadu, India, triggering fears of boats capsizing in the Palk Strait. People wonder at the circumstances leading to the risky return of refugees from Tamil Nadu at this juncture of war, more..

Antony's sanctimonious humbug

Sep 19 (LNP) At a time Prabhakaran has had his chips, Tiger sympathisers are employing various methods to take him off the hook. Some of them are propagating the same old propaganda lie that the war is unwinnable and hoping and praying that the LTTE will make a miraculous comeback. It is clear that they are eagerly awaiting a chemical attack on the armed forces. Others are playing a more active role. more..

Military plans not to suit UN: Govt.

Sep 19 (SAMN) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa asserted Thursday the government could not be expected to change its military plans to suit the UN or International Non Governmental Organisations (INGOs). Responding to concerns over civilian welfare in view of the government’s decision to pull out INGOs from the Wanni, the defence secretary said the security of the INGO staff, as well as that of civilians, was the responsibility of the government. more..

New law for polls in North

Sep 19 (SAMN) The government is planning to amend the Local Authorities (Special Provisions) Act soon to enable it to hold elections to 33 local bodies in the Northern Province. Cabinet Spokesman Anura Priyadhashana Yapa told a news conference Thursday the Cabinet had approved the draft amendment presented by Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Janaka Bandara Tennekoon at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. more..

Launch of SL first Film and TV Degree

Sep 19 (SAMN) The Kelaniya University Thursday launched Sri Lanka’s first ever degree programme in Film and Television, at a simple ceremony held at the University premises. Veteran filmmaker and one-time National Film Corporation Chairman Dr. D.B. Nihalsingha was appointed as a Senior Fellow in Film and Television to undertake that task, what was again a first for a University in Sri Lanka. more..

JVP takes CMC to task

Sep 19 (SAMN) The JVP Thursday charged that the Colombo Municipal Council which is the biggest local authority in the country had not collected business licence fees and has lost a great amount of revenue which should have been collected even as the cabinet decided to reduce the expenditure of local authorities. The Cabinet on Wednesday approved a paper submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Finance to suspend collecting assessment charges from local authorities by the Government Assessment Department. more..

'No faith motion forced PB to resign'

Sep 19 (LD) The UNP has claimed the undated no-faith motion it had moved against Finance Secretary P.B. Jayasundara had forced him to resign. Even before he had tendered his resignation, the matter had been leaked to the media, said UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. The party had tabled an undated no-faith motion in Parliament against the ex-Finance Secretary as that had been the best move possible by an opposition, Mr. Karunanayake said. more..

3 girls top Yr. 5 scholarship exam

Sep 19 (LD) Three girls have topped the Year Five Scholarship Examination 2008, each aggregating 183 marks. Two of them are from Colombo schools - Anjana Sajini Senadhira of Lindsay Girls' School and Mihindini Amasha Hapuarachchi of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya. The third is Dona Mahesha Supipi of St. Andrew's Central College, Puttalam. In the Tamil medium, Dharmalingam Pashushan of Weerasingham Maha Vidyalaya in Meesalai, Jaffna has topped the list with 176 marks.

'UNP must support Govt. at this juncture'

Sep 19 (DN) The UNP should extend unconditional support to the Government, at this critical juncture when the Security Forces are engaged in a decisive war to liberate the country from terrorists, UNP Parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa said. He was addressing a women empowerment meeting at Hakuruwela Purana Raja Maha Viharaya, Hakuruwela, Angunukolapelessa. "Far, from weakening the Forces valour and courage, we should boost their morale in their fight to unite the country," he said. more..

Tax concessions for eco-friendly vehicles

Sep 19 (DN) The Government has decided to implement a new duty structure to promote the import of clean fuel vehicles from 2009 and to provide tax concessions on par with existing schemes applicable to local industries for local assembly of clean fuel vehicles with a local value addition of 25 per cent, Cabinet Spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. The Cabinet has granted approval to the Cabinet memorandum submitted by Environment and Natural Resources Minister Champika Ranawaka in this regard. more..

RDA blamed for damage to CGR signals system

Sep 19 (Island) The CGR is blaming the Roads Development Authority for the damage caused to the main signals system during excavation work near the Urugodawatte railway station. Train services on the main line had been paralysed for the past two days by the RDA, Transport Ministry sources said. The RDA had carried out the excavation without informing the CGR. CGR engineers were engaged in repairing the damaged signal cables and more..

Berty Premalal accuses party men of sabotage

Sep 19 (Island) Chief Minister of the North Central Province Berty Premalal Dissanayake has accused his colleagues of sabotaging a bid to elect Anuradhapura District councillor Gamage Weerasena as Chairman of the NCP. A furious Dissanayake alleged that a section of the UPFA members had voted with the UNP to defeat Weerasena, the ruling party’s choice. In an unexpected move, the UNP has proposed P. B. Dissanayake also of the ruling party as the Chairman, thereby more..

California University student murdered in Sri Lanka

Sep 19 (DM) The California University medical student who was receiving treatment for serious burn injuries at the National Hospital died on Wednesday, police said. Indika Prasanna Padeniya of Dambulla had allegedly been assaulted and set on fire by two of his friends who had accompanied him to Ambana in Naula. Prasanna had jumped into the Amban Ganga and escaped from the clutches of the friends-turned assialants and was later admitted to the National Hospital. more..